March 31, 2010

Girls' Spa Night

One of my most favorite things about my Mary Kay girlfriends is that we can be cannot help but be totally goofy together!  You should come to one of our meetings...  it's amazing we can even call them training meetings, because we dance and party and laugh hysterically and go home with our cheeks hurting.  The fact that I can actually call that work is just beyond phenomenal. 

My absolute favorite event, held on a monthly basis, is our spa night.  Hands down. 

There is. No. Comparison. 

The goofiness starts right away.  This is one of my best friends, Adria.  She and I are pretty much the Pink Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee. 

Get us together, and it's hopeless. 


...She's also my jazzercisin' buddy.  :) 
She's pretty much one of my favorite people on this earth.

We hang out and mask our faces and giggle. 

Look, we were The Scream. 

You know, the painting... 

Um, nevermind. 

After we mask our faces and giggle, we lay back with lavender hot towel treatments and giggle. 

I know we look like we're all relaxing...  but actually we were laughing hysterically and all of our faces and shoulders were shaking under our towels.  Meanwhile, our fearless leader, Candace...

...who is another one of my favorite people on this earth...just shook her head in dismay at us laughed at us hysterically.  We were pretty much all out of control. 

To continue the pampering, we sugar-scrubbed our feet. 

And wrapped them in hot towels.  (Different hot towels than the ones on our faces - ew!)

And finished up with paraffin hand and feet treatments.

Adria's manicured toes were so cute I couldn't resist taking a picture.  I'm officially going to get polka dots on my toes sometime this summer.  I think it rocks.  Don't you?

Doesn't that just look like the best girls night EVER!?  Well, it was. 
Don't you totally wanna' join us?! 

(Well, ok, Dad...  you probably don't.)

March 29, 2010

Love-A-Thon Prizes!

We did it!!! 100%  Yay!!!!! 

What a fun ride...  getting to watch the Church surround an amazing woman on her own, who has faith like a rock and who had a genuine need.

Thank you all for the privilege of being a part of
helping Ellyn keep her house!

And now... for the PRIZES!  ;) 
My handsome hubby helped me out...
Drum roll please...
(note:  these are disqus profile names)

Ladies, you have a choice between this adorable
newborn hat hand-made by my mom...
...or your choice of one of these stylish hats for women...

... or one of my favorite Mary Kay products:

Extra Emollient Night Cream

For extremely dry skin. Helps maintain the natural moisture of the skin and replenishes hydration in especially dry areas by forming a protective shield to condition and seal in moisture.

You can use this on: paper cuts; inside dry noses to prevent bleeding; rim of nose when sick and the skin is chapped; chapped lips; cracked heels, knees and elbows; raw or cracked skin from nursing; diaper rash; children's dry red chapped skin; split cuticle overnight with a bandaid; prevent acne scarring on a scabbing blemish; exzyma; psoriasis; The list goes on...

Aren't they great prizes?!

Well, I  think so! 

Email me and let me know your first, second, and third pick for your prize! 
(Don't forget your address so I can mail it to you.)
The first one who emails me gets first pick! 

Thank you, ladies! 

And thanks to Sarah and Mandy, who hosted! 
I can't wait for the next one!

Desperate Need

My little one has been sick for what feels like the entire month of March so we've had a few too many middle-of-the-night feedings lately. (He is on his second go-around and was prescribed antibiotics yesterday so I'm hoping we're near the end of this.) This morning during one of these screaming sessions I had one of those out-of-body experiences, where it feels like you're watching everything like a movie and you're a third person in the room, seeing everything but not taking part. I was watching Danny and seeing his desperate need for his Mama with a new perspective.

