Blog Hop Almost 250 Followers!!!

 It's Time to Mingle!
Each week we will choose one blog at random to spotlight at the next week's blog hop.
This weeks guest host is:
What's Going Down with the Browns
 There are no rules to this blog hop.  Just link up your blog's main page.  Then have fun reading new blogs and making new blog friends.  We would love for you to follow the hostesses in the first four spots and our guest host in the fifth spot.

Please leave a comment so we know to follow you back.

 
Grab our button if you want to share our blog hop with others.  There will be a new list every Thursday, so be sure to come back every week.  Also, if you are interested in hosting a giveaway for our blog, please email any one of us.  We would love to have you!!

We hope you have fun and thanks for joining us!  We are so excited to find new blogs, share great ideas, and inspire each other.
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Thankful Thursday

This week I am so thankful for my in laws!

John and I wanted to move far far away from our families when we got married.  We just wanted to be alone and have our OWN life...kind of selfish right?  I think we were so lucky that we didn't.

We live seven miles from both of our families and I am so glad.  This week Julia caught a strange virus.  On Sunday evening around 3am she started screaming in pain...she had a fever so I got her some Tylenol and we both went back to sleep.  In the morning I went on a lunch date with my buddy Roe, while Aunt Laurie watched the kids...it wasn't long before I got the text..."Kristi where is the Tylenol for kids Julia is complaining of a headache."  The rest of that day and all of Tuesday Julia had a 100.3 temp.

I lead Ladies Bible study on Tuesday and I couldn't get a sub on such short notice so My wonderful MIL came over and watched the kids from 9 til 12 so I could teach my group of 25 ladies.  When I came home my MIL said, "I'll stay here and watch Mark if you want to take Julia to the doctor."  She must've seen the desperation in my eyes and I was so lucky to get an appt so soon for a throat culture (everyone at Bible study said strep throat is going around and a fever and no appetite are symptoms).  Turns out Julia got a negative throat culure...so the nurse said, it was probably just a virus and to give her lots of rest and liquids.

I'm so thankful that my MIL rescued us.  By the time Julia and I came home at 1pm...the kids and I watched part of Rescuers Down Under while eating Ice Pops then both kids slept til well after 4pm...I guess the both needed the rest...and guess what?  I got to nap too!

Thanks Mom Mac...thanks Aunt Laur!  You guys are awesome! (And whenever they both come over to babysit they always wash the dishes and clear the table...I love that!)

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A Clean Approach

My Cleaning Schedule has been the same schedule for over a year now (it may even be two years old with a small tweak here and there).

I post it right on my fridge as a gentle reminder...but it's what I follow each day.  I don't have it memorized, but I kind of get the general idea.

Let's face it by Friday, Mommy is beat...so my work load is less...it's also they day we have gymnastics and tend to visit family or friends after school so I like to make it an "easy" day.


Sunday: Garbage Night
Monday: 1 load of laundry, vacuum living room
Tuesday: 1 load of laundry, wash kitchen/laundry room floors
Wednesday: Garbage night, vacuum and dust kids bedrooms
Thursday: 1 load of laundry, clean all bathrooms
Friday: Vacuum basement and blue room (playroom/schoolroom)
Saturday: 2 loads of laundry, clean master bedroom

Saturday is always my "catch up"/ "touch up" chore day anyway, so I tend to do at least 2 hours of cleaning on the weekend no matter what I did Monday through Friday.  But during the week if I do at least one load a day or one room, the weekend is a lot more freer to do bigger jobs around the house or yard work...and now we will be working a lot outside to plant our vegetable garden seeds and regular flower and lawn maintenance.

Sunday is our day of rest and besides clean sweeping the floors and counters I try not to do any major work. This is my snuggle and nap after church day!  And I love a good Sunday nap with my honey!

I have to say, cleaning my home has always been a joy (even the bathrooms) because this is my home!  I am proud of it.  I feel blessed to have one.  And I take pride in keeping it neat and clean.  I have found that doing a little each day helps me to feel accomplished throughout the day and let's be honest, I'm a home maker so this is what I proudly bring to the table!  It's what I do!

