Tuesday, October 30, 2007

It's Fall Y'all!

Even though we're taking a Coffee Break, us Multi-Tasking Moms are always up for a contest!

So, how would you like to be drinkin' your coffee or tea in a Mug of Truth?

These mugs are amazing! Not only do they have a powerful scripture on each one, but they transform when hot liquid is poured into them!

Now here's the exciting part, we are giving away 2 of these lovely Mugs of Truth!!!

Here is an "after" picture of the Rainbow mug


the Limited Edition 2007 Christmas mug (sorry, no photo of the mug itself)

Just leave us a comment and 2 of you will be randomly chosen to win a Mug of Truth Friday, November 2nd!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Sand & Stone

Two friends were walking through the desert. During some point of the journey, they had an argument; and one friend slapped the other one in the face.

The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand: Today my best friend slapped me on the face.

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They kept on walking, until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath. The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him.

After he recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone: Today my best friend saved my life.

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The friend who had slapped and saved his best friend asked him, “After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand and now, you write on a stone, why?”

The friend replied, “When someone hurts us we should write it down in sand, where winds of forgiveness can erase it away. But, when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it.”

Learn to write your hurts in the sand and to carve your benefits in stone.

They say it takes a minute to find a special person,
An hour to appreciate them,
A day to love them
But then an entire life to forget them.

Do not value the things you have in your life, but value who you have in your life.

Originally posted at Living to Learn & Learning to Live on August 11, 2007.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Go Figure: Leslie Sansone's Family Walk

Go Figure @ Multi-Tasking Moms

How is everyone's workout / fitness time going?

I am doing pretty good.

I had been going up to the workout gym 3 times a week and then either walking outside or working out at home the other day/days.

Here's one of the things that I have been doing at home to get a work out in:
Leslie Sansone's Family Walk DVD Megan and I did this workout this afternoon.

It is pretty simple and a great way to get a workout in and spend time together.
We walked 2 miles in 30 minutes.

The first segment on this DVD is
Family Walk Workout

It starts out with a warm-up.
You do lots of walking in place and then add
in some basic steps like stepping to the side, kicking
your legs out in front of you, lifting your knees up, kick backs.
You also add in arm workouts with and without weights.
She ends with cool down time.

Some of Leslie's quotes:
These days we are all looking for ways to spend
good quality family time and walking is one of them.

Walking works to keep families healthy.

Kids should burn calories and stay nice and active..... not just parents.

It's important to schedule fitness time into your day.

The second segment on this DVD is:

Smart Talk How to Motivate Your Kids to Live a Healthy Life

Talk to your kids and motivate them to be healthy on the inside and outside.

Don't call your children fat or overweight or lazy

Don't make them feel like something is wrong.

Instead: Focus on the positive, and how good it feels to eat right,
and how good it feels to exercise how much fun it is.

Motivate them to feel better about themselves.

Be a good role model for your children.

It is nice to do exercise as a family: weekly walk.

Exercise, talk, and bond with your family.

Exercise regularly and consistently.

The third segment on this DVD is:

Food Talk Healthy Grab and Go Snacks and Meals

Here are some ideas that they share for

breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snacks:

Mini Wheat Bagels with a tablespoon of peanut butter or cream cheese
Tropicana fruit juice
Whole grain bread
Tuna in water
Low fat ham sandwich drizzled with Italian dressing
Fresh fruit: grapes
Graham Crackers with peanut or cream cheese
Carrot sticks
Lowfat Chips

They stressed eating quality foods in small portions.

This is a great family workout DVD.
Consider purchasing this or other Leslie Sansone workout DVD's.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Books to the ceiling,
Books to the sky,
My pile of books is a mile high.

How I love them! How I need them!
I'll have a long beard by the time I read them.

~Arnold Lobel

I have a slight obsession with books. I buy them full price, I buy them at garage sales, we check dozens out each week at the library. I love a good book, and I'm sure many of you feel the same. So, when I read about Barefoot Books and got my hands on their catalogue, I was pretty excited. I love buying books for gifts, particularly for the littlest people I know. And I am already on the hunt for one-of-a-kind, beautiful books to give out this December!

