Monday, October 25, 2010

"Make It Happen Mondays!"

"The major reason for setting a goal is for what it makes of you to accomplish it. What it makes of you will always be far greater than what you get." (Jim Rohn)

Mondays! For most of us, it represents a day of getting back to the "old grind stone" and hopefully making it through the day.  After a long weekend of fun and relaxation  it is hard to get back on track, at least for me that is! But I know I am not the only one who wishes that the weekends were longer! However, we can learn to approach Mondays with a better attitude and it starts with making the choice to see it in a different light. Like most things in life, the right attitude is essential.

Mondays should be looked upon as a starter to a great week ahead. Another chance to accomplish some awesome things or overcome past obstacles that held us back last week.  Once we take on that mindset then we are on the right track. I like to set goals for the week and work towards them. Notice I said "work " towards them. Sometimes, I am able to get them all accomplished and sometimes I lack, but the point is, I put forth an effort. The reasons why setting goals is important is because it helps us to maintain focus and not become distracted as easily.

By all means,I am no expert in this field and it takes the grace of God for me to accomplish the goals I set but the point is I try. Here are just a few suggestions that I hope will motivate you on this Monday to make things happen this week with success:

1) Priorities- Balance is key! You need to make sure you have your priorities in order. For me, God is first, family and then other matters. It is important that we maintain balance or like a scale you can easily tip to one side. I could spend all day writing, but then what happens to my family or my personal relationship with God? Something suffers or is thrown off.  So keeping priorities straight only helps you lead a more fruitful life all the way around.

2) Write down short term goals for the week. Also, make a list of long term goals(goals more than a year out).

3) Set an accomplishment date- Obviously if you are making Mondays your goal setting day, then make Sunday the date you want to see them accomplished. For long term goals, place a future date. Knowing what your overall long term goal is, helps guide your short term goals because you are working towards the bigger goal. Think of a person training for a marathon. The ultimate goal is to complete the marathon but some of their short term goals are to train to get there.

4) Are your goals realistic? Are you spreading yourself too thin?

5) Make a plan of action

6)Welcome failure and learn from it!

7) Persist and NEVER quit!

8) Celebrate the small victories- This is important because everything in life is a process and it takes time to become the person we want to be. Rome was not built in a day, neither will we be. Learn to laugh at yourself along the way and enjoy the journey! It is easy to become frustrated and sometimes we can get thrown off our "A" game when we are quickly side tracked with failure, etc,.

9) Have an accountability partner- I find this to be important because you need someone to help keep you on track and encourage you along the way.

10) Enjoy your week! Make the best of it and know that you just took one step closer to becoming the person that you have always wanted to be.

Have a great Monday!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

"Savory Saturdays" for Couples

See! The winter is past, the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth;the season of singing has come....Arise, come, my darling;my beautiful one, come with me.....Song of Songs 2:11-13

Reading that verse brings so many memories flooding back to me on the day  I married my husband, Craig. He had given me a card the day of our wedding . Inside were declarations of his love towards me . He also hand wrote some of the scriptures from the Song of Songs, this one in particular. We celebrate another anniversary next month in November. I truly thank God for Craig because he has truly opened my eyes up to God's amazing blessing in marriage.

Since our marriage, we have always tried to set apart time for one another. We make it a point to schedule date nights and go on at least one weekend trip a year together. Those times have been fabulous! In between trips, we have started doing what we like to call "Savory Saturdays" once a month.  It is when we take turns planning something special for one another without the other knowing about it. This month is my turn and so I have planned a fun, romantic day out together. We take turns once a month.

Here are my plans and the reason I am telling all of you(yes, Craig might read this and find out the surprise, but that is what he gets for butting into my blog-lol!) is to help encourage you all to take the time to savor or cherish your spouse. Great marriages are about staying connected and taking the time to let one another how much they mean to you.

So, my plan is to take the man golfing! He loves to golf! Me on the other hand, I like to ride in the golf cart while sipping a latte and reading a magazine. However, this time I plan on participating in the sport and looking cute while I do it! Sounds like an excuse to go shopping to me!

Afterward, I thought we could enjoy an already packed picnic lunch together. I've had this wine and cheese back pack that I bought about 2 years ago and have never used it. Go figure? So, next weekend is the day I make use of it. There is a beautiful park by the river here in Leavenworth so I thought we would take advantage of a relaxing lunch by the river.

One of the very first dates that Craig took me on was to the Melting Pot. We love to eat fondue together so I have planned an evening dinner to end our "Savory Saturday" in Kansas City. It may sound like our day is filled with a lot but to me it is worth it once a month to go all out and cherish or savor the man I love.

