Friday, September 14, 2012

IMPORTANT NEWS - Blog moving!!

Hey readers,

I have decided to move my blog from Blogger to Wordpress. If you have been a follower through email then I have instructions for you to follow along...

Step 1- go to and on the right you will see a "follow by email" box. You just need to type in your email address there. Then click follow.

Step 2 - It will give you a confirmation

 Step 3 - Then you will get an email and you will need to click the "Confirm Follow" blue button.

Step 4 - This will take you to wordpress where you can decide what frequency you would like the updates to come to you. You can chose daily, particular days, immediate, etc.

If you have any questions at all. Let me know. Thank you for following along. See you at the new blog starting now!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thirsty Thursday - Forever Reign

We sang this song at church recently. I could hardly stand because I was so in awe of my Savior. Music always has a way of moving me. I just wanted to share with my readers too. The lyrics are below and so is a video of the song. Enjoy.

You are good You are good
When there’s nothing good in me
You are love You are love
On display for all to see
You are light You are light
When the darkness closes in
You are hope You are hope
You have covered all my sin

You are peace You are peace
When my fear is crippling
You are true You are true
Even in my wandering
You are joy You are joy
You’re the reason that I sing
You are life You are life
In You death has lost it’s sting

Oh I’m running to Your arms
I’m running to Your arms
The riches of Your love
Will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign

You are more You are more
Than my words will ever say
You are Lord You are Lord
All creation will proclaim
You are here You are here
In Your presence I’m made whole
You are God You are God
Of all else I’m letting go

[Repeat Chorus]

My heart will sing
No other Name

Monday, September 10, 2012

Maniac Monday - Pork Tacos

My family loves taco night. We have it most every week on Thursday. TACO THURSDAY! After a few weeks of having the same ole, same ole beef or chicken tacos. I decided to switch it up a bit. We've had fish tacos and shrimp tacos. But our favorite lately has been pork tacos. And this is a crock pot meal. It made enough to have lunch the next 2 days as well. For lunch, I served it over rice....Mmmmm!

Here's what you need:

  •     2-3 lbs of pork shoulder roast
  •     2 cans of mild green chilis
  •     1 cup of beef broth
  •     1 medium onion, chopped
  •     salt/pepper
  •     2 tbsp of cumin
  •     2 tsp of oregano
  •     1 tbsp of garlic, minced
  •     a dash of olive oil


  1. Cover the pork in salt and pepper and then brown on all sides in a hot pan. This should only take 5 minutes max. Note-this was the first time I've done this and it was so worth it. The pork ended up having crunchy edges after being cooked in the crock pot all day! This technique seals in the flavor.
  2. Put the browned pork in the crockpot and slice some slivers in it. You will put the garlic into those slivers.
  3. Mix the spices with the beef broth and then pour that over the meat.
  4. Then put the top on and cook 8-9 hours on low or 4-5 hours on high. Once it's finished, you will shred up the pork and let it sit in the juice.
  5.  I fry up some corn tortillas and serve in them with fresh cilantro and raw onion on top.

And if you like this recipe - feel free to share!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Saturday Stories - 4 Month Update

Selah just had a growth spurt. But most days she eats at 7, 11, 3, and 7. Sometime around dinner she gets a top off. But in a few weeks, I will replace that top off with some solid foods! I can't wait to start that adventure with her!

I just weighed her yesterday and she is 13 lbs 12 oz. Love my big, growing girl!

Well, she still isn't a great napper. She takes around an hour nap at 9:00 and usually a 1-2 hr nap at 1:00. Other than those naps, she is up all day. But she goes down every night at 7:00 pm and sleeps til 7:00 or 7:30 am. So that makes me happy. 

Wake Time
Selah's wake time is getting to be so much fun. She is so happy - smiling and laughing. And just last week we starting putting her in the exersaucer. She loves it. She has some strong abs so I suspect she will be sitting any day now! She is rolling both ways - belly to back and back to belly.

She is still wearing the 0-3 month clothes. She is looking cute in all her sweet dresses!