He wakes up somewhat suddenly and starts to wail with only two things on his mind - me and milk. The next five minutes are a flurry of flailing diapers, a scramble for my glasses, tears and fits, suctioning boogers and wiping his face, cursing snaps on pajamas while wondering why I didn't choose the zippered ones, and trying to connect his mouth to my breast as fast as humanly possible. As Danny holds tightly to my shirt, my hair, my skin - whatever his tiny fist can grasp - he gulps down milk with a vengeance, as though he hasn't had a drink in days. He drinks and drinks and sighs with satisfaction as his tummy slowly fills up and he gets the satisfaction that he wants.

That he craves.

That his world stands still for.

It's the next part that is so sweet to me. Once his tummy is full and he's drifted back into dreamland... Once he's satisfied with milk and resting again... Then it's only Mama that he wants. Just to be close. Just to have his face smashed into my bosom and his ear where he can feel the beating of my heart. He just wants my presence and he'll rest there as long as I'll let him.

I wish I were that way with my Lord. I wish I craved His Word with sudden desperation at various times throughout the day, eager to gulp down my fill until I've had so much I'll burst. I wish I could think of nothing else until I've been satisfied with His sweet words to me. I wish my world stood still until I had the nourishment from my Father that I can't live without.

And I wish that when that were through, I could think of only resting in His presence, with my face smashed into His bosom where I can hear the beating of His heart and catch His passion for His children. I wish I wanted to rest there as long as He would let me, enjoying the simple bliss of being with Him.

He chooses the simple to shame the wise and the weak to teach the strong. He uses parenting to show me how deep and wide He loves me. In so many ways. On so many levels.

Lord teach me this child-like need for You. Give me faith that moves mountains. Grant me a desperate need for You and satiate me with Your Word.

March 28, 2010

Quick Freddy Update

Thank you for all your prayers for my father-in-law. Alejandro just spoke to his mom and got an update on his status. Freddy was going to be discharged from the hospital, but he is still retaining water, so the doctors want to keep him for a few more days before he goes home. After that, the plan will be to recover and prepare for further surgery to remove more polyps. Please pray that he is able to go home soon, as a hospital stay is hard on the whole family.

March 27, 2010

Mi Querida Biblia - The Launch!

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If you're just catching up on this and haven't heard, we're reading through the Bible in a year, and we're doing it together!  Tomorrow is our start date!  The BIG DAY! The launch. Palm Sunday. Eli's birthday - which, by the way, I think is SO cool! 

If you'd still like to join us, it's not too late!  Just click the "Mi Querida Biblia" button at the top of my blog and you can read everything you need to know about how to sign up and get started.  Or you can just click here

Want to meet all the Lovely Participants?  Here you are...

Cilla from "Looking Up".
Anne from "Adventures of Love"
And Jenifer.
Ellyn from "Profoundly Seth and Co." 
Sarah, my grocery store friend, from "Kingdom Twindom + 1."
And Linda Wilson.
And a couple of Mary Kay friends of mine, Christine Rashott, Sarah Brown and Kristen.
Carolina from "The Price Report"
Melissa from "A Heavenly Journey"
Courtney from "Through the Darkness" and her friend Stacey
msiena from "Walkin For the Lord" - I'm sorry I don't have your link!  :(
Natalie from "Three Hearts Created"
An old friend of mine, Jennifer Bryant - I'm sorry I couldn't find your blog! :(

Wow, how fun!! 

Definitely take some time to get to know eachother...  And if you decide you want to join in, just let us know in the comments section of this post!  Tell us your name and leave the link to your blog, facebook page, twitter page, or whatever!  Or if you want to remain anonymous, that's ok too!   
As for the accountability part of this whole thing...  Once a week (or more, if you want) share with us what's on your mind and how God is working in your heart through the Scripture you (and we - 'cause we're all reading together - ha! that's so cool!) have been reading.   You can do a number of ways: 
  • Write about it on your own blog.  Grab the "Mi Querida Biblia" button to add into your post and then come link it up here through MckLinky.  I went ahead and got MckLinky working on this post in case any of you are inspired to write before I am.  ;) 
  • If you don't have a blog, no worries!  Just write about it in the comments section.  Do so anonymously or not, whatever you choose.
  • In your YouVersion account, go to the "GROUPS" tab.  Search for the group called "Mi Querida Biblia" or just click on our group YouVersion site: There you can tag a favorite verse... or all kinds of other cool stuff! 
  • Please pray for the rest of the group.  Pray that God would show us how to be diligent in making this a priority and that He would speak to us clearly through His word. 
That's it!  Pretty simple... 

