Saturday, April 30


Prayer is hard. Why? I have no idea. Why is it SO difficult to talk to God? Other than when I'm mad, sad, frustrated, needy, sending up a shout-out for a friend or family member. Why can't I just WANT to talk to Him? All the time? Ugh. This is a problem of mine. I have a hard time making it a regular part of my day. I pray with the kids before bed and pray when I hear or have a prayer request. Awesome, huh? Inspiring? Yah, didn't think so.

Well my seriously awesome friend Christine just posted such a great post about this very subject and what has helped her cultivate this part of her relationship with Christ. If you've ever thought that your prayer/devotional life could use a little work, read this post. I think you'll find it as useful and full of blessing as I did. Thanks, Christine!


Ever have those "off" streaks. Those days that seem to line up and throw anything they can muster at you? Those days that you just look at and feel defeated right away? Those days when everything you touch seems to crumble and fall apart?
I am naturally scatter-brained, clumsy, forgetful, all things NOT full of grace. But usually I manage to hold it together and keep the ball rolling. Not the last couple days. The ball has stopped. Or maybe I've stopped trying. Maybe I'm just stuck. I don't know. I just know that I'm having an off streak.
I've been going to bed WAY too late and getting up WAY too early.
I'm putting off projects that have deadlines fast approaching.
I didn't eat ANYTHING good for me yesterday and this morning and have been feeling it.
I haven't gone for a bike ride when I've had the chance, I've gone on facebook or blog-hopped.
I washed my car, really well, only to drive right through a construction site and get mud splattered all over my car. Within an hour of washing it.
I procrastinated saving the pics from my memory card to my computer.
Then I lost my camera.
I did not handle hubby's frustration with grace.
I've been an impatient and frustrated mom.
I've been a lazy homemaker.
I forgot about a load of laundry in the wash for over a day. Ew.
I haven't showered in a day.
I burned cinnamon rolls this morning.
Son was up at midnight having a very hard time breathing. Breathing treatment time.
Then after he went back to bed, he was up every twenty or thirty minutes until five-thirty when he and Daughter got up for the day.
I didn't make them breakfast this morning. I gave them a banana and cereal in a bag on the couch in front of the TV.
I feel like crying.
Baby is teething...or something. He's just grumpy.
The weeds in my yard are out of control. I've been neglecting them this week.
I didn't check my email often enough and missed out on an order on ETSY.
Did I mention I lost my camera? And I feel like crying?
I am supposed to make potato salad for a friend tonight and still have not checked to make sure I have everything I need.
I made it to the flower fields with only forty minutes to close and had to run all around trying to see everything.
Son coughed so hard from an asthma episode that he threw up all over at the flower fields.
I lost my camera at the flower fields. Running. With five kids. :(

My first solution was to go back to bed. To feel sorry for myself. To hide in my house/room all day. Now I think I'm just gonna pray.
I'm just having an off streak.
I would take a picture and show you this very real, very undesirable tangled and dirty hair, the kitchen strewn with empty cups, an open cheerio box, and empty juice carton. I would snap a pic of the couch piled high with laundry. Laundry that's been waiting to be put away for two days. I would show you the jungle of weeds in my backyard, the dog run that needs to be cleaned, the outside toys all over the place. I would take a picture of my charred cinnamon rolls, usually divine, extra black and crispy today. I would have no problem showing you this disaster I'm calling life right now. Except...I lost my camera. Yeah, I sure did.
I'm done venting now.
Don't judge.
Well, judge if you want.
I'll get over it. ;)