Today I read a compilation of pirate stories in "The Barefoot Book of Pirates" written by Richard Walker. Geared for ages 5-10, this book is full of colorful illustrations by Olwyn Whelan, and each story is a retelling of an old legend. This book includes retellings of Scandanavian, German, English, Irish, Scottish, Japanese, and Morroccan legends. It was really interesting and fun to read. Also included is a CD which narrates all the stories, which most kids love (my kids love to listen to them in the car).

Other than the content, which I found really interesting, I also enjoyed this book because it presented a good balance of both text and illustrations. There were illustrations on every page (to encourage newer readers who still love pictures) but enough text that the book is also interesting and appropriate for more fluent readers. It would also be a nice book to read aloud, because of the natural stopping points between the short stories and the unique illustrations.

"The Barefoot Book of Pirates" would be an excellent gift for any child who likes pirates, or for any child who enjoys compilations of short stories.

And... Rebecca at Barefoot Books has a special right now. Check it out!

Receive a FREE copy of Storytime with any purchase of $30 or more until October 31st!** Following the success of The Story Tree and in response to our customers' demand for a comprehensive preschool collection, this anthology brings together a cast of characters that kids and adults will love - from the Gingerbread Man to The Ugly Duckling and The Three Little Pigs. While it is tailored for two- and three-year-olds, this collection will entertain everyone with its dynamic storytelling and vivid illustrations.
**It will be automatically added to your order when it is shipped from the warehouse. It will not appear in your basket when you check out.

I always love a good deal, particularly when it comes to books. Happy Reading!

Wednesdays with WeaverMom

Congrats Marsha at Our Homeschool and Other Such Happenings! You won the drawing for the beautiful jewelry from BeadAttitude, so send us an email with your address and we'll send that to you. A sincere thanks to all of you that entered. I really enjoyed reading all of your romance stories.

(You really should check out the beautiful post Marsha wrote about everyday romance. )

How do you get ready for Christmas? Do you do anything special to keep the focus on the birth of Jesus?

Christmas - already!! But Halloween isn't even here yet. And... hel-LO!... Let's don't overlook Thanksgiving.

I agree 110%, but I also know that every year about December 20th, I'm wishing that I had been organized enough to not have to go to the mall. So many people, the kids are exhausted, no parking spots. Oh. my.

This is my year to not go crazy in December. Come on, do it with me.

I have used the ideas from this website for a couple of years and I really like it. (My goal this year is to actually DO it on the timetable she suggests!) I can't say it any better - great tips, realistic, review your values so you have YOUR desired Christmas - it's wonderful. Organized Christmas, here we come. She has notebook pages already made out for you - all you have to do is print them out and fill them in. The planning is designed to be done by December 1 so you have the whole month to party and enjoy - so it starts this week!

I think being organized and reducing the stress helps me keep Jesus at the center. If I'm not worried about presents, Christmas cards, and shipping then I can take the time to read the Christmas story to the kids, and be available to serve others during the hectic season.

Here are some more links I love:
Teaching Moms Advent Calendar - She hasn't updated for 2007, but 2006 is still there. It has devotional ideas, movies, crafts, books and more suggestions for every day. Not everything is Christian perspective, but much of it is. It is an amazing, albeit slightly overwhelming at times, resource.

I love the idea of a Jesse Tree - it has ornaments representing different people and stories in the bible that point to Jesus. This site has ideas on how to make your own, and patterns for each of the ornaments suggested.

You'll have to scroll down toward the bottom, but Danielle's Place has an Advent Countdown with a little trinket and a devotion for each day in December. We need something super simple this year, so I'm planning to combine this with a variation of this idea from Family Fun. (psst.. Michael's has little stockings for 69 cents each.)

And, lastly, here is an Advent Coloring Book that I think is wonderful to keep little hands busy during Christmas Eve services.

Share, share - how do you make Christmas special at your house?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Book Review - The Jesus Storybook Bible

The Jesus Storybook Bible is a children's bible that we bought a few months ago based on a few recommendations. We have read it straight through twice now and love it! Not only did I love it, but my daughters did as well.

The book declares on the cover that, "every story whispers his (Jesus') name" and as you read through the stories, He is continually revealed.

One of my favorite lines in the opening story is, "But the Bible isn't mainly about you and what you should be doing. It's about God and what he has done." I have to tell you have it has taken me 30 years to finally understand this more deeply. I am so happy to have a bible that is already filling my children with this knowledge.

