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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Giveaway!


That's right, we're entering into a New Year and I'm in the mood to give! Remember the sweet Jesus stocking from my Christmas traditions post here. Well, I thought it would be great to share.I went to the Bookstore and I couldn't find the full size one that I have, but I did find this cute, mini one. It has little notecards included that you can use to write down your "gifts" to Jesus. It would be Great for a table-top tree. So if you want to win, simply leave me a comment sharing your Favorite Family Tradition. It could be anything from a Christmas song, a favortie movie, or even a cookie recipe. I know people usually shop for their decorations after the Holidays, so this giveaway is right on time! The contest lasts until January 12th. What a great year to start a NEW family tradition. Just a thought....but a lovely one!

You can find other Great gifts and deals at
http://www.familychristian.com/

Monday, December 28, 2009

My Goodness!


My Goodness! It feels like I've been gone forever! lol. I've just been wrapping up a very blessed and eventful holiday break with my family, so I haven't had time to write. I missed it! It's such a wonderful release and I truly love sharing my thoughts with others. Okay, I have been doing a little shopping.....smile, but hey, can you blame me? The sales have been great! I also didn't really have any Christmas requests (other than a magazine subscription or two,wink wink). I just enjoyed family time. I also made my very FIRST turkey! yeah me! I know what some of you may be thinking. I've been married 8 years and never made a turkey? well.... Aaron's never been a big turkey fan. Every year when I would ask him what he wanted to eat for the Holidays, he would say Prime Rib, Roasted chicken, or Ham. We also juggled alot of holidays with family so, I never really had the opportunity. This year a friend of Aaron's gifted us with one and he decided it would be great so......24 lbs of Turkey(HUGE!) a few sprinkles of poultry seasoning and herbs, and 6 hours later. voila! I have a picture of the turkey cooked halfway through (sorry you didn't get to see the finished product). Aaron was SO proud of the way it turned out. He kept commenting on how juicy and tender it was. The real seal of approval was when my Mother-in-Love, Cindy was impressed.  I love to cook and to try new recipes and I'm already thinking of combining  some of my "experiments" with all of you, my dear blog friends, but we'll chat about that later. I'm sure I'm not the only one thinking "Wow! This year has really flown by!". I honestly have to say that there has been so much going on. My reflections of these last few days of 2009 are that life  IS short, and you have to make the most of each day. As my boys childhood seems to be marching by and my wedding anniversaries are increasing, I'm taking the time out to truly be appreciate of what I have....God, family, friends, and wonderful memories. There are bound to be many changes in 2010, but for the moment, I'm trying to be content in all things,as they are, right now....Just a thought, but a Lovely one.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The world's best Spiced Chai



I can't really tell you when I first fell in Love with Tea. Both of my parents were Strong coffee drinkers. I made so many cups for them throughout the years that I could have taught Starbucks a thing or two. I've never been a java girl, so I would substitute with tea. I can distinctly remember when I discovered Spiced Chai, my favorite tea. I was working at a large specialty store in Downtown Chicago. As you know, I'm an avid reader and there was a bookstore next door. The kind that had a little cafe inside. I remember going in for a quick muffin and possibly juice when I glanced at the menu board above and saw "Spiced Chai".  I had never heard of it, but it sounded delicious and when they asked if I wanted whipped cream,well......from that day forward I was sold! I can remember stopping in for  breakfast or lunch, picking up an international Fashion magazine ( my other weakness) and going back to work.It was a time in my life when I felt SO mature. I was 19, working at a posh store,drinking Chai and eating a croissant every morning with strawberry jam. Oh, I use to wear all black too.Not the gothic  kind, but the Audrey Hepburn type. How chic of a teenager was I?lol. Anywhoo, back to the tea. There are just so many wonderful feelings that I get whenever I drink that tea. It reminds me of a very happy period of my life. My youth, Independence, and my desire to be Sophisticated. It's funny, but I try to maintain these same attributes today. I'm not as young as I was then, but I'm definitely still very youthful. My Independence takes on a new meaning now that I'm married with a family, and as far as sophistication goes, well....don't we ALL aspire to be? Many things in life change, some changes are very good, but it's the special things that stay the same that bring us true comfort. Just like  a good cup of Chai tea. Don't forget to share a cup with a friend. Then you can create new memories.
Just a thought....but a Lovely one.

