Monday, October 31, 2011

{Homemaking Monday}

Weekly Devotion:
I have decided as of yesterday that I will be giving up my control over the universe...LOL! We had a guest speaker at our church yesterday. You may have heard of him. His name is Charles Lowery. I had heard of him before, but didn't really know anything about him. Well, I was pleasantly surprised when he was giving the sermon. It was about stress...I don't think I ever have that ;) He spoke about how to relax more, laugh more, have fun, and don't take life so seriously. There is a God who is in control...our God, who loves us enough to die for us. I think He really cares about what happens to us. He had us take a pledge that basically said that "He is God, we are not! Get over it!" Well, that got my attention. Charles Lowery had us relinquish our "powers to control the universe" and give them back to God. Wow! That was eye opening. I do feel sometimes that I am in control of what happens to me and if I feel out of control, I may go crazy! I decided that all that stress isn't worth it. I want to live a peaceful life. A life filled with love, laughter, and good times. Not stressing about every detail of my life and where I will be this day and what I will do that day. I will not be worrying about who says what about me or why someone would say this or that to hurt me. Nope, I will not do it anymore. Not only does it affect me personally, it affects my relationship with God, my husband, and my children. If I worry about all of these other things in life, it takes my eyes off of God. If I am stressed out about something, my husband and I tend to fight more and my children sense the tension and act poorly to get attention. It is a vicious cycle and I am putting a stop to it today.

Now, I don't want you to assume that all I do is stress out all the time. I just don't want it to take over my life when I do. I want to trust God and His plan for my life. I want to sit back and enjoy life and the many blessings I have and be content with what I do have instead of envious of what others have. Is stressing out worth the health problems, marital problems, and spiritual problems? The answer is no. The Bible says "Be anxious for nothing". It is very hard to be anxious for nothing, but I am going to try my very best.

This week's menu:
Monday- homemade vegetable beef soup...YUMMY! with salad
Tuesday- breakfast for dinner
Wednesday- Mexican crunchy taco casserole with rice with salad
Thursday- sun-dried tomato Alfredo with chicken with salad
Friday- leftovers
Saturday- Hubby's choice (TBA)
Sunday- cheesy chicken and noodle casserole with salad

Recipe of the week:
I don't have one this week...sorry...I have been very busy. I will have one next week though.

Picture of the week:

Bear and Marley wrestling on the floor. For being a small dog, she puts up with a lot!


Activities for the week:
Monday- we don't really like to do the whole trick-or-treating thing, but Bear wants to go. So, we are going to go to Nanny and Poppy's and possible the local indoor mall. It is warm and safe there and he will be thrilled to go anywhere.
Tuesday- stay home with kids and clean up
Wednesday- not much today either, just stickin around the house
Thursday- both boys have a dr. appt. in the morning and then home to relax
Friday- Happy Birthday Ladybug (my niece will be 8)! Maybe go have tea and see her...she is such a good girl.
Saturday- have coffee with my best friend "Mrs. A" It is our monthly meet-up. I love our girl time!
Sunday- Daylight savings time! Don't forget to set your clocks back 1 hour! Church for us and then home to watch some football! Go Redskins!

Blog of the week:

God Bless,


Kristy

 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Burt's Bees Natural Skin Solutions Review

{Product Review}


 
Burt's Bees Natural Skin Solutions is a new line of products for people with sensitive skin. I do not personally have really sensitive skin except for certain brands. I received the cleanser and moisturizer to try out. I loved them both. I used them both for 3 weeks and have been very pleased. The cleanser is very smooth and creamy. It is not oily at all. There are no scents or dyes added. The ingredients are all natural. The product does not make suds when you rub it on your skin. It actually feels like you are rubbing lotion on your face without the greasy feeling. I like it because a lot goes a long way. I only had to use a dime-sized amount for my face and neck.

