I miss them.
I miss them every day.
I see them.
I may giggle and laugh at them.
But yet I miss them.
My body and mind are still journeying through the recovery process from a very long season of chronic stress. I am not totally sure of the science behind it, but I am finding out that even after the storms of life have passed, it may take your body and mind time to reestablish "normal."
When you are in a season of high stress, especially for an extended amount of time, damage is being done you are not even aware of because your body and mind are still in that constant "fight" mode. You are often surviving on adrenaline. Kind of like running a marathon where you push and push until you reach the end but then your body just collapses.
When you finally reach the end.... you can finally breathe and your body starts releasing that adrenaline and pent up stress you carried in order to survive.
That is where I feel I have been for awhile. Some days are great, others not so much and I definitely struggle with handing stress and adversity, much more than I did in a healthier state.
I trust God in this season. I know He has a purpose for it. However, I find myself crying a lot, sometimes I am not even sure why.
This morning I was meditating on one of my favorite scriptures on crying, (yes, there are even scriptures about that!!!)
"You keep track of my sorrows.
You have collected my tears in a bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book.
God sees my tears and He cares deeply. I don't doubt this for even a moment. So even though from outward perspectives it may appear as though I am falling apart at times, inside my heart, I never doubt God's goodness and faithfulness. I trust Him explicitly, though I struggle with wondering what His bigger plan is. I still have moments of fear of the unknown and questioning when I will ever feel "normal" again.
But even if I never return to what I consider "normal" there is purpose in that as well.
This morning God told me that I HAVE to start refocusing my brain and one of the ways He revealed to me to do this was by saying...
Missy.... laugh. You love to laugh. I know this about you. I gave you this characteristic. And best of all.... you love to laugh at the simple things.... like "glamour shots" of animals and mindless movies. I gave you an eccentric child during this stressful season that makes you laugh every day with her crazy personality! I know you need to cry.... but I also long for you to laugh. I love the sound of your laughter. It brings me great joy. I will hold your tears.... and I will provide you with laughter.
A peace fell upon me as I thought to myself how once again, right, God is. Every day, even in the midst of my struggles, He provides me with laughter in many forms.
For that I am so incredibly grateful. It pulls me from my dark pits and it's like a light just lit up the darkness in my heart! So today... I thought i would share with you some photos and clips of things that make me laugh like crazy!!
I pray, especially if you are needing it today.... they bring you great joy!!!!!
Peace and Blessings
My sister's dog Bruno (AKA Bruce)! I can't get enough of this dog when I visit! I could sit and look at his ridiculous face all day!!!
When Napoleon's uncle throws a steak at him!!!
Yes... I could watch this over and over! LOL
This... need no explanation!!! LOL
I don't know.... but my sisters and I can sit and laugh at this for HOURS!!!
Any time I can do something to make my animals look sillier than they already do... is a good day in my book!
Okay, nothing drives me more crazy than when I find a recipe I want to try and the author of the recipe goes on for three pages about how wonderful the recipe is with 5,436,943 pictures!
Ergo, I swore when I posted a recipe.... all you are going to get... is the recipe, as I would not be taking the time to post a recipe if it was not worthy of posting!! I got this recipe from The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond!
So here goes.... trust me when I say... this bread is DELICIOUS! Especially right out of the oven! I basically ate both loaves by myself, okay, I shared a few slices, but let us suffice to say, I got my carb fix!! LOL
CINNAMON SWIRL BREAD!
1 cup Milk
6 Tablespoons butter
2 1/2 tsp, active dry yeast
2 whole eggs
1 /3 cup sugar
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar (for filling)
2 TBS cinnamon
1 Egg and Milk mixed together for bread topping
Softened butter for filling
Melt butter and milk and let cool until just warm to touch. Add yeast, mix and let sit for 10 minute.
Combine flour and salt.
In an electric mixer mix sugar and eggs until fluffy and creamy with paddle attachment. Pour in milk/butter/yeast mixture and stir to combine.Add half of the four mixture and beat until combined then add remaining flour and beat until combined.
