Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Pledge


I Promise…

1
. To make my Christmas a holy day with Christ-----not a holiday without Him. 
2. To observe Christmas as the birthday of Christ-----not just to give and receive material gifts. 
3. To remember that the real symbols of Christmas are the Star, the Stable and the Crib-----not Santa Claus and his reindeer. 
4. To teach my children that "Santa Claus" is the nickname of St. Nicholas
-----who gave to the poor in honor of Christ. 
5. To help one poor family
-----in honor of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, the Holy Family of Bethlehem.
6. To send Christmas cards mindful of Him, the Infant Savior
-----not decorated only with candy canes, ribbons and wreaths. 
7. To make room in my home for Him
-----with a Christmas Crib to remind me that He was born in a stable. 
8. During the Christmas season, in a special way, to honor Mary, His mother
-----who kept the first Christmas vigil beside the manger. 
9. To begin Christmas by leading my family to His altar
-----to receive the Bread of Life. 
10. Today and every day, to give "Glory to God in the highest"
-----to work and pray for “peace on earth to men of good will”.

Nihil Obstat: Joseph A. M. Quigley, Censor Librorum 
Imprimatur, + John J Krol, D.D., J.C.D., Archbishop of Philadelphia, March, 1964

Thank you, Julie for this! 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Guest Post: Adventures in Christmas Gift Giving


Have you already missed Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Are you stressed about gift giving? Here is some suggestions on how to survive the season with sanity, from a seasoned mother of six: (color-coded your your reading pleasure)

 

Three Gifts, Christmas Date Night, Santa Doesn't Wrap, Religious Gift and Extra Gift Cards.

 

A great rule of thumb my parents used when we were young was Three Gifts each. Their reasoning was that the Christ Child received three gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh, so three must be a good number. We don't always use the Three Gift rule with our kids, due to pricing of some big items, they may only get one or two. But use this rule of Three Gifts to curtail costs and keep it simple.

 

When all the kids were under 10, Bob and I would do all the Christmas shopping in one evening. It was our Christmas date night. We would have one of the grandmas watch the kids (sleepover is best) and we would have a nice dinner out and then go to a MAJOR toy store.

 

We always took this list with us when we went shopping in hopes of making each one's Christmas dreams come true and also to keep us from throwing in impulse items or getting more gifts for one child than another. To make a list, we used the ad flyers for major toy stores that come in the mail in early December. We always gave these to the kids and let them circle any and all the toys they wanted. We always told them that Santa needed ideas and that he could never bring all the items they wanted, but would bring some of them. This became our working list. 

 

Another list to have with you is a list of things the children already have. Home many times do you go to buy a new train for the Brio set and can't remember if you have Thomas and James or Thomas and Henry? If I don't write down Little Pet shop beauty shop, I can easily think she has Little Pet Shop hospital. Write down what you have so you don't duplicate.

 

As the children have grown up and no longer want kiddie toys, the gift giving gets trickier. One thing that is always great is a family gift, that everyone can enjoy. Some ideas could be foos-ball table, ping pong table/pool table, basket ball hoop, kayak/paddle board.

 

At our house, Santa doesn't wrap. 

 

This was always the tradition in Bob's family growing up. When our kids were little, all the gifts were from Santa. And Santa doesn't wrap, he displays the gifts. One child's gifts are on the sofa, another child's gifts are on the chair. Not wrapping saves so much time and money and waste. Also, a time or two, it allowed us to switch a gift from one child to another after everything was laid out the night before to make it all look pretty equal.

 

One thing we always try to do, not only for our own children but for gifts for our god-children too, is to give a religious gift. Depending on age, it could be a bible, a crucifix, a rosary, a prayer book or devotional book, a picture of a saint or holy hero or just a prayer card and a prayer. A Truth Be Told Download of the Month Club subscription is a great gift to inspire teens, click HERE to JOIN.

 

The last several years, we have bought the restaurant gift cards that give a discount or a bonus card for after the holidays. We usually buy extra of these, for people we might forget. I recommend getting some $5 and $10 cards and keeping them with you. Extra Gift Cards, come in really handy not only for someone you forgot, but also for someone that comes to mind spur of the moment: school personnel, hairdresser, postman, AND for Kris Kringle gifts that your kids remember as you are driving to school in the morning! And if you don't give them away at Christmas, they are great to give to a mom with a new baby so she does not have to cook a meal any time of year!

 

-Julie Musselman


Thursday, December 13, 2012

For the Record

Maternity pants, while oh, so comfortable, are the most un-flattering things before you put a shirt on. Still, I'm grateful to be wearing them.

Continually praying for those who miss or wish to be wearing them...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Would Your Favorite Food Pass or Fail?

I was grocery shopping on Sunday and I stopped in the baby food aisle, as usual. Liam is to the age where he will eat what we make for ourselves for dinner, but sometimes the food is not ready yet or too spicy and we give him frozen homemade food or head to the pantry. I don't love giving him the stuff from the jar, but I don't think I'm a horrible mother for spooning out the occasional pre-made food either.

But back to the baby food aisle... I scoped out a ravioli dinner by Gerber. Looked tasty. I flipped it over to read the ingredients and saw a paragraph and lots of words with "ite" and "ate" at the end. I'm definitely not a Whole Foods shopper and I know my child will inevitably consume some of these things, but I just couldn't put it in the cart. I decided to go to the frozen food aisle and buy big people ravioli instead. It probably isn't considered a health food, but at least is needs to be kept refrigerated. That's a step in the right direction, especially for a product that contains a ton of cheese.

I hunted the ravs down (they are by pierogies, by the way) threw a couple of bags in my cart and continued with my shopping, feeling like I'd made a good decision. I got to thinking a few hours later, "Are those big people ravioli any better for him than the Gerber package?" Sure the whole refrigerated thing, but I didn't even look at the ingredients. Even if I did, what would I really be able to discern?

Then a wonderful listener called yesterday and said, "This would be great for the Mom Squad Blog! It's an app that grades our packaged food." Her daughter has an allergy to certain dyes so she has to be very aware of ingredients. She found the free Fooducate app (for Apple & Android) that allows you to scan the bar code of the product and it pops out a grade. You can also search for foods or find out what foods in certain categories score the highest grade. There's much more to it, but you can read for yourself at www.fooducate.com.

