Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Discipling Myself for Godliness

For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value both for this life and the life to come.  -1 Tim. 4:8

I left this comment on and I thought I'd post it here, as well.

I am reading a book with some college girls called Girls Gone Wise in a World Gone Wild by Mary Kassian. It has been a real blessing to me. Last week the chapter was on habits. The author says that our habits really show what our priorities are. We like to think that things that sound good are our priorities, but our habits really show what takes precedence in our lives. I want being a woman of God’s word and an excellent wife and mother to be my priorities, but my habits don’t show that I’m working towards those goals. So this week, I implemented a new discipline…No Bible, No Blogs (meaning that if I haven’t read the Bible I can’t read any blogs). This has helped me so far. Also, if my kitchen isn’t clean, I don’t function well or get other cleaning done because I just can’t seem to get a move on. So the same rule applies for cleaning the kithchen. I like to say, "No clean kitchen, No Pinterest" (kinda works lol), but the point is not to get on the computer until I have a clean kitchen. I hope to build these disciplines in my life. Thanks for this series. As for a goal to complete in the next 24 hours it will be to organize our master closet. This has been on my to do list for far too long.

I am addicted to love reading blogs.  However, like Facebook they take up too much of my time.  I had a friend change my Facebook password to something I don't know, so that I could not get back into my account.  This helped my immensely.

I just implemented these rules on Monday, but already I see some changes.  I found a great Bible reading plan and have started it.  And today, I got the kitchen clean which helped me to move on to other chores.  I'm sure that putting these disciplines in my life will continue to benefit me.

How about you?  What habits do you need to put in your life to lead a more disciplined life?

photo credit

November Meal Plan

Meal planning is something I really enjoy doing.  Call me quirky if you like...doesn't bother me one bit.  I learned lots about freezer cooking and meal planning from Jessica at and Crystal aka  Having a meal plan helps me not to look in the fridge at 5 and think, "What in the world are we going to eat."

With four little ones, cooking dinner can be quite the fiasco, but thanks to having a plan and already cooked chicken, processed veggies, shredded cheese, cooked ground beef, and some casseroles sitting in the freezer our meals come together quite quickly and with minimal effort.  Cooking dinner is more like assembling a meal than really cooking.

Just the other night I made homemade chicken pockets (adapted from here) and rice with veggies in a jiffy.  For the chicken pockets, the chicken was already made (in the crockpot and frozen) and the cheese was shredded.  All I had to do was combine the filling and steam the corn and broccoli to add to this delicious entree.

Once it was the oven, I thought we needed rice or something to make the meal more filling.  I cooked white rice and in the meantime sauteed onion, mushrooms (pre sauteed and frozen), and broccoli.  When the rice was done, I added it to the veggies along with some cheese.  It was delicious and simple!   What made this meal even better was that I tripled the recipe and made extra chicken pockets to put in the freezer for a quick snack or meal.  

Freezer cooking saves me time, energy, and brain cells!  Also, I love family traditions so every Wednesday we have leftovers, Friday we have fried fish and every Saturday homemade pizza makes its' way to our table.   That only leaves me 4 other meals to plan for the week.  See...meal planning isn't that hard at all.  Also, I don't necessarily cook what's on the menu for that day.  Sometimes, I cook something else planned for later in the month if I would prefer it.

With all that said, here's our menu plan for November (minus Wed, Fri, and Sat).  I still have a few more days to fill in with meals or I may just make it a day that we eat what's already cooked in the freezer.

Chicken Enchiladas, rice, corn
Shepherd's Pie
Marinated chicken, rice and gravy, corn, salad
BBQ Chicken, mashed potatoes, salad, corn
Tacos, beans, rice
Penne Rustica
Sweet and Sour Chicken, rice, vegetable stir-fry
Chicken Parmesan Bake, noodles, green beans, bread
Baked Ziti, Red Lobster Biscuits
Baked chicken nuggets, broccoli, tater tots
Chicken Taquitos, rice, beans
Thanksgiving meal (traditional)
Chicken and Broccoli casserole, rice
Bourbon chicken, rice, green beans

I have adapted many of these recipes over time to our liking.  I hope you enjoy them too.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Not Quite What I Had In Mind

I've been up since 6 this morning corraling children cleaning the house.  This is what I have to show for it...