Switch to dough hook attachment and beat/kneed on medium for 10 minutes. Until smooth and elastic. If the dough remains too sticky add 1/4 cup flour and kneed for 5 more minutes. If you do not have a dough hook you can kneed by hand!!!
Place in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 2 hours. I usually turn my oven on for 5 minutes, then shut it off and place the dough in the oven. This time of year it is too cold in my house for the dough to rise very quickly.
Once risen, dump dough on floured surface and roll out into a 18x24 inch rectangle. Smear butter all over dough. I don't measure this, just enough to cover the entire surface with a thin layer of butter. Mix 1/3 cups sugar and 2 TBS cinnamon together and sprinkle on butter. Roll the bread toward you, length rise, tightly, then pinch the ends together. Place in well greased bread pan and cover with plastic wrap for 1-2 more hours. You will know when it has risen enough.
Mix egg and and about 1/4 cup milk together and brush on top of bread. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. You will know it is done when you knock on the top of the loaf and it sounds hollow.
Remove from pan and allow bread to cool (or eat it immediately like myself!!) This makes phenomenal French Toast as well!
You might want to make two loaves, just in case!!!! LOL
Peace and Blessings
So I posted the end result of my DIY chalkboard project a couple of weeks ago and I am happy to report it is working out splendidly! I love it and so do the kiddos, however, I am a tad bit discouraged that in spite of the fact that I post the weekly dinner menu, THEY STILL ask me what's for dinner. I guess it's a lost cause! LOL Some day I will miss it, right?
I also painted the top of my coffee table with chalkboard paint, which has also worked out great!!
Well, I went a little more crazy with the chalkboard paint and painted my pantry door as well as Audree's little play kitchen refrigerator! I am not totally sure if it's my age, having four children or a combo of both, but my memory is just terrible. If I don't write things down, forget it!
So... I used my handy dandy chalkboard paint to paint two spots on my pantry door to write down things I am out of! So far, this has truly helped!!
I had a little help from Eden on the Audree's little kitchen project! It turned out pretty good!!
Lastly, over the weekend I decided my dining room chairs really needed a face lift, ergo, I had the kids help me pick out some new fabric (really, they kind of think they helped, but I made the final decision! LOL) I had redone the chairs before by my lonesome, but this time,Garrick offered to help using his high powered air stapler!!
I was more than happy to let him take over! It was way faster than I would have had them done and of course, he is a perfectionist, whereas, well, I am NOT! LOL They turned out super! The only problem was, I realized that my area rug DOES NOT match the new fabric, ergo, I ordered a new area rug. The one we have is literally 13 years old and has seen better days, so it was time anyway! I found a really nice neutral one on Amazon for a great price!
So, aside from buying the new area rug, all of these little projects only cost me around $12 since I had already bought the chalkboard paint for another project!!
The price makes me even happier than the finished products!!! LOL
I hope this inspires some cheap but helpful and CUTE homemaking hacks for you!
Peace and Blessings
Yesterday, I decided to haul out some trim paint and begin giving my very dirty and dingy white trim a face lift.
Pretty simple task right? Well, it seems that living in a home with four children, two dogs and two cats, rarely is anything super simple! LOL
I had to chuckle at God's sense of humor yesterday as he used my very large Golden Retriever, Fozzy, to teach me a humorous lesson.
I had JUST finished painting a section of base trim near the dining room window, when I headed to the kitchen for a offspring interruption. Mind you, this was the only section of trim I had painted thus far. The entire rest of the house was paintless..... this was the ONLY spot that had wet paint!
I turned around to head back into the dining room and there he sat. Who may you ask? My ginormous, very furry Golden Retriever had plopped his big body down right against the wet paint!!!
Now, in his defense a bit, he does often like to lay by that window, however, for the most part he lays on his bed or the couch! The window is not his first pick. So of course, I begin my popular preaching, that not only my children rarely listen to, but I'm almost positive the dog couldn't care less about.
