Okay– I am totally excited because I am getting my design this month. In fact, it should be any day now that it will be going up on the site. Because of my new design, I decided to give away a $100 Visa Gift Card!
It’s really easy to enter — just use the Rafflecopter below to enter.
I will be leaving this giveaway open for the entire month of May!
I decided to really be a blessing this year and do lots of giveaways on my own — cash giveaways — because you guys are super great. I love each and every one of you and YOU are the reason that I keep this site going.
I love sharing my stories with you, my recipes, and more It’s been a long 6 years, but I would not change it for anything in the world. So — go enter and good luck!
I hope you win Don’t worry if you don’t — there is always more where that came from!
Who’s excited about Monsters University that comes out next month? I know I am? If you have any little ones at home, check out the free printables to go along with the movie.
Simply click on each photo to download the pdf for your little monster. Hope they enjoy the fun.
“Like” MONSTERS UNIVERSITY on Facebook: http://facebook.com/PixarMonstersUniversity
“Follow” Disney/Pixar on Twitter: @DisneyPixar
Visit the website: http://www.Disney.com/MonstersU
MONSTERS UNIVERSITY comes to theaters on June 21st!
Note: No compensation was received for sharing these kid-friendly activity sheets from Disney/Pixar.
I have really been burdened lately by a lot of things going on in my life. I am just super busy, and while I loved that life for a very long time, my body is begging me to start cutting back on things. I feel like I am in a phase of my life where I need to slow down and just breathe. Have you ever felt that way?
It’s hard to explain how I feel, really. People ask me and all I can say is that I feel like everything is spiraling out of control and there is nothing I can do about it. School was pretty much a fail this year. I worked more than I taught my daughter which has really left me feeling like a bad homeschool parent.
My blog is not going in the direction I want it to, and I blame that on part because I have been so busy with everything else that I just have been ignoring it and then throwing up something just to have a post up that day.
My work life has been so busy that I feel like the youth ministry that we lead has been neglected which cannot happen. I need those kids and they need me and my husband.
Life is just really busy and whether I want to or not, God is drawing a line in the sand and telling me that I am soon gonna have to take inventory of what is going on in my life and make some serious changes. I am not sure if I am ready to make those changes, but if I don’t, I feel like my health, my ministry, my child’s education, my work — everything will suffer.
Have you felt that way before? How did you handle it?
I know that once I do get through this, I will be a better person because of it. This is a battle that the Lord is asking me to stand strong and fight. He is really wanting to do something with my life — and I can either listen to Him and get joy out of this, or I can keep fighting Him and be miserable my entire life. I choose joy instead of misery.
Knowing that God trusts me to make the right decision helps me in some way to choose the path I know He wants me to take. I just have to really take that step of faith and know that He will be there to lead and guide me.
If you are struggling with a decision today — know that He is there for you. Trust Him. Let Him guide you
I received a fabulous pair of Infinity X Infinity earrings from Helzberg Diamonds in exchange for this review. All opinions listed are my own.
Mother’s Day has always been special to me. It is a day for JUST me, so that I can relax and be pampered — and never have to lift a finger. My husband and my kids go out of their way to make me feel loved and adored. I mean, they do that every day anyway. I am one blessed mama — but on Mother’s Day, they go all out.
In fact, they have gone as far as getting me massages, cleaning my house until it is spotless — and even going as far as cooking an entire meal just for me. I truly feel loved and cherished when they go out of their way to do special things for me.
Here are 3 gifts that you can give this Mother’s Day that won’t cost a fortune.
- Pampering: Moms love gifts like spa days, mani’s pedi’s, hair salon visits — these all make great gifts to give to mom on Mother’s Day. Even if your mom is not a girly girl, she will love the fact that you gave her a few moments of peace to restore her sanity. These gifts can range anywhere from $20-$50.
- A Night with No Cooking Involved: Take mom out for a real fancy dinner. Splurge if you can and go somewhere special that is one of her favorites. For me, my family takes me to eat pasta every once in a while. It is one of my favorite things to do, but can be very expensive. So — they save this for a once every 6 months type of thing. For our family of 4, to eat somewhere like this runs around $60.
- Jewelry: Every woman I know loves to get jewelry from their family members. This year Helzberg Diamonds wants to help you give the gift of jewelry through their Infinity X Infinity Collection
Helzberg’s exclusive new INFINITY X INFINITY jewelry collection, inspired by ABC Television’s prime time hit series “Revenge” and lead character Emily Thorne and her father’s mantra, “I love you infinity times infinity,” provides the perfect way to share that special love – with some sparkle, too!
Created by award-winning jewelry designer Udi Behr, the collection emphasizes the double infinity insignia, symbolizing infinite love, and with a robust collection ranging in price from $49.99 to $1,299, it offers the perfect gift on any budget this Mother’s Day.
