Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Sacrificing their life to save others...

12 yrs ago today...the moment is etched in my mind for ever. It is for anyone who was old enough to comprehend what was happening. My first son was just 6 mths old, he sister was 3.5. My husband and I set there in shock and watched the scenes playing over and over. We were filled with sorrow and yet also with pride as we watched America come together to help one another. There were so many stories of heros that sacrificed their own life to save another.
  Tonight at church we talked about some of those stories. We talked about how we honor those that were lost in the tragic event and that got me thinking. Those people are heros and everyone rightfully agrees that they should be honored and remember.

But what about the man that died for all of mankind? Do we honor him? Do we remember him? He was and is a hero, he gave up his life so we could live. Everyone agrees about honoring the 911 heros, so why is it so hard to honor the Hero for all the world? I will tell you what I think is the difference. For September 11, 2001 there was an actual event, a real war going on that people could see with their eyes. Real stories of people that were in the fire and saved b/c a real person pulled them out. The big difference is that most people do not see that they are in a falling world, you could see the falling building, but many can't see this falling world. We are all in need of being pulled from the fire and Jesus did just that. He came to our tragic situation, he came to our trapped, cant get out, no where to go, situation and he pulled us out and took all the weight upon himself and died...for us...for me...for you. How about instead of just the first picture where we never forget the amazing men and women who gave their lives so we could live,we also do this, remember Jesus, who gave up his life so we could live- eternally. (all images saved from Internet, no personal ownership to them)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Back to the basics 5 kids and no electronics??

Mid way through August I went out of town for Success School with Advocare. It was great, relaxing, educational, all over awesome...but when we got back the kids had stories of each other and of them were not good. I (on a whim) said "well September is National Turney No electronics month". That one sentence set it in motion. There were a few whines, a few- what about this or that-, but over all it went pretty well. Gabi later on asked "how long have you been planning this?' I told her "about 2 seconds before it came out of my mouth". (ya, that is about how much time I put into this new month we were about to embark on). The rest of august went by and they became more and more used to the idea so that made it easier to start it. I am pretty sure if they only had 2 days or so to mentally prepare that I would have had some sort of kid explosion. It would not have been a pretty site. We started on Sept 1 and we already had plans to head up to the grandparents for Labor day. That usually meant lots of tv..but not this time. They played in the kiddie pool and they even brought bags of toys to play with (you would have thought they were staying the full weekend there).

 On the way home we had to do a conference call and the easiest thing to do would have been to turn on a movie but of course that would have been crazy seeing that we were hardly 12 hrs into our full mth. We told them no talking and then lives were threatened (not really..well...sort of). They did awesome though. Along with this no electronic adventure, we started a new discipline system. It is the same kind that the elementary school does for the classes. We have a yard stick with six colors. Three above the line and three below the line. I wanted a way that they could physically see how what I say to be true is in fact true that their attitude changes everything. They start off each day above the line and doing chores and showing extra kindness moves them up the line. Of course, the same goes for moving down, bad attitude, or forgetting chores can do that. Here are some examples of extra kindness that has been a result of the new system, chores are being done with out being told, snacks are being made and breakfast is being served for the younger kids with out being forced or even asked to, they have cleaned rooms, moved lawn mowers when it started raining, cleaned up pencil holder that got knocked over (I knocked it over accidentally while walking out door) all with good attitudes and most without being asked. It has been a wonderful thing to add. There are certain kids that have a hard time calming down when they get angry b/c something did not go their way and this has even helped with that b/c I give them the warning that if they do not calm down they have to go move their pin done a color. There is something about them having to do it themselves that is great at helping them think it out and make a better choice to calm down faster. On Saturday we added up the time each child had earned over the course of the 6 days. We had a full two hrs (highest amount possible), down to 1hr and 25mins. They were allowed to take either sat or Sunday to watch tv and only those two days, it was not something that could be saved until next week. I didn't want them watching 6 hrs of tv on one day. Saturday was a very busy day with baseball and going to the fair and being there for many hrs so tired kids could of had something to do with it but I did notice that bed time the next night (Sunday) after everyone watched tv, was harder to put into place. I think it took over an hr to get everyone asleep (yuck, mama needs a break too). I haven't told the kids this yet but I am liking this so much that when October rolls around I will keep this is place and just tweak it some. They will get tv back but that is only if they go up one notice on the reward chart (showing they have done chores) and than they will still earn time each day to cash in but it will be for game time. (shh don't tell them yet, saving that awesome news until about week 3)

Sunday, March 31, 2013

I cant believe a whole mth has gone by since my last post. To say we have been busy would be an understatement. We have had so many sickness and than we had a cornhole tournament with the Predators hockey team and than we topped it off with a staycation. Now it is Easter. The celebration of Jesus' resurrection I have no main pictures to post yet b/c I need a nap.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

