Thursday, July 26, 2012

God, Father, Protector

"But you do see, for you note mischief and vexation, that you may take it into your hands; to you the helpless commits himself; you have been the helper of the fatherless. Break the arm of the wicked and evildoer; call his wickedness to account till you find none. The Lord is king forever and ever; the nations perish from his land. O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more." Psalm 10:14-18 


Thinking about this verse and many others just like it lately in my study. Why do I and many of us fail to realize the Father's love for us?

What is the first response from a parent after they find out their child is getting harassed or bullied at school? To confront the child causing the harm or the child's parents and stop it. Why? Because our love for our children runs deep and seeing them hurt by extention hurts us too.

 There is many powerful and deep reasons why God is called "Father" in the bible and why we are referred to as His children. It shows His glorifying greatness and superiority & love and our lack of reciprocating those qualities. Just as a parent feels protectiveness over their children, so does God. He displays this in many verses throughout the bible that He will protect His children against evil but because God is so good He will carry His wrath out in a glorifying manner. The eyes of those who come under His wrath will be open to see Him in all His glory and see that He was glorified despite the evil deeds done throughout life. That's just very comforting to know and its something I know that I fail to realize. I hope it brings comfort to others :)

 "The desire of the righteous ends only in good; the expectation of the wicked in wrath." Proverbs 11:23 


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Eleora Exposito

At last, that final bit of closure.





I miss you



 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Winner is.....


To find the winner I reverted back to the old fashion pick a name out of the hat. Ben did the picking and he picked....... 
                              Kim Branch!!! 

Congratulations Kim!! I'll be emailing you for your design of choice.

Thank you all for entering and all your words of encouragement! If any of you are interested in ordering a large utility tote for yourself or would like to browse the catalog, come visit me! 

 The large utility tote retails at $35 and for every $31 you spend you can get any of the beautifully designed all-in-one organizer for just $5......




The All-In-One organizer retails at $20, that's a $15 savings!! But hurry this offer only lasts until the end of May!! June will start a new monthly special so hurry and order if you want to catch this amazing deal!

I wish I could afford you all a large utility tote, but don't fret for this is not the last nor only giveaway. There is another awesome 31 giveaway in the making!! :) What bag will it be? Will it be a thermal tote, a metro retro purse, a square utility tote, organizing shoulder bag or any of the other amazing products???

 Tune in next week to find out!! :)





 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Exciting News and Giveaway!!



So here is my exciting news, I have become a 31 gifts consultant! :) I'm just trying this out for fun and if it grows into a business, great!! I love this company and what they stand for. I truly appreciate the fact that its a faith based company trying to encompass the Proverbs 31 woman and bring her to light. Its a great encouragement. I have never done anything like this before but thought I needed a change and needed to take a risk.

That being said, one thing that initially shied me away from attempting this was that I was really not wanting to be a pushy sales person. I really don't want my friends or family to feel they need to buy this or host a party or do that etc.. This is all in good fun, its simply about taking a chance and making a small change in my life for me.

 Here's the most exciting part, now that I'm a 31 consultant all my friends,family and blog followers can reap the benefits!!


So to celebrate and kick-off this exciting new business venture I'm having a giveaway! What's in this giveaway for you may ask......
                         
                -- The Large Utility Tote!!--

                Yes, A FREE Large Utility Tote!

You can even choose your own design from: Black Happy Dot, Pin Dots, Floral Celebration, Circle Spirals, Aqua Circle Spirals (shown above), Garden Bloom, Black Parisian Pop, Windsor Bouquet, Black Paisley Parade, Lotsa Dots, Minty Chip or any of the solid Spirit Colors (blue,grey,black,maroon,orange)

The giveaway will close at midnight on Wednesday May 30th and I will be drawing and posting the winner on Thursday May 31st.

To enter to win all you have to do is:

* leave me a comment underneath this post and include your email address
* OR you can earn an extra entry if you volunteer to host a party
















I really love this bag and all its versatile uses and I know you will too! :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Feeling down

I know its been forever since posting anything new on here so I figured I'd say a little something. Life has been a little crazy with 2 kids now but also quite busy. I'm a little frustrated lately. A few posts back I mentioned how I arranged for "Eleora" to be put onto the back of the memorial grave stone at the cemetery where supposedly our baby's ashes are. Well its been a while and still no name. It was around mid March when I set it up. They told me it would be up in no time. A few weeks later no name.