The moisturizer was very good as well. It was in a pump dispenser so you don't get too much of the product. Although, I felt like one pump was way too much for me, but for some people it will be just right. It is also scent and dye free. I did not have a problem with break-outs or redness while using either of the products. I did see a decrease in the peeling of my skin on my forehead and my complexion actually improved as well.

My package of products came with some small samples of the moisturizer. I decided to give them out to my friends and family. I had very good feedback. Everyone said they loved it and would use it again. Luckily, on the back of the free sample were some coupons for future purchases and I also got extra coupons. I will definitely be using these products in the future. They have become part of my routine.


God Bless,


Kristy


*I was given these products by BzzAgent.com in exchange for my review. The opinions expressed on this blog are solely my own.*

Monday, October 24, 2011

Off to the dentist we go...

{Homemaking Monday}


This past week I took Bear to the dentist for the very first time. He is only 3 years old so I thought it would be a traumatic experience. Boy was I wrong. He really did great. I got my teeth cleaned first so he could see what was going to happen. When it was his turn he was very excited. They put the bib on him and he wanted to take a picture, which we did. Then, they started to clean his teeth. He thought the toothbrush was very funny, but the toothpaste tasted yummy. Like strawberries! When it was time to suck all of the water and spit out he did not care for the little contraption that sucked it out. He thought it tickled. Bear did a wonderful job and got a good report. Now we have to wait til next April to go back again...in which he told me he can't wait because they have a train table in the waiting area that is really cool. LOL! I love my boys!




On another note, Bear and Ducky have both been under the weather so please pray for them both. Bear has been running a fever for a couple of days and waking up in the middle of the night crying because his head hurts. Ducky had a fever last week for a few days and then came the coughing. I took him to urgent care on Sunday and they said he has acute bronchitis. So he is on antibiotics and cough syrup. Poor guy. Bear is better today. Ducky just coughs and coughs. Pray that they are both well very soon.

This week's menu:
MONDAY: fried chicken (my mother-in-law's recipe) with scalloped potatoes, peas, and salad
TUESDAY: cheeseburger macaroni with salad
WEDNESDAY: cheesy ranch chicken with roasted veggies
THURSDAY: breakfast for dinner (eggs, pancakes, bacon)
FRIDAY: pizza
SATURDAY: going to a Harvest Festival @ a local church and they usually have a chili cook off or soup cook off
SUNDAY: roast with potatoes, carrots, onion, and celery with homemade drop biscuits

Recipe of the week:
  • Pumpkin Spice Latte
What you will need:
3 cups hot whole milk
4 teaspoons white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
6 ounces double-strength brewed coffee
3 tablespoons sweetened whipped cream
3 pinches pumpkin pie spice

Instructions:
Combine the hot milk, sugar, vanilla extract, and pumpkin pie spice in a blender; blend until frothy. Pour the mixture into 3 coffee mugs to about 2/3 full. Pour 2 ounces coffee into each mug. Garnish each mug with whipped topping and pumpkin pie spice.

Picture of the week:

Don't you love his cowboy boots?!


Activities for the week:
MONDAY: stay home with kids and clean up
TUESDAY: MOPS steering meeting in the morning
WEDNESDAY: stay home with kids and clean up
THURSDAY: MOPS meeting in the morning
FRIDAY: stay home with kids and clean up
SATURDAY: Harvest Festival @ a local church
SUNDAY: church and then home to relax

Blog of the week:
I have not done much blog hopping lately. I will catch up soon though.

I hope you will be blessed this week in some way. Take the time to enjoy the beauty that God so freely gives this time of year in nature. Take a nature walk with your kids and take pictures of them playing in the leaves. They are so pretty!

God Bless,


Kristy

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Love & Respect Experience

{BOOK REVIEW}





Dr. Emerson Eggerichs is the author of the book and bible study Love & Respect. I have participated in the bible study about a year ago with my husband and it changed our marriage. The Love & Respect Experience is a devotional that goes along with the book. It has one devotional per week for 52 weeks. Folks, that is one full year of devotionals for married couples. What better way to spend 30 minutes per week together to strengthen the foundation of your marriage. I read the book for myself for this review but plan to have my husband participate after I'm done.

