Wednesday, September 5, 2012


All of my kids have been readers and my youngest is no exception! Xzavier learning to r

Maybe it's nostalgia that reminds me that Xzavier is my last to have all these firsts. I've enjoyed every part of watching my kids learn and feel so blessed to have been home to see it all happen!

The other night Will and I and the kids were laughing at some of the funny video clips we have on the computer. One of them was Savannah, Isaac and Jaden outside when I caught them singing. I quickly grabbed my camera and caught them. In the midst of the song, Jaden (with his deep toddler voice) interjected his favorite part of Gavin Degraw's song Chariot.  When we finished I was in tears. Will grabbed my shoulder and said, "Aren't you glad you were home to see that?" 

I've always known how blessed I was to stay home with my kids. Blessed of God through the hard work and determination of my husband to make sure it happened! 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Book Review: The Encounter

I have heard so many good things about Stephen Arterburn. My good friend, Moni is an avid reader of his writings. She said she picks up all of his books- they're so good. Stephen Arterburn has a short program on the station I work at 101.5 KAMB, called New Life Moments; short snippets of wisdom and practical advice for all parts of life. That's why I am disappointed that it's taken me this long to read his stuff!

Thankfully, I'm part of Booksneeze. I get free copies (E-books and/or hard copies) of books that I get to choose and review them.

This month I chose The Encounter . It's about a wealthy business man who goes to his hometown in Alaska to adress the anger he has towards his birth mother who left him at four years of age. Although he was adopted by a wonderful family who loved him in spite of his outbursts of anger, he couldn't get past the fact that he was "given away."

This is a short novella and easy to read in one sitting. It's about love, forgiveness and attempting to get the whole story. Whether we have someone in our life to whom we have put on a pedestal or someone who has "wronged" us, there is a backstory. To move forward in our life...past the hurt, disappointment, anger or bitterness we need to know the facts.

Getting truth can be painful. It may ruffle our feathers. But their is such freedom and peace in the Truth!

I encourage you to read this. If not for yourself, maybe someone you know could benefit from the wisdom in these pages. At the end Arterburn shares the true life story of the person he loosely bases the book on and shares some insights and thoughts on how anyone can find the freedom that the main character found.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Book Review: Heroes and Villains of the Bible

I was so happy to receive this free copy of Heroes and Villans of the Bible through Thomas Nelson to review. It was something I had been excited to do because of my four children that are just at the right age to benefit from this "adventure" Bible.

Heroes and Villains reads like a comic book with fantastic illustrations and stories my kids have heard for years. The difference is that now instead of the stories being told to them, they are seeking them out themselves. 
It's a great way to get your kids in the practice of daily Bible reading.

It's not a complete Bible but it's a great place to start with stories of the faithfulness of God, obedience and disobedience and the repercussion of both.

Friday, May 11, 2012

My Favorite Summer Drink

I remember summer days with a jar of tea sitting in the sun. My mom always had sun tea brewing. I was never really a fan of it until I met my husband. I realized then that not all iced tea is created equal. What was missing in my mom's sun tea was SUGAR. I love sugar!

Beside regular, Lipton Iced Tea I also enjoy mint tea. I love it hot with honey and milk! Mmmm. So why shouldn't  I put the two together? I started brewing them together and it's my absolute favorite!!

Now I know that my blog is all over the place in terms of topics, and it's in NO WAY a recipe collection, since cooking isn't my forte. But I just wanted to share this with you...whoever might be reading it because after I made a pitcher yesterday I was taking sips and talking to the empty house, "this is so good!"

This happens to be Decaf. Not sure what joker bought it. 

To make a gallon I boiled 12 lipton iced tea bags and about 20 leaves (of varying sizes) of mint fresh from my mint garden. Once it had boiled about 2 minutes I turned off the heat and let it set for about 10 minutes. I strained out the tea bags and mint and poured it in a pitcher with about a up of ice.

