28 February 2013

Reading is HARD work!

Home schooling this year has been a real challenge.  I've taught Pre-K before, third grade, and fourth grade...easy, no problem.  But God bless all you Kindergarten and First Grade teachers who have the huge responsibility of teaching your students HOW to read.

This year we used the Abeka K-5 program.  I love it.  It really worked well for us.  I just didn't realize how hard it is for some students (like my child) to pick up reading.  My Julia has a photographic memory.  She can memorize ANYTHING.  This will be great as she gets older and needs to study for subjects.  But I have told her again and again that reading class is not the time to memorize (site words yes, but not phonetic reading).

She's been reading for quite some time now, but I still catch her "memorizing" the words instead of sounding out.  Thank goodness Abeka comes with all these little practice reading books.  This way I can really see if she's reading phonetically or if she just memorized the story and knows every word by heart.

I love the fact that I'm teaching her to read...but I do feel this weight of responsibility and wish I could just send her off to her teacher sometimes and have someone else do it.  I think that is the 9 months pregnant lady inside me talking.

We have a lot to be thankful for, that we could provide curriculum for the kids, that I can stay home, and that I indeed enjoy home schooling so far.  Although my heart wonders how I will feel with a newborn in tow..

Anyway, my prayer is we press on...and finish the school year strong, Julia graduates from Kindergarten this Spring and will have a cap and gown ceremony with her other home school peers from the CCOB group that I belong to.

This May I will attend the ENOCH home school convention at the Raritan Expo Center in Edison and purchase First Grade curriculum for her and more curriculum for Mark for next year (I'm not quite sure if Mark is completely ready for Kindergarten the way Julia was at age 4 so we may do a more intense pre-K program with him next year mixed with Kindergarten).

Reading is hard work, we've learned this year, and Julia has already told me Math is her favorite subject...but you should see her eyes light up after she reads a whole book out loud to us by sounding out.  And you should see her at the library as we come home with new books each week, and you should see her at bedtime with her stack of books for ME to read to her.  I pray she learns to love to read the way we do.

God bless all you teachers out there who teach your children/students to read each day...it is HARD work, but somebody's got to do it!


27 February 2013

Mark's Struggles as Being the Middle Child

Yesterday, Mark and I had a two hour date!  Julia had a birthday party to attend and so it was just me and my guy.

First, we bought Mark some brand new neon green, and black sneakers!  They are so cool.  We hit up the Toy Genius at the Old Bridge Shoppes and Mark picked out two cop cars and some stilts, and then we went to Panera Bread for lunch.  The boy ate an entire Classic salad (yes he did share with me).

We ended our date with getting Mr. Mark a much needed hair cut at Snip and Snap kids (best place ever for you to get your child's hair cut.).

I love spending time with my guy...and lately Mark has really needed some TLC.

Please pray for him because I do believe this baby is going to be hard for Mark to adjust to.  Although at Toy Genius he DID pick out, all on his own, a toy for Micah which I had to buy because Mark picked it out.  And he does check the bassinet in my bedroom every morning to see if the baby "magically" appeared there yet.

But I think because Mark has been the only boy, and they youngest for almost 4 years, he really got used to his role...and now that is all about to change.  He is excited about helping mommy with the baby, so that's good.  But on Friday when we were driving the babysitter home, he told us all to Puh-lease stop talking about Baby Micah!  He said he was tired of hearing that name!  That really made me stop and think, "do I talk about the baby too much?"  I think we all are just so excited we forget that it may be hard for the middle child.

I am the Middle child in my family.  I have an older sister who is 7 years older than me and a younger sister who is 8 years younger than me and honestly we probably all felt like the only child or first born for so long...but I clearly remember being very excited for Sara to arrive, but when she was born I was very jealous at how enamored my parents were with her, especially my dad.

I remember she would be in the car seat on the kitchen table and my dad would just talk to her, and she would coo, and he would just eat her up!  I was so jealous at the attention she got.  I felt so left out.  At one point we had a family meeting and I remember telling my parents that it felt like we were being treated like silver and Sara was treated like gold.  Pretty funny comment coming from an 8 year old, I know, but that is really how I felt.

