Monday, April 30, 2012

Mother's Day Giveaway!

mothers day gift ideas 

 Everyone loves their mom and always wants to find the best gift to make her feel loved and appreciated. These are the gifts I have found and would love to share with you.


A $25.00 Gift Certificate to The Hunger Store Site 
&
A $15.00 Starbucks Gift Card

You can pick out a gift that gives back and relax with a cup o' joe.





After you enter my giveaway head over to Makobi Scribe to see her Mothers day gift ideas worth over $3000. Then stop by Sason & Pobi to enter the grand prize drawing of a Toshiba 32SLV411U - 32" class 720p 60Hz TV/DVD Combo!


Makobi Scribe Reviews, LLC or the Mother’s Day Gift Event Bloggers are not responsible for sponsors that do not fulfill their prizes.

And We Go!




There are a few of you out there can totally relate to my title...Laura, Courtney and Heather, if you are reading this I hope it made you chuckle. 

The time has come....We are going a little bit city, a little bit country.  We are on the move! 

Yes, it is what that means, we are MOVING on down the road....seriously not to terribly far from where we are but we are downsizing our lives so we can upsize everything else.  We are moving from a 2000 sq foot home to a 1400 sq ft home (still much more space than many have) so you won't find me complaining any time soon. It does however only have one bathroom so that might take some getting used to but I am sure we can handle it. 

Out with the old, NOT replaced by the new.  When I say downsizing we are downsizing in EVERY area of our lives.  Purging stuff.  Stuff that has been binding us.  Stuff that has been holding us back from living more abundantly.  Stuff that we don't need.  No, we are not just tossing or giving away every creature comfort we have but we are simplifying both out of want and out of need (since we won't have as much space).  We will be tithing more, giving more to Compassion, to GHNI for the villages I visited this past February among other causes we find worthy of our time and money. We will be saving more for missions we want to go on this upcoming year.  My husband hopefully to Mexico soon and I, back over to Ethiopia again and a couple other missions hopefully thrown in that we are researching.

We will be living "more simply so others can simply live".

I hope you continue on with me and the journey that lies ahead for our family.  I am excited for this new adventure that we are embarking on. 





Image Detail
Image Detail
Source

This is not a picture of where we are moving from or to but rather a picture of
a city and a country road to signify "a little bit city, a little bit country"



Menu Plan Monday



Things were a bit hairy last week so although I still did a menu plan, since I always do, I did not post it or link it to I'm An Organizing Junkie like I usually do.

But alas, here it is for this week:


Sunday

Butternut Squash Ravioli
Green Salad
Garlic Bread

Monday

Chili Burritos
Spanish Rice

Tuesday

Southwest Scrambled Eggs
Toast

Wednesday

Vegetable Chow Mein Noodles
Applesauce

Thursday

Pasta Fagioli
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Friday

Chickpea Salad Sammies*
Carrots/Celery/Ranch

Saturday

TBA--Possible Date Night



*Did you see my Chickpea Salad Sammies recipe.  Check it out here.



What's on your menu this week?



Sunday, April 29, 2012

Heart of Haiti

 


This Mother's Day, I'm working with Clever Girls in support of Macy's Heart of Haiti to shine a light on the "trade, not aid" program, which provides sustainable income to Haitian artisans struggling to rebuild their lives and support their families after the 2010 earthquake.




Do you have a person near and dear to your heart?  Someone who has made a profound difference in your life?  Someone who has helped shape the person you are today?  I do too. 

She is my aunt Noreen, who you might remember, I have written about her in the past.  She passed away in 2005 from early on set of Alzheimer's disease and she was so young; early 50's.  I miss her terribly.  She was like my other mother for many years.  I lived with her and my uncle for several years growing up.  She always believed in me.  She knew I would stand up against adversity and become someone she could be proud of.  I just wish she could see me now because I think I have even come more into my own these past couple years.  She has such a giving heart that was passed down to me.  She always gave people the benefit of the doubt and was very compassionate.  We named our daughter partially after her.  Her middle name is Kay.  Our daughters name is Kaylyn.  There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of her. She was the wind beneath my wings 

In honor of Mother's Day, I want you to remember a special women in your life even if she wasn't your mother.  Your aunt, cousin, teacher...Take a moment, reflect and remember.





