Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Archive Link Up Party 7/31

What!  It is Tuesday already?  Where did the time go?  (I may have left it at VBS last week). 

Tuesday, you know what that means, right?  Dust off one of your favorites posts and link up to the Archive Link Up Party......

Because every post deserves a second chance.

So grab the button, spread the word and link up.  And of course, visit some other great blogs and make some new friends.

And did I mention I host this every week with several other FABulous bloggers?

Debbie, author of Wrinkled Mommy.
Angelica, author of My Daily Pages
Jessica, author of Sugar In My Grits
Ann, author of Rays Retreat Ramblings
Liz, author of Sunny Bug World
Stephanie, author of Our Marriage Adventure

Monday, July 30, 2012

Catching Up: VBS Day 4,5

We survived!  It was touch and go there for a while but we made it out the other side of the week.

Wow, by Friday, both me and the kids (both the kids at VBS as well as my own) were exhausted!  It was a very long week but well worth it!  The kids, all of them, had such a great time; it was clearly obvious! 

::::They sang
::::They danced
:::They played games
:::They ate awesome snacks
::::They made new friends
::::Visited with old friends
::::They memorized Bible verses and learned about how you can TRUST GOD in all that you do!  And GOD loves you NO MATTER WHAT!

And wait there is more!   They raised $300 or so dollars for the Bite Back Campaign plus our church is matching that so that means 60, yes, 60  mosquito nets will be ordered for families in dire need of them.  No longer is this someone elses problem, it is our problem and the kids answered the call!  I am so proud of each and everyone of them!  For their giving hearts and desire to do something.

And I want to give a shout out to everyone who volunteered at VBS this year (just in case you are reading this), without each and everyone of you, us, this would not be possible.  You all ROCK!

Here are the final two memory versus for the week.



Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Menu Plan Monday

Goooood Morning, Monday!  Let's do this!!!

I will make this short and sweet...


BBQ Teriyaki Chicken (Yes, we ate a little bit of chicken this weekend)
Thai Noodles
Mandarin Salad (Salad Greens, Green Onions, Mandarin Oranges, Water Chestnuts, Sunflower Seeds and Sesame Dressing)


Spanish Rice


Vegetable Stir Fry w/Rice


Breakfast for Dinner




Meatless Chili


TBA--Date Night

What are you making this week?  Any new and exciting recipes you care to share?  Leave a link in my comments and I will be sure to check them out.  Vegetarian ones?  Even better.

I am linking up with I'm An Organized Junkie because she ROCKS!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Bite Back!

It is PREVENTABLE. Someone MUST stop the spread of Malaria.

Just a few dollars can help provide a net, educate, medicate and save a life. This week during VBS the children are tithing towards mosquito nets. So far they have brought in enough money for 15 nets! Our church is matching it. 30 nets!

30 lives saved, so easily. $10. The cost of a movie ticket, a run through the drive thru.

Can you help save a life from Malaria?

Visit Bite Back to donate TODAY! It could save SOMEONES life so they can have a TOMORROW.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Catching Up: VBS Day 1,2,3

Yes, I am condensing this.  Time has been a bit scarce this week.  With work, picking up/dropping off kiddos, VBS, we have been home but maybe an hour or so a day; enough time to cook/eat dinner really quick and then we head to VBS...then not getting home from that until 830-900pm.  Quick baths, a whole lot of little teeth to brush, then time to hit the pillow and do it all again the next day.

As tiring as it has been...when we get to VBS energy flows abundantly.  The kids, about 60 of them (age 4-4th grade), have so much energy and they so eagerly share it with all.  I *love* it!  They are so animated in E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. they say and do.  It is soooo awesome to watch the kids learn about GOD and have such a heart for him. 

In the class room that I am in, we have a different memory verse everyday that we have them memorize by we drill into them repeating over and over again numerous ways: slow motion, fast motion, valley girl talk (that is a favorite), robot talk, with an accent, etc.  It has made the kids giggle, laugh, smile and GET it!  Whatever works right? We also do some motions to each of the verses which again helps them remember the verses.  We only have them in our station for 20 mins but by the end of it, they have that verse down! It is so cool.  Even the littlest ones get it.

The memory verse for Monday was:



What are our memory versus for Thursday and Friday?  You will have to just wait and see. 

Did you go to VBS as a child?  What was your favorite part?  Do your children go to VBS now? 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Archive Link Up Party 7/24

Well, well, well, we meet again.  I guess it is Tuesday so..... time for the Archive Link Up Party.

