Monday, April 29, 2013

Bright Side

I've had to look on the bright side several times in my life, and today is another day!!!!  When gloom seems to want to settle in my thinking, the bright side can, we simply put, brighten up any situation.  I sooooo did not want to get out of the bed at 5:15 when the sound of the rain was begging me to just go back to sleep.  It is Monday and there is nothing like a Monday rain to make you want to stay in bed!  But...

When the rain is pouring outside...the bright side is I can hear the rain, and I can see the clouds and my family is safe in our house and not out braving the elements with no place to go.  I am thankful for the beautiful weather we had Friday and Saturday.  And even though our family game night was rained out last night at church, we still had a blast playing games inside!  (I won't even tell you about the pastor, youth pastor and my husband taking over the bounce house from the kids and acting like kids themselves!)

When I am faced with mounds of laundry every Monday morning...the bright side is we have clothes' to wear and we had fun getting them dirty, and I am healthy enough to wash them to the best of my abilities.  (Even though I am not the stain master remover like my mom!)

When I am sweeping up crumbs for the second time and it is not even 9:00am...the bright side is we had food to put in our tummies this morning.  We were able to eat and pray and read the Bible together at our little table.  I am here with my girls, right where God has called me to be.  I can cook and clean and sing my hymns the whole time I am doing my tasks.

When we are making our hour and 10 minute long track to school and back home and my husband is making his two hour track to work (one way)...the bright side is we have vehicles to drive, a great school to attend, and my husband has a fantastic job to be blessed with.  We can see God's hand in all of these situations, and although they are not ideal, again we are right where God has called us to be for now.

The bright side is, no matter what, we are children of God, and no matter how life or our circumstances change or make us feel, that fact remains the same.  We are to walk in the light, as my daughter's memory verse for this week states, and we will choose to look on the bright side even when the sun is behind the clouds.

Today's Verse
Ephesians 5:8 "For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord:  walk as children of light"

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Stressed-Less Healthy Tomorrow

High Stress=Poor Health

It is just that simple.  The studies have been done.  All evidence leads to the same conclusion.

It's not that we can rid our lives of all stress, but we can learn to handle our stress in a healthy manner.

I needed this reminder this week!

Stress Management is not a new concept.  I have a book that belonged to my Great Aunt..."How to Stop Worrying and Start Living" by Dale Carnegie in 1944.

There were worries and stress in the 1940s?  Yes...worries have been around since the beginning of time; they are present in our lives now, and they will be present until the Lord's return.  The question is, how will we handle these stresses and worries?  Do I let them consume my life, or do I hand it over to God and live my life with trust and faith in Him?

Our health depends on our coping mechanisms for stress, and whether we choose to allow God to work in our lives and help us to learn and draw closer to Him during our stressful days!

I laughed when I received an email from Fitness magazine this week (I receive so many emails from magazines and I have no idea why!!) and the title was ...
Beat Stress, Weigh Less: Calorie-Burning Yoga Workout
By Mary Christ Anderson

Exercise is a proven way to reduce stress...but it is finding the time and making the time to get that exercise in your daily routine that makes the difference!  As I have said before, I have a love/hate relationship with exercise!  But it is a must to have a healthier life from not just the physical aspect but the mental as well.

Journaling also helps me hand my worries over to God and walk away.  I received my first prayer journal as a teenager, and I have used this method of writing to really pour my heart out to God.  I can process the things taking place in my life better when it is written down on paper.  I use this time to write a letter to my heavenly Father.  I know He reads every word as I write.  When I don't feel I have the words to speak in prayer, I always have the words to write on paper!

Deep breaths are always relaxing when a normal moment quickly transforms into a stressful moment.  (I am running late, lost my phone, my darling children are being forth and so on.)  As I talked about in the V-8 series that I did in a ladies Bible study a few years ago, 10 deep breaths a day can help clear your mind and cause you to feel God's peace immediately.

