Top 10 Tips to Adulting Like a Pro

My hubby and I sporting some sophisticated mustaches to look all adult-like:)

1) Clothes folding party: Fold clothes with your hubby and/or kids while watching TV – we call it a folding party – mostly to psych us out and make us motivated to do exactly what we don’t want to do while we also do what we want to do – watch TV:)
2) Make 2-3 meals at once: If I am making a Roast in the crock pot one night – I keep in mind that I can use the broth from that Roast to make soup the next day. If I am making Spaghetti one night, I double the sauce recipe so that I can save it for pizza topping for the next day. If I have 3 lbs of meat and I only need 2 for a casserole, I make all 3 lbs and set aside 1 lb to make taco salad for lunches for the next day. Use your leftovers and save your precious time!
3) Use your lunch break! I have used my lunch break about a million different ways – but here are my top favorites: working out – shaving my legs and stretching in the gym shower – reading – bible study – catch up on email and voicemail – pay bills or budget – catch up with an old friend – R.S.V.P. to all of those invites I’ve received the last 3 months:) – make my grocery list and clip coupons – and keep an eye out for deals online.
4) Make your chores into games so that your kids don’t waste time whining and make you mad in the process. We do one called “Whoever cleans up the most”. My boys are highly motivated by competition, so this is perfect for our house, but use whatever niche your kids have. The boys have a timer – probably 5-10 minutes – more if it’s for more than one room. While I am cleaning something else, they have to pick up all of the toys or clothes on the floor and put them where they go throughout the house. If someone is caught cheating or hiding things, they don’t win. If both boys give a good effort and do their best, everyone wins and gets a prize or treat. If one is slacking off or whining the other one wins by default.
5) Take “get ready” items on the go: I don’t know about you, but I never have enough time to do everything I’m supposed to do in the morning. This is one of the many reasons I carry a huge purse. I can fit deodorant, toothbrush and toothpaste, a travel mouthwash, a razor (for shaving during lunch remember), my makeup, my vitamins, and of course my to-do list. I get a ton of things done in the car on the way to work while my hubby drives. Sharing cars is amazing if you can make it work!

6) I keep snacks and drinks in the car at all times. You never know when you’re going to be stuck in traffic and your kid suddenly needs a fruit snack fix at the same time. Here’s the hack part, though. I always use the snack as a bribe for behavior purposes as well. If it has been a rough morning and the kids are crying in the car about how mean mommy was rushing them out the door, the snack is set aside but they are always reminded that it is readily available when they are polite and respectful, do what mommy and daddy say, and treat each other nicely. If they come into the car nicely, they can have the snack right away, or you can set up a rule that they have to stay behaving well for at least 5 minutes before they get it.

Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!

Did I mention that these little people are ALWAYS EATING?

7)Do you have to race from one event to the next and can’t get a good family meal in? After you grab your snacks to tide you over, turn off the radio and have a conversation in the car in between your errands or activities. Our favorite thing is telling each other’s “High-Lows”. That means, we say one “high” we had for the day (a good thing), and one “low” we had for the day (a bad thing). On long trips we play “I Spy” or we blast the radio and sing in silly voices.

8)Do you have problems designating who does which chores in the house? Don’t want to get strict and make a fancy chart to follow or seem like a nag to your hubby? Do a trade-off deal like my hubby and I do. A long time ago we figured out the things that we each hate to do or pet-peeves that we have individually so that we could avoid petty fights about chores. For example, I know when I have to do laundry because it usually involves potential stains that need to be laundered quickly, so I am great about starting laundry, but not great about putting it in the dryer. He usually doesn’t remember that clothes need to be cleaned :). Therefore, I always start the laundry, he always puts it in the dryer when I tell him ahead of time that it needs to be done soon. I can not stand taking out the trash. He cannot stand refilling all of the garbage bags. He takes the trash out, I refill the garbage bags in each container.  We both hate dishes so we usually go every other night but sometimes make deals with each other so that one of us bathes the kids and the other does dishes. He likes that we don’t use a chart (although I would love a chart) and I like that he is willing to do his share without complaining!

9) Allergies to Dust and Mold? Cleaning Constantly? I hear ya! My youngest has too many allergies to discuss right now, but two big ones that have me cleaning constantly are dust and mold. Wood floors or laminate wood-looking floors are a definite life-saver in this situation. Also, machine washable couch covers, machine washable curtains, and dishwasher safe toys are a life saver. I am telling you, it is hard to find bath toys with no holes in them, but we found them! We usually vacuum everything once a week, sweep sometimes twice a week depending on how often we are home. We change bedding once a week, and run an air purifier that switches rooms all the time. Stuffed animals are never allowed in the kids’ rooms as they will sleep with them and start coughing like crazy! This is tough to keep up with, but if you write it down and keep track, you will get through it!

