Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fruit 'n Yogurt Parfait

This fruit 'n yogurt parfait surpasses the $3.95 fruit 'n yogurt parfait from Starbucks that I was buying. Okay, so I make it sound like I have always bought my fruit 'n yogurt parfaits from Starbucks. Wrong-O! I've had like ... 2 or 3; but at $3.95 EACH ... OUCH!

A friend of mine posted this yummy Wild Berry Compote recipe (you can find here) on her Facebook page. I figured it wouldn't hurt to try and make my own fruit compote for a parfait.

The verdict? Absolute yummy goodness!!! I used frozen blueberries and strawberries for the fruit; Splenda for the sugar. I'm going to try a tad bit of honey next time, though, for more of a natural sweetness.

Fruit 'n Yogurt Parfait w/Granola. Picture taken by me.
This tasty breakfast goodie or snack time yummy is only 175 calories! MmmMmm Yummyness!!

2 tablespoons of fruit compote
1 cup Fit and Light Danon Vanilla Yogurt
2 tablespoons of Special K Granola cereal

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the crunchy goodness from the granola; and the yummy fruit is a perfect companion to the vanilla yogurt and granola!!!! Try it ... You'll love it! Let me know what you think!


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thirsty Thursday

7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.
8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
Galations 6:7-10

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Welcome Home!!!

The day has finally come ....

185 days/nights spent sleeping alone ... 

6 months separated by almost 8,000 miles ...

4,440 hours missing you ...

I have waited for this day before you even left!

Photo Courtesy from my friend Kristina. She has a
Facebook page: Captured by Kristina. 21 January 2012.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thirsty Thursday

This is what the LORD says:

"Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
who depends on flesh for his strength
and whose heart turns away from the LORD.

He will be like a bush in the wastelands,
he will not see prosperity when it comes.
He will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
in a salt land where no one lives.

But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in him.

He will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit."

Jeremiah 17:5-8
Photo taken by me. August 2010. Colorado River.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

it's an *ING* kind of week

Have you every realized how busy life can really get? As a military wife, during deployments we tend to keep ourselves as busy as possible because that helps pass the time. Staying idle means that we have more time to watch the time and think about stuff. Alright, so I'm sure "civilian" wives do the same types of things, but I'm a military spouse and that's all I know. Well, this week will be no different than any other week during this deployment.

This week is an 'ING' kind of week ....

okay ... so that's all part of ING word that starts with "c" ......

carpet cleanING

horse ridING
new vehicle needs licensING

and if I'm feeling froggy ......


What kind of 'ING' week are you going to have?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I am still learning ...

Over the past two weeks there are a few things that I have learned and am continuing to learn (in no particular order):

1. Since I do not know how to make espresso or even a homemade cappuccino (probably because I don't have the right machine and know-how, right?), I've learned to make myself a good cup of coffee! YUM!

2. To go along with number one, I have learned that this goooood cup of coffee is also good cold! Who would've thought?! Not me, for sure! YUM x 2 = Yumminess!!

3. Sometimes what I think is fair and right, is not always fair and right, and ONLY GOD has the right purpose for that being so.

4. As much as I want to be a very organized person, I don't know if that's absolutely possible anymore. Things get too chaotic and I get too overwhelmed and well, I'm just one person. It's hard.

5. I have been getting quite annoyed over the smallest things recently and I don't like this a single bit!! Please make it stop.

6. Things can't always be my way. I equate this "has to be my way" and the "I'm right" characteristic to being the oldest child. It's not my fault ... I didn't ask to be born first. LOL. Patience is NOT a strong point of mine ALL the time (especially lately).

7. Homeschooling is becoming A LOT more frequent and is going A LOT more smoothly. I read in a blog somewhere that some homeschool parents just "get it" within the first year, and others could take three years. Really?! Well, I'm that three year parent. I still do not have the right curriculum that I want to use with the kids, but we'll work on that. For now, organization and "just keep moving" is really important.

8. Remember to remain quiet .... a.) until you have all of the necessary information and b.) when you have the floor to speak. <---- This one is often a hard one for me to do, as well .... I know I can't be alone on this one.

9. I just might go back to school after all, and be able to finish my Bachelor's degree online! WOOHOO!! Still have to do more checking on that and what all I would need to do to transfer my credits, transcripts, etc., but I can still be excited about it, right?! :)

Since we are currently in the new year, what are some things you have learned over the last two weeks??
Please share ....