Just a moment alone with God can change my perspective as well.  Our azalea bushes are in full bloom, and I was reminded of a moment last year this time when I was feeling stressed.  On this particular day, I sat at the kitchen table for just a moment with my Bible.  I was refreshed within minutes at the site of our brilliant white azaleas and a moment to spend with my heavenly Father.  Keep a devotion app on your phone or a small Bible in your pocketbook to pull out anytime for encouragement.  God will always send the right verse at the right time!

These are things that work for me, but it is remembering to use them that I sometimes need help with.  I am thankful to be a part of this Online Bible Study, and my prayer is that God continues to do amazing things in our lives through this book and study!

Today's Verse
"Humble yourselves in the sight of the LORD, and he shall lift you up." James 4:10

PS -  I had to come back and add this...

After I was finished posting (Which, for me is also a form of stress relief!), I hopped back into reality.  My little one needed help putting a princess dress on.  My oldest one needed to do her homework.  It was time to start supper.  There was backpacks to get organized and fix because of a broke zipper, outfits to lay out, lunches to pack and breakfast to prepare.  I realized I was humming an old hymn the whole time.  It doesn't matter what kind of day I am having...the worst one I can imagine...I can be frazzled to the utmost ends...and a hymn will suddenly pop in my mind.  It can calm me and give me peace that can only come from God.  I wish I could sing pretty, but unfortunately I cannot!  But when nobody but God is listening (and my girls) I sing hymns like I am standing in the choir loft.  They always make me smile!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What's Cookin!

So it has been a roller coaster ride of temps this week in NC.  We have run the heat and the air conditioning.  I love this time of year!  Monday night was a little chilly so I made a crock pot of soup.  My Grandmother was never one to be in the kitchen a lot.  When I did stay with her, I can remember two things...Trix cereal spread out on a cookie sheet and heated in the oven for snack (Sounds weird, but it is so tasty!) and chicken and stars soup.  So I finally made a homemade version!  Super Soup!  

1 pound of chicken breast
1 can cream of chicken soup
6 cups water
1 package of chicken flavor booster (I use Swanson brand)
Onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste

Mix ingredients in the crock pot and cook on low for 5-6 hours.  After 5-6 hours remove Chicken and cut into chunks and stir broth well.  Add the chicken back to the crock pot and turn the heat to high.  Add...

1 1/2 cups small star pasta
2 cups baby spinach
1 can cannellini beans (rinsed and drained)

Cook for an additional 15-20 minutes or until pasta is cooked and spinach has wilted in.  The longer it cooks the thicker the soup gets and the less broth there will be.  It is quite yummy and you can definitely add or take away.  My daughter loves cannellini beans and it goes well with spinach, but the soup would also be good with peas and carrots as well.  Add and take away to adjust to your family's likes and dislikes!  I hope your family enjoys!

Last week was all about cakes in our house.  I made four cakes and my mom made one for the Kindergarten Cake Walk at my daughter's school.  I made two of the snickerdoodle cake (We can't bake cakes in our house and not keep one for ourselves :)  I adapted this from the snickerdoodle bars recipe to make it with a more cake like texture.  I made a cream cheese type icing for the one we kept because it is better refrigerated  and I made one without the cream cheese for the one for the carnival.  I hope that one tasted as yummy as ours did!  I also made a blueberry pound cake.  It was hilarious because some high school boys picked it.  I couldn't believe they would want a pound cake verses something chocolate, but later that day they had already devoured it in the lunch room...something every baker loves to see!  


2 3/4  cups all-purpose flour
3  teaspoons baking powder
1  teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2  teaspoon salt
     1/2 cup softened butter
     1 Tbsp canola oil
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
     3 eggs
2 1/2  teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 cups milk


3 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla


2  teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2  teaspoon ground cinnamon

Heat oven to 350°F.  Grease and flour 13x9 pan

In medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and the salt; set aside.

In large bowl, beat butter and oil with electric mixer on medium speed 30 seconds. Gradually add 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar and brown sugar, about 1/3 cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping bowl. Beat 2 minutes longer. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla. On low speed, alternately add flour mixture, about one-third at a time, and 1 1/4 cups milk, about half at a time, beating just until blended.

