Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I Believe...


I believe…
that your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don’t even know you.
I believe…
that even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you, you will find the strength to help.
I believe…
that credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.
I believe…
that the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.
I believe…
that sometimes when I’m angry I have the right to be angry but that doesn’t give me the right to be cruel.
I believe…
that just because someone doesn’t love you the way you want them to doesn’t mean they don’t love you with all they have.
I believe…
that maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you’ve had and what you’ve learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you’ve celebrated.
I believe…
that it isn’t always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.
I believe…
that no matter how bad your heart is broken that the world doesn’t stop for your grief.
I believe…
that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.
I believe…
that just because two people argue, it doesn’t mean they don’t love each other.  And just because they don’t argue, it doesn’t mean they do.
I believe…
that you shouldn’t be eager to find out a secret.  It could change your life forever.
I believe…
that it’s taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.
I believe…
that you should always leave loved ones with loving well wishes. It may be the last time you see them.
I believe…
that you can keep going long after you can’t.
I believe…
that we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.
I believe…
that we don’t have to change friends, if we understand that friends change.
I believe…
that no matter how good a friend is, they’re going to hurt you once in a while and you must forgive them for that.
I believe…
that true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.
I believe…
that you either control your attitude or it controls you.
I believe…
that regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, that passion fades and there had better be something else to take its place.
I believe…
that heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.
I believe…
that you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.
I believe…
that money is a lousy way of keeping score.
I believe…
that my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.
I believe…
that sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you’re down, will be the ones who help you get back
from poem "I learned" author unknown
WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE???

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Challenge Overload!

There are so many great blogs out there and it seems like this time of year everyone is doing a challenge. I have started most of them and I am finding them all uplifting and encouraging. From making our home a haven to feeding our soul to marriage ones. I am feeling a little challenge overload but that is because I am feeling open, renewed and connected. I get so inspired by these challenges. I started the Respect Dare over a month ago and I have to say its been most rewarding and life changing, it has made me see my husband in a whole new way. I highly reccomend it for any wife! Its amazing what can happen when we take a little time to do something for someone else, when we take time for ourselves and when we take time with the Lord in his Word. I will share some links to some of the challenges going on right now, check them out, maybe join one and see what a difference it can make in our home, your marriage and your life!

1. Time Warp Wife is doing a 31 days of marriage challenge!
http://time-warp-wife.blogspot.com/2011/09/31-days-of-love-marriage-challenge.html

2 Sonya has 31 days of Praying for Your Husband on her website, check it out!
http://www.becomingastrongwomanofgod.com/p/31-day-pray-for-your-spouse-challenge.html

3. Courtney is doing the Make Your Home a Haven Challenge for the Fall
http://womenlivingwell.org/2011/09/making-your-home-a-haven-fall-challenge-is-back/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+WomenLivingWell+%28Women+Living+Well+%29

4.Bonie is offering the 31 days to Feed Your Soul!
http://www.faithbarista.com/2011/10/31-days-to-feed-your-soul-day-1-hunger/

5.Need some time with in Bible Study, check out
http://www.goodmorninggirls.org/

I hope you take the time to check these out and if you have any other links us to check out please share them with us!!

Blessings,
Heather

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Your Time is Limited

Your time is limited..don’t waste it living someone else’s life. -Steve Jobs


This statement has inspired me today. Its a quote from Steve Jobs commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005. He passed away yesterday  and was a perfect example of this, he knew with his diagnosis of cancer that his time was limited and he did not waste time living someone else's life...he lived his own. We shouldnt wait for a diagnosis, we should live this everyday. In his speech Steve talks about the fact that we all have death in common, and we dont know when it will happen, so we must live like each day as if it was our last. Follow your dreams, follow your intuition, follow that gut feeling. Dont live your life aspiring to be like others, be yourself! Dont wish your life was like someone else's or that you had the same things as them, the same talents. God made each of us to be unique. We must take the time to figure out what makes us tick, what makes us special, what our dreams are and live our life accordingly. Dont waste your time following someone else's dream, dream your own and follow them! Remember your time is limited....make the most of your life!
 


Blessings,
Heather


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Thankful Tuesdays!

I know I already blogged once today but 2 is better than 1 right?? I recently started reading Ann Voskamp's book "ONE THOUSAND GIFTS" If you havent heard of it or want some more info on it, check out http://onethousandgifts.com/. In her book Ann dares you to live fully right where you are and discusses what it means to be deeply human, deeply spiritual, deeply and authentically fulfilled. It is a beautifully practical guide to living a life of joy and invites you to wake up to God's everyday blessings. We all want to be happy, we all want our lives filled with great moments and experiences but most of us are looking too hard. Its right in front of us, every moment has the potential to be beautiful and memorable. We just need to open our eyes. To see the beauty in the simpliest of things, to appreciate what we have, who we have and where we are in life. This life is a precious gift and when we take the time to see the beauty in everything around us we stop looking for more and learn to love where we are and the beauty that surrounds us. A great way to do this is to keep a "Thankful  Journal"....make lists of the wonderful things we have, the people around us and the great moments we have together. Take time to stop and really think about what makes us smile. Get out a piece and paper and jot down things you love, things you appreciate and things you take for granted. It really does make a difference, once you do this you will begin to see things differently, and you will really learn to appreciate the great gifts we already have around us. God is wonderful and he has given us all we need already, it is all there for us and we dont need more. Every Tuesday I will share my list with you, I hope you will join me and share your list with me, lets see how long it takes us to get to "One Thousand Gifts"

1.the ability to write, and share my ideas
2.good morning kisses from my husband
3. the smell of fall and the sound of the breeze in the leaves
4. peaceful quiet time to reflect and refresh
5.cuddles with Bailey
6 my health
7. encouraging words from a friend
8. the sound of laughter

I hope this encourages you and I hope you will share what you are thankful for this week. I am thankful that you spent some time reading my blog. Have a blessed day!

