Wednesday, March 27, 2013

This Woman Is Selfish

I am so selfish. 
I think I may even have everybody fooled. 
I have pulled the wool over their eyes with my "happy face", and generous behaviors. 

This past week has been straight up awful challenging. Things on the news have hit me really hard, things like violence, sudden death, and greed. Personal family issues, and even issues with friends have thrown me for a loop.

I have been "blue" as a friend put it. I have been moping, and pouting, and dwelling on the hardships this world hands out so generously. I have taken things personally that have nothing to do with me. Why do I let things always become about me. About how I feel, or how I'm responding, or my opinion about it.

Today at church two of the wisest, godly women I have ever had the joy of meeting met my husband for the first time. They told him that I was a sweet and wonderful woman of God. They even went so far as to tell James how blessed he was to have me. Excuse me, but, they are out of their minds. They must not know who I truly am. I have them fooled. I am nothing. I am unworthy of James and I am even more undeserving of Christ's grace. I am a self gratifying woman who seeks to please my flesh. 

I am sick of me

God did not give air to my lungs for me to waste it on me. 
He gave me this life, this body, and this mind to serve HIM. 

James 3:16-17 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
Does that verse hit you in the teeth like it hits me? 
I hear the world telling me that it's ok to make it all about me. I hear the world shouting out that it's ok to make yourself  happy. Love yourself first, then you can love others. 


The world is wrong. It is not ok to make life about me. I cannot put myself first and be happy. While I may experience fleeting joy when putting myself first I end up feeling miserable. 
But wait, there is hope for me! I know that God's desire for my life is to be filled with joy, and to experience the wisdom that only he can provide "peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere" wisdom. There is fullness that can only be found in Christ, and I'm ready to experience what only he can give. 

Philippians 2:1-4 If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Ah hah! 
That's what I love. I need to look towards the interests of others…not my own!
Instead of moping and sulking, I need to take action and practice my compassion. Put Jesus first, and then I can let his love pour out through me and into others. Have you ever seen that demonstration about the water pitchers? (I would vlog it but I hate my voice…so that will never happen). You have one pitcher that represents you (it's empty) and another (it's full) that represents Christ. Once you begin to pour this HUGE pitcher of Christ into your tiny little pitcher it can't help but overflow. 
I cannot let my selfish ambition and my flesh get in the way of who Christ has called me to be. 

I want to look less like this

 And more like this.

She looks a heck of a lot more like Christ's love than I do, that's for sure. 

So, here is my prayer. Straight out of the Bible (it has some good stuff in it!).
Psalm 119:36 Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Make Your Own Resurrection Egg Kit

This might be my best MOPS craft yet.
Seriously…I (with the help of my hot husband) put a lot of work into putting together the supplies for 65 women to make these.

But I love it!

So just in time for Easter why don't you make your very own Resurrection Egg Kit with your kids?
This is the most fun way to go through the Easter Story with the family.
We have always loved doing it together, and the kids truly love it each time!

Here's what you need:

Egg Carton (a dozen)
Plastic Eggs (a dozen)
#1-Fake Foliage (palm branch)
#2-Coins (3)
#4-Piece of Leather
#5-Purple Fabric
#6-Thorns (from a rose bush)
#10-White Fabric
#12-Keep it Empty

As you can see my eggs are out of order in the photo above (oops!).
But you need to put everything in this order, in order to tell the story in sequential order.
I will even attach the list of Bible Verses and expiation of each verse for you.

We start our the story by telling them about how Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and how the people were so excited to see him and shouted "Hosanna!".
Then we continue by letting them each take turns opening the eggs and reading the corresponding verse and telling them a little about it.
#1 Palm Branch 
for his entrance into Jerusalem

#2 Coins 
(you can use pennies)
to represent Judas' betrayal 

#3 Crouton
To represent the broken bread at the last supper

 #4 Leather 
To represent he was whipped

#5 Purple Fabric
To explain that he was mocked

#6 Throns (ouch!)
To represent the crown of thorns placed on his head

#7 Cross
Where he gave his life for us

#8 Nails
To show how he was hung

 #9 Spear
How the soldiers proved he was truly dead
(I used a barbecuing kabob stick and trimmed it down and dipped the edge in silver paint)

#10 White Fabric
To represent his body being wrapped in linen for burial

#11 Stone
To show he was buried in a tomb behind a heavy stone

#12 Empty
To show HE IS RISEN!

