Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Love the Life You Live

The end of the day finds me sitting on the girl's bedroom floor.....both of them with a hairbrush in hand. Fighting over who gets to brush Mommy's hair first. I separate it, they each get half. The giggling and "beautifying" of the crazy hair begins. I sit amongst dirty princess undies, dirty Kleenexes, stinky socks, a little purple pull-up, teddy bears, hair ties, books, blankies...... and stare at an overflowing basket of little girl dirty laundry. I feel blessed beyond measure at this moment. This Mama Monkey never went and got a college degree. But I can tell you this with all my heart: I'm ok with that. Right now....I'm living the crazy life of a dream I once had as a little chick growing up on a dairy farm. All I ever wanted was to find "the one" to be my best friend, stay at home and raise our littles, All the money in the world and a college degree can't buy me that. Who knows....maybe someday I'll still go off to college. But for now....I'm loving these crazy monkies. I'm lingering in the moments of here and now of: peanut butter and jelly kisses, baseball games, cowboys & Indians, sandbox messes, half eaten soggy waffles, smudged fingerprinted windows, and hide & seek....before they too, grow up and go live their little girl dreams. At the end of the day....what gives your heart the most peace, what makes you smile the biggest, and gives you the greatest joy.....that is the very thing you hold on to tightly. And don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise. You know your heart's dreams better than anyone else. #lovethelifeyoulive

You Are Beautiful

So many of us learned the song: "Jesus Loves Me" when we were little kids.
And then so many of us forget as we get older, that very song still applies to us today.
Life gets messy....we stumble...we fall...we make mistakes....we learn....we live.
And guess what? Those lyrics are still the same today. He stills loves matter
what we've been thru....there's no mess that is too big a mess for Him.
Know this tonight: you are beautiful.
You are have a purpose in this beautiful messy life!
You are somebody's reason to smile :)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Word For Us....

I have a word for all of us. I believe God is seeking to empower us and lift us up. He's not wanting to tear us down. The word is this:

Set aside offenses
Quit protecting what you want
Don't be so easily offended
Quit guarding what you like and value
Work as a team
Don't take everything so personally
Stop fighting for independence
Do warfare against any and all darkness that has crept in
Don't buy into "they don't understand"

The enemy of your life, your anointing, your calling and your dreams will seek to isolate you in a corner, weaken you & make you think life 'isn't fair' and all that is against you is not against anyone else and you are all alone. It's a lie. Stop looking inward and start looking UPWARD.

There's no time for hurt feelings with the work that God is doing. We must be quick to forgive. If you need to get new friends, than do it right now. Stop waiting. If you need to establish some boundaries with family members and friends, than do it. Stop allowing everything in your life to just bleed together in a chaotic mess.

Lay aside control and constraint. Work more on yourself than anyone else and stop trying to make sure everyone else has their stuff together before you feel safe and secure. The only secure place is in the heart of the Father. He adores you and is for you. You can love even the unlovable if you realize this and believe this.

Some of you will have more growth in the next 30 days than you've had in the last 12 months. It's time to do the first things first, take your assignment serious and set aside lesser things.

YOU were created for MORE! Go be that today! Be bigger, be more, rise tall and be strong!

Sandi (Sandi Krakowski)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Friday, July 26, 2013

Love the Life You Live

Date night out turned into date night in: complete with Dave's wonder roast chicken, their famous
jo-jo's... homegrown sweet corn on the cob.... monkies to bed chip cookie dough ice cream.  Feeling super blessed right now. It's crazy that 10 years ago, this kind of night would have seemed so "boring" and "unromantic". But fast forward to now...and I just feel really, really blessed to have these moments. Right now, with our littles sleeping tight in their beds and my man at my side....there's no place else in this world I'd rather be. #lovethelifeyoulive

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


GPS monkey has a bad habit of "re-wearing" clothes that he has worn before.
Today he walks out with the same color of shorts he wore yesterday.
Me: "Gabe? Those aren't the same shorts you wore yesterday right??"
Gabe: "Noooooo Mom!"
Me: "Are you sure???"
Gabe:" Yes Moooooommmm!"
Me: "I hope so....because that's nasty! And I hope you remember that conversation
we had about always telling the truth......especially when talking about you and your clothes."
Gabe: "Well just ask God Mom! He will tell you He saw me get clean ones!!!"
Me: Ummmm.....well ok.
Guess I can't argue with that???


