Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
I had to share with you a precious moment I had this weekend with Jack. I think the secret is out.....I think he knows that I absolutely adore him and he has me wrapped around his little finger! We were standing singing the invitation song in worship Sunday morning and Jack wrapped his precious arms around me, gave me a bear hug, and rubbed my face while whispering, " I love you the most Mommy!" Wow! Want to talk about heart melting....mine did! We have always had this saying "I love you the most"....it is reserved for Jack, Mommy, and Daddy. However, I had no idea how good it would feel to actually hear him say it first. He always tell me he loves me whether it be while watching TV, checking books out at the library, or reading books together, but this one felt different. It felt as though he knew exactly what loves was and that if runs deep. I've decided there is nothing like loving your child. It is the scariest, whole hearted, joyful experience I've ever felt. A mother's love is like no other....it runs deep and at times hurts. I tell Jack everyday that I love him more than life itself and I mean that.......that's right folks....I love that precious boy and he loves me......the secret is officially out, he has me hooked!!!
Thank you God for giving me the blessing of a mother's love!
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
I fixed this recipe for my bunco group the other day and they LOVED it! I would say it is best served warm! Super yummy!
1 Pillsbury Yellow Cake mix
1 can Libby's Pumpkin Pie mix (1 lb. 14 oz)
1 1/2 sticks of margarine ( I use butter occasionally and it is awesome)
2/3 cup milk
cinnamon and nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
- Put cake mix in a bowl. Reserve 1 cup for topping. Mix cake mix with 1 egg and 1 stick of margarine (melted). Pat into bottom of buttered cake pan. It will have the consistency of a cookie dough.
- In a bowl, mix pumpkin pie mix with 2 eggs and 2/3 cup of milk. Add a little cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour on top of bottom layer.
- Mix 1 cup cake mix with 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon. Cut in 1/2 stick of margarine until crumbly.
- Sprinkle on top of cake. Bake @ 350 degrees for 45-50 min. To serve top with cool whip. I usually keep the leftovers in the fridge and just heat it up in the microwave.
Friday, December 11, 2009
I used green food coloring to tint the white icing. To make the track I placed two small bowls in the center of each circle. Crushed Oreos and added them around the bowls. Topped it off with some new match box cars. Jack LOVED it and I felt like I had done something really special for him. Plus, it was CHEAP!!
Thursday, December 10, 2009
There are several things that I'd like to do differently .... I think sometimes I bring a lot of grief upon myself with things that could actually be fixed if I just made a few changes. As I began to share this idea with a good friend she told me I had to mention a Seinfeld episode where George decides to do everything the opposite way that he usually does them. With that change all the things he had always wanted to happen started happening...Of course it ends in a funny way... with all the changes George made, Jerry starts having terrible luck...and so goes a Seinfeld episode!
I thought the idea worked here though. I think a lot of things in life could be changed if we just "Chose something Different." What if we took those negative habits and began doing what we've never done....can you imagine the changes that could take place!
Why is it so hard to "choose" something different. We often use the word habit in reference to a behavior that we repeat over and over. However, habit is almost a word that makes me think that somewhere along the way we began this "new" behavior and it became the habit, but as I think about some of my own behaviors I don't think of them as habits....I think of them as who I am. Changing your habits will change your behavior...but I'm thinking about something deeper than that. I'm talking about actually changing who you are and where you are headed. It is through changing the inside that those outward habits begin to change.
Being something different than what we've always been is scary....It is new, unfamiliar and at times uncomfortable. I think fear can keep us from changing...."What if" thinking takes control and we can't stand the thought of not knowing what change will be like even though we know we want to be something different. I think in some cases we are scared that change will make those around us uncomfortable. That by making changes in ourselves we are leaving them behind or we are saying to them we want something different from what they are. However, I think there comes a time in our lives that we have to make decisions for ourselves and if it is a change for the better we have to do it knowing that it is necessary at times to take care of ourselves. Also, you never know who else will follow you in those positive changes.....something to think about.
Change is tiring. When we begin to change things about ourselves we can no longer go through this life on autopilot...you know what I'm talking about. Not even having to think about the things we do and the way we live. When change takes place we are all of a sudden very aware of so many things in our lives and on top of the daily stresses that can be an overwhelming experience. Mental exhaustion can be a big factor in going back to the person you were trying to change.