 What is Macy’s Heart of Haiti? Heart of Haiti is a “Trade, Not Aid” initiative launched by artist and social entrepreneur, Willa Shalit, The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund and Macy’s. Already, Heart of Haiti has led to employment of 750 artists in Haiti, providing financial benefits for an estimated 8,500 people in the country.  Each item is a one-of-a-kind design and handmade by a Haitian master artisan from raw materials such as recycled oil drums, wrought iron, papier-mâché and stone. The collection features more than 40 home decor items including quilts, metalwork, ceramics, jewelry and paintings and is made almost entirely from recycled and sustainable items such as old cement bags, cardboard, oil drums and local gommier wood.  Heart of Haiti products are available online at Macy’s.com.






Thank you to Macy's Heart of Haiti for sponsoring my participation in this “Share Your Heart" promotion. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Spaghetti Casserole



I eluded to this recipe a few nights ago on my Facebook page so I figured I better share it.  It is a "new to me" spin on plain ol' boring spaghetti.


Spaghetti Casserole

Ingredients

16 oz spaghetti noodles, cooked al dente
16 oz can of Progresso Tomato Basil Soup*
16 oz low fat cottage cheese
2 eggs
1 med green pepper, diced
1 med red pepper,diced
1 sm onion, diced
4-6 mushrooms, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
16 oz shredded Mozzarella cheese
garlic salt (to taste)
Olive Oil
Cooking spray



Directions

1.  Cook spaghetti al dente, drain, add eggs and mix, set aside
2.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees
3.  Saute all of the vegetables in olive oil and garlic salt except tomatoes
4.  Spray 10 x 13 casserole dish with cooking spray
5.  Spread spaghetti noodles out on bottom of casserole dish one layer and then build up the sides
6.  Pour can of Tomato Basil Soup onto spaghetti noodles
7.  Add a layer of shredded Mozzarella cheese (8oz)
8.  Add layer of cottage cheese
9.  Add layer of sauteed vegetables over cottage cheese
10.  Add a layer of shredded Mozzarella cheese (8oz)
11.  Cook in oven for 20-30 minutes
12.  Add diced tomatoes to the top the last 5 minutes

Pair with a salad or garlic bread and you have dinner!







All Over The Board



It has been a bit of a crazy week, this week....I have been somewhat absent from the blog world, concentrating on a few things that have come down the pipeline.  And let me just say, emotions have been running high.  I am not sure which way is up right now.  I have been all over the board (kind of like this blog post).  At moments I just want to pull my hair out.  Complete SCATTERBRAIN.  Other moments I see complete clarity.  I know eventually it will all come to fruition and life again will be peaceful, maybe even tranquil.  Quiet.  Still.  But until then there is no telling where this roller coaster will stop.  It is all up in the air at the moment.

I leave you with this on this "Thank.God.It's.Friday" Friday....(lol)...not that things will slow down in my world or your world for that matter when Saturday rolls around, right?)  We can all dream.  Ahhhh....


My friend Jill quoted this yesterday as we were talking about the direction our families life has taken recently and it is a quote probably many of you know....



 "Live simply so that others may simply live." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
 
 
Have a blessed day!  You are alive! 
 

View From Here.  Spring!



 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Thinking Out Loud



Wow, has it been since Friday that I posted anything.  Yikes!  That is a long time in the blog world.

It has been very warm here the last couple days.  I am definitely not complaining because it has been very depressing with the wet weather.  We actually set a record for most rainfall in March.  It is already the end of April, can you believe that?  Where has the time gone?  As I type this though, it is back to clouds.  Oh well, it was good while it lasted.

We are still chugging along trying to put some plans in to action to move us forward on our next adventure.  It started off pretty quickly, came to a screeching halt and then now has slowly taken off again.   I can't wait til it all comes together so I can start talking about it.  I just don't want to get ahead of myself and then have to back peddle. 

