Monday, January 31, 2011

German Chocolate Caramel Gooey Bars


1 Pkg German Chocolate Cake Mix
1/2 Bag of Chocolate Chips
1 Pkg Caramel Squares
1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 Stick Margarine
1/4 Bag of Coconut

1. Prepare cake mix according to directions.
2. Pour 1/2 into a 13x9 pan and bake for 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, melt caramels, butter and condensed milk.
4. Take cake out and pour caramel mixture over it.
5. Pour the remaining 1/2 of cake mix over that.
6. Top with chocolate chips and coconut.
7. Bake another 20 minutes.

This is really really really good!  Melt in your mouth good!  Have I ever steered you wrong?  Okay, there was that time I gave you the black bean brownie recipe, but I still love it!  To scroll through my complete recipe box, click here.

The hardest part of this recipe is unwrapping the caramels.  But you can always hire your kids to do the dirty work!  :-)

Enjoy, and please like below if you think this recipe sounds good and worth making.  Linking up at Beauty and Bedlam's PARADE OF FOOD TUESDAY!



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Friday, January 28, 2011

Praying God's Power In Your Children's Lives

I just love how the Holy Spirit works.  Sometimes He prompts my heart to pray things I don't even realize I'm praying.  Like the other day...

I prayed, "Lord, make your power real in my little children's lives.  I ask that you would prompt their little hearts to talk about you, ask questions about you, etc."

The prayer ended and I went about my business.  Over the course of the next couple weeks, it hit me...

Riley, (our 4 year old) has been bringing up the things of God more.  Recalling verses she memorized.  Talking and asking questions about God's Word.

Carson, (our 2 year old) reminds me to pray at our meals.  Yes, a 2 year old reminds me to pray.  Thank you, Jesus.

Never underestimate the power of prayer, and the power of our Mighty God to come running to answer it in our children's lives. 

He loves childlike faith.
He loves the fresh, unhurried life they live.
He loves how they remind us how to really trust and obey.

So keep praying, weary Mama.  Keep praying.  God hears your cry.  Never underestimate those times on bended knee... praying for their eternal destiny. 

God is listening.  He will show up.  He's never, ever a second too late.

Romans 8:26 "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered."




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Thursday, January 27, 2011

THE Love Dare: A 14 Day Challenge Leading Up To Valentines Day!


New: Grab a button to the right ---- >

I've been thinking about what we can do for our husbands leading up to Valentines Day.  I know that Valentines Day is just another day on the calendar... but... it is a great reminder to make the time to love our husbands special!

So... from February 1st - February 14th, I will be taking the ideas from the first 14 days of the book, The Love Dare... for all of us to work on in our homes.

Are you interested?  Here's all you have to do to "sign up"... make every effort to work on the assigned "task" for each day.  Then, at the end of 14 days, (Valentines Day), write a post about how it went, linking back to this post.  Feel free to save the image above to use in your post.

Just comment below if you are interested... there may be some "love treats" along the way for those who participate.

Feel free to write a post now about the journey you will take over the first 14 days of February; if you do, please link up your post below.

If you don't have a blog you are still more than welcome to join the fun.  Just comment below about what you learned along the way and how your husband responded.


Schedule:

Day 1 (Feb 1) "Love is patient" Eph. 4:2
Patience helps you give your spouse permission to be human.  Love is built on two pillars that best define what it is.  Those pillars are patience and kindness.  Choose to respond with patience towards your husband in all things.
Day 2 (Feb 2) "Love is kind" Eph. 4:32
Kindness inspires you to be agreeable.  Instead of being obstinate, reluctant, or stubborn, you cooperate, you stay flexible.  Rather than complaining and making excuses, you look for reasons to compromise and accommodate.  A kind wife ends thousands of potential arguments by her willingness to listen first rather than demand her way.

