Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Why can't you just be...

Jesus replied "You do not understand now what I am doing but someday you will." John 13:7

I am looking, searching, seeking out that understanding. I need to be patient. My faith is grounded, yet my want and need to know more is crippling. It makes my head spin. It creates turmoil within. The evil one is taking jabs at me, filling my head with thoughts that are not my own. I seek to know Jesus and he steps in my way trying to get me to avoid running into HIS arms. The holy one. Evil will not prevail.

My baby. My boy. My son...he is battling anxiety and depression at a very young age. It is hard. I feel alone most days and don't feel like doing normal things. I want to hide my pain and yet I need to talk about it and cry about it. My frustration is overwhelming me. Dealing day to day is hard. We walk on eggshells. You don't know when it will hit. It is like being sideswiped by a semi-truck going 70 mph. Everything is "perfect". There is laughter, fun, singing and praising and then...BAM. It hits. And it is ugly. Typically there are tears. You watch your child display Jekyll and Hyde before your very eyes. And so far, nothing turns it off. It has ruined birthdays, dinner nights out and family time. It is time consuming, exhausting, mentally and physically draining. You feel stuck and don't know what to do. He has to learn to readapt. It is something his mind and body struggles with...and it is something that breaks me apart inside.

I am not a perfect mom. A perfect wife, friend or person in fact. I sin. Daily. But I am trying. I sin when I look at him and think, "Why can't you just be normal?" How unfair is that? He IS normal. He is fighting a battle that I need to fight beside him. Sometimes it feels like I am his battle. I am the cause. When he comes out of an episode and you see the sweet child you know and love so much, who looks you in the eyes and says "I am so sorry mommy." your heart breaks again. Why am I not fighting for him?

When you see him walking to the car after school with his sister and he is SMILING...you whisper "Thank you Jesus!". He climbs inside and you happily say, "Hi bud! I missed you! How was your day?" and just as an egg hardens in boiling water, so does he. He becomes stiff, rigid and you hear a lot of "harrumphs." And instantly, your heart sinks. You see it not only affects him. It affects you. It affects his sisters, who were just giggles moment before. The car becomes silent and you just want to fold up into a fetal position...and cry. It sucks.

"Is he angry?", is a question I get a lot. Typically, no. For my son, it comes out in extreme sensitivity. HIGH emotions and when he speaks it is mumbles and whines. He goes from happy, life giving and sweet to mopy and sad. This cycle hits off and on throughout a day. There are days where it doesn't hit at all, and you see glimpses of your happy child. Your heart yearns for more. The worst thing you can say to a mom who is struggling is, "Ooooh...it is because he is the ONLY boy. I just know it. Poor kid." <---- Homey say what?! Don't, I repeat. DO NOT say that to anyone!

Today it hit us again. It started at 5 in the morning and came on as though he was sick. Yesterday we were elated to find out Noah was moving UP in his reading class. We "thought" we were preparing him with excitement in joy. Little did we know inside was turmoil. It manifests into not feeling good. Sometimes it comes as headaches. His thoughts become OCD and he can't stop thinking about every scenario..."Where will I sit?" "Which kid will have to leave because I am moving in there?" "Which kid will take my place in my class?" "What if they don't have a seat for me?" The thoughts never stop. Once I figured out the problem, I started talking him through it. We then decided for him to go back to school for the rest of the day. He agreed.

On the way walking into the school, "What if they already had snack?" "What if they already sang Happy Birthday to Tomie?" "Will they be in the classroom?" "What if I can't find them." <----- this constant questions when a routine is off are draining me. Constantly trying to keep up the pep. Always cheerily, helping steer him through it.