Peanut butter.  I am liking peanut butter these days.  Good fat and good protein.  Obviously, you can't eat a jar of it a day or anything but it sure does make celery taste better.  We have been eating tons of vegetables for obvious reasons (we are eating a vegetarian diet; week 4) but I am finding that we need to compost since we have so many left over peels from cucumbers, potatoes, apples, oranges, parts of stocks from celery, asparagus ends,  etc...and I hate tossing that all down the garbage disposal or trash. 

This past Sunday was Compassion Sunday.  Compassion Sunday is a national event that draws the attention of the Church to the needs of the world's poorest children.  My friends Jill and Kevin gave a presentation at church.  Because of them and their love for children that Compassion represents, several children have been sponsored by members of our church over the past year.  I can't wait to hear how many children were sponsored. 

Kaylyn got sick last night.  Not sure why.  But she decided to throw up several times, in our bed.  She toddled in pretty late and I was so tired, I just put her in bed with me only to be awoken abruptly from the sound of her throwing up.  Nothing like waking up in the middle of the night to that huh?  And unfortunately we went through this two more times....Fun times!  I was so tired this morning, of course she was feeling great at that point...I had to drag myself into work, albeit a bit late.  I was going to stay out the whole day but figured since she seemed like she was feeling better, which she was/is, I didn't want to burn a day of sick time unnecessarily.

We babysat our grand dog for two days.  She is the sweetest black lab you will ever meet.  She loves playing with the kids, although Hayden got taken for a walk with her.  Hayden had the lead on her and she took off, taking Hayden with her, down he went skinning his elbow and knees.  Poor kid.  He is such a trooper though.  She is about 45lbs now and she thinks she is a lap dog.  Every chance she gets she tries to crawl up in your lap and cuddle.

Tyler went to Acquire The Fire this past weekend with our church youth group and apparently had a blast.  The Afters were there and Flame among several other Christian bands that he loves.  I love that he has such an open heart for Jesus.  He really makes me proud.

Anywho, what's on your mind? 





Friday, April 20, 2012

It's Only Water



The bare necessity.  It is not a want but a need.  A need that is not met for so many.

There's a shadow coming
As the sky goes black
It's a stubborn rain
On a Nebraska African plain

They want to farm, they do.  They want to be self sufficient.  They have plenty of land to grow their own food.  They want to feed their families.

There's a farmer standing
On a thirsty ground
He holds his breath
This IS life or death
It's only water

Here we are.  Living abundantly.  Taking for granted so much.  Even the poorest of the poor here, have MORE than they do. 

And it washes over me
Like a single river stone
Changes everything
But has no power on its own
It's only water

We may not think it changes everything nor has a power on its own.  But it does for them. 

There's a winding canyon
Where a mountain stood
Miles of earth and clay
Carried far away

They walk several miles to the dry river bed to dig up the ground water or to the closest town to fill up their jugs EVERYDAY. 

But there's something holy
In these cathedral walls
They took a lot of years
And a lot of tears
It's only water

They don't complain.  They rejoice for they have life.  They live for today because there may not be a tomorrow.  But everyday brings a new struggle of survival that you or I have probably never experienced.

And it washes over me
Like a single river stone
Changes everything
But has no power on its own
It's only water

Yet, here we are.  We have 57 kinds of toothpaste to choose from!

There once was a wedding
All the wine was gone
They said He's just a man
That's where it all began
It was only water

Many will not live to see their children grow, get married, meet their grandchildren.  Many children will die before their parents of malnutrition.  Illness. Disease.

And it washes over me
Like a single river stone
Changes everything
But has no power on its own

Water for Megaladi, can change EVERYTHING.

It washes over me
Like a single river stone
Changes everything
But has no power on its own, on its own
It's only water

It is ONLY water, but it could do so much.  This is the first and foremost thing they need to start their transformational journey.  Will you help them?

You can sponsor Megaladi for as little as $12.00 a month and  help supply them with the tools to bring a working water pump/purification system to the village.

With water, it will change EVERYTHING.  But they need your help.

Please visit their sponsor page for more information about how you can get involved and be part of the transformation that they so badly need. 







Words in italics are from It's Only Water by Brandon Heath.