I think it's very difficult to find anything in a package today that doesn't contain SOMETHING that would bring a food's grade down. I wish I could say I will vow to not give my children packaged food, but why lie to myself and you? So I don't plan to get carried away and only feed Liam "A+" foods (a banana got an "A"), but if you find that a lunchbox staple gets a "D" or a "C-" you might consider stapling he box shut instead.

Hope this helps you!


Friday, December 7, 2012

A Mid-day Surprise!

I don't know about you, but I always LOVED getting notes in my lunchbox. Just a simple, "I love you" or "Have a good day" was special even to me as a kid.

Here's a Christmas take on the lunchbox notes from one of my favs, iMOM.com. Some of them could easily be given to your husband too (The hot chocolate one!Yummy and romantic!). My husband doesn't take a lunchbox, but I'll put a note on his steering wheel every once in a while.

So print these puppies out! And if you can, do it in color. They are so cute! It's such a nice surprise in the middle of the day and I've found that God is often at work in me when I feel inspired to send my husband a text or I love you note. Usually he writes back with an, "I needed that today." Maybe your husband or kids need a boost.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

And life will never be the same again...

I remember people told me that about having a child. "Once you become a parent, your life will never be the same." Ain't that the truth! It's so much better! There is a joy that comes from a place that wasn't even there before.

On that note and as we embark on this Advent season, a gift from me to you is this song from Faith Hill.  It has become one of my favorite Christmas songs, but I cannot get through it without crying!

I think of Mary and the amazing gift that her "YES" was to all of us.
I think of the fact that Jesus was her baby boy who she held and kissed.
I think of how my own baby boy has changed everything for me.
And of course, I think of the fact that our savior humbled himself to come in the form of an infant and from that night on, the world would never be the same.


Friday, November 30, 2012

Here We Go Again!

In case you missed our announcement at 7:10 this morning, the Christmas Town Word of the Day is "Baby." We teased that it was a "special edition" of the CTWOTD and then revealed that I am pregnant with bambino numero dos!


We've been hanging on to this tidbit since early September. I actually took the pregnancy test the day after my son's first birthday. GULP. Right before I took the test I prayed the Lord's Prayer with a special emphasis on "thy will be done." We were not trying to have a baby and if I had my way, I'd have the kids perfectly spaced out. I have no idea what perfectly spaced out looks like, by the way. When that plus sign appeared (and I really didn't think I was pregnant, I just took the test because I had this nagging thought that it was possible and I was supposed to start that day. I figured why wait with anxiousness until I'm a day or three late. Just take it so you can have that piece of mind.) I looked up and said out loud to God, "VERY FUNNY!"

So here we go again! As of today I am nearing 16 weeks along. We are due May 23rd. Liam and his new brother or sister will be about 20 months apart. I'm a little overwhelmed when I think about that, but I know a lot of people who have kids that are much closer together. I am thrilled at the thought of them being best buds. Liam will have a forever friend and playmate.

We are abundantly blessed and as always, when it comes to sharing this journey on the air and this blog, please know I am always thinking and praying for those who are struggling to conceive or have lost a child. I am grateful for any prayers you can offer for this new little life.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Bringing Advent Home

This Sunday marks the start of one of my favorite times of the year, Advent! I am big into delayed gratification and anticipation, so Advent is right up my alley. Mom Squad blogger, Julie has some great ideas on how to bring Advent into your home and grow spiritually during this season that sometimes can be so frazzling.

Check out her blog here. She was actually published on another blogging site. Go Julie! My favorite idea of hers:

Practice detachment. Go through closets and drawers and give away generously to the poor. If you haven’t used it/worn it in over a year, give it away. Challenge your children to go through their toys and give some away to charities that can reuse them.

 As a final note on Advent, one of my favorite things about it is that it unifies so many Christian denominations. It's a season we celebrate in the Catholic church, but I'm seeing more and more non-Catholic churches recognizing the importance of taking time for preparation and joyful anticipation of the birth of Jesus.

We can say until we are blue in the face that Christmas is about Christ and not Santa, gifts, trees, lights... but if we start celebrating Christmas full-throttle in late November, then are we possibly confusing the folks we are trying to reach? If there is no difference between December 20th and December 25th, are we missing something? Of course, I still sing Christmas songs throughout December and wish my bagger at the grocery store a Merry Christmas, but if we can incorporate little things, like Julie suggests and be more mindful of the time of waiting, I think it will make a difference in our own homes and that will surely spill over!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Light 'Em Up!

Massages, a pedi, a dozen roses... they can all put a smile on our face and an ease in our step, but the best way to make yourself feel good, in my opinion, is to do something nice for someone else. Doing a kind deed goes deeper than a deep tissue massage, it goes straight to the heart. The sooner we can help our children realize that, the better, so I was so excited when I came across this idea from iMOM.

It first caught my attention because it's a super-cute chart and I love charts! It makes it easy to keep track of who, what and when you want to do something nice. It's like the very non-random side of a random act of kindness. So basically, you put the person in one column, the act in the next and then the date you aim to do the act in the next column. They even provide a spot to check it off.

There is no pressure to do 25 things or cover these bases or these people. They even say, do the number of acts that you can accomplish with JOY. I think that is a good tip. We can take on so much - "I'll do one thing every day of Advent!" that it becomes a burden. So if 5 is all you can do with that glimmer and sparkle in your eye, then just do 5 things.

Here's a link to 100 Ideas, in case you are short on creative juices. And one self-promoting tip: make one person in the "Who" column a stranger and do Spirit FM's Drive Thru Difference next Friday.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Who Am I?

A quick lesson in Radio 101: the little 20 to 30-second recordings you hear in a block of talk are called "promos" or in some cases "spots", but that's more in depth than we need to go. There is a promo that's been running on and off for the past few months that goes something like this: A wife. A mother. A lunch-maker. A chauffeur...

I can't remember the exact wording, but it basically lists a lot of the jobs and titles that we have as moms and ends with the line, Reminding you of your most important role: A child of God. Your Spirit FM. 

There are also complimentary promos for men and for children, all with the same final message.

Most of the promos we run are either written by Rob from our evening show or they are provided by an outside source. This one I wrote after some maternity leave inspiration.

We had a big staff meeting while I was out on maternity leave and my boss asked if I could come in. Besides the quick trip to the grocery store, this was going to be the longest I'd been away from my newborn as the meeting was going to be from 9-3 or so. It was late October, so Liam would've been about 6 or 7 weeks old.