My Thoughts on the Inifinity X Infinity Collection
I received the Diamond earrings from the collection. From the moment I opened the box, I was in love. These are THE cutest earrings I have ever seen.
The earrings are made of sterling silver with a total of 1/10 of a carat in the earrings. They are light and not heavy which is great, because my ears are pretty sensitive and if the earrings are heavy, then my lobes get irritated.
I wore them to church and everyone was commenting on my gorgeous earrings! These are very affordable at only $99.99 and if you order them now, you can get them in time for Mother’s Day!
Which piece from the Infinity X Infinity Collection would you choose?
This month for the Behind the Curtain Dessert Challenge, we were given coconut and lime to work with. Now, I don’t know about you, but when I hear those two words together, my first thought is a smoothie of some kind, so that is exactly what I decided to make. Coconut and lime are tropical, so I added some pineapple into mine to really give it that delicious flavor. Here is my recipe for Pineapple Coconut Lime Smoothie.
This smoothie was super delicious and really hit the spot. In mine, I used coconut milk, but I am sure that you can purchase a coconut and add fresh to it — you just have to play around with it to get it to the consistency you are wanting.
- 1 whole pineapple (peeled cored and roughly chopped)
- 2 limes (peeled and roughly chopped)
- ½ cup coconut milk
- ½ apple (peeled cored and roughly chopped)
- Put all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
- If you don’t want the pulp, press through a sieve. Your smoothie will still be thick.
- Serve over ice with a slice of lemon and a wedge of pineapple and enjoy!
One of the benefits of pineapple is that it contains a huge amount of Vitamin C. Two slices can have 100% of the daily recommended value. In addition to helping keep the immune system stable, Vitamin C promotes healthy gums, helps heal cuts, strengthens blood vessels, and aids in the creation of collagen, which is the connecting tissue that holds muscles, bones, and other tissues together. Pineapple also contains a high amount of manganese, a mineral which is also important in helping form bone and connective tissue
The best part about pineapple is that it is a natural energy booster — so this smoothie would make a great morning breakfast for you!!
What delicious beverages have you been preparing lately?
Check out all the other foodies and their coconut and lime recipes.
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I am SUPER pumped about Planes. If you loved Cars, then you will not want to miss this movie when it hits the theaters this Summer. It kind of brings together those days of watching Top Gun and my love for Disney movies all in one moment.
Check out the trailer and tell me what you think!
About the movie
From above the world of “Cars” comes “Disney’s Planes,” an action-packed 3D animated comedy adventure featuring Dusty (voice of Dane Cook), a plane with dreams of competing as a high-flying air racer. But Dusty’s not exactly built for racing—and he happens to be afraid of heights. So he turns to a seasoned naval aviator who helps Dusty qualify to take on the defending champ of the race circuit. Dusty’s courage is put to the ultimate test as he aims to reach heights he never dreamed possible, giving a spellbound world the inspiration to soar. “Disney’s Planes” takes off in theaters on Aug. 9, 2013. For more information, check out Disney.com/Planes, like us on Facebook: facebook.com/DisneyPlanes and follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/DisneyPictures.The film takes off in theaters in 3D on Aug. 9, 2013.
Full Voice Cast Revealed
Want to know who is playing who in this fun and interactive movie? Check out the list below.
- Stacy Keach (“The Bourne Legacy,” Alexander Payne’s upcoming “Nebraska,” Robert Rodriguez’s and Frank Miller’s “Sin City: A Dame To Kill For”) provides the voice of Skipper, a reclusive old Navy Corsair who takes Dusty’s training to new heights.
- Brad Garrett (“Everybody Loves Raymond,” “How to Live with Your Parents for the Rest of Your Life”) lends his voice to fuel truck Chug, Dusty’s buddy, coach and biggest fan.
- Teri Hatcher (“Coraline,” ABC’s “Desperate Housewives”) brings life and charm to the say-it-like-it-is mechanic Dottie.
- Cedric the Entertainer (“Barbershop,” “Larry Crowne, “Madagascar”) as Leadbottom, a puttering old biplane who has no time for Dusty’s far-fetched flights of fancy.
- Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep,” “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” “Seinfeld”) lends her voice to Rochelle, a tough and confident racer who is the pride of the Great White North.
- John Cleese (TV’s “Whitney,” “A Fish Called Wanda”) is the voice of Bulldog, the oldest and arguably wisest racer on the circuit.
- Carlos Alazraqui (James Garcia on Comedy Central’s “Reno 911”) brings to life the intensely charming El Chupacabra, a racer with more dramatic flair than is recommended at high altitudes.