This devotional is divided into 52 chapters. Each chapter represents each week. In each chapter Dr. Eggerichs includes a scripture that goes along with that week's devotional. There is a prayer and an "action" included at the end of each chapter. The "action" is something that both you and your spouse are to participate in to further your experience with the book.

Here is an example of an "action" from chapter 15:
  • "One couple I know puts little signs around their home that say, 'Talk to me like you LOVE me', and 'Talk to me like you RESPECT me.' What better way to make it easier to tell each other the truth?"
At the back of the book Dr. Eggerichs has included some discussion questions to go with each chapter. These questions will allow you to dig deeper into each devotional to get more out of them. Here are some of the titles to the chapters:

Chapter 4- God joined you together, and He will keep you together.
Chapter 13- Those who pray together learn to Love & Respect together.
Chapter 24- It's hard to be negative while being thankful.
Chapter 39- Look! Just over your spouse's shoulder! It's Jesus!
Chapter 43- Your children are watching.

I really enjoyed reading this book and look forward to sharing it with my husband. My experience has been great with this book. Wives crave more time with their husbands especially devotional time. Husbands tend to be content just being in the same room as their wives. This devotional will make both parties happy and leave them both satisfied with their time spent together.

God Bless,


Kristy


Monday, October 17, 2011

Silly Little Boy

{Homemaking Monday}


Devotion of the day:

Bear is my 3 year old son. He is very silly and smart, strong-willed and happy. I love him so much. Lately he has been getting into EVERYTHING. I have found him on top of the counter in the kitchen eating sugar out of the sugar bowl. I have found him eating only the marshmallows out of the Lucky Charms cereal box. I have found him eating Goldfish crackers with his little brother Ducky. Cute huh? Well, they both emptied the box of crackers onto the floor and proceeded to roll around over them and crush them to bits after eating what they wanted. Oh, his new favorite thing to do is to ask me for some juice to drink. I put some in his cup and then give it to him. I think nothing of it until about 10 minutes later it gets VERY quiet in his room. What do I see when I go in there? Bear putting juice in his mouth and squirting it all over Ducky and Ducky laughing as hard as he can. He thinks it is hilarious to have juice spit on him by his brother. They are two peas in a pod. I say all of this to tell you I wouldn't trade any of it for the world.
God blessed Hubby and I with these two precious boys. They are in our care for just a short time and I am enjoying every moment. I love them, silliness and all. I just laugh and laugh when I see them doing these silly things. I want to teach them right from wrong, but when you see them doing these naughty things, it is funny. Bear likes to cover his eyes and say "Don't be mad mommy". LOL!! He thinks he is hiding from me when he does that. I am just going to enjoy these times with my boys. They are not going to stay little for long. I want to hold on to them and kiss their sweet faces while they will let me.
God cares about us the same way. Even when we mess up, even when we do silly things. He still loves us. He laughs sometimes at the things we say and do. He made us in His image and I believe God has a great sense of humor. So, sit back, relax, don't take things so seriously, and laugh. Laugh hard, laugh often, laugh til you cry. Leave your worries and cares behind and take a break from the problems and concerns in life. Play a game with your children or husband or a friend and LAUGH!

This week's menu:
  • Monday- Stuffing meatloaf with mashed potatoes, corn, and french bread
  • Tuesday- Chicken and rice skillet casserole with peas and rolls
  • Wednesday- leftovers
  • Thursday- Chili nachos Ole'
  • Friday- Tacos with Mexican rice
  • Saturday- Homemade pizza
  • Sunday- Crock pot chili
Recipe of the week:
  • Chicken and rice skillet casserole
What you will need:
1 Tbsp. oil
4 small boneless chicken breast
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 soup can milk
2 cups white rice, uncooked

Instructions:
Heat oil in skillet and add chicken. Cover. Cook for 4 minutes on each side. Remove chicken.
Add soup and milk to skillet. Bring to a boil.
Stir in rice. Top with chicken, cover. Cook on low heat for 5 minutes or until rice is done.

