Friday, September 30, 2011

Playdate and Projects

Next week's playdate will be a walk along the riverwalk. For lack of another idea and to make up for our rained out playdate last time, we will try the riverwalk one more time. 

I know it's a week away but so far the weather looks beautiful next week. We will be able to enjoy the fall colors while we are walking and the kids can play at the park after, if you want.

We will meet in the parking lot of the Schuetze Recreation Center at 9:30 am. 

Let me know if you are coming so I can watch for you. 

One other quick thing ... Starting this Sunday, every week I will be posting a seasonally appropriate PDF of a coloring sheet or other preschool craft. 

I found out from my son's teacher that he needs to work on building up his fine motor skills (writing, cutting, coloring). He is not real fond of doing art projects or coloring in general. My girls lived for that sort of thing and still do. 

I never thought it would be an issue that my son didn't like to color. But because of his lack of doing such things, he has a weak grip and is having a hard time in class (along with half the class). 

His teacher said that they are seeing this so much now because babies aren't put to sleep on their stomachs and so they don't push up on their little arms like we did - in the dark ages. ;) Interesting, huh?

So, I am going to be working with him by giving him some fun projects to do. I figured as long as I was going to all this work, I would share it with all of you, too. 

I would encourage you to have your kiddos work on coloring and whatnot now so that when they are in school they won't have any troubles keeping up. A one or two year can start by coloring. A three year can use scissors and play with clay (instead of playdough). Every little bit helps. I wish I would have known.  

Have fun creating together!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pumpkiny Pie

I came up with this delicious, better for you Pumpkin Pie knock-off. It's really tasty and light and so easy. I'll definitely be making this again soon!

6 low fat graham crackers
1 4-serving box of sugar free instant vanilla pudding
2 cups skim milk
1/2 (15 oz) can of pure pumpkin
dash or 2 of pumpkin pie spice
4 Ginger Snaps, crushed

Lay one layer of graham crackers in bottom of 8 inch square pan (break them apart as needed to fit right).

Make pudding according to directions with milk.

Once set, add in the pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice and stir until fully incorporated.

Spread over graham crackers. Sprinkle ginger snaps on top.

Refrigerate for a couple of hours. Serve with whipping cream.

1/9 serving is 3 points plus

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I'm No Martha Stewart ... Toilet Time

I promised you Toilet Cleaning 101 today. So here it is ...

"The best way to keep a clean toilet is to create a regular cleaning schedule and make sure you always have a full supply of the necessary cleaning products.

Products used to clean a toilet include a liquid spray cleaner (usually used for porcelain and counter tops), an abrasive cleanser for scrubbing (usually used for bathtubs or floors), a toilet scrub brush, a roll of paper towels, and a medium level toothbrush for hard-to-reach places. For easy accessibility, keep all your cleaning supplies stored in a large bucket or carrying tray that can be transported from closet to toilet or to other parts of the house if you have more than one bathroom.

If a toilet is cleaned well and family members, especially children, are instructed about how to properly use the toilet, it will only need to be cleaned once each week. Cleaning a toilet is a fairly simple procedure, but it must be cleaned thoroughly to remove all bacteria and avoid mineral deposit build up and odors.

Raise the lid and the seat of the toilet and begin by pouring some of your abrasive cleanser into the toilet bowl. Using the toilet scrub brush, swish the cleanser around in the water until it is thoroughly mixed. Leave the lid and seat up but allow the cleanser sit while you work on other parts of the toilet.

Next use your liquid spray cleaner to thoroughly spray the toilet inside and out. Start at the bottom and spray around the base; then spray around the outside of the bowl, the edge of the bowl, and the underside of the seat. Then lower the seat and spray it as well. Next spray the underside of the lid and then lower the lid and spray the top. Lastly, spray around the hinges, the sides of the tank, around the flush handle, and the top of the tank. At this point, the entire toilet should be fairly wet and dripping.

