Don't mistake God's patience for His absence



I have not written for the blog in a long time. Various life events have kept me busy. Two major things one being that I have two small children (2 ½ and 5 years old) and the second that we moved into a new home, started school and trying to get settled.  Many of you know that moving into our home was a long time coming. A year of searching and being patient was challenging.  God truly provided the right home for our family.

As I look back on that whole experience and waiting in the Lord, it was an experience that was needed.  Many times in the midst of waiting I was frustrated, disappointed, depressed and unwilling to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

There were times that I really didn’t feel peace. I was leaning on my own understanding. I had many a talks with God and myself. I do that often just talk with God as if we are having coffee and express my feelings, concerns and at many times during the frustrations.  I often talk to my self; some say they do that because no one talks back to you.  However when I talked with God, He really talked back to me. Throughout the process He would speak through devotions, my husband, peoples calls and offered pray.  Those are the things that helped me/us walk through the year long process of finding a home while living with children at my in–laws home.

However, recently I have felt that God has been silent.  How could I say that!  He is always with you and knows what you need. Oh yes He does and is but what I experienced during that journey was quit different than now. 

I needed to see why I was feeling this way and reflect inwardly.  God is never truly silent He just shows up in different ways and it is up to us to see it!

I just needed to stop and see.
It was my own thoughts and allowing circumstances to overtake control. I just needed to stop and rest in Him. 

Reminders are good and I need many of them daily.  So look around to find Him. He has not left you, He is right next to you.
Deuteronomy 31:8
Amplified Bible (AMP)
It is the Lord Who goes before you; He will [march] with you; He will not fail you or let you go or forsake you; [let there be no cowardice or flinching, but] fear not, neither become broken [in spirit—depressed, dismayed, and unnerved with alarm].

I love the amplified version of Deuteronomy 31:8,  “neither become broken [in spirit-depressed, dismayed]” yes all those things because he will never leave you!! What a promise to hold onto in those moments that you might just feel alone. “He will [march] with you”

Psalm 62:5
New International Version (NIV)
Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
my hope comes from him.
Deuteronomy 31:6
New International Version (NIV)
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”


                                     
 Listen to a great song that speaks to my heart and I hope it speaks to yours!

Teacher Appreciation 2013

It's always good to find new ways to say thank you and I, for one, think Teachers are special people who need to be thanked!  

Never underestimate the impact of a simple hand written note to say "thanks". 


But in addition to that, here are some fun ideas that I did this year.  I have included the sources for all the neat little ideas below.  

I ended up tweaking a few of them using my own personal touch (which I guess is what makes each one unique!) 

 I love free printables and many of the links below provide individual tags to print which makes this even more simple to do!


Free Printable (Source)

Jam for a "Berry Sweet" Teacher.


 Hand Sanitizer with cute Poem
I would recommend finding the sanitizer that is completely clear.
 I had ordered them already so no turning back!


 Teachers help Make small things Grow with Plant

 Thanks for Quenching the Thirst for Knowledge


FREE PRINTABLE: Quenching the Thirst of Knowledge Straw Tags click HERE

These ideas can work for end of year gifts too!

Follow my PINTEREST Board for Teacher Appreciation.

Happy Gifting!

Amish Cinnamon Bread Alternative

I want to share another great Recipe without all the Fuss. I love the Cinnamon Amish bread. I had the mix and did all the mixing for the eight days but found on Pinterest this great alternative and it really was a big hit in our house. Enjoy!

Recipe: Amish Cinnamon Bread Alternative


Happy Baking!
P.S.  refly creations has wonderful recipes and ideas. A really great site to check out!!

14 Days of Love

Valentine's day is coming.

I found myself this year thinking more about how can I express my love for my family more than just the one day this month. I decided that it was going to be 14 Days of Love.



I began to search for things to do for and with the kids.  I found some great ideas that I want to share with you.



                              First:

I found some ideas about telling your kids each day what you love about them. I created little cards that have something we love about each of them and attached a Hershey’s kiss to the card.

Second:
I wrote 8 cards to my husband. Just things that I appreciate about him or things that I love he does for the kids and me.  On the other days I am going to give him a cute candy Valentine. I found a few Pinterest Ideas that you can check out. My husband doesn’t like chocolate so I was limited on some of the cute ideas. (I know not normal)


Third:
To keep Christ at the center of all things on Pinterest I found this Count Down to St. Valentines Day chain of scriptures.  I tweaked the topper a little, but the scriptures I kept the same. Here is a picture of the countdown and the link to the Count Down to St. Valentine.



 Fourth:
I found some cute recipes for snacks, breakfast and dinner. This year we are going to have a fun breakfast together and a nice dinner. I will take out the china for dinner, make the table look nice for this special dinner as a family.  Here is a link for some ideas on Pinterest .



I love this month because it makes us focus in on how we can tell those around us that we love and appreciate them. Take a minute to write a note to a friend or loved one. No one gets "snail mail" anymore and yet everyone still loves it! 

Our greatest example of Love is Jesus. God sent His son, Jesus, as a sacrifice for us.  He died on the cross at Calvary because He loved us so much.  No matter the sin in your life, God will forgive you if you believe in Him and ask for forgiveness. May you know and find His love.

