Tuesday, August 30, 2011

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 share below if you think this recipe sounds good and worth making. Linking up at Beauty and Bedlam.


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Friday, August 26, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Older



Prompt word: Older.


Go HERE to get the details.  You write for 5 minutes.  Just write... without thinking or editing your words.  


GO.


I want to grow older with YOU!  {my love}
After almost 7 years of marriage, I love you so much more.

Deeper.
Stronger.
With passionate sincerity.


I texted you the other day... that I'm so glad you are mine and that I didn't know what I'd do without you.  That I loved you.


I pray we always share this passionate, sincere, Christ-centered love.  


I want to grow Older with you.  Not just Old, but Older...


because it's all about the journey!


I want to be one of those cute, adorable, elderly couples walking hand-in-hand, and stealing sloppy smooches from one another.  


And as our bones creak and ache loud above the sound of our rocking chairs on that white, chipped front porch, may we always look at one another and just...


SMILE.


STOP.



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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Blog Makeover Giveaway



Contest is now closed!  Congrats to Angie from A Lil Country Sugar!  You won with comment #33!





I've dabbled in blog design for about a year now.  I've learned a lot and really enjoy it.  


I want to give away a blog makeover, worth $70!  It would include the following:

  • custom header
  • custom background
  • custom sidebar headers
  • custom signature
  • custom blog button with code box
  • one other free item of your choice.
What do you have to do to enter?  Just "friend" my two blogs via google friend connect:

1) Ordinary Inspirations 

*Anywhere you share this giveaway will earn you an extra comment (twitter, email, facebook, etc).

*Also, tell me why you would like a blog makeover to earn another comment.

If you are content with your own blog design but want to give it away to someone else, feel free to enter on their behalf.


IMPORTANT: Please leave a way for me to get back to you if you win... aka email, blog address, etc.!


WINNER CHOSEN: on my due date: August 31st!


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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

How To Pass The Time During Your Last Couple Weeks Of Pregnancy

Are you in your last couple weeks of pregnancy?  Wondering how to pass the time?  Here are some helpful and somewhat humorous tips:


1. Nest
Soon enough you will be preoccupied with changing messy diapers and feeding your baby 24/7.  Enjoy the freedom you have now to deep clean, organize, and de-clutter.

2. Read a good book.
Get out that book that has been collecting dust and read it!

3. Play computer games.
My favorites: spider solitaire, text twist, and Sudoku!

4. Get a punching bag.
You know, to get your frustration out for comments like:

You're still pregnant?  Are you sure you're not having twins?  Would you have that baby already!

5. Go on a date!
Get a babysitter and go on a date with your husband!  Enjoy the time you have left before all the craziness occurs.


6. Hug on your other children!
You still have your arms free to give out hugs and kisses to your other children.  Take advantage of this precious time and let your other children know they matter and are very special to you.

7.  Prepare your heart.
Although this little baby will change your heart and home for the good, prepare your heart.  It will be tough, and hard, and an adjustment no matter how positive you are.  

8. Memorize scripture.
Get out some flash cards and write down scripture for labor and after the baby is born.  Keep on hand for when you are up during the night feeding your baby, or when you will need some encouragement.

9. Stay busy!
Do whatever you can to stay busy.  Don't just sit around twiddling your thumbs, you will go STIR CRAZY!

10. Stop Thinking About Labor.
Don't think of a purple elephant!  I know, pretty unrealistic at this point when all you do is wonder, "is today the day?"  

But seriously, stop thinking about it... it will be here before you know it and when those contractions get all crazy and you want to just die from the pain, you'll look back and wonder, "what was I thinking!"  ... and you'll actually miss having that baby in your tummy!


photo credit


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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

In The Waiting...


In the waiting, there is wonder and excitement.  Every tummy twinge sends off a squiggly mark of question in my mind.  Could this be it?  Will TODAY be the DAY I meet our 3rd born child?

I've rushed these moments in the past.  I've learned from my mistakes of wanting to rush what can't be rushed.  Push what was not meant to be pushed.

There is beauty and wonder in the waiting.  God has been teaching me many lessons along this journey.

Patience.
Endurance.
Trust.

I hope to come out of this pregnancy, this labor, a stronger woman.  Not to glorify myself, but to LIFT HIM HIGH and GLORIFIED!


Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded 
that God had power to do what he had promised.
Romans 4:20-21

Thank you!  YOU...  {for being part of this journey with me}

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Are You Disturbed?


Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we have dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, 
to dare more boldly,
To venture on wider seas
Where storms will show your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.
We ask You to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push into the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.

[Sir Francis Drake]

Friday, August 19, 2011

New Life


The word prompt for this week's Five Minute Friday is NEW.  Perfect!

Ready.  Set.  Go.

NEW LIFE!