Although I was tired and probably useless to the team that day it felt so great to be back to the old me, even if it was for only one day. On my drive home I rolled the windows down and turned up the radio and just sang along at the top of my lungs. I felt like Abby again! It almost brought me to tears. The person I had been for the past 7 weeks was so new and so foreign to me. My routine was completely different. My needs were completely different. My purpose was completely different. Or so I thought.

I found myself thinking, "Why does this feel like me but the person I'm about to turn back into does not? Is one more ME than the other?" So on that drive, I though of all the hats I would wear over the years as a mom. A tutor, nurse, chauffeur, mediator, chef... Some of the hats I would gladly sport while others I would don out of obligation. I think that as women we can go through an identity crisis. Who am I? Am I only a laundry-doer? Am I anybody but the person who birthed these children? It's like after you become a mom, the previous non-mom-you no longer exists. It can be pretty overwhelming.

No matter what the role of the hour is, one thing remains. Through all of it, I will always be a child of God. And the cherry on top is that I can never fail at that. I can be pretty lousy at the other jobs- get in an argument with my husband, not notice that the coffee table corner is about to make contact with a forehead or burn the toast, but I am a child of God without fail.

So in those moments that you might be going through an identity crisis and you find yourself saying, "Who am I?", go back to the basics and remember that while there is a long list of hats you wear, the most important one is actually not a hat at all, it's a crown!






Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wednesday's Weekly Wecipe, For When You're Sick of Turkey

Every year on the night before Thanksgiving I want to make sure I don't eat anything that is going to spoil my appetite for the big turkey dinner. And then at the other bookend is post-Thanksgiving when you're about to grow feathers from so much turkey consumption. So what's the answer? Pizza? How about something cheaper and more delicious?

This is a Pioneer Woman recipe and it was very very tasty! It's pasta with artichokes & tomatoes in a cream sauce. MMM. My husband said it needed a few more spices, but that his second helping (ahem) had more flavor. This is super affordable as it's just pasta, artichokes, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, cheese, garlic and onion along with some spices that you probably already have in your pantry. Oh, and you can't forget the heavy cream, which you probably have on hand from a Thanksgiving dish, unless you polished it off with a piece of pumpkin pie. I added shrimp to my large man's bowl because he likes protein in his dinner.

Large Man Says: 8 out of 10.
Fire Extinguisher Readiness (difficulty level): 5 out of 10.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Looks Can Be Deceiving

Not that this dish is magazine-cover-worthy, but for once, my food looked better than it tasted. It wasn't bad, but my husband and I were SO on the same page when he spoke up and said, "Next time, just use the sauce from a jar." Normally he likes made-from-scratch sauce, so I went for that, but I didn't have enough time to let it really blend on the stove top, so it was just bland.

But I tried something new! Yay! Hope that inspires you to step outside your kitchen comfort zone too.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Reverse Recipe

I think I've gotten in over my head. I bought the ingredients to make Chicken Parmesan, but I don't really know how to make it. And come to think of it, I don't know if I bought the right ingredients. So... this is a time I need the Mom Squad readers to come to the rescue. If I tell you what I have, can you tell me how to make it? I don't have time to go to the store again.

My ingredients:
chicken
bread crumbs (all kinds, panko, ital, plain)
eggs
flour
garlic & other Italian spices
stewed tomatoes and crushed tomatoes
Mozz & parm cheese

Do I bread the chicken and then pan fry it? What kind of oil? Then I cover it in sauce and cheese and bake it? Help!



Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Just Say NO!

So this is a topic I didn't think would appear on the Mom Squad Blog, but hey, life is full of surprises, so here you go.

Two states just voted to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. In the battle to teach our kids how to use the immortal words of Nancy Reagan, "Just say no!" this can be a pretty big speed bump. You might be thinking that your child is too young to bring this topic up or that they know why they shouldn't smoke weed, but you never know and wouldn't you rather be prepared for that conversation if and when they do want to talk about it?

Here is a story from the Christian Post with some good answers that we can give our young people. And if you can't remember anything else from the article, remember this: "legal" doesn't equal "right." Pornography is legal. Adultery is legal.

Hope this helps you!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Prayer Before an Election

I don't know what you've witnessed, but I've seen a lot of people get into some pretty heated arguments over the upcoming election. I've seen friends nearly get into fist fights. It's crazy. On November 7th, we all still have to live in this country together, but it seems like many have forgotten that.

Although politics, elections and amendments are grown-up issues, I'd be willing to bet that our children are still feeling a bit of the tension. Maybe they've even heard a teacher or friend's parent spout their opinion about who mom and dad should vote for.

We can do our best to explain what is going on, but the bottom line is that we need to pray for God's will. So here is a prayer from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops that we can pray with our kids for the next few days.

And whether or not the candidate you vote for is victorious, we need to pray after the election too. So here's a prayer for that as well!

May God bless our country!

Living in Isolation

When I told John, Spirit FM's station manager that I was pregnant back in January of 2011 he was excited for me and then he asked if I was going to be a stay-at-home mom or come back to work. I have never pictured myself as a stay-at-home mom and I really love my job, so the immediate answer was "I'll be back." 

Then Liam came into the world and I had three-and-a-half months off! Woo hoo! Vacation! Can you say Worst Vacation Ever??? I was so miserable. So lonely. But I was feeling so icky that even though I was lonely, I didn't have any desire to get out of the house and see people. What a mess of emotions I was! 

To say I was happy to get back to work was an understatement. It was liberating. I felt like myself again. I've thought about whether or not I'm cut out to stay home. To base that decision on those first few months isn't fair. I was hormonal, a bit depressed, overwhelmed at times... But even now, when I think about life at home, I shudder. And this might make me a horrible mom, but at the end of my work day, I'm not dying to get home to see my son. When I do see him, I am filled with joy and gratitude, but when I'm on my way home, thinking about sitting around with him and just "playing" for three hours until my husband gets home, I am filled with dread. 

Am I not cut out to be a mom because I don't want to hang out with my baby as much as possible? 

Then I came across this article a couple of days ago and had a total light bulb moment. This is me! Blogger Jennifer Fulwiler noticed that her neighborhood is a ghost town during the day and wondered if maybe that has something to do with why more women don't stay home. Sure, the primary reason for most people is financial, but beyond that, could it be that no one wants that feeling of isolation that they experience between the hours of 8am and 5pm? 

