Friday, June 28, 2013

The Greatest Show on Earth

When you become a parent you are given the most prized tickets…tickets to truly the greatest show on Earth. A chance to sit in the front row and watch your child’s life play out scene by scene, clip by clip, moment by precious moment. You’ll find yourself experiencing more emotions than you ever knew were possible…joy, elation, heartache, pain that you can’t take away, success, achievement, frustration, pride, and contentment just to name a few. I feel so very blessed and honored to not only get to watch one show but three. I’m sitting right there as these little lives unfold and I’m so amazed and excited. Let me share with you my favorite clips from what I’ve been privileged to see this week.

Zimm…what a dramatic story with so many highs and lows but always so much heart and love.

A stubborn little boys runs through the yard watching his brothers. He’s determined but a little anxious. Then it happens, he reaches out and faces a fear…he cups his hands and success! His first lighting bug! Now, to many this may seem like no big deal but to him this is a victory! He has a fear of creepy crawlies that usually deters him from such activities. You can see the joy and pride in his face as he proclaims, “I did it! I caught a lighting bug!”

Monkey…a short story so far but full of boundless energy and smiles.

The skies were turning grey and it was clear a storm was rolling in. Monkey and his brothers rushed out of the pool and hurried inside. As they were drying off and getting changed thunder broke the silence. Monkey, who normally is terrified of storms, started to shudder then stopped. He looked with a smile at his momma and said, “Oh yeah, I not scared. I brave!” Not only was he also conquering a fear but he was so proud of himself for knowing that he could be brave through the storm!

Bubba…a glorious story of bright and beautiful things.

It was finally here…what Bubba had been working for all Spring…the first All Star Tournament. He had been diligently working and practicing his skills hoping to show his coaches that not only did he belong on the team but that he was trustworthy in pressure positions. He had high hopes of playing in the infield but knew that he would most likely play outfield. Then it happened….it was the fifth inning and his coach placed him at first! His parents watched full of excitement and nerves…he was really playing first! Then the true test came…a ball hit mid in-field that was thrown what seemed like just short of his reach. But, his perfect practice paid off…he stretched as far as he could and trusted in his skills and made the catch getting the runner out! The crowd erupted in cheers and his parents beamed with pride! What a moment…what a memory!

Every day there are so many moments like these. Some may not seem so big but when you lay in bed at night and replay them in your head you realize how huge they really are. I thank God that He has blessed me with these amazing seats to three unforgettable shows and I am beyond excited to continue watching them unfold from the best seat in the house!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Meal Planning…It’s not for sissies!

I’ve done some meal planning in my few years as a SAHM. I even tried to do it while I was working. What I learned was this: 1) Meal planning definitely saves money on grocery bills! 2) While the benefits are great, menu planning is not for sissies!

Now, you’re probably wondering why I say that. Sure it SOUNDS easy but let me tell you, it’s not quite as easy as it seems. Sitting down and writing out meals that not only are cost effective but that you also know your entire family will eat takes time. Then you take that list and make another list of all the ingredients you need for said meals. Then you have to check local supermarket adds for deals and shop for said ingredients. Then you have to stick to said menu! After trying multiple times and getting lazy about it I decided to go a different route. Why not use the resources out there and let someone else help me with my meal planning?! That’s when I found The Dinner Daily!


I mean, look at their logo…it says it right there…meal planning SIMPLIFIED! I knew this was an awesome place to start! Not only that but I am teaming up with The Dinner Daily to bring you recipes and meal planning tips! How cool is that?!

I’m going to work toward menu planning posts to go live on Mondays. That way you have the week to make your lists and get your items together for the rest of the week. This week, however, The Dinner Daily has sent over not just a recipe but a great summer cookout meal plan just in time for Father’s Day! Check it out!

Summer Cookout plan

Summer Cookout SL June 2013

The Dinner Daily is the easy to use and budget friendly dinner planning service designed by moms for moms!  Each week, subscribers are provided an easy to use one page menu chart, an organized shopping list, and links to on line coupons for items on the shopping list. Meals are kid friendly, kid tested and reviewed by a Registered Dietitian.  Subscribers can choose a menu plan based on store specials are select grocery stores or choose the Any Store option which works anywhere in the country! The Dinner Daily
is your answer to the "What's for Dinner?" Dilemma!"