What To Eat



Let me first preface this post by saying that I am by no means an expert on vegetarianism.  I am still learning every day and I am sure I will be for a long time.  I can however say that before I decided to take the plunge I did do A LOT of research.  The choice to become vegetarian did not come suddenly, it came from a few years worth of gall bladder issues which subsequently resulted in the removal of my gall bladder.  Now without a gall bladder my digestive track has issues at times often.  Although, I love animals and hate to see them hurt, I cry watching the cruel conditions that some animals are bred in for our consumption, going vegetarian was quite honestly a selfish choice.  For my health.

We decided to change to Ovo Lacto Vegetarian since we knew we didn't want to part with either eggs or milk products.  We can also be referred to as Pescatarian because we do want to eventually incorporate fish into our diet.  Pescatarians do not eat any animal meat other than fish.

We have not gone full "vegan" because that would require major changes that we are not prepared for at this time.  That however does not mean that one day we do not *convert* completely.  We will see. 

Full vegans do not eat any meat including fish, milk products, nor eggs.  They also do not use products that have any animal by products in them or are tested on animals.  They do not wear clothing with animal fur, wool, etc...To be a full vegan in my opinion it is much more of a commitment than being a vegetarian.  And I say that now with a couple weeks of experience under my loosening belt....it really has not been that difficult.  For me I just had to review my meal plans and "veg" them up.  It has been easy to make many similar meals omitting the meat.  Instead I have used Tofu.  I also used Morningstar Crumbles for one of my dishes a few weeks ago.

With the gardening season and Farmers Market season getting ready to open in our area, I think our timing has been perfect.  We love to go to the local farmers markets and buy fresh fruit and vegetables from the local farmers.  And then if I can get our garden off the ground (pun intended) this spring, we will hopefully have an assortment of fresh produce to choose from.


Check out my last three weeks worth of Menu Plan Monday posts to see what we have been eating as newbies.  

Menu Plan Monday April 16, 2012
Menu Plan Monday April 9, 2012
Menu Plan Monday April 2, 2012




Eat This.

 

Chickpea Salad


Not That.



Mmmm...Slug Juice.








Proceed With Caution



This is a family friendly blog but I could not resist posting this.  This happened recently at Portland International Airport.  Although, I don't condone the actions by this gentlemen, after having gone to Ethiopia and losing count of how many security check points I went through, I can see how a frequent flyer would get frustrated.  I know the TSA is only doing their job to protect us in the sky so you can't fault them.  But you have to admit this made a pretty bold statement.




 
 
Keep Portland Weird!
 
Happy Friday!


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Redecorate with Renu!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Leviton for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

 

 

I am not *much* of a decorater.  I like clean lines and easy to do changes.  I don't have a lot of extra time but after awhile I do get bored of my same ol' same ol' decor..  I have been wanting to put a dimmer switch in our living room and in the kids room but haven't found anything that jumped out at me.  There have been several a mornings where I need to go into the kids rooms while they were sleeping and had to turn on their lights and unfortunately, disturbed their slumber (which is never a good thing).  With a dimmer switch I could turn the light on just a tad bit, get in and get out.

 

Renu by Leviton makes redecorating a snap.   With their line of wall plates, dimmers, switches...  You name it, they have it. And in 20 different paint colors it makes it easy to brighten up a room quickly and inexpensively.  

 

Leviton Image.png

 

 

The Renu line of products look like they will be perfect for me and may be for you too ...

 

 

Renu<sup>®</sup> > Brands > Solutions from Leviton Web Site

 

 

You want to win a Home Depot gift card that you can use to buy some of these fabulous products?  Then join their Twitter party @Leviton #Renu on the following dates for your chance:

 

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012 9pm EST

Thursday, April 26th, 2012 9pm EST

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012 9pm EST

 

OR you can "like" Leviton on Facebook.

 

The Renu collection will surely brighten up (no pun intended) our living room.

I mean seriously how boring is this.  This is exactly like the switch I have in most of our rooms, I can not wait to swap them out. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photobucket

Visit Sponsor's Site

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Chickpea Sammies

Ohhh-Emmm---Gee (OMG)....

Who would have thought that this would be so delicious.  Actually, to me, they were beyond delicious.  I *love* hummus which is made from chickpeas/garbanzo beans so I figured that I would probably like this.  And I was right!  I love being right.  LOL.