Fun fact
Selah has a brother, Finn who loves her so much. Every morning he runs out of his room just to kiss her. He always kissed the top of her head and says "Morning, Selah Graaaaacccce." It just melts my heart. Love how their relationship is starting to develop.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thirsty Thursday - Your Words

Did you know that the tongue is the strongest muscle in your body? Well, it is. And it's a pretty strong for a reason. The tongue allows you to speak.

When I sit back and really think about that - I again am awed by the power of my creator. Words have the power to build up or to tear down. The bible talks about this a lot!

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." —Ephesians 4:29

That verse is one of my favorites. It's very important to be self aware of how what you say matters. I try to keep a watch on people's body language while I'm talking. And I do make mistakes. But I am quick to apologize and learn for the next time. 

So for you today - I remind you to watch what you say. And instead of tearing someone down - try building them up. Make a difference in someone else's day. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Maniac Monday - Meal Plan

I thought the best way to start this week off is with another meal plan. Happy Labor day!

Worlds Best Chicken
Broccoli and bacon roasted

Pork Tenderloin with pan sauce
Roasted Brussel sprouts

BBQ Ribs in the Crockpot
Corn and green beans

Beef tacos and salad

Garlic Herb Shrimp



Saturday, September 1, 2012

Saturday Stories - A beehive?

So my sweet son, Finn, turns 3 this month. That is just crazy to me. The past 3 years have gone by SO fast! Well, the conversations with him have been so funny lately. Last weekend as we were coming home from church we had one of my favorite talks so far. Hope it makes you laugh...

Mom: "So how was church, today?"
Finn: "It was awesome"
Dad: "What did you learn?"
Finn: "About Jesus"
Mom: "Oh, that's great Finn. Do you know where Jesus lives?"
Finn" Yes, mommy."
Mom: "Where?"
Finn "A beehive" (this was said with full confidence in his answer!)

After that, G and I couldn't stop laughing. Thanks Waumba Land! HA!

But on a serious note, Finn did tell us later that Jesus lives in his heart. So our church is making an impact on our almost 3 year old's heart. Grateful!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thirsty Thursday - Accepting

Accept each day just as it comes to you. Do not waste your time and energy wishing for a different set of circumstances. Instead, trust Me enough to yield to My design and purposes. Remember that nothing can separate you from My loving Presence; you are Mine.

I read those words this morning and started crying. I don't just accept the day as it comes. Even though I don't really like the morning, I wake up running. Life is busy. This is a crazy season for my family. And I'm just being very transparent when I say - I love it and I hate it all at the same time. Two kids under the age of 3, work, marriage, friends, other - it's an exhausting time! But in the same breath, what sweet times this is. Selah is a precious baby and Finn is like a sponge learning so much every day.

So I want to be able to sit back and enjoy these times. I don't want to wish it away. I want to live in the moment. That is a constant struggle as the world reminds us how fast time goes by. Today, I want to encourage you to accept this day. And trust God to take you through it. To really live in the moment you have to live by the moment. 

And most importantly - Remember that nothing can separate you from My loving Presence; you are Mine.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Maniac Monday - Meal Plan

Happy Monday!
Today, I thought I would share my meal plan for this week with you...Enjoy and share with others :)

 Sunday 8.26
Chicken and Roasted Broccoli

Monday 8.27
Whole Chicken in the Crockpot with fruit (cooks on low for 8 hrs, I add sea salt, pepper, paprika, olive oil, fresh thyme, and garlic)

Tuesday 8.28 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY G!
Salsa Verde Steak in the Slow Cooker with a cucumber/tomato salad
Wednesday 8.29
PF Chang Lettuce Wraps

Thursday 8.30

Friday 8.31
Saturday 9.1
Grilling time - Hamburgers/Hot dogs on the grill!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thirty Thursday - Who do you serve?

"Everything I do and say tells a story of who I serve."

This Thursday, I would love for you to take a look at your week. How has it been? What have you been up to? How have you spent your time? As you answer those questions - think about the above quote - "Everything you do and say tells a story of who you serve." 

So who do you serve?

