Friday, May 29, 2009

Ahhh, coffee...

I got a few hours for myself this morning(thanks hubby), so a friend and I went to a town nearby and had a wonderful cappuccino before a little shopping. Have I ever told you how much easier it is to shop and peruse without a double stroller that has four arms going in all directions?

Flashback Friday 2001

Scanned pictures just aren't the same as digital.
UPDATE: Everyone wants details... I am standing in front of my cubicle, when I worked at Delta Dental of California. It must have been someone's birthday but not mine because my cubicle wasn't decorated. And if you look at last Friday's picture you'll see how long and curly my hair was... I got sick of it and cut it ALL off!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

TGoF .7

I'm posting this a bit early because I'm having some much deserved mom time and don't know when I'll be able to post!

Heavenly Father,
I am so thankful to You for/that...
#1 I have an ounce of motivation to actually want to lose weight for the right reasons and do it Your way.
#2 my handsome, healthy, lovey-dovey boys.
#3 my husband has had a much deserved week off.
#4 I get some mom time today (thanks honey!).
#5 music.
#6 cappuccinos.
#7 family.
#8 friends.
#9 books.
#10 the Bible.
...not necessarily in that order...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today...

Outside my window... sun and gnats ('tis the season).

I am thinking... about my grocery list.

From the learning rooms... mom is a slacker.

I am thankful for... Jason having the week off!

From the kitchen... planning our Asian food night, maybe for Thursday!

I am wearing... old shorts and a t-shirt.

I am reading... The Weigh Down Diet- Gwen Shamblin (this is one of four, I think, but it is getting most of my focus).

I am hoping... I can sit down and read for a bit without falling asleep.

I am creating... just made a birthday card.

I am praying... for joy.

Around the house... Jason is napping, Joshua is fighting sleep, Nikolas is sleeping and I want to finish this so I can read.

One of my favorite things... the sound of a dry diaper when my little one is walking by.

A few plans for the rest of the week... BBQ at KK's on Saturday, lots of relaxation and movie watching.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you... a year ago...

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Will you?

I'm not going to rant but I wanted to share this and ask for prayers. Today I caught a bit of news (I normally try to ignore it) about horrible things going on in the US. The girls that made a video about how to kill one of their classmates, the eleven year old boy that committed suicide because he was being bullied and picked on, the mentally disabled adults that were made to fight by the staff trusted to care for them. This is sickening to me. I don't know what I can do, other than pray. So, pray I will. Will you?

-Proverbs 3:5-6-
Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.

Family & Respect: Part Four

4~Who is someone in your family that you really respect? Why?
This may sound like a cop out but it would have to be my husband. He works hard and takes care of his family. He loves his boys and having fun with them. He takes great care of me. He cares about what I want, he listens to what I say. He is generous, caring and giving. He is genuine and always does the right thing. I have said it before, he is more of a Proverbs 31 woman than I am.

Family & Respect: Part Three

3~What is your perfect family experience?

My current family experience is pretty darn good. I have a wonderful, loving husband that is also a giving and devoted father to our boys. We have two healthy, energetic and sweet boys. I am able to stay at home with them. My husband has a good job with wonderful medical benefits. We have a home and everything we need. We are a Christian family and we attend church (almost) every week together. We are traveling the world together. The Lord has truly blessed us!

Family & Respect: Part Two

2~What do you do to stay in touch with your family who is far away?

We live in Sicily, Italy and have been here since December 2006. My parents were able to visit in March of 2008, Jason's mom and step-dad were here for Thanksgiving 2008. There is a lot of emails, boxes and Facebooking. I have been trying to write more notes to friends back home. Living here has been such a blessing but such a burden at the same time. My Papa passed away just before New Years after a long battle with Alzheimer's and I wasn't there for my mom. I feel so isolated and while the internet brings us closer, it can never be the same. I am really looking forward to a long visit in December when we return to the states.

-Jeremiah 31:13-
Then young women will dance and be glad,
young men and old as well.
I will turn their mourning into gladness;
I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.

Family & Respect: Part One

1~What does family mean to you?

Family is so many things to me. Of course, it starts with my parents, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, my grandparents that have gone to be with the Lord. Now I have my very own family, Jason and Joshua and Nikolas. And my in-law family, which is wonderful.