"Come on Foz!! REALLY? You had the ENTIRE house to choose from and you choose the WET PAINT? For crying out loud!"
Of course, he just looks up at me with those big brown blank eyes, and begins wagging his tail as if I was speaking words of affirmation to him. LOL
And then God spoke amidst my tiny tantrum! His words were very clear!! I heard this....
Ahhh... now you know how I felt with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden!! Now you know how I feel when I give you most of the world and you still want to choose the things I did not will for you!!
Well, with my tail tucked between my legs, I had to snicker at His words as I realized how very true they were!
I work diligently at recognizing the blessings God gives me but I very often fail. They aren't enough.... I want more. I want the wet painted trim.
I was reminded that yes, I have come so far in the realm of contentment; God has taught me so much, however, I still fail daily at recognizing, even among life's chaos, how very much God has given me.
Life will NEVER be perfect! It will never be everything I WANT, because my wants are never satisfied and God knows this.
He could give me everything I ever wanted in life and two days later if even, I would want something else. We see this with our children ALL. THE. TIME. They beg and beg for something, they finally get it, a week later (not even) they want something else!
As I look at the white paint stuck to Fozzy's fur, it is a reminder of my discontentment and how running after the things God has not willed can leave us branded, wounded or scarred.
May I choose contentment... today.
Peace and Blessings
So.... my very talented husband graciously helped me finish my chalkboard project!
I wish I had thought to take a photo of the before state of this old window! Anyone who watched the video clip I did on this project will remember the state of the window! It had old dirty glass and a divider in the middle.
We painted a piece of plywood with primer and then four coats of chalkboard paint. Garrick removed the old window and divider and assembled this beauty! He also painted the wood with lacquer as it had a lot of old dust and dirt seeping from every crevice!
I LOVE, LOVE , LOVE the finished product!! So do the kids! It is providing much entertainment for the wildest one (Audree) during school!! Plus Plus!!
Since I had plenty of chalkboard paint left, I decided to paint the top of my old coffee table! I purchased this table from Pottery Barn YEARS ago, Camden was just one year old, if that gives you a hint. But it is super solid and great for crazy, accident prone children! I have painted it a couple of times as well!
It is amazing what you can do with chalkboard paint! I have couple other projects I am going to take on with that handy dandy stuff! I am going to paint a section on the front of my pantry door to write down items that are gone and I need to purchase! I am NOTORIOUS for forgetting these staples at the store as I don't use them every day!
Eden, my 8 year old, had the great idea to paint a little section on Audree's little play refrigerator for her to write on!
Those will be my next little home projects! So... I highly recommend chalkboard paint! The possibilities are endless!!
Tune in for my finished pantry door and play fridge!!!
Peace and Blessings
I go through spurts with Pinterest!
Recently, I added a Pinterest page to my blog and have been having waaay too much fun with it!
I was nosing around for recipes and of course got extremely side tracked and wound up hunting down cute Valenties's Day decorations, which in turn, lead me to DIY projects!
Well, I found two I just couldn't resist and headed off to WalMart with my girls yesterday to purchase the supplies. The girls have had a recent obsession with homemade slime and we have invested in copious amounts of Elmer's glue. I have allowed them to go with it since I can include it as part of a science lesson on chemical reactions!
So here are my finished projects!
I saw these baskets and I feel in love with them! I plan on hanging one in the kid's bathroom and used one at my coffee bar. I have one left to find a home for. It made three!!
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
- Hot glue gun
- Wire baskets (I bought these at Walmart for $1.98 a piece)
- Little chalkboard plaques (Purchased at Walmart for $2.90 for a package of 4)
- A roll of twine (Walmart $1 something for a large roll)
All I did was hot glue a piece of twine to the back of the chalkboard and then tied it around the wire basket. THAT'S IT! I will need to buy some hooks, but that won't cost much! So I made a total of three baskets for about $2 a piece!!!
Here is one I am using at my coffee bar for coffee, tea and hot cocoa!!
Next... I made an adorable Valentine's Day paper doilie banner.