Day 3 (Feb 3) "Love is not selfish" Rom. 12:10

One ironic aspect of selfishness is that even generous actions can be selfish if the motive is to gain bragging rights or receive a reward.  If you do even a good thing to deceitfully manipulate your husband, you are still being selfish.  The bottom line is that you either make decisions out of love for others or love for yourself.
Day 4 (Feb 4) "Love is thoughtful" Psalm 139:17-18
When was the last time you spent a few minutes thinking about how you could better understand and demonstrate love to your spouse?  What immediate need can you meet?  What's the next even you could be preparing for?  Great marriages come from great thinking.
Day 5 (Feb 5) "Love is not rude" Proverbs 27:14
How does your husband feel about the way you speak and act around him?  How does your behavior affect your mate's sense of worth and self-esteem?  Would your husband say you're a blessing or that you're condescending and embarrassing?
Day 6 (Feb 6) "Love is not irritable" Proverbs 16:32
A loving wife is not overly sensitive or cranky but exercises emotional self-control.  She chooses to be a flower among the thorns and respond pleasantly during prickly situations.
Day 7 (Feb 7) "Love believes the best" 1 Cor. 13:7
Your husband is a living, breathing, endless book to be read.  Dreams and hopes have  yet to be realized.  Talents and abilities may be discovered like hidden treasure.  But the choice to explore them starts with a decision by you.  Develop a habit of reining in your negative thoughts and focusing on the positive attributes of your husband.
Day 8 (Feb 8) "Love is not jealous" Song of Sol. 8:6
If you're not careful, jealousy slithers like a viper into your heart and strikes your motivations and relationships.  It can poison you from living the life of love God intended.
Day 9 (Feb 9) "Love makes good impressions" 1 Pet. 5:14
You can tell a lot about the state of a couple's relationship from the way they greet one another.  You can see it in their expression and countenance, as well as how they speak to each other.  It is even more obvious by their physical contact.  Work on greeting your husband "special" when he arrives home from work!
Day 10 (Feb 10) "Love is unconditional" Rom. 5:8
When you rebuild your marriage with agape love as its foundation, then the friendship and romantic aspects of your love become more endearing than ever before.  When your enjoyment of each other as best friends and lovers is based on unwavering commitment, you will experience an intimacy that cannot be achieved any other way.
Day 11 (Feb 11) "Love cherishes" Eph. 5:28
Don't let the culture around you determine the worth of your marriage.  To compare it with something that can be discarded or replaced is to dishonor god's purpose for it.  That would be like amputating a limb.  Instead, it should be a picture of love between two imperfect people who choose to love each other regardless.
Day 12 (Feb 12) "Love lets others win" Phil. 2:4
Are you willing to bend to demonstrate love to your husband?  Or are you refusing to give in because of pride?  If it doesn't matter in the long run--especially in eternity--then give up your rights and choose to honor the one you love.  It will be good for you and good for your marriage.
Day 13 (Feb 13) "Love fights fair" Mark 3:25
The deepest, most heartbreaking damage you'll ever do (or ever have done) to your marriage will most likely occur in the thick of conflict.  But love reminds you that your marriage is too valuable to allow it to self-destruct, and that your love for your husband is more important than whatever you're fighting about.  Married couples who learn to work through conflict tend to be closer, more trusting, more intimate, and enjoy a much deeper connection afterwards.
Day 14 (Feb 14) "Love takes delight" Eccles. 9:9
In your marriage relationship, you won't always feel like loving.  It is unrealistic for your heart to constantly thrill at the thought of spending every moment with your husband.  Nobody can maintain a burning desire for togetherness just on feelings along.  However, there is something very powerful about the decision to delight in your husband and to love him no matter how long you've been married, or what "feelings" may or may not be there at the moment. 





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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Corn Chowder You'll Drool Over


This morning I was too lazy to upload my own picture, so I borrowed a picture from over here.  Gotta love google images! 

But the picture does not even come close to the tastiness of this dish!  Oh my... so good!  Here's the recipe so you can make it, try it, and love it!  I love recipes that I can read and understand all the ingredients.  For real!  Sometimes I read recipes online and think "what in the world is that?!"

This recipe will warm your belly on these cold, frigid nights for sure!

Corn Chowder

2 cups water
2-3 cups diced/peeled potatoes
1/2 cup sliced carrots
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cups milk
3 cups (12 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
2 cans cream-style corn (14-3/4 each)
3/4 cup of diced/cubed ham.

Instructions

Place water in a 2 quart sauce pan.  Heat until boiling.
Add potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, salt and pepper.  Cook, uncovered, on high for 8-10 minutes or until vegetables are crisp and tender; set aside (do not drain).

Meanwhile, in a 3 quart sauce pan, heat butter until melted.  Stir in flour until smooth.  Gradually stir in milk.  Cook, uncovered, for 6-7 minutes or until thickened, stirring every 2 minutes.

