Friday, April 19, 2013

Merry Tree

 
Since the season of spring has arrived, we’ve been enjoying the beautiful blooms in our back yard. One that has bloomed more than normal this year is our orange tree Merry brought to me a few years ago. She knew how much I admired the one in  her backyard and of course, being the beautiful lady she was, surprised me by delivering my very own tree. I remember that day like it was yesterday. It was one of those days the girls were on my last nerve, I was pretty sure I was mastering the right way to do everything wrong in my mommy world... she unexpectedly shows up in my driveway with this tree in the back of her trunk. She told me she found a good deal and just had to buy one for me. Her cheerfulness was so contagious that day I couldn’t help but remember feeling God’s love through her. Even now I smile thinking about that day and His awesome Grace through her. I was so blessed to have her in my life.

Anyway, since we’ve had this orange tree we haven’t had any fruit until this last November. It continues to bring sunshine and memories every time I’m in my backyard.

The other day, I had the backdoor open and Colson’s balloon accidentally blew out the door. If you knew how much this little boy LOVES “baloooooons” it would have been a nightmare to lose. We would've never heard the end of it. As the balloon started to fly away the only thing that saved it from going over the fence was our Merry tree. I smiled as I knew Merry had something to do with that (always saving someone’s day). I miss her so much it hurts. Even though she is gone, she is alive in my heart. I hear her speaking to me all the time and throughout my days. She planted so many seeds in my life and blooming even today. For this I’m so very thankful. I will forever be a better mom because of her.

Only love remains...

Friday, March 1, 2013

I have a new Blog!

I am extremely excited to announce my new blog my cousin and I have been working hard putting together.  It's finally ready to view!!!  So, if your tired of spending your hard earned money on grocery shopping and your tired of wondering how those money saving people save all that money? Well, look no further!! We have a blog that shares all of those secrets and MORE!!! Come check us out and follow us!  I would LOVE to hear your thoughts!  http://twofrugalgals.com/

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A letter to my hubby

We were just a couple of kids madly in love at sixteen years old. We didn’t know much back then but we knew one thing for certain; we wanted to share our lives together.  We didn’t know what the future would hold, but we were excited and confident that whatever it was, we would do it together.  And we have!  But it hasn’t always been easy.  When I look back at our wedding day I think about how full of hope and love and excitement we were. I think of how we envisioned our lives and there was nothing hard about it!  We were so naive, we had no idea.

What I love most about you is how grounded you are.  You have always been my rock and so patient, gentle and kind to me.  Even when I’m least deserving.  I truly adore your devotion to your family and the love you pour into making our kiddos and I feel special. 
 
As I look back over the last 9 years I smile over the joys we’ve experienced and tears well up as I think of the hard times.  But it’s been a beautiful life.  I like to think that the joys we’ve experienced are made that much sweeter by the difficulties we’ve faced. We’ve been through so much together—we’ve lived in separate cities a part from each other (and a few break-ups along the way), bought and sold homes, lived in a new place not knowing a single soul, we’ve had the joy of bringing three beautiful children into this world, and countless other ups and downs.  I’d like to say that these last nine years we always did it perfectly, but that wouldn’t be true.  But we have always approached each situation together, as a team.  And when feelings have been hurt we have apologized and made things right instead of holding a grudge.  And I’m thankful we have kept our sense of humor through it all.

 Today, on our 9th anniversary I realize we are once again completely unaware of what the next nine years may hold.  But as we continue to walk down the road I know that we will be together and you will be right there holding my hand as we walk though the valleys and reach beautiful mountain tops.  And I couldn’t imagine my life any other way. 