Next, take a couple of paper towels and begin wiping your way down the toilet. First wipe the top of the lid, then the flush handle, down the sides, and around the lid. When wiping the hinges, use the toothbrush to get around the hinges that are hard to reach; then wipe up any debris with the paper towels. Once the lid is wiped clean, open the lid and wipe the underside; then wipe the top of the seat, and raise the seat so you can wipe all around the sides and underneath, paying special attention to the seat stoppers. Wipe the insides of the hinges and then all around the rim of the bowl. Lastly, wipe down the sides of the bowl and all around the base. Again, use the toothbrush on the bolts at the base, if necessary.

Once the outside of the toilet has been cleaned, go back to the bowl and scrub the inside with your scrub brush. The abrasive cleanser will have had time to work away at anything inside the bowl and you can simply scrub it away. Flush once, rinse out your supplies in the sink, and then put everything away until next week."

Whew! That made me tired just reading it. Unfortunately, I didn't find any proven, time-saving tips on keeping your toilet pristine. It looks like the tried and true method really is the best way to clean a toilet.

Alright, enough talking about it ... We've got toilets to clean! (Boo)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Time for Moms

I know I've probably said it before but I have a real heart for moms. Being a mom myself for almost 11 years (gulp - am I really that old?!) to 4 kids, I totally understand moms.
I know how  
... lonely motherhood can be
... difficult being a mom can be 
... physically exhausting it is 
... heartbreaking it can be
... mind boggling it is

But I also know how
... joyful it is to be a mom
... beautiful it can be
... fulfilling it is
... awe-inspiring it can be
... incredibly fun being a mom can be

I know the ups and downs and all arounds you can feel as a mom. I've ridden that roller coaster for a long time now, so I can definitely relate.

If you ever need someone to talk to or to encourage you or just plain cry with you, I'm here. I want you to know that. 

I also want to let you know about a few great groups for moms that I've heard about or participated in. These provide excellent opportunities to connect with other moms and have a little time for yourself.

The first group is MOMS NURTURING MOMS at Oakwood Church in Hartland.

Looking for a safe place where you can connect with other moms? Moms Nurturing Moms educates, encourages, and equips women for the most important job in all the world: parenting! Moms Nurturing Moms is biblically-based and designed around the concept of more experienced women teaching and encouraging younger women in their relationships.

The morning begins with a Continental-style breakfast followed by large group teaching time. Moms will then enjoy small group discussion to further explore each week’s topic.

When: Thursdays, beginning September 15, 2011 (September – May)
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Contact: Kathi Palmer 262-392-4112 or
Cost: $25.00/semester 1 only | $25.00/semester 2 only | $40/year
Includes registration, workbook, handouts and materials, teaching and childcare.
Childcare: We are delighted to provide childcare [birth – K] for those that are pre-registered.

Grace Based Parenting

We will kick the year off with guest speaker Pam Olsen. Pam has extended experience with Love and Logic and will give us an overview of Love and Logic as well as answer any questions you might have. Pam will also lead us into our first semester DVD curriculum: Grace Based Parenting by Dr. Tim Kimmel. Dr. Kimmel, founder of Family Matters ministries, offers a refreshing new look at parenting. Rejecting rigid rules and checklists that don’t work, Dr. Kimmel recommends a parenting style that mirrors God’s love, reflects His forgiveness, and displaces fear as a motivator for behavior. As we embrace the grace God offers, we begin to give it—creating a solid foundation for growing morally strong and spiritually motivated children.

The second group is INSPIRING MOMS OF PRESCHOOLERS at Elmbrook Church.

Our goal is to inspire you to flourish and keep you going in this all-important pursuit called motherhood. We believe that an inspired mom inspires! We start with a shot of hot coffee and uninterrupted conversation. We add an eclectic mix of speakers—experienced moms, parenting experts and helpful professionals. We stir in great discussion that offers the perfect blend of laughter and learning. You don’t even have to worry about child care. Your children (infants to K5) will be engaged in loving, educational, active play (LEAP) in the care of trained teachers for the entire morning. 