Long gone are the days where a whole neighborhood block of moms would walk out their front doors and chat in the yard while toddlers play. I go outside around 3pm and look left, then right and see no one. So I turn around and go back inside. Sigh. I guess it's just you and me kid! Yes, there is the option of joining a mom's group or making regular plans with friends, but it's not that easy to pack up and head out of the house. 

I love my son. I love being with him. But I am not the mom in the Playskool commercial who is fulfilled by watching baby knock over a tower of blocks over and over and over again. As Jennifer says in summary, I think this is a case where simply identifying the problem can help, even if there isn't a way to fix it in the short-term. A lot of moms feel unnecessarily guilty that they've felt restless since they left the workforce, and haven't been able to get comfortable staying at home. I think it would help women simply to consider that the problem is not a defect on their part, but simply the psychological challenges that are a natural result of living your life amidst rows of empty houses.

Have you experienced this feeling? How did you deal with it?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wednesday's Weekly Wecipe

I've been told I look a bit like Rachel Ray. For a while there, every time I would change my hairstyle she would change hers to the same cut. Coincidence? I own a couple of her cookbooks and have most 30-Minute Meals down to about 55 minutes. 

That is where I got this week's recipe: Southwestern Pasta Bake. As you can probably tell, I have an issue with pasta. I love it more than I should. The other day blogger, Danielle told me that doctors recommend that women over 40 cut out pasta, potatoes & rice. I said, "That means I only have 7.5 pasta-eating-years left!" 

I swapped out the chicken in this recipe for ground beef. We are having chicken later in the week and it's just too darn expensive to buy for multiple nights. I also left out the coriander. 

Yes, that is oil splattered on the page. I'm a messy cook.

It was pretty tasty, but I didn't add enough salt. It's not healthy. Not one bit. 

Large Man Says: 6 out of 10. He observed that it is like fancy Hamburger Helper. I made it a point to add that it lacks the gallons salt and other crazy preservatives. 
Fire Extinguisher Readiness (difficulty level): 4 out of 10. The only thing that made this slightly tricky is that it involved some multitasking as it got down to the end. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Moo!?

Wow. Just wow.

God love 'er.

Between June 2011 and March 2012, Alicia Richman of Granbury, Tex., has been declared the new Guinness World Record holder for "Most Breast Milk Donated." The 28-year-old mother of one donated 11,115 ounces -- or 694 pounds -- of breast milk to charity, about 87 gallons total. (And, in doing so, she provided liquid food for critically ill and premature infants.)

Alicia found she was producing more milk than her baby required and contacted Mother's Milk Bank of North Texas (MMBNT) and began donating on 9 June 2011. Alicia's milk would be pumped, stored and later pasteurised to feed premature infants in the local Neonatal Intensive Care Units.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

If you can dream it, you can do it!


Liam, in awe of Tigger & Poo
 Those immortal words of the late, great Walt Disney are true aren't they? Unless "it" is taking your family of 5 to Disney World and then, you can only do it if you take out a small loan. My husband and I don't buy many gifts for each other, but we do splurge and get seasonal passes to Disney. It's a nice getaway. We will even hop over to the park for an afternoon and grab dinner. We just renewed our passes last weekend and I was so proud of myself for renewing on time because we saved $30 per pass! Pretty savvy of me, huh? Until I was given the total and the man explained that the price of the passes went up and the "savings" actually just covered the increase. Ugh. Still a savings, but not the price I was expecting to pay.

Mom Squad Blogger, Danielle just sent me a link to this site that at first got me very excited and then I realized the title is misleading. It's www.CouponingToDisney.com. A coupon to Disney?! Awesome! Wait. It says, "Couponing" not "Coupon." Upon further exploration, I still see the value in this site. Like Mom Squad blogger Kati's "other" site, www.Truecouponing.com, it lists tons of money saving tips and coupons. And the gist is that all your scrimping and saving is to reach the end goal of forking over the cash for the Disney tickets. Keep in mind- you shouldn't buy things you normally wouldn't just to "save" money. The best way to save is to not spend!

I like the idea behind this site because it's always easier to stick to a discipline if you have a goal set. Maybe you're saying, "Abby, I coupon with the goal to pay my electric bill!" I understand!

Check out the site when you have a sec. She even has a section where you can see how she builds her Disney fund. I thought this entry was interesting: $20 deposit: I offered 2 friends a ride and they gave me gas money. I told them I would put it in the fund since I was driving there anyways. And then there was this one: $43.99 deposit– Cancelled our gym membership through the holidays. There is no way we can find the time to go for the next 3 months. Hubby works retail and we are moving next month, so there is no time! We decided to cancel it so we can rejoin with a better deal.

Fresh, new ideas about saving money, for whatever goal you have in mind.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Next Mom Squad Event!

Moms are the heart of the family. They patch up boo-boos, dry tears from a broken heart and cheer the loudest at the game. What would a family be without mom?

The scary truth is, many families are being robbed of their moms because of a lack of knowledge. Heart disease is the number one killer of women in our country, more than any kind of cancer. Yet, when we picture a heart attack victim, one rarely sees a woman. Because of this, women not only ignore the symptoms of heart disease, we don't even know the symptoms!

Let's work (and walk) together to help raise awareness about heart disease and keep more moms around to see their families grow up. The American Heart Association's Heart Walk is Saturday, November 10th at Raymond James Stadium. It's a 3-mile walk and you can bring the whole family (my husband is coming)! It's free to participate, but we would love to raise $1500 as a team. If you raise $100 you get the official Heart Walk t-shirt. Join the team by clicking here (even if you just want to come out and walk and not raise money. We just want to know who's coming!).

If you can't come but want to support the Spirit FM Mom Squad Team you can also give here.

On a personal note, earlier this year my mother-in-law who is 60, three inches taller than me and probably 10 pounds lighter than me had a series of heart attacks. She came over one day complaining of pain in her abdomen. We figured gall bladder. Two nights later she texted saying she drove herself to the ER. She rattled off her symptoms and they immediately sent in a cardiologist. She had something like 95% blockage in one artery, had a stent put in and is now in physical therapy. Oh, and did I mention she's an avid walker? Miles a day! It doesn't make sense, but that's the way heart disease works. So read up on the symptoms and make yourself a priority so your family can have you around for many years to come.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Wednesday's Not-Quite-Weekly Wecipe

 I know! It's Thursday. I tried to get on here last night and I was rejected. I've been turned away by better blogs!