But I am so blessed to have friends that I can also call family. Friends that I've had since preschool, middle school, highschool and well after that. I also have friends that are new, that live next door or down the street. In a military community, your friends become your family, the people you rely on when you are in need. I have some amazing friends here in Sicily that are my family.

Family is anyone you can rely on, trust, turn to, pray with, share with without being judged, cry with, love with, have tears-in-your-eyes fun with.

-Romans 12:10-
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.

-1 Thessalonians 5:11-
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Here are a few of my newest friends...

Family & Respect

ABC & 123 is talking about family. There is a series of questions that she asked and I have decided to answer them one at a time in a series. I'd love to hear what you have to say, write about family on your blog and comment with your link! Please subscribe to my blog so you don't miss any posts about family!

Here are the questions I'll be answering in the days (maybe weeks) to come.

1~What does family mean to you?
2~What do you do to stay in touch with your family who is far away?
3~What is your perfect family experience?
4~Who is someone in your family that you really respect? Why?
5~Have you ever been respectful to someone who is disrespectful to you?
6~What does it mean to be respectful? disrespectful?
7~Give examples of being self-respectful.
8~Should you respect yourself as much as you respect others?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Flashback Friday 2000

TGoF .6

Lord God, You are an awesome and loving God, today I thank you and praise you for/that
#1 Jason has the next week off from work, we are in need of some rejuvenation and he deserves a break.
#2 I got a check from CafePress today!
#3 opening my eyes to a new way of eating. (Please Lord, help me to maintain it and treat my body as a gift from you!)
#4 this is our last (blazing hot) summer in Sicily.
#5 friends. Near and far, old and new.
#6 Bible studies, for helping me "get it".
#7 you are my rock and comforter.
#8 my husband is so patient and attentive to my needs.
#9 our healthy, smart and loving boys.
#10 our little chapel here in Mineo. Mineo Rocks!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Little Fuzzy

Summer is upon us. It was 86 degrees out today. Soon it will be 115, but that is here in Sicily. This is our last summer here and I'm pretty happy to say that. Shaving my legs is low on my list of priorities, it is just something you need to know about me. I plan accordingly as to when I'll shave my legs. If I know I'm leaving the house, especially for the doctor or to see friends, I'll shave. My husband would rather me shave just before climbing into bed every night but he is dreamin'. I will tell you though that when I get around to shaving I use this and this in rose afterward. No nicks and so soft and smelling good. Happy shaving even to those that don't love it so...

Workbox Update

The last two weeks have been busy. I've had to leave the house for doctor visits (just check-ups), birthday parties and grocery shopping. This really throws the whole day off. Which is okay because Joshua is doing preschool stuff. We pick out letters and animals and colors everywhere we go, unschooling, I think its called. I found The Work of Childhood which has great information on workboxing. These are some questions they posted for us "workboxers" to answer.

JOSHUA is three. NIKOLAS is 19 months.

How many boxes do you fill? 6 for Joshua, 3 or so for Nikolas

Do you expect your children to go in order? Joshua- yes, Nikolas-no

Do you use the schedule strips? I use 24 boxes on one sheet for Joshua, I include his entire daily routine from the start of the school day. Nikloas doesn't have a schedule yet.

How long does it take you to fill the boxes? I try to plan ahead of time for the week which cuts down on filling time, so probably ten-fifteen minutes and I typically fill in the morning. I leave the same activities in the boxes for Nikolas.

Do you fill your work boxes EACH night with all new items? I use Joshua's curriculum workbook and My ABC Bible Verses. We usually having matching, coloring and books everyday but I mix those up.

Do you have some boxes repeat each day so there is less filling/refilling? not so much

What do your kids do with the empty boxes? Joshua puts the boxes back on the shelf.

Do you put away the ‘supplies’ each night? or do your kids? I do, but once Joshua is able, he will be helping me.

Anything else you want to add? We are preschooling, so I use the workboxes loosely but Joshua loves doing them. It also helps me mix up the activities so we're not doing the same things all the time.
Thinking Outside the Box

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Food Tracking and Living A Healthier Lifestyle

Much like balancingeverything I very much dislike food journaling. The thought of writing down everything I put in my mouth makes me nauseous. I know that it works and is a great way to reflect on my poor eating habits but it is just another chore for me to do. So balancingeverything recently started her weight loss blog and shared this tip. I love it and have made my own!