Thursday, April 28

Gifts 320-365

Park time with friends
Splashing water turtles
Caravan errands with friends
enjoying treats and quiet in the parking lot
Spontaneous play dates
Running in the sprinklers
Spraying the hose in the house window- on accident, reminding mom of being a child
Good days, turned bad. Forcing me to HIS feet, begging for forgiveness
The privilege of being a parent to His children
Frozen yogurt with berries
Frozen yogurt twice in a day
The kids exclaims about the sunset painted across the sky
Last minute, past bedtime family treat runs
Riding bikes with kids
Daughter eating a carrot, and being so excited about it!
Tiny fingernails
Identical feet of siblings
Crazy sunscreen hair
Baby's creative ways to play with toys
Food Inc and the control of my nutrition that it has spurred me to take
Reusable shopping bags...hopefully soon I'll remember to bring them with me
Crafts with Daughter
Hunger for His word
Anticipation for church
Anger, frustration, bitterness...leaving nothing else to do than pray
Realizing that in order to show true gratitude for what I have been blessed, I must be a blessing
Baby's incredible love for Daddy
Watching trash truck from window
Running to wave hello
Picking flowers for neighbor
Listening to kids' Bible songs in the car
Daughter's pride in her artwork
Son's sweet play with Baby
Brotherly love
Calm after the storm
Proverbs 27
New flip flops
Peals of giggles in the car
Building forts
Solving mysteries in the backyard
Chasing butterflies
Pulling weeds
Packages on the doorstep

Pizza Time!

One of those nights...hadn't planned dinner...hadn't done much shopping. :/
I pulled some flatbread out of the freezer and decided on pizza! 

Cracked open a jar of roasted garlic spaghetti sauce. So great for dinner in a hurry! Be careful what jarred sauces you keep on hand though, always read the ingredients. There should really only be a handful of ingredients and NO sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Check yours and see what you have. I personally love Trader Joe's brand and Fresh and Easy brand sauces. so tasty, so wholesome, good price.
Spread with fat free mozzarella cheese and some leftover grilled chicken, thinly sliced.
And Pulled out an old stand-by. Artichoke hearts. I ALWAYS have a couple jars of these on hand. They are fabulous for making a stuffing for bell peppers, mushrooms or tomatoes, sprucing up a salad and throwing on a pizza, just to name a few!
After the chx, cheese and artichokes, I felt like we still needed something, so I rummaged through my fridge and found a medley that hubby had made the night before: butternut and acorn squash and onions, roasted! Perfect...I tossed those right on the pizzas.
Except for the kids...they just wanted chx and cheese. So I smashed a little squash and spread it around with the sauce. They never knew the difference. :)
Threw the pizzas on a VERY lightly oiled (olive or grapeseed) baking sheet and popped in oven at 400 for about ten or fifteen minutes. YUM YUM!

Wednesday, April 27

What?! 31 days...

And I'll have a clean house? Like, a REALLY clean house? SOLD!
Well, I would buy it, except today this ebook is FREE! Just post on your blog, fb or Twitter and then email Sarah Mae and your house can be dazzling in 31 days also. ;) Wish me luck guys, my hubby, my family I need it! Ha!
Check it out here


Hubby and Son made some tasty homemade Sopas for dinner one night...they were so delicious and Son had the time of his life helping Dad in the kitchen.

Rubbing your lips on the sopas before you cook them is a necessary step. Bet you didn't know that.

Ready to cook!

Using the technical equipment all on his own ;)


Gifts 305-319

Inspiring sermon, spoken from the heart, on Easter
Wonder in a child's eyes
Giddy excitement for special holidays
Siblings helping each other all on their own
Watching animated movies about the Easter story
Lazy mornings in bed with the whole family
The pure faith of a child, never questioning
The friendship of Jesus
Friends so close they are family
Roses from the yard, in jars on my table, unfolding giant to reveal God's wonder
Chubby hands pressed against the door, begging to go explore
Washing cars in the sunshine
Playing in the sprinklers
Laying on the concrete, warming in the sun's rays
Quiet time alone


Just found this video and read an update on the charges. So sad.

The penal code that they are charged with breaking was put in place to stop protesters from blocking doorways and disrupting business. These men were about fifty feet away from the entrance while the DMV was still closed. They were not yelling at people or causing an uproar. They were standing in a planter in the parking lot, on public property. They were a distance away so that if anyone were interested, they could come talk to them, if not, great. Serious abuse of power on behalf of the officers.

