Thursday, April 28, 2011

Who Likes FREE STUFF?? (EXTENDED)

It's time for my first GIVEAWAY!


Today's giveaway has been brought to you by Doud Indelible Designs. From their website: Picture



Doud Indelible Designs is a laser cutting and engraving company.  We can engrave many different materials, including, but not limited to:  Wood, Metal, Acrylic, Glass, Marble, Paper, Leather, Rubber and Cork.  We can also cut materials using the laser.  Please see below for entire list of materials.   Our engraved products make great gifts for all occasions
.









It's pretty cool stuff, people. They are giving away a free bookmark like the one above. Except YOU get to choose what goes on it! For instance, you can put your name and favorite Bible verse and use it in your Bible. Pretty cool, right? 

How do you win something like this?


Mandatory Entry: Leave a comment below telling me what you'd put on your bookmark (if you're doing your name and don't want to share it with the world just put "my name")

Optional entries : 
- "Like" Making The Morin House on Facebook (there's a Facebook button in the right column)
- Follow me on Twitter (again, there's a button in the right column)
- "Like" Doud Indelible Designs on Facebook
- Facebook this giveaway
- Tweet this giveaway
- Visit their website and tell me which is your favorite product. 

Leave a comment for each of the above that you complete. This giveaway will run THE MONTH OF MAY and the winner will be announced the following day. The winner will be chosen using random.org.

Dear "Secret Life"

Dear The Secret Life Of An American Teenager,

Your show is ridiculous. For the lucky ones that have never seen an episode here's a video summary:




Seriously?


Fixed that for you


Yes, I understand that sex is now part of a teenager's life. Whether they're doing it or know someone that's doing it, sex is all around. However, I take issue with the assumption that sex is ALL that goes on in a teenager's life. Other things include, but are not limited to: drugs, alcohol, eating disorders, severe over-achieving, anxiety, depression, self-harm, abuse, bullying, and suicide. Where are these elements in your show? Heck there are other shows that have covered these things at least partially. (Full House was one) If you're going to claim to give a glimpse into the "secret life" of a teenager at least have her dealing with more than just sex and pregnancy.


Which brings me to my other complaint. Your portrayal of teen pregnancy was awful. Amy just so happened to have tons of people that love her and support her? Her parents help watch the baby and her boyfriend loved her EVEN THOUGH IT WASN'T HIS BABY? Oh, and baby's Daddy came back to be part of his life? Whatever. What happened to the girl that got kicked out? We saw a glimpse of her and then never heard from her again. That's real. That happens. Where's the miscarriage because the mom was too young to handle pregnancy? And, on top of it, Amy got to spend a week in New York without the baby?? Really now? Her life is only slightly affected by this child. Having a baby is a major change and you have not shown that AT ALL.


I also have a problem with "ABC Family" and it looks like I'm not the only one. Especially this:
It should be noted that despite the channel's name including the word "Family", the channel's programming content standards had changed several years earlier after the sale of the channel by International Family Entertainment, and the channel had been airing even some acquired series and movies that contain profanity, violence and sexual content or dialogue after the sale, particularly since being purchased by The Walt Disney Company. ABC Family does air parental advisory tags at the beginning of some TV-14 rated programs, such as That '70s Show and some episodes of The Secret Life of the American Teenager.

So, I tried to watch your show, but it's ridiculous and annoying. Please end it. I don't care what happens to Amy. I'm sure she'll ride off into a rainbow on her unicorn and leave the baby with her magical elves and fairies.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I Need To Workout More

Yesterday I got my youngest to nap by himself (big deal if you consider my oldest rarely napped alone) I went to Hulu and clicked on my Dance And Be Fit channel I saved. Instead of the Brazilian Dance I had been doing I decided to try Latin Dance.

It was a bit easier but still worked up a sweat. I'm glad I chose this one. I wasn't totally exhausted at 15mins like I was with the Brazilian Dance. (Yes, I'm THAT out of shape) This one I was able to finish the circuit and still feel like I did SOMETHING. So, I got 30mins in yesterday. If you combine little bits of exercise with the calories I'm burning by breastfeeding I'll have this weight off in no time!