So I am really trying my best to give Mark extra mommy time.  Extra book time.  Extra one on one date time.  And we even purchased a bag full of presents for each Julia and Mark for the hospital so that we can tell them that their baby brother Micah picked out the gifts for them.

I also have this book from a friend that is called, "You're all my Favorites."  It's about a family of bears with 3 bear cubs and each one thinks someone else is the favorite and mommy bear and daddy bear assure each child they are loved just for who they are.  And it's certainly true.  I can remember having contractions with Mark when Julia was 17 months old and crying in the car because poor Julia's whole life was going to change and how could I love this new baby as much as I loved her??? Then I had Mark and WOOOSH the love came!  I do feel the same way about this baby...how can I love another little boy as much as my adorable red head son who snuggles me, tells me he loves me in my ear, caresses my face, tells me I'm pretty, tells me he likes my hair, I mean he is such a sweetie...how will I love this baby as much as my Mark?  But I know the minute I have the baby WOOOSH the love will come.

So if you think of it, please pray for Mark's adjustment as the middle child and pray for us as parents that we meet all of our children's needs.  That we instill a great love inside of them, and that they all know they are indeed our favorites and that we love them equally and the same and yet uniquely because each one is so unique.

And for those of you who have 3 or more and you have advice about how you handled the "middle child insecurities" please let us know!


26 February 2013

Top Ten BEST Moments of my life

#1 The day John proposed to me in the Lambertsons's back yard at a choir picnic in front of 80 people!  June 9, 2002.

#2 Our wedding day in front of all of our family and friends, where we were able to share our own vows, and give testimony to how much we loved the Lord, and how much we planned on loving each other.  August 8, 2003.

#3 Surprising my parents and taking them to Rome during Christmas vacation in 2004...seeing the Vatican, the Sistina Chapel, the fount de trevi, the Spanish steps, and eating pizza and gelatos every day.  I felt so beautiful in Rome...I think I literally glowed.  I have never smiled so much as when we were in Rome...we are planning to go back to Italy in 2 years and I can't wait! December 26-Jan 3rd 2004.

#4 Buying our first home in July of 2005...we bought our town house in 2003 when we got married, but we knew we wanted to start a family at some point so we needed more than 2 bedrooms.  When John brought me to see our home on Joyce Street and he showed me the 3 bedrooms upstairs, the 3 bathrooms, the huge extra additional play room next to the kitchen, the finished basement and the office in the basement I knew this was the place we were going to raise our family!  I still remember so clearly being in the upstairs bedroom next to the Master bedroom and sitting in the rocking chair Sabine (the former owner who had twin girls) left for me and pretending to cradle a baby...John knew then he was in BIG trouble because the baby bug had bit me hard!

#5 John surprising me on Christmas morning with a trip to Paris (he kept telling me we were going to Washington DC for vacation).  I was opening up all these gifts and the next thing I knew he handed me a calendar...of Paris!  Then a travel book...of Paris...and he said, "We leave today!"  I still remember screaming and crying and calling my friends and family to tell them.  I also remember crying when I first saw the Eiffel Tower in person.  See, I had taken French since I was in 7th grade, and I took Honors French and AP French in High School, so going to France and actually using my French was so important to me, and John knew that! Dec 25-Jan 2nd 2005.

#6 London.  Oxford.  Princess Diana land.  When we went to the RZIM week in July of 2005 and 2006 and studied Apologetics in Oxford it was the most amazing experience ever.  I felt so...so...smart!  It was like going to Harvard.  And John and I would stay in London for a few days before or after each week long class to take in the sights and I just loved London.  The shopping, and sights, and food...there are so many different ethnic backgrounds in London, it's like a huge Manhattan but cleaner and everyone has a cool accent.  I would love to go back one summer.

