Sunday, March 31, 2013

Health: Kale

Kale? What is it. Is it a superfood or is that just super-exaggerated? Here are some interesting facts I found on this amazing food.

Kathleen from says...

  • Kale, also known as borecole, is one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet
  • Kale is a Nutritional Powerhouse One cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. 
  • Eating a diet rich in the powerful antioxidant vitamin K can reduce the overall risk of developing or dying from cancer, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Vitamin K is abundant in kale but also found in parsley, spinach, collard greens, and animal products such as cheese.

Allison from gave the top 10 health benefits:

1. Kale is low in calorie, high in fiber and has zero fat. One cup of kale has only 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber and 0 grams of fat. It is great for aiding in digestion and elimination with its great fiber content. It’s also filled with so many nutrients, vitamins, folate and magnesium as well as those listed below.
2. Kale is high in iron. Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef. Iron is essential for good health, such as the formation of hemoglobin and enzymes, transporting oxygen to various parts of the body, cell growth, proper liver function and more.
3. Kale is high in Vitamin K. Eating a diet high in Vitamin K can help protect against various cancers. It is also necessary for a wide variety of bodily functions including normal bone health and the prevention of blood clotting. Also increased levels of vitamin K can help people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
4. Kale is filled with powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants, such as carotenoids and flavonoids help protect against various cancers.
5. Kale is a great anti-inflammatory food. One cup of kale is filled with 10% of the RDA of omega-3 fatty acids, which help, fight against arthritis, asthma and autoimmune disorders.
6. Kale is great for cardiovascular support. Eating more kale can help lower cholesterol levels.
7. Kale is high in Vitamin A.Vitamin A is great for your vision, your skin as well as helping to prevent lung and oral cavity cancers.
8. Kale is high in Vitamin C. This is very helpful for your immune system, your metabolism and your hydration.
9. Kale is high in calcium. Per calorie, kale has more calcium than milk, which aids in preventing bone loss, preventing osteoporosis and maintaining a healthy metabolism. Vitamin C is also helpful to maintain cartilage and joint flexibility
10. Kale is a great detox food. Kale is filled with fiber and sulfur, both great for detoxifying your body and keeping your liver healthy.

Dr. Mercola listed Kale as #2 in his list of top 10 best superfoods to eat

# 2 Kale

Kale is an inexpensive cruciferous vegetable that can help ease lung congestion, and is beneficial to your stomach, liver, and immune system. It's an excellent source of multiple vitamins and other nutrients, including:
Vitamin A Vitamin B Vitamin C
Calcium Lutein (helps protect against macular degeneration) Zeaxanthin (helps protect against macular degeneration)
Indole-3-carbinol (may protect against colon cancer)

How to cook it...(Kathleen from says)

  • Make a simple salad with a bunch of thinly sliced kale, red pepper, onion, raisins, and your favorite salad dressing.
  • Braise chopped kale and apples, garnish with chopped walnuts, and add a splash of balsamic vinegar.
  • Toss whole-grain pasta with chopped kale, pine nuts, feta cheese, and a little olive oil.
  • Cover and cook a pound of chopped kale with a few garlic cloves and 2 tablespoons olive oil for 5 minutes; season with salt, pepper, and a tablespoon of red vinegar.
  • Make kale chips by slicing kale into bite-size pieces, toss with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt, and bake for 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees in the oven.
Give it a try. - rejoicing in the present

Friday, March 29, 2013

Creative Mementos

My husband was having a mission's trip reunion and asked me to put together a little memento concerning the trip. He asked me to do this 24 hours before their reunion party. My parents were in town and I hadn't returned until only a few hours before the party. I had no idea what I was going to do.   On the way home from my outing, I asked my dad, who had been on that missions trip, what he remembered most about the trip. He replied "Rice and beans." You see, they ate rice and beans almost every day while they were in Haiti.

Another great memory they had was playing basketball. The missions team were bored one night, after a hard days work, and needed a little entertainment.  So they took duct tape, crinkled it up and then wrapped it to make a ball. Then they made a  hoop out of cardboard, split up into two teams and had fun. They even took a movie of their craziness--it's still a fond memory.