Spread batter evenly in pan.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

In large bowl, mix powdered sugar, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, butter and cream cheese with electric mixer on low speed. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla. If too thick you can add a Tbsp of milk.  You can frost cooled cake right in the pan. In small bowl, mix cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle over frosted cake.  Store in the fridge.

Today's Verse
"Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer."  Romans 12:12

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Twice a day

Wednesday night has always been pizza night in our house.  Even before the girls were born we established this as our quick meal.  Wednesdays can be chaotic trying to get to church, so a frozen pizza was my go to.  When we were at a start up church early in our marriage, we would meet some other members and order $6 pizzas from the place next to church and eat together before the' study began."  So it just stuck, and pizza is always Wednesday. 

Last Wednesday I tried a new pizza, and although delicious, it was a little garlicky.  Before we ran out the door for church, I ran to brush my teeth.  My daughter asked, "Mom, why are you brushing your teeth?  It is not bedtime, and we didn't just wake up! What are you doing?". I laughed and explained it was just fine to brush your teeth any time of the day!

That night I laughed again at her comment as I brushed my teeth for the third time that day.  Then I had a thought.  What if my daughter asked me what I was doing when I pick my Bible up and it is not Sunday or Wednesday.  Would she be shocked?

I have recently been trying to really emphasize the importance of learning more about God everyday to my girls.  We have talked about prayer, praising God and reading His Word to learn all we can.  It is not something that is done once or twice a week...IT IS AN EVERYDAY THING!

The girls sing a cute song at church, and we sing it some mornings while we read a little devotion.

Read your Bible pray everyday, pray everyday, pray everyday
Read your Bible pray everyday
And you'll grow grow grow

Neglect your Bible forget to pray, forget to pray, forget to pray
Neglect your Bible forget to pray
And you'll shrink shrink shrink

I'm pretty short, so I definitely do not want to shrink :). But seriously,  if I go a day or two without reading, I can tell a difference in every aspect of my life.  I feel guilty some days when I ask the girls to excuse me for 10 minutes so I can read a quick devo or a few verses in my Bible.  But honestly, I am a much better mother after I have spent that time with God!

Just like my teeth can never be too clean, God can never be praised too much.  

Caution...brushing teeth can be done more that twice a day!
Caution...praising God can be done more that twice a week...and both are recommended for your health! 

Today's Verse
"Glory ye in his holy name:  let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.  Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually."  1 Chronicles 16:10-11

Monday, April 22, 2013

Mirror Mirror...

As many of you know, we have been doing some renovations to our little house.  It has been fun and exciting as well as tiring and trying.  Even though I am not a big shopper, I have enjoyed picking out new fixtures and shower curtains and accessories for our two bathrooms.  I have tried to match colors and decorate (something I am not too good at) on a budget.  I have to say, we are really happy about the final look.

We have painted our master bathroom a pale yellow and my husband hung new lights last weekend.  We have joked about having to wear sunglasses in there.  IT IS BRIGHT!  The new lights with the yellow makes you feel like you are in a sunny location.  I even found a picture that says "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine".  I was so excited because I love that song, and because I feel like I can see the sun in the bathroom :).

But, there are some downsides to this brightness...the reflection in the mirror.  I can see every line, every scar, every imperfection, every thing I don't want to see.  Talk about HD; this new set up is completely HD!

This new view of the face staring back at me is not exactly how I would like to see myself.  Just like really reflecting on my many stressful habits and worries is not how I want to see my inside self either.   Working through this Bible study on stress has forced me to take a long look in the mirror of life, and it is not always pretty.  It is hard to break down the issues I would like control over, the anxieties that I feel, the questions I would like answers to, and the stress and chaos that I have tried to pass off as normal.  When I take a good look at the effects these things are having on my life and my family's lives, I know I need to change.

In chapter 2 of the Stressed-Less Living book I had to fill out a stress-assessment chart.  I found myself answering the same word for the last question..."Do you have control or power to change this problem?"  My response was simply "Prayer".