10)Make your responsibilities fun and do them together and you will get through them much easier! No, you won’t instantly have the urge to scrub pots and pans before bed every night, but at least you can blast your music and get your jam on while you work. It’s better than letting them sit for days while you avoid the stench!

Ecclesiastes 4:9 ESV 

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.

Colossians 3:23 ESV 

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.



Top 10 ways to Get Closer to Jesus

Can you tell me what is so beautiful about this picture? Fathers bonding with their children! Your Heavenly Father wants to bond with you, too!

Hi all,

The above picture is so precious to me because it is my husband with one of our sons, my brother, his two sons (minus his newborn), and if you look close, you can see my eldest son and my niece holding hands. They are all excitedly walking to the pool in my brother’s neighborhood. If one child was going to an empty pool alone, would it be fun? No! The kids are excited about being with each other and being with their dads! If you are a parent, or even if you are a son or daughter, you know that the best parents make time to get to know their children, to bond with them, and to make them feel loved! Why, then, do we not recognize that we should be spending more time with God as our heavenly father? I am guilty of this as well! I have to keep coming back to God and apologize for any time I’ve spent away from him. Through my up and down journey in faith, there are some things I have learned from others and some things I have picked up on through observation of the faithful that I know will bring most people closer to Jesus.

Top 10 Ways to Get Closer to Jesus:

1) Start your day with either a devotional or just a verse and a prayer. It would amaze you how much of a difference 5-15 minutes of time with God can make in your attitude throughout the day! Sometimes my greatest “lightbulb moments” are from one little verse that I’ve seen over and over before, but on that one day, with what I’m going through – it really makes sense and comforts me! My favorite bible is the YouVersion app on my phone because it is always with me!
2) Every now and then look up scriptures that will help you to remember God throughout the day, write them on sticky notes or index cards and tape them to the fridge or the bathroom mirror. Keep them up until you have them memorized and then redo the process with a whole new list. I’ve started to do this with my 7-year-old as well and he is getting into it!
3) Make a conscious effort to talk about God, about verses and about your faith with your family and your friends. You can either do this by joining a bible study, meeting someone regularly for coffee and discussion regularly, etc. You would be surprised how many times faith applies to exactly what someone is complaining about, applies to exactly what someone is struggling with, applies to exactly what someone is searching for in life!

Ethan is excited to golfing with his papa and daddy!

4) Set up some habits that you do yourself that you model to your children, and establish them as rules. For instance: We primarily listen to only Christian music, and sometimes allow for clean kid friendly secular music. Therefore, when my son plays video games and the music has swear words, has sexual content, etc, he already knows, he has to give me the control and I have to change the music selection before he can play. Our kids know that we have safeguards on Netflix that will not allow shows above a certain rating (G or sometimes PG) and then I have the perfect excuse to say no to them.

The Kraut family bonding at the Bay City fireworks!

5) Surround yourself by other like-minded christians. I don’t encourage befriending only christians or completely separating yourself from anyone other than christians. That is like living in a bubble. What I am talking about is protecting your character and your good faith. Surround yourself and your children with christians and generally moral people that you know you can talk about your faith with, that you know you can trust with private information, that you know that you could trust your children with or that would not display obscene behaviors in front of them. You could have close friends that are not christians but that do respect your beliefs and won’t try to put you down or deter you from church. I do not recommend allowing someone to stay in your life who is constantly trying to get you to stray away from your faith, to separate yourself from Jesus, or from the church. That is not being a witness, that is being manipulated and you can’t put up with that and keep your faith in Jesus. You need to stop seeing people like that!

6) Look for evidence of your faith around you. I’ve been asked before, if being a christian was a crime, would there be enough evidence to convict you? That is a good way to judge whether you are being a light for Christ or not! This could be anything from a bible laying on the coffee table to a verse displayed on some artwork hanging up, to a church pamphlet from last week’s service, to a christian phrase on a T-shirt, among other things.

Shawn has persevered through many struggles with asthma but he still needs his mama snuggles!

7)Persevere through testing. Let me tell you, you are going to go through some tests if you haven’t already! We don’t know yet if this test was purposely designed by God to make you stronger and more faithful to him or if you were a victim of circumstances that occurred as a side effect of a fallen world. However, one thing we know. God is good. If God allowed something bad to happen, He will find a way to use it for good. God will use a broken down person, build them up and make them into a champion for Christ. He will not use a pig-headed cocky brat that has never struggled a day in his/her life and can’t empathize with anyone. That’s not attractive at all! John 16:33 (NIV)“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

8)You don’t have to be working in Ministry full-time to minister to people! I struggled with this one for far too long! I kept feeling called to preaching or called to missions or called to some type of christian full-time ministry, but it never worked out that way. God has kept me in a full-time job working with the public because it is where he wants me and where I can do the most good right now. Someday, that may not be the case. Until that day, I will show up, I will smile and welcome people and be a light for Christ right where I am.