#7 Julia Star.  In April of 2006 we found out we were pregnant.  We didn't tell our family for the longest time because mostly it took so long to get pregnant, almost a year, and secondly we didn't want to jinx it or tell people too early and then lose the baby...but when we did we realized just how happy a new baby can make people!  Julia was due on January 13, 2008...my father in laws birthday...Julia came on Dec 31st 2007 (our tax deduction baby who was born at 8lbs...dr Giovine said I definitely would have had a 9lb baby if I had her on time)  She has been such an inquisitive, playful, curious, joyous, and bright little girl.  What can I say children really are a gift from the Lord.

#8 Celebrating my 30th birthday with Aunt Kat and John's family in Florida with John and Julia in tow.  Aunt Kat treated us like royalty.  She made my favorite dinner, my favorite birthday cake, she showed us all around, we were able to just relax and show off our baby girl and enjoy the sun.  It was a great treat!

#9 Mark Ciro. In Sept/Oct of 2008 we found out we were pregnant AGAIN.  Surprise, surprise!  Can I just tell you when I took that pregnancy test I couldn't stop smiling!  I was so happy.  Julia was about 9 months old at the time and she was such a good sleeper, eater, and playful baby I just knew we could handle another!  Mark was due on June 13th 2009...he came two days after labor day on May 27 2009!  Another early baby that was 8lbs!

#10 This spot is reserved for you know who!

Looking back on all of these best moments in my life...all of them have two things in common...God's richest blessings, and John.  I'm so thankful for a God who faithfully blesses His people, and a husband who faithfully blesses his wife and family!


25 February 2013

The Beauty of Having Bi-racial children

Julia (5)Mark (3)
If I've heard it once, I've heard it a thousand times..."What nationality are you?"  or "What ARE you?" or "Are you Puerto Rican or Dominican?"  sometimes people will just start speaking spanish to me, to which I just smile and say, "I don't know Spanish."

Both my mom's parents are from the West Indies, Barbados to be exact, and my Father's grandma was french and all I know about my Father's grandfather is that he was very dark skinned.

Hence, I have two parents who are light-skinned like me.

My two sisters,  parents, and my hubby and kids
My family is made up of every color combination possible.  I have uncles with pale skin, and dark skin, I have aunts with caramel skin, and aunts with golden skin, I have a freckled grandma with reddish hair, and a dark skinned grandma with dark hair.  My family is a complete rainbow of people...I used to feel very lost in my family.  I didn't know where I fit in.  I used to tell people when I was little (like 3 or 4)  "I'm not black, I'm peach!"  Boy, I was so confused about race.

Then, in high school I was minding my own business, when this Italian/Irish boy kept stalking me! (LOL)  He was in the same homeroom as me.  Kristi McKinney and John McInerney.  I read the morning announcements each morning, and instantly (come on who could blame him) he fell in love.  Honestly, I think he once told me he never knew anyone who could be so awake and so excited at 7am to read some boring announcements.

John's Dad's side of the family...The McInerney's (Grandma Sue had 5 children)

When John and I dated, race was NEVER an issue between us.  It was an issue with some of our family members not our parents, both sets of our parents never mentioned race being an issue, but we NEVER cared what other family members thought.  To us, love was all that mattered.  We never even considered not dating because of our race differences.  After all it was 1996 at the time and it was the 50s or 60s.  I can't imagine what my grandparents parents went through.

Julia with my Grandma Corrine and our cousins Cydne and Cheyenne
My Grandma from the West Indies recently turned 80...she had 7 children...2 sons and 5 daughters.  My grandma is the freckled, red head of the family...she is my favorite person because she brought God into all of our lives.  Race is never an issue with my grandma.  She raised her family in Spanish Harlem and has been around all nationalities.  Jesus is what shines through in her life.  She has never treated me or my children any differently because I married a white guy.  I'm very thankful for her.

At the beach with my side of the family

And then John and I got married...and the children came...and they were treated like gold on both sides.  Mark with his pale skin and red hair, and blue eyes.  And Julia with her light brown hair, blue eyes, and fair skin.  Both my kids are starting to get freckles like me.