Prayer must be my response.  I have no real control of the outcomes, but I can control if I hand those questions and situations over to God.  I can choose to pray during a stressful day and letting His peace help and heal me.  I can control praying when I am dealing with old hurts, or new hurts, or annoying people, or concerns for the future and allowing God to take away the stress it causes.

Making it a point to spend that time with God daily is the one thing I can control, and I will choose to do that rather than sit and try to solve things myself and stress over the outcome that I have zero control over!

Today's Verse
Proverbs 3:6
"In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."

When we acknowledge the reflection in the mirror can't handle the stresses of life alone, we can be certain He will direct our paths!

Mirror Mirror on the wall
I used to be the most stressed of all
But I am learning to fully rely on my Father above
Who has promised to guide me and forgive me 
And fill me with His love

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What's Cookin' Wednesday!

So I have a confession...I am a cookie dough lover, and yes I know the risks of eating the stuff, but it is ohhhh soooo good!  I do remember a night in the dorm in college when one of my girlfriends and I ate almost a whole roll of cookie dough!  Not so healthy, but it sure was a fun night of eating and laughing! And although I would never do that now, I do like to take a small taste when I am making my cookies.

I read recently about adding a box of vanilla pudding to your favorite chocolate cookie recipe to make them extra soft and puffy!  I also have read that placing cookie dough in the fridge for an hour or so before scooping can help the cookies not to spread as much.  So we had to try these suggestions recently, and we were so incredibly surprised at the delicious outcome.  Even my husband, who is not the  biggest sweets fan, loved these little treats!  Grab some bowls and spoons and try this one soon!  Hope your family enjoys!

Pudding Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

2 1/4 cup all-purpose Flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter  at room temp
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 pkg vanilla instant pudding
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
10-12 oz milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350

Combine flour, baking soda and salt..set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter, sugars, vanilla, and pudding mix. Beat until smooth and creamy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add flour mixture slowly. Stir in chocolate chips. Place dough in refrigerator for an hour or so. Place heaping Tbsps of batter (I used my 1 Tbsp cookie scoop) onto parchment paper lined cookie sheets and bake until golden appx 10-12 mins. Cool to touch and move to cooling rack.  

These hold their shape really well.  Feel free to use semi-sweet chips; we just really love milk chocolate!  I am sure these would be good with pecans or walnuts added also!  We will definitely be trying this method with other cookie recipes!

Today's Verse
"Thou drewest near in the day that I called upon thee:  thou saidst, Fear not."  Lamentations 3:57

Aren't my sous chefs cute in their matching aprons from their little cousins!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Strength for today

 Have you ever had a day or week when a verse is brought to your attention over and over.  Or maybe you hear several messages or sermons on the same topic really close together.  There may also be instances when somebody has given you godly advice and later that same week you receive that same advice from a different person.  Those have all happened to me, and I know that is when God is trying to get my attention and truly speak to me through others and His Word.  

This was apparent once again in my life as I sat down in my Sunday school class only to discover we are starting a new series about dealing with stress and anxiety.  YIKES!  As many of you know, I just started an online Bible study regarding the same topic.  Do you think God is wanting me to take a breath and calm down and lean on Him more?  I am kinda getting that  sinking feeling I have not been taking the hints!  I know He is asking me to trust and depend on Him completely and not waste my time and energy on stress and worry!

The study we are doing is called "Intentional Choices".  At the end of the lesson, the author (which I could not find listed in the book, but it is a LifeWay study) refers to a quote, "Worrying does not empty tomorrow if its troubles; it only empties today of its strength."  
WOW!  I love that!

When worries pop in or situations arise that cause anxiety, I must take a minute to pray.  When I release it all to Him, I can feel the peace of God transform the stress into praise for Him.  I will praise Him for the blessings in my life and praise Him that He holds everything in His hands.  I can praise Him that He helps carry my load.  I will take a deep breath while I "breath in His peace and let out my worries".  (From You're Late Again Lord)
 I was reading very familiar verses this morning only to have a verse speak to me in a new way.  