For us we decided on play therapy. We are open minded if down the road he needs to try other things. BUT our therapist/psychologist is confident she will be able to help him. He is excited to go. He asks if it is time for HIS play date. I am praying that God will shine a light down our dark tunnel. That the fog will dissipate and I can start to see the end. We also use marbles for incentives. When he has a good day. You see him say something nice, be helpful etc. BUT he is not allowed to ASK for marbles! They can be turned in for time on in the iPod etc. 1 marble is 1 minute. We also have him pray about it and read devotions. IN FACT his new favorite is Jesus Today by Sarah Young! It is perfectly written in a way that he can understand. He feels accomplished when he gets to tell us what he learned.

I am thrilled to be giving a copy of Jesus Today away to 1 lucky reader. 357 pages of pure gobble it up goodness. Each devotion is based off of scripture and was written in a way that it is like Jesus is speaking directly to them! {you may recognize the author's name as being the worldly famous author of Jesus Calling! My oldest reads Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions for Kids every morning!}

It is simple! You must be at least 18 years or older and a U.S. or Canadian resident only.

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC's 16 CFR, Part 255: " Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising") Many thanks to Propeller Consulting LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Sunday, January 24, 2016


Have you ever felt stuck? Dragged down by life and feeling like your life has no purpose? You are not alone. SO many have felt this way at one point or another. You will WANT to watch this movie! I had the privilege of reading the book before the movie hit the theatre. It is is based on the true story of Brian Nichols who became the subject of a citywide manhunt after he broke out of custody awaiting his trial and killed 4 people. He finds his way to the unsuspecting Ashley Smith's apartment when she runs out to her car to grab something while unpacking her belongings into her new apartment. Ashley is an addict. An addict who is leading herself down a path she doesn't want to walk down...but cannot seem to find her way out. Even though she is struggling to get her daughter back. She turns a disadvantage into something that will bring tears to your eyes. Watch the trailer for yourself.

The book was incredible and the movie was even better. I cannot wait for you to see it! It releases on January 29th, but you can win a copy here! It is super easy! All you have to do is enter below! Winner must be a U.S. or Canada resident and at least 18 years or older.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC's 16 CFR, Part 255: " Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising") Many thanks to Propeller Consulting LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Passion Salvations Tide is Rising - Review and GIVEAWAY!

I have been blessed by many things. But the #1 place I am most grateful...is that Christ the Lord is my ROCK. I can do all things with HIM by my side.  I feel refreshed and renewed when I listen to worship music. Let's face it, I am a mom of 4. Those that can take an hour or more away out of their day to have quiet time...alone {what IS that?!} so I find ways to pull Christ in any way that I can. I sang worship songs through my mind as I hiked up 2600 ft. A summit I was determined to conquer. With Christ by my side.

You see GOD is all around us. He is never apart from you. DO NOT feel guilty because you needed sleep and couldn't sit and read your bible. He KNOWS your heart. He knows your thoughts...fill your brain with worship music and move about your day.

Being a blogger comes with some perks. One is that I get asked to try, read, watch or even listen to products before they are available to the public. I choose what I want and what is right for me. I seriously JUMPED at the chance to listen to the NEW CD called Passion Salvations Tide is Rising, which features some of my MOST FAVORITE singers {David Crowder sings straight to my heart}. I was NOT disappointed when I downloaded it.

I feel refreshed and renewed in the spirit. This CD was named Passion for a reason. HE is MY passion and these songs make me fall in love with Him all over again. Isn't that an incredible feeling? Falling in love? Now I want YOU to fall in love with this CD and draw yourself closer to HIM! Words like "let faith change the atmosphere" GAH!! YES PLEASE!! Hope IS alive! CD releases to all on January 29th!

The Passion Movement and the messages of founder Louis Giglio have marked the lives of millions of people around the globe, calling people everywhere to live for the glory of God. Goosebumps right?!

How do you enter? You must be at least 18 years or older and a U.S. or Canadian resident!

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC's 16 CFR, Part 255: " Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising") Many thanks to Propeller Consulting LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Make life a little sweeter than usual

Tis the season to be jolly. I dunno about you but I love me some holidays...like, sumpin' fierce! My love language is gifts. I LOVE to make, create and give. One of my most favorite brands to use when baking in the kitchen is NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE. I know whatever I make it is guaranteed to be delish as it is a brand I have used since I was a kid! In fact I was in charge of making the Chocolate Chip Cookies as my recipe was the best!