I hope that you too will be inspired to start doing a "Savory Saturday" with your spouse. It doesn't have to be expensive or even lengthy. It could be as simple as breakfast in bed with a back massage and an evening stroll together.  Or maybe make him his favorite food and go on a picnic together. We have even gone to Barnes and Noble, drank coffee and read a book together then ended the evening with a great movie.  It really isn't what you do but rather the quality of time you are together. Go for a walk and drink some coffee by a beautiful river or park. Take a cooking class together or try out a new activity that neither one of you have ever done before. Get creative!  Write him a love letter and give it to him with his favorite dessert.  Just take the time to do something together one Saturday a month. If childcare is an issue, then take turns watching another couples kids and switch out. 

Our anniversary is soon, so I wanted to give him a  pre-anniversary gift is all. By the way, he has next months "Savory Saturday"and it just happens to be our wedding month(funny how that happened-lol)so it better be good!-lol

Happy Savory Saturdays, Ladies!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Harvest Spice Latte and Hot Apple Crisp

 There is nothing more comforting than ending a hectic day with a sweet night cap! Try a Harvest Spice Latte and some warm apple crisp and see if you don't cozy right into the evening by a warm fire reading a great book. After all it is Fall, so why not? Have a great weekend!
Harvest Spice Latte

1/2 cup hot milk
1/3 cup double-strength hot brewed coffee
2 to 3 tablespoons Gingerbread Latte Flavor NESTLÉ COFFEE-MATE Liquid Coffee Creamer  or Ginger syrup
1 tablespoon caramel syrup
Ground cinnamon (optional)
PLACE milk in small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly to create foam, until milk is hot. Using large spoon to hold back foam, pour milk into a mug. Stir in coffee, Coffee-mate and caramel syrup. Top with foam and sprinkle of cinnamon.

 Hot Apple Crisp 



  • 5 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, chopped small
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

For the Filling:

  • Mix all the ingredients together. Place into 7 to 8-ounce ramekins.

For topping:

Mix the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in large bowl. Blend the butter into the mixture until it forms pea size lumps. Stir in pecans and sprinkle over filling.
Bake crisps for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

Fall is For Family

Fall is always a beautiful time of year to not only enjoy the season changing right before our eyes, but a perfect time to spend with family too.
As military families, we especially need to take advantage of any time we have when our soldier is not deployed. Making memories for my family is a priority because it will be those precious moments we spend together united that will carry us through our sepearations during deployments.

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of spending time with my family at a local pumpkin farm here in Kansas. We were immersed in the cool weather and  fall like atmosphere of the falling leaves, pumpkin patches, hay rides, and smell of hot chocolate and chili cooking. For us it was an added treat because we just came from two years in the Mojave Desert at NTC, in California.

Here are some affordable fall activities that maybe your family can consider this season. Make this season count for more than just cooling temperatures and cozy fires, but rather allow it to be a time where you can harvest the relationships  in your own family! Don't forget to invite new neighbors and begin to kindle connections within your community too.

 Go explore at a local state park. Most of them have walking trails and playgrounds. Bring a thermos of hot chocolate and dip some green apples in caramel and enjoy the blessings of the outdoors. Collect leaves and acorns for fall decorations at home. Also, bring the camera for some quick family photos that you can look back on over a lifetime!

 Visit a local pumpkin farm or apple orchid. Many have extra activities such as petting and feeding farm animals, hay rides, corn mazes, and much more. You can call ahead for the fees and plan according to your budget.

Visit a local farmers market and enjoy all the fresh produce for this time of year. Take advantage of the harvest of pumpkins, apples, jams and ciders. Make it a point to try out a new recipe together as a family and enjoy the fruit of your hands preparing it homemade.

Do you ever remember as a child seeing a huge pile of raked leaves and feeling the need to just run and jump in them? Well, most kids love it! Rake some leaves and make it happen- be a kid with your kid! Your kids will enjoy seeing you romp around and will remember it for years to come!

Get one with nature and feed the birds. Make a bird feeder using a pine cone, peanut butter and seeds and hang it where you and your family can watch and enjoy nature at its best.

Some of my favorite fall memories were around a cracking warm fire, melting smores and enjoying the entertaining conversations that came with gathering together in the name of love. This is a perfect time to connect with your children, sharing memories or just making some of your own.