Blessings
Heather

The Courage to be You

It takes courage to be YOU. Too seldom are we ourselves and we become who others want us to be to fit in. We pass ourselves off as mirror images of those around us instead of being true to who we really are.
Inconsistency between the inside and the person we present to the world creates tremendous conflicts in our lives. The Oxford dictionary defines being authentic as being true to your own character. Have you ever found yourself laughing because everyone else did or agreed with an opinion that you didn’t share? Did you ever do something inconsistent with your true self just to please, get attention or get what you wanted? Of course we all have.We have all done and said things to fit in but that gives people the wrong impression of who we really are, and then along the way some of us actually lose who we are and become just another face in the crowd.

When you were born there was nothing you had to do to be loved. Back then you were unpretentious and spontaneous. You smiled when you felt like it and cried when you were upset. You had the courage to be you. Then the agenda changed. You were taught how to behave, what to say and what to want.

Conditioned by our environment we become products of our culture. Social influences tell us we are not slim enough, not rich enough, not with it enough and probably out of it altogether. We never quite cut it. Compelled to portray a better us, we hide our true self. When we are not real we cannot connect to our inner core or to others. What we do, including our interactions with others, becomes meaningless, because our true self doesn’t show up. This is important and here is why:

Your authentic self is your talents, values, traits and greatness combined. It is the best of you! It is like a sleeping giant buried under all the shoulds and shouldn’ts. All you need is the courage to be you. Think about this: when we meet people who are refreshingly authentic, we are drawn to them. They say and do the things we never would. They have the courage to be real and we instantly like them. They give us the straight goods and we always know where we stand. They don’t care what others think or do. They do their own thing in alignment with their authentic self. The have the courage to be themselves. We want to be in their presence because the interaction has meaning.
Here are some tips on becoming authentic:
  • Be courageous and bold
  • Say what you mean and mean what you say
  • Trust your instinct
  • Focus on the best in you
  • Speak up for yourself
  • Stand up for what you believe in
  • Always speak the truth
  • Don’t be a pleaser, you are able to say no
  • Don’t worry about what others think
  • Become who you want to be
If you are afraid of doing all of the above, feel the fear and do it anyway! To be authentic, just focus on your talents, strength, values and integrity. Building upon your best gives you authentic power. This power feeds your soul.
Nothing changes in your life until you use the best of you. Nothing changes in your relationships until you become better for each other. When you focus on the best of you, you can also see the good in others. Only when you use your best can you play your best cards in life. Living an authentic life means never having to regret anything. This is powerful! Then when we have taken the courage to be ourselves, we can stand up for what we believe in, we can stand for those who have less and take care of those who cant take care of themselves. When we do whats right for ourslves it opens a whole new world for ourselves and others around us. Find your passion, stand up for what you believe in and be true to yourself. Have the courage to be YOU.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Make you Home a Haven Challenge

Home is where the heart is. Making your home a special place takes time and thought. It takes effort, but it is so worth it. You and your family deserve a place where you can relax, re-engergize and come together. The home is central to all that you do. Its a gathering place for your family and friends, where you will make memories that last a lifetime. So take time to make it an inviting place for everyone. This fall I am taking the Make your Home a Haven Challenge with Courtney over at http://womenlivingwell.org/. The link to the challenge is http://womenlivingwell.org/2011/09/making-your-home-a-haven-fall-challenge-is-back/. I hope you can join me in taking this challenge. If you want more info let me know.

Monday, September 19, 2011

1John Bible Study!

I am so excited! Today is day one of the 1 John Bible study at http://www.goodmorninggirls.org/. I am linked up with a group of girls on facebook and we are doing the study together! We are following the SOAP method, which means we write out the Scripture, our Observations, what our Applications are for our life and a Prayer. I have my notebook already, my pages printed off from study guide and I pray that God will open his Word to me. If you want some more info on this study just let me know and I will hook you up. I will be posting some updates on what I am learning probably once a week!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Weekend Getaway!

This past weekend my husband Carl and I took a trip to Saint Andrews NB with our friend Angie. We had a blast. It was a simple overnight trip. We drove down and first went Minister's Island. You can only get to the island during low tide, you drive across the ocean floor. It was once owned by William Van Horne, he was president of the Canadian Pacific Railway and oversaw the building of the Canadian transcontinental Railway. It was his "summer cottage".
The name of this beautiful "cottage" is Covenhoven. Now the government owns it and its a historic site that the public can visit. Here are a couple more pics of the inside:

After we left the island we drove to one of our favorite spots and had a picnic, then did some shopping including at the Kandy Korner which is a must when you go to Saint Andrews. We then headed to the Tidal Zone B&B to rest before we went out for supper.

We went out for supper that evening to one of our favorite restuarants in Saint Andrews called the Harbour Front, we had fish and chips. Went back to the B&B, had some wine, snacks and some fun siting on the deck enjoying the breeze off the harbour and  playing cards. Before bed it was a relaxing bath in the jacuzzi tub. We were treated to a beautiful breakfast the next morning by Sue, the owner of the B&B. We had homemade zucchini raspberry muffins, fruit salad and a hot egg bake. We have been going to the B&B since our honeymoon and always have a relaxing stay. Off we went whale watching, we went on the Island Quest, and we had a great time, we saw whales, porpoise, eagles, and a tuna! We got to see some beautiful scenery, enjoyed some smoked salmon pate and got a wind burn. Here are a few pics from the whale watching trip:

We finished our trip with a lovely lunch at the Red Herring Pub and one more stop at the candy store. It was a great overnight trip. Not because we stayed at a nice place or went whale watching, it was because of the company, the laughs and now the great memories.