9)Accept constructive criticism from other christians and check yourself so that you don’t sin in your anger. Don’t take offense to every little thing someone says that does not line up with your thoughts or ideas. I used to do this way too much. This spirit is not from God and you need to reign it in quick. You are not in control, you are not God. I know this is a fine line category and people should be respectful with you as well. Sometimes I think “Can’t we all just get along? Aren’t christians supposed to be the nicest people on Earth?” In a perfect world, we would be, but the world is not perfect and we are not either.  You just take care of you and make sure that you are being respectful and following God’s commandments and the teachings of the Bible and God will deal with whoever crosses the line in His own way and in his own time.

10) Remember throughout the day that God is listening and sees you and knows you. Imagine that Jesus is sitting right next to you as you read this. If you are a christian, He basically is – you just can’t see him! Sometimes it’s not enough for me to imagine “What Would Jesus Do?” Sometimes I need to ask myself “What if Jesus was sitting here watching and listening to me right now?” Then I can kind of catch myself and prevent some attitude before it starts brewing! You know when someone rubs you the wrong way and you just need that extra moment to prepare yourself to speak to them or see them so that you don’t lose your cool? Trust me, I have had my share of people that got on my nerves! The best thing that I have found is a quick little reminder from Matthew 25:35-40:

35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’37“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’40“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’



Feels Like a Cheat Dip

Gluten Free/Sugar Free/Soy Free/Nut free option

THM:S dessert


“Hi, my name is Aubree and I’m addicted to fat…”

And all of my fellow fat addicts said….”Hi Aubree”

Okay, seriously though, who doesn’t like dipping food into their favorite fattening condiment or dip at some time? I especially love it at this time of year when every weekend we seem to have Football parties or Halloween parties or family Thanksgiving, etc. Ketchup, ranch, salsa, yogurt, humus, guacamole, fruit dip, whatever I can get my hands on! Well, my fellow fat dippers, I have been making this for many months now and just haven’t found the time to publish it, but that changes today! This is recipe is still healthy as long as you don’t over-do it! It’s low-carb, goes well with fruit, and can also be used as a sugar-free ice cream. I frequently use it for dipping strawberries, but my main purpose in creating this is to freeze it to make sugar-free ice cream. Let’s face it, ice cream tops it all! My fellow THMers – this is an S dessert! This is the first Trim Healthy Mama compatible dessert that I have made over and over because it tastes like a cheat! Watch yourself though – this makes about 4-6 servings – don’t eat the whole thing in one sitting!


2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream

1 cup almond milk (use cow milk if need nut free)

8 oz. 1/3 less fat Cream Cheese or Neufchâtel Cheese

2 Tbs. cocoa pwd.

1-2 scoops THM Protein Powder or THM Integral Collagen. 2 scoops makes the dip thicker. (If you like a flavored protein powder I have also used Bodylogix Chocolate Protein powder and it is on plan.)

1 tbs. vanilla extract

1 tbs. caramel extract (feel free to sub in a different extract or flavor if you don’t like caramel)

6 tbs. Truvia or THM Super Sweet(adjust to taste)

Salt to taste ( I use a few shakes)


Add all ingredients to a high-powered blender, such as a Ninja or Vitamix. You can use a regular blender, but just might have to spend more time blending it. Blend until smooth. I find that if you add the Cream Cheese last it helps to keep the powders from flying up and getting caught in the top of the blender.


Start with the liquids and the powders.
Start with the liquids and the powders.
Add the Cream Cheese last.
Add the Cream Cheese last.


Pour into any container for a dip and then enjoy!

feels-like-a-cheat-dip-step-4 feels-like-a-cheat-dip-freeze-for-ice-cream

To make the ice cream: Pour the remaining dip into several freezer safe containers. I find that the Truvia containers are the perfect size! Place in the freezer, making sure they are upright and sealed properly.  I leave mine in the freezer overnight. It should be frozen within a few hours, though. Then the next day, I pack it with my lunch. It sits in the fridge for a couple hours and thaws slowly and it’s ready for me by snack time – around 9:30 or 10. Yes, I eat ice cream in the morning! You can, too!

I hope that you enjoy this great recipe as dip or ice cream and can share it with friends and family this wonderful Fall season! Try subbing in some pumpkin spice or canned pumpkin in place of cocoa and caramel and you may just have a new pumpkin favorite!



“A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This, too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?”

Ecclesiastes 2:24-25

Extra Coffee Required Day #3 “That’s no fair!”

Kissy face 2013 Real life – real tears – let’s talk!

