So during 2015, I started to write down the good things happening around me. I began to really focus on noticing the goodness. My oldest daughter had written and placed some things into our jar to0. Now today, New Year’s Eve, we will open the jar and read all the wonderful things from 2015! Some of those slips of paper say, “my husband did the dishes without me asking,” “my daughter did something nice for her sister”, “the sunrise was gorgeous today or the sky”, etc. I would encourage you all to start your own noticing the goodness jar. If you are having a not so great day, it would be great to crack open that jar and read some of the good/great things going on in your life! Have a very blessed, and safe New Year’s Eve everyone!
Let’s face it with 5 of us using the bathroom, there are times that it gets smelly. I finally broke down and made some sprays for our bathrooms using essential oils. I used a 2 ounce glass spray bottle. My oldest daughter wanted one for her bathroom. We put 3 drops of cinnamon essential oil and 3 drops grapefruit essential oil into the bottle. Last, we filled it with water. It smelled yummy! If you are interested in more air freshener recipes, send me a private message on Facebook or an email and I can add you to an essential oil group.
18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about[a]: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet[b] did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[c] because he will save his people from their sins.”
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[d] (which means “God with us”).
24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
Can you imagine the thoughts that were going through Joseph’s mind. How can I marry Mary if she is with child? Why is this happening to me? This is so horrible and I think I need to divorce Mary quietly. He probably thought about the situation a lot and perhaps lost sleep over this. I imagine he had much anxiety in regard to this. Luckily the angel came to Joseph and explained what he was to do. Joseph believed and decided to do as the angel told him and he married Mary after all. How would the story be different if Joseph was not a man of faith and decided to divorce Mary? Jesus would be born without an Earthly step-father. Luckily, Joseph had the courage to do the right thing although he did not fully understand everything. May we be able to listen to the Lord and obey even when we cannot comprehend everything that is going on at the time.
On this past Sunday, our church had service and then a Christmas play afterwards. My girls have been driving me crazy about the play. They were so indecisive if they wanted to participate in it. One minute yes they want to be in it, the next no. During Sunday school for a few weeks, they were practicing songs. They had several practices during the weeks before the show. Whenever these practices came on a Friday night or Saturday morning, I struggled to get my girls to want to go. They were too tired etc. They did not go to any practices. The day before the play, I had one child wanting to be in it and another not. They were driving me absolutely bonkers! Then I had a husband that was clueless about the whole process. On that Sunday, they decided last minute that they wanted to participate in it. After the service and a quick snack, I hustled 3 girls into the bathroom to get them changed into their clothes. I was feeling like a failure since my children did not practice like everyone else and I literally threw the baby into a friend’s hands so I could get the others ready. We barely got them done in time to get on the stage. Jennifer must have seen my despair on my face as I said,” I am feeling like I am goofing up every day!” Her reply, “You are doing great Momma! I always feel like I am goofing up daily too!” Jennifer you have no idea how much that meant to me in that particular moment. Thank you my friend. I guess as Moms we are hard on ourselves and put so much pressure on ourselves to get it right. All we can do is do our best and put one foot in front of the other.