I keep dreaming...of what he or she will-

look like.

smell like.

be like.

Carrying a baby in your womb changes you as a person.  I wonder God's purpose for allowing such a miracle to grow for 9 months within a mother's tummy.  Is it to change the growing baby or change the woman?  I think both. 

Even though I can picture that wonderful baby smell,

feel soft baby skin against my cheeks,  

hear their little cooing,

{since I've birthed 2 other children}...

It is always so NEW!  So special!  

Looking forward to meeting our little blessing any day now.  Stay tuned...


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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Finding Inspiration In The Quiet


Sometimes doing the good things {aka: going to church, doing our quiet time, taking care of our little ones, loving on our hubbies} doesn't allow us to really hear from HIM in a way that we can in solitude.

Don't get me wrong, all those things are good, necessary, and all purposeful in holy living, before our Lord.  Keep doing them.


But if you get a chance... even for an hour... to get alone...

1) Put on some good music.
Need I say more?

2) Write.  Journal.
Scratch out your soul onto some paper.  You never know what's buried under all that clutter in your heart. 


3) Cry.
Have you had a good cry in awhile?  Maybe this should be first on your list.  Sometimes our emotions are so bottled up there is no room for inspiration.  


4) Talk to God.  Yes, it's called prayer...
But not the kind that is forced.  True communion with your Abba Father.  Confess your sin... and run to Him... His arms are always open wide.  His grace and mercy is always spectacular and beautiful. 

5) Create something.
I've said it before.  "I'm not creative".  But we all are.  In some way.

6) Jot down some quotes from your favorite book.
Pull that book off your shelf.  Or your Kindle these days.  Jot down some quotes and post it in your bathroom, bedroom, or above your kitchen sink.  


7) Cut out pictures from a magazine.
Do you have a project, a room to decorate, etc?  Don't know where to start?  Pick up some old magazines or surf the net for some great ideas.  Then... make them your own... with your own, unique flair!

8) Look through old pictures.
Take a walk down memory lane... it's good for the nostalgic soul.


9) Go for a walk and take some pictures.
You don't have to be a photographer or even have a great camera to take pictures.  Snap away... you'll be surprised what you choose to capture through that lens. 

10) Get off the computer.
You heard me.  It will be good for you ... if that laptop has become an extra appendage... {he - hum}








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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I just want to scream STOP!


I look at my almost five year old's face as she dreams and I remember holding her in my arms for the very first time.  Her now, somewhat grown-up looking face, still tugs at my memory of her as a newborn.  She still has the same eyes, nose, and special curves to her tiny lips.  

My son is the same.  When he cries, (you know the cry-till-his-face-turns-red face)... I can picture that doctor holding him up above me and plopping the precious miracle down upon my lap.  

There is something about time that we instinctively want to rush... but when I think of my first-born going off to kindergarten in just a few weeks... and my little boy already half way through his second year of life, I just want to scream STOP!

And so, as I wait for our 3rd miracle to arrive any day now, I will choose not to rush even this moment... because all too soon, he/she will be all grown up. . . and I will be remembering the day they were born, and cherishing every moment.


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Friday, August 12, 2011

Beautiful Feet


I'm writing again for 5 minutes... without thinking, editing, etc.... here I go again!  Join me?  It's not that scary.  Linking up over @ The Gypsy Mom.


This week's prompt is BEAUTY...
 
Go

Beautiful Body

Writing about beauty seems kind of silly when you are 37 1/2 weeks pregnant.  Everyone else thinks you are beautiful, but all I can see right now is the end in sight {you know, when I'll get my body back}. 

Beautiful Gifts


After having 2 other children, I know that my body will never return to me... you know, the one before kids.  But I wouldn't give it up for the world!

To hold that baby in my arms is the best gift I could receive after 9 months of carrying this precious, beautiful creation.

Beautiful Friends

Last night I went out with some girlfriends.  We stuffed our faces with authentic Mexican food... and no one judged our poor choice of portion size and bad manners.

Beautiful Fun


Then we went for pedicures... and we laughed and laughed and laughed until we almost peed our pants.  {okay, maybe I did just a bit, but I'm 9 months pregnant!}  

One lady in the salon was talking on the phone and said that there were 4 drunk ladies getting pedicures.  Funny to think that when you see friends having a good time, they must be drunk.  We were drunk purely on laughs and enjoying our wonderful Christian sisters in the Lord.

Beautiful Feet

I love having shiny new pretty feet all ready for labor... but I also remember one thing... God's Word and how it say my feet are beautiful if I spread His good news.  


Do you have beautiful feet today?

Isaiah 52:7
 7 How lovely on the mountains
Are the feet of him who brings good news,
Who announces peace
And brings good news of happiness,
Who announces salvation,
And says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” 



STOP




Thursday, August 11, 2011

Where Are All My Camera Lovers At?