Host a family and neighborly backyard movie night. Gather blankets and comfy chairs, cook some popcorn and settle in for a night of entertainment and fun. Assign people snacks and drinks to keep the cost down.

Last but not least, carve or paint some pumpkins together. Get creative and have a party doing it!Take pictures and start a tradition every year of taking each person's picture by their creation. It will be fun to look back on it and remember.

I hope that some of the suggestions I gave you will help this fall season be a time of connecting and getting back to the things that really! Cherish the times you have with them and make the best of the moments given.

Drop Thy still dews of quietness till all our striving cease;
take from our souls the strain and stress,
and let our ordered lives confess the beauty of Thy peace.
                  John Greenleaf Whittier

Thursday, October 21, 2010

What Closet Jewelry Are You Hiding?

"Isn't everything you have and everything you are sheer gifts from God?" 1 Corinthians 4:7 MSG
If you’re like most women, you dream of one day being able to have a beautifully, sophisticated, organized closet to store all your possessions in.  Maybe it will be one where you have a high back, satin-upholstered chair to sit in to change shoes or casually read a magazine, while drinking coffee and eating whatever the butler serves you.  After all, you have  more than enough  time to ponder your  choice of wardrobe before heading to the post PX or commissary , right?.......Not!  For most military wives, you are just grateful for a sufficient enough closet to store your things. Never mind elegance.  Closets are the least of your worries!  Functionality and enough room for hubby to store his dirty combat boots and ACU’s( Army Combat Uniform)  is the mission at hand. 

I’ve had many closets throughout my travels as an army wife. Some of them were awesome, meaning that I was able to have enough room to spread out my belongings and actually see what I own.  However, I don’t allow myself to get spoiled because you never know what the next move will bring you.  

So, why all the talk about closets, you might be asking?  Well, recently while standing in line at my local Wal-Mart, I happen to pick up a magazine to help pass the time while the woman in front of me purchased enough groceries to last her a month or two in the Alaskan terrain. Patiently, (well, maybe that is a stretch) I read an article about how the average woman in America wears only a small percentage of what she owns. The article went on to challenge women to get rid of what they were calling, “closet jewelry”(basically items or clothing that are not being used but  rather only add to the décor of their closet).  They suggested donating the items to people in need. 

Well, I am guilty as charged; I am one of those women who have beautiful clothes, purses, and shoes that I have NEVER worn. In fact, some of them still have the price tags on.  Feeling convicted, I decided to start going through my closet to get rid of the “closet jewelry.” It was liberating to know that these valuable items would finally find some purpose and hopefully enrich lives.
However, today my blog is not about just useless “closet jewelry” that collects in your closet and looks pretty, but rather about you as a person. You see, as I began to reflect on this matter, I felt there was a deeper message that the Lord was imparting to me. 

We too are like closets. We hold some really valuable things within us that are not being used.  For example, some of us might hold the talents for taking pictures, cooking, baking, teaching, parenting, dealing with kids, encouraging people, etc., the lists are endless. God didn’t create us without a purpose. Our gifts and talents were never meant to be “closet jewelry.”    
So, what closet jewelry are you hiding? What would God have you do with what He has given to you? Don’t let those items or gifts go to waste today. Instead, clean out your closet and give it all away! 

Look Around You!

"The Longer I live, the more my mind dwells upon the beauty and the wonders of this world"....John Burroughs

One of the perks of being a military family is that you get to travel to some really great places. This world holds so much beauty and wonder, just as each human being does. The key is you have to look around you and admire the places you travel to and most of all acknowledge the people too.  God has wonderful treasures in each person that He wants to display for His splendor.  Have you ever admired a gift of song in someone, or maybe the gift of speech, or how good looking someone is or how talented they are? Well, that is a gift for you to treasure and enjoy and not be jealous of. Just like when you watch a beautiful sunset or admire the majestic mountains from afar. It was meant for your enjoyment and to hopefully stir praise within you that God was the Author of it. So,today I wanted to share some of my travels with you and I hope you will enjoy them as much as I did. More so, I am hoping that God will truly give you eyes to see today the beauty that surrounds you in people, places and things.....Enjoy your day and may your eyes be filled with wonder!

The Heaven's are telling of the glory of God;and the firmament proclaims His handiwork......Psalm 19:1

Look up at the stars in the night sky and hear your father saying, "I carefully set each one in its place. Know that I love you more than these." Sit by the Lake's edge, listening to the water lapping the shore and hear your Father gently calling you to that place near His heart.

Look around you today and take hold of the treaures that God has laid before you in people, places and things. Ask Him today what have you been missing and who or what does He want you to begin to treasure this day?............