Below the actual sheet I gave the women in my MOPS group with all of the corresponding verses (James spent his night working on this with me. I am SO SO SO in love with that man!). I thought you might just copy, paste and print your own.                                                      

{Resurrection Eggs Easter Story}

Egg #1- Palm Branch
Matthew 21:8-9 “A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the tree and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”
When Jesus traveled to Jerusalem people were so excited to see him! They shouted, cheered, and waved palm branches as he entered the city. Sadly, when put under pressure these people turned on Jesus later. 
Egg #2- Coins
Matthew 26: 14-16 “Then one of the twelve-the one they called Judas Iscariot- went to the chief priests and asked, ‘What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?’ So they counted out for him 30 silver coins. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.”
The Jewish leaders wanted to get rid of Jesus and his message. Judas was one of Jesus’ disciples and Jesus knew he would be betrayed by Judas. 
Egg #3- Bread
Matthew 26:26 “While they were eating, Jesus took the bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, ‘Take and eat this is my body.’ 
During Jesus last meal with his disciples he explained his upcoming sacrifice through the breaking of bread. He was trying to explain he would be giving his body and his life so that we may live forever. 
Egg #4- Leather Whip
Mark 14:46 “The men seize Jesus and arrested him.” John 19:1 “Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged.”
While Jesus was praying Judas came and betrayed him to the soldiers. The soldiers then arrested Jesus and whipped him by order of Pilate. 
Egg #5- Purple Robe
John 19:2-3 “They clothed him in a purple robe and went up to him again and again, saying, ‘Hail the King of the Jews!’ And they struck him in the face.”
Because Jesus preached the gospel and claimed to be the Savior, the soldiers mocked him by putting a robe on him. A robe was a sign of royalty in those days. 
Egg #6- Thorns
Matthew 27: 29  “And they twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head.”
The soldiers further mocked Jesus by putting a sharp crown of thorns on top of his head. 
Egg #7- Cross
John 19:16-17 “Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified. So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. Carrying his own cross he went out to the place called Golgotha.”
Pilate finally gave in to the people who wanted to crucify Jesus. After being whipped and beaten Jesus was forced to carry his cross up a steep hill to the place where he was to be crucified. Along the way a man named Simon carried the cross after Jesus could no longer lift it. 
Egg #8- Nails
Luke 23:33-34 “When they came to the place called Golgotha, there they crucified him, along with the criminals- one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said ‘Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’”
The soldiers nailed Jesus to the cross in between two criminals. Even in his final moments before death Jesus offered forgiveness to those who were putting him to death. His love and mercy are never ending.
Egg #9-  Spear
John 19:34 “Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.”
Once Jesus had died the soldiers put a spear into his side to prove that he really was dead, which fulfilled prophecy that not one of Jesus’ bones was broken. Jesus died so our sins could be forgiven and we could live with God forever. 
Egg #10-  Linen
Matthew 27:59 “Joseph took the body wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and placed it in his new tomb that he had cut out of the rock.”
A rich man had become a follower of Jesus and wanted to honor Jesus’ death. He asked Pilate for Jesus’ body, so that he could give Jesus a proper burial.
Egg #11- Stone
Matthew 27:60 “He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away.”
The stone was placed to prevent robbers from stealing the body, and because it was Jesus, Pilate also placed Roman soldiers in front of the tomb for added security.
Egg #12- Empty
Matthew 28:5-8 “The angels said to the women, do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: he has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him. Now I have told you. So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy and ran to tell his disciples.”
When Jesus rose from the dead he overcame sin and death! So sin and death no longer have any real power of those who believe in Jesus and have his Spirit leading them. When he rose from the dead he proved that he truly was the son of God. 

There you have it!

What an awesome way to share the amazing story of Jesus' resurrection! This might be a good way to honor Good Friday with your family too.

Don't forget to Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Blogging Woes

With the recent announcement of Google Reader going away I've been feeling really sad about my blogging life.

Let's be honest here. I don't have a huge following already, and the thought that I would lose readers makes me think that my little blog will disappear.
I've so loved blogging, and I've loved reading other mommy's blogs as well.
But I'm just not sure how to continue writing here.
In fact, I'm sure I will have very few views on this post.
I totally understand that's the ebb and flow of blogging. I want to make my writing mean something, and it may have transitioned a bit now that I've been writing for

I am trying to remember what it is that I love about blogging and I am reminded of posts like these here, here, herehere. and here. These are not even close to my most popular posts.
These are my posts on who I am: a mommy, a wife, a follower of Jesus. That is why I blog. Not for readership.

I love my readers, I love my comments, and I love my fellow bloggers. But that's not what this is about. This is a place for me to remember the little things. The small things like going to a soccer game as a family. I am blessed to have this. I won't just stop writing because I might lose people who read it.
I write for my family, and lets be honest…I write to remember these fleeting days.