Clean dishes in the sink, but clutter everywhere else

A dirty kitchen floor

Signs that we did indeed eat breakfast

A couple loads of laundry washed, some folded, much more to tackle

My husband's office Dining Room table filled with school books

I did accomplish the much needed task of organizing the sippy cup tops drawer.  
I consider this as important as balancing the national budget! 

And I did manage to organize this cabinet.  I wish I had a before picture to show was hideous.

So yea, these two played a large role in helping me get nearly nothing done many cleaning tasks started, but few completed.   You just gotta love 2 & 1/2 year olds!

I came across this picture and it gives perspective to my lot in life. 

 So yes, as much as I would enjoy a spic-n-span home, I'll choose to be grateful for these messes.  They are signs that there is life (to the fullest) in these walls.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Who Wants To be Artsy Crafty?

Last night I sat down in my bed with my journal and wrote out some goals for different areas of my life.  I was inspired by this post from Crystal aka  In the area of mothering one of my goals was to get our children unplugged from the TV and Internet by spending time reading to them and playing with them daily. 

Confession:  I have been letting the TV babysit my children WAY too much this week.  TV is ok, but it needs to be in moderation.  And when I have them watching it would be beneficial for me to use that time doing something productive instead of just wasting time reading blogs or on Facebook. 

I think there are good times for me to unwind and spend time doing leisurely activities.   However, ya girl has been WAY too leisurely lately.  Get my drift?

So today I set out to do something fun with the kids.  I came across this recipe for finger paint and made it in a jiffy.   As I type this blog post the kids are still playing with the paint.  (I spent some time painting too and then decided to do this post.   Don't want you to get the impression that I'm still not spending time with my precious babes.  LOL)

Here are some pics of our mess work!

You paint in a yellow tutu, too dontcha?

FYI, don't make comments about my girls hair!  That's a goal for next week.  LOL!!

P.S.  I don't blog a lot because I think it will take too much time.  I'm so busy reading other people's blogs (their memories) that I don't take time to write out my own memories.  Shame.  Today, I set my timer for 15 minutes, typed like a mad woman and got this post done in about 15 minutes.  Again, Crystal's post inspired me.  I'm so glad!!  Look what can be done in 15 minutes...and now I can cherish this finger painting session for years to come.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mason's 1st Photo Book

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Have you heard of...

Mel's Kitchen Cafe?
The recipes on her blog are delicious!  After making these tonight, I immediately sent the following email to some friends.  As I was typing it, I thought I should share this on my blog.  How's that for killing 2 birds with 1 stone?  I have so many ideas in my head for blog posts, but I don't take the time to blog like I would like.  I hope this email will suffice.

This website has delicious and easy recipes.  I am always pleased with what I cook from there.  Her recipes are easy and have "normal" ingredients.  I made baked chicken taquitos tonight.  Delish.  So much so, that I had to share the link with you.

Also, I plan to wrap up extra taquitos and freeze them prior to cooking.  That way I have any easy lunch, or snack ready to go.   To freeze, just wrap them and place them an inch apart on a cookie sheet in your freezer.  Once frozen, transfer to a freezer ziploc bag.  FYI, that's called flash freezing.  You can do this with just about anything.   

I didn't defrost my chicken early enough, so I cooked them from frozen in an oven bag (Nikki taught me that.  LOL).  I seasoned the breasts with salt and pepper, garlic powder and onion powder and cooked at 275 for about 3.5 hours.  I cooked 5 breasts and then shredded them.  I used some for this recipe and I'm going to freeze the rest of the chicken.  It saves so much time to have cooked and shredded chicken ready to go.  You could also do it in your crockpot, but mine is broken.  BTW, I only used the oven bag b/c I ran out of foil.  And you know ya girl gots to make do with what she has on hand cause it's not easy to run to the store with lil ones on your heels!  You know what I'm sayin'!!

Hope you enjoy,

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Menu Plan Monday...the Tuesday edition

We're doing well at eating more fruits and veggies these days.  I've kept a good supply of watermelon, cantaloupe, apples, and bananas in the fridge for my little ones' favorite time of the day...SNACK TIME.  I believe my kids think they are supposed to have snacks all throughout the day.  I don't mind giving them all the fruit they want, so if it's a snack they want, fruit they shall get!  Because of the holiday, I won't be cooking as much this week.  Here's what we're eating this week:

Pumpkin Muffins, Watermelon
Baked Oatmeal X2, Mandarin Oranges
Pancakes, Turkey Bacon, Watermelon
Homemade Granola, Cantaloupe