- Priyanka Chopra (“Barfi!”) voices the exotic, mysterious and ruthless Ishani, the reigning Pan-Asian champion from India.
- Roger Craig Smith (Captain America in Disney XD’s “Marvel’s Avengers Assemble,” voice of Sonic The Hedgehog in “Wreck-It Ralph”) voices world champion racer Ripslinger—wings down, the biggest name in air racing—and he knows it.
- Gabriel Iglesias (Comedy Central’s “Gabriel Iglesias Presents Stand-up Revolution”) provides the voices of both Ned and Zed, two not-so-sharp saboteurs who work for Ripslinger.
- Val Kilmer (“Batman Forever,” “Top Gun”) provides the voice of Bravo, a member of the Jolly Wrenches and a fan of air racing.
- Anthony Edwards (TV’s “Zero Hour,” “Top Gun”) is the voice of Echo, a member of the Jolly Wrenches and a fan of air racing.
- Colin Cowherd (ESPN) gives play-by-play coverage as Colin Cowling, an affable blimp and an eye-in-the-sky reporter for the Racing Sports Network.
- Sinbad (Comedy Central’s “Where U Been?”) brings to life Roper, an irascible race official pitty full of sly remarks and colorful commentary.
- Oliver Kalkofe (“Neues vom Wixxer”) provides the voice of meek German minicar Franz and his brazen airborne alter ego Fliegenhosen.
- Brent Musburger (ESPN, ABC Sports) brings Brent Mustangburger, the excitable 1964½ Ford Mustang sports broadcasting icon, back to the big screen.
This will definitely be a movie I am not gonna miss.
“Like” Disney’s PLANES on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DisneyPlanes
“Follow” Disney’s PLANES on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DisneyPictures
Visit the website: www.disney.com/Planes
Disney’s PLANES releases in theaters everywhere on August 9th!
Not only does moving result in sore arms and sleepless nights filling boxes, it’s also a huge financial expense. When you’re moving long distances, you’re responsible for not only purchasing all your packing materials, but transporting all your items from one location to the next. It’s not cheap, but it doesn’t have to cost a small fortune either. Families can save big by employing some of these budget-friendly moving tips. Here are 7 money saving tips to help with your next big move.
1. Do it Yourself. Certainly it can’t all be done yourself, but if you strategize by doing the packing, organizing, and driving yourself, you’ll save big in the long run. You can even use some of the money you saved to invest in some portable moving containers, to ensure that everything arrives at once.
2. Give Yourself Enough Time. Lots of folks wait until the last minute to do their packing. Because time is essentially money, don’t take a week off of work to pack the week before you move. Instead, give yourself a month’s worth of evenings to slowly pack everything in your home. Plus, this will leave you with enough time to truly decide what should go and what should stay. Leading to our next tip…
3. Make Money While Moving. If you’ve employed our previously mentioned time strategy, then you’ll also have time to sell your unwanted items, instead of just donating or throwing them out. Because you’ve given yourself enough time, you’ll also have time to throw items up for sale on craigslist.com or have a garage sale. Who knows? This profit may actually cover the entire cost of your move, plus some.
4. Change Your Address. You don’t want to find yourself behind on bills, especially when they’re accruing nasty late payments or interest fees. Instead, change your address with the post office right away. This will ensure that any bills are waiting for you when you arrive and can be paid on time.
5. Donate Unwanted/Unsellable Items. Make sure to get receipts for everything you donate. These items can be claimed as tax deductions, which results in a better tax return. The money will be returned to you in one way or another, plus you will have done something nice for someone else. This may result in a karmic payback.
6. Get Your Refunds. If you’re leaving an apartment, you’re likely entitled to a refund of your security deposit. You’ll want to make that inquiry as soon as possible, so that your landlord knows to do a check once the apartment is vacated and you know what’s expected of you. Your utility companies may also owe you money. Let them know your shut off date and inquire as to whether or not this will result in a refund of payments or deposits made.
7. Check for Coupons. Finally, coupons are available for everything, not just groceries. Check your local newspaper and the Internet for discounts on moving supplies and services. Many sites offer coupon codes for a reduced price on services and goods. If you’re short on packing tape, employ a coupon before spending the full price.
I love movies that we can use to incorporate into our homeschooling. That is one reason why I love Disneynature movies. They make great documentaries to really bring home learning for a child who needs visuals.
Bears will premiere in theaters on Earth Day 2014. This will definitely make a great study for my daughter!