Blessings
Heather

Friday, September 2, 2011

RESPECT

Good day everyone! Its a beautiful sunny day here in Fredericton. Yesterday I mentioned I was starting the Respect Dare and I promised some information about it. First lets define what respect means: the dictionary defines it as "to hold in esteem, or to honor, to show regard or consideration for". Isnt that something we all crave and need?  We all want to to be held in esteem, we all want people to show us consideration whether is for our feelings or for our accomplishments. Men epecially want to be shown respect.  It is ingrained in men to serve and protect. Its in their genes, and they want to know someone notices a job well done. Women are complicated, men are simple and I dont mean that in a derogatory way to either gender. We are wired differently, we were made to compliment each other and its ok! Men have feelings, and their manly egos get hurt when they feel like they are not providing for their families or when they fail at something, and when they feel like they are not being respected. In these times its all about equality, that women deserve as much respect as men and there is nothing wrong with that, women work hard too and they deserve respect for their accomplishments too. I believe everyone deserves Respect. Whether its your spouse, you mother, sister, neighbor, local politician, someone of a different religion or color. We are all human beings and we all deserve to be treated with dignity no matter our differences. Its what makes us all special.

The Respect Dare is about showing respect to your husband. It says in Ephesians 5:33b of the Bible that "and the wife should respect her husband". The 2 most important parts of a marriage in my opinion are Love and Respect. A marriage is a mirror to all other relationships in our lives and if we cant learn to love and respect our spouse, we cant show those to any other human being.

Respect for someone should come easy but it doesnt. Just like showing our love  sometimes falls by the wayside with our busy lives. Sometimes we need a reminder or a lesson to help us grow. The Respect Dare is a book written by Nina Roesner and The Respect Dare is a forty-day devotional guide that will take away the mystery that is keeping you from speaking the language of respect with your husband. It provides real life examples from women who have developed closer relationships with God and their husbands.


The 40 day Respect Dare Challenge comes from both Nina's book and Dr Emerson Eggerichs book “Love and Respect”
According to "love and Respect", there are 6 areas where your husband needs your respect; Dr. Eggerichs uses the word C.H.A.I.R.S. to help us remember them. The assignments in the challenge have been broken up  so that each week we will try and demonstrate respect in each of the 6 areas.

They are:

Conquest – Appreciate His desire to work and achieve

Hierarchy- Appreciate His desire to protect and provide

Authority- Appreciate his desire to serve and to lead

Insight – Appreciate his desire to analyze and counsel

Relationship- Appreciate his desire for shoulder to shoulder friendship

Sexuality- Appreciate his desire for sexual intimacy

We have just completed day 1 and here is what the dare includes so you can get a taste of what it involves:
The Respect Test~Day 1
Write down 3 things that you honestly and truthfully respect about your husband. (If you are having trouble, remember that he was created in God’s image.)
Find a quiet moment with your husband later that day and say the following:
“I was thinking about you today and about some of the things that I respect about you, and I just wanted to make sure that you know that I respect you.”
After completing the sentence walk out of the room. Resist the urge to say more unless he comes after you, call you back and invites you to say more.
If he does ask you “what things” make sure you are ready to tell him without having to go and look at your piece of paper.



I am doing the Respect Dare by following along with a wonderful group of ladies on facebook, we are only on day 2 so it wont be hard to catch up, if you are interested in following along, or if you want anymore resources let me know, I would be happy to hook you up! I am a total believer in showing respect to your spouse, and I cant wait to see how these challenges change and strengthen my own marriage.

Blessings,
Heather

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Relaunching This Blog

Good day everyone. Sorry I have been a little lacks in my blogging lately. Its been a busy summer. But today is a new day and I am pleased to be relaunching this blog! Today I woke up feeling alive and renewed, full of energy, pumped up ad ready to take on some new challenges. Its a new day and a new month. A perfect time to start something new, take on those new challenges or make some changes. So today I am relaunching this blog, starting the Respect Dare(more info coming tomorrow if your interested) I am getting ready to start a new Bible study, getting my baking baking price list ready for the fall. I have been busy pickling, gather recipes and baking since the weather has cooled down enough to turn the oven on! I am excited about new prospects for the future. Excited about our trip this weekend to our favorite place- Saint Andrews( I will share some pics and details next week when we get back) and just excited about life in general. Life is Great!
I read this passage this morning and it really inspired me and I would like to share it with you:

Greeting the day. Most of us have forgotten how to greet the day. The knowledge is all but lost to us that a new day is sacred: a gift from God, a rare and precious gift. A new day brings with it the opportunity to stat all over, to raise one's head from the pillow and with a glad heart to watch the clouds roll across the dark sky now diffusing pink, and to breathe that child prayer of gratitude,"Oh God, life again, Again, one more day of life". We must relearn how to stand in awe, how to face for a moment the eastern sky, with praise and thanksgiving and allow our hearts to be filled with a corresponding inner daybreak of adoration. We must learn to not ever take for granted-no matter how pain filled our life- that we are alive and the earth still turns on its axis, that evil has not wobbled the course of the earth while we slept: and that we must understand this sacremental symbol, this reenactment of life which come resurrecting every twenty four hours. Celebrating each new day helps us develop the ability to be grateful for all the new moments and for the God who is in each of those moments. The discipline of celebrating each new day influences our attitude toward all of life. A new day signifies: The Lord of mornings is still sovereign over the world.   Karen Burton Mains

I hope this passage inspires you like it did me. I hope each of you joins me in celebrating each new day, and the wonders it brings. I hope it inspires you to be grateful for each moment you are given and to live it to the fullest, because it it really the most precious gift we are given. I look forward to relaunching this blog and I hope it and I can be of some inspiration to you.

Till tomorrow
Blessings,
Heather

Monday, March 7, 2011

Honoring a Man Who was an Important Part of My Faith and Marriage

Last night my mom called to tell Carl and I that our former Minister, Rev Reg Miller  had passed away. At first I shed a tear and reflected upon the impact he had had on my life and then my sadness turned to happiness for him. He was finally Home, and finally back with his beloved Monica.
Born in 1918 in Cadiff, Wales, he trained as a Marine Engineer and served with the Royal Navy during WWII as a Chief Petty Officer. In 1954, he immigrated to Canada with his wife, Monica and 2 sons. He attended Mount Allison University and Pine Hill Divinity Hall and was ordained in 1959.