We are growing more !  I am so super excited that this link up has taken off. I hope you are finding some great new blog to follow and interesting posts.

If you haven't joined us better late than never.  This link party is so easy.   Find a previous post on your blog that you think needs a second chance and link up. Let's circulate some of our best work around again because:

Even Archives Deserve A Second Chance.

Don't miss the party every Tuesday morning.  Share the button and make some new friends!


Monday, July 23, 2012

Ironing, VBS & Banks

1 out of the 3, I *heart* but the other 2, not so much.  Can you guess?

Pretty no brainer, probably...

Ironing.  I.LOATHE.IT but I volunteered to iron 150 VBS shirts because nobody else sounded like they *wanted* to do it.  I knew I really didn't like it before but now it is for certain.  I.LOATHE.IT.  There is something to be said for wash and wear clothing. I love it!  If it needs ironing, I am not buying it.  Any who, so yea I ironed the screen print on all the t-shirts to set the ink more...150 shirts of all sizes.  Luckily, it was only the area where the printing was on but even so.  Took a big chunk of my afternoon yesterday.  It's all good though, at least I know, that I don't like ironing and it IS for a good cause so....moving on...

Yes, VBS...it is in full swing. I *heart* VBS.  It starts tonight at our church.  We have such a great church and every year our VBS continues to amaze me...Lots of wonderful volunteers put in countless hours of time in organization, leading the classes, activities, worship and missions.  It is a blast!  Each year we have a different theme.  This year the theme is SKY.  The SKY is the limit when you Trust GOD.  I can't wait to share more about the week as it progresses. 

... Churc...

Now onto banks, yep, 1 of the 3 that I don't like.  Still wrangling with the bank to get the duplicate car payment back into our account.   So much fun.  I love spending half of my day Friday on the phone trying to figure out what happened, then had to make a few calls on Sat and today to try and get further details only to be nowhere closer to resolution.  Fun times!

Tomorrow I will be at the hospital with my *surrogate* mom (my ex husbands mom who I happen to still be very close with).  She is having a routine surgery but still kinda nervous about it (I think I am more nervous for her than she is).  She will be in the hospital a few days.  Will you please pray for the doctors to have steady hands.  And pray for her to recovery quickly.  I would appreciate it.

Menu Plan Monday

I am linking up my menu with I'm An Organized Junkie and you can too.  It is simple.  Post what you have planned for your family meals this week and link up.    I *love* linking up with MPM because it keeps me accountable and on budget.  Just sayin.


Fettuccine Alfredo
Fresh Corn on the Cob (from Farmers Market)
Garlic Bread


Bean & Cheese Burritos
Chips & Salsa


Italian Squash & Zucchini Medley


Vegetable Stir Fry
Yakisoba Noodles


Vegetable Pot Pie


$5.00 Pizza Night
Green Salad



We are still eating *mostly* vegetarian.  I had some blood work done a few weeks ago and found that my protein levels were pretty low even though I thought I was eating enough beans, eggs, etc...so therefore I have put a little bit of meat back into a few meals ocassionally (mainly on Sunday nights when we have been BBQing).

Here is something I made last week and will post the recipe soon so make sure to check back.

Greek Pasta & Beans

What are you eating this week?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Back To School With AstroBright!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Astrobrights Papers by Neenah Paper. All opinions are 100% mine.



I know, I know for some school is still in the far off distance...but never to early to start thinking about Back To School Shopping especially since you can't escape it anywhere you go in our neck of the woods.  Stores not only already have the Back to School items out on the floor but also Halloween stuff!  Can you believe it?  I swear each year it gets sooner and sooner....


The AstroBrights "Make Something AstroBright" design challenge or the "Give The Brighter Year" sweepstakes might help get your rallied up about the new school year.


Enter the "Make Something AstroBright" design challenge and you can win AstroBright paper and other cool prizes for yourself.  Share your project with pictures and video for a chance to win.




Support your local school with the "Give The Brighter Year" sweepstakes where you can win cash and school supplies valued at $30,000 for YOUR school.  With all the budget cuts we have seen in our area, this sure would come in handy.


AstroBright Papers comes in 23 bright and bold colors so you can get your "creative juices" on.  Use it for home or school projects.  PTA flyers. Chore charts (I like that idea!), binder cover inserts, scrapbooking, origami, anyone? anyone? 

AstroBrights Paper is made of heavy weight cardstock for durability and guaranteed for laser printer use.  AND acid free (which is what you want for scrapbooking).

Like  AstroBrights papers on Facebook for all the details.


Now go create something!