Like I said, we do have family members who don't agree with us being married to this day.  We've heard comments behind our back, to our face, and every which way....same with the world.  Although the world has been kinder.  Usually people come up to us and compliment on how beautiful our kids are, although there's always an exception. I'll never forget being in church one Sunday a few years ago holding my 6 month old son, and a woman came up to me and said, "He looks nothing like you." and she walked away.  I stood there dumbfounded.  Like, thanks for your two cents.  I know both my kids have fair skin, but they DO look like me, thank you very much!  They have my nose, my lips, my freckles, my eye shape...and my smile!!!

Those very same people who have gone out of their way to tell me who my kids look like have come back and said, "I do see you in your kids!" Gee, thanks!  

The beauty of having bi-racial children is this...you just never know what they are going to look like.  You can't predict hair color, hair texture, eye color, skin tone...nothing.  I have no idea how my little guy is going to look.  It makes me really excited to meet him and find out!

Mark fell asleep on my cousin!!!

I've come to realize that people who have race issues are the ones with the issues, not us.  We surround ourselves, and always will with people who truly love us no matter what we look like.  And the people we've had to confront in our family because of a negative attitude or an issue about our marriage have chosen not to be around us...and guess what, that is THEIR choice.  I think it's pretty silly.  We all have feelings, we all have red blood, and we all have tears.  People will always always remember how you make them feel and so it has always been important to us to stand up for what we believe in and stand up for our family...because we think our children are pretty great...regardless of their race.

And I'm so thankful for a husband who isn't afraid, ashamed, or intimidated when it comes to my race.  Because believe it or not, he gets more flack from my side of the family, than the other way around.  He is so comfortable within himself, so sure of who he is in the Lord, that he could really care less what other people think or say!  I LOVE that about him!

I'm so thankful for my beautifully bi-racial children...they make us smile everyday!


The Last Few Weeks....

Psalm 19: 14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight oh Lord my strength and my Redeemer.

Everyone who has been pregnant knows that the last month drags on and on and that it is the slowest and most difficult.  I've gained between 28lbs at this point and most of it is right in the abdomen region (which how have I not tipped over at this point I don't know).

At this point in the pregnancy I am tired faster, out of breath, and slightly overwhelmed at moments.  But I want these last few weeks to be good memories and not negative ones.  I want to really be purposeful in choosing to smile and think about my blessings and do fun things with my two big kids before our lives really change!

So I've asked God just to give me one verse to somewhat meditate on these last few weeks (I'm currently 35 weeks and 4 days).  I think this verse stood out because my words and my thoughts are vital.  I can choose to be positive or to complain about the aches and pains...and trust me when people ask, "How do you feel?" at this point, they really don't want to hear a sob story, they want to hear how excited you are for your little baby to be born, they want to hear the joy in your voice.  And they should!

I've also asked God to give me some creative ways of spending these last few weeks with the big kids.  We still need to go on our hospital tour with Daddy, I want to get my Marky some new sneakers he's been asking for, and I want to take Julia out on a girl date to Sweet and Sassy.

I also want to surround myself with people whom I love and know love me and are going to also be positive at this point and support us.  We had a wonderful time at the Coyles house on Friday, just talking about the baby, and playing with Mark and Julia and spoiling them.  Lisa and her kids always make us feel so loved and special.  She always is so excited for the baby to come and so positive.  And she always goes out of her way to make Mark and Julia feel so special.

Each week I want to focus on certain areas of the house too...

This week: The laundry room (organizing the shelves, dusting, and washing the baby clothes I got from my surprise shower this weekend.)

Next week: Organizing the pantry and perhaps cooking a few meals to freeze...

2nd week of March: Organizing the kids bedrooms (getting rid of some winter clothes to GoodWill and making room for Spring clothes)

3rd week of March: Organizing the upstairs linen closet and baby's closet

4th week of March: Putting my feet up because baby will be here pretty soon!


22 February 2013

Julia's Social Studies Presentation

Kindergartner of the Year

We were really proud of miss Julia Star as she bravely stood in front of a cafeteria full of at least 100+ home-schoolers and their families and gave her report on Thomas Edison's invention of the Light Bulb.

Most of the students who participate in the Annual Social Studies Fair are older Elementary and Middle School students, but I feel the younger Pre-K kids and lower elementary kids steal the show with their hard work, bravery, and complete cuteness!  Yes, I know.  I am extremely biased.