YOU weren't put in this life to be ordinary.
You were put here to BE YOU. An EXTRAORDINARY YOU!
Walk your path....and just because your path doesn't look like someone else's remember this:
God gave us each our own paths to walk.
It's ok if yours looks a little bit different.
 It really doesn't matter what the onlookers have to say...
all that matters is your path and the One who is leading you.
Enjoy the journey...I have a hunch there's a lot more beautiful treasures up ahead :)
*Ashley Ifft Photography*

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Closer

He has chosen not to heal me, but to hold me.
The more intense the pain, the closer His embrace.”
-Joni Eareckson Tada

Monday, July 22, 2013

Each Day

"Finish each day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, July 21, 2013


FAMILY means love, forgiveness, grace, and clean slates every day despite all the dark valleys, crazy storms, and curve balls life throws our way.  We've been thru ups and downs.... had so many times of "unperfectness", hurt, heartache, growing pains, challenges, and failures. But this much always shines thru: LOVE is bigger than anything that comes our way. FAMILY sticks together when the rest of the world is against you. FAMILY pulls thru when all else fails. Relationships in life take work. They don't just happen easily. We were born selfish human beings and we have to fight that daily. Having a servant's heart isn't always the easiest thing to do. But at the end of the day and in the darkest hour...LOVE IS FAMILY.
Thanking God for "my people" today.

Friday, July 19, 2013

It's Supposed to Show

Our lives were meant to be powerful. Less talk. More demonstration. Through things like a love that we know good and well is utterly beyond us and a faith that emerges in tact from a minefield soaked in blood and strewn with flesh. We were meant to be able to do what we can’t, like who we don’t, bless who we’d curse. We were promised strength in weakness and extravagant grace in our deprivation.
We were meant to wonder what has derailed or gone awry when a season of our lives persists in powerlessness for weeks on end. We were promised more than this. We’re not meant to write our own personalized chapters in a revised standard version of The Emperor’s New Clothes so the world could have a harder laugh at us. We who have placed our trust in Christ Jesus, the living, breathing-on-us Son of God, have been clothed with power from on high. (Luke 24:49) And it’s supposed to show.
~Beth Moore

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Skinny Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars

• 1 box angel food cake mix- the 1 step kind
• 1 15oz can Pumpkin
• 3/4 Cup water
... • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1 8oz pkg. reduced fat cream cheese
• -few tablespoons of water, to be mixed with cream cheese

I let the cream cheese soften on the counter for a while then I added it to my stand mixer & beat it with a couple of tablespoons of water until smooth. I just wanted it to thin out a little bit.

In a separate bowl, mix the cake mix, pumpkin, water, & cinnamon together until it is smooth & well mixed.

In a 9x13 pyrex dish- sprayed with PAM- add HALF of the cake –pumpkin mix. Then smooth it out with a rubber spatula. Drizzle half of the cream cheese over the top of it and take a small spatula to smooth it over the top. Add remaining cake-pumpkin mix & also the remaining cream cheese just making layers. Finally take a butter knife- stick it into the mix and go back & forth over the top of the cake making figure “8’s” - to blend it a bit.

Bake for 35 minutes at 375 degrees OR until a toothpick comes out clean.

Our Job

Your job is not to judge.
Your job is not to figure out if someone deserves something.
Your job is to lift the fallen, to restore the broken, and to heal the hurting.
~Joel Osteen Ministries

Monday, July 15, 2013

Get Your Shine On!

Everyone has a past and everyone has a future. We all make mistakes and we all live and learn. Don't let anyone tell you any different. You are an amazing masterpiece. YOU WERE MADE FOR MORE! Today is a new day with a clean slate.....leave tomorrow's troubles behind you....turn your face to the sun. Leave the shadows and the nay-sayers behind you. It's a good day to get your SHINE on!!!!!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

End of Day Blessing:

 In the face of the enemy's lies, taunts, and threats, may you tighten your belt of truth, raise your shield of faith, and hold your ground. May you refuse to be bullied by your fears or pushed around by your past mistakes. May you instead, look to Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith. May you dare to look ahead to the promised land He's offered you. You are equipped to win your fear-battle, so press in and press on. We're in this together
.Susie Larson

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Storms

"Sometimes God allows storms to come together in such a way that they ultimately fulfill something that would never have happened otherwise."
- Beth Moore

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites


1 1/4 cups canned* chickpeas, well-rinsed and patted dry with a paper towel
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (165 grams) natural peanut butter (can use PB2 from gym to make healthier, check your labels)
1/4 cup (80 grams) honey (agave would be amazing too!)
1 teaspoon baking powder**
a pinch of salt if your peanut butter doesn’t have salt in it
1/2 cup (90 grams) chocolate chips

* My can was a 400 gram can, 240 grams without the water, and I used all but a few tablespoons

** If you need grain-free baking powder, you can use 1 part cream of tartar + 1 part baking soda + 2 parts arrowroot.

Preheat your oven to 350°F / 175°C.