So we called to see what the protocols were and they told us the guys had to make the letters and then it'd be up. A few weeks later still no name and in fact there were other new names up.

 So we called again and they assured us within the next 2 weeks it would be up. Several weeks later still no name and another new name.

So I called the other day and asked what was going on and if it was ever going to go on the stone. The guy said that the man was out earlier that day and it should be up, but alas it was not. There is no waiting list, all the names get put up pretty quick when the weather is nice. They had nothing to tell me as to why other names were there but not hers. The conversation ended with this guy telling me he'd look into it.

 I'm beginning to think this is never going to happen. Before mother's day I hoped and hoped that just maybe it'd be there as that would be so appropriate. I'm tired of the disappointment. I'm contemplating other things I can do to bring a last bit of closure. I hope I'm able to find something I'm comfortable with. :-/
Well that's my mini post for today. The kids are calling me.

Thanks for reading.



 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Heavy

The title to this post emulates the weight of my thoughts and feelings lately perfectly. Heavy.

Recently while at the memorial stone from Aultman that commemorates the babies lost too soon, I noticed there was a growing list of names etched into the back of the stone. I have wanted for a while now to add our baby’s name but just kept putting it off. At first, I thought it would be too much money but never bothered to check into it. I think my real reason was I was a little nervous to because of the finality that would come with it. Now after seeing the other names, I want hers to be added. Maybe one day someone will look at the stone and see her name and wonder who she was or how small she was when she passed away. When I was a kid, my aunt use to take my cousin and I on walks in the summer when I would stay over. We use to walk up the hill to this old church and cemetery. My aunt would tell us about the people she knew who had died and were buried there. She use to tell us their stories and who they use to be. We would even look at the older stones and make up in our heads who we thought each person was and what their stories were. I want my kids one day to be able to go to the memorial stone and know that is where the memory of their little or big sister is commemorated along with other lost babies.


I discovered that the cost for the name would only be $100. I was shocked it was so cheap. I had always envisioned in my head them telling me $50 a letter or something like that. Through sobs, I asked Ben if we could do it and he said yes. I was so relieved! This was actually going to happen! When I went to the cemetery office, I was so nervous. The man helping me took me to this small room with 2 walls covered in example head stones. (The flat kind and ones for mausoleums) He had me sit in there while he got some papers for me to sign. It felt like I was in there for hours as I tried to ignore the walls. It was so hard. I kept thinking, “I got to get out of here now” I wanted to just run right out of that room.

It was so depressing as I looked at some of the pictured examples wondering if those were real people and what had happened to them. I could not believe I was actually sitting in that room about to sign papers for adding my lost baby’s name. Though my loss is not quite as heavy as others I know whom have lost babies I felt like in that moment I could almost feel the weight of it. I can’t imagine how any of my dear friends managed to sit in rooms like mine awaiting to sign papers and pick out head stones. Death is inevitable that much is true and it seems to be circulating my thoughts ever since I sat in that room. My dreams have been affected lately. My thoughts seem ever saturated as I ponder what it will be like when I have to possibly sit in that room again for another loved one or maybe my loved ones for me.

I even stupidly clicked on a video recently showing the real death of a senator thinking it wasn’t real. I can now fully attest to its reality as its also stuck in my mind. Heavy.

How did Jesus do it? How heavy God’s heart must have felt to give up his son. If the losses we feel in this world are a taste then I cannot even imagine more.

I think once I see our baby’s name on the stone that it will bring a sense of closure. Not that I haven’t know for a long time now that it was over. Her life is over. I feel like once I see her name that I might be able to forget that cold and scary room. I now will know in my heart that I have completed that last piece of the puzzle.



Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Peanut Butter Bars


Thought I'd share another super yummy Pinterest recipe I've recently tried.(And LOVED!!)

This recipe is from Six Sister's Stuff blog.

If you like Reese Cups or Reese Goodies then you'll love these!




Are you drooling yet? I won't torture you any further, here is the recipe;

Ingredients
1 cup butter melted
2 cups graham cracker crumbs (use the boxed kind, or grind them in a food processor. Tiny granules.)
2 cups confectioners’ sugar (aka powdered sugar)
1 cup + 4 tablespoons peanut butter
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips

Directions
In a medium bowl, mix together the melted butter, graham cracker crumbs, confectioners’ sugar, and 1 cup peanut butter until well blended. Press evenly into the bottom of an ungreased 9×13 inch pan. (I did mine in a 9X9 square pan because I wanted them thicker) In the microwave, melt the chocolate chips with the peanut butter, stirring every 30 seconds until melted until smooth. Spread over the peanut butter layer. Refrigerate for at least one hour before cutting into squares.