Change must have PURPOSE! If we do things in this life with purpose we will be setting ourselves up to succeed! That purpose in our life must be strong enough to overcome all our complaints, worries, and fears! It will be the only thing that will pull us through change..........finding our purpose it the tricky part. Many are wondering about life jumping from one thing to another searching for purpose. Our most important purpose in this life needs to be living as a faithful Christian! Serving our Lord and bringing others to him....that is our GREATEST purpose, but there are also things on a smaller scale that need to have a purpose behind them. Like weight loss for example....I remember Jillian on the Biggest Loser talking to the contestants about purpose. She was encouraging them to look deep within their souls for the purpose of losing weight....she said once they found it the changes would be easy!
Change sometimes is not an option. We all know the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting something different.......well, think of that on a bigger scale. Doing the same things in this life over and over will lead us where when we are 40, 50 or even 70 years old. The things we are doing now are setting us up for who we will be then. What makes us think we will be different at those ages if we aren't making changes now....very sobering to think about, but also empowering to know that we CHOOSE where we go from here. Christians must make changes constantly as we strive to be more like Christ. Without making changes in our lives from those things that are unholy we make the choice to lose our soul. Yes, I used the word choice....we make the choice of who we serve in this life... God or man!
What choices are you making........where are they leading you.......what will you change?
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
I use a 10x10 scrapbook album. I did buy some insert pages because I needed more than came in the book. I tried a photo album in the past but found it was way to easy to tear up with lots of use. I LOVE my new album! The plastic is thick and it isn't too bulky to grab and carry with me to the store!!!
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Hello, my name is Amber and I am a PERFECTIONIST! I LOVE when things are done perfectly! However, I am learning that living a perfectionistic life can be extremely tiring and challenging...
Let me list a few things that I WOULD LIKE to do perfectly:
- be a perfect Christian
- being a perfect mommy to Jack
- being a perfect wife to Chris
- being a perfect preacher's wife
- blogging....I obsess over the perfect posts
- perfect dieting
- perfect couponing
- perfect cooking
- perfect praying
- perfect friend
There are times when my perfectionism actually keeps me from doing anything at all....if I can't do it perfectly then I don't want to do it at all. This may make me appear as lazy or unproductive, but it truly is not that! It is the mental battle that takes place inside my head when a task just seems too difficult to take on knowing it will not be done exactly the way I want it in the end.
I have learned that while I expect myself to be perfect (although not possible) it actually is a trait that can burden the people around me. My perfect mentality can cause me at times to expect too much out of my soon to be 3 yr. old son or even cause undue stress to my precious husband that loves me and my son more than anything in this world. I find myself critical of others and constantly analyzing EVERYTHING! It is so tiring being a perfectionist and it makes each day of life so difficult. I don't want to be that person anymore....I want to be able to roll with the punches so to speak. I want to let go of the need to analyze every situation that comes my way! I guess what I'm asking for is BALANCE.....
If you have any idea about what I'm talking about let me ask you this....Have you ever met those people in this world that are balanced? I have....I'm so intrigued by them and the peace their life seems to bring to them. They have it all together and they live life to the fullest! I'm going to be that person someday....I think acknowledging the problem is the first step to perfectionist recovery :)
Wow after this post I'm thinking I should start a support group...anyone want to join me! :) No really, do any of you out there struggle with the same thoughts and feelings? Are any of you recovered perfectionist? I'd love to know any pointers or struggles you face as well.........
I told you to stay tuned.....more of my faults for all to see coming up in future posts :)
Sunday, November 22, 2009
This is an AWESOME deal and perfect for this time of year! Amazon is offering a FREE trial of their Amazon Prime!! That means FREE 2 day shipping for a month!
Great thing is, your card won't be charged automatically after the trial period if after you sign-up you go to your account and choose to not upgrade.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
It has been one LONG day for me. You know those days where you literally feel like a ticking time bomb ready to explode. Well, it happened...I exploded and fell apart.