The focus of this story bible is that the Bible, while compromised of many smaller stories, is really telling ONE Big Story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them.

Every single story in this book is concluded with a connection to God's ultimate plan to save His people...

Isaac carries wood up a hill with Abraham to prepare a sacrifice for God. Isaac is put on the wood until God provides a ram. Years later, another Son will climb a hill with wood on his back. He would trust His Father too and would not run away.

David defeats Goliath to save God's people. Years later God will send another hero (Jesus) to save them.

Daniel obeys God regardless of the cost. God will send another Hero who will do whatever God commands, even it if means he would die.

This bible provides the "big picture" of God's plan while relating the smaller stories of individuals and families in the bible. Our family has loved it and I wanted to share it with you.

(We previously read, "The Big Picture Storybook Bible," and loved it! The Jesus Storybook Bible has the same focus on God's plan, but includes many of the smaller stories that The Big Picture Storybook Bible left out, such as Jonah.)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Last chance reminder - Jewelry Contest!

Last chance to win this beautiful necklace set! Contest ends on Tuesday, Oct 23rd at 5:00pm Eastern time.

You could be wearing this lovely, handmade jewelry set from Bead-Attitudes!!!

Go here to enter.

Recipe Roundup: Five Ingredients Or Less

Recipe Roundup @ Multi-Tasking MomsWhen I know I'll be in a rush to get to a night-time meeting, I turn to recipes that call for only five ingredients or less. The following is actually one that is based on a recipe I found long ago in a magazine ad. I no longer have that recipe, but it was so easy I have it memorized.

Beef w/Bell Peppers
1 lb. beef, cut thinly for stir-fry
2 jars of bottled beef gravy (I use Heinz)
1-2 cloves garlic
1 med.-sized bell pepper, cut in strips

1) Brown the meat in a large non-stick skillet, and then the garlic.

2) Add the beef gravy. I actually use 1 1/2 jars of gravy. You can use more, or less, depending on how much gravy you like.

3) Add the bell peppers. Simmer until peppers are crisp-tender. Serve over rice.

To see the finished product, as well as other recipes, visit Just Mom Cooking.

Now it's your turn to share a recipe that requires only five ingredients or less. Use Mr. Linky below to link to your blog, and then leave a comment. If you don't have a blog, simply share your recipe in the comment box. Come back next week when our theme will be Chicken Dishes.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

String of Pearls

There was a young girl who had very little and yet she was happy.

One day her father came home with a string of pearls and gave them to her. The girl was SO happy and she wore the pearls proudly and took such good care of them.

A few days later her father came home late at night and asked his daughter where her pearls were. "In my box Father." He told her to go and get the pearls, so the girl obeyed.

When she came back, her father told her to throw the pearls in the fire. Without asking "why" she once again obeyed him.

Then he put his hand in his pocket and pulled out another set of pearls. "I'm now giving you the REAL String of Pearls!"

Can we give up our fake string of pearls (earthly possessions) to our Heavenly Father as willingly as the little girl did so that we may receive our REAL String of Pearls (Heaven)?

And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. ~Matthew 18:3

And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. ~Matthew 19:24

Friday, October 19, 2007

Go Figure: The Holiday Trap

It's that time of year again! The crunchy leaves, the pumpkins, the cool air. The anticipation of the holiday season is building...and my tastebuds are already anticipating all that awaits them. Let's just say that what I'm really excited about is the crunchy caramel corn, the pumpkin pie, and the Cool Whip!

Well, if your family and friends are anything like mine, there will be a plethora of fattening, thigh-growing, belly-bulging foods, and oh-so-delicious foods at every home I enter...including my own. I especially love to cook and bake during the holidays, and most delectable holiday dishes aren't of the lowfat variety. So, how can one enjoy all of these wonderful things, and still maintain some semblance of a waistline? For me, I cut out the extras and adjust the portions.

I want to enjoy the holiday foods that I have grown up loving, and that still bring such joy to my tastebuds! I have found that I can eat a little of just about everything and maintain my figure. What I can't do is eat a lot of everything...everyday...all day....especially during the holidays when food is often readily available for much of the day!

Here are a few popular holiday foods that are typically loaded with fat and calories. I've found that I can enjoy them, virtually guilt free, if I make minor changes to the portions and skip the extras!