Daddy came home early from work on Monday to attend Julia's special presentation and that really meant a lot to all of us.  I needed the extra hands of help with Mark, and Julia needed to know that Daddy will drop anything to come see her in her school events.  So, a big thank you to the world's best Daddy.

A great big thank you to younger brother Mark who clapped and cheered for his sister and who wanted to help as she colored and decorated and re-traced her presentation board.  Mark was very good in the 2 1/2 hour presentation time, and his favorite part was when we had intermission and everyone got to have snacks, including my brownies which he devoured!

Mommy was dreading this project this time around.  Can you imagine why?  I've been so tired lately and I kept putting the project off thinking we would just skip it this year, but when push came to shove I decided this is such a great experience and opportunity for Julia to be around other home schoolers, to practice reading in front of other people, to just practice any type of public speaking, and to learn something new.  So yes, mommy was 8 1/2 months pregnant and tired...but we still did it!  Yay for us!

I was allowed to hold the microphone for Julia as she read her index cards.  She was much more shy this year than last year, which surprised me, but she was the very last student to go, and after watching over 40+ students go and waiting and waiting for your turn we were proud of her for being brave enough to go and do her very best.

I am learning, as a home school mom, that each experience, each new thing we learn does not have to be mastered or perfect (although the perfectionist in me cries, "YES it does have to be perfect!")  I am learning to really try to sit back and enjoy these new opportunities where Julia and Mark get to blossom and grow.  I am also learning that when you are 8 months pregnant you are very very hard on yourself as a mom.  I'm thankful for John's support because many a time this year I have wanted to give up home schooling.  It is so hard, especially when I am so tired these days.

And wouldn't you know when the program was over, Julia was so happy and so proud of herself.  I still see her pulling out her presentation cards and reading them to her brother or stuffed animals.  So I know she did enjoy the experience.

And Mark cried at the end of the program.  Not because we had to leave.  Not because he wanted another brownie.  But because he didn't get a chance to say HIS speech and do HIS presentation.  "Buddy, you are only 3 we didn't sign you up this year and we didn't do a project this year, next year we will sign you up and you will get a chance to go!"  Who would've known that a 3 year old shy boy would be so brave (ahem, competitive) and want to do public speaking????

And the home school adventure continues...

21 February 2013

Blog Hop Follow Me and I'll Follow You BACK!

It's Time to Mingle!
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20 February 2013

My Baby "Sprinkle" aka Baby Shower

My buddy Rachel made this cake all by herself!
"Children are a gift of the Lord!"

My wonderful Sisters in Christ at Jacob's Well threw me a "sprinkle" last Friday.  We had such a great time and we laughed together, prayed together and ate together.  They all spoiled me and baby Micah rotten and John and I were so very blessed.

My absolute favorite part about the sprinkle was when we all finished eating dessert and each woman went around the table and prayed over the rest of my pregnancy, my labor/water birth, my marriage, and the transition to bringing baby Micah home.  It was so beautiful and it was something I will never quite forget.  I've never been prayed over like that by a group of women before and it was really so beautiful.

My beautiful sisters in Christ
We all were led into the best baby shower games I've ever done.  Jessica did a fantastic job of being so creative and making us all laugh.  Some of us were laughing so hard we were crying.  What fun!  It's so nice to feel so loved and special and a part of the group.

silly games

The ladies had to draw a baby on the top of their paper plate which was on their head.  I had to pick the "best" one!  These drawings were a riot!!!  We did a mad libs about the delivery...this is what made us lose our minds in laughter, and we played a poem game where you had to keep passing around a prize and you weren't sure who was going to get it.  Thanks Jess for the awesome games!

Me at 34 weeks

There's a belly shot!  All the ladies brought yummy goodies.  Thank you!!!

Mommy can't wait for Micah to get here!

After a few fun games we did gifts!!! I couldn't get over how small everything was...It's amazing how you forget how small and newborn is, even after you've had two!!!  I can't wait to cuddle this little guy.