Today's recipe is the one that will cause you to raise your fist in anger towards me. It's so good. And so bad. Have you made Monkey Bread before? It's so easy I have the recipe memorized.

2 cans Pillsbury Grands - homestyle
1/2 c white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon (I used pumpkin pie spice too)
handful of raisins (optional - I didn't use them)
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 c butter, melted

Cut the biscuits into quarters. Fill a large bag with the white sugar and spices of your choice. Shake the biscuit bites in the sugar. I did about a quarter of the batch at a time or else they don't get adequate sugar coverage and we can't have that now can we?! Place the biscuit pieces in a bunt cake/angel food pan randomly, but even in height around the entire circle. If you choose to toss in raisins, drop them in randomly as you place the biscuit pieces down.

Combine the melted butter & brown sugar. Grab a straw and drink it. Just kidding. You'll be tempted! Pour it over the biscuits.

Bake at 350 for 28-30 minutes. When you take it out, flip it on the a large platter with a lip because the melted brown sugary goodness will pour down and form a glorious pool of love around the edge. Mmm... It's best eaten right away, but I've kept it over night and eaten it the next day and as my bad-grammar-using alter ego likes to say, "There ain't nothin' wrong with that!"

This is a great treat for the morning after a sleepover. When the kids wake up they can tear at this Monkey Bread, have a nice sugar high and then crash!

Large Man says: 10 out of 10
Fire Extinguisher Readiness Scale: 1 - easy peasy!
Calories: Don't ask.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Guest Blog: Taking Notes

Today's Guest Blog is from Karen!

Although my children are now 18 and 21, I wanted to share one thing I enjoyed doing when they were young that made wonderful memories for our whole family.

When both of my children were just beginning to talk, I would jot down a quick note of what new "cute thing" they said during the week. It might just be a word or a phrase that would remind me of the incident. After I had several "memory joggers" written down, I would take l5 minutes or a half hour while they were napping or playing, and expound upon the topic in a journal every few weeks.  One page turned into another, and eventually I had a fairly thick record of their childhood mispronunciations, unique way of looking at the world, and experiences we had had as a family.

We all think we'll never forget what our child did when his baby sister was born, or what she said when she lost her first tooth, but we do forget.  As the children entered the teen years the entries were fewer and farther between.  It was then that we would sit down periodically and read random entries out loud. Each of the kids enjoyed hearing about their antics growing up, and even now occasionally refer to "time my brother said..." or "remember when..." 

While baby books are nice to record how tall a child is growing, we've found it much more satisfying to record the emotional, social and spiritual development that occurs day by day in a family.  These notebooks have become some of my most treasured possessions, and a tangible expression of my love for my children.  It's also "proof positive" to teenagers of the time and effort you put into raising them each day and how much you value them as individuals, both then and now.  Try it...it's one way not to lose your memory as you grow older!!

My name is Karen Eberts. I have been married to "Dan the Blood Man" of Florida Blood Services for almost 24 years, and we have two children. Kristen is 2l, and Tim is l8.  We attend St. Matthew Catholic Church in Largo.  My favorite Scripture has changed over the years, but currently is Romans 8:28:  "God works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose."

If you'd like to submit a guest blog, email me, abby@spiritfm905.com. Keep it under 500 words please!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Unplanned and Unexpected (and a giveaway!)

October is Respect Life Month. It's a time where we give a special focus to the sanctity of life at all ages - from the pre-born to the elderly and also the disabled and those with special needs. This past Saturday night I had the pleasure of MC'ing (I don't think that's a word) the Foundations of Life Gala to benefit the Foundations of Life Pregnancy Centers, ministries of Catholic Charities.

Like many of our local pregnancy centers, the FOL centers are a beacon of hope to so many families in our area. This year they administered 424 pregnancy tests, gave 312 ultrasounds and handed out over 32,000 diapers plus wipes. And it wouldn't have happened without the help of over 2,300 hours of volunteer work. If you are interested in giving your time or donations, click on the link above.

The testimonial given on Saturday was unbelievable. I'll sum it up quickly although it's no short story. The young woman was married at 17 and became pregnant shortly thereafter. At an early appointment she was told she was having twins. The following appointment, triplets. The following appointment, quads. She said what I was thinking, "My husband said, we're not coming back for another appointment!". One of the four babies died and they were advised to terminate the pregnancy because there were signs that there would be problems with the other three. She was told she could take five minutes to talk it over with her husband. Five minutes.

Abortion wasn't an option. They headed to church to pray for strength. She said, "God, if it's your will that I have three disabled children, then it is your will." WOW. She (now 19) and her husband now have healthy, happy 15-month-old identical triplet boys. Sadly, a few months ago she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, which from the sounds of it, the doctors wouldn't have found if not for treatment related to the pregnancy. So on some days when she would get her chemo treatment her husband would have to take off work. They struggled to pay their bills and sometimes didn't have money for wipes, diapers or food, so they looked to Catholic Charities for help. She said the highlight of her month is to go to her appointment at FOL and her counselor there calls her a hero. I agree.

In celebration of Respect Life Month, I have a special giveaway. Maybe you need some encouragement and a reminder that motherhood is a gift, children are a blessing and marriage is a sacrament, then the book, The Life I Dreamed by Kari Burke is perfect for you. You know the drill. Leave a comment to enter to win!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Our Mom Squad Bloggers & YOU!

Hi Moms! Have you checked out Julie's blog lately? She reminds us that there is an opportunity to grow in holiness through even the most monotonous of tasks. Thanks for the encouragement, Julie! I'll bring my laundry over to your house next week!

Is your child a cuddler? My son has just started to put his head on me and suck his thumb (for like 3.2 seconds), but until this point, he hasn't ever stopped for long enough to do anything that could be called cuddling. In her latest blog, Jennifer reflects on her son's recent tummy ache which led to a day of snuggling. God used that to talk to her about how much he wants to cuddle with us!

Have you ever gone overboard on a birthday party? For her daughter's recent festivities, Danielle says, "We stopped short at giving everyone a My Little Pony and a Disney cruise!" How do I get an invitation next year, Danielle? She didn't go that far, but makes a good point with the question, "We just get caught up in this continuous  flow of nonstop birthday parties, Pinterest, and TLC design shows--who has the will power to resist?!"