Happy Anniversary

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Motherhood

That's how I feel every day


This was too funny for me to not post... Right now I feel this way pretty much everyday of my life. 
 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

True Love

Speak with Love - 1 Corinthians 13:1
 
I find comfort in knowing God never stops loving me.  Most of what the world calls “love” is conditional.  The funny way about this perspective is you get to be on the receiving end only if or because you are a certain way or if you do certain things.  I’ve realized as soon as I stop doing those things I see how quickly the “love” disappears.  Except when it comes to my relationship with God…His love is unconditional, permanent, and sure.  Just like sunlight it shines on me no matter what I do or don’t do.  I can’t cause it to burn more brightly.  And there’s absolutely no way I can possibly turn it off.  It is the great constant in my life – the one thing I can’t escape.  For this reason I know His love will never fail me. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Paul Harvey If I were the Devil

This speech was broadcast by legendary ABC Radio commentator Paul Harvey on April 3, 1965:

If I were the Devil . . . I mean, if I were the Prince of Darkness, I would of course, want to engulf the whole earth in darkness. I would have a third of its real estate and four-fifths of its population, but I would not be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree, so I should set about however necessary to take over the United States. I would begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: “Do as you please.” “Do as you please.” To the young, I would whisper, “The Bible is a myth.” I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around. I would confide that what is bad is good, and what is good is “square”. In the ears of the young marrieds, I would whisper that work is debasing, that cocktail parties are good for you. I would caution them not to be extreme in religion, in patriotism, in moral conduct. And the old, I would teach to pray. I would teach them to say after me: “Our Father, which art in Washington” . . .

If I were the devil, I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting so that anything else would appear dull an uninteresting. I’d threaten T.V. with dirtier movies and vice versa. And then, if I were the devil, I’d get organized. I’d infiltrate unions and urge more loafing and less work, because idle hands usually work for me. I’d peddle narcotics to whom I could. I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. And I’d tranquilize the rest with pills. If I were the devil, I would encourage schools to refine yound intellects but neglect to discipline emotions . . . let those run wild. I would designate an athiest to front for me before the highest courts in the land and I would get preachers to say “she’s right.” With flattery and promises of power, I could get the courts to rule what I construe as against God and in favor of pornography, and thus, I would evict God from the courthouse, and then from the school house, and then from the houses of Congress and then, in His own churches I would substitute psychology for religion, and I would deify science because that way men would become smart enough to create super weapons but not wise enough to control them.

If I were Satan, I’d make the symbol of Easter an egg, and the symbol of Christmas, a bottle. If I were the devil, I would take from those who have and I would give to those who wanted, until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious. And then, my police state would force everybody back to work. Then, I could separate families, putting children in uniform, women in coal mines, and objectors in slave camps. In other words, if I were Satan, I’d just keep on doing what he’s doing.

Paul Harvey, Good Day.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Daddy Daughter Dance 2013

 
Despite my lack of preparations for this years Daddy Daughter dance, and a few BIG errors on my part, Russell and Kinely had a great time.  I'm thankful Kinely wasn't the only first grader at the kindergarden time period.  She ended up meeting up with her friend who happened to be wearing the same outfit!  What are the odds?  Hopefully next year I will have my act together...

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Bachelor 2013

The Bachelor 2013 premier was last night. Instead of watching it alone, a friend of mine hosted a party at her house. We had a great time and as you can see from the pictures, we enjoyed some fun snacks to bring on the new season. Hopefully this stud muffin will eliminate some of the air-heads and choose his perfect mate! Who is your favorite?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Another year has come to a close...it went way too fast.  May God bless you this Christmas and may you find peace in the new year. 


Monday, December 3, 2012

Our Wheels!


I guess wealthy people miss one of life's greatest thrills...making the last car payment!! Six years ago we purchased our first family car. Who knew we would be living 350 miles from home and be blessed with two more babies? Life's a crazy roller coster, But God is good :-)

 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Christmas Potpourri


I've been feeling a little domestic lately and decided I would make a few Christmas presents this year. Here is a wonderful recipe I found on pinterest for potpourri. I tried it out and my house smells so good. I'm planning on making a few of these for the girl’s teacher gifts.
 