Add the cheese.  Stir for about 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese is melted.  Stir in the corn, ham, and reserved vegetables.  Cook for another 2-3 minutes or until heated through.

Yield: 10 servings (2 1/2 quarts).  Enjoy and share the goodness by liking it below:



Looking for more yummy recipes?  I linked up over at Beauty and Bedlam.
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Sunday, January 23, 2011

How To Please Your Husband

For all you married gals out there. . . it is not our job to make cookies for another woman's husband.

Simply go out of your way to please one man, the one that is yours!  

Whether you have been married for just a year, 5, 10, 20, or 50 . . . it does not take long to learn what your husband enjoys.


Is it...

  • a smiling, happy wife?
  • a warm meal on the table when he gets home?
  • a back rub?
  • a tidy home?
  • organization?
  • words of affirmation?
  • lots of hugs, kisses, and affection?
  • having fun with him?
  • cleaning and ironing his clothes?
  • a phone call just to tell him that you love and appreciate him?
Why not make a list?

Then number them according to what you think is most important to him.  Look at your top 3.  Now strive to do those 3 things for him every day.  


Too hard?  I say no.  


Now, there are days when I feel like a down right horrible wife.  I'm over emotional.  Teary.  Grumpy.  


But when I stop to thank God for all the wonderful things my husband does for me, I can't help but be thankful.  I also realize that God gave me 1 husband.  Just 1 I need to take time daily to cultivate my appreciation for him.  God commands it.  

Ephesians 5:33:  "Nevertheless, let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband."

My top 3 for my hubby:


1) A tidy (picked up) home when he gets home from work.
2) A warm meal.
3) Words and touches of affirmation and praise. 

So what would be your top 3 for your husband?  


Now, prayerfully, strive to daily put those things into practice.  Be creative.  Ask the Lord to help you please your husband today.  Every day.


Some creative ideas you might like to try:
  • Send him a snail mail letter - to his work
  • Write I love you on the bathroom mirror with soap
  • Make his favorite dessert and surprise him with it
  • Give him a long back rub
  • Get a babysitter and take him out to his favorite restaurant
  • Plan an intimate night for just the 2 of you at home



If you think this article was helpful, please share it by clicking the "Like" box below:
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Friday, January 21, 2011

Be Careful While You Are On Facebook!


I've made my share of mistakes on Facebook.  I've divulged way too much information... information that may have potentially put me or my family at risk.  

Some people post once a day/week... while others, (like myself) tend to post more frequently throughout the day.

Hey, it is our connection to the "real world" as Moms for crying out loud.

But what about our safety?  Are there precautions that we should be taking as women, mommies, and/or wives?

Some guidelines I've thought about for myself:

1) I will not seek out corresponding with former boyfriends or crushes.

2) I will not belittle my husband.

3) I will not post when I go out for a run/walk.

4)  I will not post when my husband is out of town.

5) I will not talk bad about someone else.

6)  I will "try not to" post every detail of my life... you never know when someone is keeping track of your schedule.

7) I will use discretion when posting pictures of my family and friends.

8) I will update my security settings appropriately.

9) I will not post when I'm going to be away from my home for an extended period of time.

Have you thought about your family's safety on social media sites like Facebook?  Do you have any suggestions to add?

If you think this was helpful, please share it with your Facebook friends and family.




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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

When God Calls You To Write


I know that God has called me to write.  I know that many of you share this same passion and calling.  So what do we do with this passionate calling?

1.  Be obedient where you are at.

With any gift that the Lord has given to us, it is always about Him.  We just tend to get in the way because of pride and self sufficiency.  Be obedient to His calling above all else.

2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;



2.  Keep writing, even if you think no one is listening.

Sometimes we may feel like our words are falling on deft hearts.  Keep writing... someone is always listening.  Pray that whoever reads what God has led you to write, that it would minister grace to the hearers. 


Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.



3.  Let God write His words on your heart first.

Before we can write anything fruitful, He needs to write upon our hearts first.  Let God change you... really change you... and share your struggles and triumphs with others for His glory.

4.  Keep writing, even if people don't understand.

Many people still look at me cross-eyed when they hear I have a blog.  Some just don't understand, and that is okay.  If God has called you to write, to blog, to teach others... keep on keeping on!

