Monday, January 31, 2011

Update on doing something special for my sweetie this week

This Monday morning I am waking up on a “high.”  The morning of the hike, I told my sweetie to get dressed to complete some of our yard work projects and that we had a quick run to the grocery store before we got started. Little did he know, I had our backpacks filled with goodies that I had prepared the night before and a plan to go hiking instead! We arrived at our destination and he was thrilled. Seriously, it was like I gave him the world that day.  To be honest, it really was awesome and I enjoyed ever single bit of it. We had wonderful conversations with the boys. Such beautiful teachable moments and I can’t wait to do this again!

I am so glad that I went out of my comfort zone to do this and am already looking forward to doing this again!

Here’s a few of the many pics we took Smile





SOAP Sunday - Compassion


S:  Mark 8:2 I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat.

O: Four thousand people traveled long distances to see Jesus and to hear Him speak. Many of them didn’t even care if they had enough food.  Once they were with Jesus they stayed (at this point they have been with Him for three days).  It was Jesus who knew what they needed.

A: I’ve heard this story many times.  I’ve even taught this lesson in Sunday School!  Amazingly it has impacted me in a different way.  In this case, it has made me think about how much I worry about whether we have enough of…. well… pretty much anything. I stress out when I think about what we don’t have and rarely stop to think about what we do have. I need to remember the words of my Lord, “I have compassion for these people…” Jesus cares for me.  He knows what I need even before I can even think it.

P: Lord, thank you for having compassion for me. Thank you for always knowing my needs before I even know that I need it.  Father, I’m sorry for always thinking that I need to control things. I am thankful for your grace as I grow. In Jesus name, Amen.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

This week’s accomplishments

After the recommendation from the Occupational Therapist (OT) we are officially making a switch to Handwriting without Tears.  Lil G had a week without handwriting as I patiently waited for our appointment with our therapist so that I can learn more on how to help him. Consequently, this forced me to get a lot more creative with our lessons.  For math, we played money games and Mental math Bingo and it was such a hit! He loved math.  Did you hear that? He loved it!  I also realized that he had a great conceptual knowledge on adding double digits.  A little bit from our conversation during Mental Math Bingo:
Mom: Quick, Lil G what is 18 + 18?
Lil G: (short 2 second pause) 36
Mom: whoa that was fast! How’d you get that?
Lil G: Mom, that’s easy! I added 8+8 and that’s 16.  Then I knew that there were two tens I still needed to add to that so that’s how I came up with 36. 
Mom: (grasping seat tightly as to not fall off in sheer joy and amazement) Wow!
I’ve worked with many third graders who would need to write that whole problem down to solve it.  They would need to regroup on paper in order to come up with the thirty-six.  I am so impressed!  It really let me know that truly it was the handwriting that was setting him back.  Now that we are well on our way with tips and tricks up our sleeve (thanks to the OT), we are well on our way to getting Lil G on the path of success with writing!  A huge accomplishment this week!

Lil Dude is totally grasping on the sight words practice.  We have a goal of mastering 5 site words a week.  We are still working on reading fluency and we are definitely getting there.  Also, my Lil Dude will start on HWT this week.  I am ditching the other handwriting curriculum immediately!

We will be signing up to participate in our local homeschooling science fair in March.

Both boys will participate this year and I am coaching both boys to think of great science projects that they would love to work on. 

Here's a pic at Lil G's project from last year.

A BIG week for us!

Friday, January 28, 2011

“Why not?” How the biggest Epiphanies can happen with only two words.