So I'll stick with it as long as I can. And if you enjoy reading Life Unexpected you can always follow me over at Bloglovin, as that is how I will be following all of my favs.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Pinch Proof

I'm such a sucker for these commercialized holidays.

I'm claiming that I must have some Irish in my blood. But it doesn't matter that I'm really Polish, I'm still wearing green.

:: Leprechauns Tinkle Here ::

A silly leprechaun came to our house and caused a little ruckus. 
Not nearly as much as Buddy the Elf though. 

:: Green Milk ::

:: Turned my banner into a clover fest ::

And of course we had to have our green lucky charms. 

Josiah made it very clear that we needed to invite Grandma Sue over to have some lucky charms. He was quite adamant.

Happy St Patty's Day 2013!

Friday, March 15, 2013

So Weird

Yesterday was weird.
No better way to describe it than "weird".

It started out beautifully. It was 63 degrees by 10am so we spent the morning in the backyard digging up dirt and planting our lettuce seeds.
I heard somebody knocking on my garage door (so weird!) and when I answered it, it was my good friend Sarah and her 4 kids. They all played in the yard for about 45 min then we piled into the car and headed to James school to play with him (he is the PE teacher after all).
I couldn't bring my phone, it was dead (not weird) (I'm terrible with charging it). We  hit crazy traffic in the middle of the afternoon (so weird) and when we got out of the car Micah nearly got ran over by a car (not weird) (we're working on not running into the road…yikes!). Then we found James and he asked what was going on with Micah's eyes. Holy Moly! They were nearly swollen shut!
I scooped up my 40lb 4 year old and began to rush him to the school nurse (praise God for school nurses) who then told us to give him some Benadryl.
Holy crappy mom, batman!
That's how I felt. How did I not see his eyes before we got into the school?
I'll tell you why. I was rushing to get to James, we were late, his lunch was ending, I had a baby, a diaper bag, and a lunch bag in my arms. And I was busy telling Micah that he could get hit by a car.
But you know that moment when something happens, and all sins are forgiven?
He was nearly smushed 2 minutes ago and I was furious about it. Then it switches immediately when you realize the gravity of the moment.
The swelling underneath his eyes subsided but the bruising never seemed to fade and I stayed worried. I ended up taking him to Urgent Care only to leave learning that we just have to let the meds do their work.

These asthma attacks, surgeries, eczema, and now allergic reactions are wearing me thin.
But through all of these things Micah doesn't complain once. Not a word out of him about breathing, itching, and swollen eyes. He truly is so tough. Too tough.
He'll be the kid breaking his collar bone and finishing the game -But God, you don't have to test him in this-
He's Super Micah.

God knew he could handle this, but can I?
I need to learn what's causing this. Time to call the allergist and get this figured out.

The cherry on top of my weird day…..

Jury Duty Summons.

I'm thinking Tina Fey is smart….I might even try this ; )

One more day until the weekend.

We can do this!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pinterest Tested and Approved!!

I know you've all tried to make a meal on pinterest only to have an epic fail of a dinner.
Well, I know I have at least.

But then….every once in a while…I find a real gem! One that my hubby says "This is a keeper."

Here's a few of our favs….

Here's my altered recipe:
3 large Chicken Breasts (flattened for even cooking)
4-5 TBS Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 large ripe tomato
1 huge handful of basil leaves
1 Cup of balsamic vinegar
1 avocado, sliced
Salad Greens

Brush Chicken Breasts with about 1-2 TBS of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Cook it.
While chicken is cooking, in a small pot add balsamic vinegar and begin to slowly heat. 
Heating balsamic vinegar is magical. It slowly thickens and transforms into a sweet syrup.
It's AMAZING. No other way to describe it. 
For bruschetta; dice tomato, chop basil, throw in a bowl with about 1 TBS olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
Remove your fully cooked chicken and place in a shallow baking dish. Scoop a generous amount of your bruschetta onto chicken breasts and top with mozzarella, and avocado slices. Place under the broiler until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and place chicken over bed of salad greens and drizzle with your reduced balsamic.

Here's my altered recipe:
I would use a pork roast or chicken breasts for this and it's equally delicious.
You can buy pork roasts at COSTCO for $1.99/lb. 

Cook 2lbs pork/chicken in crock pot with
2 cups water
And sprinkle the rest on the pork:
Salt & Pepper
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
I always use frozen meat and it takes about 6-8 hours for it to me moist and "shreddable".

Shred your meat when it's done and I usually add a bit of the water to moisten the shredded meat.

For the "mayo" (this is delicious)
2 cups greek yogurt
1/2 bunch of cilantro leaves
1 clove garlic
1 diced and seeded jalapeƱo
2 TBS white vinegar
2 TBS water
Salt and Pepper to taste

Place all ingredients into a food processor and blend together.