I'm determined to not take a year to get the weight off...that's what happened with my first. Of course, I gained 50lbs with Franklin and only 30lbs with Jonathan. AND when it was just me and Franklin I did a lot of sitting around...now that it's me and two kids (one a toddler) I'm much more active during the day.

We're going to go to the zoo this weekend so that will be a bit of walking around. It's been so hot lately that getting outside is miserable. (It's Texas so we get heat and humidity. Sometimes it's hard to breathe)

I need to get an official weight and measurements in for these posts...so that you can really follow my progress. I can't do a diet list because I'm too busy during the day to keep track. I know I eat a lot of cereal, peanut butter, and lunchmeat...oh, and the occasional bowl of yogurt when I have some made.

Click on some of my past posts below or click HERE to enter the Giveaway. Be sure to comment!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What's For Dinner?

This week we're having: (main dishes...side dishes are up for discussion)

Tuesday - Grilled Cheese

Wednesday - Hamburgers

Thursday - Chicken with Garlic-Pepper Sauce

Friday - Chicken Pesto OR Spaghetti

I know, I usually plan it out more...and there are usually more intricate dishes listed. However, I've had a teething toddler so it's thrown things off.


Did you enter the giveaway?? You totally should!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Tot School - The Letter "A"

This week I was prepared and we learned the letter "A."

I don't have a printer so I'm having to make all of these worksheets myself. It's not so bad. Each day I drew something that started with "A" (Airplane, ant, arrow, apple, angel) and did a few sheets with the letter on them in different ways. I did a big "A" to color and then others with it written in different sizes or written inside shapes. Mostly, I just wanted the letter in his face all week long.

(We even put cutout letters on the fridge)

By WEDNESDAY he could identify "A" and say several words that we covered this week!

Here are some photos of our week:



The "A" on the right? I didn't direct him to put the stickers that specifically...he decided all on his own!

We put cheerios on an "A" using honey. I put the paper in a plastic bag.


Leave it to a boy to use a random stick as a weapon! :)




Next we're going to cover the letter "B". He's teething so we'll see how that goes.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Easter Challenge

I know this week most of my readers are preparing for Easter...usually planning an Easter Egg Hunts, Easter Baskets, and family reunions. Don't forget the huge thing that actually happened. (And yes, I know that it's not the EXACT DATE or whatever...but it's why we celebrate it)

Jesus gave his life so that YOU could have life. In church this weekend they showed bits from The Passion of The Christ. (I have avoided seeing that movie and my reasoning was solidified this weekend) The clips they showed were, of course, the crucifixion parts. While watching it there was a voice in my head saying, "That was for you. He went through that (and worse because they couldn't be totally accurate due to ratings) for YOU." It was a well needed reminder.

What are you doing with the life that Jesus saved? The song "Love Them Like Jesus" by Casting Crowns comes to mind. (song and lyrics at the end of this post)

I'm CHALLENGING YOU to love people like Jesus each day this week. Some ideas:

- Pray for someone. Call your local radio ministry and ask if you can pray for someone that called in with a prayer request. If you have a Twitter account search #prayerrequest and pray for someone. Call your pastor and ask if there's someone in the church that needs prayer.

- Buy bottled water and hand them out to the homeless/struggling on the side of the road. It's HOT out there for some states. Give water to construction crews.

- Call your pastor and see if someone needs help in the church. Can you go cook for someone? Clean someone's house? Help a stay at home mom with the kids? (trust me, we need it!!)


So, this week I want you to love them like Jesus. Come back and share what you did!



"Love Them Like Jesus"

The love of her life is drifting away
They're losing the fight for another day
The life that she's known is falling apart
A fatherless home, a child's broken heart

You're holding her hand, you're straining for words
You trying to make - sense of it all
She's desperate for hope, darkness clouding her view
She's looking to you

Just love her like Jesus, carry her to Him
His yoke is easy, His burden is light
You don't need the answers to all of life's questions
Just know that He loves her and stay by her side
Love her like Jesus
Love her like Jesus

The gifts lie in wait, in a room painted blue
Little blessing from Heaven would be there soon
Hope fades in the night, blue skies turn to gray
As the little one slips away

You're holding her hand, you're straining for words
You're trying to make sense of it all
They're desperate for hope, darkness clouding their view
They're looking to you