Thank you Jesus, for the sweetest sisters, the sweetest little 'growing in the tummy' baby, and the sweetness of fellowship.


Teaching Independence in Small Children

"School is your business, your job, and your responsibility."

As a classroom teacher I taught my third and fourth grade students many ways to become more independent and responsible.

One thing I did not tolerate was to hear, "My mom forgot to..."  I always would say, "Wait, whose job is it to come to school everyday and write down their assignments in their note pad, and go to their locker and put important papers in their folders to go home?  Whose responsibility is that?"

I set high expectations and I was always so proud of my students because not only did we have fun learning in the classroom, but we didn't need to waste time with discipline problems, we could cut to the chase and get to the fun of learning new things.

As I draw nearer to having this baby, and even when I was pregnant with Mark, I remember teaching Julia things that other 15-17 month olds didn't necessarily do.  She learned to eat by herself, use her own silverware, put her clothes in the hamper, and even help mommy set the table.  I knew I was going to have my hands full with a newborn and already I was trying to teach and equip her with the necessary skills she would need around our home.  I think this is why so many people say Julia is so "old" for her age, and so "motherly and nurturing" at a young age she was taught how to be responsible and independent and she never knew any different.  She was even out of her high chair before 18 months because I knew pretty soon Mr. boy would need it...she was joining us at the table in a booster seat like a regular toddler.

Since I home school we have our own flow and routine each day.  As mommy gets bigger and mommy gets nearer to this next newborn we have sat down and set some ground rules and goals of our morning flow.  We actually did this right after the New Year.  We sat at the table and came up with a list of 7 things we need to do every morning...and these are things the kids do totally on their own...even my Mark, and he's 3.

This morning John slept in and he came downstairs where I fell asleep because the couch has been more comfortable these days, and he said,

"Babe, did you know that Julia gets dressed, makes her bed and puts her lotion on after breakfast?"

Yes, love, she's supposed to.

This is how we roll:

1. Potty
2. Eat breakfast
3. Get dressed
4. Make our bed
5. Clean our room
6. Bible story
7. Pray
High expectations for a 5 year old and 3 year old?  Absolutely!  And do they rise to meet the challenge?  Absolutely.  However, I may have to tweak when Julia decides to wear a spring dress in February, or Mark decides to wear his spider man boots on a sunny warm day...but I'm learning that if I want them to feel independent and be independent then sometimes I have to pick my battles.  Like for example, today Julia wore a black and white striped dress with brown tights and a pink headband...did I change it?  Nope!  All I did was brush the back of her hair.  And sometimes their outfits KILL me because they don't match, but I have to remember what is really important.

The kids even set their own breakfast table without help and get the cereal boxes out.  John or I will pour their milk in cups to use in their cereal and we pour them some orange juice and give them their vitamins.  But all this independence means that way baby #3 comes I will have a routine in place, the kids will know what is expected, and I will have free hands to hold the baby while the big kids do their jobs.  This makes home school a lot easier because by 8 a. m. they are dressed and ready for school...I'm not, but they are...it gives me time to shower and get ready and we usually start our drills and school work by 9 a .m.

This has really been working for us the past several months and so I just wanted to share it!  After we had our goal lesson after New Years I made each child a list that you see above with their name on it.  It's on the cork board in their rooms as a reminder of their jobs and responsibilities.  It makes them feel grown up!


19 February 2013

The Life of Pi

The Life of Pi
Movie Review

John and I  recently saw this movie about a young Indian boy who is basically shipwrecked and left to fend for himself on a boat in the middle of the Pacific.  The "only" problem is the boat has several wild animals on it: a monkey, a hyena, a zebra, and a tiger!  Plus, he is stranded in the middle of the ocean for several months.  And he loses his whole family when the freighter he is on is shipwrecked.  Your heart breaks for him as he loses his mother, father, and brother and struggles to survive against the harshness of wide open sea.

The movie, The Life of Pi, starts out with the Indian man sharing this experience with an author who is anxious to write his story.  So you know from the beginning that obviously he survives this awful ordeal.  But as the movie goes on and the boy tries to survive and stay hydrated, keep away from sharks, and find food you wonder how it is possible he will live one more hour.