Serve with meat, shredded cabbage, a splash of lime, and flour tortillas. 
Delicious and a healthy alternative to the original recipe that calls for 2 cups of mayo.

Here's my altered recipe:
1 can black beans
1 cup corn
1/2 bunch of cilantro leaves
6-8 cups of spring mix salad (from Costco)
1 large diced tomato
1 large diced red or green bell pepper
1 large diced avocado
1/4 cup chopped scallions
Tortilla chips 

For Dressing:
1 1/4 cup greek  yogurt
1 TBS ranch dressing
1/3 tsp smoked paprika
1/3 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp cumin
(or you can use 1TBS taco seasoning…I just always make my own)

Throw it all into a bowl together and top with crushed tortilla chips.
I usually make our family one vegetarian meal and week and this is the perfect way to get in alot of protein and fill us up without using meat. 
And oh. my. goodness it is DELICIOUS!

So there you have it. Three of our favs.
What about you?
Have you had some success with pinterest meals?

Just to put it out there…here's a few flops too.

It's pinned a million times, but we said "eh…don't make this again".

we didn't even eat the leftovers, which is crazy for our leftover loving family

The cheddar cheese made it kind of lumpy, and the greek yogurt gave it a very odd flavor and texture.

I'd love to hear about your failures and success too!!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Miss Ella Bakes {Granny's Cookies}

I really love to cook. My boys have always though it was fun to pull up a chair and help out.
But not like Ella likes it.

This little girl pushes this big chair up to the counter, climbs up, and asks for a spoon to "tir" with me.
She will stay there the entire time with me. Playing with her plastic spoon, and just watching me.

We made my Granny's chocolate chip cookies and I promise they are worth every calorie. They are the best. No way around it. I thought I'd share it with you today.

Granny's Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter flavored Crisco
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 12oz bag of chocolate chips

Cream crisco and sugars together. Add eggs, vanilla, baking soda and salt. Gradually add flour. Mix in chocolate chips.

Bake at 350 for 8 minutes (we like them extra soft!)

Don't eat them all at once.


The way she helps me in the kitchen is the same when I'm getting ready in the morning. The boys will be watching tv reading quietly and she'll come up the stairs to find me, pull out my hairbrush, and ask for my makeup brushes. She'll put on chapstick and play with the brushes.

The boys have never shown interest in the same way she has. She loves to do what I do. She loves to be girly and act like Mommy. I love this! I didn't push it on her. I didn't invite her into the bathroom with me and ask if she wanted to brush her hair and pick out shoes. I love that she wants to be with me even if she loves her daddy more. I love that she loves to be "rocked" and sung to. I just love her little, tiny girly nature. God has blessed me with two rowdy, tough boys….and one princess.
My heart it happy. I'm so blessed. It is just so fun to be a Mom (most of the time)!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

So What….

So what…

:: I wear the same sock bun or braid for 3 days straight.
(I get a little lazy and don't have the energy to change it)

:: This morning is supposed to be my morning off from the kiddos, and I couldn't wake Ella. She just looked too peaceful. Looks like we get a date day : )

:: My finger is growing back nicely. (Don't you love that I just threw that out there??)

Sorry I made you look.

:: I really need a girl's night out.

:: I miss James, a lot. He's working and volunteering so much right now, and we don't have much time together. I think I need a date night as well! But he's the best father. Ever.

:: I haven't cut my boy's hair. They are all looking shabby (but they are crazy beautiful none the less).

:: I need a haircut desperately, but am too "busy".

:: I can't stop eating nachos, and bread.

:: I have a pretty amazing life, even if I complain sometimes.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Clean & Organize a mess in 10 minutes {Seriously}

I'm pretty sure I learned how to clean from my mom.
She's smart….and pretty…and I like her wisdom.

So…I'm now passing her wisdom onto my kids.
Let's tackle the playroom, shall we?

The best way to clean a room is to make a huge pile.
it's all about the pile.

Here's what I mean...

This is what the room looks like after a playdate.
I fully believe in freedom to play with ALL the toys.
Make a mess…go ahead.
Just remember, we're going to clean it up.
But don't worry…it will only take 10 minutes.

Step 1: Put all of the toys into a huge pile in the middle of the room and place your organizing bins ($4 at Wal-Mart) around the mess.

 Step 2: Sort, sort, sort.

Fill the bins up!

Smile, because cleaning is SO fun.

Step 4: Put  the bins away.

 Ta Da!

It's seriously the easiest and quickest way to clean & organize.
The kids don't mind it, and neither do I.
It goes so quickly. 
Thanks Mom…you're so smart!