Visit Sponsor's Site

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Six Word Saturday

When it rains, it sure pours!

Do you ever feel like that?  Probably a silly question, huh?

It has been a pretty rough and tumble week by all accounts.

And it even ended with a bang with my bank
debiting my car payment two times!

Ughh, so what did I get to do on my Friday afternoon but go to the
lovely bank to fill out a claim to get my money back.

Ohh and it could take several days of course. 

They debit immediately but it takes weeks for credits.  Go figure.

I'm not irritated or anything.

Not at all. 

Hopefully your week went better.

It is Saturday now and I am going to try and enjoy time with
my family putting the chaos of the week aside. 

Going to Summerfest this morning and then maybe
to pick some berries this afternoon.

That sounds delightful.

And as I typed this, in an irritated mood,
I thought about how trivial this probably is....
in the realm of things. 

If you didn't hear about the tragedy in Aurora CO at the
midnight showing of Batman, read here

Won't you pray for those that lost their lives,
those that were injured,
the families they left behind,
the Holmes family
and even the suspect, James Holmes.

I am linking this 6WS up with Cate over at Show My Face.
You can too.  Describe what is going on in your life in 6 words and link up.
It is, that simple. 

Hope you all have a FANTABULOUS weekend!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Southwest Tator Bake

Ok, this recipe is as easy as they come.  And I know this is not a new recipe by any means but I am going to share it anyways because it is just that Yummy!


1 bag of frozen tator tots
1 small jar of salsa or tomatoes with onion and chilies (or home made salsa)
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
1 packet of taco or burrito seasoning
1 small container of sour cream


1. Cook tator tots in oven as directed on bag (however cook in a casserole dish of some sort rather than just a cookie sheet)
2.  When there is about 10 mins left of cooking; drain juice from salsa or can of tomatoes and spread on top of the tator tots
3.  Sprinkle seasoning packet on top of salsa/tomatoes
4.  Spread cheese on top of salsa/tomatoes
5.  Cook for remaining 10 mins
6.  Spoon into bowl while piping hot, add a dollop of sour cream. 

Mix. Eat. Enjoy! Your taste buds will thank you. 

Extreme cheesy gooeyness lies ahead! 

Have To Admit...Pretty Clever.

Rule #1:  A women scorned is NEVER a good thing.

I would never do something like this.  I do not have the kahunas to do so but you have to admit it is pretty clever.  They have received TONS of exposure, just what they needed to hopefully sale their house soon. 

I do feel for her and her kids having gone through similar circumstances years and years ago.  I hope they are able to sell their cute house and a new family is able to make life long memories in it.  I am also hoping that the children do not get wind of all this since El Capatain is still their father even though he made for a not so great husband when he decided to drop his drawers for a 22 year old yoga instructor.

In the market for a new house?  Visit Great Family Home or visit her personal blog for more to the story.

BTW, did I mention that she is a FABULOUS photographer.  Small world, although I don't know her personally I actually called her to take photos of our delivery of Kaylyn back in May 2010 but then we had a C-section so we couldn't.  She has a photography business called Zober Babies

What do you think?  A little over the top?  Well deserved?  I am thinking maybe, just maybe, those that have read or seen this situation MIGHT think twice before doing something like this in the future, especially if their spouse saw it too.  Just sayin.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Recipe For Friendship

1 well rounded tablespoon of understanding
1 heaping teaspoon of support
3 good measures of honesty
1 overflowing cup of caring and sharing
Combine all ingredients over a period of time

Be sure to add a generous sprinkle of laughter and a tad bit of tears when needed.

Serve generously and enjoy!

~Author Unknown


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Archive Link Up Party 7/17

It's Tuesday!  One more day closer to the weekend and time for the Archive Link Up Party.

Each week we are growing in views and link ups which I find utterly exciting. I hope you are enjoying yourself, finding some great new blogs to follow and interesting posts.

If you haven't joined us yet we would love to see you there.

This link party is so easy. We like it that way!  Just find a previous post on your blog that you are fond of and link it up. Let's circulate some of our best work around again because:

Even Archives Deserve A Second Chance.

Don't miss the party every Tuesday morning.  Share the button and visit some great blogs! 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Made From Earth Aloe Vera Review

I knew this would come in handy sooner than later. 

It has been pretty gloomy here the last couple weeks but then BAM!  The sun came out blazing and hasn't gone down since (but I am not complaining).  So of course like anyone lacking Vitamin D (most Oregonians) we had to get out and play in it right away and that we did! 