Today an awesome friend of mine asked me about our plans for the weekend.  I told her that it was nice to have nothing on the calendar for a change so that I can get to do all the housework and chores I kind of save up for the weekend. Then I recalled how this morning my sweetie off handedly mentioned that he wanted to go hiking.  Now this isn’t on my top ten to do list.  “Why not?” she asked.
I responded with, “Well, you know, we’d have to pack up so much stuff for a hike, it takes planning and preparation!  Then we’d have to drive over there and well…. what if it’s too cold? What if it’s too hot…”

(sounding of screeching brakes) OMG… do I really sound like that? I stopped myself right in that moment and thought.  What is wrong with me?  Why would we not do the one thing my sweetie has been asking for? He deserves a break!  And shouldn’t making him happy BE on my top ten?  So we wrapped up our call so I could plan for a little short morning getaway. This reminded me of a challenge and I wanted to share it with you.

Courtney’s challenge is to be a little more creative with your praise.  She provides ten ways that you can praise your husband.  A few examples are: a love message on the mirror, packed in his lunch, or written with sidewalk chalk in the driveway.  My favorite was her number 10: Get creative with your selflessness! That’s the one that hit the nail in the head.  It’s amazing when you get pumped up on doing something special for your sweetie, it changes your view on things.  Courtney also placed this quote on her blog:

"When you touch your husband's deepest need something good almost always happens!"~ Dr. Emerson Eggerich

So I am taking up this challenge and I am going to do something that my sweetie would never dream of.  I am actually going to prep us up for a hiking getaway this weekend!  Will you do something for your sweetie before Valentine's Day?  I'd love to hear from you!

Handwriting With (I mean) Without Tears

Yesterday we had an appointment with our Occupational Therapist again.  I learned so much from this experience it is amazing.  Like most teachers, we assign handwriting worksheets to our little kindergarteners and have them finish them up.  We see the final or end result and think, great!  Not bad!  Then we move on from there.  Little did I know, Lil G was writing his letters incorrectly.  His handwriting progressively got worse and I didn’t understand what was going on.  I’d ask my sweetie what his thoughts were and he’d say, “He’s doing fine, what are you so worried about? He’s reading/doing math and more in such a higher level, he’s bound to have trouble in one of the areas.”  Makes sense right?  So we just kept going and since he knew his letters, knew how to write them, I never worried about maintaining or incorporating a handwriting curriculum.

Moving on forward, this year, we started cursive.  I glanced over at Lil G and he had tears rolling down his face while trying to polish off his cursive page.   I could tell that he was really trying but it was so difficult for him.  I knew then that I needed to take action.

I called a local occupational therapist who also is certified with the HWT curriculum.  She came over and completed a thorough evaluation on Lil G. The assessment results stated that Lil G's overall score was at a 69% level.  He had scored very low in letter and number size as his letters were too large for his grade level.  This is a result of his start and sequence of each letter. Most of his letters start incorrectly and it takes a long time to form each one of his letters.  This made total sense to me!  My lil G hated writing.  I thought he hated writing because of the actual work but it was because of the actual handwriting process.  This began to bleed into his math work as well because he was having trouble completing his worksheets. 

The OT provided me with a great remediation plan and a thorough tutoring session on how I could help Lil G meet his new handwriting goals.  I am so psyched! We start his new handwriting booklet on Monday.  I wish I could come through this computer screen and hug you.  What a blessing it is to know this information!

I also purchased the HWT booklet for Lil Dude to start on too.  Will keep you posted on the progress!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Work Life Balance