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Man in the Moon

In all of my 31 years, I have ALWAYS wanted to capture the "Man in the Moon", but I have not been able to. Camera wouldn't focus. Shaky hands. Cloudy nights.

Well, tonight I finally captured him!! Honestly, I don't even know how I did it because I was cold and shivering with my window down, my camera speed isn't as fast as some of the higher tech cameras, and sometimes I just can't get the camera to focus on shots of the moon.

I can't even begin to describe how ecstatic I was to FINALLY capture this face!!!
Photo taken by ME: "Man in the Moon"

Things that make you go .... AHHH!!!!!!

Here's a new twist on that phrase: "Things that make you go, hmm" -- how about things that make you go ... AHHH!!! As in "I'm about to lose my cool..." or "One more time and I'm gonna freak!"

Let me explain ....

First: In my defense, I LOVE LOVE LOVE talking with my husband and sometimes my patience isn't as high as it should be when that's interrupted. Since our communication happens to be through video, having a working webcam is very important. EXTREMELY vital. Almost like a lifeline. So when this webcam doesn't want to work or decides it wants to play games, it may okay, it makes me want to pitch a massive fit! Like I'm three years old and I was just told I could not have a cookie.

Second: Looking for a fix or an update for the webcam, especially when the updates were applied to the computer a few days ago really will make you feel like you're losing your head and the problem cannot be fixed fast enough.

Here's the problem: When my husband and I would call each other on video (whether that's through Skype or ooVoo), the webcam would constantly cut out, then try to come back on, cut out, try to come back on, cut out, try to .... you get the picture. Well, in my case, this was driving. me. crazy! My husband is so patient with this sort of thing. While he was looking for a fix online, he'd say to me, "Sweetie, just be patient" and would say it in the nicest tone. Me? I felt like I was a lioness about to attack her prey. The prey? The integrated webcam on the laptop.

Isn't it funny what things we ALLOW to get us worked up? I seriously did try to, for a SPLIT SECOND, tell myself, "It's okay. At least you can still hear his voice." 

I restarted the laptop; we hung up and called each other back a couple of times, sometimes trying to use Skype over ooVoo. Nothing worked. Until ....

The solution: My husband found some forum or whatnot that had people talking about the same situation. A lot of them said this problem started when they did the updates for their computer. Oh great! That's what I just did a couple days prior. Hearing this over and over kind of just fueled the fire. Then, my husband read this one person's comment about how he or she had fixed the problem: Gently squeezing the area near the webcam and then it'll come on.

Okay, so I have to admit ... I was thinking "Yeah right! That's not gonna work!" What did I have to lose? Nothing. So I tried it, and guess what?! It worked!!! I'm not even playing. I pinched the area near the webcam, I'll admit -- probably not as gently as that person said to, but I pinched it nonetheless, and the webcam started working perfectly.

A little comedy: It became a joke between my husband and I: "How did someone figure that out? Did they just get made at it and say 'Oh yeah! You don't wanna work? I'll break you then!'" My husband said something along these lines and I seriously laughed so hard I cried. I laughed and laughed and laughed some more. I said something like, "Why do I find that so funny?!" My husband said something like "Because give you a few days and you would have figured it out just like that person did." We seriously thought it was hilarious!!!!

I'm sharing with you how I DO lose my cool from time-to-time, and I DO lose my patience over the craziest of things ... please don't look at me differently. For this instance, it's not things that make you go, hmm .... it's .....

Things that make you go, AHHHH!!!!!!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Crochet Project 1: Complete

A couple months ago a friend's friend taught me how to crochet. My friend is absolutely AMAZING at crocheting and I am super thankful she's willing to teach me how to do different things!

First project: a scarf for our daughter. I told Mariah that the first project would be a scarf and asked her if she'd like one. We went to Michael's and she picked out the yarn for her scarf and then headed to my friend's home. 

It seriously did not take me a couple months to finish this scarf. It was really quite easy to do, actually, and I'm amazed that I was able to finish it. However, I can OFFICIALLY say it is COMPLETE. For THE. LONGEST. TIME. I pondered on flowers. I wanted to put a flower cluster on the scarf, but every time I put a solid flower against the pattern, it just did not seem to fit.
Finished scarf #1

After talking with my sweet friend and asking her opinion, she confirmed what I had thought about putting flowers on the scarf. She gave me advice on making a hat of a coordinating color and putting a different color of flower on the hat which still coordinates with the scarf. Mariah wanted a hat of the same color as her scarf; however, I asked if she'd accept something different and told her the idea. She cannot wait to see the hat.
Mariah and her new scarf ...
Mariah is VERY pleased with her scarf and "can't wait to have a hat to match", which means I better get busy learning how to do that.

