Another Healthy Recipe

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Here’s to feeling good and something tasting great!  This recipe from Women’s Day Magazine and nourishsnacks.com is supposed to help get rid of achy joints and give you energy.  Try it!

Lemon-Ginger Cooler

Place a lemon-Ginger tea bag in 1 cup hot water and steep for 5 minutes.  Remove the tea bag and allow the beverage to cool in the fridge. Once cool, stir in 1/4 cup 100% grapefruit juice, 1 tbsp chopped mint and some ice cubes.

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Pretty Pumpkin

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Here it is!  Fall is in the air already!  The season for pumpkin lattes, pumpkin pie creamer, leaf decorations, sweaters, homecoming, and then…Thanksgiving.  The excitement is already brewing for that beautiful holiday that leads into our Christmas celebrations.  Time flies!  It’s enough to make us either stressed, hungry, or embracing all the memories.  One of my favorite memories is being called “Pretty Pumpkin” by my Dad. Whenever we would drive by Pumpkin Lane, he would chant “Pumpkin Lane” and give my leg or arm or whatever was within reach a tickle.  Pumpkins take on special meaning now as I think back to how special that made me feel.  My Dad made me feel special by complimenting me.  He made me feel “pretty” by calling me a pet name.  What things make you feel special?  It may have nothing to do with pumpkin!  What memories do you have that remind you that you are special to your Heavenly Father? Not everyone has an earthly father to give them compliments and provide for all their needs.  But we have our precious Heavenly Father who calls us “chosen” (Colossians 3:12), “beloved” (Deuteronomy 33:12), “treasured possession” (Deuteronomy 7:6), and the “apple of his eye” (Psalm 17:18.)  Let’s ponder some special memories and toast our pumpkin dishes to our Father who meets all our needs and calls us His own.

Now try this yummy, healthy pumpkin smoothie recipe!  Thank you Women’s Day magazine!

Pumpkin Smoothie

Blend 1 banana, 1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt (vanilla or plain), 1/2 cups milk (regular, almond or soy), 1/2 cups pumpkin purée, 1 and 1/2 tsp maple syrup, 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon and 3-5 ice cubes until smooth and frothy.  Makes two servings.

You know you’re a boy mom when….

IMG_16861.Toys ( or anything for that matter) are not used in the manner intended.

Everything can be changed into some sort of device or weapon for the latest adventure. Even legos have a sinister side to them…”Let’s see how many times a week we can get mom to have a fit when she steps on us.”

No, the roof on the playhouse is not meant to be leapt off of onto anything…

I’m pretty sure the sled is not meant for you to surf down the slide…

You don’t even want to know some of the things that I have had to say through the years. I can’t even believe they’ve had to come out of my mouth.

Which leads to….

2. Your heart jumps into your throat at least once daily with some sort of prayer that this is not leading to a trip to the E.R.

“I was just playing around…”   Yeah, most common phrase uttered.

Which is why….

3. Things in your house are either broken or well-loved-on by your boys and their friends.

There is no need to buy new furniture for many more years. Settle in my friend, because you need a crane to get out of that couch.

Cushions are for forts or shields in the battle, couches are for sitting together stacked up like a tower or a wrestling pad. (See number 1)

Which makes….

4. Friendship with you is not for the fainthearted. Either your friends have multiple boys and are used to the noise decibels reaching who knows what, or they love you enough to put up with it.

5. We love candles, diffusers, potpourri, or any good smelling thing….anything that dispels the smell.

The smell. Do I need to say more? I think not.

So, you then….

6. You learn to laugh at or be the queen of no reactions to gross humor.

I try to go with the no reaction thing, but being a dramatic Italian mama can make it difficult.  Boys love to get a REACTION.

7. It is impossible to keep food stocked up. Food comes into the house at an alarming rate and disappears so fast your head spins.

I’ve had to resort to leaving signs on food that I may need to feed someone else and hide my chocolate in a different place each week.

8. Your response to complaints to having to do housework is “Your wife will love me for this and thank me someday. You’re welcome.”

9. Your heart will be stolen and then broken.

From the moment that beautiful baby boy is placed in your arms, your heart is given away.  Every act of independence along the way is celebrated and grieved, knowing that it is your job to train them and let them go.

Which leads to….