WHAT YOU NEED:
- One package of paper doilies (Walmart package of 20 for $1.88)
- Roll of twine (I bought for the previous project at Walmart for $1 something!)
All you need to do is cut a piece of twine and thread it through the doilies! I wrapped scotch tape around the end of the twine so it would be easier to thread!!! I also added glitter to one, not sure I like it as much!! It was super cheap.... a total of $3.50 and it will make a ton of banners!!!
I hung one in Audree's play kitchen area!!!
So there ya have it!!! I spent under $10 on all of these projects!
Sometimes it's refreshing just to check out and use your creativity!
I pray you are given some time to do the same!
Peace and Blessings
It is very true, that husbands often get a bad rap! Wives often expect things from their husbands that are just not part of their make up and God's design.
It does not mean that they cannot accommodate and learn these skills, but they will more than likely never become first nature to them and they will often struggle to maintain their progress.
They are lots of things that I have learned to let go over the years and just accept that this is my hubby and that is okay! I know there are things he would love to change about me!!!! We don't need to name them.... but I know there is a list!!! LOL
Anyhoo.... yesterday I had an experience with one of my children that made it very clear to me , that there are things my husband is WAAAAYYYY better at than me!!!
Being able to hold a fussy baby, make dinner and talk to an insurance company on the phone at the same time is NOT the only valuable skill in a marriage! He has some doozies that I don't hold a candle to and yesterday, this became clear to me.
My son turned 14 in December and you better bet your boots he was up at the courthouse getting his permit two days after his birthday! Now, it is important to note that at that very same time, our car really began having issues and we felt God telling us the smart thing to do, was trade it in. So... after a long season of desiring a newer vehicle, I was blessed with one and not just that.... it was the car I have wanted for YEARS!
I won't get into the big, long story, but let me just tell you, God orchestrated this for us perfectly and I finally got my Honda Pilot!
So... now, I have the car I've always wanted and I also have a new, very inexperienced (and a little over confident) driver. Along with being a new driver, he wants to drive ALLLLL THE TIME! He is running errands with me he NEVER would have, just to get behind the wheel of my car.
So, as you can well imagine, I am a NERVOUS Nelly! I can already be a backseat driver when Garrick is behind the wheel. It is one of my faults, I admit it dear! It drives him crazy I think, but he is a very patient man and so far, he continued to allow me to sit in the front with him! LOL
Yesterday, my son had an off morning driving to school. Yes, every morning he wants to drive when I drop him off at school. Well, he was very distracted and had a few close calls and I of course was a tad frantic! He informed me, in not the nicest tone mind you, that dad is waaay calmer! He doesn't flip out if I make a mistake!
At that moment I realized, he is totally right and I am very grateful for that!
There are things that my husband is just more equipped to handle than me and I am incredibly grateful that God has given me a partner that balances our life out a bit.
I would feel bad for my son if he had to learn to drive with two a Nervous Nelly and Ned! I spend most of the car ride with him rubbing necking until my neck hurts!! Garrick just sits back and calmly observes!
So.... yesterday I began running a list in my mind of all the things my husband is better at than me.... and I will tell you.... it was refreshing to become more aware of this! So... here is the list.....
- TEACHING OUR CHILD TO DRIVE IN MY NEW TO ME CAR!! ( I already made this one clear!! LOL)
- DEALING WITH BROKEN APPLIANCES and vehicles! (There really is nothing he cannot fix and he never gets frazzled, unlike me... I have myself doing dishes by hand and walking uphill in the snow for all eternity when something goes wrong!)
- PACKING A CAR FOR A TRIP! (He is like a testris wizard with the amount of stuff we have to haul with four kids! I look at the pile and think, this will NEVER fit, and he makes it fit every time!
- DRIVING IN BAD WEATHER!!(I will drive in a little snow, but once there is more than an inch or so, I am stationary! He can and does drive in anything. He once got us home safely in an ice storm, pulling a huge trailer full of furniture. We were literally sliding at a stand still. He did it and calmly at that!)