My Chai Tea
1 Spiced Chai Tea bag
2-3 shots (or Tsps) of Vanilla syrup
1/2 a tsp of sugar
Lots of whipped cream
A sprinkle of cinnamon
Enjoy!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Traditions for the Holidays


Almost every family has a tradition that they incorporate into their Holidays each year. Sometimes it's  simple like opening one gift on Christmas Eve (which was my Husband's family tradition) or going to  a church service  to hear the children's choir singing like angels (which was my tradition). A few years ago my mother-in-Love, Cindy, decided she wanted to incorporate more into our family traditions. She was at the Christian bookstore (Family Christian, I believe) and she saw this Lovely Jesus Christmas stocking. The stocking came with stationery and envelopes.She gifted both of her daughters (me and Rachel, Aaron's sister) with one. Every Christmas Eve, we sit  together as a family and write our *gift* to Jesus. They are things we intend to do to make God smile for the upcoming New year. It can be as small as remembering to read our word daily, or as large as helping another family throughout the year. Then we seal our envelopes and put them in the stockings. They hang with all of the other Christmas decorations, and get packed away when we take down the tree,until we open them next year. The whole family participates, even the small children. It's always fun to read what our focus for God and life was the year before. It's also fun to see who accomplished their goal or *gift*, and who didn't remember! lol. Each Christmas Eve we look forward to this. Now that we live in a different state, we have still keep our tradition alive with are own family. Our family has been  able to join us for most Christmas holidays, but our first year down here, we still continued with the tradition. What Christmas tradition does you family look forward to? The great thing about traditions is that  they don't have to be very old to be special. You can start something this year and by next year it becomes a tradition! So start today making your holiday as special as you want it to be.......and Don't forget to remember the True reason for the season.....Just a thought, but a Lovely one.

If you want to look  for the stocking, you may try
http://www.familychristian.com/

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A glimpse of Christmas

Well I'm teaming up  with the
Nester's Christmas home tours www.thenester.com/2009/12/christmas-tour.html
and Cindy's Show and Tell Friday at
http://www.romantichome.blogspot.com/ to show a bit of my home for Christmas. Don't forget to turn your speakers up.
Enjoy!





Well, that's it. I hope you enjoyed it. I called it a glimpse because I have a three year old who's determined to eat all of my candy canes and to *play* with all of  my decorations so I decided to go a little light this year. My hubby and Oldest son didn't seem to mind as long as the tree was up. I'm still very new to blogging(almost 3 months in)
so It's a great honor for me to join in. The Nester is AWESOME! I love her blog, so sweet, pretty, and down -to-earth. Totally cute projects, yet totally do-able. Cindy's Blog is AMAZING, it's one of the first that I followed and I think she has one of the most Beautiful and most inspiring homes that I've seen.See for yourself .http://www.romantichome.blogspot.com/ Don't forget to see what the other creative ladies are doing. Check out www.thenester.com/2009/12/christmas-tour.html over a thousand blogs have entered already. UNBELIEVABLE! Be inspired, have fun and tell them I sent you....Be a sweetie and leave a comment......Just a Thought, but a Lovely one!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

One proud Mommy!