I'm striving to live a life that points to Jesus. I hope you see Him in what I do and what I say. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Maniac Monday - Time

As this week begins, I want to share with you how I start my crazy weeks. Our time is precious. I strive to make sure the first minutes of my day are given to the Lord. This exercise sets up my day - every day. This Jesus Calling devotional was perfect for me to share with you. I pray as you read this you will be able to reflect on how you are spending your time.

Bring Me the sacrifice of your time: a most precious commodity. In this action-addicted world, few of My children take time to sit quietly in My Presence. But for those who do, blessings flow like streams of living water. I, the One from whom all blessings flow, am also blessed by our time together. This is a deep mystery; do not try to fathom it. Instead, glorify Me by delighting in Me. Enjoy Me now and forever!

Surely you have granted him eternal blessings and made him glad with the joy of your presence.
—Psalm 21:6

“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”
—John 7:38

For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Saturday Stories - Three Month Update

Selah is eating every 3 1/2 hours. She started school 4 weeks ago. She gets two feedings there. One is a bottle and I nurse her for the other one. She is still struggling with reflux. Lots of spit up. But doc said all is good because she is gaining weight. 
I just weighed her yesterday and she was 12 lbs 5 oz.
We have finally conquered nighttime sleep with God's help. After lots of prayer over here and adjusting my thoughts...Selah is consistently sleeping from 8 pm to 7 am. As of last week, she has been consistently taking one 2 1/2 nap a day! YAY :)
Wake Time
Selah has started to grab at her toys. I just love that. She is smiling and trying to talk. She absolutely loves to have someone sit next to her and just talk to her. I'm starting to see she is an extrovert. If I put her in the swing and we are in the other room, she cries until we come over or bring her to us. She just wants to be with the fam. That's my girl!
She is wearing the 3 month clothes now. Man, it's so fun dressing a little girl!
Fun fact 
Selah's name means to pause or reflect upon. And her middle name is Grace. So basically we are saying to pause or reflect on God's grace.
I'm doing ok. It's very hard getting into the routine of working. That's all I have to say about that right now. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thirsty Thursdays - Responses

Lately, I have been learning about how to respond as a Christ follower. In my Proverbs 31 Ministry devotion there was a great exercise that I just had to share.
Use this formula for studying God's word:
Receive God's Word ... write out the verses you want to focus on.
Retain God's instruction ... memorize and internalize the truths you've been studying.
Reflect God's character ... in both action and reactions. Focus on practicing the truths you've been learning.
(c) 2012 by Lysa TerKeurst 
If I follow that instruction how will my thoughts and actions be changed? 


Monday, August 13, 2012

Maniac Monday - Your Purpose

A friend of mine recently posted a quote on twitter that knocked me off my feet. Since then, I have read it over and over. I even added it to my email signature. I wanted to share it here to because my prayer is it hits you like it hits me. 

"It's impossible to be satisfied with existence once you've tasted purpose."

Let that sink in.

Ok, one more time...

"It's impossible to be satisfied with existence once you've tasted purpose."

Incredible, right? Once you have felt true purpose you will not stand at just existence. So my thought provoking question for you this crazy Monday is...

What is your purpose? I've found mine and I will not let a day go by where I just exist.  

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Saturday Stories - Best Friends

I thought this was an awesome conversation and I had to document it...

Me: (Hugging G and looking at Finn) "I love daddy"
Finn: "Oh, he's your best friend, mommy?"
Me: "Yes, he's my best friend"

How sweet! Glad to know that what G and I model is rubbing off on Finn. He sees us and knows we are best friends. I love that!

"The best thing you can do for your kids is have a great marriage"

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Thirsty Thursdays - Doubt

I got this devotion in my email and it really touched my heart. Hope it speaks to you as well...