I realized today that many of my fellow homeschool moms don’t realize that I actually work too!  I thought for a minute (duh!) that since I am very passionate about what I do, I should share a little about what I’ve been doing for the past 4 years (whoa! It’s been that long?).
In 2007, I saw an opportunity to serve as an ambassador for a program called the Phoenix Teaching Fellows.  This program recruits, selects, and trains professionals and recent college grads to become teachers in high-need schools. Since then I’ve served in various capacities but my most favorite part of the job is recruitment. Last year, the Phoenix Teaching Fellows changed its name to the Arizona Teaching Fellows to reflect its expansion to other parts of Arizona. Yay!
I mentioned that my biggest dream is to see that my boys will eventually hold a career in something that they are passionate about and love. While I only work seasonally for the AZTF, I truly am grateful for the opportunity. Why? Hundreds of students who because of AZTF will have committed, high-quality teachers who will give them them the best education they deserve. There is no doubt that there is a true disparity in high needs schools and wealthy schools. That’s why AZTF exists.  Because students in high needs schools truly need these dedicated, high achieving college grads and career professionals to pour into their lives. To become that constant that they truly crave and need. Every year I get to personally meet the new Fellows and I beam with such excitement. They have no idea that the commitment they made is going to impact so many children.
When my sweetie taught he carried around this Starfish Story in his wallet.  I love knowing that the work we do will bring just one more teacher that will impact one more student. WOW! Talk about making a difference!
Going back to my dream of our boys doing the kind of work they are passionate about is why I wanted to talk about the work I do.  It doesn’t feel like work. It feels like play. I love what I do. I look forward to the time I set aside to do it. I schedule it in right after our homeschool day and the time FLIES. Isn’t that a blessing?!
So when someone talks about work life balance I think about the fact that when you love what you do, your life is balanced. I’m not saying that there aren’t difficult days or some days in which it’s really hard, I’m just saying that' it’s definitely nice to have that passion and drive.  Have that in whatever you do.  If you are a homeschooling mom, do it with passion and drive. LOVE IT. Look forward to it. If you are a stay-at-home mom, have passion in it. Enjoy homemaking. Read articles and blogs about homemaking and get good at it too. You know?  Homemaking, homeschooling, being CEO of the home is totally work and while that doesn’t really add zeroes to our paycheck, it is an investment into our children.  And that my friend, is work and life balance Smile.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Man oh man was this G-double-oh-D good! Had to take a pic and wanted to notate my changes from this original recipe.
1.Instead of the Pace picante sauce I substituted my all time favorite Southwestern Salsa from Safeway.  Seriously, that stuff is good!
2.Rather than corn tortillas within the soup I added crispy tortilla chips instead.  OMG. Have plenty extra!
3.Add freshly sliced jalapeño peppers for mom and dad.  The boys gobbled it up without the jalapeños of course!
4. Put sour cream in a zip lock back (ghetto piping bag) and top with sour cream.  The boys had smiley faces on theirs Smile.
This was so super easy that it will have to be included in my recipe rotation.  There is no reason to eat out when we can have something this good and so delish!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Love letters = Journaling

I read about this awhile ago on a homeschooling blog and thought I would give this a try.  I am so excited because since I began this journal this year, we have already written over a dozen letters to each other.  One of the great things about this vs. a writing journal is because it is personal and you get a sort of immediate feedback.  The boys look forward to my letters every morning and love to write to me what they are thinking. Lil Dude loves to draw pictures of superheroes for me and Lil G likes to talk about how he’s looking forward to his upcoming birthday party.  I am so thrilled on their writing progress and it keeps me accountable to write them back each day.  I am sooo loving this!

This week in review

Not sure if you would call this week the most productive but I didn’t have high expectations anyway being that it would have been a 2-day school week.  We had MLK day off (hard to do “school” when daddy’s home) and had a field trip planned for Thursday and with no school on Friday’s it was definitely going to be an off week.  I am grateful for the fact that nowadays, the kind of off weeks don’t stress me out so much.  It is all about a balance anyway and on most days we hit school so hard we start as early as 9am and work non-stop (eat lunch at our desks) until about 3pm.  The boys and I wrote goals at the beginning of the year and I tailored our learning to make sure to meet those goals. More on that later Smile
Our field trip on Thursday to see this guy at National Geographic Live was pretty awesome.  Lil G is pretty adamant about being a mechanical engineer and was soaking everything the guy was talking about.  He talked about how he grew up playing with Legos, and loved to learn math and science.  This love landed him the opportunity to be part of the team that constructed the Mars rovers Opportunity and Spirit.  He is currently working on Curiosity in which this rover will be launching later this year to Mars.  I sat there visualizing Lil G as the person speaking in front of hundreds of children about “dreaming big.”  To be honest, all I could ever dream of for our children is that they would hold a career that they LOVE and are truly passionate about.  But NEVER, EVER, forgetting about giving back.  This life is more than just thinking about ourselves and worrying about us.  There are children who go every night hungry.  There are children who barely have any security or love in their home. These are the children we need to advocate for and pour into and speak up for.  I forever want our boys to see that their parents lives were dedicated to that. We model that so I pray they would do the same.
At the end of the presentation our boys got the unique opportunity to take a picture with the presenter.  Pretty cool huh?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wednesday Morning Bible Study