Moms of preschoolers (infants-K5).

Begins bi-weekly Tues., Sept. 20, 9:15-11:30 am OR Wed., Sept. 21, 9:15-11:30 am;
Elmbrook Church, Fellowship Hall
$40 for the year, payable online or on the first day of class. All materials included with registration.

Want to be inspired every week? If you’re already attending Inspiring Moms every other week, join us on the opposite weeks for Inspiring Moms PLUS. Meet with other moms of preschoolers to learn about and discuss Christianity. In this safe environment, no topic or question is off limits. Before class you’ll listen to an audio message to prepare for the class discussion, review great themes of the Bible and journal your thoughts. In class you’ll share your thoughts, ideas and questions. The Bible is God’s story—an epic narrative about His desire for a relationship with you. Explore how the story started, where it’s going, and where you fit in this incredible story.

Preschool moms seeking answers to their spiritual questions.

Bi-weekly beginning Tues., Sept. 27, 9:15-11:30 am OR Wed., Sept. 28, 9:15-11:30 am
Elmbrook Church
FREE but must be registered for Inspiring Moms.

Contact Debi Hovila 262.796.5747

You can confidently place your children in a loving, educational and active play environment while you learn. Watch your child grow, too, under the care of trained teachers and assistants. Available during all morning growth groups for women, for infants-K5. You must be registered for a growth group for women for your child to participate.

The last group is MOM TIME at Fox River Christian Church. 

Mom Time is a ministry dedicated to mothers. It is a place to find friendship and encouragement as we go through the journey of raising children together.

Mom Time is a weekly gathering designed to allow mothers of young children to…
Connect with others in the same season of life
Learn from practical, Biblical teaching
Take a break from their children and be renewed

We meet October-May, Tuesday mornings from 9:30 – 11:00 a.m.

If you are a mother of young children, please consider joining us for some “Mom Time.

If you would like more information on any of these groups, contact me and I can connect you with someone who attends or has attended one of these groups.

Take some time for YOU!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Code Blue

On Saturday, October 8th from 9am - 11:30am, Waukesha First Assembly of God is holding a Women's event in the Cafe called Code Blue. The event is free and open to all women.

During the event my sister and I are going to be demonstrating a fabric flower technique that is fast, easy, and oh so cute! All of the women will be making their own flower pin and another one as a teacher appreciation gift.

Please join us that morning for fun ... and moral support. :) I've never done anything like this before and I'm a little nervous.

Here is more info from the church website:

"We will be getting to know each other while playing games, making a wonderful gift for the teachers in our community, munching on some yummy snacks, and listening to some great speakers on the importance of friendships.
This event will be held in the CafĂ© on Saturday October 8th from 9am – 11:30am
Dress in as much blue as you can!  There will be a prize for the Girlfriend dressed the most in blue and the most creative."

I hope to see you there!

Thursday, September 22, 2011


It's the perfect time of year to enjoy a delicious piece of lasagna. If you're looking for a healthier recipe, try this recipe of my mom's. It's yummy!
*Meat sauce:
 1 lb (93/7) gr beef
1 Tbl basil
1 tsp salt
Large can crushed tomatoes
12 oz tomato paste

Brown ground beef with garlic. Add basil, salt, crushed tomatoes, and tomato paste. Simmer.
*22 lasagna noodles

Cook according package directions.
 *Cheese filling:
1 egg + 1 egg white 
3 c 1% cottage cheese
1/2 c Parmesan cheese 
2 Tbl parsley flakes
1/2 tsp pepper

Mix together.
*1 lb reduced fat mozzarella cheese (Add 1 point plus to each serving if not using reduced fat)
In a 9x13 pan, layer 11 noodles, 1/2 cheese filling, 1/2 mozzarella cheese, 1/2 meat sauce.