(This photo is compliments of Daniyle Weir Photography from 2 years ago – thanks Daniyle!)

Do you ever feel like you are the only one following the rules, the only one trying your best, and so many people these days don’t hold up their end of the bargain? I’ve been there, and so have my kids. You are not alone! My kids, once again, taught me a valuable lesson recently. Push aside the pile of laundry and/or toys on my couch and sit down and drink your coffee with me…

“That’s no fair!” Ethan (age 6) shouted as I gave Shawn (age 3) something different for dinner, again, because of his allergies.
“Well, actually, it’s not fair to him that he can’t eat lots of the foods that you love because of his allergies. He can’t eat our dinner tonight because of the eggs and cheese.” I stated, completely satisfied with my answer and proud of myself for handling the situation.
– well – I was wrong –
Ethan sat there grumpily eating his casserole when what he really wanted was a plain hot dog like Shawn had. I could see in his eyes that he was plotting how to get back at me somehow.
Just to thicken the plot, Shawn chimed in on this game later that day. “That’s no fair!” he shouted when Ethan happened to get to open one side of the curtains before he did.
“Actually, that’s completely fair, he opened one side, and you can open one side.” I again patted myself on the back a little too early.
“No! Not fair” Shawn stomped his foot in disgust, because he wanted to open the curtains first.
This is when I had to give myself a mommy pep talk. “Walk away, Aubree, don’t lose it – he’s a three year old – you can’t explain fairness to a three year old”. Then I decided to skip the lecture and just give out the discipline as the boys had been fighting and had several warnings already.
“Okay, you go to that room, you go to that room, no toys, you’re both in time out, and you will have to go to bed early if you can’t stop fighting.”
Ooohhhhh, if looks could kill, I would have been a goner for sure. Both boys cried and whined, “That’s not fair – he did it – I didn’t do anything!”
“Whining will not help you, but it does make you go to bed early!”

Isn’t it funny how tantrums in your children seem to bring out your own attitude that you forgot was still lurking deep inside somewhere?
What’s the first thing I do when God convicts me, when he shows me a sign and reminds me that I need to be kind, that I need to be honest, that I need to be loving? I always point out the sin or the fault of the other person. I always point out ‘who started it’ and never accept blame for my part in the argument.

“But God, it’s not fair that I have to be a good wife, a good mom, a good cook, a good housekeeper, and still be nice to whining adults who act like 2 year olds to get their own way.”
God says “I’m not talking about what everyone does, we’re talking about you right now, and your voice is sounding whiny as well. Give me back control, I will handle those other whiners in my own way – you are not in charge of handling everyone else’s attitude. It’s a good thing, because right now, you can’t even handle your own.”

“Well he started it!” I say to God – then cringe as I realize how horribly whiny I do actually sound. Wow, yet again, I realize why God is in control of things and I am not. I crave control almost as much as chocolate most days.  But then when I do have control, I don’t always handle it the right way. I sometimes mirror things I’ve heard and seen from my three year old that I thought were ridiculous when he did them. Lesson learned, again. I guess there’s one more reason that God put my little loves in my life. They teach me more than anyone else ever could, because they tend to act just like me.

I am so sorry for whining, God! Your patience is astounding!

“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.” Psalm 55:22

“Humble yourselves, then, under God’s mighty hand, so that he will lift you up in his own good time.  Leave all your worries with him, because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7

” For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15

Have a blessed day, guys! Please share your lessons with me that God has taught you through your children! I love hearing about them!


Extra Coffee Required Day #2: Word power


Ah, Spring break, that glorious time when the kids are running free and the parents are staggering into work like zombies, because the kids are driving them looney and they got even less sleep than usual. This is the perfect time to think about the power of words and how they affect all of us. So, before you ground everyone for being too noisy and take away their favorite toys because they are annoying (or was that just me?)- pour your coffee, think about how beautiful those kids are while sleeping, and ponder word power with me.

Sometimes I surprise myself with how I react to words depending on who is speaking to me. The same phrase from my 6-year-old could be majorly offensive from my husband, for instance. A joke coming from a good friend may be a major insult, but if I heard it from a random co-worker, I may think nothing of it. Here’s what happens when my son innocently asks about sensitive topics: Ethan (6 years old), had to sit and wait for me to put makeup on in the car for a few minutes one day before we went to a school event…

Ethan: Why do you have to put makeup on, mommy?

Me: I don’t have to, buddy, I just want to.

I could see him thinking about it for a minute and then he came up and peeked in the rear view mirror so that he knew I could see him.

Ethan: “Oh – it’s because you want them to think that you are pretty, right?”