Spring Cleaning is right around the corner...we have lots to give away, as usual...and the garage could use a really good cleaning out again...every few months it just gets packed somehow!  I am loving Spring!!!


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The Power to Choose

Deuteronomy 30: 19-20

19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 



In this passage in Deuteronomy the Israelites were being encouraged to choose life and all it's blessings.
They were encouraged to *love the Lord, * listen to His voice, * and hold fast to Him...

So often we get too busy to love God, listen to His voice or hold fast to anything!  So often we are so full of the garbage the world offers that there is not even room for God.  So often life is just "too loud" to hear God. We get so wrapped up in ourselves and our own daily dramas we forget the much bigger picture.

Today I am reminding myself of the much bigger picture as Easter is quickly approaching us.  I've been reading the Easter story over and over to my kids these past two weeks and I've been thinking of how much Jesus sacrificed for us.  How much he gave to us.  How much He loves us.  And how much he just wants to clean our hearts and heal our brokenness.  My children are constantly reminding me of "how much God loves us, mommy!  and "Mom God wants to clean our hearts and live in our hearts!"  

Sometimes we get so familiar with the Bible and all of it's stories that we forget they are not just stories.  They are truth.  God wrote us the Bible to change us.  So that we can draw near to God, love God, listen to God and hold fast to Him.

Today I am reminded to focus on Jesus.  To be like a young child and soak in His amazing love.  To be amazed at how Big He is...Julia once said to me, "Mom, God knows everything because He is the TALLEST."  There is such great theology in that little sentence.  God is so big and so tall and He loves us in such a great and complex way we cannot even grasp it.

Today (and everyday) I want to not get so busy that I don't listen to His voice.  I don't want to be filled with worldly nonsense.  I want to be filled with Him!!!   

Today (and everyday) I want to choose life and all the blessings God has given me because the blessings are great and I can't even count them all.

We all have the power to choose the kind of life we will live.  Choose life.  Choose to celebrate the life He has given you and all of your blessings.  Focus on the blessings because life is too short to focus on the drama 



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Healthy Pizza on Flat Bread/Pita

On Wednesday nights since the middle of March we have started a women's workout class called "All In"  and Stacey and Lisa at our church are in charge.  We read God's word together, share our weekly goals, weigh in, and work out and then Stacey teaches us a healthy way to make a dessert, meal, or snack.  Last week we learned how to make a healthy pizza with no fat...I was intrigued!  I made it at home and my kids and especially John absolutely loved it that I made it once for dinner last week and once for lunch on Saturday.  We love veggies and pizza so this was a win win for us!  Now we can have a healthy pizza meal or snack with no guilt, no fat, and no grease!

Here is how I made it:

Ingredients:

red onion
red pepper
green pepper
mushrooms
broccoli
zuchini
squash
tomatoes
mozzarella cheese shredded
Adobo spice
Basil spice
Onion powder
whole wheat pitas or flat bread

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees


1. Place your pitas or flat bread on a baking pan on pizza stone.  Chop up tomatoes (use all fresh veggies...nothing out of a can...canned veggies are not as good for you) and cover the top of your pita and sprinkle a little mozzerella.  Set aside.

2. In a medium heated skillet place all of your chopped veggies (you can use 2 or 3 or all of them...the more the better the crunch and more filling)  Saute them for 4-5 minutes til they soften and use your spices to flavor them...avoid salt.

3. After your veggies are cooked pile them on top of your already made pitas and place in the oven for 5-6 minutes.  When all done your veggie pizza will have a nice crunch!!! It will be delicious!




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Loving the differences

Oh my goodness I am loving having a daughter and a son.

I have to be honest, when I first got pregnant with Julia (only John knew the sex of the baby, because he decorated her nursery as a surprise Christmas gift to me) I felt through the entire time I was having a boy...but deep in my heart of hearts I wanted a girl first.  (I always knew we'd have a house full of kids some day so having one or the other first really didn't matter.)  And everyone kept saying, "Oh you are carrying just like a boy...you are all belly...you have a basketball...you are definitely having a boy! LOL Ha!  Julia Star was born on Dec 31st at 7:16 am and she is who made me a mama.