Mashed Potatoes: The hill vs. the mountain! Instead of creating a mountain with a ginormous gravy filled crater, think about making a small hill and just drizzle it with gravy. You'll still enjoy the taste and flavor, but not the fat and calories.

Pumpkin Pie: Would a Thanksgiving table be complete without one? Try a small sliver and skip the whipped cream.

Stuffing: Did you know that there are approximately 358 calories and 18 grams of fat in one cup of stuffing? Stuffing...what an appropriate name! Think about how much you want, and take half of that. The bowl will still be there if you want more...but chances are, you won't!

Egg Nog: I'll be honest, I don't like it, but I think I'm in the minority. It is loaded with sugar, fat, and calories, but I've seen the faces of those enjoying it. So, when indulging in this special treat, think shot glass, not Big Gulp!

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte: It would greatly pain me to have to give up my beloved Starbucks, but fortunately, I don't have to. A grande Pumpkin Spice Latte is 380 calories and 13 grams of fat. Ouch! Order a tall instead of a grande, substitute fat-free milk and skip the whipped cream and your drink is now 200 calories and 0 grams of fat. Yes, Z.E.R.O. grams of fat!

Let's be honest, most of us are going to indulge in our favorite, fatty, calorie-laden foods this holiday season. So, attack them with a plan that allows you to really enjoy them and not "wear" the results! For me, skipping the extras and taking smaller portions has been the key.

If you want to share any tips you have on how you avoid "The Holiday Trap", please do so in the comments section. We'd love to hear from you!

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Tricks of the trade when Daddy's away.

Business trip for Dad = full week for Mom. Not only because Dad is gone, but because I fill our schedule with more activities than normal too. On a normal day, when Dad is home, my kids begin asking 'When is Daddy coming home?' from about 4 pm on. So when Dad is out of town, I must keep them SOO busy that I do NOT hear 'When's Daddy coming home Mom?'

We have a few regular commitments during the week but I always eliminate the nap and add another activity for each day, when Dad's away. My hubby left on Sunday, so I did try to make Sunday a little more fun than usual, and I think I went a bit too far with my plans and locked us out of the house. That was a GREAT adventure! :) On Monday, we added a lunch date with friends that led to a play date at the park. Double fun! The rest of the week was more of the same. 'No, you do not need a nap today because.... we. are. going. to. the. park.' I am the hero for the week and the kids literally melt into bed. Talk about a win win!

Another thing I do when Daddy is away is make sure we have cooked our meals in bulk the weeks prior to his trip. That leaves me with only re-heating meals. Such a life saver!!! We've had leftover Roast, Chili, Vegetable Beef Soup, Chicken/Sausage Jambalaya, Sloppy Joe's, Chicken 'n Dumplins y'all, and Spaghetti. Not an exciting variety, but I didn't have to cook. :)

The kids love to make a special craft or color page for Dad (often they make him several). We work on their creation and put it on Daddy's desk so he can find it upon walking in the door. Unless it is super late, I let the kids stay up late to wait for Dad and we have an ice cream party or popcorn. Something special. My kids LOVE to hide from Daddy and let him seek them, so they get the thrill of him walking in the door.

This last time HC has known the day Daddy is coming home. So we have used our school calendar to remind her how far/near his return is. We put a special sticker on the date and she can see if we are closer to his arrival. The hardest part for me is getting good rest. I find it hard to fall asleep when hubby is away. By mid-week I am worn out (my kids are EARLY risers). But since I have prepared ahead of time, my week isn't nearly as tiring as it could have been.
What tricks work for you?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A willing heart = A changed heart.

I am a hoarder, a saver, a collector, a stasher, a poker, a stuffer, a pig.

Not in every area of my life. Not even in most areas of my life. But in those few dark closets, those few hidden shelves, those few forgotten about hide-aways...I tend to let the 'crap', for lack of a better word, pile up.

My bedroom seems to be the main focus of this disorder. It quickly becomes the catch all for empty shopping bags that I leave the receipt of my purchases in just in case I have a change of heart, the one missing sock that I am hopeful will turn up...and more than likely it's mate has already been thrown, the pants that need a button sown on or need ironing but HA! we all know that will never happen. And so the piles build.