Ingredients

16 oz can of Garbanzo Beans
2 Stalks of celery (diced)
1 small onion (diced)
2-3 tbsp of Mayonnaise  (I used the mayo with olive oil)
1/2 peeled and sliced cucumber
1 small tomato (sliced)
Toasted Bread OR Pita Pockets
A dash of garlic salt
Salt and Pepper to taste




Directions

1. Drain can of Garbanzo beans
2. Pour into med size bowl
3. Mash Garbanzo beans (or you can use a food processor to chop them) to where they almost become a paste HOWEVER if you do this by hand they will probably be a bit chunky and that is ok.
4. Mix in mayo, diced celery, onions, garlic salt, salt & pepper.
5. Toast bread
6. Spread on to toasted bread.  Add slices of cucumber, tomato and any other vegetables you like (next time I am going to add lettuce).

EAT. ENJOY.




Did you know that 1/2 cup of garbanzo beans provide  5-7g of protein and fiber.  You do however need to check the sodium content of some brands and opt to get the lower sodium beans.



Linking this post to Must Try Mondays.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

I am a bit late, getting this post up.  Yesterday was so beautiful outside that I haven't even gone full on grocery shopping yet and just now made my menu for the week. 

We are moving into week 4,wait, week 3, I don't know...of vegetarian eating. And I feel great! My skin is glowing, my pants are fitting a bit loose, my hair is shiny.... The little kids don't seem to notice much, no meat, in any of the meals (they tend to eat whatever I put in front of them) but the 13 year old just figured it out.  Ha!  Yeah, he just figured it out and now that he knows, of course he is having issues.  Oh well...momma shops, momma cooks, so whatever momma buys and cooks, you eat if you are hungry.  That is my motto these days.

Like most Mondays, I am linking up with I'm An Organizing Junkie.

Sunday

3 Bean "Meatless" Chili
Cheese Muffins

Monday

Chickpea Sandwiches
Celery/Ranch
Orange Slices

Tuesday

Broccoli and Noodles
Banana Parfait

Wednesday

Lemon Asparagus Linguine
Cesar Salad

Thursday

Vegetable Rice Pilaf
Applesauce

Friday

Spinich and Feta Pasta
Garlic Bread

Saturday

Date Night

What are you cooking for your family?  Have any favorite vegetarian recipes you want to share?


Hope you are having a great Monday!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Dishwasher Fiasco & Church Sermons

Today. 

Was.

Good.

I made Potatoes O'Brien for breakfast this morning. SUPER. EARLY. For some reason the kiddos decided to get up at the crack of dawn.  And when the kids get up at the crack of dawn in our house, mom or dad, or both are up too since we know how much ruckus they can cause when left unattended for to long.  LOL. 

Did you see our dishwasher fiasco from yesterday?  I posted a picture on my facebook page.



This is what happens when two children are left unattended for to long.  Actually, I don't even know when this would have happened...one of the two putting regular dish washing soap into the dishwasher because Friday afternoon, after I picked them up from grandmas, we ran around quite a bit and we didn't even get home until pretty late in the evening.  Baths, some quiet time and then bedtime shortly thereafter.  Not sure when they would have had the time; they are pretty sneaky though.  I have racked my brain.  When I turned on the dishwasher yesterday morning, a few seconds into the wash cycle this is what our kitchen looked like.  Between this and our refrigerator water dispenser my floors are tending to get quite the cleaning (often).  I probably should have saved this for a confessional post. 

By the way, if this ever happens to you, I know how to get the bubbles out of the dishwasher...

Sprinkle table salt on the suds, then put some ice cubes in the bottom of the dishwasher and then when the suds disappear, run the dishwasher with a cup of vinegar (with no dishes). 

After breakfast we went to church.  I worked in the nursery today and then stayed for the second service.  I love the little ones.  If money and space was not an object I would "so" have more kids.  At least I get my baby fix since my Kaylyn is almost 2!  Can you believe it.  We were going through old clothes today to donate and ran across some smaller ones that were still hanging around, hard to believe she once fit into them and she is still so petite.  Not sure where she got that from.  But yeah, she will be two on Cinco De Mayo.  And to think we almost lost her last year.  Last year was rough.  This year is shaping up to be much brighter.