Then 9 months later we had our bonus baby pregnancy (SURPRISE)...and the whole time I knew I was having another girl, but I just couldn't decide...should we name her Olivia or Sophia...Olivia or Sophie...on my we went back and forth and we were leaning more towards Olivia (I've always liked the name since the Cosby Show and little darling precocious Olivia.) ...and on May 27th at 10:03 p.m. Mark Ciro entered our lives...I cried earlier that day on the way to bible study at Debi's because I prayed, "Lord, how can I love another baby as much as Julia...?  She's my baby...she's still a baby...how will I have enough room in my heart...? And the tears rolled down, and God must've chuckled because the minute I had my water baby boy float up to me...I knew it from the start that he had my heart and I would love him just the same as my Joogie.

I'm loving the differences that each child has possessed.  Julia is care free and independent, and the kid never stops moving, or talking or doing.  She has an idea and she has to write it down, or draw a picture, or paint, or read a book to her dolls, or comb her dolls hair, or jump all around...she has SO much energy all the time...the only time I get to snuggle her is at bedtime (while praying or reading a book) or when's she's sick (which is hardly ever) or after nap time when she is mellow.  The rest of the time she is like Maria from the Sound of Music, "How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?"  "How do hold a moon beam in your hand?"  I am amazed at the depth of her questions about God, the kindness and nurturingness (yes I made that word up) she showers her brother with, just today she looked at Mark and said, "Mark you have beautiful blue eyes."  She has friends of all ages, and when she enters a room everyone swarms her.  She is so magnetic and energetic and she wants everyone to love God and be happy!

Many people are surprised that she still takes a nap at 4 years old...but you know what?  The minute the girl wakes up she hits the ground running (her first job of the day is to wake up Mark FIRST since he won't leave his room unless someone gets him for some odd reason, and Julia feels it's her job to be there first for him) and this is usually at 7 am...so by the time 1:30...2:00 rolls around and I say it's nap time it's the first time she actually stops and rests all day, no wonder she still naps!


She's my over achiever who has been reading and using sign language since she was less than a year old (thanks to Your Baby Can Read and lots of practice...not phonetic reading, but any type of memorized reading is still reading!)  She was potty trained at 2 1/2 in one weekend and never had an accident after that.  She constantly impresses us with her independence, boldness, strength, and confidence.  Just recently she read 4 sentences all by herself about her Thomas Jefferson project in front of an auditorium full of at least 100+ people.

Marky Boy: Oh buddy, you are such a lovie dovie.  Mark is the most mellow, sweet, handsomest guy you will ever meet.  Julia and I tell him all day long how he is going to be such a good daddy some day.  He "walks" his pet animals with a string and says, "Come on honey."  He just loves on everyone.  He gives the best kisses, I mean look at those lips!  He hugs so tight.  He has the strongest muscles.  Oh, yes, he will show you his muscles and how strong he is.  And Mark is very very verbal.  He has been talking in sentences since 15 months and he will tell you exactly how he feels, "I'm shy because..."I'm scared because...or "I'm so happy!"  I love how I never have to guess how he's feeling.  He is like a puppy too.  He likes to be near you...on you...beside you...on top of you...holding your leg...your hand...playing with my hair, my cheeks...he just can't get enough of physical touch.  He is very sensitive too.  He will apologize immediately if he's done something wrong, and say, "I'm so sorry."

Mark does things in his own time.  When we do school and I say Mark write your M buddy for Mark, he says, "I'm drawing a TIGER!"  We started writing with him last year, and it wasn't til this past week that he actually wrote an M...and my thought is, he could always do it, but he just wasn't ready.

Same with potty training...he's been potty training since 18 months old...and still he's not ready yet, and that's okay, because my goal is before his 3rd birthday we will at least have more successes than failures on the potty...he's a boy, and he's Mark, and it's on Marky time.  He's not in a rush to do anything or to impress anyone.  I can remember his 12 month visit being very concerned because he only knew a handful of words...Dr. Shih said, "Oh, Kristi, give him time..." At the 15 month visit we were chatting it up in the office waiting our turn, and the Dr came in and said..."Are WE worried about verbal skills anymore?" with a laugh...Mom is awfully good at worrying...but Mark just goes at his pace, in his time...and I love that about him.