Every Wednesday morning we hop on a conference call with my girlfriends and we talk about our struggles, our ups and downs, our goals to become better wives, moms, and servant of God.
It is very uplifting to have the opportunity to be real and say what’s on our mind without feeling judged or worried what they might think of me because of my imperfections. Together we learn that there really isn’t a woman who has a perfect looking clean house with no dishes in the sink, laundry completely clean and even more folded neatly and put away. Why do we even think that this is the case? It’s because we don’t dare allow even our closest friends to see that we have spent two weeks the night before madly cleaning when we find out that we are going to have visitors.  So that when they come over, they see that somehow we have this perfect image of a clean house. All of my closest friends know that there is a non verbal policy of at least a 24 hours notice before “dropping by.”  Reason? It's so I can make my house look like it hasn’t been lived in before they come by.  Isn’t that so sad? 
Matthew 6:20 says, “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal.”  My morning Bible study included that there’s only one thing certain about life.  We know that tomorrow isn’t promised and that’s why it’s so crucial to spend our time investing in what really matters today. I need to constantly remember what is eternal and what is temporary.  Yes, the dishes need to be washed, kitchen must be mopped, and laundry needs to be tackled but our family and friends is much more important than having a perfect house. I need to remember to invest in our time together and do the things that the boys really want to do.  It’s been so nice outside.  I can take them to the park and just play with them.  The stars don’t have to be aligned and the planets in perfect order… I just need to do it.
I am so amazed on how simple the solutions to many of our problems can be.  I just need to play more and have fun more.  How easy is it to forget with all the responsibilities and stresses in our life that it boils down to the very thing we used to do as little ones.  I am so grateful to have such wonderful friends who can help remind me on how to stay in balance and enjoy the blessings I have right now.  Not the things that shouldn’t even really matter anyway Winking smile.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Guitar, Karate, and Baseball…. Oh my!

Seriously, what’s the deal anyway? Every spring I get a sort of an extra-curricular activities fever.  We don’t normally enroll in sports in the summer or winter but every spring we get involved in some a lot of things.
  • We just had guitar class today and the boys rocked!  I am so proud of them!  They learned their G, D, and E minor chords.  Lil G learned how to play “Open the Eyes of My Heart” while Lil Dude requested to learn, “I Won’t Back Down.”  Go figure! I can imagine him singing, “No I won’t back down… You can stand me up at the gates of h#@l but I won’t back down…” LOL
  • Lil Dude will start his karate class this week.
  • Lil G will start up baseball next month.
We are still in Cub Scouts and have quite a few field trips on our calendar so I know the days of just lounging around in our PJs doing school all day will be long gone.  I really enjoy the busyness of the hectic schedule (until about midway through when I wonder what I had gotten myself into).  Then summer comes around and while we won’t be out and about often, we’ll be schooling through the summer Smile.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

What is SOAP?

Our Pastor from our church  taught us the SOAP method a few years ago and while I wasn’t disciplined in implementing it daily, I will say that last year I read more of the Bible and studied more than probably what I’ve been able to accomplish my whole life.  My journal is a couple years old and it’s amazing to look back and see my growth.
I love SOAP’ing (could use the real thing a little more often though LOL) and it has really developed me into a simple Bible study habit.  I’ve already started posting some of my SOAPs for the year but I figured I would elaborate more on what it is.
Today while reading my Google blog feeds, I was excited to see that there’s a website already dedicated in explaining what SOAP is and how to go about implementing it in your own Bible Study so I will go ahead and provide the link for you to check it out!


