August 31, 2011

Back to School

What are some of your back to school traditions? Quite frankly I would like to steal some :)

Our First day of school dinner tomorrow, as requested by my girls, will be The Pioneer Woman's Chicken Fried Steak, some mashed potatoes topped with the fried steak gravy, and one of my favorite salads

Fresh Spinach
Granny Smith Apple -chopped
Dried Cranberries
Almonds or Walnuts
Shredded Swiss Cheese
Poppy Seed Dressing

For Dessert we will have a very SIMPLE and awesome dessert I got from my friend Jen! Thanks Jen!!!

1 (30 oz.) package Pillsbury chocolate chip cookie dough (Refrigerated section, rolls of dough)
1 (16.5 oz.) package Pillsbury chocolate chip cookie dough (Refrigerated section, rolls of dough)
2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
Spread about 25 ounces of the large roll of softened chocolate chip cookie dough into a greased 13" x 9" pan.  This is your crust.  Beat the softened cream cheese, sugar, and eggs with a mixer.  Spread over the bottom cookie layer.  Crumble the remaining 5 ounces of the first roll of cookie dough over the top of the cream cheese mixture.  Open the smaller roll of cookie dough.  Continue to crumble over the top of the cream cheese mixture.  (I usually use up about 10-12 ounces of the second roll – but top with as much as you like) Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.  If using an 8 X 8 pan, half all of the above ingredients.

As far as breakfast goes we will probably send them off with their most favorite breakfast of all! (Tomorrow will definitely be a NO holding back the fat kind of eating day!) Paula Deen's Baked French Toast This is to die for!!! Seriously, deliciously amazing!

Tonight I hope to get the kids in bed and asleep nice and early so they are extra chipper for their teachers tomorrow. Good-Bye summer and mama sleeping in, time for responsibility and grown up stuff.

My Back to School prayer for my kids is this:

Dear Lord,

Please help my kids to be good influences. Help them to be leaders and not followers. Help their teachers to love them. I pray learning comes easy for them. I pray that they will work hard. I pray that they would be obedient, little rule followers. Help them to stand up for what is right no matter what. Protect them from bullies and other punk kids. Protect their ears from unwholesome talk, ungodliness, & drama and although much is inevitable help them to not be negatively influenced by punk kids. Help them to stand up for the less fortunate and advocate fairness and friendship will all kinds of kids. Bless their teachers with patience beyond all else. I pray my kids will be a blessing in their classrooms to both the students and their teachers. I pray that they will resist negative temptation and that in all they do, day in and day out, they would strive to please you. May they know you are with them always and walk with you every day of their lives.


Oldie but Goodie!

 This is a post I wrote back in December of 2008! Enjoy!!!!

Yes, it is officially true.

So today I was scheduled for an MRI of my brain. (I'm fine-no worries, not the point) They offered the sedation/valium which I opted out of only because I wanted to get in before the New Year and it's easier to have Jeremy stay with the kids rather than he drive me and then getting the kids a sitter. I am VERY claustrophobic. It's gotten worse over the years. If you are not claustrophobic in any way shape or form then this is for you. To me, my freakish ways are valid ;-)

So I prayed and had others pray for me for today, I thought mind over matter. I will face this fear and conquer it HEAD on! Wooo! Amen!

I thought it could be good to relax, I had no fear whatsoever going in today. I was excited to "chill" and sit still for 45 minutes.

SO they lay me down explain things to me, proceed to put on headphones-I chose Christmas music, THEN this thing OVER MY FACE! It hits. My fear overwhelms me and takes over, I panicked & freaked out, in a panicking, quivering voice said "Can you please quick take this thing off of me for a second?!?!". I sit up, take a deep breath as if I am in labor, I kid you not! Then I said "Whew!"...a couple of more deep breaths..."I'm okay..I'm okay" "I can do this"...The lady said "are you sure, it's okay, etc etc. Just be happy you can lay still and relax". Oh she was so gracious and so patient with me!

Try 2...Everything back on, and we try an eye mask too. Then I REALLY freak out. "Oh my gosh, I can't do this" "I can't", "I'm sorry!"..."Ugh, I'm freaking out, I'm trying not to but I am" "Ohhhh I'm sorry, I guess I didn't realize I was this bad, I really thought I could do mind over matter"...So she takes the stuff off again, and I inquire about the sedation and all that. She tries talking me into staying and giving it a try since I was already there. I just rambled and over-explained myself and apologized for my freakish ways.

I even said at one point "I hope you never have another patient like me. oh my goodness, I feel so sorry for you".

I ask, "do you have christian music?"...