Unfortunately, said husband of mine, failed to put sunscreen on while we were at the beach last weekend AND didn't listen to his wife about bringing another pair of shoes for when we were walking around town...And surprise, surprise....

his feet got sunburned as did his head (didn't bother to wear a hat as I suggested) and neck and arms...This was the worse of it though.  He was in pain; he could barely walk. 

But never fear wonderful wife with Made From Earth Aloe Vera Skin Treatment is here!  A couple applications of Pure Aloe Vera massaged onto the effected area, did the trick.  It moisturized and soothed almost instantly.  You could almost see the skin change before your eyes from dry and crisp to soft and supple.  Ahhhmazing! 

Made From Earth specializes in organic skin care products.  The ingredients / plants they use are from organic farms which means healthier products for you and your family.

----No toxic ingredients.
----No diluting or watering down organic plant ingredients.
----No synthetic coloring agents or fragrances, or paraffin and other petroleum products.

And last but not least, all manufacturers must provide a certificate of organic certification from either of these three certifying agencies:

Make sure to check out their website for the full line of products for Face Treatments, Body Care, Hair & Bath and Lip Balm.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Letter From Milli!

Our family received a letter from our Compassion daughter, Millicent, this past week.  How excited we were to receive it!  We were getting a little bit discouraged because we hadn't received one in a while but it is all good now.

Here is her letter to us verbatim:


I greet you in the name of the LORD.  I am doing well in my studies but hope to do better.  I had a very enjoyable Easter with my family. I am growing spiritually and physically well.  I wish you all the best. 

In Gods Love,


Short, sweet, to the point.

She is only 10 so we don't expect a long winded letter.  We are just happy to have her as part of our family and that she is doing well in mind, body and spirit.  She also did a few drawings for us of her animals.

We have a Compassion International letter writing event at our church this Friday evening.  It is something we do each month to help everyone who sponsors a child be accountable to writing their child (ren) regularly.  We try to write our child at least 1-2x a month so she is consistently receiving something in the mail from her family in the US. 

Do you sponsor a child?  Would you like to learn more about Compassion International?  Check out their website or Facebook page.  You can download a Facebook profile cover from there, too.  And guess who helped in that Facebook cover campaign?  Why Shaun Groves, of course.

Compassion International Facebook Covers

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Hitting The Open Road

What if you could just drop everything.  Leave all that you know and your creature comforts behind.  Quit your job with no new job on the horizon.  Pack only what you can carry on your back.

You, the open dirt road as far as the eye can see.  All there is to think about is where you fill your tank up next, grab a snack and maybe where you will lay your head from time to time.

Sound fun?  Would you do it?

I am not sure that I could given I have a family.  I don't think that would be very conducive to family life however I have a colleague that I have worked with for several years that is doing just that! And I am so excited to follow his journey.

Yup, he quit his job, no new job in the works, nothing.  Now grant it he is not married, nor has children so this is the perfect time for this cross country adventure that he will be embarking on starting Monday, July 23rd.

He, along with a few others are taking their dirt bikes and crossing the US on the Trans American Trail.  A trail of back roads, dirt roads, gravel roads, old forest roads, farm roads.  You get the just of it.  This is not your normal run of the mill trip on highways, freeways, interstates, etc. 

Why on earth is he doing this?  Let him tell you:

You're probably wondering why in the world I would do this?? I've got a great job with a great company, living in a peaceful town in a nice home that happens to only be an hour away from everything.  Well some would say I'm bored, stupid, crazy, a fool, etc... The truth is honestly that I miss doing what I truly loved to do.  I miss trips to the mountains, freedom of traveling, and most of all, my photography skills. 
Years ago I felt like I could produce some beautiful work. It was amateurish at best, but people seemed to like it.  It's been YEARS since I've printed off a photo.  I haven't felt proud of a picture since college.  The inspiration has left me and with that life began getting grey.  Last summer I started browsing some images online and felt that inspiration coming back. The images were taken with some junky scratched up point and shoot, so it wasn't the quality that I was seeing, but it was view that someone else got to see that captured those "stunning" photos.  I use the quotes because the photos were crap, but what the eye must have seen, well I couldn't imagine.  Therein lies the problem, I couldn't imagine the scene.  I want to see this with my own eyes.  I want to be there and capture those moments that only a couple hundred other pairs of eyes have seen.  I'm not going that far off the grid, but still, to capture the scope of what all can be seen with this trip is truly going to make me happy.  The heat, the blistering heat will suck and there is no doubt about that, but I think it'll be worth it.

Trip: Wilmington, NC àPort Orford, Oregon…It’s gonna be fun!