Now before I tell this story I must fill you in on some background information...I have this really annoying personality trait that I like to appear as though nothing is wrong and everything is in order...in fact I hate when others become aware of my imperfections. Not sure why I'm this way but it can be at times a huge burden to carry around. Always being afraid someone will notice I'm not perfect (as if my weight doesn't indicate that already...that is a whole other blog post). I mean how ridiculous is that....NO ONE (other than Christ) is perfect! So, why am I so afraid to allow my imperfections to show? I'm not one that tries to judge others for their faults, in fact I seem to be quite the opposite. I find joy in reaching out to those that need a lift or a pick me up...so why is it so scary for me to put myself out there. I have been this way since I was a child so I know a lot of it is a personality trait, but I think it was magnified as I became a preacher's wife. I try to pretend that it isn't any different than being the wife of a man that doesn't hold the position as a preacher, but let's call a spade a spade....all eyes are on the preacher and his family! Now, you need to know that I LOVE what we do! I can't think of another "job" that brings with it as many blessings as our family gets to experience, but like all "jobs" it brings with it challenges. Living in a fish bowl isn't all it is cracked up to be...especially on days like today! So there you have it....now I can talk freely about my faults....I think the point of this background information is to ask you not to judge me, learn from me :)
Okay, back to today....so I could feel the negative thoughts creeping in from the moment I woke up to Jack in my bed around 5:00 this morning (I don't remember him even getting in my bed...scary!). I took him back to his bed and to keep from hearing the crying tucked him and myself into his toddler bed...why I didn't just stay in the big bed with him is a mystery. I tried my hardest to get myself and Jack ready in time to make the devotional at the nursing home, but after fighting with Jack that there was no reason to be afraid of going to the bathroom by his self and that he had to comb his hair before we left, I realized we weren't going to make it in time. So, we opted for lunch with Daddy.
Next comes Kindermusik at 4:30...all was well until we got to the car. Here is where the story makes a turning point. Jack without a nap is hard enough...Jack tired AND hungry is enough to make one crazy! So, since i wasn't completely unprepared for dinner we had to make a stop before heading home. I tried to concentrate on what it was we needed but couldn't hear myself think through Jack's screams for GUM! (Anyone that knows Jack knows he is a gum ADDICT!) Refusing to give in we made our escape finally...On the way home I called a good friend back and we spoke on the phone as I was getting Jack and the groceries in the door. Here is when the bomb begins to go off....Jack continues to scream for food knowing I am cooking dinner. I think while on the phone I put Jack in time out twice, administered discipline once, and screamed as he spilt spaghetti all over the floor. The friend on the phone is a blog reader and she reminded me that this was just one of those Mommy Moments :) I wised up and got off the phone and tried to finish dinner....
Chris killed his first doe of the season so he got home later than usual...and as he walked in the door I fell apart. Crying, crying, and more crying....all I could think about was what a terrible mother I was and how could I yell at my son over spilt spaghetti....more crying. As I sat on the couch worrying and crying that I would never be the mother my son deserved my precious Jack came to give me a hug and asked me why I was sad. All I could do was hug him and say I was sorry for being impatient and yelling at him. He just rubbed my arm...
After a car ride to chat with a good friend I began seeing a little more clearly again! She reminded me that as long as I'm giving Jack the things God has instructed me to do for him then the rest will fall into place...and you know what....I'm really not a bad mom. I love my son more than life itself. I want nothing more for him than to guide his precious soul to heaven, and if that means I have to tell him no a lot...well, I'm prepared to do that. I'm learning that I will NEVER be the perfect mom...there is no such thing. I'm thankful children are forgiving and love us despite our faults. I think about my parents and to this day I love them so much it hurts...they were never perfect and they made mistakes, but at the end of the day they loved me enough to teach me what was right and forgive me when I too made mistakes. Motherhood is TOUGH! Some days will be "rainy"...but I've decided I'm going to try to enjoy the ride. Jack will be three in a few weeks and I'm realizing that one day I'm going to blink and he will be gone. I might as well learn now to enjoy my "mommy moments" and hug him while I can.
Thanks for listening while I put myself out there....you never know....I may let you know about a few more imperfections I have :)
Monday, November 16, 2009
First things first.....Prayer! In times of discouragement we ought to turn to the Lord first and foremost. I think sometimes we are such physical minded people that we forget to turn here first. When problems arise what do we do? We turn to our physical friends and relationships on this earth to get us through....while it isn't wrong to turn to those on this earth for help, it isn't the wisest thing to do first. People are human and therefore they will make mistakes...humans, despite what they think, don't know everything! When seeking advice and encouragement, who better to turn to than our God in heaven. He created us! He knows everything about us down to the number of hairs on our heads. He is the master of this universe yet we fail to rely on him and the words he has given us to guide our steps. His word offers us the answers to our questions and the strength needed of our souls!