It's literally that easy! No baking, no oven! Yay! Now what are you waiting for? Go make some of these!



WARNING: Do not attempt this recipe if you are home alone as you WILL consume mass quantities of these bars ultimately causing intake of major calories. :)



Friday, March 9, 2012

Happy Spring

Vintage Wreath Easter
Turn family photos into photo Christmas cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Emotional thoughts

March and April have become emotional months for me recently. Since we lost Eleora they seem to just just carry many moments of sadness. In one of these months she would have been born. Either the end of March or the beginning of April she would have entered the world and into our arms. Now she's in the best arms to ever be in and the ones I long to be in one day too.

It felt like after I lost her that I became a statistic and in all honesty I was. Rolled up with the other 500,000 women each year who experience a miscarriage was me. Eleora was apart of that too joining the babies that died. Instantly I discovered that I had now been initiated into a secret society of women whom had experienced this loss as well. This society seems to be secret because I hadn't learned of many women I know who've had miscarriages until I lost my baby. They seem to come out of the wood work and remove their shrouds to embrace me. I've learned that some women hide this loss purposely because they are ashamed of (what society has down played) losing a child this way. Others found it too painful to resurface that memory. Some women were not afraid to speak of their loss though sadly they were few.

It angers me that the world cannot see, that they down play abortion and label it "pro choice" and there are 500,000+ women just in miscarriage statistics alone (not counting the other 26,000 that end in still birth every year or the 400,000 infant deaths) that cried when they lost their babies. The women that felt a deep gut wrenching pain for the children they "wanted". Did you know that 3,700 babies are aborted each day in the U.S. That is approximately 1,350,500 annually. Let me remind you of how many babies died that were "wanted"; 900,000.

I read recently that a woman near Pittsburgh laid her 2 day old baby down on the floor in his carrier while she used the bathroom and their new dog bit the baby's head several times. This baby ultimately died shortly after. There are a lot of people who are mad at this mother for allowing her baby to be in a vulnerable position with this dog. She's being charged as we speak. The dog is in the middle of a complex battle over his life. The courts want him put down and several other private parties are trying to keep him alive. Even the parents of the baby and random people are trying to adopt him. I don't know how many of you reading this blog know about the process of abortion and how they carry it out but let me tell you its gruesome. Something even the worst horror film couldn't match. My question is, how is this dog killing a baby any different than if the mother were to abort the child? If the circumstances were changed people would be supporting this woman for her "choice" and not for her neglect. So why is our country allowing thousands of babies to die because of the neglect and lack of love for their children?

Women who experience miscarriages are just swept up under the rug of society. They are directed through an unspoken agreement that their loss is "no big deal". " You can have another baby." " Oh, it's good that it died young and wasn't older." It was too small to really count." No baby under 24 weeks is a viable life anyways." These are the same mind sets as the people who strongly approve of abortion. It's seen as no big deal and in many cases a nuicance that needs eradicated. These babies are seen as non viable even though a heart starts beating at 6 weeks. In 2008 the average gestational week of abortions was 9.5 weeks.

Like a well oiled machine, God created these babies and from the moment of conception a life is formed with or without that beating heart. You would think that the little heart beating alone would be enough to reach in and grab someone else's heart, maybe the mother's. Unfortunately the beating of a heart is depreciated greatly in this world but not to the thousands of grieving mothers. Those precious beats ring as loud as victory bells.

I've seen and read many things lately on the female genocide in India and China. It's a big shock to many of us Americans as we see this as awful, which it is. It is unnatural to us in the U.S. Women activist groups are outraged. Many of you if you haven't heard of this before are most likely angered as well. I recommend googling it and watching this clip.
This genocide that is happening is against millions of women. Families in both countries do not see women as assets like they see men. Men can work and bring in a good income which ultimately provides well for their families. Women however are seen as useless. They are seen as good baby makers but not much else. In the ancient world of dowry these families feel the heavy burden of paying to marry off their daughters. So many of them see it is better to end the baby girl's lives shortly after birth and even before. It's quite....I don't even have the words for it really. Here in the U.S we are blinded by truth in this matter. While we may look down on this process in India and China we are quick to forget our own turmoil in a similar circumstance. We turn a blind eye to the abortion rates as we look at the missing and unaccounted women of the world. Where India and China may discriminate against women we here in United States surely do not. We eradicate both men and women. We murder thousands upon thousands of little men and women every year. Oh but we don't see it as a genocide or murder we see it as a choice to relieve a burden, a precious innocent life.