It's Official. I'm the proud Mom of a Tiger Scout! My oldest son Micah, is so excited to be apart of the Boy scouts and I confess I'm Thrilled! As a kid in the 80's the coolest thing you could be was a Cub scout or a Brownie. I'm so pleased that Micah can be apart of this wonderful organization. Two weeks ago, he had the priviledge of particpating in one of the city's parades. So cool for him. Actually it was cold, even being from the north I was Freezing in my layers of clothing! but Micah didn't complain once. He gave out candy canes, smiled and waved as if he had been doing it his entire life. In a way he has. He has been a joy since he was born, so I guess spreading a little of it this season just came naturally to him. We all know our kids can be a handfull sometimes (and  secretly I'm sure they know it too, lol) so it's nice when we can tell them How special they are and how Proud we are! Here's a few pic of that day. It was REALLY cold so my husband didn't get too many( bless his heart, he walked the entire time alongside the float while I sat in the car with our youngest. Now that's one proud Daddy!) My son is the one is the red and blue coat with the red gloves. The boy next to him in all of the pictures is his best friend Israel.






                                                              



LOVE the *wink* with  a handfull of candy!

What has your child done recently to make you One Proud Mommy! Tell him about it. Whether it was finishing their homework correctly or playing nicely with a sibling, I'm sure they would love to hear you say "I'm SO proud of you!"...........I think you would feel good too.......Just a thought, but a Lovely one.
p.s. Don't forget to leave a comment so we can all share in your child's success!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What do You believe?


I have written about a couple of my passions these last few months. My love of God, my family, my home, my magazines, and etc. The name of this blog is Moms for Morality not merely for family and home life, but for the hardcore issues that affect and threaten our home and beliefs. Recently in the news a second grader was sent home for drawing a picture of  a crucifix when asked for something that reminded him of the holiday. His family had recently visited a National shrine of crucifixes.He was immediately removed from the classroom, involved in a psychiatric evaluation and his parents were notified for him to go home until further notice. After the exam results were fine, the school refused to apologize to the boy or his family for the trauma that the child received from the whole ordeal , yet agreed with the parents to have the boy transferred. I ask you, is this fair? Is a child's belief system such a harmful thing that they have to be removed from the school? Has religion posed such a threat on our education system that the school board feels obligated to rid themselves of students with opposing belief or Any belief? I have family members and close friends who are everything from principals to special education teachers, so I am NOT condemning the entire school system. I'm simply saying that it's kind of scary when it's safer to believe in a Santa Claus, who for some people never existed, than a God who's real to so many........Just a thought

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Giveaway Winner!

And the winner  for the Emilie Barnes Devotional is...........Katie! Thank you Katie for participating. Her favorite blog story of mine was Exploration day, when I took the kids to Marietta.I'm so excited for you. I know that you'll enjoy the book as much as I did.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Show and Tell Friday: My Inspirational home

I've always loved the feel of a Christian bookstore. It's always peaceful, the artwork is beautiful and uplifting,the music is soft and soothing...... It's the type of place where you just know that you are welcome. I've always wanted my home to feel that way. A place where people are surrounded by beauty, and everywhere they looked they'll find inspiration in ordinary things. Well, with a house full of active men (a happy-go-lucky Husband and two energetic boys) the peace around here comes with a different kind of soundtrack, but hopefully the joyous atmosphere makes up for the noise.I'm excited to be able to partcipate in  Show and Tell Friday with Cindy from romantichome.blogspot.com Her home is Absolutely Beautiful and an inspiration to hundreds of women every week! Here's my collection of inspirational everyday items and artwork that I have around the house.Hope you'll be inspired to make a regular day......a Lovely one.



















 A collection that's still growing...Happy Friday



Great Thought: Here's a few of my Favorite places to find inspirational Pieces and books

Amazingly simple

You know those days that you  wake up just feeling Happy for no particular reason? Usually, we have days like this when we're children, but somehow, as we get older, we grow out of it. We tend to need more motivation for joy.Now it takes an up and coming vacation, or planned shopping trip to work up our happy glow. Today, I  woke up feeling Wonderful. Nothing new has happened, I just sense that God is good and life is too. All that I have is all that I need to feel blessed. It is amazing how our mood changes when we switch our perspective to a grateful frame of mind. It doesn't have to be Thanksgiving to feel thankful. It may be Thursday, but I'm in a Friday mood..........Just a Thought, but a Lovely one.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Meals and Morals