They build and build and for so long I do not even notice. I come into my room at the end of the day, flop myself down onto the bed in utter exhaustion and I don't even SEE the chaos around me. Or maybe, I do not want to see it. Maybe if all other corners of the house appear organized than this one 'little' indulgence will not be so bad. Maybe if I contain the clutter, excess, GARBAGE to one room...my room, no one will know that this part of me exists.

But I know. And it bothers me. And He knows. And it bothers Him. He knows that my spiritual closets are full of junk as well. And even though I can go on for days, weeks, and sometimes months over-looking it and ignoring it, one day He opens my eyes.

It happens this way every time. In one moment I am content to poke around the bottom of my closet for a missing shoe...pushing aside shopping bags, fallen sweaters, and discarded pants, and in the next moment I am not. I drag on daily with a tank that is full of worldly garbage...and spiritually on empty.

I am horrified at what lies before me, within me. The dust collected on my reading lamp. The three weeks worth of newspapers under my nightstand, the cut off tags from clothing strewn across my dresser, the pairs of shoes haphazardly flung around the room, the glasses of half-full water lining the window sill, the pants that were tried on and dropped where I stood... on and on my eyes are opened to the pig-sty both around me and within me. And I feel the shame of what I am seeing and of what it implies about the resident of this room.

But like always, God restores what is damaged. He mends what is broken. And He loves despite it all. As I pick up the pieces again and again, I am reminded that I am a work in progress. And even if the rest of the world does not see my brokenness, He does. And He cares. And He heals. But only when I am ready and when my hands are active in the process as well. He longs to take out the garbage, if I will just hand it over. A willing heart...a changed heart.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Bronze Bow book review

I started reading The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare to my daughters, ages 7 and 10, a few weeks ago. We have been intrigued by the life of Jews during the time Jesus was on earth. The book has sparked many discussions about God's word and our faith. I highly recommend that you read this book with your family.

In Jerusalem, in the time when Christ began his ministry on earth, a boy named Daniel is trying to find his own way in the world. Have you ever wondered if you had been a Jew at the time when Jesus was teaching would you have listened? Would you have believed? I think about that often, especially when I struggle with doubts. When I question God.

Daniel has joined a renegade group who want to rise up against the Romans. He carries memories of the damage the Romans did to his family and to his sister, who cannot leave her house. The terror that entered their lives when they were young, has left his sister tormented by demons and turned Daniel’s fear into anger.

When he hears of a man named Jesus and the things he talks about, the coming Kingdom, Daniel wonders if Jesus is like him. Could Jesus be the savior that could free them from the Roman rule?

But the more Daniel hears Jesus speak and as he witnesses Jesus’s healing power, he can’t help but turn these strange things over in his mind. Jesus teaches they should love their enemies, but surely he doesn’t mean they should love the Romans? Jesus teaches the story of the good Samaritan and Daniel scoffs, “If Jesus means that the Jews and Samaritans should treat each other like neighbors, that is foolish. It could never happen.”

Daniel and his friends make a pact to stand together for God’s victory. They linger over the words of David, “He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.” And they hope for freedom. Will it come as they expect it?

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to live at the time of Jesus, this book will take you there. On the streets of Capernaum and Galilee you will find out what it was like to live in this tumultuous time. And you will see Jesus through the eyes of a Jewish boy.

If you would like to win a copy of this book, leave a comment on this post. I will draw a winner one week from today.

Update: Congratulations to AshleyR! Your copy of The Bronze Bow is on its way!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Recipe Roundup: Make-Ahead Meals

Recipe Roundup @ Multi-Tasking MomsYou've read about how much of a time-saver make-ahead meals are. Now it's time to swap recipes.

The one below is a recipe I found in Tase of Home's October 2007 issue of "Simple & Delicious" magazine. It makes enough for two 8x8-inch pans of spaghetti casserole: one to eat now, and the other to freeze and eat later. Enjoy.

Spaghetti Casserole
1 pkg. (16 oz.) angel hair pasta
1-1/2 lbs. ground beef (I used extra lean)
1 jar (26 oz.) spaghetti sauce
2 cans (8 oz. each) tomato sauce
1 can (10-3/4 oz.) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 C. (8 oz.) sour cream (I used fat free)
2 C. (8 oz.) shredded Colby-Monterey Jack Cheese

1) Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in spaghetti sauce and tomato sauce. Remove from heat.