I can't help but be angry and ask; Why?

That is my thoughts for today.


Monday, March 5, 2012

Formula Box to Crayon Box

I haven't done anything crafty in months now and decided the other day I needed to do something about that. The perfect opportunity came when I noticed my son really enjoying coloring in his coloring book. A new milestone that I've noticed he's reached a creative peak. Yay! The only thing he was missing was a box to keep his crayons in. I had seen on Pinterest that you can do a lot of crafty things with old formula containers so I thought I'd give this a shot. Plus I have a lot of used formula containers laying around now since my daughter seems to be inhaling food right and left!:)

This is what it looked like before....



And this is what it looked like finished.......











A few tips:

1.) I started off by peeling off the stickers. You may need to use goo gone or run really hot water over them to get them off.

2.)I found some sticky ribbon at JoAnn Fabric for like 95cents. You could also try a cool scrapbook paper and mod podge but I have a toddler that would see that as a challenge to rip it all off. :)

3.) Stickers!! Kids love stickers, especially mine and its a fun way to decorate. If you have a toddler like mine I'd recommend a flay sticker and not the bubbled ones I used above. They were far too easy for my son to peel off.

4.) Lastly I used mod podge to kind of seal the stickers and ribbon. Just for an added finish.

And Voila! A very cute and fun crayon box recycled from a formula container! :)


Monday, February 27, 2012

I'm starting INSANITY!!


Hey all!

So I've had my baby and can't use pregnancy as an excuse to eat anything I want. Summer is coming and Spring is right around the corner. I NEED to lose this weight and get into better shape! So I've decided to do something about it! I am starting Insanity. Yes, I may be crazy to even attempt it but I'm gonna do it. Our new church elder, Charlie Ed, sent my hubby and I his Insanity program so we both can do it. I'm excited and nervous. I start today!

I'm re-working my diet as well. I'm consuming 1200 calories a day.(which works good for me. I don't feel hungry in between meals)I track every calorie I consume with livestrong My Plate app on my iphone. You can also log into the website for additional tools. I love that they have a recipe section where I can log in my recipes and it breaks down the nutritional factors for each meal and the calories per serving! There is also another good app called MyFitnessPal. I'm eating high protein low carb and no sugar (except on cheat day). I allow myself one cheat day a week as studies have shown that its beneficial for your body to do so.
On cheat days I eat what I want but I don't go wild. I also don't track my calories on cheat days.

I'm learning a lot about nutrition and how to lose weight the healthy way. I'm also learning the difference between good foods for your body and the junk stuff. I've also learned that it has to be a life style change to lose weight and keep it off. It can't be just a diet for a period of time and exercise then stop. Its an investment into your body and your health. I can tell that as I get older I'm having to work harder at getting off the weight. If we only knew how eating that piece of cake or those french fries would hurl us into a 6 month health conscience and steady workout routine to retract what we put ourselves through with those food choices all the time. We'd never eat like that if we knew what it would take to correct it. My weakness is sweets. I LOVE my chocolate and cookies and cupcakes! Now I stick to dark chocolate and cookies and cake are only for cheat days. Whats funny is that on the one day of the week that I can eat whatever I want I find that I don't really want to eat the junk food as much as I originally did before.

<<<<< There is a ticker here on the left side of my page so you all can keep track with my progress.

Well here I go!!


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Cheesey Ham and Potato Chowder

I am back yet again with another deliciously awesome recipe I discovered on Pinterest. :) I love this one because it is so easy its ridiculous!




I actually pinned this recipe from the Fix-It And Forget It website. To see their slow cooker version of this click here.

Okay now when I saw how super simple this recipe was I knew I had to give it a shot. Unfortunately when I went to go and make this I didn't have several hours to let it cook away in the crock pot so I altered it a tad so I could just whip it up fast in the kettle.