As a student minister, Reg's first charge was in Malpeque, PEI, where he condusted his visitations on horse and wagon in the harsh island winters. The Reverend Reg Miller, served the United Church in Nappan and Springhill NS, where he frequently served as Chaplin at the Springhill Insitution, a medium security facility.

In 1963, he and his family moved to Chatham NB, where he served as minister until 1983. Until his death he filled an honored role as Minister Emeritus with our former church, St Paul's United and this is where I first met this wonderful man.
He was a short man with a huge Welsh-accented voice, a huge heart and an even larger faith in God.

I had always believed in God, but not until I took confirmation classes with Reg did I find my passion and understanding of the Lord. During our classes he told stories of how he found his faith as a young man, mixed with stories from the war. He had a deep passion for God, and for serving others. When Carl decided to join the church, he also took confirmation classes with Reg.

So when we were planning our wedding we couldnt imagine anyone else marrying us then Rev Reg. He was going to be 89 the week before our wedding and he had a tendency to forget things but we didnt care. A few weeks before our wedding we met with him at his office at the church. We discussed marriage and he offered us one piece of advice. "if you argue, never go to bed without making out" , now both of us heard him but didnt say anything till we left his office and looked at each other and said "did he tell us to make out?". We know he meant make up but but it became a wonderful joke between us that an old minister told us to "make out"  and now it sometimes it becomes a great way to end an arguement when one of us jokingly says well "lets make out now cause Reg told us too". He made our wedding day so special and I am thankful everyday that he was able to be there and perform our ceremony. He created one of the most memorable moments of the day for me. When I started down the aisle, Carl wasnt facing me, all I kept thinking was, "oh he is nervous and cant turn around, he is missing this" all of a sudden I see Rev Reg nod his head and Carl turned and looked at me, all I could hear was "WOW". Later Carl told me that Reg had told him to face him and he would tell him when to turn and face me, thank you Reg for creating that special moment for me. Another cute memory we have is that he had our names written on a piece of paper in side his Bible so he wouldnt forget our names during the ceremony.


during our wedding rehersal
 
I feel so blessed that he was there to marry Carl and I. We were truly lucky to have him perform the ceremony and bless our marriage.

He played Santa at the church Christmas party. He always called everyone his "Brothers and Sisters" and he loved to sing, always made us sing a hymm a second time if he thought we didnt give it enough effort, and he loved the song "Jesus Loves Me"When he gave sermons at church he would remove his watch and set in on the pulpit in front of him so he wouldnt preach too long. His sermons were always about not fearing death, how wonderful it would be to go Home and be with his beloved wife again. He taught me not to fear death, to have faith in God, and to have a passion for everything I  do.

So today with the passing of the man who taught me those things, maybe I will "make out " with my husband and sing "Yes, Jesus loves Me" with as much passion as Rev Reg did. I pray that he is happy at the foot of His Father today holding the hand of his beloved Monica and smiling down on all of us. I was so blessed to have met him, learned from him and have had him made an impact on my life. Thank you God! See you some day Rev Reg!


Blessings,
Heather


Friday, March 4, 2011

Ways to Simplify Your Life

"The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak"-Hans Hoffman

Life can be incredibly stressful. But only if we let it. But when we simplify our lives we are able to slow down and enjoy each moment. By slowing down we can be present in each moment of life and we are able to give the things that matter  our full attention.

Here are some ways that you can start to simplify your life:
1.Turn off your cell phone
2 Ask for help
3 Create a stable sleep pattern
4 Have defined goals
5 Limit your computer time
6 Get a grasp on your finances
7 Be Honest
8 Keep an open mind
9 Clear Clutter
10 Create a weekly Meal Plan
11 Check email only twice a day
12 Read your Bible
13 Drink lots of water
14 Get outside and breath in some fresh air
15 Cherish the little things
16 Do something you love
17 Meditate
18 Be understanding and forgive others
19 Be optimistic
20 Focus on one thing at a time
21 Smile more
22 Get yourself ready each night before the next day
23 Let go of the idea that everything has to be perfect
24 We all make mistakes, learn from them, move on
25 Laugh more
26 Apologize
27 Write in a journal daily
28 Cut out negative experiences and people
29 Create a Wish List of your dreams and goals
30 Learn to say NO
31 Dedicate time each day as "Me" time
32 Be YOU, dont fake it

There are countless more ways to simplify your life. Create your own list and go through it and work it. We are all different, so what works for one wont work for another. The key is to TAKE ACTION, simplify your life today, you wont regret it!

I would love to know what is on your list to simplify your life, please feel free to share!

Blessings,
Heather

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sweet Potato Biscuits

We love biscuits in our house. There isnt a soup or stew that is served without them. Recently I decided to try sweet potato biscuits and now they have become a favorite, they are easy to make and a great way to use sweet potato leftovers(if there is such a thing!) So here is the recipe, hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

You will need:

1 cup sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed
2 cups flour
6 tbsp butter
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of nutmeg and ginger
3 tbsp brown sugar
2/3 cup buttermilk(if too dry add more)

Sift flour, baking powder, soda, ginger and nutmeg together. Add sugar, cut in butter, make a well in the centre and add mashed potatoes and buttermilk. Mix and knead a few times, roll out and cut with biscuit cutter, put on a cookie sheet close together. Bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes.


Serve warm with butter or maple butter! Enjoy!

Blessings,
Heather

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Meal Plans and Grocery Lists

I think the best way to save time, stress and money is to make a meal plan.

Do you always hear "What's for dinner?
Do you make frequent trips to the grocery store?
Do you find yourself eating out alot?