Are you interested in writing a guest entry for the Mom Squad Blog? Email your entry to me at abby@spiritfm905.com. Has God revealed himself to you in some way through your children? Do you have a great tip to share? The sky is the limit! Remember, keep it light, fun and inspiring! Oh, and 500 words or less please!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I'm So Glad You're Mine

As a parent, sometimes you might get fatigued when it comes to discipline. Sometimes (a lot of the time) it's easier to just give in. The Bible doesn't tell us how to react when Mary cuts her hair or when Billy breaks the lamp after being told to not kick the ball in the house, but it does give us words of encouragement and strength.

We can also strengthen our children with our words of encouragement. How often do you compliment your children? For my son, since laying still on the changing table is a big accomplishment, I feel like I'm constantly complimenting him, but as kids get older and start misbehaving, I think we fall into the habit of doing more ridiculing than praising. iMom has great ideas on how to compliment our children more. These are also things they NEED to hear. My favorite: “Every time I see you, I’m thankful that I’m your Mom.” There is nothing your son or daughter can do to gain or lose their status as your child. In a society where they are told both verbally and non-verbally that they aren't attractive, smart or cool enough, it's a good reassurance that they are special just because they ARE.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Investments

I don't know much about money. I DO know how to spend it, and I'm OK at saving it, but when it comes to investing, I'm pretty clueless. I leave that to my husband and the professionals. I know that it's always been said that real estate is a good investment, but as of late that is debatable. One thing I am confident in though is that when you spend time with your children, you are making a good investment. Moments teaching, laughing, praying, hugging... all of those are time well spent.

I firmly believe that time spent listening to Spirit FM with your children is also a good investment. Just this morning a listener made a gift online and said she used to listen to the Veggies when driving the kids to school. Her son is now 20 and has made some bad decisions lately. She's praying for him, but still scared. She heard the "Hairbrush Song" the other day and texted him, "Oh, where is my hairbrush?" and he replied with the next line and they went back and forth for several lyrics. In that moment, she was reminded that the seeds she had sewn in her son back when he was a little one had rooted. The foundation that was laid was still there. She found comfort in that and I'm so glad she did because it's the truth.

If you've been listening to Shareathon, hopefully you've heard me mention The Mom Squad Challenge. Over the years, Josh and I have always given $30 per month to Spirit FM. Now that we have Liam, I am experiencing this station in a totally different way. I hear ALL radio and see ALL television in a different way. I know I can't shelter my son from everything, nor do I want to, but I am so blessed to have this station! We've made the decision to increase our monthly giving to $50. My goal for this Shareathon was to see 99 other people match that gift. It's a gift of $600 over the entire year. Would you please consider it? We'd love to end Shareathon today, tomorrow at the latest. So can you make a gift online now? Make a Mom Squad note in the comments!

Sometimes it takes a negative experience to knock some sense into us and this was mine: On my drive home the other day I was flipping stations and I landed upon one where the personality was teasing the next topic. "Coming up next: Who in your life are you most tempted to cheat on your spouse with?" I shook my head and changed back to Spirit FM asking- Why are we glorifying this? Why are we joking about this? Why are we encouraging people to explore this line of thought? Liam wasn't in the car with me and he wouldn't know what they were saying even if he was, but I'd bet my life that many children and teenagers did hear that AND THAT'S WHY I SUPPORT SPIRIT FM. Because we need something better. We need it for ourselves as adults and we need it for the sake of our children.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wednesday's Weekly Wecipe & Creative Consequences

This week's recipe is super-dooper healthy AND tasty. It's Chicken International! It's much cooler if you pronounce "international" like in-ter-nah-she-oh-nal! Try it. You'll feel very fancy. Lemme get right to it.

4 Skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/4 c diced tomatoes
1/2 c soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tblsp extra virgin OO
1/4 c finely chopped scallions

Preheat oven to 400. Combine all ingredients but chicken in a glass baking dish. Place chicken in dish & let marinate for 1 hr. Leave it in the same dish and bake for 25 minutes or until done. Makes 4 servings.

I don't have a picture because I haven't made dinner yet! But trust me. It's delicious. You can serve it over rice or mashed potatoes.

Large Man says: 7 out of 10
Fire Extinguisher Readiness Scale: 2 - so easy!

No, I don't know these children,
but I wish I knew their parents.
Now on to other things. I meant to post this a while ago, but kept forgetting. I shared this last week and Fernando pointed out that I sounded way too excited about disciplining! I don't know if these suggestions work, but if you're at the end of your rope and about ready to ship the kiddos to Siberia, try one of these creative consequences from iMOM. My favorite: The correction can! Oh, and you've got to read #13. That's a punishment for anyone within earshot.

Do you have any creative disciplining techniques that work?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Win The MOM 100 Cookbook/Wednesday's Weekly Wecipe

Instead of one recipe this week, how about this?

The MOM 100 is the lifesaving cookbook that every mom needs, filled with delicious, no-fuss, easily adaptable recipes, plus tips, attitude and wisdom for surviving and staying happy in the kitchen while proudly keeping it homemade. Because homemade not only tastes best, it is best for you.

I chatted with The Mom 100 author, Katie Workman this morning and now I've got a copy of the book to give to a Mom Squader! Is "Squader" a word?

To get your name in the proverbial hat, submit a comment below. Just tell me your favorite dish to make. If you want to include a link to the recipe, go for it!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Gift of Hope

365 days ago God gave me a gift, and boy, it sure has been a spit-up and dirty-diaper-filled year! I am confident in saying that since September 11th, 2011 Josh and I have smiled brighter and wider smiles than we ever had before. Isn't that the amazing thing about love? I know I smiled at Josh on our wedding day. I know I was overjoyed to marry him, and I'm pretty sure he was psyched to marry me, too. But our love for each other was great enough to create a new life and now we're smiling even bigger. God has been very good to us.

On my first day back from maternity leave, I shared on the air that I really had this overwhelming feeling of gratitude when I looked at my son. I knew that the work of God's hands had been placed in my arms. What an honor! But I have to continually remind myself that he's a loaner! God has just entrusted him to me to care for. If for some reason we only had this year together I could say with 100% confidence that it's been the most wonderfully grace-filled year of my life.

I was chatting with my sister & she said that her first thought this morning wasn't, "It's the anniversary of 9/11" but instead, "It's my nephew's birthday!" She was grateful that she had a new focus on this day that for so many can be filled with feelings of despair and sadness. I pray that everyone has a "Liam" who can give them hope on days that otherwise would be filled with hurt.