Tomorrow's reading is Genesis 1 - 3.  Yay!  Ready...  Set....  Go!

March 26, 2010

Living Big

I talk a lot about living big.  Or at least I think a lot about living big.  But I realized the other day that I haven't spent a ton of time on my blog talking about it or talking about exactly what I mean by that and how you walk that out in life. 

I'm headed up to Denver for a conference this evening, and the whole family is coming with me, so today I drove my husband to work at O-dark-thirty in the morning so I can pick him up and leave directly from his work this evening.  As I was groggily driving, God started a converation with me.  We were talking about two of Satan's biggest, craftiest, most effective lies. 

Don't do that - you're just being selfish...
...besides, what if it's a big flop?

I think Satan defeats countless dreams and visions with these lies, when they're just barely a seed in the hearts of men, freshly planted there by God Himself. 

I'll give you an example:  Not moments after God placed the idea in my heart for Mi Querida Biblia, Satan threw these two little lies at me. 

Don't do that - you're just being selfish... just want your blog to get big.  You just want the attention.  You only think it'd be cool for more people to read your words and feed your ego and make you feel important...
...besides, what if it's a big flop?
What if no one wants to?  What if the idea dies? 
What if you end up doing it alone? 
Think how stupid you'll feel... 

Fortunately, a moment after that the Holy Spirit shut his mouth and said,

Alright, it is important to make sure you're motives are right.  So, let's do that...  mmmmmmk, check.  They are.  And what if it IS a big flop?  Who cares?  What if only one person does it with you?  So what?  You'll have gone the extra mile, learned from the experience, blessed others, and planted seeds of My Love in the hearts of those who read your words - which, by the way is why I gave you a passion to write in the first place.  This whole thing was MY idea.  Remember?  So, since it was my idea, I DO plan on blessing it.  You've nothing to lose.  Step past your fear. 
Answer my call. 

And I'm so glad I did!  I can't believe how many of you have responded enthusiastically, saying that this very thing has been on your hearts too!  It's an incredible confirmation to me that God was speaking to you all about this, at the same time he spoke to me about it.  Wow!

But how many other dreams and visions are squashed by those lies?  In my business, I often encounter women who ponder a business in Mary Kay and think they would enjoy it, only to be shut down by the words...

Don't do that - you're just being selfish...
...besides, what if it's a big flop?

A man dreams of opening a business and stepping out on his own, fulfilling his goals of being an entrepreneur with more time for his family. 

Don't do that - you're just being selfish...
...besides, what if it's a big flop?

A young woman dreams of stepping into politics, longing to be a voice for mothers and children across the country. 

Don't do that - you're just being selfish...
...besides, what if it's a big flop?

I'm sure glad Sarah Palin didn't listen. 

A young college student thinks of going to seminary to be a pastor and start a church. 

Don't do that - you're just being selfish...
...besides, what if it's a big flop?

I'm really glad Brady Boyd didn't listen.

A fifty-something retiree thinks of using her experience in the work-place to start a community-supported program to help at-risk youth. 

A recent college-grad thinks of moving abroad to serve in another country for a year. 

My husband is really glad I didn't listen!

A high school senior considers putting off college to move to Uganda to serve in orphanages for three months. 

Don't do that - you're just being selfish...
...besides, what if it's a big flop?

Babies in Uganda are really glad Morgan and Katie didn't listen.