Today's verse 
Hebrews 12:1
"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us"

I have always focused on running the race that is before us, but a different part leapt off the page today..."let us lay aside every weight".  Our Heavenly Father is there to help us carry our load and ease the pain that stresses can cause.  But it is up to us to lay them aside!  If we continue to carry our own burdens, we will definitely not have the strength for today!  But once we release our troubles to Him, His strength will fill us and the race of life will be easier to run!

Thursday, April 11, 2013


Is it ok to be stressed about starting a Bible study that is geared to help you combat stress?  Well, that is where I found myself this week.  I have been excited about beginning the study, but yet anxious about whether I could stay caught up and find the time to do it!  But just as Tracie says in her first chapter, it is up to ME to choose a good attitude, it is also up to me to make time to complete this health depends on it!

I can remember Mrs. Margie, my Kindergarten teacher, telling me to stop wringing my hands. She would whisper, "Don't do that." and gently place her hands on top of mine.  I don't know what a kindergartner has to be stressed about, but I honestly think I was stressed about something.  I don't wring my hands anymore, but I do twist my fingers when I am anxious or in pain.  

In high school I was voted Most Stressed...YAY!...just what every girl wants to be remembered as!  In my defense, I worked a crazy job, took crazy hard classes, and then there was the actual thing called high school...boys, friends, know...the drama of it all!

College was no different.  My second semester, Freshman year, I broke out in hives every Thursday night.  It became a joke to see when I would start itching. I always had a paper due on Friday as well as a hard Bio lab.  Without fail the little whelps always appeared about 8:00 pm and would disappear the next morning.  I thankfully made it through college and during  my last semester I took a Stress-management course, which I made an A in, but I can't say it actually helped :).  I remember a heated discussion with the professor on why in the world he would make us do a presentation when that was such a major stressor!  Why would one cause stress in a stress management class????

I've read books, tried techniques I learned in the course, and unlike Tracie, I have even tried yoga :). Trust me when I say I have prayed, and I do always feel relief...for a while...but the stress comes back, and I try to solve my own problems all over again!

That is what I am hoping to change and what my prayer for this Bible Study is.  When I lay my problems and worries and stresses at the Lord's feet, I want to actually let go of them and walk away.  I know He can handle them, and I know He only has my best interest in mind.  But the control part of me wants to analyze everything, and I want to try to help Him "fix" my problems.  

He loves you and me more than we can imagine or fathom...and that love means He wants us to live an abundant life full of joy and not full of negative stress.

I can't wait to see what God has in store through this study of Stressed-Less Living by Tracie Miles. If you want to check it out please visit the website!  Together we can work on "Finding God's Peace in Your Chaotic World".

Today's Verse
1 Peter 5:10
But the God of grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What's Cookin' Wednesday!

Here is my favorite Italian Pasta Salad recipe.  This is great for all the fun outdoor picnics and events that always come along with the warmer weather...and man is it warm here in NC right now!  YAY!  I make this for my husband to take to employee lunches at work, for family gatherings, and just for me and the girls to enjoy sometimes.  I always get asked for the recipe, so I actually measured (YIKES!) and wrote it down the last time I made it a couple of weeks ago for a luncheon.  I doubled it that day, and it was all eaten! I hope your family enjoys!

1 12 oz box of tri-color pasta (cooked according to directions with salt and a little EVOO and drained and rinsed in cold water)
1/2 cup favorite Italian dressing (I use Kraft Italian Light)
1 pint cherry tomatoes (halved and seeded)
1/2 cup mini pepperonis (I use turkey pepperonis, and if I can't find the minis I buy the regular and quarter them)
1/2 cup of sundried tomatoes (I do not use the ones packed in oil, but I do mix with 1-2 Tbsp of EVOO before adding)
1 cup of Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup sliced black olives (optional - I sometimes add and sometimes omit)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

Mix all ingredients and allow at least 3 hours or overnight to sit in the refrigerator.  Serve cold or room temp!