Here are a couple of pics to bookend this wonderful year. The first is the first time Liam and I checked each other out. What a moment (except for the arm fat)! I love my red nose. A red nose on me is the sign tears are coming. I've always hated my crying face. I'm an ugly crier. But Liam's nose turns bright red when he is about to cry, so now I love it. But that's a topic for another blog.

The second picture is from last week. It's not the best quality, but I love his little ear and his fat little legs. I hope he is always a lover of books and learning.

Thank you for the prayers & support throughout this year.





Thursday, September 6, 2012

More Mish-Mash

Do you remember the first time you wrote your name tagged with a crush's last name? "Abby Lawrence" might have been my first one (yes, I was going to marry Joey Lawrence from Blossom. I would've been destined to a life of flannel!). Our kids start thinking about marriage and who that lucky guy or girl is going to be way before dating age. So what's going through those little heads? Here's a printable from iMOM with conversation starters about who your kiddos think they'll marry. I'd love to hear their answer to "What makes a good husband/wife?"

How about the awesome Mom Squad Bloggers? Julie gives a big pat on the back to Spirit FM here and reflects on the first time she tuned in. Do you remember the first time you heard Spirit FM. Has God blessed your life through the music and ministry? I sure hope so. Thank you, Julie for the kind words!

If you're an animal-lover, your heart is gonna go out to Danielle. I love her quote, “Lord, help me to be the kind of person my dog thinks I am.” She just went through a tough time with one of her doggies and took it as an opportunity to reflect on unconditional love.

And one last thing, have you signed up to walk with me on November 10th at the American Heart Association's Heart Walk? It's the next Mom Squad event! It's at Raymond James Stadium at 9am. We have a team fundraising goal of $1500, but it's free to sign up. You can bring the whole family! What a fun opportunity to represent Spirit FM and our Christian community! Sign up here.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wednesday's Almost-Weekly Wecipe

Sorry I've been slacking on the "wecipes". I was on a super healthy kick for a while and then on vacation. So much for the super-healthy kick. I'll get back to it. I just have to muster up the determination. I just saw this on the Weight Watchers site and I was immediately drawn in by the name.
Any recipe that includes the step, "Bake Until Bubbly" is a winner in my book! Need an idea for dinner tonight? Try the Red Snapper & Tomato Casserole. Mmm... I love a casserole. This one does not involve cheese, sadly, but it sounds awfully tasty!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Take Some Time for You!

We all need a Calgon moment now and again. That can come as a retreat to the manicurist, a retreat to the tub or maybe an actual retreat! I know what you're thinking. "Abby, I've got two kids and a million things on my calendar. I don't have time for a weekend retreat." How about a day? How about a few hours?

The Mother's Prayer Group of St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Tampa sent me word of a Mom's Retreat led by Sister Paula Hagen, the author of Ministry of Mothers Sharing (among other accolades). There are two sessions. The morning starts with 8:30 Mass and it's all about the "Blessings of Motherhood." What caught my eye in this session is a reflection on the Beatitudes from a mother's perspective. I'm sure "Blessed are the peacemakers" is one you can relate to!

The evening session starts at 5:30 and is about "Finding Hope in Chaos". One of the themes is ways to deal with fear. I think from the moment our children come into the world, there is something we can fear in regard to them. What a great theme!

It's October 10th and all are invited. Catholic or not. It's just $25 for one session or $35 for both. If you want info or to register, email Lilly at casagreico@aol.com.

A little renewal might be just what you need!

Friday, August 31, 2012

The Towel Rack of Peace

"My sister was a meanie." Not 20 seconds after I said those words on the air this morning did I receive a text from my sister defending herself and reminding me that the cause of most of our fights growing up was my desire to do whatever she was doing. She might be right. As the little sister, I always wanted to be around her and her friends, doing whatever cool activity they were doing or saying the lingo they were using. I guess it had the potential to get annoying. Maybe.

One sisterly fight that is still vivid in my memory is The Great Towel Rack Incident of 1992 (My dates might be slightly off. It's all a blur.). We were having a solid fight. My parents weren't home. There was scratching, hair pulling, screaming. There might have been blood shed. I can't remember.

The chasing led to the bathroom. I was the chase-ee (Again. I'm the victim here!). She was pulling me around my waist & to avoid being dragged to what was sure to be severe corporal punishment for whatever I had allegedly done, I grabbed on to the towel rack. It didn't take much. The stinkin' thing came right off the wall. The screaming immediately stopped and we stared at each other, me with the rack in my hand and dry wall dust on the floor. We both had the nervous laugh/uh oh/mom's gonna kill us moment. After a time of great division, my sister and I were once again an "us."

Nothing will squash a fight between siblings faster than the threat of mom and dad. Two kids might be as different as night and day, but they'll agree that the curfew is unfair or that dad's pants are so lame. My mom was an only child and she always told us how lucky we were to have each other. Now I couldn't agree more.

How do you settle fights between your kids? Here are some suggestions from iMom.
Me and my big sis' with her two who will surely form a united front!
PS, This blog post is of course, dedicated to Sarrah who challenges me to use better grammar, be kind to animals, recycle and eat more veggies, among other things. And often, she is the only person who comments on the blog. LOVE!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What's Your Productivity Level?

As women, we are wired to multi-task. We construct a mental to-do list each day. I want to be productive and use my time wisely, so I think, I need to be doing something. Laundry, prepping for tomorrow's morning show, planning or prepping meals for the week, working on my latest DIYWSH project...

We are so inundated with ideas and tips on how to make the most of our time (Cut up all your veggies on Sunday after your grocery trip so you don't have to mess with it on a work night! Sneak in a 15 minute work out!), that we can become obsessed with time management and productivity. If we aren't getting something accomplished then we might as well have been sitting in a ball on the floor staring at the wall.

What is the most productive part of your day? I had a moment of realization the other day that the most productive part of my day is when I'm getting nothing done. I'll explain with a true confession:

Sometimes I'll let Liam play on the floor in his room while I sit in the chair and prep the show for the next day. I'll be on the iPad while he zooms airplanes around his head, leafs through the cardboard pages of a book or licks the Diaper Genie. Or I'll get dinner started while he sits in his highchair and smacks his head with a spatula. Basically, I am guilty of multi-tasking with my soon-to-be one year old. The other day, I knew he wanted my undivided attention. So we stood in the middle of the living room and danced. Then I held him upside down and kissed under his chin as his hair stood up and he giggled until he got the hiccups (Liam's surefire sign of a good laugh). In the midst of all this I actually had the horrible thought, "I'm not getting anything done right now." By the grace of God, (literally) I quickly understood that this moment was the most productive part of my day.