Bake 375 for 30 mins (45 min if refrigerated first)

1/10th is 9 points plus

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I'm the Lunch Lady

With school back in session, I'm finding myself packing 3 lunches most days. And because I'm a procrastinator, I'm doing this in the early morning hours before the kids leave for school. Being that I'm also not a morning person, lunch duty is challenging.

I try to pack mostly nutritious items that I know my kids will eat. That right there is tricky business. I also try to be as economical as I can because the price of food these days is crazy.

I bought each child a thermos this year that I can fill with whatever liquid I desire. I'm hoping in the long run, this will be cost effective but with my kids asking for chocolate milk everyday, I'm not sure I'm saving any money. (I wish I had my own chocolate cow out back.)

I also bought a few sandwich containers and small thermoses for warm things like Spaghettios. I'm trying to save money by using less baggies, too. Well, that and I'm going green. Yeah, ... no, the only green I'm interested in right now is the stuff in my wallet. (It sounds good though, doesn't it?)

The absolute best thing I found were Ziploc divided rectangle containers.

Here are the reasons I love them:

1. They're cheap. (2 pack for $2.37 at Walmart)

2. Because they're cheap, they are also basically disposable. This is important because my children lose their whole lunch boxes at school at times. I don't want to worry about the expensive accessories inside as well.

3. They have 3 separate areas to put food in. Each area is the perfect size, too.

4. Think of all the baggies I'm saving.

5. They fit inside my kids' lunchboxes.

6. They are just totally cute and fun to fill.

If you are looking for different options for lunchtime, I would highly recommend these containers. I wish I'd found them sooner.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


We had two very fun playdates this month. Our first was at Imagination Station park. That is quite a park and the kids had a fun time exploring. If you ever get a chance, check it out. 

Our second playdate was supposed to be at Frame Park but the weather was not cooperating. Instead, Juliann opened up her home to us and we had a delightful time together. 

In October our playdate dates are Friday, October 7 and Monday, October 17. On the 17th, we are planning to head back to the zoo one more time before the end of the year. We will meet at the zoo at 10:00 am. 

I am still trying to find a fun place to have our playdate on the 7th. I would love to go to a farm or other fun, fall place for kids but I am having a hard time finding a place that is open during the week. If you know of someplace we could go, please email me. I'd like to do one more month of outdoor activities before the cold weather comes and we're stuck indoors. 

Starting in November we will have one playdate in a home and one elsewhere. If you would be willing to host a playdate in your home, please let me know. 

In December, we will have one Christmasy playdate probably earlier in the month. I haven't figured it out completely but I'll let you know when I do.  **As much as this picture strikes fear in my heart (Christmas is right around the corner). I have to say, it also makes me smile.**

As always, invite your friends or anyone you know that might appreciate getting together with other moms while their little ones play. 

If you ever run across any fun ideas or have suggestions, let me know. 

Friday, September 16, 2011


The other night my husband and I had the privilege of seeing a screening for the new movie COURAGEOUS coming to theaters September 30. 

Oh my goodness! This movie was excellent. I know I've totally promoted the movie Soul Surfer over the last few months but I must say, I think I liked COURAGEOUS better. Gasp, I know. 

While Soul Surfer had a bunch of well known actors in it, COURAGEOUS was filled with mostly unknown actors. (There were a couple members of America's largest favorite family in a short scene, though.  Watch for them. :) This movie was made by the same people who made Fireproof and they used some of the same actors. 

I'm trying so hard not to give any of this movie away because I hate that when people recommend a movie to you and then proceed to tell you all of the best parts. My lips are zipped. 

I will tell you that your husband will enjoy this movie. He NEEDS to see this movie. COURAGEOUS is a call to action for our men. And yet, I felt moved to action as well, as a mom. 

Bring your Kleenex. I laughed til I cried (it seriously is hysterical in parts) and I was moved til I cried.

It has action scenes that will put you on the edge of your seat.

It's not really a love story and yet it is.

I wasn't really sure what to expect going in to this movie. It really surpassed my expectations. 