5.  Pray for purpose and prosperity.

Recently I heard a sermon on the radio where the preacher was talking about praying for purpose and prosperity in the ministry God has called you to.  At first it sounded selfish... until I remembered, that God is in the business of taking insignificant people and using them for His glory. 

2 Corinthians 12:9 "But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me."



He also has the power and the might to cause my writing to flourish or to close the book on it... so to speak.  He alone has the power to raise up people for His glory or to silence them. 

6.  Remember that He knows your innermost heart's desire.

If He knows your heart is right and pure, He will direct your writing and your audience... for HIS GLORY.


If God has called you to write, please pray over these suggestions... and be encouraged!  Your words do matter.




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Monday, January 17, 2011

When I Don't Like What I See In The Mirror


When I look into the mirror, my self image, more often than not, just doesn't match up to what I'd like it to be.  I fail at being consistent with exercise and eating healthy.  I fail at many things.  I then, look into the mirror, and call myself a failure.  

But what does God see?  He sees a beautiful person made in His image!  If I am made in the image of Christ, nothing I do to the exterior could ever make my Spirit more beautiful.  Nothing I do could make Him love me more.  His love is not conditional, but unconditional.  

When I look at the image of self and am discouraged, I need to remind myself that I am loved unconditionally.  
We all fail.  We all have unrealistic expectations we place on ourselves.  Our body image will NEVER meet our expectations until we reach glory.  We all look into the mirror, time and time again, and our image just doesn't match up to what we'd like it to be.  Take a look into a different mirror.  Look into the mirror of God's Word.  What do you see?  I see a person created with the most finite of detail in your mother's womb.  You are fearfully and wonderfully made.  His thoughts towards you are precious.  Psalm 139 says it best. 

How are you maximizing your beauty for Christ's glory? 

1) Are you developing your inward beauty (by drawing close to the Lord) so that His LOVE spills out from your very pores?

2) Are you seeking HIM first so that you smile more often than you frown... because of His beautiful grace spread across your face?

3) Are you thanking HIM for His many blessings and not wasting your life by wishing for another day?

Would you like to get these articles sent to you?  Click Here.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Seasons Of Brokeness

Are you in a season of brokeness?  God is always faithful to meet you where you are at.  Cry out to Him...  Jer. 29:11-13 says,

11 For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.

Please watch this and be blessed!  I love me some Kari Jobe!









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Thursday, January 13, 2011

How To Stay Within Your Grocery Budget Every Trip!


My feet shift from side to side as I scan the food in my shopping cart.  Ahhhhhhh, I think that is about $115.00, I guest-i-mate in my head.

Beep - beep -  beep go my goodies across the scanner and into my cart.  As I load my bags, I anxiously keep checking the current price.  


Really!  That much already... I still have half my cart left on the conveyor belt!

UGGGG, I'm way over again!


Until...

my very wise and handsome husband came up with a plan for me.


"Why don't you just take  a notebook and write down the average price of each item as you put it into your cart."


I was super skeptical, but I tried it.  Guess what!  It has worked every time!


Here's how...


1. Grab yourself a tiny little notebook and throw it in your purse.


If an item is 3.29 (round down to 3).
If an item is 1.79 (round up to 2).


If it is over .50 round up, 
if it is under .50 round down.


I usually end up with a page full of random numbers.


When I get done, I pull my cart over and quickly add them up.  If I am over, I adjust by taking a few items out of my cart that I absolutely don't need.  I've also added everything up half way to get an idea.


No surprises!  No guessing!  It has worked for a year, every time!  

Does it sound like it is something you could try out?  What do you do?  How do you stay within your allotted budget?


Happy shopping!




Don't forget to enter the awesome $50.00 giveaway HERE.

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Nations Outfitters $50.00 Store Credit!

Melissa from Storytime is the winner!  Please contact me by email ... curly2880 at yahoo dot com.

I immediately fell head-over-heels for this site!  Nations Outfitters' mission is to provide high quality, fashionable clothing at a reasonable cost.  They also realize it is YOU and your passion for life that make their clothing beautiful. 

Wouldn't YOU JUST LOVE to win a $50.00 STORE CREDIT to their site?  Here's your chance...    

Nations Outfitters sent me this super-adorable/super-comfy dress to review.