Thank you Lord for giving me a girl and a boy...so different...so wonderful.  I feel so incredibly blessed and honored to be their Mom.

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Blog Hop

 It's Time to Mingle!
Each week we will choose one blog at random to spotlight at the next week's blog hop.
This weeks guest host is Little Homemade Housewife


 There are no rules to this blog hop.  Just link up your blog's main page.  Then have fun reading new blogs and making new blog friends.  We would love for you to follow the hostesses in the first four spots and our guest host in the fifth spot.





Thankful Thursday

Thankful this week for:


1. Spring!
2. A Picnic in the park with my kids on Monday.
3. Free Rita's Ices on Tuesday.
4. Grandma Sue visiting on Wednesday and bringing us enough soup and chicken meals to last through the weekend!
5. Faithful friends who encourage me all the time.
6. An amazing husband who has been texting me the sweetest things lately like this week he texted me, "I am a better man because of you." 
7. My daughter Julia always willing to help me around the house whenever I call her name.
8. My son Mark always laughing and wanting to play right alongside his big sister.
9. A fully packed Ladies Bible Study on Tuesday where I shared some personal things and could trust the group to listen and pray for me and just "hear me out".
10. My husband doing lots of yard work on Saturday and eager to do more this weekend!!! We are going to work on our GARDEN again...I'm so excited for what God will grow for us this year.
11. A sister night planned for April for me and my Sara!
12. Less than 45 days til Laurie and Kelsey's wedding (my beloved sister in law)
13. A free workout group at church that meets every Wednesday...just in time to prepare for the summer and the upcoming wedding!
14. I'm very thankful for you Lord, for your mercies are new every morning and you are so patient with us and so loving.


Psalm 100: 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.




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So Long Insecurity: My own personal breakthrough

I will never try to be someone I am not on my blog.  I will try to be as open and honest and as transparent as possible, because I feel that by being "real" I just might be able to reach or help someone else in a similar situation.

With that being said, I have discovered one of the secrets to my insecurity.  One of them being that I like to be "in control" of others when it affects me.  And Beth Moore talks about this in her So Long Insecurity book in chapters 11 & 12 (we discussed this in my Ladies Bible study this week).

"We are not in charge.  Somewhere along the way, we each have to acknowledge that our loved one is a separate person from us--someone God loves, pursues, and when necessary, chastises.  When we try to do God's job, we get in God's way.  We are called to cherish, support, and pray for others, but tying our security to them is a lost cause. That knot we keep tightening is no more fair to them than it is to us.  Hand that rope over to God.  Let Him undo that tangled-up mess and retie your security to Himself.  He's the One with the power."
Beth Moore is so wise because I didn't realize that my relationships with certain family members were strained because of me.  They were strained because I was tying my security up in their choices in life and how they affect me.  I was making their life about my life, when let's be honest, I need to focus on my own!  I finally have freedom to let my loved ones live the life they choose, consequences and all, and still LOVE them, CHERISH them, SUPPORT them, and PRAY for them.  My job will never be to distance myself, judge them, or give up on them.  And for me that is true freedom.  God is big enough and loves them more than I ever could, and I need to get out of the way and let HIM be God and not try to control things.

I am thankful for this book because I never realized why my actions were wrong, I just knew I didn't like the strain in the relationships.  Now I am free to cherish, support, and pray for the people I love instead of criticizing, critiquing and judging (and I do all of these things in my head...I'm not bold enough to even say things out loud...but the mind and our thoughts are still places we can sin in).

I am secure in Jesus and His love for me and my relationship with Him.  I need to focus on Him and concentrate on healing my mind and my thoughts.