Just love them like Jesus, carry them to Him
His yoke is easy, His burden is light
You don't need the answers to all of life's questions
Just know that He loves them and stay by their side
Love them like Jesus

Lord of all creation holds our lives in His hands
The God of all the nations holds our lives in His hands
The Rock of our salvation holds our lives in His hands
He cares for them just as He cares for you

So love them like Jesus, love them like Jesus
You don't need the answers to all of life's questions
Just know that He loves them and stay by their side
Love them like Jesus
Love them like Jesus

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Today's Coupon Haul

I've been watching Extreme Couponing. Yes, I know...ANOTHER reality type show! The big thing to remember with this show is that it's not totally realistic to everyone. Not everyone has stores that double (or triple) coupons. Not every store will let you use multiple coupons like they do. And not everyone needs 100 bottles of shampoo. I understand the importance of a stockpile...but eventually you have to say "enough is enough"...but that's just my opinion.

Anyway, with the current economy going the way it is (uhm, down the tubes) I decided to start couponing again and try to build a small "just in case" stockpile.

The KEY to coupons is to know how to combine things with sales. If you have a coupon for Item X but the Generic is cheaper THERE IS NO POINT TO THE COUPON unless you know for a fact that Item X is better. (And, as someone that uses a lot of generic products...that's not always the case. Rice is rice and even allergy tablets are quite similar)

So today I bought a Sunday Paper and spent at least 2 hours sifting through the inserts. I grabbed the sale papers for stores we use regularly (Target, CVS, Walgreens, and HEB) and then sorted the coupons into "will use" and "will not use" stacks. I used to use coupons just for the sake of using coupons, but that defeats the purpose.

Here's my haul: $135.57 worth of stuff. Saved with coupons and sales $42.37. Total spent was $93.20. That's 31% saved! It's not the 98% you see on the show...but 31% is pretty good.


- 1 package Allegra 24hr (30 count)
- 2 Boxes of Cheerios (one is the new cinnamon kind)
- 1 package Schick Quattro for Women (3 razors)
- Angel Soft Toilet Paper 12 double rolls
- Scott Naturals Paper Towels 6 rolls
- Med Spray Bottle (for vinegar)
- 2 Schick Shave Gel
- Listerine
- 1 Knorr Pasta Sides
- Eckrich smoked sausage
- 1 can Ranch Style Beans
- Finish Powerball (dishwasher detergent)
- Package Huggies Overnight Diapers
- Lysol Toilet Cleaner
- Finish Dishwasher Cleaner
- Batteries
- Jimmy Dean Sausage
- Head And Shoulders Shampoo
- Head and Shoulders Conditioner


The BIG times I really saved was with the Cheerios and the Shave Gel. The stores had them for Buy One Get One Free and I had a coupon for the item. So, I got the first one discounted AND got one for free!

I also got a CVS card. Basically, they put money on the card that you can redeem toward purchases at a later date. So, the razors were $8.99...I got $4 back on my card...AND I had a $2 coupon. Technically, I paid $3 for a $9 razor. See?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Every Little Bit Counts

I found the Dance and Be Fit channel of Hulu yesterday. Today I tried the Brazilian Dance Workout. My thoughts are as follows:

1) I felt like a total dork. These women are graceful. Obviously they're going to choose people that are ACTUALLY GOOD AT IT to demonstrate. Trust me, you did NOT want to see me doing it.

2) It was really fun. Franklin liked watching me and even mimicked me a few times.

3) I only got through 15mins of it (that's including the brief warmup) so I don't FEEL like I did a good workout...However, every little bit counts. And I can't really talk about what feels like a good workout. If I'm not dying on the floor afterwards I don't feel like I've done anything (it's a leftover from my eating disorder days...I'm working on that)

I thought about eating a sandwich...and then I thought about a hotdog...and THEN I saw my homemade yogurt. So, I went with yogurt with honey and strawberries! It was light but filling and didn't have the guilt attached like a hotdog.


