Journey of Hope

I have been on an unplanned hiatus.  Miscellaneous family issues have been keeping me from the blog world.  Life happens, right?  We all experience times when we can’t get accomplished those things we wish we could.

Recently I was contacted by a delightful lady by the name of Heather Von St. James.  She was reaching out to me with a quite noble cause.  I knew I had to make the time to write.

It seems May was National Cancer Research Month.  Cancer.  I don’t know anyone who has not been affected by this disease.  Maybe someone very dear, or even yourself.

Heather shared her story with me, and asked that I would also share it with you.  She is an eight year survivor of Mesothelioma.  Being diagnosed at the young age of 36, and only months after giving birth to her baby girl, she was given the grim diagnosis and told she only had 15 months to live.  She beat those odds, and, miraculously, is here enjoying all the joys of motherhood and life. She has also made it her mission to inform anyone she can about this disease.

Mesothelioma is one of the most aggressive and deadly forms of cancer.  Research has shown that asbestos exposure is the cause, and sadly, it is not banned in the United States.  It was used for many applications during the 20th Century, and so many walks of life could unknowingly be exposed.

This is a preventable disease.  Knowledge is key. Please take time to learn more by visiting the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance.  Also, I would love if you could also check out the inspiring and informative blog of Heather Von St. James by going here.

Cancer is a heartbreaking disease, the more we know, the better off we will be.  To quote Heather,

“From awareness grows hope”

 

Thanks for stopping by ~Kim~

 

Goals Update

Well hello there!  I didn’t want you to think I have forgotten about you all.  I just wanted to make a short post to let you in on a couple of things.

I have been working in my office, as you may well know.  This is the first room I picked for the make-over this year.  Holy moly did it need it!!  My goal was to get a room a month completed, but it has taken way longer than I anticipated.

My lovely husband has built shelves the entire length of one wall.  (can I get a woo hoo for having a handy hubby!?!?)  I have these painted…finally.  He needs to finish up the base of the shelves, which will actually have doors to hide some of the, not so pretty items, like files, computer paper, etc.  There is also a smaller set of shelves he is going to build.

First, we were delayed waiting on the lumber.  Now it’s just a matter of finding the time for him to work on it.  He works at our family business, plus has quite a few things on his plate here.  So it will get finished.  I just don’t know when yet.

So instead of waiting for the office to be finished before I move on, I’ve decided to start with the next room:  the boys’ bedroom.  There is two big changes happening in there.  First, it’s getting painted.  Second, we are moving our third son into that room.  Thank you, bunk beds.  They are actually excited.  For now.

I also need to decide what room to work on after the boys’ room.  I may pick an “easy” one to try to get caught up.  I have to admit, I feel like a bit of a failure not getting rooms completed to share with you.  I know they will get finished, but it’s March and I don’t have anything but a complete mess in my house to show for it!  So please stick with me, we will see results.

The other topic I wanted to touch on is my “get fit” goal.  With the exception of two weeks, I have managed to do some sort of cardio workout about 4 to 5 days a week.  While I realize this isn’t astounding, it’s improvement.  I have seen a change in how my clothes fit.  Score!

Today I added weights to my routine.  Let me just explain that I haven’t lifted weights in years.  I mean, clean the dust off the weights, years.  I feel great now, but I pray tomorrow that the soreness won’t deter me from continuing.  I also ask that my, sure-to-come, jello arms will still have the strength to lift my baby girl out of her crib.  Ahhh, the pains of getting fit.

Well there you have it.  My goals are playing out, not how I planned, but playing out nonetheless.   If you want to read more details about my two goals for this year, go here.

Are you still sticking with your goals for this year?

Anyone Want Waffles?

“YES!!!”  was the answer I received to this question, from all three boys, almost in unison.

We had some milder temps here yesterday, accompanied by some freezing rain.  The result?  Our schools were on a two-hour delay.  That means the bus doesn’t pick the kids up until 9!  Just enough time to prepare them a tastier breakfast than the normal cereal, yogurt or oatmeal.

I don’t know about you but I love cooking with buttermilk.  Pancakes, bread, biscuits, and even cake, all taste amazing with buttermilk as an ingredient! 

One thing that I think everyone should have in their recipe stash, is a tasty take on buttermilk waffles.  So to help you with that, I’ve decided to take this opportunity to share my recipe with you.

Buttermilk Waffles

Buttermilk waffles

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 stick of butter, melted (or 1/2 oil, in a pinch)
  • 1 3/4 cups of buttermilk
  • 1 Tablespoon of packed brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • optional ingredients – 3/4 tsp vanilla or maple extract, 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Beat eggs, then add the remainder of the ingredients.  Stir until it’s just smooth.  Don’t over do it! 

Pour prepared batter onto a preheated waffle iron.  If you would like to (and who wouldn’t) sprinkle some mini chocolate chips onto the batter before closing the iron, or even some chopped nuts.  Or blueberries….

Blueberry Waffles

Yum!