If you answered yes to these questions than meal planning maybe something you need to try. If you have never meal planned before, it may seem like a daunting task but once you get into the groove, it will become easier and fun...I promise!

Here are some easy steps to help you get started:
1.Decide on the length of your meal plan, depending on what works for your family and your budget. and whether you are going to plan for all 3 meal, or just some of them. I do mine for 2 weeks at a time because Carl gets paid every two weeks and  I plan mostly dinners, and all weekend meals.
2.Get a blank calender, a worksheet or blank paper and write out what works for you. Below are some examples.


3. Make a list of your families favorite meals. There are certain things we like to eat on a regular basis, like pizza, speghetti, nachos and chicken wraps, so I include these on my meal plan on a regular basis. We actually have certain nights that we always have these favorite meals, like Friday night is always pizza night at our house. Its a fun way to create traditions.
4. Search for new recipes you want to try, you may want to pick one night a week where you try the new recipes, you never know.. ..your family might love it and it could become one of your regular meals.
5.Write out your meal plan, making a grocery list at the same time of ingredients you need to make these meals.
6.Once you have your ingredients on your grocery list, write down items for snacks, and if you didnt make a plan for all meals, write down what you need for breakfasts and/or lunches.
7.When you do go to the grocery store, stick to only what you have written down on your list. This will save you money!!
8.If you have to... try to only go to the store once in between major shopping trips to pick up fresh items.
9..Be flexible, things may come up, switch nights if you have to, its ok!
10.Post your meal plan on the fridge or wherever is convenient for you, this way your family can see it and they wont have to ask  "Whats for Dinner??" and neither will you!

I hope this helps
Blessings,
Heather

Friday, February 25, 2011

Whats Wrong With Today?

Monday always seems like a good day to start anything. Its the day I am going to start a new diet, start excerising, restart my journaling, call and make an appointment. But whats wrong with today? What am I  waiting for? We are always waiting for the right time to do something. We wait for the right time to tell someone we love them. We wait for summer to take a vacation. We wait for Monday to start a diet. We wait for a special occasion to call or see friends or family. We wait to Sunday to worship the Lord. Why are we waiting? We dont know if we will see another summer, another special occasion or even another Sunday. We wait for others to make the first move, or  a special occasion to use our good china, or the weekend to spend quality time with our families. But whats wrong with today? Why dont we call our mom or sister and tell them today we love them. Why dont we start excerising today? Why dont  we pray and give thanks to God for what we have today? Lets not wait for an opportunity to come before we do something, lets make today the day we do something we have been putting off. Start living today instead of waiting for the right time to come along. Dont wait for the conditions to be right, Dont make excuses. If you're not happy today, do something about it now. Dont look for a more convenient time. Just do it! So think about all the things you have been putting off, all the people we can call and tell them we love and care about them. All the fun things we can do with our families, all the things we can pray about. Pull out the good china, make your favorite dinner, read that book thats been sitting on the shelf, wear your best outfit. Just do it. Make today the day. Dont wait for the right time, make today the right time.
Blessings,
Heather

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Slow Cooker Lasagna

This recipe is scrumptious I will never make lasagna any other way again, Its easy and tastes so good!
You will need:
1 lb ground beef
1 jar pasta sauce
1 cup water
1 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 3/4 cup shredded cheese(I use marble)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 egg
6 uncooked lasagna noodles

Brown meat in large skillet, drain , stir in pasta sauce and water. In a bowl mix together the ricotta cheese, 2 tbsp parmesan cheese, 1 1/2 cup shredded cheese and egg. Spoon 1 cup sauce onto the bottom of the slow cooker, top with 3 noodles broken to fit. Top with cheese mixture, cover with 2 cups of sauce, then 3 more noodles, cheese mixture then remaining sauce, cover with lid and cook on low for 4-6 hours or until the liquid is absorbed. Sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese and let stand for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

I hope you enjoy this, let me know what you think!

Blessings,
Heather

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Setting A Weekly Cleaning Schedule

Good housekeeping starts with a good routine and there is nothing like walking into a house that looks clean and organized and smells good. When your house is clean, your family is comforted by knowing their surroundings are under control. Its amazing how a clean, organized home can make you feel.

So the plan is to tackle one area of your house a day. With every week it gets easier and before you know it your house will be sparkling!
There are a few items that need daily tending, these include:
1 Making your Beds- If your kids are old enough , have them make their bed before school everyday.
2 Laundry- keep up with it as much as the size of your family indicates. Make sure it gets folded and put away too, cause piles of laundry defeat all your hard work.
3 Wash Dishes-whether you wash by hand or use a dishwasher, keep up daily so you dont have them piling up, cluttering up your counter , taking up work space and making your kitchen look messy. Everytime you wash the dishes, sweep your kitchen floor.
4 15-20 minute clean up- set a timer and tidy up. Put away anything that is out of place, organize, and straighen up. Its amazing how much you can get done in this small amount of time.
5 If you are like me, I like keeping lists and things organized so I have a Home Maintenance Journal. I keep my grocery lists, my meal plans, my "to-do" lists and my daily cleaning schedule all in a journal to keep me on track.
Then there are items that you can do weekly. I will share my own weekly schedule with you but you can make your own that fits your home and lifestyle, do what works best for you:
Monday: Bathroom and Cooking Day
I scrub and thoroughly clean my bathroom every Monday morning. Remember , when guests are sitting on your throne, they have nothing better to do but observe what kind of housekeeper you are. Cooking day is where I make snacks for home and for Carl's lunches for the week, including muffins, crackers, homemade chips, cookies or granola bars. I make my meal plan and grocery list( next week we will talk about this in more detail!)
Tuesday:Bedroom Day
I change the bedding and wash the sheets. I organize clothes, dust and put things away. Your bedrooms should be open, organized and clean. It should be comfortable because it should be the most peaceful ,restful rooms in your house.
Wednesday: Kitchen Day
Organize your pantry, clean out your fridge, clean your oven, microwave and other appliances. Wash your counters and disinfect them. Wipe the outside of your fridge and oven and organize any cupboards that need it.
Thursday: Sweeping, Mopping, Vaccuming, and Dusting Day
Move furniture, like your couch and clean behind and under them, Grab a dusting rag and dust any surface you havent touched yet this week. Clean mirrors and windows and  vaccum any rugs.
Friday: I like to spend Friday morning refreshing anything that needs touching up before the weekend, because normally with a family  the weekend is a busy time. I also spend some of Friday as "Me Day". Take a bubble bath, get your hair done, a little time for yourself as a reward for all your hard work during the week.
Saturday: Family Chores
Gardening, clean out the garage or car or do some home maintenance
Sunday: Spend the day enjoying a day of rest with your family!


