Save It For Your Family

Resurrection Garden

This was really fun to make for the entire family. The only thing I had to buy was a small terra cotta pot for the “tomb” and some fake flowers; both I got from Walmart. Everything else I had in my craft box, kitchen, or found outside. 

  

Instead of the green “moss” ribbon you could do real grass, moss from a tree outside, or whatever you want to decorate with. The sky is literally the limit. I choose to make a resurrection garden that wasn’t real because I wanted a decoration that could stay made for every year. It’s definitely a tradition I want to implement each year and then have one in each child’s room or even gift our garden to someone. 

  

 

Categories: Save Benji's & D.I.Y., Save It For Your Family, Walking The Walk | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Saint Patty’s Day

If you’re wondering what to cook or what activities to do with the kiddos my Pinterest Board “St. Patrick’s Day” is where you should look! Check it out HERE! There are recipes that cover everything from the traditional meals to sandwiches, dips, and pizzas. The desserts are deee-licious and there are even recipes for punches, shakes, and coffees. And yes cocktails are included.  Some recipes are even for vegan lovers! For the kids there are jokes for lunch boxes, printable activities, classroom gifts, and other crafts, snacks, and projects. Have fun celebrating St. Patrick and the luck of the Irish!



Categories: Save Benji's & Cook, Save Benji's & D.I.Y., Save It For Your Family | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Confession About My Unborn Son

Writing the words “my son” brings tears to my eyes.  I am a mother of two faith filled, incredible, hilarious, understanding, beautiful, and giving daughters.  They have made me the woman I am today and I will be forever grateful to them for that.   My soul has always yearned for a son as well.  Not only has my selfish flesh reminded me of my want for a boy; society reminds me too.  Whether it’s a complete stranger who sees me with my girls and poses the question, “well you gonna go for a boy?” or if it’s the quips from others reminding me of the expenses and emotional “burdens” girls will put on me.  The combination made me scared to have another girl.  My husband and I decided to have a third child; but only after digging deep within our souls.  We wanted to want a third NOT because we were going for a boy.  But because we wanted another gift from God.  We spent much time in prayer and conversations with one another asking God to purge us of these selfish wants and societal perspectives on girls.  We listened to what God told us to do before we began our journey of conception and took our steps of faith towards our third gift.

This entire timeline is about two years old.  Which proves the patience and guidance we had to gain to get where we currently are.  I am going to fast forward and let you know what happened on a Tuesday because I want to share how awesome God is.  On this Tuesday it was forty eight hours before our sonogram where we could find out if we were having a boy or a girl.  Let me preface by saying we had decided to wait until delivery for the baby’s gender reveal.  People told us that it was an amazing experience and if you have the opportunity, to at least do it once.  I trusted these words and couldn’t deny that it had to be an incredible feeling within the delivery room.  I agreed to do this for the encounter.  But also because I was still privately struggling with the issue of gender and wanting a son.  Even though I thought I had really given this issue over to God, here it was creeping back on me.  As my pregnancy bump grew, the questions from others asking, “so, do you want a boy this time?” was not helping tame the emotions inside me.  I figured that if I waited for delivery I could hold my baby and at that point the issue of gender would just disappear.  So, back to Tuesday….. I was a hot mess and struggling.  I knew I was thinking WAY too much about the boy/girl thing and I was letting the voices of evil creep in.  I should have been focused on God gifting us with a third baby.  Making the gift of new life the center.  I spoke with my husband about my emotions explaining that I wasn’t sure if I wanted to wait for delivery anymore.  I told him I may want to find out; but I also didn’t want to loose the experience of the delivery room surprise.  He told me not to worry.  And that we have plenty of time because the sonogram wasn’t until Thursday.  I took his advice and enjoyed my evening with him.  Regardless.  I had to admit.  The root of the emotion wasn’t that I was confused about when to find out – at the sonogram or going through the journey in delivery….it was that I was afraid I was pregnant with another girl.  I feel awful typing thoses words out; but I think there are parents that can relate to this thought process; so I don’t feel too alone.