In an epic story of breathtaking scale, Disneynature’s new True Life Adventure “Bears” showcases a year in the life of two mother bears as they impart life lessons to their impressionable young cubs. Set against a majestic Alaskan backdrop teeming with life, their journey begins as winter comes to an end and the bears emerge from hibernation to face the bitter cold. The world outside is exciting—but risky—as the cubs’ playful descent down the mountain carries with it a looming threat of avalanches. As the season changes from spring to summer, the brown bear families must work together to find food—ultimately feasting at a plentiful salmon run—while staying safe from predators, including an ever-present wolf pack. “Bears” captures the fast-moving action and suspense of life in one of the planet’s last great wildernesses—where mothers definitely know best and their cubs’ survival hinges on family togetherness.
Directed by Alastair Fothergill (“Earth,” “African Cats” and “Chimpanzee”) and Keith Scholey (“African Cats”), “Bears” is in theaters April 18, 2014, to celebrate Earth Day.
“Like” Disneynature’s BEARS on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Disneynature
“Follow” Disneynature’s BEARS on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Disneynature
Disneynature’s BEARS releases in theaters on April 18, 2014!
I was provided an electronic copy of this book from Revell Books in order to write my review. All opinions listed are my own.
About the book:
He’s looking to take care of his family. She’s looking to take care of her heart. Trouble is . . . love’s looking to take care of them both.
Cassidy McClare is a spunky Texas oil heiress without a fortune who would just as soon hogtie a man as look at him. Jilted by a fortune hunter, Cassidy travels west hoping a summer visit with her wealthy cousins in San Francisco will help her forget her heartache. But no sooner is she settled in beautiful California than Jamie McKenna, a handsome pauper looking to marry well, captures her heart. Can love prevail when Jamie discovers that Cassidy is poorer than he is? And can Cassidy ever learn to fully trust her heart to a man?
Bestselling author Julie Lessman brings the delectable Gilded Age to life in this sumptuous new series. Join your favorite romantic storyteller as she moves to the hills of San Francisco for more romance, passion, and surprising revelations.
Julie Lessman is one of my favorite authors. Julie Lessman has once again weaved a tale of passionate love, unshakeable faith, and painful realities that are faced by each and every one of us every day. She just has a way about her writing that really draws you in to each story.
This book took me on a wild ride. Full of twist and turns that even I didn’t expect and that’s saying something. I’m hardly ever surprised anymore. I usually can figure out what’s going to happen by the first few chapters, but not with this book. Mrs. Lessman always throws a curve ball in to scatter my thinking.
You will definitely be hooked from page 1! This tale is superbly written, with lots of the intense brand of romance that you’ve come to expect from Julie Lessman. The lessons that are woven into the story are valuable life applications that make this novel rich and deep.
About the author:
Julie Lessman is an award-winning author whose tagline of “Passion with a Purpose” underscores her intense passion for both God and romance. Winner of the 2009 ACFW Debut Author of the Year and Holt Medallion Awards of Merit for Best First Book and Long…
Continue reading about Julie Lessman
Did you hear? Chris Evans is back as the amazing Captain America!! Marvel has begun working on the 2nd installment in the movie series. If you have never seen a Marvel movie, you my friend, are missing out!
More about the production
Following in the footsteps of the record-breaking Marvel Studios’ release, “Marvel’s The Avengers,” production on the highly anticipated release, Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” has commenced in Los Angeles, Calif., with production also including locations in Cleveland, Ohio, and Washington D.C. Directing the film is the team of Anthony and Joe Russo (“Welcome to Collinwood”) from a screenplay written by Christopher Markus (“Captain America: The First Avenger”) & Stephen McFeely (“Captain America: The First Avenger”). Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” returns Chris Evans (“Captain America: The First Avenger,” “Marvel’s The Avengers”) as the iconic Super Hero character Steve Rogers/Captain America, along with Scarlett Johansson (“Marvel’s The Avengers,” “Iron Man 2”) as Black Widow and Samuel L. Jackson (“Marvel’s The Avengers,” “Iron Man 2”) as Nick Fury. In addition, film icon Robert Redford has joined the all-star cast as Agent Alexander Pierce, a senior leader within the S.H.I.E.L.D. organization. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is set for release in the U.S. on April 4, 2014.
“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” will pick-up where “Marvel’s The Avengers” left off, as Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world and teams up with Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, to battle a powerful yet shadowy enemy in present-day Washington, D.C.
Based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series, first published in 1941, Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” features an outstanding supporting cast that includes Sebastian Stan (“Captain America: The First Avenger,” “Black Swan”) as Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier, Anthony Mackie (“The Hurt Locker,” “Million Dollar Baby”) as Sam Wilson/Falcon, Cobie Smulders (“Marvel’s The Avengers,” “How I Met Your Mother”) as Agent Maria Hill, Frank Grillo (“Zero Dark Thirty”) as Brock Rumlow and Georges St-Pierre (“Death Warrior”) as Georges Batroc. Rounding out the talented cast are Hayley Atwell (“Captain America: The First Avenger”) as Peggy Carter, Toby Jones (“Captain America: The First Avenger,” “The Hunger Games”) as Arnim Zola, Emily VanCamp (“The Ring 2,” “Revenge”) as Agent 13 and Maximiliano Hernández (“Marvel’s The Avengers,” “Thor”) as Agent Jasper Sitwell.
