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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Facebook Break

For over 2 weeks, I have fasted from Facebook.  Well, to put it more bluntly, I deactivated my FB for an undetermined amount of time.  There are lots of reasons people temporarily deactivate.  Sickness, Tragedy, Unforeseen Circumstances, Job Interviews, Embarrassment, Fasting.... Well, the reason I stepped away for a bit is not from anything listed above.  It was because it was becoming toxic to my well-being.  Like poison.  No, I'm not exaggerating, even though I tend to do that. ;) This is the real deal!  There are a lot of things I need want to say, but I choose not to throw it out on FB, simply because if it doesn't edify and encourage others, it's pointless and useless and does more harm than good.

Now, hold on a minute...

I am NOT for fake...never has any problems...everything is perfect either! Life is brutal!! Just want to be clear. :) It can encourage others when you go through a hard time by how you get through it.

Currently, there is quite a bit of stress in several areas of my life.  Can anyone relate?!

Our church is going through some changes and with a husband on staff at church, that affects us two-fold.  One- It is my husband's occupation, therefore contributing to "work stress".  Two- This is our  church family.  We love these people! Some of our dearest friends are in the trenches with us.  It hurts us when they hurt.

Tragedies: Since January 2011, we have had 6 deaths of those close to us.  5 of which were family members, and 1 was one of our former students.  With each death, there is a whole new grieving process.  Disbelief and Isolation, Anger, Bargaining(If we had done this differently, then this wouldn't have happened), Depression, and ultimately, Acceptance.

Family stress: I hesitate to say anything in the chance I may offend some. But, in order to deal with a problem, you have to face it head on.  Simply put, there is some stress from every angle of our families, Roger's side included. My side has lost 3 family members within 2 years, and learning how to do things without them has been difficult.  Roger's side has lost 3 in less than a year. Not to mention cancer and sickness on both sides. Family members that are fighting for their life, right now.  Just rough. Then add in the affect it has on all of us.  I'm watching people I love make choices they know will harm them. I'm also watching myself struggling through it and wondering how I will handle it each day.  Trust me, it's different every day.  It's much like the grieving process listed above.  There are days when I'm angry. Days I'm depressed. Days I am bargaining-"Maybe if I had been a better wife, sister, daughter, mom, friend, etc...these things would not be happening..."(my inner dialogue)

Then, there are those stresses we all deal with from time to, friendships, disappointing those we love and care about, personal stuggles/addictions.

What was happening with Facebook, is I would see a passive aggressive status or comment, and I would just be infuriated.  If you have to choose whether you want to be passive aggressive, or just plain aggressive, I aggresive. B-E aggressive!  Whoa...that takes me back to my old cheerleading days! ;) But, seriously, why not handle it the way God says to?  I'm sure He didn't have in mind that we should throw verses back and forth at one another in order to win an arguement or prove a point, just for OUR own satisfaction of hurting someone.  For His children to be slinging hateful comments back and forth or saying things you wouldn't dare say to the person's face.  I don't think that's what He had in mind. God says to handle conflict by going to the person directly(Matthew 18:15).

Yes, I know it's much easier to make a case against someone and get them on your side, than handling it directly with the person you have the issue with.  Trust me, I've been there! But, the place that offers more peace is where I want to be. The way to do this, is to go to that person.  You can't control how they react to it, only how you react.

Very wordy post, I know...but if I can't be candid and honest with you and myself, what's the point?

I plan on returning later this week to FB.  I have dealt with some things I needed to deal with and I think I'll be a lot better off.  I have learned through this that life is more than what I want to post to FB!  I have started using my time in other ways. I got back to more quality time with My Savior and my family, blogging, texting or actually calling people, and, wait for it....listening to people when they talk to me rather than having the compulsion to check FB while the person is talking.  True story. :)  I highly recommend time away...time away where you can't get on and see what's going on! Time to live your life!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough's healthy.

Oh my goodness, y'all...  

Is your mouth watering yet? I don't know about you, but when I make cookies, my favorite part is eating the cookie dough! Well, I was in luck when I found this recipe on a great healthy dessert blog.  She has so many recipes I want to try! I absolutely have a sweet tooth, but I've been making healthier food choices and have started running again.  Yes.  It's true.  So, when I found this, you have to understand how very excited I was!  I can make healthy choices and still get to have some yummy sweets?  The answer was, "Yes.  Yes, I can."  Here was my experience in making this cookie dough dip!

Most importantly, I included my girls in the fun:

"Momma, can we please get started???"
Yes..I'm aware that her flower doesn't match her shirt... ;),
but a good helper, nonetheless.

 Loves helpin' Momma.

Here's what you'll need:
  • 1 1/2 cups chickpeas (1 can, drained) (250g)- (WHAT??? Are you kidding me?)
  • 1/8 tsp plus 1/16 tsp salt
  • tiny bit over 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup nut butter (You can get away with using only 3 T. If you use peanut butter, it’ll have a very-slight “pb cookie dough” taste, so if you don’t want this, you can sub oil.)
  • up to 1/4 cup milk of choice (Start with 1 T, and add more as needed)
  • Sweetener-2/3 cup brown sugar(you can easily get away with using less. I did!)
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 to 3 T oats (or flaxmeal) (You can omit, but also omit the milk if you do)
So, are you freaking out that there are beans in your cookie dough?  It's ok, I did to.  I promise you though, this stuff tastes wonderful! Plus, it's very high in protein and fiber.  You can dip fruit or graham crackers in it, or just eat it by the spoonful, like me! 

 Add all ingredients (except for chocolate chips) to a good 
food processor, and blend until very, very smooth. 

Then, mix in the chocolate chips.

 Delish!  Seriously, it's kid tested and approved, you can't fake that! 

~~~Funny story:  I actually bought my chickpeas in the bag, and made this while they were still hot from cooking. I simply could not wait! :) I added the chocolate chips too early and they melted!  So, it turned out looking very chocolatey... like pictured above. Well, I gave it another shot and was patient this time!  Here's what it's "supposed" to look like:
more like cookie dough, right?
Either way, they both tasted incredible!

So, who's making some "cookie dough" this week? Not your thing?  Well, Katie has tons of other choices on her page.  You should check it out!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Homemade Dishwashing Soap

If you're like me, you're always looking for ways to keep a little more money in the bank to be used more efficiently.  For the past year, I have made my own laundry soap and "dryer sheets" and have saved my family hundreds of dollars! I have been hesitant to make my own dishwasher soap because I dread the thought of having to re-wash loads for fear of the yucky white residue.  Can anybody relate? So, I finally found one that works, is easy to make, and, BONUS, is economical!  Oh, can I also add that it took less than 5 minutes to make??? That's a commercial break!

Here's what I used:
Borax, Washing Soda(not baking soda), salt, and citric acid

1 cup of Borax

1 cup of Washing Soda

1/2 cup of citric acid...use more for very hard water 
(I've seen people use Kool-Aide packets of lemonade for the 
same citric acid, the smell would be great!)

1/2 cup of salt
(It called for coarse Kosher salt, but I used what I had)

Stir/Shake together in an old container, and it's ready to go!

It only takes 1 Tablespoon, which will yield about 48 loads!  
I also put about 1/2 TB in my pre-wash, but it's not necessary, unless your dishes are like mine...dirty!! ;) 
Avoid using too much as it will result in white coated dishes!

As usual, I use vinegar as my rinsing agent instead of Jet Dry.  
It works, you've got's CHEAP!!

Here's to shiny, clean dishes without breaking the bank!