Friday, January 14, 2011

Family fun night!

Had a blast watching Yogi bear tonight. Can't believe the prices of movies nowadays!


A fellow homeschooler asked me today whether our boys spoke Spanish.  I struggled today to think of the reasons why my boys don’t know Spanish.  It’s not like we don’t speak it. In fact, we only speak it when we don’t want the boys to understand our top secret adult talkWinking smile

I still remember the day we stopped spelling things to each other. You know, when you have to say something to each other and decide that they are too young to sound it out if you spell it? It began when the first Transformers movie came out and I told my sweetie that I would get him a similar air freshener that Bumblebee had in the movie.  The one that is spelled B-E-E-O-T-C-H  (it’s spelled that way in the movie). 

We giggled and then we heard Lil G sound out the word behind us.  ACK! We were mortified. 

So we decided that we needed a new code language and began using the fact that we are both fluent Spanish as an easy way out.  Pros, the boys don’t understand and won’t be able to detect what we are talking about (i.e. details to a certain surprise birthday party coming up). Cons, well there is a huge BIG one.  They can’t communicate to their Abuelita (grandma)!  Even more, we all know how beneficial it would be to be bilingual.  I terribly want them to have that advantage of course. I just can’t figure out how to do it!

The best language curriculum I’ve ever heard about is Rosetta Stone… but have you seen the price tag on that?  How can I vouch for paying $600 for a Spanish language curriculum, WHEN WE SPEAK SPANISH?!!!! I’ve been trying to remember to do little language lessons here and there but since it is not structured its not consistent.  It’s hard to have either Grandma teach them because they don’t see them often enough.

Time to come up with some ideas!

To be continued…

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Our Workbox system

My sweetie asked my last night how this system has been working for me since we implemented it last year.  I can’t say enough how much it has saved my life! 
Long ago (really, it was just a few months ago), I remember the boys asking me,
  • “How many more assignments?”
  • “Do we really have to do this?”
  • “How much longer is school?”
  • “Ahhh mom, do we have to do this one too?”
When I learned about this workbox system, my mind started racing.  This might be the answer to all my problems (It doesn’t take the crying out of homeschooling though LOL)!  With this system, I insert their work each morning in their folders (ideally you would do this at night but there is so much going on, there is no way I would be able to do that).  I know what to put in them each day because I plan out the school year and use this software to do that.  I bought the software back in 2007 when I officially started homeschooling Lil G and it works great!  The boys then come to their desks each morning and know what is expected of them.  They know that they are not complete with our homeschool day until we complete all the folders.  I set up the system so that I can provide one-on-one help with Lil Dude while Lil G completes his other assignments that he can do on his own (Bible study, vocabulary work, handwriting, reading, etc.).  Then when Lil Dude is finished, I allow him to play educational online games with his netbook while I conduct one-on-one lessons with Lil G (math, spelling, Sonlight, etc.).
Each day they may complete all their work at different times.  Sometimes as early as 1 p.m. and other days as late as 3:30 p.m.  Either way, they know that they school’s not over until they have completed all their assignments so there is no ambiguity or they don’t think that I am making up the assignments as we go along. 
Isn’t it cool?

Today’s S.O.A.P.