Monday, June 10, 2013

Toxic Thoughts

This week at church Pastor Tom shared a message that once again spoke very directly to my heart. I’ve gotten such a sense that God is working on things in me and He keeps reminding me in various ways. This week’s message was titled “Toxic Thoughts”. I want to share my notes with you…not only so that they might speak to your heart as well but also so I reinforce the words to my own heart and mind.

Toxic: Anything containing poisonous material that is capable of causing sickness or death.

~We must identify and reject toxic thoughts! Thoughts that are inconsistent with God’s truth. Thoughts like: “I’m not good enough.” “I’ll never accomplish my goals.” “They will never like me.” “I hate how I look.” “I will never succeed.” They are all lies!

~ Proverbs 4:23 (NLT) “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” If we think we can’t, we won’t. If we think we can, we will.

~2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (NIV) “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

~When we are young we are full of hope and endless optimism. As we grow people begin to introduce toxic thoughts to our mind and make us feel like we aren’t good enough. Situations or bad relationships leave us scarred and hurting. Soon we are carrying so much baggage that we struggle to just stand let alone move. This is when we need to give it all to God. Freedom comes when we drop the baggage, leave it with Christ and let it go!

~I have the power of Christ living in me! The power that raised Him from the dead!

~Guarding our thoughts is a choice we have to make. Yes, we make bad decisions and sometimes we live for years with the consequences of those bad decisions. That doesn’t mean that we aren’t forgiven for those things. We cannot let ourselves get defeated!

~Are you a hummingbird who seeks out sweet things or a vulture who seeks out death and decay? If we continue to dwell on things that bring us down we will always be lead to depressions, death, decay. We must seek out sweet things! When you are wounded in spirit, worship! Surround your body and mind in the sweet spirit of God!

~Philippians 4:7-9 (NLT) 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

~Reject the negative thoughts…they are lies!

~You have EVERYTHING you need to do EVERYTHING that God has designed you to do! (I love this and I want to remind myself of this daily. I in myself cannot accomplish what He has for me but through Him I can!)

~Believe it….BE it!

~I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me!

So, if you feel the negative, toxic thoughts creeping into your mind remember that YOU have the power over them. You can guard your mind and your thoughts and get rid of the ‘stinking thinking’!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

7 Days *GASP*

I’ve been so busy and mentally distracted by other things I soooorta didn’t realize how close the Foam 5K was. Well, guess what…it’s SEVEN days away….7!!!!!  Excuse my while I pick myself up off the floor.
I had such grand intentions of being disciplined and training myself properly for this event. Unfortunately that didn’t happen. So, here I am, seven days before the event wondering how on earth do I crunch train for a 5K obstacle run full of foam and mud pits?
Here are my thoughts…
Think of this giant, 40 foot inflatable slide they so sweetly call the death drop….
As just another day at the park with the boys going down the giant slide at Mammoth Park.
Think of these 5 & 8 foot walls….
As the baby gates that used to haunt the doorways of my home. Surely after years of skillfully passing over them rarely ever stubbing my toe (yeah right!) I can handle the slightly larger versions. Right? Right?!
Think of mud pits and spider crawls…
As just another day at the creek with the boys.
Then of course all the foam…well, after all that’s just a wonderful way to wash off all the dirt and grime right? Bonus…most of the foam is contained in awesome inflatable bounce house type things we all used to love as kids! Who wouldn’t want to play in a foam filled moonwalk or slide down a 50 foot foam filled slip n slide?!

I guess when I think about it that way I’m not quite so scared. Yes, I may be sore after the run but I know that I will have such a blast and make some great memories!
If this looks fun to you then you definitely want to check and see if the 5K Foam Fest is coming to a town near you! There are even still spots available for the Pittsburgh event next weekend! You can register now by clicking here! Who knows, maybe I’ll see you there! Although I suppose we all may not be very recognizable covered in mud with foam beards!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

2013 Spring Arthritis Walk…sneak peak!

I plan on blogging about our day but for now here are a few pics! Don’t worry…I’ll photo bomb again later this week!










(These photos are courtesy of my sis-in-law, Mary, and my friend, Bex! Thanks for capturing memories for us!)