I have a 6 inch Belgian waffle iron.  A single batch of this recipe makes approximately four for us.  I normally make a double or triple batch.  Then the kids reheat the leftovers in the toaster to have for breakfast throughout the week!

Buttermilk Waffle

If you’ve never make a recipe with buttermilk, I think you should give it a try.  It definitely adds to the flavor and texture of whatever you make.  A great benefit of buttermilk is even after it is opened, it still keeps for a good while.  Just close that lid up tight! 

Are you looking for more tasty sweet breakfast treats?  Check out these past posts:

Bananas for Breakfast

Fancy Banana Bread

Do you have a post you made about a great breakfast treat?  Post a link in the comments!

If you don’t already, follow me by email by entering your email address on the side of the page.  If you’d rather, jump on over and like my Facebook page or follow me on Twitter!

Thanks for stopping by ~Kim~

 

Love Is…

“Happy Valentine’s Day!”

Although this isn’t a super-celebrated holiday in my family, I still heard this phrase mixed in with our conversations this morning.  The kids will exchange Valentines with their friends and I do plan on making a special dessert for our dinner tonight, but, all in all, we keep this day pretty low-key.  From the buzz in the blog world this week, it seems we are not alone in this.

I, of course, believe love is amazing.  Love is “shout it from the roof top” awesome.  But an important lesson we try hard to instill in our children, is….

Love isn’t romantic dinners and poetic cards.

Love isn’t flowers and candy.

Love isn’t expensive jewelry.

Love isn’t merely saying “I love you.”

Anyone can give a gift, it doesn’t define who loves us, but it is something loved ones can do.

We try to show them that all of these things are fun, and it’s ok to enjoy them, as long as they know……

Love isn’t tangible.

Love lives in our hearts.

Love is a gift from God.  His love makes us complete.  This is why we must love.  (1 John 4:7-12)

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

I write this post, not to cast a gray cloud over the day, but to be that little reminder we all need some times.

Love is more than words and things.

Love is those little things you do everyday.

Some times love is all captured in a look.  Completely unspoken, just felt.

Felt with every bit of your being.

While you celebrate with your Valentine today, take a moment to really feel the love, because love is truly the best gift of all.

For more on love, in scripture, check out these verses:

  • John 3:16
  • 1 John 3:1
  • 1 John 3:16
  • 1 John 4:7-12
  • John 15:13
  • Romans 5:8
  • Romans 8:37
  • Ephesians 3:18-20
  • Ephesians 5:1

Do you have a favorite love verse or saying?  If you have a blog post about love or Valentine’s Day, feel free to post a link in the comments!

Thanks for stopping by! ~Kim~

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Helped by the Unexpected

Have you ever had one of those days, that nothing goes right?  Sure, we all have.  Yesterday was that day for me.  I’m a pretty optimistic person, but I think we all have a little dread in our hearts when Monday rolls around.

I woke up yesterday at 4:15 to the sound of my eldest son blowing his nose.  Nice alarm clock, don’t you think?  I never went back to sleep after that, finally getting out of bed at 5:30.

That was unexpected.

unexpected screws up

I like to plan my day and normally adhere pretty well to my schedule, but when you start your day in an unexpected way, at an unexpected time, it sort of sets the tone for the day.  Not exactly a good tone either.  But trying to remain positive, I found some motivation and strength somewhere deep inside.  Coffee may have played a role in that, but motivation and strength, nonetheless.

I went to work on laundry, chores and was making good progress on my “to-do” list.  All the while, dropping about everything I touched, to the point I thought I should not look at anything, because it might just throw itself on the floor, to save it the suspense of who’s next.

Then I remembered I had to make a phone call about some personal matters.  Ugh.  Two hours later after a torturous conversation and a ridiculous amount of time filling out online forms, my schedule went right out the window.

So now it’s only lunch time, I’ve picked up nearly everything in the house. Twice.  I’m stressed about something completely out of my control.

~sigh~

Does this ever happen to you?  Thankfully last night was the monthly homemaker’s meeting.  The topic for discussion?  Stress management.  What could be more fitting?

We talked about the different types of stress and how to cope with it.  Even though we didn’t talk specifically about my stressor, we discussed stresses that are out of our control.  I found it so helpful.

It’s good to be reminded that you can’t do everything, some things are beyond your control, and no one is perfect.

unexpected lesson

Everyone experiences stress.  EVERYONE.  Young, old, single, married, it shows no discrimination.

For me a big stress is the unexpected.  I am doing so much better with it, mostly due to being a mom.  Once a child is in your life, the unexpected just becomes the norm.  When you have four children, like I do, having something expected happen, becomes the crazy.

Just remember you’re not alone.

Stress can do so much to you body and mind without us being aware of it.  It can hurt us and our relationships with those we love.  It can cause illness.

Don’t let it take control.  Little bits of stress (like my day Monday), can add up before you know it.  Talk about it, take a walk, read a book, find a way that works for you, but relieve that stress.

Here are a couple of links about stress if you are interested…

Stress Management – Learn to Prevent and Reduce Stress

Stress Management – Healthy Lifestyle

How do you relieve stress?  I’d love to hear your ideas!