“What, then, shall we say in response to these things?
If God is for us, who can be against us?”
Romans 8:31 (NIV)
Have you ever felt beat up by discouragement? Has your mind been bullied by thoughts of doubt such as:
I can’t do it all!
I am not cut out to be a wife, a mom, a daughter, a _______, a _____ and all the other things God has called me to.
In my Proverbs 31 devotion today, I share how I felt bullied by doubt one morning when I woke up. My thoughts were completely against me, and my feelings were too.
While I was laying in bed feeling completely inadequate, my radio alarm came on and my thoughts were interrupted by Twila Paris singing to me.
With confident assurance, she told me it was no time for fear, but a time for faith and determination. She challenged me not to lose my vision or be carried away by my emotions, but to hold on to all that I had hidden in my heart, and all I believed to be true. Then she reminded me of the most important truth of all: God is in control. [1]
Her words aligned my thoughts with God’s truth, and I went from feeling afraid to feeling determined and from feeling out of control to knowing God is in control.
We have the choice either to let doubt beat us up or to let God’s truth build us up.
I had set my radio to that station the night before so I would wake up hearing encouraging music and truth. Just like I intentionally set the dial of my radio alarm, we need to get intentional about tuning our thoughts into God’s thoughts toward us – every day.
In the same way a radio has AM and FM frequencies, so do our thoughts. They are either AM (against me) or FM (for me) thoughts. The truth is, we are often our worst critics and have a lot of AM thoughts.
If our thoughts are against us, our feelings will be too, BUT we don’t have to let doubt bully us anymore.
We have full access to God’s power and His promises to live with a confident heart. Yet it won’t just happen because it’s possible. We have to take action.
So, the next time we get feelings of uncertainty and self-doubt, let’s stop and ask the Holy Spirit to show us what we’re  thinking that is making us feel that way. Then let’s compare our thoughts about that situation to God’s thoughts, which are reflected in Scripture.
Do they match? If not, find a promise in God’s Word to replace the lie that has filled your heart with doubt. Here are few to get your started:
• When doubt comes against me, saying I’m weak and all alone, I will focus on the truth that God is for me! I can be strong and courageous because the Lord my God is with me. He will never leave me nor forsake me. (Deuteronomy 31:6, NIV)
• When doubt comes against me, saying I’m not good enough for a certain role or position, I will remember that God is for me! He says I am His masterpiece, created to be new in Christ so that I could do good things He planned long ago. (Ephesians 2:10, NIV)
Lord, thank You that You are with me to fight for me against my enemies of insecurity and inadequacy. In all these things, I am more than a conqueror through You who loves me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
[1] “God Is In Control,” © 1993 by Twila Paris.
© 2012 by Renee Swope. All rights reserved.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Maniac Monday - Meal Plans

For those of you that know me, I am structured. I thrive on it. For the most part, I don't like disorder. I like things to run smoothly. Dinnertime is no different. I write up a meal plan for the week, every week. It helps me stay sane on days I have to work outside the home. When I get home, dinner is typically ready (if made in crockpot) or ready to cook because I have prepped it beforehand.

Recently I found this amazing website -

If you need help structuring you meals, grocery lists, recipes, etc this is the site to use! I have made a lot of the recipes and they all have been delicious. Enjoy!

You're welcome :)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Saturday Stories - Still Can't Believe it!

 I look at this picture and my eyes fill up with tears. Almost three months and I still can't believe I have a daughter. All the months of throwing up, 24/7 nausea, not sleeping, and back hurting were all worth it!

 This is my mommy with her little girl (me)!
And then here's me with my little girl, Selah!
This is me as a newborn
And here's Selah

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

New blog structure!

So I have been thinking about what I want this blog to be lately. And here is what I came up with...

1- A record of my family.
2- A place to share ways/devotions to bring others closer to my Heavenly father.
3- An attempt to teach others what I have been learning.

So with that being said, I've decided about doing themed days. So starting next week you can expect to get 4 posts a week from me. Hope you enjoy!

Maniac Monday (used to share recipes, meal plans, advice on organizing your home)
Wordless Wednesday (used to reflect on the blessings in my life, without words)
Thirsty Thursdays (used to share devotions or verses that have spoken to me)
Saturday Stories (used to share a fun story or sweet moment from my family)

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

3 weeks ago...

Three weeks ago I went back to work. And the last 21 days have been a whirlwind. It is a lot of work to work outside the home.

Anyway, my blog has taken the bottom of my to-do list. I have bigger, more important things like caring for these guys...

I will be back soon...I do have lots to write about!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

From June 2 to July 8...