It is very similar to Tom Hank's movie Castaway.  Except, Tom is stranded on an island alone, and the boy is stranded in the middle of the ocean alone.

If I were to rate this movie, I would give it 3 out of 5 stars.  We saw it in 3D which was cool, but the amount of money that movie tickets cost these days, it was really hard for me to hand over the money knowing in a few months I could've just rented it from Redbox for $1.

The movie has a happy ending which of course I enjoyed and you expect and so for all of you happy ending people, you will like that!


18 February 2013

Forgiveness--we all need it

One thing we all share as humans is the need for forgiveness.  None of us is without fault.  One of my biggest faults is not forgiving quickly enough. I struggle with letting go. I'm getting better at it with Gods help but my husband is so much better at it than me!

In bible study we just did a whole chapter the last two weeks on forgiveness and I wanted to share some myths about forgiveness that our authors came up with. 

*forgiving means forgetting.

*forgiving means no longer feeling pain or anger over what our offender did.

*forgiveness should only be granted after our offenders apologize, promise to change or offer to repay for damages done.

*forgiving our offenders means giving them permission to continue to abuse or hurt us.

*forgiving should be easy since God commands it.

I love these myths!  Lets face it we are human and once something is done to us that is wrong be it physical or someone's careless words we can't just forget it or wipe it from our memory. We may want to but we can't. We Can choose to not dwell on it. But the pain or anger of the past will creep up on us quite unexpectedly and it is our choice to bring that hurt or thought captive and not let it control us. 

I have been hurt by people's words about my race, my choice in marriage, my relationship with God etc and I have had to forgive those people even before they were willing to apologize because let's face it sometimes you never get an apology. But you forgive for your own peace of mind. That doesn't mean what they did or said was ok but in order to move forward and get healthy you forgive. 

I also like how the authors said it doesn't mean you give them permission or opportunity to hurt you again. I've had someone verbally annihilate me and then expect me to willingly allow them the chance to come on over and do it again. No thank you. I forgive you but you are no longer allowed to abuse me because I am not a doormat. Sometimes we need to put healthy boundaries up. And trust me the person won't understand or like it but sometimes you have to do what is best for you!

Forgiveness is never easy, but it is very freeing.  Once you are able to just let things go and move on, which may take weeks, months, or maybe years, you can really start a new.  I once told a friend, "I have too many great things to look forward to and live for than to dwell on being mad at someone over something silly."  And for the big things in life I realize that forgiveness takes time, it requires a lot of God's help, but that it is also healthy for me and the people involved to give a second/third/fourth, etc chance because I'm just as guilty, and I want forgiveness, so therefore I try to give it.


08 February 2013

I miss...a very pregnant Mom's plea

I miss....

I miss sunny days
Warm temperatures
The park
My jeans
My toes...I can barely see them underneath the girth
Red wine in front of the fireplace
Chasing my kids
Cold cuts
My non maternity wardrobe
A full night of sleep
And sleeping on my stomac
I miss being skinny....

Okay baby boy.... You have a few more weeks in there. Hurry and get nice and strong! We can't wait to love on you!


07 February 2013

Rosemary Chicken with White Beans

 Easy Recipe

I've been sick since yesterday and needed an easy meal for tonight since I'm tired and we have Awana.  So I pulled out my crock pot and my recipe book and came across this Rosemary Chicken and white bean one.  It literally took 10 minutes to prep and in 4 hours dinner will be ready.  It is almost 1pm, so dinner at 5pm is perfect.


2tbs. oil
4-6 chicken breast halves
1 cup carrots, sliced
1/2 cup celery sliced
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp rosemary
1/3 cup fat free Italian dressing


1. Brown the chicken with the oil in a pan.  Remove and drain.

2. Place carrots, celery, and beans at the bottom of the crock pot and add chicken breasts.

3. In a bowl combine all the seasonings and the dressing and pour over the food in the crock pot.

4. Low for 8 hours or High for 4 hours!

I'm probably gonna serve mine with white rice.  Bon Apetit!

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