Think about the actual act of prayer...we bow our heads and approach the throne of our God in heaven. This is available to us 24/7...no lines, no distractions, no limits. There is no worry too small that we can't bring before our God. We can confide in him knowing that our "issues" won't shared with the world for all to see. He can be trusted with the things that weigh our hearts down. We are to pray with confidence, faith, that the things we ask can be done by our Lord. However, as demonstrated by our Savior in the Garden of Gethsemane we need to pray that his will be done and not our own. Sometimes we will find that God answers our prayers with a "no". This is when we want to doubt or say that he doesn't care, but our God knows what is best for us and we must put our faith and trust in him.
I don't know what could be more encouraging than knowing that we have a mediator in Christ Jesus.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
- They usually only run a sale ad the first full week in a month. (However, with the holidays approaching they seem to be offering them more!)
- They do NOT accept internet printed coupons! Ugh!
I got an email from their savings club saying they are offering a special Internet coupon this weekend only and you can use it with the sale ad that will be good through Sunday. (This coupon I suppose is ok due to it is from their own website) I think with the sale ad, a few coupons, and the special coupon from Dollar General there will be some good bargains to find!
Come back and share your bargain finds!!!
Monday, November 9, 2009
It seems that dealing with the things life throws our way can be extremely difficult at times. All of us have faced discouragement at some point in our lives. Some may find it was during financial hard times. Others may have experienced discouragement while dealing with the loss of a child or loved one that was close to them. We've seen many struggle with illnesses as bad as cancer or even those that stop living due to severe depression. What about those that are affected by addictions? Have you ever watched as someone addicted to alcohol, pornography or even drugs struggled down the road to recovery? What about the loved ones that were affected by those addictions? Have you ever heard the hurt and utter hopelessness in their voice? It could be said that discouragement is an emotion that we are constantly battling as the difficulties of life continue to come our way.
I propose to you today that it is what we do with those discouraging times that determine how we will come out of the situation. We have two choices:
- We can become so heavy from the load that we throw in the towel, and I will tell you that is what Satan desires us to do!
- Warning....this next option is difficult and will take some perseverance and strength if we choose this option. However, it will be the most rewarding option that will make us more beautiful than when we started....are you ready....OK, the second option is using those hard times as a means of glorifying our Lord and drawing near to him. Some of you may be thinking, I've already done that and it doesn't work! Although it may seem that God didn't stand by us through the hard times when the hard times kept coming, it is the exact opposite! I know it can be hard to understand "why" sometimes, but I believe that often we will never know why however we can always know that the Lord is with us during those times and is making us stronger people!
When studying this subject I found myself asking the question, "Have times changed or has discouragement been around since the beginning of time?" Well I want us to look at two Bible characters that prove that times have not changed and they indeed faced times of discouragement!
- Noah - Imagine having the task before you that Noah faced. Would God's work have been carried out if it had been in your hands to complete an ark, care for the animals, and also preach to the people warning them about what was to come? That is a very sobering thought for me. Under the circumstances in the days of Noah you know he had some discouraging days! However, we know that with all the challenges facing Noah he still overcame and OBEYED God. Do you think his faith was strengthened as those flood waters began to rise and he and his family were safe inside the ark? He had to go through some temporary discomfort to achieve the reward of living through the flood and taking his family with him. I know we can draw a direct parallel of our own lives to the life of Noah. We too as Christians much go through some difficult times, but we must work fervently for the Lord and his purpose while here on this Earth. Do you think Noah knew specific names of many of the people that died during the flood? It must have caused him much grief to know that had they listened to the words of God their lives would have been spared. Don't we know people like that in our lives that we beg and plead with to heed to God's words but still chose to live a life of disobedience? How does that make you feel. I know that I feel such internal conflict and pain when those I love most live unfaithfully to God. However, like Noah we can't let those people and discouragements keep us from "being about our Father's business!"