Today's Verse
Deuteronomy 7:9

Know therefore that the  Lord  thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations; 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Bumps and Bruises

My oldest daughter looks like her little legs are extremely beat up.  I hope nobody sees the bruises and thinks she lives in an abusive home!  As I said in yesterday's post, she has learned to ride with no training wheels.  And although she is doing a fabulous job, (I was actually quite shocked at how she just took off with no help!) she still has suffered a few falls!  And like her mama, she bruises easily!  She starts out strong, then maybe a wobble, and then she has trouble stopping and getting those little feet down to the ground in time to catch herself.  This results in little black and blue shins.  I am proud of how tough she has actually been.  She hops back up and keeps on going!  Most little bumps can cause some real tears because she can be a real cry baby sometimes when it comes to little injuries...but again, so can her mama!

And unfortunately, she also bruises easily emotionally too...just like her mama!

We are bound to have our feelings hurt many many times in our lives.  My three year old already knows how to cross her arms and say, "That hurt my feelings!", with an added "Ummmm!" at the end.  I have learned that us girls can definitely have more hurt feelings than those tough old boys!  We tend to re-live hurtful situations, over-analyze comments, and take things way too seriously.  Those painful memories of the little hurtful comments and being left out can cause little bruises on our fragile hearts, and those typically do not fade as quickly as a black and blue mark on our shins!

How do we pick ourselves up and keep on going after being hurt emotionally?

We must hand those situations and hurt feelings over to God.  He is the only One who has the power to erase them from our memories, patch up our broken and bruised hearts, and help us move on without bitterness!  If we do not allow Him to work in our lives, and help us deal with our hurt feelings, we will live a life of pain and misery.

If I quit speaking to everyone who has hurt my feelings, I would have no one to talk to...and I am not afraid to admit that includes God also.  Every family member, every friend, and even my Heavenly Father has hurt my feelings at some point in my life.  But just as my daughter picks herself up after falling off her bike, we must pick ourselves up after having our feelings hurt.  We have to forgive and move on.  Life is too short to dwell on the little hurts!  Bumps and bruises are going to happen, we just have to be ready to jump up and keep peddling.

Today's Verse - Hebrews 12:13-15

13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.
14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you...

I love the ESV interpretation of these verses...
13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. 14 Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble...

Monday, April 8, 2013

A lot in 12 days

The 12 days of no school and 12 days of no posting and 12 days of our glorious spring break have passed I knew they would...and today it is time to get back on track.  I wanted to shed a quick tear when the alarm began beeping at 4:45, but then I tried to perk myself up with "This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it".

So much was accomplished in the few days off...we had a great Easter party/birthday party for Em...complete with giant bounce house that even us big kids enjoyed; we started an indoor garden...which has its first sprout; we painted projects, rooms and even bathroom cabinets; we got a new bed; I am officially a year older; we had our first marshmallow roast; we went to a fun puppet show; my oldest learned to ride without training wheels...YIKES!; we had some fun times at my parents; we did a lot of kite flying; we ate at some delicious restaurants, and we enjoyed an absolutely beautiful weekend after a chilly week.

YAY for breaks!

Although not every single thing got checked off of our to-do lists, we were pleased with what we did accomplish.  I tried to not get too discouraged that my writing goals did not quite reach my expectations, but I am thankful what did get done and for all the time we got to spend together as a family...and I tried not to think about that extra candle on my cake :)

I am excited about an On-line Bible Study I am beginning this week.  My husband gave me the book at Christmas.  Just when I was about to begin reading it, I found out about this study.  I put off reading the book so I can follow along with the group.  If you ever feel stressed out (ha ha...who doesn't!), this may be a great study for you.  Check it out!

Also, I am excited about a little fun exploration idea that I have on Focus on the Family right now.  If you would love to get your little ones outside, try this fun little outing.

Hope you are getting back on schedule today even if it was hard heading back to school!

Today's Verse
Psalms 118:1 "O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good:  because his mercy endureth for ever."