What's for dinner? Son hates mustard but loved this

On sunday I got my week of meals planned out. I love when I sit down to do this b/c it makes the week go by so smoothly. Without a plan this is what I feel like. Does anyone else feel like that? Dinner time can be such a hassle if you are trying to think of what to cook for your family at 5pm. You would like for it to be of some, if not a lot, of nutritional value right? For most of us that requires planning. I am not sure why the planning part does not happen every week. I love doing it. I love looking through the cookbooks. I love making the grocery list and than shopping for the items...assuming I do not have to bring all 5 kids. I love bringing the grocery's home and filling my fridge and pantry with good items that I know will make my family happy. Yet , so far, meal planning only happens maybe 2 weeks out of the mth. My goal....GET BETTER!!! So here was a meal that was super easy to make and had nnoooooo left overs. This is a good sign. It was Mustard Glazed Chicken Thighs. I did not have any chicken thighs and already had chicken wings out so used those instead. It calls for 1/4 cup melted butter or coconut oil 2 tablespoons mustard black pepper to taste 1 teaspoon sage salt (1/2 teaspoon sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon dried sage mixed) 1 pkg of chicken wings or thighs, or breast..what ever you have on hand and prefer. In a small bowl mix the melted butter, mustard, black pepper, and sage salt. Place the chicken on a baking sheet and brush the mixture onto the chicken. Cook for about 45 min at 425 degrees.
This is the glaze mixture.
Just spreading the sauce on the chicken.
 I choose to only put sauce on some of the chicken b/c I was not sure if everyone would like the fact that it had mustard in it. Here's how it went down, my oldest son hates mustard. While chomping down on the wings he asked what was on the chicken? My youngest son said it was mustard..he was just throwing that out there b/c of the color and my oldest said Don't even say the word mustard. Caden (youngest guy) says MUSTARD and oldest said don't even a little bit say that word. I, over on the side, know that he has asked me what was on it but I just keep my mouth shut and skip over the fact that he has asked me that question. He, being distracted by the fact the his brother even suggested mustard was on it, does not even ask again what was on it and keeps on eating and goes back for seconds. The next day we tell him what was on it and he was shocked. Point to that is, if you don't like mustard, try it anyways. Maybe only make it on half and do the other ones in BBQ sauce so that way you can taste it without messing up the whole meal.

For the side veggie I roasted cauliflower.

I also made my homemade Keifer with strawberries.

All in all it was a great meal that didn't take all that long to prepare and was super yummy!!!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Creative 3rd child does a horse day.

My kori is amazing at coming up with fun ideas. Last year she came up with a full on carnival for the whole family to do outside. She had games and prizes. It really was lots of fun. We were a bit surprised at this b/c was made a 9yr old. But she did awesome. She had bean bag toss into laundry basket. She had ring toss, pinata, and even treasure hunts to just name a few things she had planned. Here is a link to see those pictures

This time she came up with the idea for Horse Day. The little ones had a great time. She once again came up with really great games. Here are some pictures from her special day.

She gathered all of her horses and made signs for each game.
She had them hiding, she had them everywhere. She had treats for the siblings when they won and she even had a movie to watch to top it all off. Benji. Not a horse movie but still a good one.
All in all it was a fun day. The little ones had fun.
They had so much fun that they even tried to do their own day.....coloring didn't go so well. Maybe next time :)
I love that each of my children are so different. Kori may not want to play any sports. She may not like to wear or try anything new. She may aggravate her siblings on purpose. All of that is ok b/c she is who God made her and whatever she does in life she will bring such a creative spirit to it that it will be amazing.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Veggies meatballs. That's whats for dinner.

Here is another great meal that is packed full of veggies that your kids might love. I have five kids and two were sick so they didn't even try it and one had the meatballs with a drop of BBQ sauce that she said was the perfect touch and the other two ate it just the way I made it. Jerry and I also loved it. Awhile back I saw something like this in a cookbook but tonight it was 5:00pm and I had not even started on dinner and when I thought of that old recipe I was to lazy to even look for the book. I went to the freezer and pulled out some Turkey meat and put it in warm water for a faster thaw out. I went to the store to pick up the little ones med and came home still not really knowing how I would make some meatballs. I opened the fridge and saw carrots, orange bell peppers, broccoli, onions, and garlic. I took all that and adding the amount to my liking. You can add to your liking too. I diced everything so it was super tiny. The carrots I shaved off and than cut super tiny. With the broccoli I only used the green top part b/c it was softer than the stalk and easier to mix in the meat.  I also pulled out some bread crumbs from the pantry and add that with salt, pepper, and an extra seasoning.

I put it all into a bowl and added the now thawed out meat and mixed it together.