Beth Moore says, "The healing of the mind requires far more intimacy with Christ than the healing of mere bodies.  He rarely snaps His fingers and whitewashes our thoughts because, were it so easy, we'd turn around and open them to destruction again.  Instead He chooses to transform our willing minds one reflection at a time."
So I am starting right now.  The fears that haunt me I am going to tell God about.  I'm not going to replay them in my mind.  I am going to pray them to God and let them go!  I am going to ask Him to give me the thoughts and words He wants me to focus on (which means I need to be reading the Bible and praying).  This is knowledge with power.

I will be asking God to renew my mind and change me!

Change me Lord.  Give me your security!  Renew my mind.

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April Menu


1
Palm Sunday
Eat Dinner with Macs
2
Linguine with clam sauce
3
Black Bean and Mango salsa with pitas
4
Penne Pasta casserole (with soy crumbles) and garden salad
5
Leftover night
6
Good Friday—shepherd’s pie with soy crumbles


7
Korean food
8
Easter Dinner
9
Salmon with cauliflower and broccoli
10
Tomato and cucumber salad
11
Baked Ziti and salad
12
Leftover night
13
Egg plant parmesan
14
Out with Christy’s family
15
Out to dinner with Laurie for her birthday
16
Tilapia and asparagus and strawberry salad
17
Thai curry vegetable and tofu soup
18
Shrimp and Spinach Pasta
19
Leftover night
20
Veg-Head Three-Bean Chili –Rachel Ray recipe
21
Broccoli and Cheddar Quiche
22
open
23
BBQ glazed salmon with green beans and corn
24
Bowtie Pasta and salmon
25
Spinach Quiche
26
Leftover night
27
Pizza night with garden salad
28
DATE NIGHT
29
open
30
Make Ahead Minestrone in crock pot
Notes:
More Calendars: May 2012, Jun 2012, Jul 2012

I plan ahead my meals not because it helps me to food shop easier on Monday mornings.

I plan ahead so that it's one less thing to worry about each morning as I plan the rest of our day.

I plan ahead so that I can see what we are eating each week and am able to switch it up and keep everyone guessing.

I plan ahead so that we don't end up at a fast food restaurant to eat dinner.

I plan ahead so that my husband can call me a "culinary genius" when the recipe I followed only took 30 minutes.

I plan ahead because it is what works for me!




A Virtuous Woman cares for her body. She prepares healthy food for her family. (Proverbs 31: 14 – 15, Proverbs 31: 17, 1 Corinthians 6: 19, Genesis 1: 29, Daniel 1, Leviticus 11) 

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Forks over Knives...on our way to healthier eating

We love Netflix.  Since we have no cable channels, having Netflix allows us a whole plethora of movie and show choices that we can be in control of since we have toddlers in our home.

Now that John has an IPAD, an early birthday gift from his parents, we can even watch a show in our bed at night, big rarity, but last night we watched a documentary called Forks over Knives.  I highly recommend it for anyone who is interested in eating less meat or perhaps thinking of going vegan or vegetarian.

When John and I first got married I really had a whole diet change.  I lost weight and got trimmer just because I wasn't eating my Mom's home cooked meals anymore.  Not that her food was fattening, but our diets became totally different from the way my parents cooked.  My parents ate lots of chicken, ground meat, and rice, and John and I ate lots of sea food, salads, and fruit and veggies.

Now that we have children we have been even more health conscious, plus John being a Martial Artist has always taken really good care of his body, no butter, no sugar, and lots of protein in his diet.  Me on the other hand, I come from a home that loved bread and butter...oh, man do I love butter.

John has even encouraged our kids to drink soy milk instead of cow's milk (although they will drink both interchangeably) because he doesn't like how cow's milk has so many hormones.

After watching this documentary Forks over Knives, and after sitting with our two good friends who are scientists and also martial artists we began discussing our own diets.  We are going to start taking out ground meat and chicken out of our diet for awhile and instead have more cod fish, salmon, tilapia, shrimp, and two servings of veggies each night instead of carbs which just turns to sugar.  I, for one, am going to focus more on the fact that food is energy not just a meal.  I want to be fueling my family properly!

John and I have also been having protein pancakes and smoothies for breakfast instead of waffles, bagels, or sugary cereal (once a week is totally fine, but we just don't want to eat like that every day of the week...Saturday and Sunday will be our "free days").