Basically, I want to try to inject exercise into my day. I found a way to do it through DANCE so I can include Franklin. I want my kids to see a healthy attitude toward weight loss and exercise! I also know that, even though my husband finds me attractive, I will feel better if I tone up a bit. Plus, I hate feeling so out of shape. It wasn't too many years ago that I was in excellent shape. I'd like to get back there...or close to it. (I'm not 18 anymore, guys...I'm 24! That's now "mid 20's")

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Meals for the Week 4/12 - 4/16

According to my husband (who is an avid news reader) if the government doesn't raise the debt ceiling they can default on their debts and the military won't get paid. Now, we get paid once a month (which is our choice and awesome) so we're fine for the rest of the month. We have quite a bit in savings so we'd also be good through May....and possibly into June. Now, I doubt it will come to that. However, I'm trying to cut back NOW until we know what's up.

For our regular budget I have $75 a week left for groceries for the rest of the month. I spent $25 today and we shouldn't have to spend more than $10-$20 the rest of the week. (We shall see!)

One thing I did was go through my freezer last night and list all of the meat in the freezer. My goal is to go as long as possible without buying meat (because it's expensive). Currently, we can go 2 weeks! Well, I'd like to buy a pound of ground beef for next week just for variety (because it comes down to fish and chicken for next week)

This week's "try it" food is Quinoa. Expensive little thing...but good for you and filling.


Tuesday:
 Hamburgers with Quinoa and Black Beans.

Wednesday:
 Pasta with a Garlic Cream Sauce (with chicken added)

Thursday:
  simple salmon kedgeree
(It's at the bottom of the page)

Friday: 
Steak Stir Fry with Quinoa


Saturday: 
Fish Tacos (possibly with Quinoa)






Oh, and a bit of news, I'll be doing my first Giveaway in a couple of weeks! So keep watching the blog!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Friday Wrap Up

I'm going to share all of the neat things I found on the internet this week:

Inspirational: The Power of Breastfeeding

Informative: AAP Revises Carseat Recs

Funny: Boys Speak Another Language?

Recipe: A "green" recipe to try!

Video: I'm sure it's viral by now

Thursday, April 7, 2011

When You Don't Feel Like A Warrior

As I stated in a previous post I'm not doing so well with this prayer challenge. However, there was a story on an old episode of Home Improvement that made me think...(I know, a sitcom having something worthwhile is a strange concept nowadays!) A little boy needed to buy a gift for his teacher and didn't know what to get her. So, he traveled many days on foot to the beach and scooped up a jar of sand. When he presented it to her it appeared to be just plain sand. She asked why he went to so much trouble. He replied, "The journey is part of the gift."

I also did a post on my son holding me accountable. I realized that, even though I haven't been successful in praying 10 times a day, I HAVE been successful in reintroducing prayer into my life and introducing it into my son's life. This month is not about the destination. If I get to the end of the month having prayed every prayer in the book and then some but haven't felt a change in myself or touched my son's life then what was the point? However, if I struggle but, at the end of the month, can say "This changed my family for the better" isn't that what God wants?

So this month I will fail. I will fall short of my goals. I will take steps backwards. But that's okay. My God loves me anyway.

He was sharing his pipecleaner headband.

Greek Yogurt!

The challenge was to introduce Greek Yogurt 4 times this week. I know the week isn't quite over yet, but I won't be able to participate over the weekend so I'm ending now. We only did it twice this week; however, my family is not new to Greek Yogurt.

Basically, Greek Yogurt is regular yogurt with the whey strained out. It's thicker than the regular stuff. You can buy "Greek Yogurt" or you can strain regular yogurt. The second option, I think, is cheaper.

We make our own yogurt and strain it. Here's what I did with it this week:


I made a spread/dip for the salmon patties. (Ignore the ugly salmon patty. It was a rush job) The dip was also a bit rushed. I did about a tablespoon of Greek Yogurt and added a squirt of Dijon, a small amount of lemon juice, and several spices (Garlic, dill, and Old Bay) I basically did it to taste. Separate I wasn't sure about the combination but I plunged onward and was pleasantly surprised!


Tonight's dinner was Tandoori Meatballs! I didn't have enough yogurt to put in the meatballs, just the marinade. However, this is one I'm willing to play with and report back!