You can make your own schedule, do what works for you, your family and your house. Dont sweat it if you get behind, either squeeze in some extra work the next day or wait until the chore comes up again. Once you get in the habit it will come naturally and you will enjoy it, especially when your house is clean and organized, your family will feel more comfortable and they will thank you!

Blessings,
Heather

Friday, February 18, 2011

Tasty Thursday- Blueberry Muffins!

Ok so I know its Friday and I am a day late with Tasty Thursday but yesterday was busy and I didnt get a chance to post it but it is worth the wait. This is the first recipe ever I made on my own and its my favorite blueberry muffin recipe ever. I know you will love it too.

You will need:
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup shortening
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup blueberries

Preheat oven to 350, grease 12 cup muffin tin. Cream together the sugar and shortening, add egg, add in milk, flour and baking powder until well combined. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full and bake for approx 25 minutes. Enjoy!
I like to double the recipe cause they go fast and they freeze excellently.

Blessings,
Heather

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Where to start!

I believe that your home should reflect you and be a comfortable place to relax for you and your family. I also believe one of the greatest gifts you can give your family is a clean, organized home where they can feel comfortable inviting friends and family. A place they can have fun, a place filled with memories and things that mean the most to you and them. Now I now getting started can be very overwhelming. So I am going to share a few things to help you get started. And in the next coming weeks I will go into more detail about each.
1.I set a weekly cleaning schedule. I dont always follow the schedule exactly but its a good place to start. For example, Monday is bathroom day and cooking day, I make snack stuff for the week, like muffins, or crackers, etc(and every second week I make a meal plan and grocery list). Tuesday is bedroom and living room day, Wednesday is kitchen day and Thursday is sweeping, mopping and dusting day. Friday is usually a free day where I do stuff for me(like a facial or pedicure). Saturday Carl is home so we do stuff together that needs to be done around the house, and Sunday is a day if rest, where we do as little housework as possible and enjoy  the day together as a family.
2.I do a 15-20 minute cleanup around the house everyday. You wouldnt believe how much you get done in that short amount of time. I go around the house, putting stuff away that doesnt belong there, straightening stuff up, maybe it dusting or sweeping that needs done in between or a window that needs cleaned, what small things need cleaned up that you can get done in that time.
3. On top of my weekly schedule I have certain things that get done everyday. I make my bed, do dishes and make my sink shine.Its amazing how by doing those 2 things everyday can make your house feel neat and clean. Its nice to wake up to a clean sink and its even better to go to bed to a clean, made bed every night.
4.Laundry! I totally believe nothing says I love you more than having clean socks and underwear to put on( I can hear some of you laughing now). But by washing, drying and most importantly putting away clean clothes saves you and your family time each morning. No one likes a scavenger hunt during the chaos of getting ready for the day.
5.Declutter!!!! I know this is hard, but its really about getting rid of stuff that doesnt matter to us, the things that really make our house messy. One of my favorite sayings is "The most important things in life...arent things" We are all slaves to things and our possessions. We work to have things but when it comes down to it they arent important. So here is a challenge to do this week: Set a timer for 20 minutes, grab a trash bag and walk through your house, throwing away stuff. Throw away old magazines, broken toys, paper, etc. The rule is if you havent used it for a year then either give it away or trash it! Clutter attracts clutter! Take this challenge, you wont regret it and trust me you wont miss any of these things. Things will never make you happy. Unused clutter will only weigh you down. So only keep things that mean something to you, let go of things that dont. Give them away to people who may actually need them, you will feel good for sharing with  those that are less fortunate.

Cleaning your home is just a routine and once you establish the habit, your family will always feel loved!
In the next few weeks on Wednesdays I will go into further detail about each of these.  Soon  I am going to introduce my throw away a thing a day Challenge!Have fun decluttering this week!

Blessings,
Heather

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Thankful For The Roof!

I have so much to be greatful for this week. But today I am most greatful for the roof over my head. Early last week, we discovered a leak in our ceiling. We took down a few tiles, tore out the insulation and let it dry out. We thought it was just a small leak since the roof was covered with snow and Carl discovered a shingle missing. He replaced the shingle, the water dried up so we thought we had it all taken care of. So this past weekend we decided to take down the rest of the tile ceiling and replace it with gyproc. But when we did, we found a bigger problem, all of the insulation was soaked, it was a huge mess. We tore out the rest of it and its in the process of drying now, we did manage to find the leak between the old and new roofs. The roof has been open now for a couple days and it gets kinda chilly in here, so I cant wait till we can replace the insulation and ceiling on the weekend. But even though it was a huge mess and a pain in the butt, I was thankful. Thankful that we found the leak before it got worse and cost us alot more money. But mostly thankful for the roof over our heads. Thankful we have a home, that we arent homeless and living on the streets. Thankful that I have a husband who is handy and can fix things cheaper than hiring a professional. I love that even in a bad situation I can be greatful. It is a blessing to be able to see good even in a bad situation.

Blessings,
Heather

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day Everyone!