It takes me about 40 minutes to make John's protein pancakes, but I do a big batch on Monday for the entire week.  Here's the recipe which makes about 8-9 pancakes and I add blueberries:

Protein Pancakes

1. 1 container of cottage cheese (16 oz)
2. 1/4 tsp vanilla
3. 2 tsp or so of cinnamon
4. 2 cups of oatmeal (not instant ones the old fashion oatmeal)
5. 4 eggs and 8 egg whites

Mix it all up in the blender or Cuisinart and then put the batter on the griddle (I do two at a time) and add some type of berry to liven it up).

Fruit Smoothies for me and the Kids

1. 1 container of strawberry or blueberry yogurt
2. 1 banana
3. 1/2 cup of apple or orange juice
4. ice
5. 1 cup of blueberries, blackberries, or strawberries
6. 1 tbsp wheat germ

Mix it all up in the blender and voila you have a yummy fruit smoothie for breakfast!

Everything in moderation and having a balance is key.  I don't think I could go totally vegan because I love yogurt, eggs, and cheese, but I can definitely limit my meat intake and add in more protein by having cottage cheese, beans, fish or tofu instead of chicken and red meat.  But does this mean we won't have turkey on Thanksgiving...ummmm no!  We will!  We just want to start being more careful about what we eat, and I think that's a good thing.

What are some healthy snacks or meal ideas that you and your family do????

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Facebook/Blogging Break

I've missed blogging so much these past two weeks, but I really needed the breather.

My sister's bridal shower went well!  She texted me that she felt she had the best bridal shower in the whole world.  I was so happy she was so blessed.  It was a great day, and we had a lot of fun.  I didn't realize how emotionally drained I would be though giving a bridal shower, there were so many details to consider and I can say now that I sighed a huge sigh of relief when it was all said and done!  At first I was really nervous and the morning of the shower God gave me a peace and an overwhelming feeling of just wanting to bless her socks off!  And we did just that!

The day after the shower we headed to Princeton with Vivi and Adrian and they did a photo shoot for us with the kids.  All the pics I will post this Spring will probably be from that shoot.  It was a gorgeous sunny day and they really blessed us by taking so many family shots of us.  Mom and Dad rarely get to be in any pictures so it was really nice.  Thank you Vivi and Uncle Adrian!

On this past Monday I did a photo shoot for In Jersey magazine at Asbury Park Press and it was so much fun.  John took the day off work and I was able to concentrate fully on the shoot and not worry if the kids were ok (it was from 9 am til 4pm so it was a long time away from them).  I was really out of my comfort zone, but I loved meeting all the make up people, hair people, and wardrobe people, the photographer and the art director for the magazine, plus the two other models.  We had such a blast and everyone was down to earth.  The pictures and article on Moms comes out in May!!!

What I learned most these past two weeks away from media is that facebook and blogging is NOT my job.  I think I've been media crazy...John made a comment the other day at the dinner table that really put things in perspective for me and I don't want people to think all I do is facebook or blog, because truly I don't.  I enjoy them both, but my JOB is being a wife and Mom and those are my most favorite things to do!

Sometimes things get out of balance for me and I've definitely been asking God to help me be more balanced.  In the meantime I might just have to take media breaks from time to time to get things back into perspective and back into focus.
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Shrimp, Leek, and Spinach Pasta


Shrimp, Leek, and Spinach Pasta

Real Simple April 2011

Ingredients:
1. 12 ounces of gemelli, fussilli, or some other short twisty pasta (Gemelli worked for us)
2. 2 tbsp unsalted butter
3. 2 leeks (white and light green parts only) cut in half moons (rinse thoroughly—can be sandy)
4. 1lb peeled and deveined medium shrimp
***zest of one lemon or ¼ cup of lemon juice
5. ¾ cup heavy cream
6. 10 ounces baby spinach (about 12 cups) (I used only half the bag)
7. *optional—1/2 cup white cooking wine to deglaze the leeks—this made the sauce creamier



Directions: *Cook pasta according to box directions, drain and return to pot.
       * In a large skillet heat the butter and add the leeks, salt, pepper, and cook for about 3-5 min til leeks have softened…add shrimp and lemon juice/zest and cook til shrimp is opaque—4/5 more minutes…add white wine
3.    *  Add the cream and a little more salt to the pasta in the pot and heat til it is slightly thickened…1 to 2 more minutes…add shrimp mixture and spinach and toss to combine.