Please take your husband to see this movie. What a great date night! You will enjoy it, I promise. 

Here is the music video to the song Courageous by Casting Crowns:

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Chocolate Mousse Pie

2 4-serving boxes chocolate fudge sugar free instant pudding
16 oz. Cool whip free
Readymade reduced fat Graham cracker crust

Mix pudding and cool whip til combined.  Spread into pie crust.  
Store in refrigerator.  

1/8 of pie = 5 points plus  

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I'm no Martha Stewart ...

Ok, I'm going to share something with you. I feel like I've told a lot my "secrets" lately. It's actually pretty freeing ...
Anyway, here goes, I'm a terrible housekeeper... It is just not my thing. Unfortunately, it IS MY thing. My husband informs me often. {smile}

I just don't know how to clean. I know, you're all thinking "Uh huh, sure." Honestly, though, it just does not come naturally to me. I have to think about it too hard. That's probably my problem. I think about it too much. I'm hoping there is someone else out there who totally understands what I'm saying. I'm sure there must be ... Right?!?

Anyway, I'm determined to get my PhD in housekeeping. I'm gonna do some research and figure out how best to tackle those messy places in a home. I'm going to experiment and work really hard at making clean up not so hard.
I figured I would take you along for the ride. In case there is another poor soul out there like me who is struggling to figure out this thing called housekeeping. It will be great accountability, too. {wink} I will post twice a month on this topic sharing my escapades, triumphs, and failures. 

The first thing I've researched is cleaning a bathtub. This is one of my least favorite jobs. Here is what I found on the Internet concerning the best way to clean a tub: 

"Cleaning a bathtub can be a daunting task, especially if it has been neglected for a while and soap scum and mildew are present. Fortunately, with the right technique, cleaning agents, tools and a little bit of elbow grease, cleaning most bathtubs is possible. If you own an antique or unfinished tub, you may wish to seek a professional's help so you do not damage your tub.

Initial Cleaning:
Rinse out your tub to remove all dirt, debris and hair. Then, clean your bathtub with a bathroom cleaner. Because these have fumes, use an exhaust fan, open a window and keep the door open. Spray on the cleaner and allow it to sit for about three to five minutes. Then use a nylon-scrubbing pad to scrub your tub from top to the bottom. Rinse thoroughly with clean water.

Deep Cleaning:
If your bathtub is extremely dirty, the bathroom cleaner may not have done the trick. Fortunately, Mr. Clean Magic Eraser will remove tough bath rings and set-in soap scum. Wet the Magic Eraser sponge and rub away the dirt and scum. Depending on how dirty your tub is, you may need to use a whole sponge. Rinse when finished.
If the Magic Eraser did not remove all the stains, make a paste with powdered dishwashing detergent and water. Apply it to the stain and use the nylon-scrubbing pad to scrub the stain. Then let it sit for 20 minutes. Rinse with water.

If you have mildew, use pure bleach. Soak a sponge with the bleach and wipe down your tub. Allow it to sit for a few hours and then rinse. Repeat if necessary. If you are concerned about pure bleach, use non-chlorine bleach, but this will not work as well.

Home Remedies:
To clean your bathtub, put white vinegar in a spray bottle and spray it on your tub. Then do the same with 3% hydrogen peroxide. Then use the nylon pad to scrub your tub. Rinse when done. In addition, you can also make a paste with cream of tartar and hydrogen peroxide to clean bath rings and other tough stains."

I bought some Kaboom bathroom cleaner and it worked really well. In the past I've always used Comet and scrubbed my heart out. The Kaboom worked really well. The smell wasn't terrible and it was a color changing formula. Ooo, aaah! I need something to make it interesting ...

Thankfully I did not need to use the Magic Eraser but I had bought them just in case. I also bought a new shower liner - at the dollar store. When you only pay $1, you can toss the old one and replace them fairly often. They get so icky so fast. I also washed my shower curtain. 
So my tub is sparkling but I hate using all of those chemicals and then putting my sweet, naked children in a bath. I picture them sitting in chemical water, burning their skin. Yes, I have issues. 