 
Enter To WIN $50.00 To Their Store:

Leave a comment if you: Visit Nations Outfitters and tell me one thing you like or learned.
Leave a second comment if you: Like them on FACEBOOK
Leave a third comment if you: Sign up for email updates (upper right)
Leave a fourth comment if you: Follow Nations Outfitters on TWITTER.
Leave a fifth comment if you: Share this message/link on facebook or Twitter:

Enter To Win $50.00 To Nations Outfitters:  http://ordinaryinspirations.blogspot.com/2011/01/nations-outfitters-5000-store-credit.html

Leave two more comments if you: Subscribe/Follow Ordinary Inspirations.

**Contest will end next Monday evening, January 17th, 2011**
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Saturday, January 8, 2011

I Look Like A Selfish Baby

Sad to say, this is how I look sometimes.  Like a selfish baby.  We try to act and look like we are doing "spiritual things", when in fact, we aren't willing to get down and dirty and do the hard things in our Christian walk. 

This video is pretty hilarious... I found it on You Tube today.  Watch it and you will get a good laugh... and maybe it just might strike a cord in your soul... like it did me.




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Friday, January 7, 2011

Morning Sickness



Someone should really change the name to Morning-Afternoon-Evening-Middle of the Night Sickness. 

Praying for a speedy 3 months!  Anyone know some good tips to relieve the nausea?

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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Loving Without Paybacks

   
To love like Jesus...

1 John 2:4-6: If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. 5 But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. 6 Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did. 

I need to love without seeking anything in return.  So often I give with selfish motives.  Even if it is not premeditated in my mind, it is within my heart.

I need to be pursuing Him in my daily life.   To be reading His Words.  Spending time with Him.  An active, loving relationship.  How else can I expect to be anything but selfish old me?

I need to promote others, not myself.  Pride is the center of it all.  All my selfish motives are directly motivated by prideful wishes of gain and self-promotion.
 
I need to love the least of these.
I'm doing what He commanded and really loving Him in the midst of it.

I need to learn true contentment.
Godliness with contentment is great gain.

I need to realize that what He wills is most important.
Often times I say that I want what God wills, but what will it cost me? 

I need to serve with a cost!  Yes, salvation is free... but it cost Christ everything.  What am I willing to give up, to love like Him?   


Riches

 Am I seeking to be rich in this world?  What ways could I be seeking riches?

Riches in the form of self-promotion?

Riches in the form of taking more than I give?

Riches in the form of living far above my means when others are in need?

Riches in the form of hoarding my time and gifts?


Are you like me?  Do you need some serious self-evaluation?  What are some ways that we can give more than we receive?  

If we give out of selfless love, we are loving like Him! 

Matthew 22:37-39

 37Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38This is the first and great commandment. 39And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.



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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Find Out The Sex Of Our Baby?



Will you answer a simple poll?

Should we find out the sex of our 3rd child?

1) Yes, definitely!
2) No, let it be a surprise.

Let's just say we have a split vote in our home, lol!  I'd love to hear what you all think!

Feel free to just comment with #1 or #2... any expanded thoughts/viewpoints are welcomed too!

If you don't have a google account, just comment as anonymous and leave your name. 

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Monday, January 3, 2011

Grape Jelly Meatballs!


You'll love them.  You'll eat way too many.  You'll make them for an easy side dish to any party!

What you will need:
1 - 12 ounce jar of grape jelly



1 - 12 ounce jar Chili Sauce


1 - Bag of Italian Style cooked meatballs

Place 3 ingredients into a slow cooker for about 30-60 minutes until jelly is smooth and meatballs are heated up good!


I love EASY.  I love YUMMY!  These are both... linking up with Beauty and Bedlam

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Saturday, January 1, 2011

A New Year. A Fresh Start!

 2011 whispers in my ear of tender, fresh beginnings.  May all your wanderings through 2011 be filled with wonder and hope.






Laughter and giggles...
 

Day dreaming...
 


Making time to enjoy His bountiful beauty...



 Savoring the fruit He produces in our life...


Facing new challenges with anticipation ...



Tender moments with family and friends...



 Running the race with joy...



Resting along the way...




Smiling.  Big!





Never forgetting, with each new day... to thank the ONE who gave it to us!


Don't forget to look up!

Colossians 3:1-3
 1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
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