Tandoori Marinade
4 large cloves of garlic minced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger root, chopped
2 teaspoons cumin seed
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons paprika
1 cup Plain Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt

Meatballs:
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 large onion, coarsely grated
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon bread crumbs
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup Plain Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Add all ingredients of marinade to food processor. Blend for 1 minute. Set aside. Add all ingredients for meatballs in bowl. Form into bite size balls place on greased sheet pan. Makes about 50. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove meatballs from oven but do not turn oven off. Place in a deep serving dish. Cover with Tandoori Marinade. Cover and place in oven. Remove when warm about 20 minutes.




I'm really excited for next week!

I LOVE my juicer


We bought a juicer recently. I LOVE this thing. I've been starting most mornings off with the following juice drink:

- Juice from 4 small oranges
- Juice from 4 small apples
- Occasionally the juice from a handful of strawberries

Toss that into a blender and add:

- 1 Banana
- A few drops of Stevia (or sugar if you prefer)
- A healthy splash of milk (1/2c I think)

Blend it up, pour into a fancy glass, and drink! It's great for quick energy and lots of healthy vitamins! What better way to start your day?


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Who Holds YOU Accountable?

So, I'm doing this month long prayer journey for my sons. Let me tell you, I'm not doing so well... I forget to pray all the time.

If nothing else, we've vowed to try to pray before meals and before bed!

Well, the other night we were all REALLY hungry and started eating before praying. I commented (with a bite on its way to my mouth) "Oh, we forgot to pray." My two year old (well, almost two!) stopped eating and held out his hands for us! All he needed to hear was the word "pray" and he was ready to go! I've seen this during the day too. If I need him to stop and focus (usually during a screaming fit) I'll say, "Do you want to go pray?" and he'll stop and go sit on the floor and wait for me. Sometimes he sits in my lap.

Praise God for children that adore Him! Franklin isn't even old enough to really understand the entire concept...but he's learning that prayer is important!

Pipe Cleaner Headband? Check!

&%$#@!

Colossians 3:8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 

Obscene Talk: Greek word also means "shameful", "improper", or "sordid." 


Now that we've identified the Scripture in question...let's get to it.


Profanity. Cursing. Swear words. Potty talk. There are a lot of different ways to say it, and even more ways to use it!

This isn't going to be a blog contesting whether or not it's sinful...but rather a blog to look at it in a different way.

I'm going to look at another verse: Matthew 15:18 But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.


How do I feel on the subject?
Well, I curse/swear/use bad words. I'm trying to get better about it because my son is starting to pick up words! I don't need him to bust out a "new word" in the middle of church or something! However, I use most swear words the same way that someone would use mundane words. To me, more often than not, these words are merely filler in a conversation. There is no emphasis. It's not meant to be rude. (Really!) I use the "f-word" the same way someone would use "stupid" or "THAT." (As in "the *stupid* car" or "*THAT* shoe")
What about using an alternative word? In my opinion, it's the same as cursing. If you use a "plain" filler word (like, "freaking" or even something silly like "balderdash") but IN YOUR HEART it's meant to be a "curse" then I consider it the same level of cursing. Some people will disagree here...but I think it's the intent that counts most of all.

Now, a dear friend of mine pointed out if you can choose to filter your language then why say them at all? She makes a good point. If, in the end, they are JUST WORDS then why not just stop saying them? A lot of people consider those of us that curse to be uneducated (or at least, say we sound that way) or just stupid. I'm a smart girl and a lot of people that I know that curse are educated people. We don't use profanity because we can't come up with another word...I can, and I know some big ones! I just choose to use profanity when it suits the occasion. 


Please, share your thoughts in the comments below! How do YOU feel about profanity? Remember to remain respectful.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Try It Challenge

http://peak313.com/featured/try-it-challenge-week-1/#comment-396

This week we're doing Greek yogurt! I'll have to start using it and listing some recipes! Be on the lookout! Share yours!

Thank God for GRACE

I am so glad that God is full of grace!

I entered into a challenge this month to pray for my sons daily. 10 prayers every weekday. Friday I did well and only had a few to do by the evening.

Yesterday I did ONE....all day.

Today I still haven't done any...

I was feeling like such a failure until I reached out to the other mamas that are doing this with me and Brooke (the mama that wrote the book we're following) reminded me about God's Grace.

It was refreshing.

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