This is for an 1800 calorie day, which is the amount recommended to me by a Registered Dietitian for healthy weightloss of 1-2 pounds per week. You can also go to MyPyramid and find out your serving allowances for each day. This is a great article about making smart choices for weight loss.

The American Heart Association is a wonderful resource for learning about heart attack, stroke and the benefits on daily exercise. You can also learn about your BMI and ways to live a healthy lifestyle.

I'm also reading Gwen Shamblin's book entitled The Weight Down Diet. It is a Bible based approach to weight loss but more importantly overcoming overeating and turning to God to fill us up. Believe it or not it all comes full circle; eating, contentment, peace, joy.

-1 Corinthians 3:16
Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?

-1 Corinthians 10:31
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

-Romans 13:14
Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

-1 Kings 19:7-8
The angel of the LORD came back a second time and touched him and said, "Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you." So he got up and ate and drank.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Flashback Friday 1990

TGoF .5

Amazing Lord, I am so thankful for/that...
#1 it is Friday.
#2 tomorrow is stamp club (GIRL TIME)!
#3 Elimy took my boys for TWO hours this morning, so I could get the floors mopped (I even moved furniture)!
#4 we are done with the doctor visits, other than my dentist appointment.
#5 a husband that listens and genuinely cares about what I have to say.
#6 other bloggers that share their knowledge with little ol' me and the world.
#7 my healthy, energetic, intelligent boys.
#8 cameras.
#9 those that minister to me, sharing and living God's word and grace.
#10 Jesus Christ, The Lord and Savior!

Help For Organizing

Calendars, lesson planners, handwriting help. This is a great resource!


My friends are the bestest! Rather than wasting valuable time today, I swept and mopped, even under the furniture! I am still getting caught up on laundry from our gas being out over the weekend and Monday and Tuesday. I unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher. I went through the toys that are downstairs. And I wrote a note to a friend (yes, on real stationery)! God answers prayers, I swear He does!

In My Spare Time... HAHA!

About a year ago, I was looking for a way to make a little money. I had also been praying that God would show me how to be a better wife, mother and woman, you know, the Proverbs 31 woman! I didn't have a lot of money to invest and I wanted to do something I loved and believed in. I have sold other products from home and thought now that I stay at home maybe I would have more motivation to sell and share a product.

Well, I went straight to the DSA. The Direct Selling Organization has listings and advice for direct sellers. Here is the listing I found. I had seen this company listed on So, I went back to CWAHM and found the ad for Thirty-One. I emailed to find out more about the opportunity that was offered.

Thirty-One sells purses, totes and all kinds of awesome, trendy accessories that you can personalize! Um, ok... In case you don't know me... THIS WAS A PREFECT MATCH! Thirty-One has high quality, not high priced products for everyone! A Christian based company with the theme being Celebrate, Encourage, Reward. People love the one of a kind products and they are great gifts. Who doesn't love something that is personalized!? You can check out the catalog for the Spring/Summer Collection, as well as the new 31Kid line for the little ones on my website! June first a new line will be introduced for the older kids (and moms, too!) called Direction. Check back to see the catalog with those awesome items, too. And, of course, you can earn FREE product by hosting a party. If you live near me then I can help you host a party to earn free stuff. I can also create an e-party for you to do online!

This is the Julie Tote in Green Damask. I have one in black and use it for my Bible study bag.

This is the Storage Tote in lime green! I love this bag! I use it cart around my craft projects.

This is the small Skirt Purse. You can order it in brown or pink and you can change the skirt to fit your mood!

I love the All-In-One Organizer. It comes in a ton of colors! You can embroider it on the side or use cards in the little pocket to label or personalize it. I have four of them now and I have more on my wish list!

This is the Flapbag! It has a long strap, so you can wear it across your body (very European). Also comes in orange stripe.

This is the large Skirt Purse. It comes in brown or black and you can get lots of different skirts to make it all yours! You can also get the Silver Letter Hang-Off to classy up your purse or use as a keychain!