This is super simple. You'll need:
1 pint jar

3 cinnamon sticks - dollar store
3 bay leafs
2-3 Tbs. whole cloves {these will cost you the most}
1 lime slice
2 lemon wedges
2 orange slices

Place ingredients in jar and fill with water. Attach a label or tag that reads:

Christmas Scent
Pour contents into saucepan
on stovetop and simmer on low heat.
Add water as needed.
 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Seeking God



Romans 8:28


It has been a sad and disappointing day for our Country.  Despite what I guess the majority of Americans believe, I am the minority struggling to understand what went wrong.  I’m totally confused... How have we become so blinded by the truth?  How has our conscience become so misguided that our opinions are disconnected from the truth? We have moved further and further from our creator who is the source of all truth.  Saint Teresa of Avila said it beautifully "Christ does not force our will, He takes only what we give Him.  But He does not give Himself entirely until He sees that we yield ourselves entirely to him."  If we aren't advancing our way of His perfection and His will we will fall as a nation. 
This life passes so quickly, we are just pilgrims working out our salvation.  Tonight as I offer up this day, I pray that the Lord will bless this nation and that He will touch the hearts of all leaders.   I pray that He will make His presence known.    

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Good Enough

 

It was a beautiful night for carving out memories with our little ones last night. Kinley was a beautiful ballerina, Bailey was a cute fairy and Colson was a roaring giraffe. I decided this year I wanted to craft something for each of the girls outfits so I made Bailey's head band and Kinley's skirt. The skirt was definetly leaning more toward ghetto looking but she loved it. It's character over perfection right? I don't think of myself much in tune with my crafty side, so it made me proud to see that little piece of work added to their costumes.

Halloween wasn't much of a holiday we celebrated growing up. I don't remember carving pumpkins or doing much as a family to celebrate the "fun" in the season.  But as a mother, I’m becoming a little bit more sentimental about these events and I’m realizing just how important it is for my family.  
 
I’m not saying I should get caught up in the hoopla that surrounds this time of year by trying to measure up to what my neighbor is doing.  (That’s a slippery slope that I don’t want to bury myself in and I know there is no way I could ever keep up for that matter). But I do admit it's hard  not to get caught up in measuring my success as a mother by the amount of pinterest ideas I can accomplish when I find myself gettting wrapped up in the "pinning"world. But deep down we all know that's not what it’s about or even the goal.

What really matters is creating memories that hopefully carry value for our children as they get older. I want my children to look back at their childhood and remember these moments and feel a warm happy place spring up in their hearts.  I want them to remember the silliness of sharing life with their siblings and laughing at the moments that make each year so special. 
 
So as I enter into the hype of this season, and when I start getting down on myself for not being what I want to be or start hating myself for not having the perfect decorated house or the perfect decorated children, I'm going to try being kind and gentle to myself and keep in mind that my good is good enough.
 
 
 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Magic Mirror

I came across this beautiful story the other day on Catholic radio.  I liked it so much I emailed the station and asked for a copy.  It's a wonderful story with a good reflection on life and how we perceive the world.  I'm adding this to my collection of favorite stories to read to the girls and I might even get a little creative and buy them their own Magic Mirror.