Tuesday, April 26

Coupon Abbreviations

One of the most confusing things to figure out is the other language it seems like couponers are speaking or writing. It can make it really difficult to figure out the deal breakdowns if you don't understand the abbreviations. So I compiled a list of the ones that seem to be the most common. I will update it when I come across more.

These are the abbreviations for the inserts in the Sunday paper. The inserts generally vary by area. 
SS- Super Saver
RP- Red Plum, sometimes called Valassis depending on area
PG- Procter and Gamble
GM- General Mills
KG- Kellogg
And sometimes there are coupons in the Parade insert

Some more Common abbreviations

B1G1 or BOGO- buy one get one
MIR – mail in rebate
RR – register reward (this is at Walgreens)
FAR – free after rebate
IVC - instant value coupon
ECB - extra care bucks (this is at CVS)
OOP – out of pocket
IP – Internet printable
MC or MQ – manufacturers coupon
- coupon
SCR – single check rebate (this is at Rite Aid)
WYB – when you buy

Next is a list of common terms 

Stack: to use two (or more) coupons together. For instance, a store coupon and manufacturer's coupon and in some rare cases a web coupon. I very rarely see the web coupons anymore, but have seen and used them before. These are different from Internet printable coupons.

Catalina: a coupon for $x off next purchase that prints with or at the bottom of your store receipt

Peelies: coupons that are found on the product. It is proper etiquette to leave these on unless you are buying that particular item.

Blinkies: these are little machines attached to the store shelves that dispense coupons. They usually have a small blinking light and are placed near the product for which they are advertising and giving coupons.

Tearpads: Coupons in a stack pad that hang on store shelves near the product. You just tear off coupons.

Hangtags: a coupon that hangs on a tag on the product (for example, a coupon hanging from the lid on a jar of hot sauce)

Like I said, I will add any I have forgotten as I remember or find them 
Hope this helps a little!

PS: I have no idea why half the text in this post is a different font and I cannot fix it. So eh, we'll just have to deal with it. I've been working on fixing it for a week. Even completely deleted it and started over. Still...issues. :/

Monday, April 25


Here's a couple pics of the kids artwork. 

 This is a picture of Daughter and one of her BFF on their wedding day. ;)

A Bean Burrito

 One night we had make your own burritos for dinner. Ground turkey, black and pinto beans, sour cream and rice...Yum! Everyone was thrilled!

Even sharing their tasty beans ;)
Well, almost everyone. She started out happy, then a switched flipped and she disassembled her burrito and started this little show. ;)
I told her to remake it and that she can make it any way she wants. This is what she came up with.
A SINGLE bean burrito
She rolled it up and started's when she finally got to her bean ;)
Everyone else thoroughly enjoyed their burritos with more than one single bean.

Saturday, April 23

Bike Ride

Hubby was home this morning for a little bit. I needed to run up to the drugstore for feminine supplies. Ahem. It is impossible to "Run up to the drugstore" with three kids. And a lot of times I will walk them up there, it's actually easier and it's only a mile away, so it's no big deal. However, there's some construction going on and the road is super narrow right there now and eh, just didn't want to. So I took advantage of Hubby. ;)
I also decided to squeeze in a little workout and biked up to the store.
Ah the bliss.
To be able to just feel the breeze, take in the smells and watch the world around me without yelling at someone to keep their hands to themselves or threaten small children with their lives if they don't stop screaming.
yeah...the only accurate word is BLISS.
I was totally enjoying my little ride until one of the construction dudes was yelling at me. I totally thought he was whistling at this hot piece of run down momma - still in her jams with a Disney princess backpack on...buuut...
Turns out he was yelling at me for other reasons. I'm not totally sure, either I wasn't supposed to be riding my bike by the construction area, or there was a car that was going to hit me or he was about to call the cops because I wasn't wearing a helmet (my last helmet had Smurf decals on it and doesn't fit anymore, oddly enough). Well, I glanced up but was too afraid that I was going to crash into the gaping hole in the road in which a giant excavator is climbing out of.
So I kept going and ignored said construction worker.
Psh... On a side note, I rocked that backpack.