Today’s reading is Matthew 16:5 – 17:23.
S – Matthew 17:20 - “You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.
O - In this reading many things happened with the disciples as they followed Jesus. They had just witnessed another feeding of thousands, the Transfiguration, and were trying to heal a boy with a demon.  Unfortunately they couldn’t and what Jesus responded is so transforming to me.
A – As a homeschooling mom, I find that there are many mountains.  One that is staring at me in the face is the mountain of LAUNDRY!  I also stepped on crayons scattered on the floor from last night when Lil Dude decided he wanted to draw Ben 10 figures.  Oh and did I mention the mountain of dishes from cooking last night?  ACK!  In this instance, I know that I have faith but it won’t make those things disappear.  The fact of the matter is, I should embrace this season. Our life is full of seasons and currently it’s a very special season of growth. Later, it won’t be the laundry or the crayons on the floor… This will be replaced by getting their first driver’s license, first car, heading off to college and much more.   I can embrace the moment, understand that with faith I can move the mountain (or maybe tackle the laundry and dishes) and with my Lord all things are possible Smile.
P – Lord, thank you for your Word.  I am so thankful that you are with me as we move through the seasons of change and growth.  Thank you for showing me that all things are possible with you.  In Jesus name, Amen.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A homeschool day without a tear?

As I reflect on this first week back at “school,” there is a recurring theme. We seem to have so many tears!  Lil G cried on Monday, Lil Dude cried on Tuesday and I told them at this rate, Mom will definitely cry on Wednesday (it made them giggle at the thought of it).  Also to set the record straight, I didn’t shed a tear today though Lil Dude did a little.
I knew that after having a month and a half off it would be an uphill battle.  We work on a calendar schedule and though I love having part of November and December off, I sometimes wonder if it is really worth it?  I wouldn’t have been able to concentrate with all the joys of our traditions on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year.  And, since our summers are so hot that we don’t dare venture outside unless we absolutely HAVE to, it makes sense to continue our schooling.
Either way, homeschooling is definitely not easy.
  Don’t let anyone tell you different Smile.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Dinner Roll over

Rachel Ray always talks about “Rolling over” recipes.  This is when you take an item from dinner and then rolling it over to a new recipe the next night.  My sweetie is not keen to leftovers and rolling over is a genius way to trick all the boys that dinner is an entirely new recipe rather than leftovers. 

Last week, I made Easy Ground Beef Tacos and had over a pound of cooked taco meat leftover. I couldn’t just throw it away so when I went to the pantry and saw a recipe on the back of the Libby’s corn can. I got so excited!  It is a one-pan recipe (I love those due to minimal dishwashing) and had all the ingredients it needed.  Here is my version of the recipe.

  • Leftovers you’ll need from the night before:
    • ground taco meat
    • leftover chopped onion
    • leftover chopped tomatoes
  • 1 can of corn, drained
  • handful frozen green pepper (I keep this in the freezer at all times)
  • 1 small can of tomato sauce (a pantry must-have)
  • 1 1/2 cups of uncooked rice
  • 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock (I always buy the boxed kind and keep it in the fridge. If you don’t have chicken stock use water)
  • garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste.

Warm the leftover beef, onion, tomatoes, and green pepper in a large pan. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes until rice is tender.

I served this with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkled some of the cheddar cheese leftover from the night before.  Yum!

Menu Planning Monday, actually Tuesday (again)

Last week was pretty successful with Menus!  We went the entire week without EATING OUT!  Woo hoo!  Amazing what planning does! 

Sunday doesn’t count especially since my mother-in-law brought fried chicken.  I didn’t have to cook and it left an opportunity to save what I had planned that day for the this week!  So here’s the plan:

Monday – Daddy works late so the boys and I just ate leftovers from Sunday’s chicken

Tuesday – Spaghetti with spinach meatballs (we didn’t have this last week).  With all the ground beef leftover from the Tacos, I used the meat to make this killer one pan Mexican Rice dish.  It was pretty good and the boys gobbled it up! Sides: Salad and fresh from the Bread maker bread. 

Wednesday – Chicken, steak, and shrimp fajitas.  I have small cuts of chicken breast, a little bag of uncooked shrimp, and some steak meat.  I thought I would use this all up to make lots of fajitas!  I’ve got all the yummy goodie veggies to go along with this.