>Okay freeze: if those words came out of my husband’s mouth, we would have exchanged heated, unfriendly words afterwords which may have ended with me in tears and both of us walking away – especially if it was the wrong time of the month – do you know what I’m talking about ladies? Probably something like this “THINK I’m pretty? What are you implying?” As if he were implying that my ugliness must be disguised from all the world to protect the innocent. Anyone out there who knows my husband knows that he is the sweetest person in the world and that he tells me frequently how beautiful I am, but I do tend to overreact if he stumbles on his words by accident:) The innocence of children is their saving grace some days 🙂 ! <

Me: (chuckling) Yes, buddy, that’s why.

Okay, now for the lesson to be learned here… I think that the same rules apply when we speak with our kids, especially young kids. We should adjust our language to them instead of expecting them to adapt to us. It is so hard to tell how they interpret what we say sometimes, but each child is different and part of the responsibility of parenting is figuring out the personality types of our children and how they respond to certain topics and conversation. For example, it’s important to see how they react to our words and the words of other people. Ethan has a natural wild free spirit built in him that is mostly from his father. Along with this free spirit side, he tends to not listen to correction unless he is looking me right in the eye and there is nothing shiny within close proximity, but we have to take the bad with the good, right? When Ethan is speaking with me during free time or play time, he is happy-go-lucky and eager to play and have fun. However, when he is working on something with an end goal, his competitive side comes out.  Whether it is homework, a craft, or a sport, he demands perfection of himself (and others). Fortunately and unfortunately, this trait he got from me. He gets upset if he has to erase something on his homework, which sometimes means he throws the whole thing away in a fit of rage. I have tried explaining to him that it is okay to mess up and that is what erasers are for.      He used to be convinced that he should be able to do homework without erasing anything or else he says ” I can’t do any homework ever again because I’m not smart enough.” It took a long time, a lot of “You’re doing a great job! I love your story!” and hanging everything up on the fridge to proudly display his work, before he started to believe in himself academically. On his T-ball team, he keeps score in his head, even though the coaches do not keep score and nobody gets “out” at their young age. The coaches are always encouraging, and Ethan tries to be, but he gets so mad at the other players and himself if they make mistakes or aren’t paying attention. He tells the kids on the other team when they are supposed to run when he is playing first base position. He can’t bear to see someone “not playing it right” and he often corrects his little brother at home (who barely stands over the size of the tee) when we just play for fun in the back yard.

Obviously, not all children are the same, and I am betting Shawn, my 2-year-old, will be much more laid back about competition and school work as he already is laid back about most things now: clothing optional at home, everyone in the car singing whatever song they want, his favorite activity of the day is generally during a low-key activity such as watching a TV show or listening to music.

As parents, we need to think about our words and how each child will react to them differently. I know I know, hard to do when your 2-year-old wakes you up at 4am begging to sleep with you, but let’s think this through for a minute… grab that extra cup of coffee while the kids are still sleeping – hopefully!

I know that Ethan is going to need an extra dose of encouragement when it comes to competition and homework. He criticizes himself enough for both of us and I don’t need to add to the negative thoughts in his head. I do need to build him back up when he listens to those negative thoughts and gets down on himself.

For Shawn,  he needs extra encouragement to go on the potty and will love the praise and attention afterwards, but he could care less if he plays baseball according to the rules or even finishes the game he started (two-year-olds, God love them!) I can already see the pattern. I’m going to have to remind him frequently that clothing is not optional in public, that holding mommy’s hand is not optional while crossing the road, and that throwing food at the table is still not tolerated, just like yesterday. He will most likely hear the word “no” more frequently than Ethan did even at age 2, because sometimes “no” is required regardless of the mood Shawn is in and at this stage, it’s taking more for it to sink in with Shawn than it did with Ethan. Shawn is not mentally traumatized by the word no, he just doesn’t understand how far he can push the limits yet and likes to test us frequently to see what he can get away with. It’s kind of like how we keep trying to test God.

Proverbs 18:21: “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

What are some of your experiences with word power and how it has affected you and your children?

Have a blessed day!



Power of Prayer


Shawn in the hospital with allergies/asthma June 2015

Hey guys,

Did you ever get a thought in your head that you know must have come from God because it was way too complex to be your own?