WIN A:

Canon EOS Rebel T3i Digital Camera 
WITH 
Canon EF 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 III Autofocus Lens

I'm totally entering THIS GIVEAWAY!  It also supports adoption so that is a huge plus!









Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Molluscum Contagiosum... Have you heard of it?

Molluscum Contagiosum... have you heard of itMost likely (if you were like me) you didn't know about it until your kids got this nastiness!

That's all I can describe it as... nasty!  Vicious.  Annoying!  

Molluscum is a viral infection of the skin.  It is caused by the poxvirus.  Your kiddos can pick it up pretty much anywhere... parks, schools, etc.  And guess what?  It's pretty common!

I first noticed it on the bend of her inner forearm.  There were about 5-8 contained tiny raised bumps.  They were not red or irritated but I took her to the doctor to inquire about what it might be.  Her pediatrician told her that it was, indeed, Molluscum.  She said that this virus could last anywhere from 3 months - 5 years!  

That's right... you read that right ---- 5 years! 

Our options were we could do nothing and let her body fight it off eventually... or take her to the dermatologist to have them treated.  After 6 months of doing nothing, we tried other options.

Before we went that route I searched and searched and searched on the Internet for "natural" options.  I tried apple cider vinegar baths, Zyma Derm, and Anti Molluscum.  Nothing seemed to work. 

After 6-8 months of nothing working, we took her to the dermatologist.  They gave her 2 treatments of Catharidin... ($120 a visit) a painless, blistering treatment found in a type of beetle.  After the first and second treatment, maybe one or two bumps went away on her arm and then spread to her belly and torso!  UGGGGGGGGGG!

We then tried going to a different dermatologist who specialized in Cryotherapy (aka using extreme cold -300 degrees) to freeze the bumps one by one.
  
I took my daughter 3-4 times ($125 a pop) to have this treatment.  She cried and cried and cried and by the 4th treatment I felt like an awful mom and I cried too.  It did get rid of a few on the center of her arm, but they left scars.  It also did nothing but spread and spread the bumps!  

It had now been over a year of this madness, and I was fed up!  Riley and our family prayed and prayed over this, asking to be healed!  It had now spread into her private areas (front and back) and was irritated and blistering!  Oh I felt awful, desperate, and at the end of my rope!   

With a new baby coming into our household, it was my prayer that we could get rid of this before the new baby came.  I also did not want her spreading it to anyone else.

One day my husband texted me from work to tell me about a site that his secretary found.  It was a natural treatment for Molluscum that incorporated Tea Tree Oil and a Silver agent called SILVERCURE!

Understandably I was still a little skeptical but I decided to check it out.  I gave the company a call and they sent me a package deal at a discounted rate to try out on Riley see if it worked.  
 
This is the picture on the SILVERCURE website and all I can say is, this is exactly how our family feels after using the SILVERCURE products.

  
After using the SILVERCURE spray, pen, and cream for just 2 DAYS, we saw a noticeable difference!  Day by day we continued to use this "miracle product" for our family, and more bumps went away.  



After just 2 1/2 weeks of spraying her down with the spray, rubbing the cream on her bumps, and using the pen for her big bumps, ALL OF HER BUMPS WERE GONE!  It not only got rid of the bumps, but it left her skin so soft ans smooth!  Here are some before and after pictures.  If you could see the bumps that were in the more private areas of her body, you would be amazed at the difference it makes!



If your child is suffering from Molluscum Contagiosum, you need to try the SILVERCURE products!  They are amazing!  I'm going to be telling my pediatrician and dermatologist about this product for sure!




Monday, August 8, 2011

When You Are Washing Dishes...

As you bend and sway to His tender ways this week, be mindful of His goodness.  His blessings. 

When you are washing the dishes.
Combing your hair.
Sweeping the floor.
Emailing that friend.

Don't forget that it is Him who gives you your very breath.  Today.  This hour.  This second.

Breathe in His mercies; and exhale His love.  Let it spill forth to the big and small people that surround you... be blessed and be a blessing.

Acts 17:25
And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 

 


Friday, August 5, 2011

The Elephant Rope


As a man was passing some elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at anytime, break away from their bonds but for some reason, they did not.


He saw a trainer nearby and asked why these animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away. “Well,” trainer said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”

The man was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.


Like the elephants, how many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once before?

AUTHOR UNKNOWN

What is something that God has been pricking your heart to do for some time?  Is it teaching a ladies bible study?  Opening up your home to your neighbors?  Step out in faith... He will be there every step of the way to give you strength to overcome your fears and insecurities!  Oh, and can I whisper something in your ear?  He will bless your SOCKS OFF!

Isaiah 41:10
So do not fear, for I am with you;
   do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
   I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.