Thursday – Baked chicken thighs with a salad and some more fresh bread.  I am really hoping to exercise my bread maker this week.  We are such a sucker for the Albertsons fresh French bread but figured, “Why buy it if I can make it?”  It takes advance planning to make the bread in time for dinner (will have to get it started before 2pm so that it will be ready for our dinnertime).  Hopefully all goes well!

Friday – Chicken tostadas. I’ll have enough chicken from Thursday to shred up the rest and put together for our favorite Chicken tostadas.  There’s only 4 ingredients in this and it’s fast and easy but oh so yummy!  Will have to post recipe and picture for this one!

Saturday – Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup.  I saw this online and so want to try this!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Ahhh the first day back at homeschooling!

Today was officially our first day back on.  It was a sort of uphill battle but we did it!  Lil Dude was especially enthusiastic and elated to get back to homeschooling.  Lil G was too but it seems that when it came to writing that was the hard part.  I decided enough was enough and began researching about this.  I don’t think Lil G really doesn’t want to write, I think something else can be wrong.  Whatever the case may be, I decided to seek professional help.  I researched a few articles (ok, maybe more than 3 hours worth) and realized that the assistance of an occupational therapist may be the solution.  Hours later, I am on the phone with one who tells me she can help by assessing Lil G and coming up with tutoring sessions which will include training so that I can continue the work with him.
I’ll be talking with my sweetie about this tonight for sure!
We worked from 9 am until 3 pm today non-stop!  It was pretty intense but the boys had a good attitude about it and we relaxed by snuggling on the couch and watched a classic movie…The Never Ending Story.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Made corn bread muffins with hot dogs in it (like a corn dog only better!) for lunch today. It was a hit with our boys!

The Golden Rule

Today’s scripture reading was so insightful.  The disciples even had a hard time understanding Jesus though they were chillin’ with him the whole time!  One part that totally resonated with me was when Jesus healed Peter’s mom who had a fever and she then got up and prepared a meal for the disciples.  I sure wish I could have Jesus touch me and heal me from this sickness ASAP! I know that Jesus can heal me, and I know that I can also tough this out.  In the meantime, here is my SOAP for the day.
S – Matthew 7:12 “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.
O – What a difference the world would be if we all did this! I like that Jesus sums up all the prophets and law in the entire Old Testament by saying this. In a way, isn’t it like Cliff Notes of the Old Testament? 
A – Living this way would make a world of difference.  It’s supposed to be easy but what about when you are having a bad day and hubby is too?  It can be really  hard to stay sweet when babies are fussy, dinner is burning, and the laundry in the dryer keeps buzzing.  Even still, I can do this.  For I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me right? Smile
P – Lord teach me to be more like you.  I know I can live by this Golden rule. I ask you to guide me and continue to have patience with me as I grow in our relationship.  I love you Lord. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My mom’s Carne Guisada

2 lbs of beef stew meat
1/2 green bell pepper chopped
1/2 onion chopped
1 tomato diced
1 tomato sauce can
1 –2 potatoes cubed
water (just enough to cover the meat)
2 goya packets seasoning (1 of the Sazón with Coriander and Annatto and the other with Sazón with Azafrán).
salt to taste
garlic (optional) I like to throw in a garlic clove that I press through with my garlic press
  1. In a large pot, combine all the ingredients except the potatoes. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Add the potatoes and cook for about another 30 minutes or potatoes are tender.  And Julie, don’t break the potatoes down while simmering Smile.

Menu Planning Monday… er Tuesday

Still not feeling good today but wanted to document that yes, I am ready for the week’s meals!  And while I may not be feeling good, I will still produce a sort of dinner!

Monday – Chicken Kebobs with Couscous and a side of fried plantains!

Tuesday – Carne Guisada con arroz

Wednesday – Spaghetti with Spinach Meatballs.  It looks sooo good!