I heated up some coconut oil in a big pan with a lid b/c turkey meat does not have a lot of oil and sometimes sticks to the pan and than rolled the mixture into meatball size bites. I let it cook for maybe 10 mins...i didn't really time it so it is a guess on the time.
I did check each meatball to make sure it was cooked fully. Because I knew that there may be a bit of a fuss with the veggies in there I made the side dish super simple. Spaghetti noodles with corn added and topped with Parmesan cheese. I put the noodles in a bowl and topped it with a few meatballs per child. It was very yummy and packed full of veggies. You can add whatever vegetables you have on hand. It is a great way to sneak in a few extra ones that the kids may not love.
This is also great to do with normal spaghetti sauce and just have meatballs and spaghetti.....with a few hidden veggies. Try this tomorrow night, you might be surprised at what you can sneak into your kids diet.

What do you practice?

This is what I put as my facebook statues yesterday.
    " If you practice anything long enough you get very good at it. If you practice greed, selfishness,     bitterness, lust, bad attitudes, sinful nature, etc. you will become very good at that -sometimes with out even trying. If you practice a good attitude, thankfulness, forgiveness, a giving heart, a Godly nature, etc. than you become very good at those things too. It may not be easy at first but if you on purpose practice something long enough it will become second nature to you and part of who you are. So ask your self today, What are you practicing? Is it trust worthy and good?"

(This was  much long post than I thought it might be and I know that many people wont read the whole thing b/c of the length but I know those that do will stop for just a minute and think about what they are perfecting in their lives.)
Here is the story behind that thought on the fb statues. It was one that lead to another. My 6 yr old son was playing with his stuffed animal and he pretended to poke his monkey in the chest with a pencil. I told him not to do that and he said he was just pretending. I told him I do not want him practicing meanness b/c the more he practices it the easier it gets. I asked him to be kind and to practice kindness. That got me thinking of some news that I had heard early that day about some friends who are having marriage problems.  In the last 6 mths I have had 3 sets of friends have major marriage problems. I wondered how did it get to this? They are all strong leaders and now their own lives are falling apart. All of their problems are huge but I believe all of them started b/c of practicing the wrong thing. Practicing something wrong may start out innocent enough. It may be a secret thought. Maybe something like- I am not happy and than wondering what could make them happier, or even just that person is really cute...and they seem super nice. It could be something like accidentally stumbling upon the wrong site on the web but staying there a moment to long...and than coming back to that site and others like it.  It could even be a simple friendship that has crossed the line, not physically but emotionally and maybe leading to the physical down the road.

     Maybe you are practicing the wrong thing  and it has nothing to do with a marriage. Maybe you are happily married or even single. Maybe it is your health. We can eat the wrong thing for years and know that it is not the best for us but b/c it is just easier , we keep doing it. Habits are very hard to break and sometimes the good ones are very hard to form. If you have not eating healthy meals than it is sometimes hard to start. If you dont exercise it may seem as impossible as parting the Red Sea to move stuff aside to find the space to exercise. But look at where you are and what you are doing and see if you are happy with your health , mind, and body. If the answer is no than maybe it is time to change some of the habits you are doing. Maybe it is time to start practicing some new things to form better habits.
Sometimes while driving your car you let go of the steering wheel to test to see if the car is out of line. We can usually tell b/c of the slight pulling against the wheel. The letting go is usually to just confirm. We than do what comes naturally with our cars...we get it fixed. If we don't fix it our tires get worn down to much on one side and eventually cause big problems with a break down in the tire and we end up on the side of the road now desperate for a fix. Do you see where I am going with this? 
You may also be practicing the wrong thing in your spirtual walk. Going to church only on sunday and than throughout the week trying to survive on that Word you heard from the preacher. The message may have been awesome and life changing but it was only about 30 mins to maybe 2 hrs of God's word. What about the other 6 days of the week. What are you watching on tv? What are you listening to on the radio? The tv shows now days do nothing to help us better ourselves as humans, it does nothing to give us peace in our day to day life. I mean look at the names alone..Revenge, Scandal, Desperate Housewives, and Mistresses. That is just on ABC, there are many more on the other channels. Ask yourself do I want those characteristics in my life? Do I want to live a life full of revenge? Do I want to be Desperate and even to be the Mistresses? Even if you answered yes I believe it is out of hurt and if you really seeked your heart you would really desire peace. Oddly enough, those things come by what you practice. Just like with the car and testing it for alignment, you too have to test your self for alignment. You should be able to tell from the small nudging in your heart that you are heading the wrong way, that you are out of line. If you notice that your desires is to talk more to the other person than you own spouse, you may be out of line. If you notice that you are continuing to gain weight and you feel terrible, your alignment with your health may be messed up.  If you notice that you are spending less and less time thinking about what glorifies God and more time thinking about ways to get back at a person and how this or that would fix this, than you may need an adjustment in you spiritual walk.  How come our cars get more attention when broken than we do? Sometimes we need to let go of our lives for a moment a see where it would head if left alone. If it is going to crash than we need to seek help bc if not our lives left alone may seem fine even with the small pulling the wrong way but eventually we will be on the side broken down and in desperate need of help.