I texted John pictures of the meal as I made it and he came home at 7:15!!! He tried it and said I was a culinary genius!!!! Wow, it was music to my ears…not to mention Mark and Julia saying “Mom, I love this dinner!!!!”  Julia asked for more shrimp and noodles….Mark devoured his noodles and skipped the shrimp!!!

Enjoy!  I love cooking recipes from Real Simple magazine because it does make me feel like a culinary genius.  I’m able to buy the ingredients with confidence and whip up a quick and easy dinner that always turns out DELICIOUS!


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Blog Hop

 It's Time to Mingle!
Each week we will choose one blog at random to spotlight at the next week's blog hop.
This weeks guest host is Feel LOVD Everyday

 There are no rules to this blog hop.  Just link up your blog's main page.  Then have fun reading new blogs and making new blog friends.  We would love for you to follow the hostesses in the first four spots and our guest host in the fifth spot.





A Sneak Peak.....

On Sunday we went to Princeton and the Lungus, our dear friends, took some Spring photos of us.

Here are a few of my personal favorites.

There was so much laughter and so much fun that we were truly able to worship the Lord in a relaxed, natural setting, being in the great outdoors with awesome friends.

And the kids loved running, playing, and meeting new friends along the way...


The only prop I brought was my Longaberger basket and some plastic Easter eggs...and that was enough!













And my favorite of all...

Public display of affection is very hard for me because I'm so shy...but we laughed!

There's our sneak peak...

Spring has sprung....

We are still on our blog break....

But I wanted you to know we are alive and well and that I'm enjoying every minute of my family time, as always.

God you are soo soo soo good!


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New for me

Well my blog friends it is time for me to take a little blog break.  I have way too many "hats" on right now and I'm not feeling like I am doing any well.  Even though writing is my passion I've decided to take a 2 week at least break from doing it.

We have about 60 days left til John's sisters wedding which we are all in.  And that means I have bridal shower prep to do!  (All 4 of our fittings are done).

I am also leading a Ladies Bible study every Tuesday. Please pray I can be a blessing to the women that come.  We recently had a woman come just by seeing our sign on the highway, and she even felt comfortable to share insights on her life with us!  This runs til April.

I still do icebreakers and plan all our playdates/field trips for the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group in Englishtown that I belong to.  This is a twice a month commitment.

I'm on the Women's Ministry Team and we just launched our Secret Encourager program for the next few months and we are working on the Big Reveal on May 18th.

Julia and Mark are still busy with Mommy School each day as we learn to read, write, work on Math skills, practice our state and presidents, and do our Awana Bible homework.

And remember, I have an amazing husband that I need to bless, care for and support in all that he does work wise and ministry wise (which is a LOT!).

And I was recently asked to do a photo-shoot for a NJ magazine on being a MOM!  I'm really excited.  It's in a week and it's all day...I'm still working on who will watch my kiddies for 8 hours while I am away!!!

I'm learning that some things that I love to do (blogging and facebook) need to go on the back burner for a little while so I can focus on the people God has entrusted me with.  I've been having some stomach issues because of all the "hats" I wear and have been a little stressed to meet all the deadlines I put on myself.  I think it's best if I take a little Media Fast from the computer.  I'd love to write about it when I "come back" in two weeks.

I will be missing all of you and your comments.  Please pray for us as a family as I begin to tackle potty training this week with Mark...he is SO ready to do it, but not too willing.  I don't want to push him but I also don't want him to be lazy about something he CAN do if he tries.  Pray that God will give me the wisdom and clarity and patience while working one on one with him.  I know it can be a very special bonding time between parent and child, so I am excited about that.  And we bought really cool super hero big boy underwear at Target!

See you in two weeks.

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