- MOVING FURNITURE! I can spend ten minutes trying to shove something across the room and he'll walk in and move it with one arm!
- MOWING THE GRASS! It always looks like a professional mowed our lawn when he does it, I am not horrible, but zig zags aren't an issue for me! LOL
- LOADING THE DISHWASHER! I just don't care, I should, but I don't. He is meticulous and I do believe, he does get a bit annoyed at my blazay attitude toward loading the dishwasher!
- FOLD LAUNDRY! I fold it and do is decently, however, his laundry always looks like it was folded by the military! No joke!
- IRONING! I don't iron, I will but I am horrible at it! He is a master and irons all his own clothes! So much so, that one day when I was using the iron, our daughter asked me, "what are you doing with daddy's iron?" LOL
So, there is a the short list! And I am grateful for every one of these things!!! I often fail to remember them!
What are some things your husband is better at than you that you can acknowledge today???
It is refreshing to remind ourselves that we became one with the person God knew would pick up where we leave off!!!!
Thank you Garrick D. for your many talents and gifts that you patiently share with your family!!!
Peace and Blessings
My kids LOVE stuffed crust pizza!! I will admit.... I happen to love the cheesy crust as well! Long ago, I figured out how they stuff that darn crust, and it is easy as can be!
This is my go to, no fail, pizza crust recipe along with a crust stuffing of delicious cheese
Give it a whirl!
STUFFED CRUST PIZZA
1 Tbsp yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 1/2 cups of flour
1 package of string cheese
1 can pizza sauce
and choice of toppings
* I use a mixer to make my dough, with the hook attachment, but you can certainly do it by hand. Dissolve yeast in warm water, add the rest of your ingredients. If you like, you can add a few shakes of garlic powder for flavor! Mix with paddle mixer and once the dough is mixed, put the hook attachment on. Let dough kneed for about 3 minutes. If you do this by hand, mix dough until well mixed then dump on floured surface and kneed for 3 minutes.
Photo Credit: Is it delivery? NO, it's Digornio!!
Cover the dough and let rest for 5 minutes! This step is important as it makes the dough softer and more pliable. Spray your pizza pan well. Spread dough across pizza pan leaving excess around the edges for the crust. The dough can be very thin, it will fluff up when cooking. Now take the string cheese around the edge of the pizza, pulling the dough up over the cheese and pinching it closed. Do this around the entire perimeter of the pizza.
Now cover dough with sauce and desired toppings!
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes!
Peace and Blessings
Your Hungry Friend
I'm all about JOY in life. I have learned the HUGE difference between being "happy" and being "joyful."
Happiness is dependent upon circumstances, where as joy.... is an internal emotion that cannot easily be snatched away by adverse circumstances! God bring JOY! When He remains my focus.... I am able to maintain my joy, understanding He in full control and wants what is best for me, therefore, I have nothing to fear or dread. He is using every situation in my life for His greater purpose and my job is to allow my life to be used for His glory. What greater joy could there be than this?
However, I will tell you, I have truly come to value some of the little things God has lead me to do on a daily basis that truly help my joy thermometer stay stable!! Life can become monotonous, mundane and very routine. You become almost like a robot, just surviving the day, forgetting that joy was meant to be abundant in the company of the Lord.
Winter can really become mundane for me. As a homeschool/ stay at home mom, the long, cold, winter days trapped inside with kiddos can become very, let us say, repetitious! I long for a variance in my day! Here are some things God has lead me to do... to help maintain that joy we all so greatly long for!!
1. ALWAYS, ALWAYS start my day with God. It does not matter if all you have is 5 minutes to pray and read a Psalm or Proverb or any scripture you are lead to. That is 5 minutes well invested and gives God the opportunity to speak into your heart. Never let Satan convince you, you don't have time. You ALWAYS have time for God. Set your alarm for 10 minutes earlier and make Him a priority! This will be the greatest thing you can do!!! Trust me on this one!!!