She said "Ohhh yes, oh yes, we have all kinds"...

me- "okay, ahhhhhhhh (sigh....)I'll do christian music & just pray" Lay down again...(Try 3)

me- "maybe this blind fold isn't helping" "what do most claustrophobic people do?" *sigh* "oh I don't know, I am literally freaking out inside".

I sit up as fast as I layed down. (before she ever had time to out the helmet thing on)
"Um...Can I call my husband?"

lady-"you want to call your husband?"

me- "yea, he's good at mind over matter things and I want him to pray for me"

lady -"okay, sure."

me- "Oh thank you for being so patient with me, I am so sorry for freaking out, I'm trying really hard here"

So I go to call Jeremy...3x a charm and he finally answers (I was calling from that office)

Jeremy- "Hello?"

me-crying, sniff sniff " freaking out"

Jeremy- "Come on, MAN up, It's not so bad" -"I had to have one of my shoulder and head, it's fine"

me-"did they put the thing over your face like a football helmet?"


Me -"well you're not claustrophobic"
..."I can't do this"
"I need a valium"

Jeremy-"Laura, you have to do this. Come on"

me-"just pray for me, i am seriously freaking out I've tried 3 x"

Jeremy-"seriously Laura you'll be fine"

me- "I am seriously FREAKING out, just pray for me"

So I go back...ask if I have to have those headphones on..she gave me ear plugs instead-bless her heart, I gave her back her blind fold. She put me in the "tube" without the helmet to test it out-then back out again. Then put on the helmet and put me in and back out...And it was there I DID IT! MIND OVER MATTER!

"Okay, I can do this" I said
"Okay" she said, "you're going to do great!"

I go in and got the giggles, I TOTALLY sucked it up which is hard for me to do, but I wanted to bust my gut as I thought about telling my sister about how I freaked out and had to call my husband crying.

Ahhhh, I survived and faced my fear! Chances are I am now more claustrophobic than before, but hey. I am alive.

I told my sister and she said "GOOD thing you didn't laugh, she would have had the psych ward down to evaluate you. First you are flipping out and crying, then the next you are laughing hysterically!"

August 27, 2011

Broken Dreams

Broken Dreams 

As children bring their broken toys
With tears for us to mend,
I brought my broken dreams to God
Because He was my friend.
But then instead of leaving Him 
In peace to work alone, 
I hung around and tried to help
With ways that were my own. 
At last I snatched them back and cried,
"How could you be so slow"
"My child," He said, "What could I do?
You never did let go." 
Robert J. Burdette

Have you ever dreamed a dream and been so sure it was going to come to pass, only to have it totally come crashing down around you?

Just because we have a broken dream, doesn't mean the dream was wrong. Or that we were off. Sometimes there can be outside influences beyond our control that can cause our broken dreams. 

But the bible says Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments Deuteronomy 7:9.

So the amazing news is that if we have a broken dream BUT we did everything in our power with all intentions to please God in the process God will BLESS us beyond what we can hope or imagine.

If an outside influence (be it physical, spiritual, health, tragedy, time, man, circumstance, whatever) somehow sabotages the dream, then God WILL have something BIGGER and BETTER! I can promise you that! Trust the Lord! He will make His will happen one way or another. It may not be the way we thought or intended originally, but God is sovereign and nothing can stop His awesome power. Not circumstance, not man and not the enemy.  "If God is for us, Who can be against us?" Romans 8:31

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Isaiah 26:3

Trust God through broken dreams and Believe God for something bigger & Better! Lay your dreams in God's hands. Wherever you are in the process go with God every step of the way.

August 26, 2011

Truly Me

I love to write. But I have been in a little writing funk for the past couple of years...Just not knowing what to write, where to start, how to tell it, etc.  A lot on my mind but nothing to pull it all together in my sometimes chaotic brain...The desire to write or share is always there.

I strive to be myself...Sometimes a toned down version when appropriateness calls for it. :)

I feel like something holds me back when it comes to writing lately. Is it myself? Is it the fear of getting in trouble for being "me"? Does worrying what others think hold me back?

I want to be truly me regardless of outside influence or deterrence. I like to think I am pretty real and down to earth in general. Yet, I know that I hold back sometimes though.

And I don't want to hold back.

What if everyone could just be real, 100% of the time?

But people aren't.

So in this blog I strive to not hold back, maybe tone down the spunk at times, BUT not hold back-for the sake of being Truly Me 100% of the time.

At this point I am missing my spunk. Where did I go?

In the midst of moving, transitioning, chaos, I feel like I've lost a little bit of me slowly but surely.