Picture of the week:

Cousins from my side of the family! Arent' they all cute!?

Activities for the week:
  • Monday- get my new classroom set up for the kids. I am so excited!
  • Tuesday- not much on the agenda except stay home and clean.
  • Wednesday- Bear and I have dentist appointments. It is his first time going.
  • Thursday- Hubby has a dentist appointment, I am staying home.
  • Friday- not much today either.
  • Saturday- do something with my family. Play outside with the kids.
  • Sunday- church and relaxation.
Blog of the week:
I hope everyone has a great week!

God Bless,


Kristy




Monday, October 10, 2011

If Only I Could Breath!!

{Homemaking Monday}



My whole family has been sick this past week so I did not get to Homemaking Monday last week. I have been ill with a bad cold and my husband had it before me. Then, both of the boys got it. We are fighting it and getting better. So we had a lot of fend for yourself nights for dinner since we were all ill. My birthday was last Monday. It was very nice. We stayed around the house mostly because I was sick. We did go out to lunch at my favorite Mexican restaurant then we came home and relaxed. Hubby's parents brought dinner over and a cake. It was very low key and nice.


Bear loves to help blow out the candles!

Then, on Wednesday Bear had his 3rd birthday. We really didn't celebrate it much that day. We did however, go to Chic-fil-a and have dinner and let Bear and Ducky play in the play area. They were the only ones in there except for a couple of other nice little ones who were very sweet. We instead celebrated his birthday on Saturday with a birthday party here at our house. He had most of his cousins here and he had a blast!



It was crazy once the present opening began...but he's 3!
What can I expect?! LOL!

Ducky woke up from his nap after a while and joined in
on the fun! He loves to play with his "ball ball".


We had a great week even though we were under the weather. I did not cook much last week. But we had LOTS of cake. It is like this every year since Bear and I share birthday's so close to each other. He was actually due on October 1st but decided to come 5 days late. I thought for sure it was going to be on my birthday, but he wanted his own :) So, that's our weekly wrap-up. Here is the normal Homemaking Monday stuff for this week.

The week's menu:
  • Monday- something easy for the kids and I since Hubby has to work late due to a meeting
  • Tuesday- grilled chicken breast wraps with cheese, lettuce, and ranch dressing
  • Wednesday- pizza night (not sure what kind yet)
  • Thursday- Creamy tomato penne with grilled chicken and veggies with salad
  • Friday- Chinese food (my dad gave me some money to take Hubby out to eat for MY birthday (lol!) so we are going to our local Chinese place...it is so yummy!)
  • Saturday- Spaghetti with meatballs and salad
  • Sunday- leftovers
Recipe of the week:
  • Grilled Chicken Wraps (even though it's technically baked)
What you will need:
1 lb. of thin sliced chicken breast (depending on your family size)
1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 Tablespoon olive oil
4-6 flour tortillas
shredded cheese (whatever kind you would like)
shredded lettuce
tomato slices
1/4 cup Ranch dressing (either homemade or store-bought)

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 baking dish and place the raw chicken in the dish. Evenly coat the chicken with the Italian seasoning and black pepper on both sides. Place in oven for about 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
2. When chicken is done and cooled slightly place one piece in a flour tortilla. Put a sprinkle of cheese on top. Add the lettuce and tomato (as much as you like) and a dollop of ranch dressing. Wrap tightly. Enjoy!

Picture of the week:

Bear is "smiling" here (very BIG). He loves helping me in the kitchen.
He even gets mad if I wash dishes without him.
I love my little helper! If my 3 year old can do it, anybody can do it.