I am convinced that the majority of the moments when we balk on the brink of stepping forward to pursue a crazy hair-brained idea that who-knows put into our head, it is the seed of a dream that God has planted and has HUGE plans for, if only we would have the courage... follow through. step past fear. lay to rest the doubts. ignore Satan's nagging whiny voice,

...and to listen to still small one that beckons us to step into our destiny. 

What is the dream that this Voice has whispered to you lately?

March 25, 2010

Home-Made Baby Food 101

Now some of you savvy-in-the-kitchen moms out there are wondering why on earth I would post about something so simple like how to make baby food.  But I know there are others moms out there who are awful not as comfortable in the kitchen - just like me - and who have no idea how to take carrots from the raw form to the pureed form.  I know.  I can't believe I didn't know that.  But I didn't. 

Hey, I'm the woman who managed to ruin cream of mushroom soup.  From a can, people. 

So here you go, all of you kitchen novices!  This is just for you. 

Step 1:  Buy fresh fruit and veggies.  Today we're making sweet potatoes, melon, peaches, butternut squash, and carrots.  These are some of Danny's favorites

Oh, the Frosted Mini Wheats?  Well, I have to snack on something while I do the easiest cooking on earth slave away in the kitchen. 

Step 2:  Make sure you have a cute cooking partner nearby to cheer you on. 

Step 3:  Peel everything. 

Step 4:  Chop everything. 

Step 5:  Cook the veggies so they are soft.  I prefer to steam the carrots, squash and sweet potatoes.  Then I leave some of the water used to steam in with the veggies as I dump it into the blender for pureeing.  Peaches can be steamed, but it's not necessary.  Peaches do need a little bit of water added to puree, but definitely not as much as I have in the picture.  Definitely do not cook the melon or add water to it to blend. 

Step 6:  Blend the you-know-what out of everything until it's as pureed as you want it!  For babies newer to solids, you'll want to puree it until it is very smooth.  If you are moving your little one towards solids, leave it a little lumpy.   

Some foods will need water, like carrots, squash, peaches and sweet potatoes.  Others will not, like the melon. 

Make sure to have the pusher-downer-thingy close by so that all of the food is evenly pureed. 

Step 7:  Store it all!  Store enough for the next 24-48 hours in the refrigerator.  The rest...  pour into ice trays. 

Several hours later, dump the frozen cubes out and store them in labeled Ziploc sandwich bags... 

...and toss them into the freezer. 

When it comes meal time, defrost the desired number of cubes.  The great thing about the frozen baby food cubes is that each one is approximately an ounce, so it's easy to know how much food your baby is taking in! 

A couple other tips:  The melon will probably need to be thickened up with rice-cereal or other cereal since it's so watery. Also, I usually do not make this much baby food at once.  Usually I do one or two veggies or fruit per night as I cook our family's dinner.  I only end up cooking baby food about twice a week, and since I multi-task and do dinner at the same time, it really doesn't take me much more time at all, and it saves us a ton of money. 

There you go!  You're done!  Happy Baby!

March 24, 2010

Welcome Kaila Eliana!

The new parents say... 

"Little Kaila was born at 8:49 Monday evening... after 10 extra days in the oven and more than a little coaxing.

She came in at a nice healthy 7 lbs 11 oz and 20.5 inches long, and we must say she is truly the most amazing little person ever.

Mom and daughter are doing great and are relaxing right now, but Dad remains a little frazzled, equally stressed about mastering the art of swaddling, perfecting that intimidating stare for future boyfriends, and figuring out just how much college is going to cost..."

-Dave & Kiarri

Mi Querida Biblia - gettin' ready to get goin'


And just joining us are... 
Carolina from "The Price Report"
Melissa from "A Heavenly Journey"


Original Post:

Yay!  This is going to be so fun!  So far, 9 people have told me they're in!  Wanna' meet them?  Of course you do! 

Welcome Cilla from "Looking Up".
And Kate Fausett.
And Anne.
And Jenifer.
Ellyn from "Profoundly Seth and Co." 
Sarah, my grocery store friend, from "Kingdom Twindom + 1."
And Linda Wilson.
And a couple of Mary Kay friends of mine, Christine Rashott and Kristen.