Marvel Studios’ President Kevin Feige is producing the film. Executive producers on the project include Alan Fine, Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Michael Grillo and Stan Lee. The creative production team on the film includes director of photography Trent Opaloch (“Elysium,” “District 9”), production designer Peter Wenham (“21 Jump Street,” “Fast Five”), editors Jeffrey Ford, A.C.E. and Mary Jo Markey, A.C.E. (“Star Wars: Episode 7,” “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”) and three time Oscar®-nominated costume designer Judianna Makovsky (“The Hunger Games,” “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”).
I will definitely keep you posted as I hear more about this amazing movie!
I am a huge fan of Johnny Depp, and I grew up watching The Lone Ranger (God that makes me feel SO old), so I am really looking forward to checking out Disney’s newest movie — The Lone Ranger.
He makes a good Tonto, eh? And — don’t get me started on Armie Hammer. When I was a kid, I wanted to marry The Lone Ranger just so I could holler out ” HI-YO Silver, Away!!!!”. Not to mention that as a kid, he was every girl’s dream. Now — Armie is gonna be that dream. He makes a very nice looking Lone Ranger.
Check out the trailer below:
About the movie
From producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski, the filmmaking team behind the blockbuster “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise, comes Disney/Jerry Bruckheimer Films’ “The Lone Ranger,” a thrilling adventure infused with action and humor, in which the famed masked hero is brought to life through new eyes. Native American warrior Tonto (Johnny Depp) recounts the untold tales that transformed John Reid (Armie Hammer), a man of the law, into a legend of justice—taking the audience on a runaway train of epic surprises and humorous friction as the two unlikely heroes must learn to work together and fight against greed and corruption.
Native American warrior Tonto (Johnny Depp) and man of the law John Reid (Armie Hammer) are opposites brought together by fate and must join forces to battle greed and corruption.
“Like” THE LONE RANGER on Facebook: www.facebook.com/theloneranger
“Follow” THE LONE RANGER on Twitter: https://twitter.com/disneypictures
Visit THE LONE RANGER website: www.disney.com/theloneranger
THE LONE RANGER rides into theaters on July 3rd!
When I first heard that Thor 2 was coming out this year, I immediately texted my daughter and told her. Her reply back was the kissy emoji on her iphone. She is SO in love with Thor.
Here is a teaser trailer for Thor Dark World, which is set to come out in theaters on November 8th.
About the movie:
Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World” continues the big-screen adventures of Thor, the Mighty Avenger, as he battles to save Earth and all the Nine Realms from a shadowy enemy that predates the universe itself. In the aftermath of Marvel’s “Thor” and “Marvel’s The Avengers,” Thor fights to restore order across the cosmos…but an ancient race led by the vengeful Malekith returns to plunge the universe back into darkness. Faced with an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all.
Starring Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård, Idris Elba, Christopher Eccleston, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Kat Dennings, Ray Stevenson, Zachary Levi, Tadanobu Asano, and Jaimie Alexander with Rene Russo and Anthony Hopkins as Odin, Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World” is directed by Alan Taylor, produced by Kevin Feige, from a story by Don Payne (credit not final) and screenplay by Christopher Yost and Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely (credit not final) and is based on Marvel’s classic Super Hero Thor, who first appeared in the comic book “Journey into Mystery “ #83 in August, 1962.
Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World” continues the big-screen adventures of Thor, the Mighty Avenger, as he battles to save Earth and all the Nine Realms from a shadowy enemy that predates the universe itself.
Like THOR on Facebook: Facebook.com/Thor
Follow THOR on Twitter: Twitter.com/ThorMovies
Visit the website: www.marvel.com/thor
THOR: THE DARK WORLD releases in theaters on November 8, 2013!
For those bloggers that live to travel, all I can say after this weekend is MORE POWER TO YA! Oh my goodness– I cannot even begin to tell you the horrors of my Friday afternoon.
After finishing up an amazing press trip with @Hotpockets and learning some very important culinary information about myself, I headed to the Cleveland airport to get prepared to board my flight to head home. As soon as I was checking in — I got the worst news ever — my flight had been cancelled.
Now, I have never had this happen before, so I am immediately going into panic mode. I go to the desk, and the United Clerk assures me everything is fine, so he puts me on another flight that leaves at 5:30. It is now 5:00 and I have yet to make it through security.