I then added two cups of sugar. I know it's a lot, but I love sugar! Obviously it's to taste and you can add less if you're so inclined.

Voila' My favorite summer drink!

P.S. Before I had mint growing in my garden I used about 4 Bigelow brand, Plantation Mint tea bags. It's just as yummy!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Food and Prayer

My dinner was a flop tonight. It wasn't just happened. I made the minute rice as usual and when dinner was ready I took it off the stove and removed the lid. When I took a test bite I realized that I had accidentally used the regular rice and not the cheater rice I'm accustomed to. I quickly resorted to microwaving (to me microwaves are for reheating, not cooking) the instant rice. I pulled it out of the microwave and it wasn't done. I was incredibly frustrated! I set it aside and decided to deal with it later.

When I started cleaning up (an hour later) I saw that somehow the steam that was trapped in the bowl for that hour had cooked my rice. Now what? I couldn't be so wasteful as to throw it out now. I made Will a plate for lunch and decided on making atole de arroz.
The Finished Atole de Arroz w/ cinnamon sticks

Atole de arroz is basically like a rice pudding. Growing up, my maternal grandmother, Ama, knew how much I loved it. She took care of me often until we moved 2 hours from her when I was eight years old. Even then, we would visit almost every weekend to help my mom cope with her, very difficult, home-sickness. Ama would have it waiting for me when we arrived at 9 or 10pm.
My mom, Ama, me and my sister (1999)

How I treasure those precious memories. She would wake up at dawn to prepare for my grandfather's day (and hers) and then here we came, our family of six. She would ALWAYS have something for us to snack on when we arrived. Sometimes it was a full dinner, even if it was 10 o'clock at night.

Since Ama has passed on my mom has made it for me and my Tias have been readily available with their version. One of my Tias even made it for me while she was visiting for the day.

It wasn't  until I started making it for the first time did I realize what a labor of love all these women put into making this wonderful snack for me. It was an emotional moment for me. I just thought about all of them and the prayers followed. I am beyond blessed with amazing women in my family and am grateful for all of them. The ones I see often and those I should do better about seeing more often!

I'm grateful for women who put those they love at the heart of what they do and why they do it! 

Some of my cousins and my maternal Tias

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My Daughter

November 11, 2000. The day my precious daughter entered the world.

The first thing I remember about her entrance was what a large mouth she had. Yes, she was tiny, but her goodness.

What I didn't know was that 11 years later she would still struggle to be quiet. I know, I was a tween girl once too, but she is always talking-and laughing. Mostly laughing. She brings life to our home in a way I could never imagine.

I'm not a great writer. I leave that to my husband. So here is his take on 11/11/11. It brought me to tears in such a good way.

"Eleven years ago today, my baby girl entered this beautiful, crazy world. The first thing I remember about her was the shape of her mouth, which reminded me of her mother's, and the loud cry she let out. She came at a time in our lives when we needed stability, closure, and a new beginning. She was and is a wonderful gift from God, and I love that little girl more than my own life."

Which brings me to 11/11/11. Savannah and I came up with the idea to have a "Crazy in Neon" Party. We made out black invitations with neon ink and encouraged those who could attend, to dress in neon or white clothes.

With the help of some wonderful friends and some great, after-halloween sales, we taped the garage in black garbage bags and splattered neon paint all over them. We sprayed the ceiling with glow-in-the-dark paint added a few black lights in the garage, shut off the lights and prepared for the onslaught of tween girls. Here's Will's take on this evening:

Since she was born on 11/11/00, we knew the day was coming in eleven years when we'd celebrate her 11th birthday on 11/11/11. We always said we'd throw a big party, and now that day is here. There are at least 15 kids in my house, little girls dancing around and laughing, a few of us boys are having a Nerf gun war and causing havoc, and it's a great day. Sorry Disneyland, but HOME is the happiest place on earth. Happy Birthday, baby girl. Your Papi loves you."  And so does your Mommy!

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