- Hannah - Wow, the life of Hannah is truly one of my favorites! It can be found in the book of 1 Samuel. The more I study her and the many discouragements she faced the more I admire and gain strength from her example. Hannah is most known for her inability to have a child, and unfortunately for many women in this world they can relate to this specific struggle in Hannah's life. However, there is so much more to the woman Hannah. She had many different struggles and discouragements in her lifetime. For example, she had to share her husband with another woman. Not just any woman but a woman that was able to give her husband the one thing she couldn't, a child. I can't imagine the pain that caused her as she looked upon Penninah and her children daily. Not only would the mental struggle be difficult, but Penninah actually ridiculed Hannah to the point that she would actually cry and refuse to eat. In the end, we know how Hannah's story ends. The Lord remembered her and gave unto her a son, Samuel. When Hannah faced her many discouragements she sought refuge in the Lord and was blessed because of that. Can we say that we seek God in our greatest times of need? Do we really believe that he can help us? Our God is listening to his faithful followers and we deny ourselves that peace that God can provide when we don't seek his face in our times of need.
In the next article we will look at some of the specific tools God has given us to use during our most difficult times!
Monday, October 26, 2009
1. Where to find coupons?I usually buy at least 2 Sunday papers. Our Dollar Tree sells the Sunday paper for yes, $1! I use several Internet printables (www.coupons.com and www.smartsource.com) I also LOVE to check out different blogs that cover the different sales and deals going on. My favorites are listed on the side of this blog. They usually link the Internet printable directly to the coupon needed. ***Secret...you can print an Internet printable twice. After it prints hit the back button and refresh it*** Also, there are now e-coupons that can be loaded directly to your Kroger card (www.pgesaver.com, www.cellfire.com, and www.shortcuts.com)
2. What is my favorite grocery store?Due to the fact that our options are limited here I chose Kroger! Wal-mart is sometimes difficult about accepting Internet printables and Kroger is usually great about my coupons! Kroger changes their add every Wednesday. I usually just view their ad online and make my list that way. Now, several of the blogs I mentioned go through the Kroger ad and match the sales with coupons. This takes a little getting used to to understand the lingo, but keep at it, and soon it will be easy to understand!
3. The secret to the CHEAP deals...The secret is buying the things you regularly use while they are on sale. Also, I have gotten to the point where I'm not so brand loyal to things...for example, laundry detergent..I buy what is on sale and I have a coupon to match with it. However, I still must have my Crest toothpaste :) I do shop a little differently now. I try to plan my menu before shopping and I plan it around the sales that week. Also, when i have something I use a lot I stock up on it with the coupons I have.4. How do I stay organized?I actually use a 10x10 scrapbook album that I have labeled and then I sort everything and stick it in the pockets....I do pull the coupons I plan to use before going to the store, but I bring my binder just in case I find a good deal. I use to be embarrassed until I started saving crazy money and then I got over it!
These are just a few points to get you started...there will be more to come. I'd love to have suggestions from you on what you want to learn more about and any questions you have!
Friday, October 23, 2009
Don't you love this popcorn tub! It was my fun find at the Dollar Tree last week! I bought two for family movie nights!!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
We've had a VERY long week this week! Jack woke up Sunday with a fever that lasted 3 days! One of those nights we ended up in the ER for the first time ever with my child gasping for breath! He had a bad case of croup but we are definitely on the upswing now! I know this because Jack was into everything today and talking NONSTOP! Whew...I'm TIRED!
" Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them. But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up. And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive. "
Friday, October 9, 2009
Okay, so as I come across various deals I like I will be sure to post and share them with you all. I rarely buy anything full price so when I find a deal on things that I'd love to have I get excited!! I've had my budget money for Jack's winter shoes set aside for a few weeks now and even though I had to use some of it to buy him medicine this week, I still have a good amount left! I'm on the hunt for one pair of tennis shoes, one pair of everyday shoes to go with jeans, and a brown pair of church shoes. I came across this deal at DealSeekingMom today and I'm soooo totally taking advantage of it! I noticed all the new crocs have FREE SHIPPING and with the discount that really is not a bad price on most of them!! I'm digging the precious courdory slideons for boys! Enjoy!
Thursday, October 8, 2009
There are a few things you should know about my recipies:
1. They are ALL EASY!!
2. I don't make anything that isn't EASY!
3. They have regular ingredients which makes them EASY!
So, there you have it! I hope it is something you will enjoy. I have several friends that have asked for this recipe and make it frequently!