Thursday, November 25, 2010

So thankful

My mind is racing and I am so emotional just thinking about the many things I have been blessed with. I am very aware most of the time that I am so very blessed but now that I am taking a step back and really examining just everything God has filled my life with, I realize that gratefulness is not enough and that there is no way I can thank God enough for this beautiful life. Since this time last year, so many things have changed and I have grown so much personally.

My top ten reasons to be thankful are:

1. Jesus Christ. My relationship with God has been so strengthened over the past year and my understanding, love and faith have come so far. My family has been so blessed to have found a church that we feel so welcome at and that is challenging us all the time to not be stagnant in our faith but to always improve and strengthen. We were feeling so frustrated and lost at other churches that we attended and on July 3 we happened to see The Journey's band playing and attended the next service and found our church home!

2. My husband, who is the most loving and honest man I have ever met. He works so hard and does all he can to make sure that I can stay home with our children and provide them with everything they need. He is the most trustworthy, hardworking and caring person I have ever met and I am so grateful that my sons will grow up modeling themselves after him.

3. Rocklyn, my son, who has been a miracle in every way. I never knew a love like this existed and he has brought more meaning to every moment of my life than I ever thought possible. He is the most beautiful thing I have ever laid my eyes on and he amazes me every day.

4. Ryder, our son who is due in January. This pregnancy has been difficult being so close to my last pregnancy in time, but I am so excited to continue growing our family.

5. Graduate school, MAE program at Cumberland. I feel so truly blessed to be able to continue working on my education and preparing to teach in a couple years at this time. I am also so glad for my husband's ability to be working on his graduate degree as well.

6. Friends. You do really learn as you grow older that quanitity of friends means nothing and quality is everything. I have had to weed some people out of my life but the friends that remain I have found are those that truly care about me and my life as much as I do theirs. Our circle of friends has continued to grow with genuine, great people and I am so excited to watch these friendships grow.

7. Family. They say relationships grow and change once you have your own children and I have never been happier with my relationship with my mother as I have been since becoming a mom myself.

8. Knowledge. Our family has been so dedicated to please Christ and make great decisions in everything and it has strengthened us all and we have learned so much. From budgeting, to our health, to keeping a home, raising children, spending our time wisely and all other areas of life we have improved greatly and I am so grateful for this.

9. Love. I realize more and more that in a world that can seem to full of hatred and satan, love really is dwelling all around if you focus on it. Serving others is so very vital to an enriched life and I am so grateful to have had the opportunities to serve that I have and cannot wait to continue with this.

10. Everyday miracles. From waking up in the morning to a shining sun to being able to watch my belly grow with my son inside it to things as simple as having clean water to drink, these simple miracles that we make take for granted should not be passed by and I am so thankful for everything. I do not and probably never will know what its like to lay my head down at night without a roof and security over me and for this I am so grateful and hope to decrease just how many people this is a reality for.

I pray that each of you reading this can find many things in your life to be thankful for and to realize that none of it is your doing, it is all because of God. Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

something sweet

Good afternoon! I am not feeling like myself today, just a little bit of negativity easing in, so I need to post something sweet to make me smile! Let me take a break from all that is healthy and post this recipe for spiced pumpkin cheesecake! Mmmmmmmm 'tis the season lol. I am thinking of making this for my husband's potluck at work next week so that I don't have the opportunity to eat any! Because I fear if I do, I will never stop!

38 Nabisco ginger snaps, finely crushed
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup butter, melted
4 packages (8 oz each) of Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp canilla
4 eggs
1 cup thawed cool whip whipped topping
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
Heat oven to 325 degreesF mis crumbs nut and butter: press onto bottom and 1 inch up side of 9 inch springform pan. Beat cream cheese and sugar with mixer until blended. Add pumpkin, spice and vanilla and mix well. add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing after each just until blended. put into crust. bake 1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hr 30 mins or until center is almost set. loosen cake from rim of pan, cool before removing rim. refridgerate 4 hours. serve with a dollop of cool whip and a dusting of nutmeg.
prep time 15 mins
makes 16 servings
And to add in some more sweet pictures just to bring more happiness to all of our days...

Monday, November 1, 2010


I have been attending a spiritual discipline class at our church, The Journey Church of Lebanon, and it has really impacted me in many ways. Last Thursday, we discussed the topics of serving, time and money. I have made a commitment to my family to save as much money as I can through couponing, meal planning and homemaking our son's food and to better the health of all of us. In a society of fast and processed food, obesity and laziness, I have made a commitment to my family to go in the opposite direction. I have struggled with my weight all of my adult life and I never ever want to see my children go through this struggle as well. Eating out of boredom, eating just based on taste and not for health and energy, eating to mask emotions; these have become such a part of the lives of many Americans and it will not be a part of my family. It is not only life threatening but it is sinful and God has provided us with these bodies and entrusted us to care for them.
I have began making all of my ten month old son's foods and not only is this the best for his health, I have found I really enjoy it. I spent a couple hours this past Saturday in the kitchen making meals for him and not only ended up making over a month's worth of food to freeze but gaining a peace of mind as well. Cooking is therapy! I have decided to add in some favorite recipes throughout the week for not only babies but some for my family as well. I will also add in some sweets that are not organic and the most healthy but portion control is everything!!!! The meals I prepared this past weekend include butternut squash, butternut squash and cinammon apples, zuccini with banana, pumpkin, lentils and pumpkin, sweet potato and brown rice, spinach and carrots, and beets. Rocklyn's favorite has definitely been the butternut squash and apples followed by the zuccini with banana. He has no desire for the lentils and pumpkins, but lentils are so great for him, especially since we are not introducing meat into his diet and I hope to find a food to mix them with that will get him chowing down on them.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND APPLES: cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds and guts, place facedown into a baking dish of one inch of water and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Core, peel and slice the apples into 1 inch pieces, place into a baking dish with 1 inch of water, sprinkle cinammon throughout and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Then take them both out, remove them from water, scrape the squash out of the peel and place both items into a food processor. Voila.
ZUCCINI WITH BANANA: Cut the zuccini into slices or chunks, steam until softened, chop up banana pieces, place all in blender. Easy enough.
I have been using breastmilk storage bags for storing the foods in the freezer and easy de-thawing but I welcome any suggestions on better storage!
A few books I highly recommend include First Meals and More by Annabel Karmel, Cooking Light First Foods by Cooking Light and Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfield, (yes, Jerry's wife!). I picked up the first two at the local library and purchased the third at Kohls for less than ten dollars! Deceptively Delicious is a great recipe book especially for those families who have not raised their kids on healthy foods from the start and need to "trick" them into eating better. These are DELICIOUS and she is coming out with a second book as I write this called Double Delicious! Good, Simple Food For Busy, Complicated Lives. I highly recommend checking these out for husbands and children who are having trouble changing their tastes for healthier meal options.
I hope these suggestions have helped and I am more than happy to welcome any recipes, baby food mixture suggestions, storage ideas and more!
God bless!