Here’s something I thought of recently that came to mind when I was discussing the frequency of prayer on social media with a friend.  After hearing some thoughts from a non-believer about how crazy it is that prayer can help people to heal, I thought about what it must look like to a non-believer. I thought about how desperately I have needed prayer at times, and it dawned on me… God does not need us to pray in order to act on our behalf! Ofcourse! God does not need us to do anything to perform miracles or to heal the sick or to breathe life into someone whom all the doctors said would never make it!  I heard something once about the power of prayer regarding innocent people who were in a horrible accident… and it really got me thinking. Some people pray for miracles, thinking that their prayer may be what turns around a situation, that they need to tell God detailed instructions about how to revive a child with cancer if God doesn’t save him. (I am speaking to myself here now 🙂 It’s not as simple as God sitting up in heaven thinking “I’d better see how many people pray for this poor child, so I know whether to save him or not” – how heartless and cold would that be? Why would God need us to pray for action, when He is all-powerful? That makes no sense. What he wants, is for us to get closer to Him, and closer to each other during hard times, regardless of the outcome.
God’s word says that we are the hands and feet of the body of Christ, right? That would mean that He wants a group of people and a community to be supportive of the family that is hurting no matter what happens. We don’t know why certain people die and certain people are healed and made new.  That’s on a need to know basis and we don’t need to know. As Christians, we trust that there is an overall reason for good and bad that it is bigger than us, and that is what drives us to hold on to our faith, to hold on to God and to each other.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to say that prayer can’t change things, because it can. It’s just more about how we respond to these situations, I believe. Many people in the bible prayed for miracles. Some saw those miracles come to pass, and others did not. My husband was in a rollover car accident awhile back that could have very easily been fatal, but he screamed “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!” while he was rolling over and over. He and his friend in the car came out fine. Since that day, I can tell that his faith in God has grown leaps and bounds. It’s like a time-tested, weather warn relationship – it fits just right!

As a mother who has brought a baby/toddler to the hospital twice, seen my school age child get emergency stitches, and gone into the emergency room twice myself, I know the power of prayer on a personal level. My prayers and the prayers of my family, friends, and church family, are what kept me going through those horrible times. Without God and without prayer and faith, I don’t know how I would make it. God knows that we are weak and frail, and that we need Him. He gave us prayer for us, not for Him. If we had the power to heal ourselves without reaching out to God, there would be so many people who would have never turned to God and never been saved! There would be so many testimonies left untold, so many families left alone without support, so many lonely patients without hope. Thank God, that we need Him!

Take a look at how James tells the sick to call on the elders of the church to pray for him/her. He doesn’t say to tell the sick to stay home alone in bed and wait it out. He steers the sick toward the body of the church – the other believers – those that would comfort him/her, bring casseroles, bring hugs, bring common prayers, and come together with the common prayer for healing!

James 5:14-16 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another,that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

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Shark Week Survival Kit


It was a stressful week for me to begin with, so, of course…

Duh duh…duh duh…

Duh duh, duh duh, duh duh, duh duh…

Shark week! Awe man!

For any male subscribers – who are clueless right now, see the urban dictionary at this link if you do not understand:

Doesn’t it always seem like Shark week happens to appear on the worst possible day or time? Just when you ran out of chocolate, just when your husband had to work late and your kids had tons of sugar, just when you have no possible moment to huddle into the fetal position and hide from the crazy that awaits your day. Well, my survival kit is not going to take away all of the emotional roller coaster or the crappy side effects that come along with the visit from aunt flo. However, it will help you to deal with everything a little better and come out of this with your sanity in tact. I consider that a success!

Here’s my go to list of Shark Week Survival Kit Items that I need to make it through the week without hurting people – my family included! Some of these are sugar-free items because I am a THM follower, but if you do not have any dietary or allergy restrictions, do what you have to do – your sisters understand and pass no judgement!

Chocolat Stella Stevia sweetened dark chocolate bar – see: HERE  (or Lilly’s sugar-free chocolate bar – see: here
Skinnygirl liquid Stevia sweetener: click here and butter for Bulletproof coffee!
No Bake cookies THM approved by: Sherri Graham:

iPhone, phone charger, iTunes access and ear buds for seclusion from the world
fuzzy blanket, fuzzy slippers, heating pad if necessary
Netflix and laptop or TV
PUR gum: sugar and aspartame free (have to gnaw on something 🙂
Clubbin with my Soda or GoodGirl Moonshine from THM – stay hydrated! See my recipe :
peanut butter in any form
yoga pants or sweatpants

Midol or Tylenol

iron pills or iron rich foods

chick flicks to watch alone or with hubby if he dares

a good novel

That should do it! Here’s to keeping our cool (as much as possible) and getting through Shark week with our sanity in tact!





Apple Grilled Chicken – THM – E

glazing on chickenAh, Fall – that lovely season of comfort foods! Okay, so it is December and more like Winter now that I have not finished this post. I promise you that I started it in October and then life got in the way! This is one of my favorites, because it’s so easy to make it suitable for all of my family’s allergies as well as THM friendly! It is Gluten free, dairy free, soy free, wheat free, and nut free!

I had to make a few tweaks compared to the average applesauce recipe to make one that is THM friendly, and this is what I came up with.

Start with a large bowl full of apples. I’d say about 15-20 depending on size.