Accidents happen. A thought about another person while married will cross your mind, a website will pop up sometimes while on the computer or even just a crazy commercial is just as bad as some sites, Days will go by and you did nothing but just survive and didnt think about glorify God. AT ALL. 
When the things happen dont just agree with it and say that is life b/c that is how the practicing starts, the accidental practicing the wrong things.  It is by not caring, by not fixing, by not seeking help when needed. Lets try to on purpose practicing being kind, being giving, being in love with our spouse. Let's on purpose practice watching things on tv that encourage us. We are like sponges and what we put in is the only thing that comes out. There is no other way for kindness. etc/to come out unless we put it in, unless we practice it.

Monday, February 4, 2013

The war between good intentions and 10 more minutes.

Everyone has these wars and sadly many times the 10 minutes win. Just this morning I had this battle. The 10 minutes won each 4 separate 10 minute wars.We were up late like many other people b/c of the super bowl and than with friends staying after the party to talk. We were also up really late the night before just getting household projects done so that we were ready for the party. You may not know what this war looks like so here is an example. I set my alarm for 2 times. The first time is a 4am so that way when it goes off I am really happy to know that I still have one more hr to sleep. This morning though when it went off again at 5 I hit the snooze. I like to get up at 5 so that I can start my day off with some prayer and bible time. I like to throw in a cup - or two - of coffee  and than if I am really feeling awesome and have the time I will even start a load of laundry  and un-load the dishes all before getting the kids up for school. See my good intention is a great one but this is where the fight starts....just 10 more minutes. I was very tired and I thought just 10 more mins and I hit the snooze button, and than I hit it again, and again, and again. Almost a whole hour has gone by from the 10 minute battle. So now I get up, hit the button to start the coffee, check the weather, and get the kids up for school. Here it is now as I write this 2:43pm and I am leaving soon to get them from school and the dishes are still in the washer, no loads of laundry going, and definitely no Word time yet. Now those extra 40 or so minutes dont seem like much but it would have set my day off a whole different way. I am still tired, the 40 minutes was not the key to my lack of sleep. Tomorrow is another day and tomorrow I will win the battle.
Maybe you keep losing the battle between good intentions and 10 minutes. It may not be getting up early, for you it may be calling a friend  to encourage them. You may say I will call them in 10 minutes when my child is not climbing in my lap and than 4 hours later as you crawl into bed you realize you forgot to call them. There are all kinds of fights and they seem so small but maybe if we can stop for just a minute and realize that it is indeed a battle we will choose to do things different and this time win. Here is to wining and doing our good intentions.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

It's what's for dinner.

I am not a big vegetable eater. I make myself b/c I know the value in them but I do not crave kale, or spinach, or carrots, or anything that really speaks health. I used to say that not eating veggies growing up was not a problem and that it didnt hurt me...that was until I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2006. I figured than would be a great time to kind of get my act straight. Here was the trouble, just b/c I knew I needed it didn't mean I wanted it or even knew how to go about getting it in me. This recipe is super yummy and has so many veggies in it that I call it a win win. This time I had to swap out the normal potatoes for sweet ones b/c that is all I had and I did not add the zucchini. Point is that it's yummy, kids like it, and mommy is happy.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Same last name

The Birthday girl and the owners of the home hosting the party.

Rae and her sister Donna
Rae and Mark (her husband)
Let me give you some back ground on how I met my friend. 15 yrs ago I was going to a church and someone introduced us. I was preg with my first (of 5) children and we lived near each other. We would go on walks together and just talk. The neat thing was that we had the same last name. My maiden name was Cowart and her married name was Cowart but no relation. This was a cause for us to be fast friends just for that random neatness. Well time goes by, we both move and loss contact. 12 long years go by and I am at chick fi lay with my oldest daughter. She had just gotten her braces on and we were there for lunch and to get Gabi a shake. This woman comes up to me and ask if my name was Charlene...I did not recognize her fully and thought it odd that she knew my name. She said we met years ago, and said my name is Rae Cowart. I immediately knew who she was and it was so great to see her and catch up. Well here it is almost 2 yrs later and we are now great friends and she is turning 40. Her birthday was yesterday and the party was tonight. I took my camera so I could get a few pictures of her night and the friends who came. I know her husband does photography also but figured he might be a tab busy hosting the night to worry about taking pictures to.  Here are the pictures of Rae and her friends.

                  We had some people that this was the closest we could get out of a normal picture
We even got a few photo bombs in there.
Happy Birthday to my "cousin" I am sure somewhere long ago we were related. I love you!! Happy Birthday Rae of Sunshine.