10. You will have to trust God in ways you never imagined.

You trust that these amazing, strong-hearted and impetuous boys will hang on to the truths you have given them…listening to the instruction of their parents and following HIM all the days of their lives.  (Proverbs 4)

 

 

The Gift

As December is almost here, Christmas shopping is well under way, my inbox and mailbox are overflowing with deals and coupons, my bins of decorations are begging to be unpacked, and my children are chatting about all the things we love to do in this season. We bake, make abstract gingerbread houses, decorate, buy gifts…..these are all good and wonderful things, but every year my husband and I try to remind and show our children that we celebrate Christmas because of the hope and promise Jesus brought to the world when He became fully human.

In the past we have done advent calendars that incorporated some special family time and ways to serve others. This year we have chosen to go through Ann Voskamp’s devotion for families, Unwrapping the Greatest Gift, A Family Celebration of Christmas.    You can find it here:

The devotional consists of a daily reading for every day in December leading up to Christmas. There are also introspective questions and suggestions for family activities.  It contains printable ornaments that are hung on a Jesse Tree branch. The readings trace the amazing miracle of Jesus’ earthly lineage and the loving  way that God the Father gave us this gift of His only Son. He gave this broken world a perfect and redeeming gift of love. We do not deserve, nor can we do anything to earn, this gift.  In spite of all our brutal mistakes Jesus still came to save and deliver.

I am so excited about learning alongside my whole family, and I am praying that it will become a tangible way my children will come to see and acknowledge how much God loves us in the magnitude of Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection.

I hope your family will be encouraged to find some simple ways to remember and celebrate Jesus. Do not think you need anything fancy or complicated; strive for connection. You can simply read passages from the Bible, spend time with each other, and serve the people around you. Don’t miss getting to unwrap the most precious gift anyone could ever receive and accept.

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s…AKA It’s a spider, it’s a creature, it’s…

This weekend, a fellow 5 Mama gave me the gift of paying my way to attend a moms’ conference. The five of us went together, and it was so life-giving! Instead of getting a hotel room, we commuted back and forth each day.

Every morning, I’d sit and listen to the stories of the chaos that welcomed my friends when they walked in the doors of their homes each night. I didn’t have much to say. All I really needed to do when I got home was wash a few dishes (my husband lovingly decided to use paper plates for dinner), empty the clean dishwasher, and restock the diaper bag for the next day. My home has been pretty messy since baby number 5 came along, so it wasn’t much different than when I am home.

My friends’ stories made me smile. One friend walked all over granola on her kitchen floor and forced herself not to clean up as she stepped over mounds of stuff left around the house. Another friend said she found children, crumbs, and popcorn in her bed when all she wanted to do was collapse into bed for the night. One of the other mamas found out her son had been sick while she was away.

Fast forward to day three. About an hour after I got home, I was putting a full trash bag on the steps that lead to the side door and our basement. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw an unidentified object on the wall near the ceiling. For a second, I thought it was some weird, furry, spider or other creepy creature. Then I saw two more blobs, one high up on the other wall and one low. “What IS that?” I thought one of the big kids had fallen back into preschool mode where wall creations were fun. Then I saw it. At the bottom of the stairs was a lid to a jar, next to it, the jar. If one of my sons had emptied it, he would have either left it on the counter or put it back in the cupboard.

My daughter, Joy, wanted to be responsible-substitute-Mama. She thought we recycled this type of container. Now yes, we are supposed to, but this mama will not work that hard at cleaning something just to put it in the recycle bin. I fail all of future humanity and throw these particular type of sticky, oily jars right in the garbage.

When I do recycle something, I do throw it in down those same stairs, putting a spin on it so it will hopefully land in the basement where the recycle bins are. But I always put the lid back on containers before I throw them down two flights of stairs and make sure the containers are empty and clean. My daughter thought it was ok to throw an almost empty jar down the stairs and then toss the lid down after it.

Any guesses what was on my walls? Yup, those three teaspoon sized globs were ooey gooey peanut butter. I told my husband and then said, “I heard Joel wake up, so I’m going to get him up from his nap and deal with the walls later.” When I went downstairs I saw my husband with paper towels standing at the bottom of the stairs. I said, “Wait! Let me take a picture for the blog!” That’s what going to a moms’ conference with speakers who are bloggers and writers will do to you!

Enjoy my blurry picture 🙂

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