This is a very small sample of the possibilities from Thirty-One! Visit my site to see more!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Easiest Recipe EVER

These are so very easy, healthy and delicious! Not to mention cheap!

Start with green seedless grapes.

Wash them thoroughly.

Put a paper towel in a bowl that will hold your grapes. Then put the clean grapes in the bowl. The paper towel needs to soak up most of the water but not all of it.

Use a little bit, depending on how many grapes you, of sugar-free, fat-free Jell-O. I used maybe a tablespoon for about a pound and a half of grapes. We like lime, wild cherry, the tart flavors seem to work best for us. Shake the Jell-O to cover the grapes evenly. Chill in the fridge for at least thirty minutes. They taste even better the next day because they kind of get crunchy. YUM!

FUNFUNFUN! and prizes, too!

Like a Warm Cup of Coffee Blogaversary

Sunday, May 10, 2009


8 Things I am looking forward to:

1. Living in the U.S. again (December)
2. Stamp Club (Saturday)
3. Bible study (Monday)
4. Rome (late June)
5. Germany (September for Oktoberfest!)
6. Cappuccino (in the morning)
7. Mexican food (December)
8. Nikolas being potty trained (12-18 months, I hope)

8 Things I did yesterday:

1. Took the boys to Immanuel's Nerf Gun War b-day party
2. ate pizza
3. had a cappo
4. slept on the couch
5. bought milk
6. read The Complete Parenting Book until I couldn't keep my eyes open anymore
7. chatted with some girlfriends
8. talked to my mama

8 Things I wish I could do:
1. keep the house clean(er)
2. play the guitar
3. be still
4. get up early and start the day with God
5. have some me time every day
6. have time to do more crafting
7. make everyone's cards and mail them in time
8. get (and stay) motivated to go workout

8 Shows I Watch

1. American Idol performance night
2. American Idol results night
3. Dancing With The Stars
4. Hell's Kitchen
5. Extreme Makeover Home Edition
6. One Tree Hill (online, I need to catch up again)
7. That is about it...
8. We watch lots of movies

8 Tags. You're it!
Let me know if you decide to play along.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Back to Proverbs

It always comes back to the way it ought to be...

Proverbs 31

1 The sayings of King Lemuel—an oracle his mother taught him:

2 "O my son, O son of my womb,
O son of my vows,

3 do not spend your strength on women,
your vigor on those who ruin kings.

4 "It is not for kings, O Lemuel—
not for kings to drink wine,
not for rulers to crave beer,

5 lest they drink and forget what the law decrees,
and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.

6 Give beer to those who are perishing,
wine to those who are in anguish;

7 let them drink and forget their poverty
and remember their misery no more.

8 "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.

9 Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy."
Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character

10 A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.

11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.

12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.

13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.

14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.

15 She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her servant girls.

16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.

17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.

18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.

19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.

20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.

21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.

22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.

24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.

25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.

26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.

28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her

29 "Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all."

30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

31 Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Mother's Day at MOMs Club

Our local MOMs Club had a Mother's Day event yesterday. We made (or attempted to make) Mother's Day cards.
BEFORE the painting began...


Find a local chapter of MOMs Club International.

TGoF .4

Lord God, I am so thankful for/that
#1 you, Lord are in control of it all.
#2 Heather accepted you into her heart as Lord and Savior!
#3 you have unconditional love for me, us, even though we are sinners and rebel against your ways.
#4 my giving, dedicated and patient husband.
#5 I am blessed to be able to stay home with my boys.
#6 A Woman After God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George.
#7 modern conveniences; like cappuccino makers and microwaves and cell-phones.
#8 travel guides and the ability to visit the places in them.
#9 mothers, especially mine. (And my mother-in-law, too, she did such a good job!)
#10 children, they teach us more than any other experience ever could.

Share yours, too or link to your blogpost to share!

Flashback Friday 1985

Friday Photo Flashback
I'm in the middle. These are my sisters, Allison and Katie. Yes, they are twins.

Froth Anyone?

It is a beautiful Friday morning in Sicily! AND I have finally made a beautiful cappuccino! I may have gone a little overboard on the frothing but it does take a little practice! YUM!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Susan Hunt is my new hero...