I'm hoping to try to use the home remedies they suggested to keep up the cleanliness of the tub. It would make me feel better to use something you can ingest or use to clean a wound to clean the tub my kiddos are going to bathe in. I'll let you know how that goes.

Phew ... that's done. What next? I think I'm going to stay in the bathroom area for a while. I have a feeling toilet research is in my near future. Got any tips for me?

PS I actually own that Martha Stewart handbook pictured above. Ha! It was a present. Think it was a hint? {wink}

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Time For Laughs

In case you missed the video on Sunday morning at Waukesha First Assembly, you need to watch this. :) Even if you've already seen it, you may want to watch it again.

I laughed til I cried.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Whisper His Name

I heard this song several years ago and I thought it was so powerful. I've been trying to find a way to share it with you here and, since I am so technologically delayed, this video was the best I could find for you. I hope it blesses you today.

The song is called "Whisper His Name" by Deluge. Look up the original version - it's amazing!

Have a super weekend!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Taco Dip

I have loooved this recipe since I was a little kid. I remember taking it in my lunch as leftovers on those lucky days.

I still enjoy it and I've found I can enjoy it even more now that I've lightened it up a bit.

Taco Dip

8 oz fat free cream cheese, softened
16 oz fat free sour cream
1 lb (93/7) ground beef
16 oz Ortega taco sauce (I only use about 3/4 of bottle)
Shredded lettuce
8 oz reduced fat finely shredded cheese
Diced tomatoes, optional

Cream sour cream and cream cheese. Spread onto bottom of a platter.
Brown ground beef. Add taco sauce and heat til warm. Layer over sour cream/cream cheese.
Top with layers of lettuce, cheese, and tomatoes.

Scoop up dip with baked tortilla chips. Enjoy! Oh, so good.

1/6th of dip is about 9 points plus.


I ran across this in a book I am reading and thought I would share it.

"In the original language, the word for kindness carries an added idea the English word does not. Chiefly it refers to an act of grace. But it also refers to a deed or person who is 'useful, serviceable, adapted to its purpose.' Kindness was even employed to describe food that was TASTY as well as HEALTHY. Sounds odd to our ears. 'Hey, honey, what a great meal. The salad is especially kind tonight.'
But the usage makes sense. Isn't kindness good and good for you?"

-A Love Worth Giving by Max Lucado

I thought of my healthy-tasty recipes when I read that and smiled. Just an interesting tidbit for your day. :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Mpact Girls and Royal Rangers

Tonight is the first night of Mpact girls and Royal Rangers at Waukesha First Assembly. Rainbows start at 3 years old and the programs run through elementary school. If you've never heard of these programs or considered taking your child, look into it. These are excellent programs for kids that teach them Biblical truths.

This year I am going to teach 3rd grade Stars. I've taught it in the past but it has been many years. I'm a little nervous. Teaching Rainbows is fun and all of the kids think you're great at that age. As they get older and in school, kids are less easily impressed. Especially girls. Gulp. I'm sure it will be fine.

I'm also nervous because while Rainbows is basically crowd control and letting the little ones know that Jesus loves them, 3rd grade is an age where kids should be seriously thinking about making a commitment to Christ and learning what it means to be a Christian. That's important stuff. I pray I am able to love on these girls, answer their questions, and above all else, be a good role model for them. Please pray with me that I have a positive impact on their lives this year.

If you've ever been interested in helping out on Wednesday nights, let me know. I can get you in touch with the Mpact coordinator (she's my mom ;).

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Library Fun

I love the library! Not just for the obvious reason (books) either. I love the Waukesha library because they have amazing children's programs that are always free! Good, safe entertainment for my kids. Free. What's not to love?

They offer fun activities that go with the "theme" for the season. In October, they are hosting a Mystery Scavenger Hunt.