     The sunbeams came dancing into the little room where Rosina lay asleep.  They shone on her dark curly head, and kissed her round flushed cheek, and tried so persistently to peep under her closed eyelids that at last she awoke. 
“Oh dear!” she grumbled; “I wish it wasn’t time to get up.”  But it was. The sunbeams said that quite decidedly, and so did her mother’s voice from the kitchen.  “Come, be quick!”  The voice cried.  “There is the water to be fetched, and breakfast to set and the baby is just waking.”
Now Rosina had rather a pretty face when it was clean and smiling.  She had brown eyes and a mop of curly brown hair with threads of gold in it, and there was a delicate rose pink on her cheeks where the sun had kissed her, and when she smiled she showed a row of even white teeth like little pearls.
But that was only when she was clean and smiling.  This morning she was neither.  She had only washed a little circle round her nose, because the water was so cold, and her mouth was so cross that both corners turned downwards, and her eyes could scarcely be seen under the black frown that puckered her forehead.
She slipped on her patched petticoat and old camicetta, and looked crossly at her bare brown toes.  “I wish I had shoes and stockings,” she said, “and beautiful clothes, and no work to do.”
Her mother looked up as Rosina came slowly into the kitchen and most unwillingly lifted the copper pot which was waiting to be filled at the well.  “I am always being scolded,” muttered Rosina to herself.  It did not improve her temper to have that heavy water-pot to carry, and by the time she had carried it back with aching arms the frown on her face was blacker than ever. 
“Here, take the bambino,” said her mother, “while I make the breakfast.”
The fat baby had been gurgling and smiling, but, meeting Rosina’s black looks, he changed his mind, and began to roar and to cling tightly to his mother.  Even when his sister had seized him firmly, and held him tight on her knee, he continued to roar with anger, and to beat her with his little clenched fists.
“Cattivo!” she said, slapping his fat hands, “I am sure I did not want to hold thee, ungrateful one!”
At breakfast she was sure her cup of milk was the smallest, and her piece of bread the hardest; and while she looked discontentedly at it, Tomaso snatched at it and tried to break off a piece.  She flew at him angrily, and in her rage knocked over her mild and broke the cup.
The busy mother did not stop to ask who was to blame, but she cuffed Tomaso and shook Rosina, and bade them both be off to school if they could not behave peaceably at home.
“Crosspatch,” said Tomaso, “thou canst walk by thyself.”  And he ran off, leaving her alone.
Rosina wondered along in sullen silence.  She never lifted her eyes from the gray dusty pathway, so all the world looked gray and dusty to her.  Overhead was the blue sky, and the olive trees spread their branches to make a silver lacework to screen her from the sun.  Knots of pink roses, her namesakes, nodded to her from the hedges, but all she saw was a gray dusty pathway and rough stones.
“Every one is hard and cruel to me,” she sighed.  “Nobody loves me.  Mammina scolds and says I am ugly, the bambino screams when I go near him, and Tomaso steals my bread and calls me names.”
She was so very sorry for herself that she actually managed to squeeze out two big tears, which rolled down her cheeks and made a clean pathway on either side.  It was cruel, unfair world.  Some day all this unkindness would kill her, and she would lie with crossed hands under a wreath of white flowers; and then they would all be sorry and beg to be forgiven, but that would all be sorry and beg to be forgiven, but that would be too late.  She was just planning out the sad scene, and refusing to come to life again in spite of all their prayers, when the school bell sounded in the distance, and she was obliged to take up the burden of life once more.
Rosina was not a greater favourite at school than she was at home.  She was always looking out for unkindness, and somehow she always found it.  Even the good Sister, who smiled so cheerfully on every one else, and who was so patient and kind and so unwilling to punish any one, was on her- hard and unjust, Rosina was sure.  So what was the use of trying to please her?
This morning, as she hurried in, she saw that one of the children had laid a bunch of sweet violets on the Sister’s chair, and that did not please her either.
“I’m not a favorite,” she said out loud with a sniff, as she sat down- “but then I don’t bring flowers!”
            The giver of the flowers turned round and glared resentfully at Rosina.  She had got up early to gather the violets, and had thought only of giving the Sister pleasure, and she had not tried to make herself a favourite.
            Rosina saw the unfriendly look and sighed deeply.
            “There!”  she said, “no one ever looks kindly at me.  No one cares for me.”
And she was so busy being sorry for her self that she could not learn her lesson, and had nothing to say when her turn came and she stood before the Sister.  All the rest of the children had done their lessons so well that they were to have a story now as a reward, but Rosaina was told to sit apart from the rest on a distant bench and learn her lesson all over again.
            It was only on very special occasions that the Sister would tell them one of her stories, and Rosina thought it cruelly hard that she, who loved stories better than anything else, should be set to learn a stupid lesson while all the others were enjoying themselves.
            It was a beautiful story, she was sure.  She listened with all her might, and heard something about a magic mirror, which made her long to hear more, and as no one seemed to notice her she crept closer and closer to listen with the rest.