Have you TRIED their hot cocoa?? It is the best and creamiest. My secretly fabulous hot cocoa consists of lots of whip cream and finely chopped candy canes on top. The powdery dust of the candy canes gives it an unbelievable flavor! Hellooooo holidays! The first things my kids ask for on snowy, cold and blustery days "Mama, can you make your cocoa?" They have no idea but we are doing a Polar Express night with their very own cocoa bar. They can choose their cocoa toppings. Curl up under a cozy blanket and watch one of our favorite Christmas movies!

My friends and neighbors are receiving my famous Christmas bark. I love the combination of milk chocolate and white chocolate combined together with chopped candy canes on top. And it is ridiculously easy!

I personally buy my Semi-Sweet Chocolate chips at Costco! As I said, NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE is the brand we have used since before I was even a thought! I use large mason jars and fill them in pantry so they are pretty! We never not have them on hand. I was THRILLED to find mini morsels which I plan on using for cookie decorating, as well as pancakes! For this bark recipe pick pick a chocolate flavor! I used semi-sweet for this recipe sometimes like to use dark as well! You will also need a large bag of white chocolate morsels. 

Take a large pot, fill 1/4 way with water. Place a metal bowl or glass bowl over top. Be sure water is not touching the bowl on the inside. This will burn your chocolate! Bring water to boil on high and dump in your morsels.

Mix until creamy and smooth. I used a disposable cookie sheet which is lined with parchment paper. Spread your chocolate out evenly and then place in the refrigerator while you start the next process!

Repeat the same steps as above, this time with the white chocolate. When the milk chocolate is cooled pour the white chocolate over top. Spread and sprinkle with finely chopped peppermint sticks. Something you can do for added flavor is using peppermint extract or even spearmint flavor the chocolate before spreading in the pan. You will want to do this after the chocolate is fully smooth. Refrigerate 1-2 hours. When fully solid you can either use your hands or a knife to break the bark into chunks. We place in colorful tins and mason jars we will deliver to our friends. 

I hope you can 'bake' someone's day this holiday! Look for a fun giveaway on Instagram! Do me a favor...click HERE <----- tell me WHAT I should make next!! This will act as an extra entry on the giveaway that is found on Instagram! You can follow my friends at NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE here on Facebook as well as click HERE for a coupon! I can't wait to hear what you think I should make! 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Apple Pie Bread - Recipe, review and Giveaway

I love the holiday season. It is my excuse to get into the kitchen and create new recipes. My mama raised me on the farm. We had MILES between us and town so most of what we ate we made from scratch in the kitchen. I was the "baker" of the family. My first cookbook instilled a love of baked goods and helped to feed my creativity. My least favorite part...cleaning the dishes! Reynolds Wrap has made my love even easier! With their NEW disposable bakeware as well as non-stick parchment lined my world just got a whole lot easier!

I may have gone a wee bit crazy at the store! This isn't even ALL of it! I purchased disposable bakeware for all my baking needs this holiday season. To say I am excited is an understatement...um. HELLOOOOO!! Who likes spraying oil all over the kitchen?! There was this one time I sprayed "the pan" and really I was spraying the floor as well. Picture one accident prone mama stepping into a slick spot on the kitchen floor! Oil 1 - Me 0

Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl.

2 1/2 cups apple pie filling, chopped
2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp nutmeg
2 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
3/4 cup canola oil
3 3/4 cup flour

Heat oven to 350. Fill the Reynolds bread pans 2/3 way full. Makes enough for 8 mini loaves of bread! I do not remove the parchment paper from the bottom. Pour directly in! Bake for 35 minutes. Set aside to cool 5 minutes and deliver with love to those who mean the most to you!