So I got to the drugstore, loaded the Princesses with all the supplies and headed back home. Well, I could have detoured around the construction site, but that would have taken me to a main hwy where the lack of helmet could have had much more serious ramifications. So I started back the way I came until to my left I saw a few people walking their dog through the field. This field butts up against housing tracks that I weave in and out of all the time on runs, walks, or just to drive around until kids are unconscious asleep. There is one of those chain link fences up around the field, but it's just one of the temp ones that go up with construction jobs and stay up for years after the tractors have gone. So I thought I would just head over and find the opening in the fence where the people and dog must have gone through.
I'm just riding along, starting to feel pretty comfortable with my off-road biking skills until I come to a steep cliff that drops into a crater. Okay, it was probably more like a little drop-off that rain had washed away down into the lower level of the field, but I didn't want to mess up my hair. ;) So I went around another way. Found the fence!
No opening.
Rode along the almost entire length of the fence.
Still no opening.
I had two options.
One. Go back the way I came and back by construction guy. Chance heckling. Chance falling into gaping hole in the road. Chance losing all dignity when I realize he was making fun of the Princesses.
Two. Somehow hoist this heavy and rather old mountain bike over this eight foot fence and then figure out a way to get my sweet arse over the fence myself without dying. Now don't get me wrong, there were days in my life when I wouldn't have thought twice about hopping a fence...but I was TEN!

So what do you think I decided to do? Did I chance humiliation/getting in trouble or risk losing my life by breaking my neck or busting my head open?

Well, guess what? I'll tell you.
You know why? Because this is my blog and if you're bored, oh well.

I hoisted that bike over and let it down gently (hubby wouldn't be too happy if I broke the bike because I was ashamed of the princesses) and climbed my little self right over that fence. Luckily there was a street sign right near where I climbed over, so I used that to help me. Just a little. I owned that fence.
Then I dusted off my jams, hopped back on that bike and rocked the princesses all the way home. And guess what? I didn't even mess up my hair. ;)

Gifts 278-304

Shadows from the clouds, sprawling across the hills
All the smells of nature during my bike rides
Free coffee and tea
Reflection of children in the rear view mirror
Looking in the backseat, only to have each child grinning ear to ear, waiting for me to smile back
Children's eyes watching the world out the window
the glow of the sunset across a face
tears glistening on eyelashes
strawberries sliced sweet on toast
long days at the park with friends
impromptu bath time with friends ;) 
child's excitement over the smallest of joys
cool, fresh water
climbing fences like a kid
baby clapping just because
Daughter's beautiful auburn hair
A hundred kisses for Son at bedtime...every night
Daughter finding comfort in our bed after a bad dream
Son waking just to hear a song in the middle of the night
Baby's smile and bright eyes first thing in the morning
Reading children's books about the true meaning of Easter
Hearing Daughter and Son pretend playing, inviting Jesus to their party. 
Fabric softener
The smell of the dryer running at night...smelling it outside, one of my favorite smells
Our electric bill...that it comes every month and we never fear being without

Friday, April 22

Gifts 256-277

Home cooked dinners
Prayers around the table
Baby asking for kisses
Good Friday
His death
Wisdom to make decisions
Forgiveness between friends
Cool mornings and
Warm afternoons
Jogs/walks with children
Filling Easter eggs with kids
Alone time with Son
Dinosaur slippers
New recipes
Homemade Petit Fours
Big bows in Daughter's hair
His Resurrection