Thursday – Taco Night!  Quick and Easy tacos (can’t believe something so easy is a family favorite!)

Friday – Black Bean and Mango Tostadas.  My sweetie and I had these before and they are so good!  I’m not thinking the boys will eat this but will use some shredded  chicken (pre-made and sitting in the freezer thank you very much!) and make a quick chicken tostada for them!  (shredded chicken, corn, and carrots mixed with mayo).

I have plenty of stuff for Saturday and Sunday but refuse to plan because unexpected things always happen!  Besides, we’re probably gonna be out because a special niece will be celebrating her birthday this weekend! Smile

Worry Wart

That’s what I can call myself.  I don’t seem like that often but I truly am!  Today’s scripture reading was so mind boggling. So many things to think about and reflect on!  All the scriptures sure can apply to me especially about being such a worry wart but I am going to pull out the scripture that I’d love to work harder on.  

S:  Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. Matthew 6:33

O: That is so important!  I can’t say enough how much that seems so relevant but doing so is a whole different thing!  I remember when I was working on decorating my house and my Pastor said, “Just pray about it first.”  Seriously?  Pray about what curtains to choose?  At the time of my spiritual journey that seemed so weird. Now that is completely different!  Before I would walk mindlessly down the aisles (ahem yard sales) trying to figure what I can compile together for our house.  Then walk away empty handed.  I know now to seek Him in everything I do.  EVERYTHING.  Including what I would consider trivial like decorating our house.  Now that’s not easy.  Especially sometimes when I feel that He’s playing the silent treatment with me. 

A: So how do I start?  Well I am going to make sure that I apply this exactly as it is said, “Seek Kingdom of God above all else.”  The NIV says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” and the NKJV “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. “  I like the word FIRST.  That doesn’t mean second, or later, or tomorrow, or when I get around to it.  It means first and foremost.  I really gotta work on that.  I love my morning Bible study and prayer routine.  It’s not perfect and on some weeks I am lucky to do 5 out of the 7 days.  But I gotta apply this.  Because check out the reward “and all these things will be given to you as well.”  Who wouldn’t want that?!

P: Lord, please help me!  I really want to hear you and grow in relationship with you.  I don’t want to feel that you are being silent.  In fact, help me be MORE silent so I can hear what your purpose is for me.  I will work harder in putting you FIRST in everything.  In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!

So funny that it’s been almost a year since my last post.  I am thankful for the recurring mantra I have in my mind, “It’s about the progress… not perfection.”

I am going to keep this post positive even though I am currently surrounded with an almost empty box of tissues and wads of Kleenex surrounding me Sad smile.  I’ve been keeping Kleenex in business these days as this is our third box! 

I wanted to start today’s post with my SOAP.  This year, our church is reading through the New Testament and I am excited to be part of it.  Today we are on Day 3 and the reading for today is Matthew 5:1-42.

S – Scripture  - Matthew 5:16

In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

O – Observation – Right after Jesus called his first disciples, he went out throughout Galilee and began preaching the good news and healing diseases and sickness.  This brought a lot of crowds and began teaching on the mountainside. This scripture stood out to me because as His disciple, we are asked to show our good deeds not for our own glory but His. I love that people are blessed by our actions and will result in praise to our Heavenly Father.

A – Application -  I am feeling like I really need to step it up on my deeds.  The crazy thing is that I never feel like it is enough.  It can be the little things, like being an encourager and motivator for our boys, my sweetie, and family (my friends are my family too!).  I’ve noticed that I never feel like I have time for everything and that is because I’ve always let everything schedule me rather than me schedule things.  I know that if I put God first everything will fall into place.  That is what I truly need to work on.  I know God has put people around me for a reason and I feel truly blessed that there is a purpose behind that. I hope I can be a blessing to them so that God can be honored in it!

P – Prayer  Lord, thank you so much for showing me today that my actions speak loud.  Let me be cognizant of my actions so that what I do is