Activities for the week:
I am not sure what we will do this week. I have a lot of school work to catch up on with Bear since we didn't do any last week due to illness. We will probably take it easy and stay home the first part of the week. My dad wants us to come for dinner, maybe Tuesday night we will do that. If we do, then Thursday we will have the chicken wraps for dinner. They just sound so yummy! On Thursday I have a MOPS meeting. I can't wait, it is gonna be a great meeting. On Friday I will probably go to a consignment sale that we have annually here in my town. It is a kid's consignment sale and I do most of my Christmas shopping at it every year. I have 17 nieces and nephews, so anything I can get used is great. Saturday I have a baby shower to go to for a friend of mine. She is having a girl, so I can shop for her too! Sunday is relaxation day. I hope everyone has a great week. Please pray that we all get well soon and get this stinkin cold out of this house! Thanks :)

God Bless,


Kristy

P.S. I do not have a Blog Of The Week this week. I will have one next week though. Sorry :(




Friday, October 7, 2011

{Friday's Fave Five}

Hello All! I am going to join in on Friday's Fave Five over at Living to Tell the Story. If you want to join please visit their blog and click on Mr. Linky! So here are my fave five:


1. Reading a great book and feeling like I lost a great friend when the book is over.

2. Cuddling with a cozy quilt when the weather starts to get cooler.

3. Watching my children play and laugh together while doing my day to day tasks.

4. Catching up with an old friend that I haven't spoken to in a while.

5. Hearing my husband say "I Love You" after a long day apart.

So, I hope you join in the fun so we can get to know you better!

God Bless,


Kristy

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

What I love about my HOUSE!

So, I decided a few weeks ago I wanted to show you guys my wonderful house. Well, it's not exactly pictures of my house, but just the things I love about it. Besides my husband and children, the things I am going to show you are things that just make me fall in love with my home every time I see them. You see, Hubby and I prayed for a long time for this house. We have had 3 houses in our married life of 7-1/2 years. The first one was in a military style neighborhood (although we are not military). It was a nice a house and had some features we loved, but it was in the city and felt like it was too crowded. Then we moved to NC and bought a smaller house with a garage. It was nice and brand new. It served it's purpose while we lived there, but with our growing family we would eventually need something bigger. When we moved back to VA we lived with Hubby's parents for almost a year while we saved for a house and looked for the right one. In the meantime we got pregnant so we knew we had to act fast or else we would be very crowded in my in-laws house (although they would have gladly made more room for us). We looked at at least 20 houses if not more. We put 7 or more offers on houses only to be told they didn't accept our offer.

So, here is where our current house comes into play. We prayed about everything we wanted in a house and the location. Hubby called me one day (I was 6 months pregnant with Ducky) and said I found a great house in a great location but it's bank-owned. I said I would go look at it. Well, I liked it but noticed it was definitely a fixer-upper. Hubby came and looked at the house the next day. Our wonderful real estate agent told us we had to act fast and put in our best offer to get this house. We did what she told us and we hadn't actually walked into the house yet (talk about a leap of faith!). We fixed the house up for the first month before we moved. When I was 8 months pregnant we got ALL moved in and settled as much as possible before the baby came. Here are all of the things I love about our home:

My mother-in-law gave this picture to me to remind me of what
is really important in life.

I got this picture from a yard sale...I love everything quilts!

I know it's sideways but it has a piece of quilt in it.

I thought this looked kind of Amish. I got it from an Antique shop.

I just love this saying...

And this one!

My mother-in-law made this quilt for Hubby.
The inspiration is Van Gogh's Starry Night.

This is a family heirloom that Hubby's family gave to us in NC.

I saw this at an Antique shop and fell in love with it.

All of the bears shown here belonged to my Nanny.
She left them to me when she passed away.

I love cross-stitch!

Bear made this at church...a priceless work of art!

I love this marriage prayer!

You are always welcome at my home!

I just love our entryway table. It makes me feel like being home always.

This is in my dining room and I love the picture and
the mini yo-yo quilt.

A house warming gift from our real estate agent. I love it!


So you've seen a sneak peek inside of my house. I hope you enjoyed it. I love my home and thank God for it everyday. He provided this house just for us and knew exactly what we needed. What is your favorite thing about your house? What makes your house a home (besides your family, of course)?


God Bless,


Kristy