The sermon at church today, it was written for us.  I love our church.  So often I find that the sermons that our pastor speaks, speak to us, it is as if he knows exactly what is going on in our hearts.  Seriously, I sat there with my husband and during several parts I couldn't help but whisper to him about things we have been talking about, A LOT lately.  Ways to simplify.  Ways to live a more abundant life in the spiritual and relationship sense.  Ways to be better stewards of the gifts that GOD has bestowed upon us.  Phase 1 of our bigger picture has been put in motion.  I can't wait to share more about this but have to keep some things to ourselves for a little bit longer. 

When we got home from church, I made some lunch (delish salads for the husband and I and then PB&J, carrots/cucumbers/ranch for the littles) for all of us, we ate together and then the kids played outside in the sunshine for a while before it was naptime.  They are still napping as I type this.  That is what happens when the littles get up so early. 

Today.

Is.

Good.

Because GOD is good


A verse from the sermon this morning.

 "But just as you excel in everything...in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us...see that you also excel in this grace of GIVING." II Corinthians 8:7

I hope everyone had a great Sunday and will have an awesome start to the new week.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Six Word Saturday

Good morning.  Maybe Good Afternoon or Evening by the time you read this?

I am linking up with the Fabulous, Sophisticated and utterly Ahhhmazing Cate over at Show My Face where we, you and me, can share what is going on in our lives in 6 words.  You can elaborate on your 6 words, you can show pictures, you decide.




Ready, set, GO....




Phase 1 of plan in motion


All the pieces have not come together totally yet so I am hoping I am not jinxing this piece of our plan by talking about it.  I know kinda funny that I would think that but sometimes I do. 

Unless you have been reading my blog for a bit, you probably have no clue what I am talking about.  Here is a link to a recent post that kinda talks about a few things.  Still no clue, well then maybe you will have to read my blog more often to keep track.  Really, it's ok.  See all those buttons.  You can follow me on Google+, GFC, Pinterest.  I even have a Facebook page now (no icon for that yet).


Hope you have an AWESOME weekend.  Anything exciting planned?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Confessions Of A Non Superwoman #19

I haven't done one of these in a few weeks so I figured it was time.  I have several weeks of "banked" indiscretions so this ought to be easy.


1.  We didn't color Easter eggs until Easter Sunday.  Hangs head in shame. At least we did them though, right?  That counts?

2.  My kitchen right now as I type this looks like there was an explosion in it.  Seriously. In. Need. Of. A. Deep. Cleaning. I probably should be cleaning rather than blogging, huh? Don't answer that.

3.  The pictures from my Ethiopia trip.  I still haven't printed them.  I have only gone through them once when I was making my slide show for my presentation.  It makes me sad when I look at them so I have been somewhat avoiding it.

4.  I rented a Redbox movie last week and only returned it yesterday.  So my $1.20 movie is now the cost of a movie at the theater.  Nice, huh?  I can be so absent minded sometimes. 

5. I have been meaning to set up an appt for the kids Spring/Birthday pictures for weeks but haven't yet.  This has been on my "to do" list FOREVER now and it just keeps getting passed over.  I am going to call to make appt right after I do this blog post.  I promise. (Even with a list....insert last sentence in #4)


What are some of your confessions or indiscretions that you would like to share?  Anything?  Anything?  Ok, you're perfect then?  LOL.

Don't be shy.

Happy Friday!






By the way, do you have a Redbox kiosk nearby?  Here are some free rental codes:  DVDONME or BREAKROOM.  You can use each of these codes once per credit card account.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Hungry?

Many are. Nationwide. Worldwide. But they shouldn't be.

Food Network and Share Our Strength No Kid Hungry Campaign is at it again trying to drum up awareness about this ongoing battle.  They want to win this battle to end childhood hunger in America by the year 2015.  But they need our help.

If you remember in November, I shared a personal story about this program and why it is important to me.

They are not asking for money, although you can donate, if you so desire, but what they really want is to bring awareness to this issue. 

There is a new Food Network documentary film being released on April 14th, 2012 called Hunger Hits Home which explores this crisis from the front lines of those impacted by hunger.  The children.  The parents. 