Stay tuned to see how the hat turns out ...


Plateau. I can remember learning how to spell this word in elementary school. I also remember learning what exactly a plateau is during social studies as we were learning about the different surfaces of the land.
According to the good 'ole Merriam Webster, a plateau is:

Photo taken by me. August 2010.
1 a: a usually extensive land area having a relatively level surface raised sharply above adjacent land on at least one side; b: a similar undersea feature.

2 a: a region of little or no change in a graphic representation; b: a relatively stable level, period, or condition.

3: a level of attainment or achievement

We may come across a period or season in our lives where it feels like a plateau. Actually, let me rephrase that: We WILL come across periods or seasons in our lives where it feels like a plateau. Take the 2nd part to definition number two and even definition number three. We'll have times where there will be no challenges or obstacles in our way. Smooth sailing seas with unstirred waters. A "relatively stable level, period, or condition" at some point in our lives.

Plateaus are okay. There is nothing wrong with plateaus happening in life. I personally think that God allows these times to be stable to help us recover, and even build up strength and energy for what is to come. When climbing up to a plateau (the real land surface), the best way to get down off the plateau is to go back the way you came. Or, there's another option: You could scale down the cliff until you reach the lower ground. For me, I'd have to go back the way I came. I'll pass on trusting a rope to get me down safely, even though this could possibly be the quicker option.

What about life? We can't go backwards. Life is a continuous moving forward type of event. We always have Sunday, Monday, Tuesday (and so on), but we never have the same day as the day before. At least I never have. Personally, plateaus are okay. I don't mind the rest and easy sailing. However, I like challenge and adventure in my life and resting can be somewhat boring. I understand I need to be content during this time, and even though, for the most part I am, I also know that something else is coming up -- adventure. journey. challenges. Why? The land surface plateau that we all know includes a sharp drop-off. This means there will always be an obstacle or challenge or an adventure ahead. Make sense, right?

Google Image Search
Anyway, I actually started this blog to write about different kinds of plateaus; to include those associated with a weight-loss plateau -- one that I just got off of. A weight-loss plateau can be a bit discouraging. However, we should never be discouraged in how great of a distance we have covered. Plateaus bring balance in our lives.

Next time you face a plateau, remember, it's a time to recover: Challenge is coming and you'll need all your strength to get through it.

Good Image Search

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012: Endless Possibilities

Here's to 2012. A year full of new opportunities, possibilities, and adventures. A year full learning new things. A year full of continuing to foster new growth on old things.

On top of my "resolutions" for 2012, there are a few things I am wanting to try and/or continue to foster new growth in. In no particular order:

1. Learn more about crocheting and producing more finished products.
2. Extreme couponing, to not so extreme measures. Have you seen the price of food lately??
3. Caring for myself, husband, and childrens' health needs.
4. Rollerblading and/or biking. Do you know how long it's been since I've rode a bike? A. VERY. LONG. TIME.
5. Organize our homeschool in such a way that it benefits my needs and our childrens' needs. This ranges from reorganizing homeschool furniture w/the possible need to replace some with new furniture, creating proper files, curriculum that matches our educational needs, etc.
Google Image Search
6. Sewing with a sewing machine. Yes, I do have a nice sewing machine (at least I think it's nice), but I really have not used it since 2009. Time to dust it off and make some projects. Who wants to help?
7. Photography -- learn more about and improve on taking photos. It's funny how I'm by far NOT a photographer, yet when I look at old photos and compare them to photos I've taken recently, I have improved GREATLY over the years!!
8. Serving in the community. This could be at a soup kitchen, homeless shelter, or church. I miss serving those in need of love, being cared for, and needing friendship.

These are some things I'd like to work on throughout the year. Do you have any projects that you are working on, want to finish, or new things you'd like to learn this year?? We now have 364 days left of 2012. Have to get started now because before we know it, July will be here and we all will be saying "Where has this year gone?" At the end of this year, or anytime in between, I want to be able to look back and know that there were new opportunities, new possibilities, and new adventures taken advantage of! :)