“Of course,” the Sister was saying, “every one wanted to look into the Magic Mirror, because, you see, it held in its silver heart the gift of happiness for those who looked aright and who knew the magic secret.  But for those who dimmed the shining surface with cross or unkind looks, the mirror held only sorrow and tears.  The gift was ready for each one, however timidly they looked in, and those who had learned the secret found something so wonderful in the shining silver depths that for them the whole world was full of sunshine, and they were as happy as the day was long.”
            “But where can we find the Magic Mirror?” asked Rosina eagerly.  She had quite forgotten she was in disgrace.
“The story is not for thee to-day,” said the Sister quietly.  “Take thy book and learn thy lesson outside.”
            Rosina turned sullenly away, dragged her feet as slowly as possible across the room, and then banged the door.
“No one is every kind to me,” she said gloomily.  “I wish there was really a Magic Mirror.  I expect it would be easy enough to learn the secret, and then I would be happy all day long, and no one would bed horrid and unkind and unfair to me any more.”
            The longer Rosina thought about it, the more she wondered if there was really such a thing as the Magic Mirror, and if so, where she could find it.  The good Sister’s stories were always true ones, or at least had a true meaning in them.  She never told just make-believe stories.
            Now, where could that mirror be found?  Was it in some grand palace? No, that could not be, for the Sister had said every one had a chance of looking in.  She was sure it was not in church- that was a place for saint-pictures, not for mirrors.  Well, she would learn her lesson quickly, and perhaps, if she asked very politely, the Sister might tell her.
            The other children were all gone when Rosina stood beside the Sister’s chair and said her lesson, and after she had finished she still stood there, threading her brown fingers in and out together, and trying to pluck up courage to ask her question.  She lifted her eyes and looked up timidly into the kind face, and a tiny smile turned up the corners of her mouth that made the sullen frown disappear like magic.  And, strangely enough, a smile came into the Sister’s eyes too, which before had only looked sad and vexed. 
            “What is it?” she asked kindly.     
            “Wilt thou tell me where to look for the Magic Mirror?” said Rosina eagerly.
            “It is much more important to learn the secret first,” said the Sister.  “The mirror is so easily dimmed that it is wiser to bring to it only a shining face.  Try first of all how to keep a shining face, and then the rest will follow.”
            Rosina walked home slowly, thinking deeply, and she arrived so late that a scolding was awaiting her instead of her dinner.
“Late again!” said her mother.  “I am tired of waiting for thee.  Be quick and fetch the water.  Afterwards I will find thee something to eat.” 
            Rosina lifted the copper pot and with a very clouded face went down to the well.  She was in no hurry, and she leaned idly over the side and looked down into the clear water below before she began to turn the handle.  She had often looked into that shining well, but to-day she stared back, and then peered down again in great excitement.  Could it be the Magic Mirror that was gleaming down there?  Oh, if only she could see into it! If only she could win the golden gift! She almost overbalanced herself as she leaned over to see down more distinctly, her heels in the air.
            Yes, it was certainly a clear, shining, silver mirror!  And what was that looking up at her from its depths?  A very cross, sullen little face, with a tangled mop of curly hair.
            “Why, it’s just me!” said Rosina, bitterly disappointed.  That could be no Magic Mirror; and she began gloomily to fill her water-pot and to carry it in.
            “It’s very heavy,” she said with a frown as she set it down.
“A burden is always heavy to those who carry it unwillingly,” said her mother.  “Thou hast not yet learned the secret of making thy burdens light.”
            “It’s always my fault,” muttered Rosina crossly.
“There! Run away and play,” said her mother; “but take thy dinner first.  I do not want to work thee too hard.”
            There was much that Rosina could have done, for the baby was fretting in his cradle and wanted to be amused, the plates were unwashed and the floor unswept, but she was too busy thinking of her own troubles to notice how tired her mother looked.
            “I’ll go and see Nonna,” she said to herself.  “She knows all about everything, and will be able to tell me where to find the Magic Mirror.” 
            Her grandmother was sitting plaiting straw near the doorway of her little house when Rosina came closely up and stood by her side.  The old woman laid the straw aside and put her shriveled, toil-worn hand under Rosina’s chin and looked searchingly into her face.
            “Let me see,” she said.  “Thou hast found the world an unpleasant place to-day.  No one had smiled on thee.  Work has been terribly hard, and thou hast had nothing but unhappiness.”
            “Why, Nonna, how didst thou guess?”  said Rosina, opening her eyes very wide.  “It sounds like magic.”
            “I can read it all here,” said her grandmother, still looking into her face, “because I know many secrets.”
            “O Nonna! Dost thou know the secret of the Magic Mirror?” said Rosina, clasping her hands together in great excitement.  “Canst thou teach it to me?”
            “Gently, gently!”  said the old woman.  “Tell to serve thee in good stead.  As soon as thou canst see a pleasant, shining face looking up at thee from below, come back and tell me, and perhaps I may tell thee the secret, and help thee to find the Magic Mirror.”
            Rosina’s face clouded.
            “Oh, but” she began in a very discontented voice, when her grandmother help up a warning finger.
            “That face would never do for the Magic Mirror now,” she said.  “Quick! Put on a smile at once and try to brighten it up.”
It was rather a crooked smile which Rosina managed to call up, but it was better than nothing, and her grandmother nodded approval.