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!
I love the whole idea behind this day! Spreading love to everyone is a wonderful thing. But it can also be a sad day for some people. People who are alone, people experiencing a recent breakup and  people who have recently lost a loved one may have a depressing day. So lets make this day about spreading the love to everyone around us not just our significant others. Everyone needs love, everyone needs to feel appreciated and cared for. Carl and I dont really make a big deal of Valentine's Day. We would rather celebrate days that are important to our relationship, like the first day we met, the day we moved in together and birthdays, and the most important day to us, our anniversary(07/07/07)!!! We dont make big plans for dinner out or big gifts, or roses(not my favorite flower anyway!) Its the small things that we do everyday that mean more to us , like a small gift for no reason, a love note left on the computer screen or in someones lunch, a surprise candle light dinner in the middle of the week, or a cuddle while watching a movie! I love coming up with little ways to show Carl that I love him, but I dont need a special day to tell me to. I prefer using this day to tell people that I may not see everyday that I love them and I am thinking about them. So lets all spread the love,  call your parents and siblings and tell them you love them, let your best friends know how much they mean to you and smile at strangers you met today saying hello, do something nice for your neighbor and bring your coworkers a treat and lets make this the year that we spread the love everyday and not just on February 14th and make this the year the year that we show everyone in our lives the love!

Blessings,
Heather

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Homemade Wheat Thin Crackers

I have been trying to find healthier snack foods for us, I tried this recipe and they turned out great so I thought I would share it with you. They are easy to make and so much better for you than boxed crackers from the grocery store! All the ingredients you need are:
1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup water

Mix the flours together, add the oil and water and mix. Make smooth kneading as little as possible. Roll out as thin as possible on a ungreased cookie sheet(about 1/8 inch). Mark with a knife the size of crackers desired but do not cut all the way through. Prick each cracker a few times with a fork.
Bake at 350 until crisp and light brown for 30-35 minutes. Once done let cool for awhile then finish cutting the rest of the way through. Store in a plastic container. Great for dipping, with cheese or just the way they are!!
Hope you enjoy
Blessings,
Heather

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Making your Home a Haven Wednesday

I love being a homemaker. I take great pride in having a clean house. I love decorating our home with things that we love, that mean something to us and things that make us comfortable. I love welcoming friends and family to our home and making them comfortable. Not everyone enjoys housecleaning or decorating. Most people dont get as excited as I do over a clean shiny sink or an organized closet. Plus we dont always have the time with our busy schedules. So every Wednesday I will share some of my ideas, tips and tricks on how you can make your house a Haven for you and your family.

Here are a few of the ideas to come in the next few weeks:
1.Easy steps to getting started on a cleaner home
2.Making a daily or weekly cleaning schedule
3.Steps to Decluttering
4.Surrounding yourself with only the things you love
5.My Throw Away A Thing A Day Challenge
6.DIY projects

If there any topics you want discussed just let me know, soon we will all have a shiny sink!!!

Blessings,
Heather

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Thankful Tuesdays!

I have always considered myself a positive "glass is half full " kinda girl. Dont get me wrong I have bad days, where I can be negative, but the majority of the time I take pride in the fact that I am upbeat and can see the good in most things. Last year when making my New Year resolutions I decided it was going to be the year of "positivity". I made the decision to try to be even more positive than I normally am. Because I believe that life is what we make it and if we continually see the negative then our lives will ultimately become a vicious cycle of negativity. I take great pleasure in enjoying  even the simpliest things like a clean bathroom and instead of complaining about a snow storm I see the wonderous white beauty of it. Life is what you make it and our thoughts can determine how we feel about our lives. So why not make them positive thoughts?  Earlier in this blog I wrote a list of 100 things I am greatful for, so now every Tuesday I am going to compile a short list of the things that I am greatful for this week! Here is this weeks list:



1. the beauty of winter
2.my past experiences(good and bad) cause they make up who I am today
3.Pledge Multi Surface...this stuff rocks, I have been using it on everything!
4.Finding and trying new recipes
5. trying to stick to my schedule(not always done but I am trying!)

Blessings,
Heather

Monday, February 7, 2011

Marriage Monday!

Every Monday I am going to blog about marriage so I decided I better start with a quick story about mine.

Carl and I met online about 5 years ago. We met in person soon after. I think he was much more interested in me than I was in him. I didnt think he was my type. I had dated men that I thought were my type or maybe more like what I thought I needed to get what I wanted out of life. Carl was from a small farming community. He didnt have money or a nice car, couldnt afford to take nice trips and he wasnt all that cultured, he had never been a movie theatre or concert. After meeting for the first time I remember commenting to a friend of mine that he was nice and would make a good friend but that was it. Carl was definitely more interested in me though  and kept calling and driving the 2 hour drive to come visit me. A few months after we met, we had a conversation about how he wanted to move out of the country and maybe try living in the city. I was roomateless at the time so I offered him the second bedroom in my appartment if he wanted to try city life. It was under the condition that we were only friends because I knew he wanted more but I didnt want to hurt him. He was not my type!

Wow, was I wrong!! Two weeks after he moved in, we officially started dating, four months later we were engaged and less than a year later we were married!


All the time I had been looking for the wrong kinda guy. I always dated men who were all about themselves. Guys who thought money and things were important. Men who needed fixing and I thought I could change them, I always had a thing for what I like to call"users" and I dont think I had enough self respect to want someone who wasnt one.

I found a man who isnt perfect, far from it actually, but he tries. He is sensitive, and caring, not always romantic, but thoughtful. He puts us first, our marriage is the most important thing to him. He cares about his family, and he works hard.

We have been married almost 4 years now, and I have loved watching  our marriage  changing and growing. We have a very strong marriage. We made a pact that no matter what no one leaves. No matter, how rough things get, we will work it out. We are at our best when solving problems together, even though we dont always agree we know we can work it out in the end.