If I've missed anyone, please let me know! 

I know there are a few others of you out there who are thinking about it, so please let me know if you're in!  If there are any men out there who want in, we'd be stoked to have a guy's voice as we talk through scripture! 

So many of you have expressed a desire to start doing something like this - or maybe you started and something kept you from following through.  I'm so pumped on getting to be a part of something that God has evidently been working in all of our hearts for some time...  What a confirmation!  Each of you, by taking part, are also helping God to work in each other's hearts, simply by being the beginning of a movement to get people into God's word.  Thank you for following His leading and for encouraging me too!

Ok, here is Step 3 for how to get involved in Mi Querida Biblia.  If you missed step 1 and 2, just click here

Step 3

Put the necessary things into place to begin a new habit.  Starting a new habit like this isn't easy.  It's like starting an exercise routine or a new diet or school.  It takes some adjustment and it takes some practical changes that will make that habit easier.  The key is to figure out how to make it easy and automatic to fit in the reading of God's Word each day.  And the more you do it, the easier it becomes.  Here are some things that have come to my mind: 

Get up a half an hour early.  I know.  It's the obvious one and the one we all hate.  I mean, I love me some extra sleep!  But to be very honest, when I make the effort to get up and put God first, not only does it set my priorities right, but it also establishes a peace and calm that permeates my entire day. It helps me get my mind right before I have to deal with my husband and son and the phone and life's obligations.  Not that I mind dealing with those things - it's just that when I seek God's face first, I become a minister in those peoples' lives.  When I don't, I feel very much like I'm just barely hanging on with the rest of 'em.  And while I am just barely hanging on like the rest of them, it's about my mindset as I approach people throughout the day.  Seeking God first helps me be a better servant. 

I want to emphasize though, that putting God first doesn't necessarily mean doing that first in the day.  My pastor once said that it means to give Him your best time of day.  For some, that's a lunch break.  For others it's right before bed.  For me, it's first thing in the morning.  Pick the time of day when you are most alert and give that time to Him. 

But back to my wake-up-early strategy...  In order to actually get up early I have to do silly things like...
    • place my alarm clock on the other side of the room
    • lay out a comfy pair of pj pants and a sweatshirt with my slippers so I can jump right into them and cozy into a chair with my Bible. 
    • set a pot of coffee on a timer the night before so the smell wakes me up and gets me going. 
    • use a clock/CD player as a second alarm so that after I drag myself across the room to turn off the beeping, I am welcomed with gentle praise music to start to get my mind right. 
All of this takes preparation

(2)  For the days that I don't manage to get up early - and let's just be honest, there will be those days - I need a back-up plan.  Remember, this is the back up plan.  Not the every-day plan.  ;) 

Think about when you have pockets of time in your day that you usually fill up with nonsense, that you could be reading scripture.  While nursing the baby, while sitting in your car waiting for the kids to get out of school, or while waiting in line at the bank or post office.  These are times that I can fill with a phone call or media or boredom.  Or I can quiet myself and ask Jesus to invade my thoughts and speak to me through His Word in that moment. 

The great thing about YouVersion is that you can download it to your Blackberry/iphone/etc. and have scripture right there on your phone at any time of the day.  As you read each chapter and click to the next one, YouVersion checks it off for you and syncs to your internet account.  It's GREAT!  So when you sit down to read, whether in the quiet of the morning or in the evening before bed, you can read straight from your phone, or straight from your computer, or you can pull out your Bible and check it off on your phone or computer when you're done reading.  And this can change every day, depending on your needs. 

Another idea occurred to me for those people who are better listeners than readers.  I found this website where you can listen to the daily reading.  You could do this while getting dressed, while driving to work (if you have it on CD), from your ipod...  the possibilities are endless. 