            “Now run away home and see if there is nothing thou canst do to help thy mother,” she said, “It is the idle people who find it most difficult to smile.”
            And it really seemed as if her grandmother was right; for when Rosina had run home, and had swept up the floor and washed the plates, it did not seem nearly so difficult to smile at the baby, and he actually held out his arms to her, and patted her cheek with his little fat hand.  It was really wonderful how much happier she felt, too.  When her mother left the wash-tub and came wearily in, it was to find a tidy kitchen and laughing children, and her face brightened as she entered.
            “Thou art a good child,” she said to Rosina. “Give the bambino to me now, and I will fetch the water to-night.  After all it is hard work for thy little arms.”
            “Oh no!” Said Rosina cheerfully, “I want to go to the well."  And she set off quite blithely.  She put down the water-pot at the edge, and hung cautiously over and looked down into the shining depth beneath.
            “It’s a little pleasanter,” she said, “but it’s not very bright yet.  I shall have to practice more.”  She was staggering back with the heavy pot, when Tomaso crept from behind the door and thrust out a bare leg to trip her up.  She did not fall, but at least half the water was spilt over the newly-swept floor, and she felt shaken and very angry.  She put down the water-pot and flew to punish the evil-doer, but he was too quick for her and slipped out of the open door.  Then as soon as he had put a safe distance between them, he turned and grinned at her in his most aggravating manner. 
            “Crosspatch!” he cried.  “If thou couldst see thy own face, it would frighten thee.”
            Rosina stood still, and the angry look faded away.  Oh dear!  She had just begun to look pleasant, and now it was all rubbed out and she must begin again.  She turned sorrowfully back and went indoors, and began to mop up the water and make the room tidy.
            Presently Tomaso’s wicked little grinning face peeped in at the doorway.  He looked in very warily, ready to disappear at once if the enemy was likely to attack.  But, wonder of wonders!  Rosina looked up, and there was actually a queer sort of smile on her face!  Tomaso ceased to grin and looked at her doubtfully.
            “Come in!” she said; “I shan’t touch thee.”    
Tomaso kept a wary eye upon her, fearful of some hidden trap; but as she still had that queer smile on her face, and went on mopping up the water, he began to feel just a little ashamed of himself, and by-and-by he offered to help.  Then they set to work together, and it became almost like a game, and they both enjoyed it.
            All that evening Tomaso cast doubtful looks at his sister now and then, and instead of making faces at her, as was his usual custom when he caught her eye, he looked away.
            “I’ll fetch the water for thee in the morning,” he mumbled as he went off to bed, and Rosina was surprised that it was quite easy to smile on him.  “He is not really such a horrid boy as I thought,” she said.
            But she would allow no one else to fetch the water now, and each day as she went to the well she anxiously looked down to see if her face was growing fit yet for the Magic Mirror.
            Of course there were many times when the clouds came down and hid all the sunshine, and her face looked as gloomy as ever; but each time she chased the clouds away it was easier for the sun to break out again.  Her mother’s smile was pleasant to meet now, and, strangely enough, the work did not seem half so hard, and the water-pot was certainly not half so heavy as it used to be.  School, too, was quite a different place.  It was a nice, sunshiny world; every one was kind to her, and she was very happy.
            A sudden thought struck her one day as she sat on the edge of the well.  Could it be that after all it was the Magic Mirror she had seen down there?  Where else had all this happiness come from?  Might it not be the golden gift which the Magic Mirror held in its shining heart for those who looked into it?  She would go that very afternoon and ask her grandmother if it could be so.
            The sun was shining through the silver leaves of the olive trees, and flecking with tiny rings of gold the bowed figure of the old woman as she sat busily plaiting her straw, her thoughts far away and a smile upon her face.  She started and looked up as Rosina came running along and stood before her.  Again she held the child’s face between her hands and looked at it intently.
            “The world is full of sunshine for thee to-day,” she said.  “Every one smiles on thee, work is easy, and thou art as happy as the day is long.”
            “It is the magic secret again,” said Rosina, nodding and smiling.  “And, oh, Nonna, I have come to ask thee to tell me what that secret is, and if it is really the Magic Mirror that I have seen inside the old well.”
            The old woman sat silent for a few minutes, and she gently stroked Rosina’s curly head.  “I will try to ell thee the secret,” she said, “and thou must try to understand.  The name of the Magic Mirror is Life, and it does indeed hold in its shining heart the gift of happiness or sorrow for each of us.  And its secret is not far to seek.  Whatever we bring to the Magic Mirror, that is the thing which it reflects and gives back to us.  If we bring smiles, we are met by smiles; if we hold out kindly, helpful hands, kindly, helpful hands will be held out to clasp ours.  If we bring love, we shall receive love, which is the greatest gift of all.  But if, instead, we bring cross looks and unkind, selfish actions to face our daily life, there will be no golden gift to meet us then, for the mirror gives back to us only what we bring to it.”
            Rosina puckered up her brows in thoughtful silence.
“I see,” she said at length.  “It’s not really magic at all, but just ourselves.”         