Tuna X2, Crackers, Fruit
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Carrots and Ranch
Out to eat Birthday Lunch

BBQ Chicken, Mac and Cheese, Broccoli
Baked Ziti, Glazed Carrots, Italian Bread in the Breadmaker
Out to Eat (Kids eat free at Earth Fare on Thursdays)

Check out for more menu plans

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Our Newest Family Member

1999 Chevrolet Suburban


We are now the owners of a car big enough to transport our family of 6 safely together!!  Hallelujah!  We have been driving 2 cars to get everyone around.  On Sunday mornings we drive 2 cars to church.  Throughout the week the kids and I stay home because all 4 of them can't fit in the back of our other cars.  (Note:  I didn't have huge dreams of taking everyone to run errands because taking 4 kids to the grocery store is a bit much for even supermom, but hey it would be nice to have that as an option if I ever lost my mind and in an act of pure foolishness decided I wanted to take them all out somewhere.)

We paid off the loans on our Escalade and Pick up truck a few weeks ago and planned to trade them both in at Carmax to get a my dream car...a Honda Odyssey.  LOL!!  So what, I'm a mom of 4, my dreams have changed.  We worked with a guy for about a week to make this deal work and on Saturday it finally happened.  He traded his SUV for our pickup truck.  The value on our pickup truck is about $3600 in good condition (but our truck needed brakes, A/C work,  tires, not to mention who knows what else).  The value of the SUV was nearly 2 times that!  In the end we paid him an additional $500 and now this is ours.   And get this, we still have our Escalade that we can sell to pay off some other small debts!  God is good!

The story is quite dramatic, so I'll save you the details.  However, I just have to let you know that getting this car was a real answer to prayer.  Eddie went out and hunted for the fish and I cleaned it, cooked it, and set the table.  He and I really worked together to get this done and for that I'm so thankful.  I used a tip I learned from a blog that I stalk in negotiating.  Hood MamaMel said that when negotiating a deal, after you make your offer, you must be quiet.  The first person to talk, loses.  I used this tip to a T- if I do say so myself. 

I called the seller several hours after the deal fell through (while sitting at our dining room table filling out the bill of sale of all things.  Talk about a nail biter) to see if we could make something happen.   After I asked him if he would take $500, I SHUT UP.  The seller just kept talking and talking and I just.remained.silent!  Finally, he said, "Yes, $500 will be fine.  I don't want to lose the deal over such a small amount."  Whew.  I breathed a huge sigh of relief and asked him to be here early on Saturday morning so that we could sign the papers.

After he brought the car to us, we took our maiden voyage to Chick-fil-a with a few friends.  Then on Sunday we drove to church together.  Halley started VBS for the first time this week.  It has been such a blessing to put everyone in the car and drop her off at the church.   Here's what I see when I turn around from the front seat.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Abide in Me

I am the vine, you are the brancehs; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.  John 15:5

This verse keeps coming to my mind lately.  In my interaction with our children, I constantly think about how I'm not abiding in Him.  It's so easy to let the pressure of the moment and my impatience rule my life.  Yet, if I'm truly abiding in Christ, He promises to give me grace.   As a believer, I choose to sin or not (Rom 6:5-7).  I have died to sin and therefore have the power to walk in the Spirit.  This is so much easier said than done.  Regretfully, my flesh often wins and before I know it I am responding in a sinful way to the people that I love most.  By God's grace and with His help, I want to walk in the Spirit so that I will not carry out the desire of the flesh (Gal. 5:16).

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

I've been cooking, but not planning our meals like I had been in the past.  This lack of planning has my kiddies eating hot dogs and fries far too often.  I really want to increase our intake of fruits and veggies, so I took matters into my own hands and sat down to write out a menu.  I also went to Sam's and Publix and stocked up on yummy fruits and veggies. 