And I like Me.

SO, Here's to coming out of the "careful what you say and how you say it" to coming back to myself and who God created me to be! Cheers!

August 16, 2011


Humility. A godly characteristic we all struggle to maintain from time to time. But so important it is continuously in scripture throughout the Bible. The more and more we struggle the more and more we need to be brought to level ground. It's a vicious cycle really.

Pride. Some of us, the more prideful we feel the more pride we show. The more pride we show, the obviously less humble we are. The less Humble we are the greater the struggle to maintain regular humility.

We try to show ourselves off to the world in a way. I think we are worried they won't notice if we don't shout it from the rooftops or non-saliently 'brag' about what we think we've done in our own power. But the vicious cycle is that the more we try to show how "great we are" the more "knocked down" we feel.

God's intention is for us to remain humble so that HE can lift us up. He will do a better job fighting for us and raising us up than we can even try.

James 4:9-10 -Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

1 Peter 5:4-6 -And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.  Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

Proverbs 11:2 -When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.

Proverbs 18:12 -Before a downfall the heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor.


August 11, 2011

Family Thoughts...

As summer, unfortunately nears an end and we gear up for another school year I find myself thinking a lot of the average family in today's world. The one thing that comes to mind is "BUSY". We are way too, cotton picking busy people.

Some of us rushing here, there and everywhere, carting the world and ourselves all over kingdom come like chickens with our heads cut off. What has happened to truly valuing QUALITY time? How can we do that when we are so rushed and occupied with life?

Now, I know there are busy seasons in this roller coaster of life. I get it. I have kids. I have a life. We understand busy. But I am SO thankful my husband and I are on the same page as far as balance! Balance is the key! Is your life balanced? Does your family come first NO MATTER what?

I have a few bits of advice that are just on my heart to share in hopes that they might encourage someone to take control of their family time and VALUE these short years we have with our children at home instead of shuffling them & ourselves off everywhere!

1. One kid, One event. Period.
2. Think about creating a starting age for events. We started Carter at 3 (firstborn syndrome) Waited for Addyson who is now 6 & starting riding lessons. But we'll see if we can stick with that and keep Makenna (4) from an activity besides the library story time til she is 6.
3. Look ahead in calendar planning. A calendar, when you can help it should be well balanced. A month should not look crammed. If you have an especially busy week, then plan that one of the days you happen to have free is a "keep free/plan nothing" day. I don't care if you have to be constantly doing something! Or if you are one of "those busy bodies". There is VALUE in the stillness!
4. Schedule dates with your spouse. Get them on the calendar. DATES are extremely important to set time aside for!
5. Schedule dates with your kids. Schedule time with each one individually, that you set aside to do whatever they want (within reason). Our kids LOVE coffee dates and just talking.
6. You have the REST of your life to do "everything" else. Remember you will never look back and wish you did one more event, went to one more gathering, meeting, trip, etc... BUT You will look back and wish you spent one more moment with your child(ren).
7. Don't sacrifice your kids on the altar of busyness & hectic schedules. Don't be so willing to trade in your family for anything.
8. Eat at least 3 dinners a week together as a family
9. Love to a child is most often spelled T-I-M-E

We must strive to balance our weeks, then our months, so our years don't fly so tremendously fast. Don't rush this time you have with your children. Don't thrive on them being "gone".

Your child needs you. They need to know that you want to be with them. That you like being with them. That you not only LOVE them, but you like them and thoroughly enjoy them too!

Slow down...Say No...Put your family first

August 4, 2011

Ode to Motherhood

What to you is the loudest, most obnoxious animal at the zoo? Multiply that by 10 and you have the sounds endured on the car ride home from church last night.

My best friend drove us home because my van is in the shop & jeremy needed his car. So in the midst of the cackling hyena, screeching penguin, and obnoxious sea lion, in other words: MY 3 Kids; my best friend says "so this is really your life, hey?"

My response: "Yea, it's amazing I'm not addicted to meth"

I love my kids. Don't get me wrong. They are the cutest, most adorable, sweetest, 'I cannot smooch them enough' kids on earth! I LOVE my children.

But like any good mom, sometimes you just have to think, it's amazing we're as sane as we actually are, given all that being a mom entails. Ode to single parents who do it all alone, cause when my husband is out of town and there is no "momma needs quiet time". Wow. My ears bleed, my kids talk non-stop, they are all mini-me's...3 times little me. Ahhhhhhhh!

Little divas...

I'll take the crazy & chaos over ANY thing though. Because how can you not see these faces and feel beyond blessed as a mom!