2. Enjoy a warm morning beverage!! If you aren't a coffee drinker, that is A OKAY! There are tons of awesome warm and yummy drinks out there. Flavored teas, which can also be very healthy, Chai Tea is delicious and you can often find pods for your Keurig, which makes them super convenient as well! This is a great thing to enjoy while you read your scripture and pray!
3. Make your bed! YES! You heard me! Make your bed!! As silly as this may sound, here is why.... first off... your room should be your quiet, peaceful, haven! Make yourself a cozy warm bed with lots of fluffy pillows! It will not only give you a sense of peace when you are in your room but it will be sooo inviting at the end of the day!! Allow one room in your home to be a bit organized... your little haven away from the chaos of the world! Put a candle in your room along with a little table by your bed to keep your Bible, journal, your warm beverage or anything else you need to feel peace!
4. TAKE AT LEAST 15-20 MINUTES FOR YOUR BODY! I try to run/ speed walk 3-4 times per week. I love going outdoors, but I also have a dreaedmill. Even though I often do dread climbing on that thing.... I feel SOOOO much better when I am finished! I do this in the morning.... so I can start my day feeling more energized and accomplished! If you don't have a treadill, buy a video, do some yoga, run your stairs... anything that helps your body!!! This WILL make a huge difference in your day!! Trust me on this one too!!!
5. Find a hobby you enjoy and make a slot of time for it as often as possible! I love to Bible journal. I don't have as much time as I would like to do this, but even if I am able to spend 10 minutes a day at it, it brings me joy! You could spend your lunch hour doing something you love!!!
6. DECORATE your home! This one is huge for me!! My environment has a great effect on my mental health! Though my home is no Better Homes and Gardens, I love to spend time making it a peaceful and cozy place to be. You can do this by spending very little money, just being creative! A great idea is to have a home decor swap with friends. Everyone gets tired of their own things, so if everyone brings the things they want to get rid of, you can just swap!!! Goodwills and Second Hand stores are fun to scour for items as well. A coat of paint can change an entire space!!! Make a place you enjoy being!
7. LAUGH! We need to laugh everyday!!! NEED TO! So, when I feel I am lacking joy in my day, I turn on something to make me laugh... like I Love Lucy reruns on HULU! Or National Lampoons Christmas vacation! Something that always make me laugh and smile! Call someone who makes you laugh or pull up YouTube videos that make you chuckle!! Find a way to laugh!! Belly laugh if possible!!! Laughter is known to boost your immune system and do so much more!! Read the benefits of laughter here....http://www.helpguide.org/articles/emotional-health/laughter-is-the-best-medicine.htm
So... there you have it! Some small ways to make your 2017 a little more joyful!!!!! I would love to hear anything you do on a daily basis that brings you more joy!!!
Peace and Blessings
So... my family has LOTS of traditions!!! But one of our favorites it the drinking of Tom and Jerry's each Christmas Day!
We had these warm, delicious and and frothy drinks every Christmas Day at my grandparent's house!
They taste similar to egg nog but much tastier and lighter!!! And it is a warm drink! I was scouting around online the other day and actually found the recipe posted! So apparently, we are not the only family that enjoys these tasty drinks!
I am going to share the recipe with all of you today and perhaps you can make this a part of your yearly Christmas celebration!!
TOM AND JERRY'S
1 pound powdered sugar
Nutmeg and Cinnamon
A roaster of boiling water
A pot of boiling water
Take big roaster pan and fill it with about 3 inches of water. Place on stove top and keep water warm. Keep mugs in hot water.
Keep another pot of boiling water going!
Separate egg yolks from egg whites and place in different bowls
With mixer, beat eggs yolks until smooth
Add powdered sugar to egg yolks and beat until creamy yellow
Photo Credit: Chowhound (my grandparents had these EXACT mugs!!!)
Beat egg whites until they form peaks
Fold egg whites into egg yolks and powdered sugar mixture
Ladle about one ladle full of egg mixture into a hot mug, fill to the top with boiling water! Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg!
My family looks forward to these every year and my kids also love them!!!
They are very different... but so good!!!
Love and Blessings