We fight......we have disagreements, mostly over money, family and sometimes just stupid things when one or both of  us is tried, cranky or hungry! Nothing is ever perfect, no one is perfect so  your marriage isnt going to be perfect either. We have learned to compromise, and bend to what the other wants sometimes. We have both learned alot of patientence. We were both in our 30s when we got married and both kinda set in our ways and it took time to adjust to being a team instead of a single carefree individual. But now we are a team to be reckoned with. We have alot of the same values, ideas on life and we share alot of the same interest so it makes our lives together easy most of the time.

I am glad I found a man who I can be friends with, someone I trust, someone who I know no matter what will stand up and protect me and be there for me no matter what life throws our way. I cant till every Monday, where I will be sharing my ideas on marriage, fun tips to spice it up and how God can strengthen your marriage!


Blessings,
Heather

Friday, February 4, 2011

How Do You Walk When You Were Born to Run?

How Do You Walk When You Were Born to Run?

Wow.... Had to share this article, is really moving and would love to read Shaun's book!

Chocolate Banana Bread

1 3/4 cups flour
1 cup white sugar
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup melted butter
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup cocoa
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup white chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350, grease a 9x5x3 loaf pan, set aside. Combine bananas, eggs, melted butter and vanilla, slowly add flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda and baking powder until well combined and batter is thick and chunky. Fold in chocolate chips. Bake until bread has risen and an inserted toothpick comes out clean, approx 55-65 minutes. Place on wire rack to cool, and then remove from pan and enjoy!


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Febuary Goals

Marriage
1.Be quick to listen and slow to speak
2.Continue my Pray For Your Husband Challenge
3. Come up with something special for Valentine's Day
4.Plan our once a month date night

Spiritual
1.Continue the Ruth Bible Study
2.Better schedule my quiet and prayer time everyday
3.Try to find some way to get more involved in our church

Home
1.Make my bed and shine my sink everyday
2.Make a weekly cleaning schedule and stick to it
3.Look for new bathroom flooring and countertop
4.Find new mats for kitchen and dinning room
5.Find some new candles

Health
1.Walk everyday
2.Make a "30 minute" workout schedule and stick to it
3. Get my hair done and colored
4.Throw out old makeup and get new stuff
5.Get a pedicure

Fun Stuff
1.Superbowl Party
2.Daytona Party
3.Find new recipes to try
4.Stay Positve and live with joy and gratitude!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Being a better wife

I love my husband. He is so wonderful. He isnt perfect. No one is. but I love him and I want nothing but the best for him. I havent worked since we got married. It was a decission we made together. When we got married I was working retail and anyone who has ever worked retail knows it can be crazy hours. One day you work during the day the next the evening, some times you work all weekend sometimes you have a day off and sometimes you work 6-7 days in a row. My husband works pretty much 7-5 everyday except the winter when he plows so its at the whim of the weather, so with my schedule and his we didnt get to spend alot of time together and we couldnt make plans ahead of time. We really enjoyed being able to spend every evening together, making plans for the weekends and spending quality time together. We also decided that if we had children I was going to stay home and raise them, we didnt see the sense of having children if they ere going to spend more time with a babysitter than us. My husband says he loves the fact that when he gets home every night his supper is made, that the housework is done and we can really have quality time together. Recently I came across a couple blogs that talk about the importanceof being a good wife,mother, housekeeper and how they believe its a womans role to do these things, how its a mans place to be the head of the household and how society has deminished the role of a wife at home, how society makes woman who choose this role feel less than other women who have careers and "who have it all." I may not go as far as these women but I do believe that men and women are not created equally, we are different, we have different roles to fill, different purposes,if we were meant to be equals we would be the same,I know it may sound old fashioned and not feminest enough to say I enjoy being home, I enjoy taking care of my husband and our house and if we are ever blessed with children I will be happy staying at home and raising them I dont feel any less than women who have careers and women who are out there making a living. I actually feel a little sorry for women who are expected to "do it all" or women who feel like they have to have a career to feel like they are somebody or feel like they are important. I think sometimes our society has placed too much value on having things, so women have to work to make ends meet maybe if we all lived on a little less, then women could stay home and take care of their own families. My husband and I consider each other equals in our relationship, we make decisions about finances, our home, holidays, and pretty much everything together. But  I do feel my job is at home, it is my job to clean and cook, to keep our home clean, so that when he comes home from work he can relax. He works hard everyday so we can have a roof over our head,  food on the table, clothes on our backs and it is my job to make sure those things are taken care of, I make sure the housework is done when he gets home so after dinner we get to spend time together. This doesnt mean he doesnt do anything around the house, he respects what I do , and he does his part to help keep things clean, he does all the yardwork and all the handywork. He works very hard and I make sure he knows I appreciate what he does. Now some of these websites say as a women it is our job to built our husband up , to encourage them , not to overwhelm them with our problems and nag them. In a way I agree with this and in some ways I dont. It is definitely our jobs to encourage them , as its their jobs to encourage  and support us. I do like to think I encourage my husband, I hope I am postive and let him know how much I love him, how much I appreciate what he does for me. But if I have a problem, I dont act like all is ok, we work on problems together. It was my New Years resolution to be a better wife, to practice some of this Godly principles more in our marriage and not to feel like I was less for doing so, my job as wife and housekeeper is important. Its only been 18 days but I have seen a differnce in our marriage already. I make sure all housework is done and I dont expect him to help, its means less nagging and more quality time together. I enjoy my job and home and feel satisfied that I do this for us. I feel like we are closer, we havent had a nasty word between us, he seems to appreciate what I do for him and he seems to respect what I do more. We have spent more time together, just cuddling or doing fun things together. I greet him with a smile when he comes home and dinner on the table and it sets a stage for a wonderful caring time together. We arent perfect, my husband isnt perfect, but he is perfect for me, and I feel more empowered knowing my role and seeing how when I follow this role, life is easy and comfortable. I will continue to pray for my husband and my marriage and I will continue my God given role as Carl's wife.