Under wise counsel from my step-father-in-law's niece (SERIOUSLY) who is a Christian, homeschool mom, I checked this book out at the library and will be ordering it asap as well! Susan Hunt wrote this awesome book to help little ones (and maybe parents, too) learn Bible verses and a lesson to go along with the verse. My ABC Bible Verses is how my Joshua learned his very first Bible verse! "sof answer... turns away...wraf", translated "a soft answer turns away wrath, Proverbs 15:1". It was the most precious thing I'd ever seen or heard this three year old do! It was such a proud moment!

This picture is of him spraying Daddy with water. What an angel...


Arian Armstrong has a great kid chart that she is sharing with all of us! I may make something up so we can use it!

Get Green This Spring!

Totally Tots has a great post about Green Cleaning. There is really simple tips to make your own green products and great ones that you can purchase, too. There is also a list of the yucky chemicals found in cleaners. Check it out! Green it up!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Monday Musings

Outside my window... the sky is bi-polar.
I am thinking... about making some to-do lists.
I am thankful for... free printables.
From the learning rooms... Joshua memorized his first Bible verse. "A soft answer turns away wraf (wrath)". Proverbs 15:1
From the kitchen... I hear dishes calling to be put in their homes.
I am wearing... comfy "workout" clothes.
I am creating... a classroom.
I am going... to work on my five fat files (a post will soon follow).
I am reading... too many books at one time (thats another post, too).
I am hoping... that tomorrow is full of sunshine.
I am hearing... Joshua's Scholastic video.
Around the house... are toys, toys, everywhere.
One of my favorite things... is hanging out with my husband.
A few plans for the rest of the week: kids dentists appointments, Bible study, preschool co-op, MOMs Club Mother's Day fun, Immanuel's birthday party
Here is picture thought I am sharing... This is Jason in May, 2005.

Muffin Tins Gone Wild

Joshua is waiting patiently and playing his Leapster while I'm making dinner. Isn't he so cute? Just wait...

You all know that I love muffin tins. But last night, something happened. My kids wanted nothing to do with them and my dining room ended up a disaster. Now, in part, I blame the weather. It was a gorgeous morning and then... It turned ugly, raining, hailing, thundering. So, my boys had no time to play outside. By the time dinner rolled onto the table, they were out of control. My dinner, my table and my dining room suffered the consequences. I should have taken after pictures but I was so mad I just got the broom.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Water (and lizard) Fun!

Today after the trip to the park, the boys had some water fun. It is barely warm enough to play in the water. Once it is warm enough, it is too hot to even go outside! There was a lizard playing dead in the pool and of course, the boys had to poke it and spit on it. Occasionally it would wake up and swim really fast around the pool to keep them entertained and squealing. Nikolas started out with clothes but as always ends up without any. The neighbors love us.

Only Seven Minutes

I wanted to share this article with you. I have been trying (setting my alarm, at least) to get up and start my day with God. On the days when I am able (and willing) to do this my day is smoother, more joyful and less chaotic. Jolanthe is a great blogger and seems to lead where I need to follow, if that makes sense.


I love books! I love all books! Someday I want to have a room filled with books and comfy chairs and fancy little tables and lamps, just like a small bookstore! But for now I will settle for piles of books, books squeezed into our limited amount of shelving, books in boxes, books everywhere. I am really happy that my boys love books, too! Joshua has started "reading" to me. It is a such a great joy! Nikolas is always carrying a book around with him and he would rather have a book that the magnadoodle in the car! I must have done something right!

If you've never heard of Usborne Books, where have you been? Honestly, I've only known for about two years. It is one of the "home party" companies.

My friend Anne is an Usborne Representative. I had an Usborne home party a few months ago. You can also do an e-party. They have monthly specials. I earned sooo many free books being a hostess! Anne has been very successful at "feeding her addiction" to books. She earns a good amount of money doing a few shows a month. You can contact her or place an order through her website.

Here is a small list of the Usborne books that we have...
-The Usborne Children's Bible
-The Usborne Family Bible
-First Thousand Words in Italian and Spanish
-First Book of Nature
-Baby and Toddler Treasury

The quality of Usborne Books is what really caught my attention. There are also options for many of their books as far as the binding and paper versus hardback.