A woman I greatly admire said recently that

"when you open an email (or FB for that matter) you are inviting that person into your living room."

 So in light of that idea she is careful to not open her 
email too early in the morning. Because, well, 
it can quickly get crowded.


How often have I opened an email and let a pre-occupying thought or controversial post enter my home,
 my sacred space,
and change the direction of my attitude and quite possibly my entire day? Too often. That being said those of you I adore and care deeply for will be more than welcome to enter my home electronically after my heart and home are prepared.

Who are you letting into your living room early in the morning?
Do they stay long? Happy thinking!
I live for moments like these.....

Happy Monday!
I am sure you have heard of people making one of these, or witnessed the beauty of some of the intricately crafted ones on Pinterest. With my New Year's resolution (to be posted soon) in hand I made the call to stop pinning and just make one. If you are like me that is hard to do, especially with limited time and space. There aren't many spots in our place to lay  a project, so they really need to be completed in the same span of time as they were begun. With that in mind I took the photo Christmas cards we had been sent and some other less personal cards (like from businesses and such) and with my trusty craft glue, a piece of cardstock and one nap-time session created this:

The cardstock cover really cleaned up the appearance of this hasty craft. And since we are teaching our kiddos Spanish we thought it would be good to put "Mi Amigos" on the cover. It isn't the Christmas Card book of my dreams, but he sure loves it a lot. Another item from my boards to my home!
Only in our home.....

Happy Monday!

Yes, we are channeling a little Starsky and Hutch over here, but it has been snowy and we have been trapped inside for far too long. Which leads us to today's friendly public service announcement. If you want to add some snazz to the same old soup. Or in our case that canned, albeit healthy, but still canned soup that you have in your pantry.

 It will change your life. 

Well it will in the least brighten your day! 
We love the frozen cubes from Trader Joes and are currently loving 
one cube 
and a teaspoon of cream cheese
 in a bowl of canned chicken and rice soup. 
So take our word and Just Do It!

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"I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation 
where they will not be judged by the 
color of their skin 
but by the content of their 
~ Martin Luther King Jr.

And my dream for our children is the same. What a wonderful world this would be if we were judged by our character, period. Taking a moment today to remember, lest we forget.
I thought it would be fun to post the recipe for what I made for dinner after our long Monday this week. There is no doubt in my mind that these types of days are handed to us all and often there is no energy left to even consider making dinner. If such a Monday finds you in the near  future, print this out and keep it on hand. 

Beef In A Hurry 
Beef for stewing (cut in chunks, ready for a stew, usually packaged with some such title)
Beef Broth

1. Spray pan, or add oil, your preference. Heat. Add beef and allow to brown.
2. While beef browns cut onion in slices.
3. Flip beef. Brown on the other side.
4. Pile onions on top of beef. Stir once or twice. 
5. Pour salsa on top (as much as you want, really)
6. Add beef broth until the contents are almost submerged. 
7. Put a lid on it and let it cook.

Serve with:
"Special" Rice and Corn.

Equal parts rice and chicken broth

1. Heat the broth until boiling
2. Add equal amount of rice.
3. Stir, cover and turn down to a simmer for about 20 mins.
4. Fluff and add corn.

There you have it. All of this was done and set to simmer in about 15 minutes. I let the meat dish cook for a little over an hour. It could have cooked longer, but if it had cooked a little less that would have been fine as well I am sure. I stole a moment with both kids slightly occupied and threw this together as fast as I could. The chicken broth makes the rice super flavorful. I turned it off after adding the corn, while the meat dish kept cooking. But it was done and ready to be enjoyed despite what the rest of the afternoon held for us! Our son loves the salsa we had, so he loved all of the meal. A win for sure. The beauty of something like this is that you really use what is in the fridge and in whatever proportions suit your tastes. I served this with cheese on top and some sour cream and lettuce. You can add tomatoes, more salsa, jalepenos, etc... Let us know if you  try this dish, we would love to hear from you guys!

Happy Cooking!
I love watching Jill's Steals and Deals on the Today Show.
And this morning she offered a deal for one of our favorite companies,
This is good for the next 20 hours, so snap it up quickly!
For $10 you get a book that retails for almost $50. 
You will have 90 days to complete your book, what a great
way to document those Christmas memories.
Click here to see all of the details and to purchase your voucher!
Even though I work 365 days a year, and have for almost 3 years now, there are times when a Monday asserts itself. Today Monday became a dominant force in our home as...

eager hands rushing for the completion of a promise sent coffee down my back and all over our green rug...

as a tired baby in need of a nap began to cry out in confusion and exhaustion amidst a chorus of
 "It's ok, it was an accident"......

as said baby was almost rocked to sleep when he was rushed in arms to the bathroom because an attempt to save the top drenched in coffee was causing this sink.....

to overflow. Cue crying baby again as he is set on the floor near the puddle that nearly became a pool....

as this sweet toddler so overcome with the events set in motion that he sat motionless with his crackers saying "so sorry momma"....

as this momma's eyes pooled with tears at the tenderness of his heart. 
Among the mess of Monday a Eucharisteo moment was gifted. 

*Curious about the references in this post and some previous ones to Giving Thanks and Eucharisto moments? They are all gifts from Ann Voskamps book One Thousand Gifts. One I would HIGHLY recommend.

The other day I happened to glance down and noticed my jeans
 faded at the knee.
Old jeans or poorly made these were not, yet the fade was unmistakable.
My heart
at the sight and I ran to grab my camera.
Five or six shots later I had captured it in full and my heart
settled down to ponder once more.
This gift I had been given at such a time of year is one that will not go
slip away in fear.
Long has my heart battled with fear and unrest over the quality of my work,
striving to be more than just the societal norm.
Late at night I can be found far down some bunny trail of how I
should have,
could have or
would have
done it differently.
 Next time I vow, next time.
You see, I fear the legacy I leave behind will be misunderstood
and fall short of future expectations.
And always do I wonder,
what if I were to leave them tomorrow.
How will they remember our time together?
 So these faded knees of mine are a testament and a gift.
They will be put aside when this chapter is done,
alongside those lovely torn edges of beloved books of times past.
As a reminder they will serve to settle my heart when the fears of uncertainty
creep in to rob me of my joy.
They testify that yes, sweet sons of mine, I was that mom who
chose to get down on her knees time and time again.

To build towers to the heavens,
 crawl into forts too small,
 to speak words of love and discipline intimately.

The fading is a badge that this choice of mine
has brought me to my knees and for that
my heart soars.