2) Drain pasta. Combine soup and sour cream. In two 8-in.-square baking dishes, layer half of the meat sauce, pasta, soup mixture and cheese. Repeat layers.

3) Cover and freeze one casserole for up to 3 months. Cover and bake the remaining casserole at 350-degrees for 55-65 minutes, or until the cheese is melted (it won't take long if you're eating it right away).

4) To reheat frozen casserole: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake as directed in step 3).

Each casserole makes about 6 servings.

To see a photo of the finished product, visit Just Mom Cooking.

Now it's your turn to share a favorite make-ahead recipe. Use the Mr. Linky below to link to your recipe, and leave a comment. If you don't have a blog, simply include your recipe in your comment. Don't don't forget to join us next week when the theme will be: Recipes Using Five Ingredients or Less.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


I was told that when bank tellers are trained to recognize conterfeit money, they aren't shown examples of counterfeit as much as they are taught the details of genuine money. The theory is that if they are so familiar with the genuine bills, then the counterfeit bills won't fool them.

We live in a world in which we are surrounded by conterfeit beliefs. In the day and age of tolerance and moral relativism, there are times we can find ourselves confused.

How do we protect ourselves and our families from deception?

I think we need to learn a little from the bank tellers. If we focus our attention on learning what is genuine, then we won't be fooled by conterfeit statements. The only way to acheive this is to keep ourselves in the truth, the truth of His Word.

The more we study the truth of the Bible, the less likely our hearts will be swayed by falsehood. I am being convicted more and more of my need to be in His Word daily. Not only to read it, but to meditate on it and memorize it. This is the knowledge and wisdom that will protect myself and my family from lies.

"Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble." Psalm 119:165

Knowing God's word and His laws will keep us from stumbling! I am reminded that when Jesus was tempted by Satan, He countered each of Satan's lies with the truth of God's word.

In Matthew 4:3-11 -

The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread." Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’

Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:“ ‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’ Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’

Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

Jesus only used the truth of God's word to defend himself.

How are you equipping your family with the truth of His Word?


Friday, October 12, 2007

Go Figure: Motivation

GooooooooOOOOOOOO Figure! Sometimes I want to say that like a cheerleader...

Go Figure! Sometimes I want to say it sarcastically as I talk about my weight...

GO FIGURE! Today, I want to say it as motivation for us to GET UP & GET MOVING!

Here's what is motivating me to exercise.

For about 5 or 6 weeks now, I've been setting my alarm for 5:30am (and actually getting up) and walking. Just this week, I've noticed several pounds have slipped away. Before I get too excited, because I think they are just hiding behind the closet door in the bathroom, this does motivate me to keep moving. Even though 5:30 is reeeeeaaaaaaly early (and I'm not a morning person) it has been a great start to my day.

While the lost 'baggage' is a wonderful outcome, I've found a hidden blessing in all this. And I believe this is the biggest blessing God's been wanting to give to me. I've been trying to have my devotions before walking - and I've found this allows me to spend time thinking over what I just read. That time of Bible reading and study is followed with a nice long talk with God. Just me and Him - and the hum of the treadmill.

I have uninterrupted time to focus on what I just read. With the craziness that begins when everyone gets out of bed, this made a huge difference in our days. I feel more prepared to start the day!

Psalms 118:24 kjv says, "This is the day which the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it."

I'm rejoicing and glad that I've been able to start my day in the Word and on my feet!

So, today, I want to ask: Do you have something that motivates you to exercise?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Controlling the Chaos

Make Ahead Meals
One way to control the chaos around our home is to prepare meals ahead.
When I am going to brown hamburger instead of just browning one skillet worth
I brown 2 or 3 or 4 skillets of burger.
My thought is why mess the oven up twice
Or why have a big pile of dishes 2 or 3 extra times.
Plus I am already standing there spending my time browning up one skillet
why not brown up more and then have more meals prepared ahead.
Meals that I make with my browned hamburger are :
BBQ's, tacos, spaghetti meat, chili, meat for pizza, and hot dishes.
If it isn't something that we are going to eat right away that week I just freeze it.

I sure do have a mess in the kitchen but it is so worth it.
It saves me lots of time later.
On busy days all I have to do is pull out my frozen BBQ meat
and then add a veggie to it and make some french fries.
Pull out my spaghetti meat and then all that I have to do
is boil up some noodles and add a veggie.
Grab chili out of the freezer and add a few extras to the meal.
the frozen hamburger can also be used for lazagna or hotdishes.