I'm not saying we shouldn't get our to-do lists done or that the other stuff isn't important, but when it comes to using our time wisely, what can be wiser than giving our undivided selves to our children? Who cares if the veggies don't get cut or my window cornices are still not done. I have the opportunity to stare into the eyes that look just like mine and communicate love to this tiny person. What could I possibly do that is more productive than that?

Have you evaluated your productivity level lately?

Friday, August 24, 2012

It's Funny Because It's True

Two things:
1. I love her. She cracks me up.
2. Dads ARE good at tucking in! Must be the big hands.


What part of this hits home for you?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Who is Tops in Your Life?

This morning we chatted about this article from The Christian Post. The Barna Group did a study of 603 Christian women who have attended a regular church service in the last six months. Over half of those surveyed said their family is their top priority while only 16% said it is faith. Similarly, when asked what is their most important role in life, 62% said being a parent and only 13% said it is being a follower of Christ.

What would you have answered?

Have you made your family into an idol and set them above Jesus? What does this look like? Maybe skipping church to get kids to a sports event. Or putting more time into planning a birthday party than into time in prayer (hello, Abby!).

It's tough, right? These little people are right in front of us, calling our name or asking for our attention either verbally or non. But you know as well as I do that Jesus is doing the same thing. He's right in front of us. Wanting our attention. God doesn't want us to neglect our kids or husbands, but it's true that when we put God first, He will give us the grace to be the mothers and wives that we are made to be.

This thought from the article is the take-away for me:
I do think it's both instinctual and a bit of a cultural message to put our kids/family first. So how does the church help us put faith above everything we care most about that sits right in front of us? We have to help women understand there is a great richness in our roles as wives, moms, executives, ministers, etc., when we put our faith first. When that happens, we stop asking our families, friends and jobs to be our everything and start enjoying them as a relationship without the burden of defining us. To do it this way brings a new freedom.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

One Down, Lots to Go!

By now, most of our kiddos have had their first day of school. So, how did it go? How did YOU handle it? 

I love scrolling through my Facebook feed & seeing all the pics people have posted of their backpack-clad kids, some with huge smiles and others looking totally miserable. It cracks me up. This morning, Mom Squad Blogger, Danielle brought her daughter Lulu into the studio before she headed to class for the first day of kindergarten. Talk about adorable! I love a kid in a plaid jumper! After she walked her to class Danielle came back and told us she cried - by she, I mean Danielle, not Lulu. I don't blame her one bit. As she recounted the moment when her daughter walked away I teared up too! She mentioned how brave she thinks her little 5-year-old is. She knew she was scared, but when they called her team, she mustered up the guts to let go of mom and join the group. Check out Danielle's blog post. I love Lulu's line of questioning on the way to school, "When will we go on a field trip?”  "Will we have art today?" “Is my PE teacher a boy or a girl?”  “Can I just go to my old school?"

Sometimes kids have a hard time with separation. I speak from experience! My sister used to walk me to class in elementary school and I'd cry when she left my side. Sometimes a little note in the lunchbox is a great way to remind your son or daughter that you're rooting for him or her and that you are sending your love. Here's a really sweet idea for a sandwich wrap and it includes a link to print them yourself.

Tomorrow morning I'll be sharing a Back to School prayer. Eh, it might be a little late since most kids have gone back, but really, is it ever too late for prayer?

Do you have any fun first day stories to share? 

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Bit of a Mish Mash

I'm back from vacation with so much to share with you!

First, this morning we talked about ways to save $$ on school lunches. A lot of this is common sense, but maybe you're like me and lacking that every once in a while. Here's the article from iMom.com. The biggest take-away: stop buying pre-packaged individual portions. Bag those Cheez-Its yourself & save!

Next up: I'm going to trademark the abbreviation, DIYWSH. You probably know DIY- Do It Yourself. I take on DIY projects every once in a while, but they always turn into "Do It Yourself With Some Help". I get these hair-brained ideas and like Lucy on I Love Lucy drags poor Ethel into her mess, I pull in my husband.

The latest project, WINDOW CORNICES! I've been wanting to do these for a while. They definitely pretty up the joint. I'm doing three windows in my breakfast nook and then a 12 foot long sliding door in my living room. Crazy. If you want to know how to do this, email me. Not that I'm an expert, but I can tell you the basics and keep you from making the mistakes I made. Have you ever tried a DIY and needed a little "WSH"?

Here's a before of the breakfast nook (with my helper!)
And an after. Sorry for the bad lighting.
Have you read Julie's blog lately? She has great words of wisdom about balancing the priorities in your life, specifically family & personal fitness. Julie is in good shape, but she'll tell you, she's not a fitness expert, so I think it's a great perspective from someone who just wants to stay healthy, not necessarily conquer the Iron Woman! I'm going to chat with her about this on the air later this week.

And Jennifer's blog has her experience with 3 Day Potty Training!! Too good to be true? She says it works! She also sounds off on what not to ask an adoptive parent (like "How much did he cost?"). This might keep you from putting your foot in your mouth!

So happy to be back! We had a great vacation at home. It reminded me of how great my husband is and how fun my kiddo is! Sometimes life is so hectic it's hard to take notice of that. So my advice today: don't wait until you have a week of vacation to spend some QT with your family!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wednesday's Weekly Recipe

Alright, this is a quick one because I am on vacation & not cooking. :) Yep, that's the excuse.

Becky, a listener & friend on Facebook posted the recipe for Peanut Butter Popcorn and said, "Stop what you're doing & make this immediately." I'm a girl who follows directions, so I gave it a try. 


My husband is a peanut butter fanatic, so I made this hoping it would be a hit with him. It was! Another neat thing is that when it comes to snacks for the kiddos, this isn't too unhealthy. Don't be intimidated by the homemade popcorn thing. It's so easy & once you try it, you'll never go back to the microwaved kind. Just cover the bottom of a saucepan with oil (I use veg) then a single layer of corn kernels. Put on med/high heat & give it a shake every few seconds until it has popped. Easy peasy!

Large Man says: 9 out of 10 with the suggestion of a chocolate drizzle (and I concur)
Fire Extinguisher Readiness Scale: 2

I don't know why, but my computer won't post a picture of this popcorn! Maybe blogger is on a diet.