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

These Shoes Were Made For Walking Beside and Loving My Soldier!

Greetings to all those FAB Army Wives!
I am excited about this coming season because God has been stirring in me the call of the Military Wife more than ever!
Arise, Shine ladies, for your light has come and the Glory of the Lord shines upon you! How exciting is it to know that you are important? Because, you truly are! Thank you for being the women you are, for supporting your soldier,your family and this nation. It is not an easy call, but it is an honorable one! I want to extend to you this new blog site that I hope will be an encouragement to you and others you might know.  I am just the normal army wife, trying to be faithful to God, her husband and her family in the life I have been given. Only military spouse truly know the shoes we walk in. I have been so blessed to know so many awesome wives affiliated with the military through the years.  Their examples and encouragements to me have been at times the very thing that has kept these  heels walking! I am hoping to give back this year with this blog and extend to all of you the joys, experiences, laughs, cries and even set backs that we all go through daily. We need one another and none of us can be an island unto ourselves this hour in our nation. So, please join me in this crazy FABulous life as an Army Wife!

Harvest Pumpkin Waffles ....Food Network Channel

For the Waffles:

* 1 small sugar pie pumpkin (2 to 3 pounds)
* 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 2 teaspoons pumpkin-pie spice
* 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
* 2 large eggs, separated
* 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
* 1 cup whole milk
* 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Topping:

* 1/4 cup slivered almonds
* 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
* 1 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
* Coarse salt
* 1/4 cup dried cherries or cranberries
* Whipped cream, for serving (optional)


Prep the pumpkin: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the stem and cut the pumpkin into quarters with a serrated knife. Scrape the seeds and pulp into a strainer; set aside.

Roast the pumpkin: Put the wedges on a baking sheet and cover tightly with foil; bake until the flesh is tender, about 1 hour, 30 minutes. Remove the foil and let cool.

Puree and strain: Scoop the pumpkin flesh into a food processor and puree until smooth. Transfer to a sieve set over a bowl to drain the excess liquid, about 1 hour.

Toast the seeds: Meanwhile, reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F. Rinse the seeds under cold water and discard the stringy pulp; blot dry. Spread the seeds in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally (this helps dry them out).

Make the topping: Transfer 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds to a bowl and add the almonds, sunflower seeds and syrup. Spread on 2 baking sheets lined with silicone mats or parchment paper and season with salt; bake until just golden, stirring several times, about 20 minutes. Cool completely on the pan, then toss with the dried cherries.

Make the batter: Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin-pie spice in a bowl. Whisk the sugar and egg yolks in a separate bowl, then whisk in 1 1/2 cups strained pumpkin puree, the yogurt and milk. Whisk in the melted butter. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined (it will be lumpy). Beat the egg whites with a mixer until stiff, then gently fold into the batter.

Cook the waffles: Preheat a waffle iron and grease it if it's not nonstick. Spoon in the batter and cook until golden brown. Keep warm in a 250 degree F oven (directly on the rack) until serving. Serve with whipped cream, if desired, and sprinkle with the topping.

The Favor of a Kimchi Blow

“I will not leave you orphaned; I will come to you”
John 14:18

As a small child, the word “home” was one of my favorite words that I would say over and over. While on vacations or trips, I would ask, “When are we going home? You see, I was an orphan during the Vietnam War and home held a place of security for me. At 18 months old, I was found begging on the streets of Vietnam for food. A concerned citizen, or shall I dare say, an angel of the Lord, found me and brought me to some nuns at a nearby French Orphanage in Saigon. It was there I was raised by these beautiful servants of the Lord and I found favor with them. God had a plan for me!

A couple was looking to adopt an infant at the orphanage I was at. However, the nuns wanted me to find a home because I was the oldest child there. So, they asked this couple if they would consider adopting me as well. Of course, they were elated with joy for the opportunity to not only bring home one child, but two! “A double blessing in disguise” my mother says to this day! I was taken into a home filled with love and security. Today, I have 4 children of my own and I look back and I’m amazed by the grace and provision God gave me during such a crucial time in my life.

As military wives, we too sometimes may feel abandoned or orphaned as we go through long deployments or feel lonely as we move around constantly losing our place of security during our transitional assignments. However, we can rest in the provision that God provides for us. We can trust His stability of love and provision in our lives and know that He goes before us in everything we experience. What security are you looking for today? Allow God to meet you with your need and watch Him shine His favor upon your circumstances as He did for me. He is faithful!