 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Infused


I was invited on a wonderful retreat this last weekend and man... it did wonders for my soul.  The retreat was about life and God and about the thousand ways we can find an awareness of God so that our lives are infused into one.  I learned about what it means to be a true friend and learning the importance of being truly vulnerable with those closest in my life.  I learned that life is a pilgrimage and that learning to embrace the imperfect parts of my life is the only true way I can find God’s grace, mercy and love.

Raising my family has been the toughest job I’ve ever endured.  Being a stay at home mom is not for the weak.  It’s emotionally and physically draining and some days I can only depend on God’s grace to get me through.  But as I left this retreat, I felt a little less crazy for wanting to believe that life with God is extraordinary and rich and worth loving and devoting myself to.  I left knowing it’s ok to celebrate the extraordinary nature of everyday life to the fullest. Yes it's true, today is enough & God is enough.

 
 


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Seeking Peace


I’m sorting through the loss of a sweet woman who lost her battle with cancer last week.  I’m overwhelmed with sadness for her family and friends and the huge hole she has left here on earth.  She was such a beautiful soul. Regardless of my depth and understanding of the gospel I’m still devastated.  I don’t understand?  Why so young?  Why did her four children need to suffer through this?  As I ponder all of these questions I’m trying to reach for the comforter and pray for peace and take heart in the promises extended by our Savior.  

It’s so hard to let go though.  All day I’ve been trying to understand and accept His will.  His ways are greater than ours I keep telling myself but why does it need to hurt so much?  I’m clinging to the knowledge that God has lovingly assigned each person a time to die.  Dana’s time has come and passed.  She is no longer in pain.   

I’m trying to have faith and hold fast to the belief that God is mindful of us and He will supply every need to his children including Dana’s family during this time.  I pray that through this hard time I can trust in His eternal plan and be given strength to find peace in my soul. 