This is one of the ways that I control the chaos around our home.
This works for me.
Now I don't do this all the time...maybe once a month or so.
It sure helps when you in a pinch.

What type of meals do you make when you are busy and on the go?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Getting Things Done

I have a book recommendation for you this week!

This is one of my favorite books, and it has been invaluable in teaching me the fine art of multi-tasking.

A friend recommended this book to me, and, boy, was she right! It has been life-changing for me. It's called Getting Things Done and it is written by David Allen. Mr. Allen is a coach and management consultant for CEO types who are trying to juggle multiple priorities and who need a way to stay on top of all of those priorities simultaneously.

Now, seriously, ladies - who does that sound like? Can you relate to juggling multiple priorities?

I read this book and started following his "system" at the beginning of May. And I am now beginning to see the true results of it. My stress has been reduced since Week 1, (I'm not kidding!) but now that my to-do list is getting shorter because THINGS ARE ACTUALLY GETTING DONE -- I have to tell you about it.

You really have to read the entire book, but let me share with you the main things that have made such a difference to me.

1. I have a place to put things. He suggests getting a file cabinet and making files for all those things that you need to keep but have no idea what to do with. I have folders for notes from school, letters from my Grandma, bible study schedules, inspirational articles from magazines that I want to remember, etc... They now have a place! And I know where to find them!

2. If it takes less than 2 minutes - do it now. As a natural procrastinator, this simple little "rule" has helped me so much.

3. Limit your "to-do" list to actionable items. If you can't decide about something, then think about what you need to know or who you need to ask in order to decide. For example, I think we might need to have our house painted this year. I don't add "Decide about house painting" - that is not really an "action" item. Action items might be: Ask my husband about it. Ask my husband if we can afford it. Ask my friend for a recommendation for a painter. Find out what my home owner's association approval process is. Those are "action" items.

There is SO much more. It's worth the time to read and see if you think it will work for you.

I'm off to relax now - I finished my list for today. Did you read that?? - I FINISHED my list! Ah, the giddiness. *wink*

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

...all their toys are educational...all their snacks are multi-grain

A few weeks ago, I posted on my blog about competitions between moms:

"I have been more aware lately that there are lots of moms who feel like they have to keep a perfect house and their kids have to have perfect outfits, and they have to participate in an organized activity every day, etc. It seems like a competition, and I don't really understand how it got started.

"Stone Soup" got me thinking about this topic. Joan is lamenting about a fellow mom and says, "How do other women do it so effortlessly?" and "Her kids are totally Baby Einstein...all their toys are educational...all their snacks are multi-grain..."Does everyone's house stay immaculate all the time? Do we all cook healthy, organic homemade meals every night of the year?

Our house is not always clean, crumbs fall on the floor, laundry piles up. Sometimes I don't comb my son's hair. My kids do own cute outfits, but most of the time they dress themselves. Sometimes I wish I would be more assertive, like when my youngest son wears his orange t-shirt with the brown monkey on it which is WAY too small for the 1,000th time, but then again, who really cares? It's just a shirt. Isn't it?

The thing is, if anyone seems like they've got it all together and they never struggle, then they're just better at hiding it than most of us are."

I'm revisiting this topic today and wondering how many of us have put on the performance of being a perfect mom. Is it easier to join the competition than to step back from it? Do we have to compare ourselves to others or compare our kids to other kids?

I struggle with two things in particular (I had to narrow it down for this post- none of you would want to read my extensive list):

1. My house. I like to live in a clean house, particularly one with a clean floor. I admit that I spend too much time cleaning, and I clean extra before we have guests. I admit to the cleaning (I don't pretend it's always that clean, no one would believe me) but why do I do it? Just for appearances?

2. My temper. I would like others to think I never lose it. I would love to never get angry. Think how easy parenting would be if we never, ever became frustrated or irritated! That is my fantasy!! The fact is, my friends and family know I have a short fuse. They know I work hard at it, but I fail.

We all have unique gifts. We're all multi-tasking moms (not supermoms). We all love our kids! Why do moms compare/compete? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Recipe Roundup: What's For Breakfast?