One of my favorite programs at the library is storytime. There are registered storytimes for children of a specific age. You need to register ahead of time and then you can participate in a smaller group geared for your child's specific age. There are also drop-in storytimes where you can show up as you please. On Friday afternoons from 1:30-2:00, they have storytime available for all ages. I have gone off and on over the years to Friday storytime and it's always been a lot of fun. I'm going to try to take my boys again when it starts up this Friday, September 9.

One last thing they have are shows for the kids when they are off of school. At the end of October, they are having a live, interactive show with drama, puppetry, games, and songs presented by the Milwaukee County Zoo and Kohl's Department Stores. They start handing out free tickets to the shows 45 minutes before the show starts and seating is limited. The shows are usually very entertaining.

I hope you check out all of the fun that the library provides. If you are not in the Waukesha area, look into your hometown library for programs they might provide.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

My Life as a Mom on Crutches

I am pleased and honored to introduce our first guest blogger this month. Rachel is a fellow blogger and a friend. She is an amazing person and mom. You can read more of her story on her blog, my leg is not broken ...


My life as a mom on crutches…
I have a great husband, a spunky toddler son and a job I love. All the things you hope for as a little girl. They were things I was not sure I would get since I am different.
I was born with a disability and I use crutches to walk.  I can’t do all the things that everyone does and I spent a lot of time as a kid having surgeries and therapy.
There are days when I want to be different, but who doesn’t?  I have my pity party moments when I wish I could trade in my body now and not have to wait until heaven. However, once I became a mom I found myself longing for a strong body more often.
It started the day my son was born. My husband was standing in our hospital room rocking him. Later I watched a nurse effortlessly pick him up and carry him across the room. When we left the hospital my husband secured our precious baby in the carseat, grabbed the handle and walked toward the car.
These things are awesome. I’d give anything to do them.
Coming home from the hospital, I was tired. I had little rest due to never-ending company during our stay at the hospital. Having a huge family is a blessing but some sleep would have been cool. I was sore, bleeding, emotional, lactating, swollen and scared. I had my whole life to figure out how to do things but I had no time to figure out stuff with my son. He was here and screaming in his swing.
My husband was my rock for the first few weeks. He changed a lot of diapers and let me slowly find my way. I know there were times when he was frustrated and felt alone in this baby adventure. I felt like I was failing as a mom and a wife and it tore me up.  
Things changed as I had more time alone with my son. No one was around to rescue me and I had to figure it out.  I avoided onesies with 200 snaps. I stuck him in the stroller when I wanted to go to another room.  I cried with him when I was struggling with his diapers and he was impatient. I begged God for help when times got tough and praised him often for my perfect baby.
As my son turns 2, conflicting emotions flood my mind. I am sad that he has become big so fast. I am also excited to get my life back. Right now I can’t go places with him alone. I need help carrying him. When I see a mom carrying a baby on her hip or pushing a shopping cart with her child riding along, I fight off pangs of jealousy. I am scared to play outside with him alone since he now runs fast and has no concept that the street is dangerous.
I knew the early years would be hard. I also knew it would be worth it. These struggles have changed my heart. They taught me to find joy in asking for help. Most importantly it has been a daily reminder that God never gives us more than we can handle. The moment it feels like too much, I cry out to him and it always works out.
To follow my journey visit:


Thank you, Rachel, for sharing your story with us!


I love a good brownie! Fudgy, chewy, yum!

Well, I tried making a brownie mix with applesauce and egg whites. Yuck! They did not turn out that great. Disappointing.

I ran across this recipe and tried it and can I say Yummy!?


1 box of devils food cake, chocolate cake, or brownie mix (I used devils food but next time I'm going to try a brownie mix)
15 oz can of pumpkin

Mix together and bake according to box directions except reduce baking time 5 mins.

I sifted powdered sugar over the top. Very delicious!

1/12th of 9x13 is 5 points plus (varies depending on the mix you use, pumpkin is 0)