1. Heat 2 -3 Tablespoons of Organic Coconut Oil in a pot
2. Add 3 cups Vegan chocolate chips (I used Wegman’s brand)
3. Keep stirring
4. Once all the chips are melted add 1 drop of Peppermint Essential Oil and mix well.
5. Place 1 Ritz Cracker or a pretzel in the melted chocolate.
6. Use a slotted ladle to dig it out.
7. Place on parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
9. Place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
There seems to be some misconception about what I eat as a Vegan. Some people believe I just eat Raw. Currently for me, this is not the case. I enjoy cooked food very much. I especially crave mashed potatoes sometimes. Yes, I can still eat them by substituting a vegan butter and plant based milk of my choice. The Irish in me, loves potatoes! I eat lots of vegetables and yes I enjoy salads. However, salads are not the only thing I eat. My favorite vegetable is broccoli and I love it steamed in my Instant Pot. Fruit smoothies are a favorite drink of mine during the warmer months. My drink of choice is water. I try to drink at least 8 glasses a day. I eat various nuts, grains, and seeds. Almonds are my favorite nut at the moment. I love sunflower seeds in my salads. Chia seeds I use often in my smoothies. Being 1/4 Italian, I eat pasta. I need to eat it once a week or I do not feel right. Brown rice and steamed vegetables with an Asian sauce is a staple. I love hummus and my favorite one is Wegmans Red Pepper Hummus. I use it to make quesadillas, paninis, and wraps. Vegetable patties homemade or store bought, spinach lasagna, lentil tacos, tempeh sloppy joes, coconut “bacon”, can be found on my plate. Bagels, french toast, Belgium waffles, pancakes, and Vegan Eggs by Follow My Heart are eaten for breakfast. Sometimes, I will use Veganaise to make a tomato and lettuce sandwich on toast store bought or made in my bread machine. Sometimes, I will eat a pizza loaded with veggies. Of course, I eat fruit too, but I am more of a vegetable kind of girl. Watermelon, green apples, and strawberries being my favorite fruits. Brownies, cakes, cupcakes, muffins, cookies, and ice cream are enjoyed by my family. Barbecue chips though not a good choice is my weakness.These are some of the items that I enjoy eating.
The other day a friend of mine and I were discussing some of the challenges we have with raising our children, our girls. My friend explained how her Mom had told her that “motherhood is not for the weak!” Boy is she correct. From the first child you have, you see what it is like to love someone so much that you would do anything to protect them. Having the huge responsibility to care for a child since birth can be taxing. You think about, worry about, pray for your children until the day you die. You do your absolute best to help guide them down the correct path. When they make choices you do not agree with, you have to sit back and be strong. At a certain time, you can no longer control them. The consequences of their actions, fall upon themselves. This is not an easy task, only the strong can sit back and know God has go the situation under control.
Moms go through heart aches with their children: their first falls, first set of stitches, first friend fights, the first disappointment when they realize they are not perfect and that we are not perfect, first breakups, first time moving away, first time losing a job, a child, etc. This is not for the weak. Moms stand by their girls’ sides through their rolling eyes, mouthiness, screaming, hitting, kicking, meltdowns, tears, hormones etc. Often, it is not easy to respond and have a tough skin through these times. We may make mistakes but us strong Moms, we apologize to our children. We try to model what a strong Mom is in all aspects of our lives. For each woman, it may look a little different. We are Moms; we stand strong for our children!
To receive Jesus is to believe in Jesus. Anyone can receive Jesus. Jesus is the true light. Faith is trusting in the person Jesus. We have a relationship with God through Jesus. Believers are part of a spiritual family of God. We receive security, hope, love and guidance from God the Father. God watches over our lives. Not everyone is a child of God. Some people do not receive/ believe in Jesus. The believers get a new life where God lives in us. Each believer has a new life that desires things of God.
Here is Hillsong’s beautiful song Jesus I believe in you:
I am so saddened by the neglect I see in regard to dogs on the internet. This morning I read an article about a woman who moved in with her Mom after knee surgery and left her dog, Roxy in the kitchen of her home to die slowly over a 6 day period. This sickens my stomach. No animal deserves to be treated like this. I cry for animals whose owners disregard their safety. I feel bad for dogs that are left in cages outside too. I can never understand why the person did not ask for help. There are plenty of pet lovers that would have babysat or stopped by to care for the Boxer. Do not look at the pictures, it will haunt you.
Boxers are a breed that I always admired and thought about adopting. We have only had experience with Labs. Perhaps in the future if we decide to adopt a dog, we will choose a Boxer in remembrance of Roxy who is in Heaven.
Between stories like that and pictures of dogs being skinned in other countries, I am just disturbed. I look at my two dogs and think how can anyone hurt a dog? Look I know not everyone likes or wants to own a pet. I get that but to hurt an animal that loves you unconditionally and relies on you, just wow. I will pray for these poor animals and for the people that do harm to these wonderful creatures.
I finally bought the Vegan Egg by Follow my Heart on Amazon. When I first heard about it, I was intrigued. It comes in a powder state. You need to pack 2 tablespoons tight and place into a bowl. Then add 1/2 cup cold water and mix. This equals 1 egg.
The girls were asking for french toast. I did not leave the bread out to harden overnight so I placed the pieces into the toaster. In a bowl, I prepared 2 vegan eggs. I added 1 cup almond milk and cinnamon. I whisked it together, dipped the bread in, and placed them onto my griddle. The french toast was delicious. Sorry it was so good that we ate it before I could snap a picture.
Next, we will attempt to make an omelet with the vegan egg and vegan cheese.