Combine all the ingredients, except for the chocolate chips, in a food processor and process until very smooth. Make sure to scrape the sides and the top to get the little chunks of chickpeas and process again until they’re combined.

Put in the chocolate chips and stir it if you can, or pulse it once or twice. The mixture will be very thick and sticky.

With wet hands, form into 1 1/2″ balls. Place onto a piece of parchment paper. If you want them to look more like normal cookies, press down slightly on the balls. They don’t do much rising. Bake for about 10 minutes.

Yields about fourteen 1 1/2″ cookie dough balls.
*** Don't even try with regular peanut butter! They'll come out oily. You MUST use natural peanut butter

Monday, July 8, 2013

What Marriage Really Is

No marriage is perfect.

I haven’t witnessed one marriage that truly epitomizes the ideal marriage found in the fairytales I read when I was a little girl. As pretty and perfect many of the photos people post on Facebook appear to be, I know there is an underbelly behind those seamless smiles…a reality seeped with bitter altercations, indifferent opinions and uncompromising lifestyles. No two people are exactly the same, which makes sharing a life quite difficult for anyone….

Including myself.
There are many things I love about my husband. I love his work ethic. I love his humor. I love his depth and ability to explain the world to me. I love how he loves my family…how he plays with the boys and takes care of me, especially when sick. Despite some of his presumed deficiencies when we first met, he has proven to be a man of pride, honor and respect. I love and yet, hate all these things about him.

Sometimes he works on things that I don’t support. Sometimes he laughs at things I don’t think is funny. Sometimes he can explain the world to me, without asking me if I want to hear it…..

Marriage is about love, patience, understanding and compromise.

Above all –

Marriage is about commitment.

The young puppy-love couples will one day feel it. The newlyweds with no kids will one day feel it also. It’s that feeling of wanting to turn back time or maybe stop time so you can halt emotions like anger, sadness, depression, loneliness and resentment. You ask yourself if you’re strong enough to ‘get over it’, to fight through negative thoughts or even put up with habits you think will never die.

And then you say, yes I can.

And then firmly, that yes I will.

Marriage is a commitment. It wasn’t made to be easy and the reward that true love brings will only serve those who do the work.

Love isn’t something you create the day you get married.
Love is something that develops through time, a spiritual emotion that deepens due to distress and devotion. Love is a daily choice…a minute-by-minute decision, to act with compassion, to seek with understanding and to love without conditions. - Maria Kang


"Mercy never means we act like we are blind. Mercy means you understand the current situation and you are choosing to have the heart of Christ toward the person in that state."
- Beth Moore

Sunday, July 7, 2013

He Locates

God didn't ask us to locate the path that He would like for us to go, He asked us to trust Him while He locates it for you.
(Proverbs 3:5-6)

Friday, July 5, 2013

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Pursuit

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
-- The Declaration of Independence

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

More Than 50 Shades

That moment when you get back from your normally 30 minute walk .....1.5 hours later and your man is standing 10 pm...looking down the street.......yes....looking for you. And he barely spits the words out: "I'm so glad you are ok....don't ever do that again." And marches back in the house. You feel 50 shades of go inside and find him.....and give him 50 shades of "I'm so sorry I stopped and talked to a friend and lost track of time." And he in return gives you 50 shades of why you don't ever ever ever ever do that to your man at 10 pm at night because he was just getting ready to go inside and call the poe-poe search party. And then you watch as 50 shades of angry on his face melt away into tiny little liquid drops in his eyes. And you that the heights and depths of love are way way way more...... than 50 shades of anything.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Love Wins

Love can win every battle we fight....
if we choose love every time. 
Its the darkest battles that train us to be the toughest and most valiant warriors.
Hold tight to your armor of hope.
When the dust has settled my friend...
I promise you......
you will shine even brighter than before.