Thursday, April 21

Almost Good Friday

Easter is a close second to my favorite holiday. 
It gives me goosebumps, chills. It warms my soul, yet sombers my spirit. 
It gives me hope and fuels the urgency in my heart for the lost.
Good Friday has always been a day filled with emotion. 
Today, as my mind and heart race with the thoughts of what is remembered this week, tomorrow, this weekend. The sacrifice my Father gave for me. 
The death that was had for my life.
The life lost so I would be found.
The pain. The misery. 
It overwhelms.
I cannot help it. 
While I am playing the part of the bunny, hiding eggs and baking treats, yet trying desperately not to lose the meaning to my children.
Fervently snatching up every chance to teach them, in child's terms, about the death and resurrection of a Savior. 
I smile, yet my heart breaks. 
I laugh, but real, physical, hot tears sting my face with no warning.
How could He die.
For me?
And knowing the evil in my heart.
Knowing beforehand how little I would thank Him.
How I'd be ashamed of Him at times.
How I'd be too busy, passive, quiet to proclaim His word. 
Knowing the truth.
The depths of my heart
That I would fail.
That I'd try, but really not.
That I would not deserve it.
Nor earn it.
He loves me. 
Like none could.
Like none will.
Like I cannot.
He adores me.
He desires to be with me.
He bled so that I may not.
And so, as I am overcome with gratitude, emotion, love.
Confused by grace, sacrifice, depths I cannot grasp.
The same words keep running through my mind. They are the reflection of my heart this day. As I prepare for tomorrow. 
Good Friday.
Resurrection Day.

"What can wash away my sin?

Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Oh! precious is the flow

That makes me white as snow;

No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

This is all my hope and peace,

Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
This is all my righteousness,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Now by this I’ll overcome—

Nothing but the blood of Jesus,
Now by this I’ll reach my home—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Glory! Glory! This I sing—

Nothing but the blood of Jesus,
All my praise for this I bring—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus."

Wednesday, April 20

If my Mom were a blogger...

We'd be in trouble.
We may or may not understand what she is talking about, well maybe just may or may not relate to  what she it talking about.
What would she blog about??
She would blog about cleaning, throwing parties and dropping kids off around the country. ;)
She would blog about her new kids, her little pupsies.
She would regularly send me her posts to spell-check them. She would probably get bored actually blogging, but have a hella fun time reading other peoples' blogs!

Some of her posts about cleaning would most definitely include tips such as using Q-tips and inexpensive make-up brushes to clean out the little grooves in furniture and picture frames.

Perhaps she'd even share a picture or two of my sister and I doing such cleaning as children. She may have advice for parents on different ways to occupy their children from sunup to sundown on the weekends. One of those ideas would assuredly be to have them pick up the leaves in a large planter or small yard. Preferably during the fall, where it would really take ALL day long to find each leaf, but if such time-consuming activity were needed other times of year, she would suggest that parents not be above climbing a tree in secret and shaking the branches violently or swatting it with a long broom before sending the kids out.
 Yes, my mother really knows how to clean up and keep kids occupied. And she'd be more than happy to share her secrets, if she were a blogger.

Oh and for parties...she throws fabulous parties. Mix one part fun theme complete with costumes with equal parts alcohol and tasty food (usually themed also) and another part live music and BAM! You've got yourself a party to talk about.

 Or blog about, rather. Yeah, she goes all out on her parties. Live music always a must. But I should explain, she generally needs to look no further than my Dad's home recording studio. Oh yeah...some sweet versions of Tom Petty and Cat Stevens come oozing out of that room along with a little original or two.

One of his famous ones is called "Like a fish." Uh could google it if you want to. But you don't need to. Really. It's not there. He's awesome and loves to entertain. And he's so humble too. You practically have to beg him, bribe him almost to get him to show you his recording studio (read: empty bedroom with egg crate mattress padding glued to walls). But once he's there, don't even think about pulling him away. He's "Like a fish" back in water. ;)

So I'm sure if my mom were a blogger, she'd be the top hit on every party blog in blogworld.
You thought I was exaggerating...