At 5:20 I am through security and walking as fast as I can to the gate to board my plane. As I get to the gate, I see that they have delayed the flight until 7pm. Okay — so far, this was good. I had a little time. My other flight did not depart from Chicago until 9:14 so I knew that would leave me plenty of time.
Two more times during the next hour at Cleveland, my flight was delayed. I was beginning to panic again as I realized that I might not get home that night. It was frustrating. At this point, I felt like every hair on my body was being removed by a laser hair removal machine.
Finally at 8:40pm, we boarded the airplane to head to Chicago. The flight took longer than expected and I just knew that my other flight from Chicago to Paducah had already taken off.
After deboardning the plane and getting to my new gate, I am then told that my flight from Chicago to Paducah has been delayed and won’t take off until 10:40pm. I was relieved that I did not have to miss my flight because I really wanted to be home.
10 minutes later, I look up and they have delayed the flight until 11:15 — 30 minutes later, the flight was delayed until 12:05.I just kept thinking to myself — this is crazy! What is going on!
Finally at 11:30pm, we get on the plane in Chicago and start making our way to Paducah.
Now the real fun starts.
About halfway home to Paducah (which is only an hour plane ride), we hit a windshear and our engine on the plane is damaged. I AM FREAKING OUT by this point. The pilot comes on the speaker and tells us all not to worry that we are going to turn around and go back to Chicago for maintenance to the plane.
Once we get back, United Express gave us all a room and food vouchers to use and booked us on the next flight out the following day. Thankfully everything worked out ok, but this trip has me rethinking about going away all the time. I truly think I would rather drive, but then again, I would miss all the fun opportunities.
Yes– I was terribly frightened, but I realized that God had everything under control. I prayed and asked God to close the door on any decision I would have made that would have been wrong that night. I knew the right thing would be to just stay the night and leave the next morning, but my flesh wanted me to be home with my family, so I was choosing to just plow through all the bad weather and put my life in danger just to get home. God saw fit to take care of that for me and have the flight cancelled just to keep me safe.
Don’t think that just because your plans change that it is an inconvenience to you. God may just be protecting you from harm that you cannot see.
What about you? Have you ever went through anything like this?
Welcome to Pearl Girls™ Mother of Pearl Mother’s Day blog series—a nine-day celebration of moms and mothering. Each day will feature a new post by some of today’s best writers (Tricia Goyer, Lisa Takeuchi Cullen, Beth Vogt, Lesli Westfall, and more). I hope you’ll join us each day for another unique perspective on Mother’s Day.
AND . . . do enter the contest for a chance to win a beautiful handcrafted pearl necklace and a JOYN India bag. Enter at the bottom of this post. The contest runs 5/4-5/13, and the winner will be announced on 5/14. Contest is only open to U.S. residents.
If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info, subscribe to our blog, and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Mother of Pearl: Luminous Lessons and Iridescent Faith to help support Pearl Girls™.
And to all you MOMS out there, Happy Mother’s Day!
How I Learned to Give Up Control by Sue Edwards
I’m one of those mothers who would like to control everything in my children’s lives. You may be too, all out of the best intentions. I tried frantically to do that for many years until God grabbed my attention and wrestled my control issues from my clenched fists. It happened this way.
My youngest daughter attended a large university where campus housing was at a premium. Her second year she was accepted into one of the nicest dorms on campus, but the rule was that you could either choose the room or the roommate of your choice but not both. Well, I had heard horror stories of what happened when you roomed with some girls–like men in the room, and I turned into mother bear. I was not going to allow my child to take pot luck in roommates, nor were we willing to give up that choice room.
I had heard that if your child had a learning disability they would ditch the rule. So I decided to make my case with the administrator who could fix this unfair situation. All week, I was on the phone long distance climbing my way up the ladder to the gentleman who could give my daughter the room and roommate she deserved.
And finally, I was on the phone with him. We talked for a few minutes, and then he asked me, “Does your daughter have a learning disability?” I answered rather indignantly, “Well, I prefer not to label people.” That did it. He bought it. I had done the impossible. I called my daughter, she turned cart wheels on the other end of the phone, and we rejoiced together.
Only the roommate she had chosen, the dear Christian girl from her church, did not turn out to be the roommate she expected. In fact, she did have men in the room, a lot. And she went home at Christmas under suspicious circumstances. All fall I had to endure calls from my daughter who was trying to figure out how to navigate this awkward situation. And it was my fault. Some of us are stubborn and God needs a two by four to get our attention, and break us of our control issues. This was that time for me, and for my daughter. Now, when we are tempted to take control instead of trusting God, we look at each other, remember, smile, and let go.