Similar posts:

A Mother’s Worry

No Mommy’s Perfect

Thanks for stopping by! ~Kim~

How ’bout Them Buns?

Hamburger buns of course ;)

Wow!  I like snow, but it feels like I moved in with Santa or something.  I think we’ve had snow on the ground since before Thanksgiving.  My kids may have had a full week of school since then also, but then again, I don’t really think so.  They were off school yesterday and today.  It’s nice having extra hands to complete the chores, but at this rate I don’t know if they will get a summer break!

Today was busy and fun.  They of course played outside.  We also had our weekly bible study today.  It’s normally on Wednesday, but I wasn’t feeling all that well, and the benefit of teaching them myself, is I can postpone it.  Rarely do I, but it is always an option if necessary!

A slight glitch in my day occurred when i checked the scheduled meal for tonight’s supper.  Hamburger and french fries.  Ground beef:  check.  Potatoes: check.  Buns: buns???  how do I put hamburgers on the menu and forget buns? ~sigh~

How to solve the dilemma?  Pinterest.  How else?  It’s a one stop shop for absolutely everything.  Search:  hamburger buns.  I found a super easy recipe that claims to be the best.  We’ll just see about that.  So I assembled the ingredients and went to work.

The result?  AAAAHHH- Mazing.  Look if you don’t believe me……

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They smell and taste just as good people.  Seriously……when will they invent smell-ivision?

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The buns were just slightly big, so when I make them again, I might make 10 to 12 of them instead of 8.  I guess it depends on how big you make your burgers!

If you want to give them a try, and I highly recommend that you do, head over to Parsley, Sage and Sweet for the recipe.

Need a burger recipe to go with it?  I have one you just might enjoy, here!

Stay warm, and thanks for stopping by,

~Kim~

P.S. I am making progress on the office, here is a peek,

IMG_1741

always messy while in process, right?  I can’t wait for it to be finished so I can share the before and after shots!

 

 

Goals? Let’s Get Real…

So hopefully you caught last week’s post about what goals I sort of reached last year.  (In case you missed it, check it out here!)

I wasn’t as successful last year as I had hoped.  It seems from reading other’s blogs, this can be common.  It’s a new year, it’s exciting, and goals are set with all good intentions of follow-through, but in the end normal life gets in the way.  I thought I set fairly realistic goals for 2013.  Honestly, they pretty much were, my inner procrastinator, although I made great improvements, still found a way to mess things up.  Also, the goals I set in 2013, will continue.  A lot of them were improvements that needed to be made to my life/family and will be an on-going process.

That being said, on to 2014.  It is 2014, you know?  So let’s break it down…….

HOME

Making things homey – We have lived in our home, since it was built in 2002.  Which, although seems like yesterday, it was actually 12 years ago.  Wow, ok.  So I guess it’s time to decorate?  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have bare walls, but there is no method to the madness. You have no idea how haphazard my house feels.  I have ideas. Boy, do I! But starting has always been my problem.  Especially knowing where to start.

So this is my plan.

I intend to concentrate on one room a month.  I am aware that some parts of the project may not get completed within the month, like if I need someone else’s help (ie hubby).  But for the most part, I should be able to arrange, organize, paint, decorate, etc. a room each month until my house is “finished.”  Because both my office and the boys’ bedroom was on my list for last year, they are first on the list, starting off with the office.  If all goes well, then I will be able to share before and after pictures with you, once each room is completed.  I’m really excited about this goal!

SELF

As you may know, I had a sweet baby girl last March.  With my first three kids I did a pretty good job of getting back into some sort of workout routine.  This time, not so much.  Last week was the first week that I worked out consistently since before I was pregnant. ~sigh~  Mainly because I just didn’t make myself do it, and because of my affinity for food.  Oh, and I hate exercise. I shouldn’t say “hate,” but there is an astounding amount of things I’d rather do…watching paint dry, for instance. Of course I know I’d feel better, have more energy, that it’s a healthy choice, but unlike many, I’m not so much worried about my weight, as fitting into my clothes.  Clothes are expensive, exercise is free.  So it’s a lot cheaper to get back in shape and fit into the ones I already have!

No measurements have been taken, I’ll know I succeeded when I can finally put on my favorite pair of jeans and not have to use the jaws of life to get them off.

I’m glad that I’ve already started my journey to a healthier self. My two older boys even asked that I wake them up early on Saturday to exercise with me! (That reminds me that our actions are a very effective way to teach. Practice what you preach!)

Alright, so just because I am only now sharing my goals with you, doesn’t mean I haven’t begun. As I mentioned, the first room up, is the office. I have a picture in my head of what my it will look like. I have enlisted my amazing husband to build shelves on one wall. I have paint to buy and a frame for a vintage print I purchased. It’s going to look totally different, I can’t wait!!

So this year, two goals. Big goals, though. I feel more confident with what I have chosen for this year. Excited too!!
What about you? Did you set any goals for 2014? Do share!