To my family, friends, and co-workers: Thank you for everything…the concern, the laughs, the angry looks and disbelief when I first told them about the trip.  So much love, so much life, so much everything! I’ll deeply miss you all!

Want to follow his journey?  Maybe he will be in your neck of the woods?  Make sure to watch his blog and follow along.

Good luck Zach on this awesome adventure!  It has been nice working with you and I wish you the best!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Archive Link Up Party! 7/10

It's time for the Archive Link Up Party.

We had a wonderful time last week launching this new blog hop and were very pleased with the participation on our first day!

This link party is so easy. We like it that way!

If you haven't joined us yet we would love to see you there. Just find a previous post on your blog that you are fond of and link it up. Let's circulate some of our best work around again because:

Even Archives Deserve A Second Chance.

Don't miss the party every Tuesday morning.  Share the button and visit some great blogs! 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Happy Monday!

Is it?

It is for me. 

Normally, I dread Mondays, probably like most of us, but today...it is a GLORIOUSLY beautiful day outside.  It has been beautiful all weekend which makes for a Happy Monday.  We went to the beach on Saturday and Sunday after church, we spent most of the day at the local splash pad with the kids, then rounded out the day with a BBQ and eating outside in the shade.  One of my girlfriends and I met up later Sunday evening for some dessert, we subsequently ran into a few other friends, who ended up picking up our tab.  What a nice surprise this was!  Thank you, Jill & Kevin.  You guys ROCK!  (And I am not just saying that just because you picked up our tab...YOU ROCK regardless!).

I don't know about you but for me when the sun is shining, it makes EVERYTHING better.  Even though a good portion of my days during the week is holed up in an office, at least I am gainfully employed and have an office with large floor to ceiling windows to be able to witness the beauty from a far.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful start to your week. 

Happy Monday!

Friday, July 6, 2012


It has been quiet over here on this blog, if you hadn't noticed.  One would think maybe I took off on another adventure? 

Well sadly I have not however I have been living vicariously through GHNI, Jeff Power and his team on their recent trip back to the villages that I visited in February. 

I have been Sad: missing everyone. Envious: of the team there. Elated: at seeing the progress...You name it.  My emotions have been running on over drive as I have seen pictures of familiar faces.  Reading the words of those currently there reminiscing of my own experience.  How I wish I was with them:  "Be"ing The Change. 

Jeff's team on this trip consists of some big names in the business world.  You might know them.

Kat Cole, President of Cinnabon.

Jim Knight, Senior Director of Training and Development for Hard Rock International.

Joni and Wally Doolin, Board Members of Share Our Strength No Kid Hungry.

Amanda Hite, CEO and founder of Talent Revolution.

They are part of Changers of Commerce, a growing group of people from a cross-section of service who demonstrate, advocate and educate how businesses can connect to society – - not just giving to those in need, but meaningfully connecting businesses to the communities they serve.

Photo: A little inspiration for the visiting team
Soccer match between Garmaam and Megaladi.
Photo: The team with the Garmaam village committee heads after our village development meeting.
GHNI, Changers of Commerce & Village Leaders

Kat Cole, showing elderly how to make cinnamon sandwiches to sell for profit.

Make sure to check out the blog and read all their stories.  You can also follow them all on Facebook to get more realtime pictures and posts.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Archive Link Up **New Blog Hop**

Archive Link Up : because archives deserve a second chance.

A new blog hop brought to you by Wrinkled Mommy, MOI and a few other fabulous bloggers.

This will be a super duper easy weekly blog hop for everyone to join because all you have to do is find a past blog post you like and link it up.  No need to frantically type as fast as you can about a specific topic.  Writers block.  No problem. 

This hop is stress free, easy and gives you a chance to showcase a past blog post that you are particularly fond of. win-win-win! Smile

So grab the button, spread the news and link up.  Ohh and make sure you visit some of the other links too. 

Menu Plan Monday

Here it is, Monday.  We meet again. 

I am linking with I'm An Organized Junkie with my Menu Plan (because I am not organized and this is the only thing that keeps me organized with my dinner plan).


Baked Potatoe Bar (just Kay and I so kept it very simple)


Grilled Cheese
Tomotoe Soup


Vegetable Stir Fry
Mandarin Oranges


4th of July BBQ

A whole lot of food!


Vegetable Pot Pie


Vegetable Alfredo over Noodles
Banana & Strawberry Salad



With left over baked potatoe from dinner last night I made this for breakfast this morning.

Eggs, Potatoes, Salsa! 

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