Are you going to standby and watch?  The show?


Are you hungry now?

Will you take the pledge?  Spread the word?  Act now?


Eatocracy recently wrote an article on this campaign and provides several links to recent stories about hunger in the US.  Go here for the article and additional links.


Easter Fun

My last couple blog posts have been a bit on the "heavy" side.  Therefore I wanted to share the softer side.  My two youngest children.  They make me melt in an instant.  Even in their most cantankerous (I love that word) moments.

Here are a few pictures from Easter this past weekend.



Thank you Easter Bunny.


You don't have to search far to find the eggs at this Easter Egg Hunt.



Baskets full of eggs.

 
The loot.

The aftermath. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

In The Newspaper!

Hot off the presses!


Heather, one of the other volunteers on my recent trip to Ethiopia, was featured in her hometown newspaper.  Sharing the story of the people and the villages we visited while there.  Hoping to create awareness for their needs.

Want to read the article, learn more about our trip, through her eyes?  Go here

The picture on the front page is of Laura, another volunteer on our trip.  You can read her blog at Housewife In Town.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

My New Normal

I am not sure that there is one. 

I have been back from Ethiopia for just over a month now but it feels like it was yesterday.  All the feelings and emotions are still fresh when I think about things.   I know I wasn't there for to terribly long but the trip has left a lasting impression on my life, on my heart, in my mind. 

I am not sure there is a normal and if there is, I haven't found it yet. 

Maybe I don't want to find it.  I think, if I get back to things "like normal" then I would slip into my comfort zone, become a bit complacent and just go on with life.  I don't want to just "go on".  I want to do something.  I want to make an impact.  I want to change peoples lives. 




I know you are probably getting tired of me writing about this, since I know it has been a bit all consuming, but that is just it.  There is a not an hour that goes by that I don't think of Ethiopia, the villages, the people I met while there.  The lifelong friendships I made with my fellow volunteers.  Like the roots and branches of this tree, we will be forever intertwined by this experience.  






I want to go back.  I want my family to go with me.  We are making plans.  We are making some changes around these parts to make this possible.  It might not be tomorrow, it might not be next week.   But we are pointing our lives in that direction. 

In the meantime, I will continue to write about my experience.  I will continue to share their story.  I will continue to pray for them.  For you.  And again, I will ask if you have an extra $12.00 per month would you consider sponsoring Megaladi.  They NEED water.  This is the first item on the list and it will make the world of difference in their village.

Ground water villagers dug up in a nearby dry river bed


If you are on Facebook, there is now a Megaladi Facebook page.  Interested in joining?  Go here.





Monday, April 9, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

Wow!  It is Monday already?  Where does the time go?


Per usual, I am posting my menu plan to help me stay on track budget and organization wise.  Plus my teenage son always asks, "What's for dinner" and I say, all together now, "Go read my MPM blog post." Makes it simple.  I am linking it up with I'm An Organizing Junkie!


Sunday

5 Cheese Lasagna
Salad
Garlic Bread

For dessert we had a Chocolate Peeps Cake

Monday

Meatless Fajita Potato Casserole
Banana & Blueberry Parfait

Tuesday

Parmesan Linguine
Roasted Asparagus

Wednesday

Avocado, Cream Cheese and Salsa Pockets
Apple Sauce

Thursday

Tofu Stir Fry & Rice
Sliced Oranges

Friday

Cheesy Broccoli & Rice Casserole
Green Salad


Saturday

Date Night


Look at what we had for some of our dinners last week:


Greek Spaghetti


Mac N Cheese & Spinach (instead of broccoli)


Eggs & Vegetables


What's on your menu plan for this week?


I am also linking this up to the FABulous Stacy at Not Just A Housewife. 

Peep Peep

I broke down.  It was just to cute and easy to pass up.  I am sure you have seen this floating around the Internet the last couple weeks with Easter being yesterday and all. 

Did you have a good Easter?  Good.  We did as well.  We went to Easter Church service which was fabulous!  I will post some pictures soon.  It was also beautiful in our neck of the woods.  I think it hit almost 60.   We opened up most of our windows in the house to get fresh air flowing and played outside for most of the day.  For dinner we had 5 Cheese Lasagna, Salad and Garlic Bread. 