Rinse/clean off as you wish, then use whatever method of peeling you like. One time I left all of the peels on for this recipe and we realized later that the little slivers of peels turn to jagged knife-like creatures in the crockpot so I would advise against it for your own sanity! If a few peels here and there show up, you mat not notice a difference.

I like to use this combined apple corer/peeler and you can find one similar HERE:
slicing 2

slicing 3 You should end up with ringlets of yummy apple!

Fill the crockpot 2/3 full with the apple chunks like this:

crockpot 1

Then add the rest of your ingredients:

1 Tbs. cinnamon (could use apple pie spice)

1 tsp nutmeg

1 Tbs. lemon juice

1/2 c. water

1/2 cup of Trim Healthy Mama Gentle Sweet (For those of you not familiar with the THM plan, this is a combination of stevia and erythritol ground into a powder and is a heavenly and healthy sugar substitute!) You can order your own Gentle Sweet at my affiliate link Here .

Mix all up and cook on high for 4 hours.

If the resulting applesauce is too chunky for you, you can blend it in a blender to make it smoother. My boys are picky about chunks so I had no choice – had to use the Ninja and they had to push the button! This recipe made 3 jars of cinnamon applesauce.

applesauce jars

yeah donewith rice and chickendip chicken

My helpers celebrated with me! Then we had delicious apple sauce topped grilled chicken that everyone enjoyed! My boys dipped their chicken in the applesauce. My hubby and I used it as a glaze. Do whatever suits your fancy!

Share with your family and tell me what you think!



The Morning Rush

Has it been awhile since you spent time with God one on one?
Has it been awhile since you spent time with God one on one?

If there was ever a perfect example of why I needed a morning devotional time with God, it was today. The morning rush attacked me this morning, once again. Anybody else out there stressed out in the morning with all that you need to do? I hear you! I think I wake up with instant visions of my ever-growing to-do list and this is why I get preemptively stressed. Is anybody else like that? I don’t choose to be this way – but I immediately see everything that needs to be done and everything that could possibly screw it up before it happens. For this reason, I admit that I have had some days in the past that I completely skipped my morning quiet time with God because I had convinced myself that I was too busy. I don’t know if you’ve experienced this, but on those days, my patience is nearly non-existent. I yell at the kids and at my hubby out of anger over little things that don’t matter – I definitely do not use my “customer service smile over the phone” at work – and my co-workers probably notice that I am missing my usual ability to smile easily and handle complaints calmly.

Here’s a little peek into the start of my day this morning 1)Wake up – get coffee ASAP! 2)Spend time with God for at least 5 minutes – reading verses and praying – hopefully more like 15 minutes if I didn’t snooze too long 3)Shower and get dressed 4) wake up hubby 5) start packing lunches and getting breakfast out 6) wake up boys  – FEED all of us ASAP (we are a cranky group before we get our coffee (for me) and food!) 7) Clean up spill #1 from my 2.5 year old – thankfully this time it was an accident 8) Remind boys of the routine – again – have hubby pass out meds and give breathing treatment and vitamins – send boys to get dressed and brush teeth  while I attempt to actually do my hair today 9) make sure that daddy and boys don’t have any major wardrobe clashes then get everything done just in the nick of time – uugghhh! I forgot my ½ finished coffee – I’ll get some at work 10) Do make up on the way to work while hubby is driving – didn’t get to brush teeth once again, but I  store a travel toothbrush and toothpaste at work because this is a frequent occurrence. 11)Discuss with hubby how we are going to get our morning routine down better tomorrow – hopefully 12) Get to work with 1 minute to give hubby and boys kisses and walk in the door. 13) Try to hide the stain on my shirt that I just noticed with my ID badge strategic placement (Yes boss, if you are reading this, there is a reason my ID badge is always clipped somewhere on my shirt) 14)Get my hard-earned coffee and try to gulp down before I realize the lid is not secure 14) Proceed with spill #2 down the front of my shirt – well I don’t have to worry about that old stain anymore – the new one covers it nicely 15) Put my hair up in a pony tail that didn’t last long… 16) Thank God for the peace that He gives me that allows me to still smile and sometimes even laugh at myself because I made an effort to thank him this morning and to praise Him for my blessings instead of scrolling on Facebook like I have done so many times in the past when I get my precious alone time.