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit ~Psalm 34:18

 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Special Delivery


I found this box full of goodies on my front door today with a sweet note tucked inside.  Thank God for unexpected blessings that can make a day so much brighter.   Thank you sweet friend.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Hike For Life 2012


“Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives, and when he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?”~ From “It’s a Wonderful Life”
This is one of my all time favorite movies starring Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey.  In one scene, George makes a rash request: “I wish I’d never been born.” Instantly, the angel Clarence makes it so.  Bit by bit, George discovers that because he never existed, everything in his hometown has changed. Without the life of George Bailey, the life of just one person, nothing is the same.

The George Bailey Syndrome was mentioned during the opening ceremony for Hike for Life this past weekend.  I couldn’t help but be reminded of the fact that we have had 35 million George Baileys, people never born,  people whose lives were never allowed to touch other lives.  I find it extremely sad that we live in a society that speaks about protecting the environment and rescuing species on the brink of extinction.  But then it tolerates the mass killing of unborn children, and contemplates the killing of the sick and elderly in the name of their “dignity”.  Yes indeed, there is an “awful hole.” 

We can’t undo the past, but for the sake of our nation we must support these great causes and help raise awareness of the suffering that surrounds us.  I want to thank those who sponsored and donated to this wonderful cause…we ended up raising $625.  Each dollar will go to help support the cost of running a Pregnancy Resource Center in the Dallas area.  Your contribution and support will help make this A Wonderful Life for our future generation. 


God Bless.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Taco Pizza

I FINALLY found another recipe the whole family loves and since this has been such a rare occasion lately, I decided I must post this miracle.  The great thing about this recipe is it's also weight watcher friendly. I got my inspiration for this one from pintrest.  Instead of  using crescent rolls I use Pillsbury Artisan Pizza crust. 
 

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 envelope taco seasoning mix
  • 2 (8 oz.) cans Pillsbury crescent rolls
  • 1 (16 oz.) can refried beans (I used the jalapeƱo kind)
  • 2-3 cups shredded cheddar cheese or Mexican blend
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Brown ground beef and drain. Add taco seasoning to the ground beef according to the package directions.
  3. Unroll crescent rolls into rectangles. Place in ungreased 11 1/2 inch x 16 1/2 inch jelly roll pan or cookie sheet. Press dough over the bottom and 1/2 inch up sides to form crust. Bake at 375 oven for 11 to 13 minutes or just until golden brown.
  4. Microwave beans in a microwave safe bowl for 1 minute. Carefully spread beans over warm crust creating a thin layer.
  5. Top with cooked beef mixture, sprinkle with cheese followed by tomatoes, black olives and green onion. Return to oven for 3-6 more minutes until cheese is melted. Serve immediately. Makes 12 main dish servings or 48 appetizers.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Whale of a time!

We took the kiddos to Sea World last weekend and created some wonderful lasting memories.  Even with Russell blowing out his flip flop, Bailey getting run over by a trash can and Kinley losing her first tooth, I'd say we came home as happy as we left, which means it was a successful vacation. Right?
 
 
 
 
This picture makes me laugh. Precious and priceless these are my sweet little miracles. 
 
 
Kisses!

 
My tired little dude.


She wiggled it loose the day before and Russell pulled it as we were waiting in line at Sea World.  She started feeling sick and was as pale as a ghost when she saw the blood but she was extremely happy to find the tooth fairy left three dollars under her pillow.

 
Russell's birthday lunch serenaded by a mariachi duo.

 
our journey came to a sweet close with smore's by our hotel fire. 
 
 
And to any of you who say you can't take it with you never saw our car packed for this vacation.  No children were harmed in packing.  Ignored perhaps, but certainly not harmed...
 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Changing Seasons

 
Fall is one of the most glorious times of year.  I love it mostly because of that little wisp in coldness I feel at the first sign of it's coming.  This weekend marked that after a long summer of double digits here in Texas.  And after the humidity and dryness we've experienced this summer, this weekend just invigorated me.  I know I'm a little early in my preparations and decor, but I just couldn't help myself. 
 

So... good-bye my favorite Sno Cone Lady.  Thank you for the wonderful memories we gathered during the short trips to your stand. You kept this desperate housewife from going crazy many times this summer and I will forever be in debt to you.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thankful Thursday

 
Relax…We’re all crazy…It’s not a competition:)
 
I love my Lemon Heads.