Also, since I'm tired of hearing the little ones say, "I wan sum cannny" (I want some candy), I'm putting us on a candy fast.  Though I hate it, I know they get this bad habit from me.  To keep us from the sweet stuff I did something super smart...I didn't buy any!!  Now how's that for growing a brain?!  Candy will only be consumed on Saturdays and Sundays around these parts.  However, I reserve the right to sneak the Red Rageous Mike and Ike's in a pinch!  (Hey, I'm grown...don't judge me)

I found a nifty menu planner page on  You can print one out here

Here's what we're eating (along with some random pics because hey...this is my blog):

Overnight Oatmeal with chocolate chips X 2
Pancakes and bacon
Pumpkin Muffins
Egg Quiche, Turkey Sausage
Oatmeal, Fruit

Tuna, crackers, fruit X 2
Leftovers X 3
Grilled cheese, Fruit

Chicken Pockets, Fruit
Chicken Fettucini Alfredo with Broccoli, Salad, Bread
Tacos, Spanish Rice
Eddie's Kung Pao chicken, rice, glazed carrots
Fried Fish, Spinach, Corn Bread
Pizza, Fruit

For more menu plans, check out

Monday, May 9, 2011

Happy Baby Momma Day

God saw fit in His grace to bless me with 4 beautiful, albeit super active children.  Thank you, Lord for my precious little ones.  They are a gift. 

After leaving church yesterday, I felt so heavy burdened regarding my role as a mother. Motherhood comes with great responsibility and I wonder if I am "doing it right". The task of raising these little people is so great. They mirror me in so many ways and the image I project is not always Christ-like.

I'm often impatient, easily irritated, angry, lazy, and the like. All of this shows that I have such a need for the Lord to work in my life. He promises that His grace is sufficient. So when I feel that I am at the end of my rope or about to lose my cool, I need to call out to the Rock that is stronger than I. I need to call out to Him continually and be led by Him in my parenting. There's never a time when I don't need His grace. I am soo very weak and so in need of His wisdom to lead me in the way that I should go. I pray that He can use me in my weaknesses (and they are many)to show my children Himself. It is my desire that they walk with Him and that somehow my life will be a reflection to my babes of His love.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Nighttime feedings

My son Mason is nearly 5 months old.  He usually sleeps through the night, but for the last couple of days he has been waking up (sometimes twice at night).  This has been quite difficult, as I have 3 other children ages 4 and under to care for during the day.  Mommy needs her rest.  The 2nd time he woke up last night, I really struggled to get out of  bed.  Finally, I thought, “Eucharisteo preceeds the miracle!”  As I thanked God for my precious son I jumped out of bed with energy and entered his room.  I put my babe to my breast and watched him as God provided his nourishment through me.  What an awesome God.  As time drifted, I began to meditate on Scripture and review Ps. 19 and Col. 1:1-3.  It was such a blessing to think on God’s Word as I sat with my little guy.  Eucharisteo preceeds the miracle.

I'm keeping a list in a journal of gifts...not gifts that I want, but gifts that I have.  Seeing God in my day is making me's changing my perspective. it's drawing me to the Lord.  Here are a few other gifts:
1.  Seeing Rae in a bathing suit over her pants.
6.  Watching Macky Boy party like it's 1999 after he potties.
9.  Listening to Halley telling Rae and Macky Boy a story about God. 
10.  Mason's toothless grin.
25.  Eddie cooking dinner.
41.  Smooth writing pens.
48.  Quiet time while 3/4 of my brood slleps.
50.  1 Peter 1
Won't you join me in counting your gifts?  What are you thankful for? 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Twins Turned 2 In Dec...

...but I didn't make their cake or sing happy b-day to them til Jan. 31!!  Good thing they're young enough that they dont know the difference.

Macky Boy knows how to enjoy a piece of cake...

...but Rae Rae really knows how to make it count!!!

5-a-month February Goals

Jess, an American blogger in Turkey, posts 5 goals for every month.  At the beginning of the next month she updates how she did.  I've decided to join her since I need the accountability.  So, here goes:

1. Read to the kids everyday.

2. Track our spending by using a checkbook register and stay within the budget.

3.  Drink 1.5 Juicy Juice bottles of water a day.

4.  Read/listen to the Bible or a Christian sermon daily.  Also review Scripture daily.   I'm working on
1 Thes. 4:16-18 now.

5.  Do 20 crunches twice a day.  Gradually increase the amount so that by the end of the month I can do 40 twice a day.  (This is my effort to lose the belly pooch that I carry as a result of having 4 kids in less than 4 years.)

(This cute little guy contributed to the pooch...shame on him)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday

I was supposed to post this on Friday, but today is Saturday and I'm still going to post it (b/c afterall this IS my blog and what I say goes!)

1. I lost my camera charger about 2 months ago.  Boo!  But while hanging out with a friend she told me she had a universal charger that I could borrow.  I was so excited and let the battery charge all night.  The next morning I took these pics.  Not shortly after I was watching Halley take a picture when suddenly Mariah knocked the camera out of her hand and it crashed to the ground!  In less then 2 hours my camera was dead.  I was quite upset to say the least.  So, if any of you out there have an extra camera feel free to send it my way. 