God knows what he is doing in your life, my life, and the lives of our children. And he loves our children more than we do, as impossible as that may sound. So trust him, follow him. Two by fours are rather painful. You won’t regret trusting your Sovereign Father who has your, and your children’s, best interest at heart.
Dr. Sue Edwards has over thirty-five years experience as a Bible teacher, overseer of ministries to women, and author. Now, as a full-time professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, she equip men and women for future ministry all over the world. And women everywhere enjoy learning the Scriptures in face to face groups as well as an online community using her Bible studies, the Discover Together Series. To join the online Bible study community or to converse with Sue, go to Facebook.com/discovertogetherseries. She is currently working on a book with Barbara Neumann on mentoring millennials. Married for forty years, she and David are the parents of two married daughters and the grandparents of five.
Creating an herb garden from leftover materials is not only genious, but it will also help you to green your lifestyle a bit by recyclying. So how do you turn an old pallet into an herb garden?
- Find a pallet. Don’t just take the first pallet you find. You’re looking for one with all the boards in good condition, no nails sticking out, no rotting, etc.
- Gather your supplies. You are gonna need the pallet you found, 2 large bags of potting soil, 14- 6 packs of your favorite herbs or more (you can do less if you want), a small roll of landscape fabric, a staple gun, staples, and sand paper.
- Time to put on the backing. You are going to be covering the bottom, back, and sides with landscape fabric, leaving the spaces between the slats on the front and the top uncovered (you’ll be planting herbs in the uncovered spaces). Staple it all on after measuring it out.
- Planting time! Bring the pallet close to wherever it’s final spot will be and lay it down face up. You’re going to plant it while it’s laying flat on the ground. Take your two bags of Moisture Control Potting Mixl and push the soil into the pallet between the slats and smooth it out so that the soil is level. Repeat with the second bag of potting soil.
- Wait two weeks: You should leave the pallet flat on the ground for a couple of weeks (watering when needed), so that the roots can start to grow in and hold all the plants in place.
Trying to find out what inspires you in the garden? Feeling like it can sometimes be complicated, time intensive, etc? Miracle-Gro’s The Gro Project is here to showcase that fun garden projects should not be complicated!
Miracle-Gro wants to simplify gardening for a whole new class of gardeners and show that it can be easy, fun and enjoyable! This is a growing movement of theirs and they WANT the passion to come out starting with you! Miracle-Gro wants you, the gardener to show your colors and wave the banner of the movement. By sharing you are helping form the movement and spreading the word.
Be sure to follow Miracle-Gro on Pinterest.
I am a lover of the Dollar General Store. It is like my home away from home. In fact, I am in there so much, the cashiers pretty much know be my name. I get all of our household supplies there, dog food, home decor, but did you also know that the Dollar General Store has beautiful fashion for less money as well?
Dollar General has more a lot more to offer than you think. It’s not just home cleaning products, grocery stables and cutesy craft items, they have awesome apparel for the whole family too!
New Spring Looks
I am loving this gorgeous Maxi dress and halter dress that was in the Dollar General Apparel Book.
One of the above dresses at a local department store — same brand now — was about $20 more than the one pictured above. For me, it's not about brand, and it's not about names. For me, it's about the look and feel when I have it on.
If I try something on, and I love the way it looks on me — then you can pretty much bet I am gonna get it. If I can save money in the process — that is just a win win in my book.
You know my black yoga pants that I am always going on and on about? I have had those yoga pants for about 7 years now, and I got them from the Dollar General Store. I just love them
I am super excited that I am down 7 pounds since I started watching what and how I eat. I think by choosing more good for me foods, my body is reacting to that, and I am getting slimmer and fitter.
One of my major changes was straying from all kinds of oils and sticking with just olive oil for the most part. It is a good fat and can really flavor up your food — like this yummy Beef-Stir Fry recipe that I made the other night.
One of my favorite brands of Olive oil is Pompeian Olive Oil. The grapeseed oil really enhances the flavor of your food and can make any greek meal taste SO authentic. A chef secret for decades, grapeseed oil has similar health benefits to olive oil, but it is even more versatile for cooking due to its light taste and high smoke point. Trust me when I say that all chefs use this delectable flavored oil
Another recipe that I found that sounds extremely delicious and one I will be trying soon is Smoky Fried Chickpeas. I love Chickpeas anyway — so when I found this recipe, I knew it was going into my recipe “to make” catalog.
Do you love to cook and share recipes?
Pompeian and Hungry Girl are challenging bloggers to change our oil by re-imagining a recipe that uses butter or vegetable oil, and instead try Pompeian’s Grapeseed Oil or OlivExtra Premium Mediterranean Blend.