Wednesday came around and the emotional wave was swelling inside me.  I was hiding my fear of a third girl to the outside.  Even to my husband.  I decided to talk to one of my best friends about my truths and she told me that she and her husband chose to walk out of their sonogram appointment with an envelope in hand that had the gender of their baby.  I thought that was a great idea because even though it sounds like torture.  It was comforting for me to have the knowledge within our grasp.  So, at any point.  If we chose to look at it.  We could.  I spoke to my husband about it and he thought it was a cool idea.  So, that was the plan Wednesday night.  Thursday morning, the day of the sonogram; my soul was tossing and turning.  I woke up at 6 am to get my first born out of bed and ready for school.  I walked into her room and heard Plumb’s song “Lord, I’m Ready Now”.  I realized at that second in time and in space how much I was NOT ready for the truth.  I walked into my daughter’s closet and fell to my knees and wept uncontrollably.  I told God I was so sorry for not being thankful for this gift He had given us in an unconditional manner.  I told Him I needed him to guide me today and to let His voice be heard through this process.  I told Him that I knew He knew what was best for me because He created me.  I asked to have this gender issue removed from me because I didn’t want to think about the topic anymore and I wanted to bring my focus back on Him.  I stood up and decided to go down and find my husband and confess to him that the reason for my emotional state was not confusion.  But fear.

I was afraid of not receiving a son.  My husband hugged me and told me he loved me and that whatever that baby is, it is exactly what God wants for us.  He even told me that he wanted a son too.  But he also knew God’s will was the most important because it is what is best.  I felt more calm and at ease and just decided to let God handle the day from that moment forward.  I got our girls off to school and decided to stop by church before the appointment to have some alone time.  I walked inside the sanctuary and sat on that pew and poured my heart out again asking for strength, forgiveness, and guidance.  Driving to the appointment I felt emotional.  But I felt it in a secure way.  I knew God had me.  And He was driving the day.  I remember sitting next to my husband waiting to hear my name called.  The whole time I was talking to God.  Just asking Him to keep guiding us and for me to hear His voice.  Then….I heard my name called.  We head to the sonogram room and I hop up on the table.  The tech tells me that she is going to check my cervix first.  She put the transducer on my abdomen and we see an image for about three to five seconds that burst our hearts wide open.  We saw a boy.  She pulled the transducer back up quickly.  But my husband and I knew what we saw.  She asked if we wanted to know what the gender was because she was aware of the image that just flashed on the screen as well.  Of course we said yes because we already knew!  She put the transducer back down and there he was….our son.  Laying on his back, sucking on his fingers, legs spread wide with his man parts showing.  My husband and I started crying and hugging so hard that the tech started crying with us.  The song “Our God Is An Awesome God” started playing on the tech’s radio.  It was a gentle and powerful reminder that God brought us to that moment and the entire process belonged to Him.

Categories: Save It For Your Family, Save Relationships, Save Yourself Thru Growth, Walking The Walk | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Baby Elephant Love

How can you NOT fall in love…..

 

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Even The People In Your House Need Mail…..From You

I don’t care what age the person is people love getting mail. I’m not talking about bills or mail outs. I’m talking about mail from a close friend, loved one, spouse, etc. You know the kind of mail that just makes you grin from ear to ear?! Since I am aware of this fun fact; I needn’t not forget about my peeps I live with. Usually I’ll do cards and place them in a spot my receiver will run into; but every once in a while I will mail them something. Sounds silly I guess; but it works. It makes them smile every time. Today I used my Red Stamp App and placed an order to have a picture card mailed out for each family member. I love Red Stamp because I save time and money with this application!!! Can’t wait to see their faces when they open their envelopes! You should try it….it will work for you too 😉
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Categories: Save It For Your Family, Save Relationships, Save That Thought, Save Time, Save Your Benji's, Walking The Walk | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wa Wa Water

 

**** Check out this AMAZING board in Pinterest with some kick ass infused water recipes!! Click here ****

 