2.  Eddie, Mason, and I are headed to BOSTON on Sunday.  I'm pretty excited.  We will be attending a seminar on support raising.  I've never been to Boston, so I'm looking forward to it although the cold weather doesn't exactly excite me.  This will be my 1st time traveling with a baby and I hope that it won't be my last on account of the stress.  I plan to nurse Mason A LOT in hopes that it will put him to sleep.  I get a little nervous thinking about how a crying baby can make the ride difficult for the passengers.  But, I'm going to give it a go.  Halley, Mariah, and Max are going to my parents. 

3.  Speaking of my parents, have I told you how wonderful they are?  They keep our kids at their home quite often!  It's a huge blessing.  Now that my brother and his wife have had twins, they help them constantly too.  My parents are both retired thanks to God's grace and Dave Ramsey.  Their lack of debt is paying off in huge dividends to our family!

4.  Max is nearly potty trained!!  Woo hoo...can I get an AMEN?!  It was hard work but consistency, snacks, bribes, a kitchen timer, persistance, and partying like it was 1999 with every victory, paid off!!  Here's the little guy doing his thing!

(yes, that is a pink potty.  he has an older sister, what can I say?!!)

5.  My goal of only washing clothes that I know I can fold, dry, and put away in the same day is proving quite helpful.  Twice this week I got all the clothes washed and that's no small feat considering that we are a family of 6.

6.  Anyone have suggestions for what I can do to get the little guy pictured above to stop screaming?  He constantly whines and screams at the top of his lungs.  I've always enjoyed peace and quiet, but that rarely happens anymore.  Ironically, I certainly get the quiet I oh-so-crave when I go to see the gynecologist!!

7.  Looking for a good read?  Check out When I Lay My Isaac Down by Carol Kent. 

In this book, Carol, a Chrisitian women chronicles how she finds hope in the Lord after her 28 yo son is charged with the murder of his wife's ex-husband.  Sorry, for the very brief synopsis...Mason is screaming, the twins are fighting, Halley is playing dress up, and my house is a WRECK!  Now how's that for a dose of reality?!

For more quick takes check out Conversion Diary.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

My How The Tables Have Turned

Earlier this week I had to go to the Gynecologist for my yearly exam. Though most women shrink back with anxiety from such an appointment, I looked at it as an opportunity to spend some much needed time alone.  I gear up for the appointment like I'm going to the beach as I pack a good book, snacks, my Ipod, and journal. 

After filling out the necessary forms, the nurse put me in the room with the instructions to “put the gown on with the opening in the front and drape the paper across your legs.” Something we’ve all heard before.

After removing my clothing, I hoisted myself onto the exam table and before I knew it, I was asleep! Asleep- at the GYN- is that possible?!! Well, when you have 4 kids it is! Not only was I asleep, I was dreaming!

The Doctor walked in verbalizing his many apologies for running behind.

“No problem,” I said, “I’ve been resting.”

To which he replied, “If you consider resting, laying on the exam table at the Gynecologist office then you are definitely an overtired mom!”

We both laughed. Prior to having kids, I used to get so agitated when I had to wait to be seen. How dare the Doc have to deliver a baby when I’m waiting. Now, I get agitated when he’s in the office when I get there!

My nap was so good that I considered asking him

               if there were any other patients he needed to see,

                        a c-section to perform,

                               kids to pick up from school,

                                    groceries he needed to get

…absolutely anything he needed to do to get me more time on that beloved table so that I could rest!!!

O Picasa, where have you been all my life?

I've been dying to write a new post for a couple of days. I'm so excited about the blog banner that I made using Picasa. My co-worker, Sarah, has a great blog with a great link to a Picasa tutorial on making a blog header. This tutorial showed me just how to do it. Isn't it lovely?

Since I haven't posted in over 6 months I thought a change in scenery would inspire me. Now if only I could stop playing around with pics and actually do some writing.

Eddie took our laptop into the office for some repairs, so I've only had our desktop to use. I uploaded Picasa to this computer and I'm so glad I did. Looking through these older pics has brought back so many fun memories of the olden days! LOL!

I learned how to add text to pics...

I also learned how to make a collage!

That's all for now. If you need me, I'll just be sitting in front of the computer playing with Picasa. And if you could, please send the memo to my kids!