Simply post the recipe with an accompanying image on your blog, head to the Pompeian’s Time to Change Your Oil Facebook app to share a link to your blog, enter your contact info and click SUBMIT! Update: The submission portion of the campaign is over and that you can now check out the semi-finalists and cast your vote through Sunday, May 12th for the most creative and appetizing recipe that best incorporates Pompeian.
The winner will be selected by Hungry Girl Lisa Lillien and will receive an all-expense paid trip to BlogHer Food ’13 in Austin, TX June 7-8. Plus, your recipe will be featured with Pompeian throughout the event!
I am so excited! What kind of recipe would you submit?
My yard at our new house is a HOT mess and is gonna take me all summer to get it looking like I really want it to. It is filled with weeds, crab grass, and ugly field grass. I long for the pretty green grass from my other house that was super soft. My son called it "rich people grass". It's just a gorgeous shade of green and you just love to walk barefoot through it.
I am bound and determined to get my yard looking beautiful again. It is going to take some time, but I will eventually get it there. Here are 4 tools that are gonna help me do just that.
Having a mower is essential. I will tell you that mowers mow a yard different. We used to have a zero turn and it made our yard look so much better than just a regular riding mower. If you use a push mower, choose one that mulches the grass. It throws it better so you have less clumping. There is nothing worse than having clumpy grass.
In order for your yard to look it's best and create sustainable gardening, you will want to keep certain gardening supplies on hand — shovels, hoes, rakes, sprinklers — all of these are essential tools when it comes to having a plush yard.
The sees spreader is so important. You can do it by hand, but with the spreader, your seeds will be more evenly spread out.
Florida Select Mulch is made from 100% Florida-grown Eucalyptus. Eucalyptus Mulch is a sustainable Cypress alternative, grown in Florida, for Florida!
Eucalyptus Mulch is the best option for your landscape because it is –
1. SUSTAINABLE: Sustainably-harvested and plantation grown Eucalyptus is considered a renewable resource because it re-grows up to 4-times faster than Cypress.*
2. NATURAL: Made from 100% plantation-grown Eucalyptus trees. Eucalyptus Mulch is guaranteed free from any construction, demolition, pallet, or other waste materials.
3. EFFECTIVE: Prevents weeds naturally** while helping to conserve soil moisture and moderate soil temperature.
4. LOCAL: 100% Florida-grown – helps support your local economy.
*Sustainably-harvested and plantation grown Eucalyptus is considered a renewable resource because it re-grows up to 4-times faster than Cypress.
**A three-inch layer of Eucalyptus Mulch naturally helps prevent weeds by blocking growth and access to sunlight.
For non Florida Residents!
If you don't live in Florida — no worries. Scotts Nature Scapes mulch will meet your needs. Scotts® Nature Scapes® mulch is an option for all your lanscaping needs this Spring! It comes in 3 different colors:
Deep Forest Brown
The best part? They are all natural forest products – no waste wood and come in a variety of textures. Scotts Mulch helps to maintain moisture, prevent weeds, and create a groomed landscape all year long.
It is absolutely no secret how much I love my little Tucker man! He is the light of my life and pretty much is my third child.
Because I love him so much, I try to do my best to take care of him. There are three things that you can do as well to make sure that your little sweet fur baby stays healthy and happy.
All dogs regardless of size need exercise — even the little ones. My little man loves to get out and go on long walks. Granted, afterwards he is super duper tired, but he still loves to get out and sniff and explore.
Always make sure to feed your dogs good quality dog food. For me, we switched to an all natural and organic diet. He eats what we eat (but what is good for him). There are sites online that has a list of people food that is really good for your dogs and even gives you sites where you can make homemade dog food and biscuits.
Keep Fleas and Ticks at Bay
Fleas and ticks are always trying their best to take over my sweet little Tucker, but I have learned that it is MY job to make sure that doesn't happen. That is why I use Vectra 3D.
Vectra 3D is a long lasting, broad spectrum parasite control for dogs – flea and tick control. For your small dog or puppy, use Vectra for Dogs and Puppies.
How would you like to win $100? Enter now for the Vectra’s Protect the love Facebook Sweepstakes for a chance to win a $100 gift card to use at your next veterinarian visit. A gift card will be rewarded each week for the duration of the Sweepstakes. If you are like me, $100 can go a long way for paying for shots and more when you take your pet to the vet.
Each entrant to the Protect the love Sweepstakes can also claim a free dose of Vectra flea & tick control. Users can print out a coupon for a free dose to redeem at a Vectra veterinarian near them. All you need to do is enter the sweepstakes, then visit FirstDoseFree.com and fill out the form.
Watch this video for more information
Protect the love™ is the official social identity of Vectra flea & tick control. Vectra is a product of Ceva Animal Health, LLC and has multiple formulas for dogs, cats, puppies and kittens. *DO NOT USE VECTRA 3D ON CATS