She may possibly blog about my kids, they happen to call her Grandma-mother. But only if she ran out of things to say about Bella and Bentley (the Pupsies).

One thing is for sure, once you got past some occasional spelling errors, all the ridiculous Pooch talk, the cleaning OCD and the party menagerie, you'd see one thing that would make you LOVE her.

You'd see why I'm so incredibly beautiful awesome wonderful... Uh, you'd see that she's pretty cool. Ah...if only my mom were a blogger.

Linking up with Mama Kat today

Tuesday, April 19

Gifts 235-255

Toes in the sunshine
Listening to the hum of neighbor's mowers
Apple blossoms bobbing in the breezes
Tonka trucks still, left after play
A ladybug climbing blades of grass
 The airplanes soaring overhead
The chirping conversation of birds to each other
Empty swings, swaying in the wind
The song of the ice cream truck
The bells on a child's bike
Wedding anniversaries
White roses
Climbing Jasmine and it's wonderful fragrance
Visits to the Easter Bunny
Easter egg hunts
Ice cream sandwiches
Talking with my children about the true Easter story
the sadness in Daughter and son's eyes when I tell them how Jesus died for us.
The joy they have when I tell them how Jesus is alive again
Prayers that I may remember how simple it is: To be sad for His death and joyful for His life.

Monday, April 18

Gifts 221-234

Son's arms, so smooth and soft, still hanging on to some baby skin
Baby's little lips, puckering up for his first kiss.
Hubby that steps in and helps when I'm not feeling well.
Cool breezes
Warm sunshine on my back
Baby licking peanut butter and jelly off his finger- Pop!
"I'm sorry's" between siblings
Baby imitating Daughter...the way she stands, sits, everything.
The gleam in Baby's eyes when he sees Son or Daughter.
Lunch outside
Otter pops in the garage, with the door open, taking a break from play
Red tricycle
Afternoons collecting snails, ladybugs and worms
God's forgiveness each morning

Five Coolest things I did today

This list is only conclusive through lunch time. The rest of the day still holds unopened treasures for me to discover! *Squeal*

1. Stopped Baby from playing with Son's Ironman in the toilet.

2. Had a long conversation with Son about flushing after he pees in said toilet.

3. Washed Baby's hands and Ironman after their dip in said toilet.

4. Cleaned the poop marks off a different toilet seat (Clearly from a little tushie shimmying off the seat after business).

5. Had a long conversation with Son about the importance of wiping fully after going number two and explained that I would not mind in the slightest if he would ask me for help. 

And a bonus:

6. Came up with a title for my book...The Potty Chronicles

Enjoying a gift

 One Saturday, we had run a few errands and spent our day being bored and moping about, feeling our "Saturday Blues" that I've talked about. We were on the way home from dropping some things off with a friend and I was feeling especially grumpy and envious of Saturday funday family time. As I turned down a street we drive down all the time, I looked to my left at the goat pasture. And I noticed that the goats had new babies! I turned back to the road and felt God tugging on me, reminding me. I am on this journey, trying to live life to its fullest and seek out gifts from Him. He nudged me, and told me to go enjoy this gift that He had before me. So I whipped that minivan around and pulled over in the dirt. As I hustled the kids out of the car, their faces confused and excited, I realized I was feeling 
such a complete joy at that moment. 
The smile on my face couldn't be shaken. I almost felt like laughing out loud. 
That here, in this small moment, on the corner of the road, I found God. 
In baby goats. 

 The famous sideways Son look...I figured out where he gets it though...I do it when I'm really concentrating on something. So maybe he just really concentrates on everything! :)

 Watching from the car

I just couldn't help it...look at the milk jugs on that one on the left!! Eek! :/

It was a nice moment and a great time to thank God for the little gifts He sends every day, in every moment,
 if I am but only able to open my eyes and see them. 


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...