Remember, though, that I want us to be careful not to just read for the purpose of a check-off.  No matter what method you choose of incorporating this into your life, it is important to have times where you still your mind and heart and focus wholly on Jesus. 

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Lastly, I encourage you to join me in starting to read this week.  I'm going to start with Romans and read two chapters a day, as a practice for the launch on Sunday.  This way, I have three days to start my habit before we launch our reading together through the Bible in a year. 

I hope that helped!  What ideas will you use to start this new habit? Do you have any ideas that I've not mentioned?  Share! 

And come back soon...  next I'll share how we will discuss our scripture reading through our blogs, on Twitter and Facebook, and in the comments section of my blog. 

Our weekend trip to the mountains...

This past weekend, we took a drive to Red River to visit our grocery store friends! Trips to Red River are always a treat for us. So much so that this year it's all I asked for my birthday. And a treat it truly was!

You may have followed us on our drive.

The drive ended, to my husband's delight, with the drive up this hill to Sarah and Brian's front porch.

Once we made it to the top, my husband looked back down the hill with a grin from ear to ear.
He hated every minute of that drive. Ahem.
Can you tell?


Anyway, then we turned around and saw we'd arrived! Yep, the cute little condo in the middle is theirs... Yes, be jealous! It's small and cozy, but situated in the most gorgeous mountain spot ever! We entertain ideas of moving there every. time. we. go.
The next day, after the snow storm had ended, we ventured outside for some good old-fashioned snow fun!

Too much fun...
I couldn't get enough of the beautiful views.
And neither could our dog, Toby.
It was a great day.
Great outside, and great inside. Danny discovered the fun of an exer-saucer and cheerios!

Here he is, learning to manipulate cheerios in his fingers...
Ever since we got home he has been bouncing in his seat!

What wonderful weekend it was... Not just because of the fun and the snow, but more than anything, because of the friends, and the fellowship and the prayer and the encouragement. We felt right at home in their absolutely perfect little guest nook, where we were welcomed to a yummy dinner and praise music playing. Thanks you guys! :) We love you!


Nuestro Viaje a las Montañas

¡Este fin de semana, fuimos manejandro hacie Red River para visitar algunos amigos estupendos! Nuestros viajes hasta Red River son siempres muy especiales para nosotros. Es tanto que para mi cumpleaños, nada más pedí tal viaje. ¡Y de verdad era algo especial!

Tal vez usted vió las fotos del viaje.

Fue un deleite para mi esposo terminar el viaje por manejar hacia arriba esta cuesta para llegar a la casa de Sarah y Brian.
Una vez llegamos a la cima, mi esposo vió hacia abajo con una sonrisa enorme.
Claro que no disfrutó ninguna parte del viaje.

¿No se dan cuenta?


¡De pronto, hicimos la vuelta y habíamos llegado! El condominio en el centro es de nuestros amigos... ¡Que celos! Es pequeño, pero es precioso y está en un lugar perfecto entre las montañas. Soñamos en pasarnos a vivir ahí cada vez que visitamos...
¡Cuando terminó la tormenta de nieve el próximo día, salimos para divertirnos en la nieve!

Tanta diversión...
No pude aguantar todas las vistas preciosas.
Tampoco nuestro perro, Toby.
¡Fue un día grandioso!
Grandioso afuera, y grandioso adentro. Danilo descubrió este juguete en que pudo saltar sentado. ¡Y a la vez, comió sus primeros cereales cheerios!
Aquí hay un video en que está aprendiendo a agarrar los cheerios entre los deditos...
¡Desde que llegamos a la casa, no deja de saltar sentado ya!

¡Que viaje tan divertido... No solamente por las actividades, sino más que todo por los amigos, el tiempo juntos, orar juntos y animarnos mutuamente. Nos sentimos en nuestro hogar en el cuarto precioso de visitas de ellos. ¡Muchas gracias, Sarah y Brian! :) ¡Les queremos mucho!