**** Buzzfeed brings us another cool video on water tricks ****

 

**** Mama Ot shares some great ideas for a water sensory table. Check them out here ****

 

**** Amazing water charities can be found here.   Read more on the water straw from the Water is Life charity ****

 

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**** WATER HUMOR ****

holy water

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Save Benji's & D.I.Y., Save By Giving, Save It For Your Family, Save The Planet | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Speed Demon

For the record I’m a recovering speed demon…… which is why I recently hit a wall of reasoning when I went and had a night out with one of my long time best friends.  Being a stay at home Mom and a Mom that home schools I need breaks; and her house is where I escape to. She’s known me forever and our love runs deep; which is why it was so easy for her to ask the question that began this emotional domino effect within my spirit.  The question was: “Do you want me to get the back?”.  I was straightening my hair in her bathroom getting ready to leave.  That question penetrated me so deeply on an emotional level.  I had one side within me that wanted to speak up and say, “No I got it”.  Then the other side of me raised up and said, “Hold on sister… you are going to let your best friend do your hair because she loves you enough to recognize that you need the offer”.  So I said yes, I let her finish straightening my hair and it was glorious!  The offer she gave me was so impactful because I need to slowdown within many layers of my life….including straightening my hair.  I go so fast I get lost… literally lost.  Soooo lost in my own chaos of “life with little ones while trying to get real world shiz accomplished”  I forget to take care of me.  Slowing down is a habit I really want to implement within my life.  In order to slow down I need to stop feeling like I should accomplish this “superhero list of things to get done” I create for myself daily.  I’m not a friggin’ superhero.  I’m human.  I don’t even know how I got so sped up and thought I could constantly take on everything.  Then this little revelation in my brain occurred.  Knocking out day-to-day life activities with small kids is nuts; and that’s what I do daily.  As a Mom we try to squeeze in as much as we can in a 24 minute time window of Jake and The Neverland Pirates (or whatever your kid’s poison may be).  And let me just say….sometimes that’s more than some people can accomplish in a 24 hour period.  No lie.  My point is, that behavior bled into other areas and take off occurred.  I’m thinking I need to also have a chat with the ‘ole over achiever that lives inside of me.  I need to tell that girl to calm down.  Since the moment in time with my bestie doing my hair, I have started recognizing areas of speed existing in my life.  For example walking in a grocery store.  I’m driving that grocery cart like I’m a driver in the Indy 500.  I even notice how I use really fast force to open and shut doors….why?  I guess I’m in a hurry!  I think being in a hurry became a habit.  I habitually became a hurrier because I always have so much to do that I’m cramming everything in that I feel needs to get done.  I do know the solution.  It’s easy…..slow down.  While slowing down I’m also trying to remind myself of what I do accomplish.  I have to tell myself, dude it’s ok if you don’t get everything done on your list; remember you have children constantly swirling around you.  I remind myself to look at the trail I just blazed!!!  I make my over achiever take a chill pill, so she doesn’t drive us off a cliff and I begin slowing down.  My stress levels fall.  Tension lessens and I begin enjoying the details in life.  I don’t want to get lost again.  I always want to protect myself from not losing myself.  Life is too short to go too fast.  So, from now on I want to use speed when only necessary.  What about you…..are you a speed demon? 

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A Practical Guide To Balancing Screen Time And Play Time

Great write up from HUFFPOST on concurring the balance. Their info graphic is helpful too. See below:

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Our New Used

Soooooo, buying a car can really suck a donkey.  The car sales people remind me of crows sitting on a power line; and their pick up lines….holy cow-a-bunga. Pulling into the lot I immediately feel like someone is going to try and take advantage of me. Once parked in the lot it’s time to confront the decision to open my car door in order to check out the inventory. Once I make the decision to open my car door, I do it as a team (if your team is with you), and we prepare for the flock of crows that will rain down upon us. Once a sales person “claims” you; the “getting to know you” phase tries to begin. Joy. With children on board during this journey I noticed each salesperson locked into my children in order to warm up the social temperature…..awkward!! Question’s ranged from “How old is she?” to “Was Santa good to you this year?”. I couldn’t help but ask (inside my head)….Why do you care what my kid got for Christmas? We aren’t best friends meeting up for lunch. Her Santa loot has nothing to do with the adults trying to buy a car. I just wanted to shout; “Stop being weird, find me my freaking car, and tell the other crows to stop circling!!!!!”. Then I realized; your here so let’s have fun with this situation. So what did I decide to do?! Put on some lipstick and take a Xanax of course!!! In reality though; we decided to herd our kids around multiple car lots; and I tried to not choke on my hair due to 80 mph wind gusts. (Both were quite comical to be a part of.) We remembered sometimes the best thing to do within stress is just laugh and find a little peace. We stayed our course of looking at cars within our cash budget and we focused on being a strong team to make that happen. It was definitely a process that had moments of being absolutely agonizing and beautifully brutal; but we stayed our financial course and in the end we were rewarded. I’m glad the process is over and I’m definitely liking the fact that we bought a car and we have zero payments to make. Go team Saving Benji!!!

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Im Going To Make You Think

Do you believe public shaming is good for the soul? If your answer is yes; then please understand the rest of this post may ruffle up your tail feathers a bit.  Im hoping that I make some parents out there think, before they publicly humiliate their child. Before I go any further; please understand I am a HARDCORE disciplinarian. I do believe in tough love, consequences, and growing children to their God given potential. I am absolutely against parents posting pictures of their children with a sign in their hands saying what they did wrong.  It causes nothing but more pain, humiliation, and teaches the child how to really bully.  When a child acts out they need love, discipline, and guidance.  NOT a how to guide to create more destruction within themselves and our world.  I’ve seen kids holding signs for stealing, smoking pot, bullying, sneaking out, getting drunk, you name it and I’ve seen it.  These parents who are putting their child’s bad choices out there for the world to see blows my mind.  First rule of the internet is whatever you put out there you need to have it ready to follow you FOREVER. So why in the world would you make something negative follow your child FOREVER?!  Instead of making the discipline public; give the child a life changing experience that will empower them, create greatness, and change their world.  Have them volunteer at soup kitchens or wherever for a month or two or three, sell their most prized possession and have them donate the money to a charity of their choice, let them take their toys to an orphanage, work with Habitat For Humanity and build a house together as a family, make them write a paper, take them on a journey so they have a chance to understand their blessings and talents.  Let them be a part of their healing and growth.  Get creative with these life lessons.  Allow them to be public with their faults on their time.  Allow them to choose when it’s a safe and supportive environment to come out publicly with their struggles.  This can create healing and eventually allow them to share their testimony of change.  These kids are our future. Grow them to be great!  Bring them back into the “nest” and love them hard.  Talk to them and find out why they are hurting and creating distruction.  The answer may be pretty damn simple.  The problem may be coming from home or an outside source….figure it out!  It’s your job!  If you disagree with me completely thats ok, but I do challenge you to make a sign of one of your faults and post it online for your networks to see.  Can you imagine if adults were made to do this?  Example of signs we would see could be:  “Im addicted to porn”,  “I cheat on my spouse”,  “I gambled all our money away”,  “I don’t pay child support”,  “I do cocaine occasionally”,  “I punch holes through walls because I can’t control my temper”, “I vomit my food back up”.  You get the drift.  Some people could be ruined from their sign because it is a judgmental tough world out there.  I am a broken individual, with many areas to work on.  If I’m not perfect then why would I throw stones at my child for not being perfect?  Never forget the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.  Let’s stop cyber and publicly bulling our kids.  I’ve messed up plenty with my children. Some mess ups have been so large, I have fallen on my knees crying, begging them for forgiveness.  Not once have my children thrown me under the bus for my mistakes.  If anything their forgiveness empowers me to gain control of my faults.  That emotional reaction will be a two way street if you get down to the root cause.  Show love not hate; even if it’s not easy…..and trust me I understand it’s not easy sometimes; but the highroad NEVER is.

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