Wanna know something cool?! YOU can score a $1 off coupon just by clicking HERE! Oh but there is more! Who wants to win $10 CASH?! Yep! You read that right! 1 reader will win $10 for you to be able to purchase your very own Reynolds Wrap disposable bakeware!

To enter you must be 18 years or older and a U.S. resident! Click HERE before entering below!  Don't forget to check out Reynolds Wrap on Facebook as well as Instagram for more fun ideas!

Happy baking! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

I'm Happy for You... book review & GIVEAWAY!

Let's face it. We all have an inner green meanie (as my family calls it). You know the one that when a friend, neighbor or Facebook friend has something really incredible happen for them. They have amazing talent and can decorate like a crazy foo'. Their husbands work send them on exotic trips all over the world, all while their children are perfect in every way. Never fight. Never disobey and travel easily. UM. That is NOT reality and we have to stop it. NOW!

Kay Wills Wyma sent me her newest book called "I'm Happy for You {SORT OF...Not Really}" first off she is a creative genius. I love my fellow blog sista' and she even sent me chocolate with the book. She knew the way to my heart! Her book nailed it on the head. We have ALL been there. You feel like what you have to offer is so much less than Miss Perfect who has the most incredible life and yours just stinks. STOP THAT!

As Kay says in the book...it's simple. Change a few letters in the word "Comparison" and you get the word "Compassion". <----- mind blown. Right? We are all victims of comparison. We are all convicted of passionately GIVING comparison. It is embedded inside of us. You might not even know you are doing it. "Oh look at that, I wonder where she got that? I bet she has a rich husband." as you stare at the person in the line of the grocery store. We do it without thinking. But we need to stop that.
Kay said, "The urge to maintain appearances chains us to performance and leads us away from contentment. Freedom comes when we each focus on doing our best rather than being the best."

We are in this together. You are not alone. There is nothing worse than people walking up and stating their opinions on you. Am I right? Let's learn to uplift and not project. You all rock as individuals. Let's do that together!

I love her book! She gives unique tips and stories to help you. I needed it! I needed to wash away the green meanie within and be content and happy with my present! How about you? Are you ready? Well you can win a copy for yourself!

You must be 18 years or older to enter. Also live in the U.S. or Canada only. Enter below! a Rafflecopter giveaway

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Wrapping made easy with Hallmark

OH my word you guys...I love Hallmark! HAVE I told you that yet?! I realized that every single item is wrapped in a Hallmark wrapping of some sort! I cannot get enough and I love the simplicity of it. It is so easy my 5 year old can use it! Cuteness overload!

My son had a tooth pulled the other day! Long story short he had an incident with a foosball table! He is thrilled it no longer hurts! SO, I took the big girls to Hallmark so we could get more wrapping paper, bags, tags etc! PLUS we have white elephant gifts and secret Santa's galore to shop for. We left with more peppermint bark (I cannot get enough of it!) and also ornaments for the tree to commemorate radtastic memories made this year.

We shopped till we dropped. I bought myself a coloring book and we brought home something for Mr. Noah to cheer him up (we are infatuated with Itty Bitties!).

Then home to let the 5 year old do her Christmas wrapping. I will tell you the thing we love the most is this...the cut lines on the wrapping paper! UM helloooo! They basically do the work for us! AND it doesn't take much to make the packages look pretty under our tree!

My kids love that they can choose wrapping paper to define THEIR personalities! I love that I can find my obsession in ribbon and bows. For real, it's a problem! Now with wrapping out of the way I can snuggle up on my couch with my peppermint bark coloring in my adult coloring book for a stress free holiday!

Wait...what was that? YOU want a stress free holiday too?! WELL...I bought 1 lucky reader a coloring book and pencils of their very own :) I will also be tossing in a little surprise in the form of coffee... <---- shoot I said too much! So sit back with your cocoa or cup of jo and color to your hearts content! HERE is the rules:

* You must be 18 years of age or older to win
* Open to U.S. residents only.
* Follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter to enter! <---- it's so easy my 5 year old could do it!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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