Some of you may be thinking – “well geez – you only gave God 5-15 minutes”. Yes, that’s correct, and that is all that I am able to give in the morning. However, that is not the only time that I have for God. Have you ever worked in Customer Service of any kind? Some of my deepest and most sincere prayers are silently pleading with God while I handle one more complaint. I also frequently pray while working out on my lunch break – pray that I can make it running 5 more minutes without stopping – pray that I don’t spend the whole time comparing myself to that skinny girl on the next treadmill because if I focus on Him I can remember that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Sometimes I pray while creating a post on my lunch break, such as right now. I pray that someone other than my hubby and my mother will read this so that my voice may reach to other busy working moms out there – other women who doubt their worth – other athletes who sometimes feel unmotivated or unworthy in the gym – other women who sometimes question their purpose – other parents who sometimes wonder if their kids allergies will ever get better – other cooks who sometimes wonder if it is worth all of the time and energy to prepare a homemade meal that the whole family will agree to eat – other Christians who sometimes want to hide in a cave away from the evils of this world. I hear you! I am you or have been you at some point! You know what’s going to get you through that struggle? Time with God! He may not be your best friend right now, but you still have the chance to change that! Time with God is not just one more thing on my to do list – it is what relieves the stress and the pressure of the to do list – so in a way, my time with God determines my view – not just my view of myself – my view of the world. I don’t know where I would be without my God time – but I would be a much bigger mess than I just displayed for you with the start of my day.

Let me know how you are doing with your God Time in the comments below. Feel free to email me at for recommendations of good daily devotionals that can keep you on track or good hints to sneak in more God time throughout the day. Whether it’s sticky notes of verses on the bathroom mirror or on your desk at work, or a full-out prayer closet, whatever it takes!

Here’s part of my devotional today that protected me from a bad attitude and a gloomy mental state:

James 1:19: Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.



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When Suffering Smacks You in the Face…

When Suffering Smacks you in the Face - What can you do?
When Suffering Smacks you in the Face – What can you do?

We all dread that call from the school, the one that may leave the parent crying as much or more than the child. I still remember getting the call from my son’s school last Spring, informing me that my 5 year old at the time had fallen off the monkey bars, had landed on another child, had lost two teeth and has a large gash but they are not sure where it is on his face because there is too much blood to tell.  I am normally a calm person, but when you tell me that one of my children is in pain like this, I tend to turn into a raging lunatic / emotional basket-case / deer in headlights, which is not a good condition to be in while driving.  Thankfully, I was blessed with a husband who remains calm in crisis. He was able to go to the school, take him to get checked out, eventually get stitches in his lip, and turn the whole thing into an adventure that ended with ice cream. Don’t you wish that all  pain and suffering could be done in a day and end with ice cream?

Then there are some illnesses or struggles that creep up on us slowly, that started out small and then turned into an unbearable crisis.

This has been a rough couple of years for my family and I. We have had many hospital visits, many allergist visits, many doctor visits, many chiropractor visits and for some things, we are still praying for healing, still trusting in healing. Sometimes it was our youngest son having allergic reactions and severe asthma attacks, once I had to have surgery, and once had a horrible case of the flu, a few times, my husband threw his back out. I will admit. I have sometimes gotten to the point that I wanted to keep my family in a bubble and never come out. However,  I need to remind myself that God never promised that we would have healing the minute we ask for it. He never promised that we would even have complete healing in this life. We live in a broken world, a world with germs, with disease, with allergies, with less than ideal food options, and sometimes, honestly less than ideal finances to purchase the best food options. God did promise us that in this world we would have trouble, but also that HE HAS ALREADY OVERCOME THE WORLD!

So, as I pray for healing for myself, for my children, for my husband, and for many other loved ones off and on as all of the struggles come and go, I will trust in the Healer, trust in the one who made us. I will trust that He sees the big picture. I will trust that He knows what is best in the grand scheme of things. No, I don’t believe that God wants us to suffer, don’t misunderstand me. I do, however, believe that when suffering comes, whether in physical pain, emotional pain, in loss of a loved one, or in other ways, God can use that pain and turn it into something better. He can use it to remind us to trust in Him. He can use it to remind us that He is all we need. He can use it to change me into a better person, a more compassionate, a more loving, a more generous person.
Do you know anyone who is a spoiled brat? Do you know someone who has never had to work hard a single day in his or her life? Do you know anyone who has had life handed to them on a silver spoon? And what do you think of that person’s character? Is he or she a pleasant person to be around? I didn’t think so. Suffering comes in all forms. It can be health, it can be finances, it can be failed relationships, failed jobs or businesses, addictions. You name it, somewhere, someone has suffered through it. But if they went through it, that means it is done. That means there is an end to it, and more than likely, that person is stronger, braver, more compassionate, or has learned something from their suffering.

Let’s make a promise to each other today. Let’s promise to pull together and love on each other when we are going through suffering. Let’s not point fingers, or blame someone, or make up some lame excuse for not helping like “That’s because of their sins”. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Let those with sin, (everyone on this Earth), show compassion, band together, and help each other through our suffering, continue to pray for healing, and continue to grow stronger together.


“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Romans 5:3-4
Jesus Referring to those who wished to stone the woman caught in adultery:
When they kept on questioning him (Jesus), he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7