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” New American Standard Bible (©1995)

Share with me what you do in your house or what you are going to do!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Links:

P. S.

mop it up mondays
TheBetterMom.com   

Cleaning Up

Cleaning...
I don’t know about you but it is necessary evil. I know that some may enjoy cleaning but for me it is not on the top of my “fun things to do” list.  Certainly it’s necessary, and I love a clean house.  But I can’t say that it brings me great joy to clean and scrub a toilet, wash floors, dust, etc.  But enough already with my open and honest assessment…

I recently decided I needed to keep up with the house cleaning on a daily basis and not just have this one major cleaning day only once a week.  On an everyday basis I clean up small things and keep the kitchen tidy and wipe down the bathrooms several times a week.  But that is not what I am talking about here.  I want to keep a generally clean house so that if an unexpected visitor pops in I am not completely embarrassed with how our house looks!  Not to mention that a clean home is a happy home (on many levels).  So where did I turn to try and help me figure out this dilemma?  Pinterest of course!

I explored all types of cleaning schedules; tips, articles you name it.  I read about a dozen blogs but nothing quite fit me exactly so I tweaked a few ideas and created a cleaning schedule that will work for me so that I don’t feel too overwhelmed.  Now, my husband really is super sweet and has never put any pressure on me to keep up with the house, but I know that he appreciates it and I must admit, I do too!  

For some this might not work, but for me I am on week three of a clean house and I am loving it!  My husband has even commented (unsolicited, I promise) on how clean the house has been and how he has appreciated all the work.  Yay!!  And an added bonus of this schedule is that I am not spending a ton of time each day cleaning.  Because let’s face it…I have little ones and spending extended periods of time cleaning is not always feasible.  A great quote that I found (and love) by Phyllis Diller:

“ Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing up is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing.”

I laugh and give an “Amen” every time I read that quote!  Raising small children and allowing them to play does leave a mess that is continuous.  It’s natural to have that feeling of frustration when you just cleaned up one thing and turn around to find that Jr. has completely dumped out all his cars in one big pile and then moves on to Mr. Potato Head to shake out all the pieces, dumping his little cup of Goldfish on the floor in the process.  I don’t know, maybe that’s just my kids.  We are working on the whole, “once you are done playing with one thing put it away and then take out the next,” but that’s a continual work in progress and worthy of a whole other blog post at a later date!

What I want to share with you is that this Cleaning Schedule offers me a chance to keep up my house and not feel overwhelmed with having to do one mass-cleaning day.  Been there, done that…and I was not loving it.  Below is the schedule. If you would like it use it please do, or if it is a great starting point and you need to tweak it for you, I have attached it below in as a Publisher doc that you can tweak.  I love to share and hope that this can be helpful to you as well.
Cleaning Schedule







Happy Cleaning!!
 Click to Download Schedule


Pinterest Board: Ideas for Cleaning
   
Products I like:
Walmart offers:  
This is great on Hardwood floors and Tile. I use this most days instead of a broom. It is plug-in so it doesn't lose its juice.















I use Swiffer for Dusting and the
Wet Mop for daily touch ups!







Invisible Glass. I found that this streaks less than other brands.










Mr. Clean Magic Erasers are great for the marks on the wall and TIP: Removes Soap scum on shower glass doors!!!

Linked up with:
mop it up mondays
TheBetterMom.com
Photobucket
The Taylor House

Santa Fe Chicken Packets

I have had so many request on this recipe that I am reposting it..
(I have made it more times than I can keep count it is that yummy!)

It is super easy and no mess. I did make a few adjustments see after the recipe.


Santa Fe Chicken Packets













Chicken breasts topped with black beans, corn and zesty tomatoes, cooked in foil packets on the grill for an easy summertime meal
Hands On: 10 | Total: 30 | Makes: 4 servings (1 packet each)
Ingredients:
    1 can (15 oz each) Rosarita® Premium Whole Black Beans, drained, rinsed
    2 cups frozen whole kernel corn
    1 can (10 oz each) Ro*Tel® Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies, drained
    1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    PAM® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
    4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (5 oz each)
    1/2 cup shredded reduced fat Mexican cheese blend

Directions
1. Preheat outdoor grill to medium-high heat according to manufacturer's directions. Stir together beans, corn, drained tomatoes and cumin in medium bowl.
2. Place four 18x12-inch pieces of heavy foil on counter. Spray each with cooking spray. Place 1 breast in center on each piece of foil. Spoon 1/4th bean mixture over chicken for each packet. Bring up short sides of each foil packet and double fold top. Double fold both ends to seal each packet, leaving space for steam to gather.
3. Place packets on grate of covered grill. Grill 15 to 20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in centers (165°F). Carefully open packets; sprinkle 1/4th cheese on top of each breast. Close foil and let stand 2 minutes or until cheese melts.

Nutritional Information:
4 servings (1 packet each) Calories 386; Total Fat 9 g (Saturated Fat 3 g); Cholesterol 110 mg; Sodium 613 mg; Carbohydrate 28 g; (Dietary Fiber 6 g, Sugars 4 g); Protein 47 g; Percent Daily Values*: Vitamin A 11%; Vitamin C 9%; Calcium 26%; Iron 17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Cook's Tips
Packets may be baked on shallow pan in 425°F oven 20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in centers. Or, to save aluminum foil, place chicken in 13x9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Spoon bean mixture over chicken; cover dish with aluminum foil. Bake in 375°F oven 30 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in centers.

Recipe From: Ready Set Eat


Adjustments:
  1. I seasoned my chicken with a little salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika and minced onion. I put all four pieces in one Foil Packet.
  2. To make a little less spicy I just used Diced tomatoes( instead of with green chiles) I made both ways and they were great.
  3. Served with Spanish rice.
  4. Topped with Sour Cream.
Happy Cooking!

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Featured on: OrganizingHomelife

Scriptures for the Season VIII


John 1:1-5
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. 
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.



John 1:14
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.



May this season be filled with 
Love, Joy, Hope and Peace!