GOD is good. 


Here is what we had for dessert
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Drumroll please.....
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Have a great week!


I am linking this up to the FABulous Stacy at Not Just A Housewife. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

What If....

What if there's a bigger picture
What if I'm missing out
What if there's a greater purpose
I could be living right now


(By Matthew West~ My Own Little World)


I truly feel like I am being called to do something bigger, better than what I am. 

Don't get me wrong, I am truly blessed with all that I have, my family of course, my health, a warm place to call home, food on the table, clothes on my back, a job, etc, but there is so much more in this big, big world. I just need to figure out how to conquer it while taking my family along with me and of course still helping support them financially.


I feel like just when I think I have it all figured out, BAM!  Something throws me off course.


I know I want to continue some form of  mission work, advocate for GHNI and the villages we visited while in Ethiopia.  I want to do so much but yet I have so little to do it with other than my heart and soul.

I want to inspire others.

I want to transform people's lives.

I want to hug and hold those that hurt.

I want to show compassion for those that think they don't deserve it.

I want to speak for those that can't.

I want to feed those that are hungry literally and spiritually.

I want to teach those that need to be taught.

I WANT to learn and experience more of the world around me in order to help make it a better place for the next generation. My children. Your children.

This is who I am.  This is my dream.  I will catch it.  It is not a matter of if, but rather when. Stay tuned.


Follow Your Dreams And Goals






The more intensely we feel about an idea or a goal, the more assuredly the idea, buried deep in our subconscious, will direct us along the path to its fulfillment.~ Earl Nightingale

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Patience My Child

Image Detail

Patience.

Not something that I have always been good at, I must admit.  And yet I am always telling my children, Patience My Child.  Ha!  Now if only I would practice what I preach, right?  As parents, are we not always doing that?  Do this, don't do that, say this, don't say that, yet when the rubber hits the road, are we doing as we say? 

Patience.

It's a virtue I have not mastered.  Even in my older and somewhat wiser, experienced self, you would think by now that I would not try to control destiny, control anything for that matter.  Lie and wait, be patient. 

Life, however, is so out of control in so many ways, we just don't see it or chose not to.  I don't like not knowing what is going to happen today, tomorrow, next week.  I like stability, in most situations.  I think that comes from somewhat of an unstable upbringing.  But yet, patience.  I don't have it most of the time.  It is fleeting.

Patience.

I am a bundle of nerves these last couple days trying to figure out some things.  I wish everything would just fall into place so we can go back to the regularly scheduled chaos. I can handle that.  I can fix that. 

But I know GOD works in mysterious ways and everything will reveal itself when the timing is right. But why?  Why not now?  Why wait til later?  Instant gratification, no?

Until then will I go pull my hair out (what's left anyways) and chew my nails.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Why Cats Get Furballs

It is no wonder why cats get so many furballs. This is our kitten Bella who really does not look like a kitten anymore. She is 7 months old now. Look at all that fluff!







She is such a sweetheart. She loves being loved on by the kids and tolerates them much more than our other cat, Ellie. She is so soft and cuddly.  And has such beautiful coloring.

Menu Plan Monday

We have entered the second week of eating vegetarian.  First week went pretty well. Instead of quiche I made Baby Rainbow Frittatas and I substituted Soba Noodles with Vegetable Ramen Noodles.  

Here are a few pictures of the food we ate last week.

Vegetables & Noodles

Vegetable Fettucini & Tofu

Penne Pasta & Roasted Vegetables (last night)




I am linking my menu up with I'm An Organizing Junkie. 






Here is what we are having for dinner this week.

Sunday

Penne Pasta and Roasted Vegetables*
Caesar Salad

Monday

Greek Spaghetti*
Asparagus

Tuesday

Minestrone Soup
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Wednesday

Cheesy Mac N Broccoli
Apple Sauce

Thursday

Black Bean & Zucchini Quesidillas*
Spanish Rice

Friday

Eggs, Toast, Fruit

Saturday

Date Night


What's cookin in your kitchen this week?


*Check back for these recipes.

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