Man, the month of June and beginning of July feels like it lasted an eternity but it also feels like it fly by. I had tried to prepare myself because I knew it would be a tough month. But I was not prepared for the ripple effect that these five things would do to me.
  1. G traveling A LOT! In the month of June, he was gone 15 of the 30 days.
  2. Horrible behavior from Finn and Selah not sleeping!
  3. Hormones...need I say anymore!?
  4. A last minute flight to Florida with just me and an 8 week old. 
  5. My grandfather meeting Jesus.
Basically, the month started with a lot of crying and ended with a lot of crying.  I have a WHOLE new respect for mom's that have husbands that travel. That was so hard on me. The travel he had just happen to fall all in the same month. And it wasn't anything I wouldn't have wanted him to do. The timing was just hard. And Finn's behavior is WAY better now. It was just a combo of no structure of school, daddy being gone, mommy being stressed, being jealous of Selah, and his age. We discovered Selah has really bad reflux and her sleeping is finally better with chiropractic care and medicine. I survived the flight to Florida and got to my granddaddy. I was able to tell him everything I wanted to and let him meet my Selah Grace.

So all in all, I survived. And God taught me some great lessons. He taught me that He is all I need and that I needed to rely on Him. He taught me that He is in control even when all I see is chaos. And most of all, I was reminded how fast our life goes by. Make a difference...stop wasting time!

Below are some pictures...

 Told ya there was a lot of crying!
 We got to see Matthew and Kasey!
 Finn discovered he loved playing on the slip and slide
 The only way I could get him excited about the bath...a BUBBLE bath!
 Even out for a walk didn't help...
 Uncle Edd got some good Selah snuggles. She loves being held!
 Tummy is starting to feel we are getting smiles!
 At Maw and Pawee's house, Selah slept on the floor since I could travel with her pack n' play
 Selah in bed with Aunt Tavie and Maw in the morning.
 Finn finally got his face painted. He was insistent about being a puppy.
 We got some time at the beach, thanks to Uncle Edd and Aunt Tavie
 Selah loved the sound of the ocean
 Daddy and son sitting in the waves as they came in
 Here's ma video of it.
 We spent the time at the beach where we married 6 summers ago!
 4 generations - Tina (maw), Janice (mom), Rachael (me), and Selah
 A snapshot of our beach time!
 A delicious dinner at the Back Porch restaurant!
 4 generations - Maw, Aunt Tavie, Mom, Me, and Selah
 Pawee's bike - he rode it everyday and made "rounds" in his neighborhood. We found out his neighbor's called him the "mayor." He was always taking care of the people around him.
 I love this picture since Maw doesn't take her eyes off Selah
Abba and her grandkids. I was thankful she stayed with me while G was in Haiti. We had fun together and did a lot of projects around the house together.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Two Month Update!

This area has been going great. She eats around every 3-4 hours during the day until 4. Then she cluster feeds twice before going to bed at 8.

We haven't had her 2 month appt til this Friday but I have a scale at home. She is 11 lbs and 6 oz! Go big girl :)

Sleep was my biggest struggle until 3 days ago. I decided to stop jumping to feed her when she starts moving around. And to my surprise the first night she slept from 8:15-3:30. The next night she slept from 8:00-3:45. And last night she slept from 8:00-5:45!!!

Wake Time
Wake time has been a ton of fun over the last few weeks. Selah loves to be talked to. She smiles and coos. It's just adorable! She is usually awake for 1-1 1/2 hrs after a feeding.

She is starting to fit in her 0-3 month clothes. Some 3 month outfits fit too. But mostly the 0-3 clothes fit her the best. I am loving dressing this sweet girl.

Fun fact 
We just took our first beach trip with the kids last week. It was a challenge all being together in the same hotel room. But overall we really enjoyed it. I think G and I just liked having to go to bed early and take naps with the kids :)

I'm doing good. I go back to work next week. 10 weeks went by SO fast! I'm a little nervous about pumping since that made me overproduce in the beginning. But I'm hoping I'll be ok since I'm only in the office 3 days a week.

On a side note...we got a new camera. Here's some fun pictures...

PS-I have a lot to write about for June. So look for a post on that later. Definitely the hardest month I have endured. But God brought me through. Praise HIM!