Recipe Roundup @ Multi-Tasking Moms I admit it. During the past week my family has been having nothing but cereal, quick-cook oatmeal or granola bars for breakfast. By the time the weekend rolled around, I was ready for something a little more filling -- and homemade. Enter one of my favorite cookbooks, "What's For Breakfast," by Donna S. Roy and Kathleen Flores.

I bought this cookbook after spotting a recipe for a low-fat version of "Dutch Baby" pancakes. I'm a big fan of the original, fat-is-no-object, version offered at many pancake houses. This low-cal version just makes for good, guilt-free eating. Enjoy.

Oven Puffed Pancake With Apple Filling
1/4 C. egg substitute, thawed
1 whole egg, beaten
1/3 C. skim milk
1/4 tsp. real vanilla extract
1/3 C. flour
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. light stick margarine
1 tsp. powdered sugar
1/2 C. unsweetened applesauce

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Mix first 7 ingredients together with wire whisk until smooth. Let stand for five minutes. Place margarine in 8-inch cast iron skillet and melt in oven until bubbly. Pour pancake batter into skillet. Place back in oven and bake 15-20 minutes until pancake is puffy and golden brown. Remove from oven and top with powdered sugar and applesauce.


For a photo of the pancake, and to see a recipe for Banana Crumb Muffins, visit Just Mom Cooking.

Now it's your turn to share one of your favorite breakfast recipes. Use the Mr. Linky below to add your recipe(s). If you don't have a blog, please leave your recipe in the comments section. Come back next week when the Recipe Roundup theme will be: Favorite Make-Ahead Meals.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Jewelry & Romance Contest Reminder


Don't forget about WeaverMom's contest. You could be wearing this lovely, handmade jewelry set from Bead-Attitudes!!!

All you have to do is:

1. Post about your most romantic time with your husband since your kids came into your life. Please mention that you would like to win the necklace from Bead-attitude with a link to her site, and include a link back to WeaverMom's post which can be found HERE so others can find more romantic moments.

2. Come back and add your link to your "romantic" post to Mr. Linky.

3. Leave a comment with a question for "Wednesdays with WeaverMom"

HURRY! Contest ends soon!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

You are what you think you are

The story is told of a man who found an eagle's egg and put it into the nest of a barnyard chicken. The eaglet hatched with the brood of chicks and grew up with them. All his life, the eagle did what the chickens did. It scratched the dirt for seeds and insects to eat. It clucked and cackled. And it flew no more than a few feet off the ground, in a chicken-like thrashing of wings and flurry of feathers.

One day the eagle saw a magnificent bird far above him in the cloudless sky. He watched as the bird soared gracefully on the wind, gliding through the air with scarcely a beat of its powerful wings.

"What a beautiful bird," the young eagle said. "What is it called?"

The chicken next to him said, "Why, that's an eagle - the king of all birds. But don't give him any mind. You could never be like him."

So the young eagle returned to pecking the dirt for seeds, and it died thinking it was a chicken.

What you think of your own potential not only defines who you are today, but what you will be tomorrow. Find your confidence and strength in God and soar like the eagle!

God's Little Lessons for Mothers

Friday, October 5, 2007

I Challenge You...Go Figure

Go Figure @ Multi-Tasking Moms

Three weeks ago I blogged about my apple cider concoction, I started taking it the following Thursday (I had to order it online.) I've been taking it 1-3 times a day, almost everyday since it arrived. Plus, I'm walking 15-20 minutes three times a week. I haven't been eating as healthy as I'd like to, but I have been downsizing and trying to avoid the BAD fat.

After my semi-healthier life I decided to see how fit...or unfit I really was. I have to admit I was a little over confident in myself, so I challenged my children and nephews (ages 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 4, 4) to a race. My goal wasn't to win the race, it was to see if I could keep up with the youngsters. WHAT was I THINKING??? I ate their DUST! They whooped me....Go Figure;)

So, now I'm challenging YOU! I would like you to challenge your child/children to a race...not to win, but to:

A) Have FUN with your child/children and B) See if you can honestly keep up, and that includes all you mommies with 1 and 2 year olds. I didn't race my 2yo, but he's hard to keep up with.


I believe from this challenge you will benefit from 2 things, a little exercise and most importantly, time with your child/children! The memories will last a LIFETIME :)