Today I decided to feed the Stomach as well as the Soul. What do you feed on? There has been a recent wave of going green, eating well, living longer,etc. I think that what we feed our soul is even more important than what we put in our mouths. We know that there are certain foods that we can eat to increase our energy and  to help us to retain a youthful appearance, but sometimes we forget that there are also conscience decisions that we can make for a more peaceful, and joyous life. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of daily prayer with God. It is just the Most positive thing that you can do for yourself and for those around you.  We all have lives filled with responsibilities and obligations that are not always of our choosing, that consume both our time and energy sometimes robbing us of the very things and people that we love the most. I don't know how much time that you have in your day, but even if you  only have one chance to sit down and to eat one meal, make a habit of communicating with God your gratitude for whatever you are eating. A brief whisper of thanks to God,your provider, can make a world of difference.Pray that your meal will not only fill your stomach with tasty goodness, but your heart with gladness. I promise that just like the meal pictured above, it's deliciously simple and ultimately satisfying. One of the most familiar sounds that I have of my childhood is that of my mother praying in the bathroom (or if occupied me or one of my three brothers, she would resort to the closet). I can remember hearing her singing hymns that softly transitioned into whispers of gratitude for our family, expressions of thanks for God's goodness, and requests for our continued safety, health, and overall well-being. The house always had an unusal stillness about it when mom would go off to her "secret place" to pray. Even as small children, a hush would come over us, as if we knew that the time that she was spending with God was special. Mom always returned with more peace than she had before. Sure, with our large family things would get busy again. Dad would come home from work, dinner would be made, homework checked,chores completed, baths taken, and there were other prayers at bed time, but the  moments that she took to herself are the ones I remember as being special. The softness of her voice afterwards, and the gentle expression on her face. She literally seemed to glow with beauty.I remember thinking that I wanted my children to know those same feeling that I had experienced daily. I wanted them to know the same peace and stillness, to hear the same joy in my voice and to see the outward expression on my face afterwards, and to know that it was all because I had spent "special" time with God.I confess that I am still striving to get there. I only have two children. How my mother managed an orderly life with four is beyond me, but I like to think that those secret moments is how she got there. So Today let's save a little time making dinner with this simple recipe so we can spend a little more time receiving Peace and Joy from the one who blessed us with it all...... Just a Thought, but a Lovely one.









I got the chicken recipe from one of the cookbooks that I received as a newlywed 8 years ago :Taste of Home 2001 Annual Recipes. The Anti-pasta is something that I cooked up by combining a wonderful recipe for marinated cucumbers(also found in this cook book) and a rotini that I have been making for my husband for years. The combination is SO Good! Both recipes feed 4-8 people depending on the amount of chicken breasts that you use.
Breaded Ranch Chicken
3/4 cup of crushed cornflakes
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix
4-8 skinless,boneless chicken breasts(2lb)
1/2 cup butter or margarine(1 stick) Melted
Directions
In a shallow bowl, combine the cornflakes,Parmesan, and salad dressing mix. Dip the chicken in the melted butter, then roll in the cornflake mixture. Place in a greased 13-in x 9-in baking dish. Bake, uncovered at 350 for 35-45min or until chicken juices run clear.

Marinated cucmbers
2-4 medium cucumbers, thinly sliced(depending on personal taste)
1 medium onion, sliced
1 cup vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
combine all ingredients in a tupperware bowl with a tight lid. I like to marinate it overnight, but it still tastes good if you add it to the pasta a couple of hours before

Anti Pasta
1 box tri-colored rotini
4oz of Mozzarella,cut into cubes
1 bag(16oz) frozen Brocolli, thawed
1 Red Bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 medium, Red Onion (thinly sliced)
1/2 cup of Zesty Italian dressing
6oz Pepperoni, sliced in halves(optional)
Directions
Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. Run cold water on noodles(while in a colander or strainer) after cooking to cool off(or just set them in the fridge) add all of the ingredients (including the cucumbers with juices) stir  and serve cold. Refrigerate leftovers.
The Drink is a well iced Green tea Peach Mango from Crystal Light


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