Here is what I did:

2 boxes of scalloped potatoes w/ mix
1lb cooked ham cubed
32oz chicken broth
1 1/2-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup diced onions
Pinch of basil and parsley
pepper
1 tsp corn starch

I started off by following the directions for both boxes of scalloped potatoes. Then I added the ham, onions and chicken broth. Then I turned the heat up on high and let it boil. I then added the sour cream and cheese plus the dry seasonings. I let every thing boil for 15-20 minutes. I added some corn starch to cool water in a seperate bowl to thicken when needed.

And that was it! Easy, huh?

It was so yummy! I know its got to be good when my 2 critics (hubby and son) say its good enough to make again. :)








Thursday, February 9, 2012

Few Quotes

I just thought I'd share a couple quotes I really love. Both has encouraged and challenged me and I just really wanted to share them. Maybe someone who sees them will be touched by these as I have been....










Friday, January 27, 2012

Chicken and Dumplings Recipe



I had to share this new recipe/dish I made tonight for dinner. After all when you see a recipe you want to try don't you like to hear feedback from people who've actually made it? Was it good? Was it a disaster?

I'm pleased to say this was a complete success!(although almost anything in a crock-pot is pretty simple)

Okay so I have been REALLY trying to eat healthy and working my butt off on the treadmill every day. I am bound and determined to get this baby weight off by summer time. That being said I must admit, I LOVE Pinterest and when I came across this recipe my stomach started growling rather loudly. I knew I had to make this!

I know. I know. Chicken and dumplings is not actually a diet or health friendly dish but I know you could tweak this a bit to be more healthy.

SO here's the recipe;

_________________________________________________________

Slow-Cooker Chicken and Dumplings
adapted from Bubble Crumb

Ingredients:
1lb of Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (about 3)
2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
2 cans (10.5oz) Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
1 can (14oz) Chicken Broth
1 medium White Onion, diced
4 Large Flaky Refrigerator Biscuits (half a can)

Place thawed chicken in crock pot and top with butter. Add cream of chicken soup, chicken broth and diced onions. Cook on High for 4-6 hours or Low for 8 hours. Do not stir while cooking.

Cut each uncooked biscuit into 9 small pieces and stir into the chicken mixture. Continue to cook on High for 30 minutes. Remove chicken from slow-cooker and shred with a fork. Return to slow-cooker and stir everything together. Serve hot.

Makes about 6-8 servings.

(http://www.polishthestars.com/2011/11/slow-cooker-chicken-dumplings.html

______________________________________________________


Now here is my version.......




I'm not very good at photography and I used my iphone to take this. My picture is not near as pretty as the top picture but you get my point.

I added, along with diced onions, one diced red bell pepper, half a bag of baby carrots chopped, and 1 can of green beans. (I would have used frozen or fresh but my hubby hates healthy fresh veggies....go figure!) I also added 1 1/2 cans more of chicken broth. Next time I make this I think I might leave out the butter. I really didn't see a significant reason for it besides adding more pounds to my post-baby gut. Also you can use low sodium broth and reduced fat biscuits. Whole grain biscuits would be ideal if I could find any. I seriously debated knocking out the biscuits all together. Crazy right?! Yeah that was a minor lapse in judgement that I thankfully ignored! This recipe was slightly short of a carbo/fat overload (which didn't help that I served it with the left over biscuits baked) but it was just too darn good to pass up! I highly recommend it!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Bonding

I made known a few posts back about how I was concerned with how Mazio and Arleigh would bond. I was more worried how he'd act with her really, but despite a few hang ups here and there with him not realizing how small and fragile she is I feel it has gone pretty well. After all he's still a toddler.:)

Thought I'd share some snap shots we've captured so far of their bonding times......













Sunday, January 15, 2012

Christmas and 2012 New Years

Just thought I'd share some pictures of us from the holidays.:)





Yay! My first Christmas!! Arleigh in her cute Christmas dress.:)






Out to eat with the family for my brother Josh and Ted being in town for the holidays! :)



Ted holding Arleigh on Christmas Eve. :)



"Little Mo" (as my dad likes to call her) in her cute sweater.:)



Daddy feeding his little girl on Christmas day. ;)



Papa Cline and Mazio!



Mazio and Uncle Josh on Christmas



Uncle Josh and Arleigh on New Years Eve



Mazio playing with his cousins on Christmas Eve :)



Mazio opening up gifts with daddy :)