Anyway, we arrived home about an hour before they lef for the reunion.  I ran to the dollar store and after rummaging through the store I came up with this party favor: "A Night-Out in Haiti" - Dinner and Entertainment. They received rice and beans and duct tape wrapped with a bow. They LOVED it. It was a great memory for them.

Someone said to me "you are so creative".  I just listened to some stories, and did some exploring and voila. You can do it too! - rejoicing in the present. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Decoupage: Violin Case

Recently I took up playing the violin again.  Shhhhh, it's a secret. :-)  I'm trying to keep it as a hobby right now.  Anyway, when I bought the violin, it came with an OLD OLD OLD case.  Ugggggggggggly!

While I was at my lesson on Wednesday, my teacher gave me an idea to personalize it.  So here is what I did....

What you need:
  1. Old Instrument Case
  2. Scrapbooking Paper
  3. Decoupage Glue
  4. Sponge Brush
  5. Scissors
  6. Stickers
  7. Glitter Glue
  8. Bling :-)
What you do:
  1. Cut or tear up the Scrapbooking Paper into small squares
  2. Paint the section with glue
  3. Paste your scrapbooking paper
  4. Then repaint the square again with glue
  5. Do this until the whole case is covered
  6. You can add sticker, bling and glitter to the case as well.
  7. Make sure you add a coat of glue to the extra's as well
Voila!  Fun, sassy craft for an artsy girl. - rejoicing in the present

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Kid-Friendly Decorating

Photo is loadingBabyA LOVES to get into EVERYTHING.  That can be a problem, especially if it's dangerous thing.  If you have ever been in the entryway of our house, you will remember that, to the left, is a knee-level white brick planter box filled to the top with rocks. I also placed candles inside to give it a little charm.

This last week, Baby A decided to get into them.  The box is just his height and the rocks were calling his name.  Teaching him to not touch it was not enough-- I had to redecorate.

I took out all the rocks and stored them for a future project.  Then I thought about what to place in the box instead.  Greenery was the first thing to come to my mind. It was safe for the baby and would give the room some cheer.

I tried a few stores and finally found what I need at...YES, you wouldn't believe it.... DOLLAR TREE.   I spent about $13 for the different greens and the filler but it turned out just nice. What do you think you would have done? Please leave suggestions below. - Rejoicing in the present.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Going Home...We will miss you Julie!

If you have ever been to The Wilds in have been blessed by the wonderful staff there.  Yesterday morning a DEAR DEAR DEAR lady, (the wife of the program director) went home to heaven after a battle with cancer. Please pray for The Wilds and the Matt Herbster Family..she left behind 5 beautiful children.

This was Matt's Note...
Around 1:30 this afternoon, Julie was promoted to be with her Savior. We are grieving at our loss, but rejoicing for Julie. She now knows about the things that are unseen. She no longer is walking by faith for she is with her King! God has prepared for her a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. II Corinthians 4-5

Thank you for your continued prayers. May God be magnified. "My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise." Psalm 57:7

This family is such an encouragement for how to endure trials.  Last night Matt went to a cold bed.  His children did not get warm hugs or kisses from their mom. When they woke up this morning, their mom wasn't there.  A month from now, there will be no mom, no wife, no sister or daughter to call and talk to.  There will be a huge hole, but this family is not dwelling on that, they are praising God that their Proverbs 31 lady is Home. "No, she is not here, for she is with her Savior." She is Home.

Please pray for the Herbster Family.  They are rejoicing in the present, even though the package was wrapped a little tighter and it's now empty inside.  God has a plan for their life and for yours.  Rejoice in the trials in your life. Praise Jesus! - RejoicingInThePresent

Monday, March 25, 2013

One Chance at Eternity

And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ - Acts. 5:2.

Recently my husband and I attended a youth pastor's conference at the WILDS Christian Camp and Conference Center. While we were there, I attended a session called "Developing an Outreach-Focused Youth Group. The speaker was a deeply convicted yet very compassionate evangelist by the name of Morris Gleiser. He told a story that I think will be etched in my mind for a very long time:

One day a pastor received a knock on the door.  On the other side, was a couple who were weeping.  They explained that they lived around the corner in a neighborhood and that they had just lost their teenage son.  They said they understood that a pastor lived here. The Pastor gently invited them in, and in a matter of time, led that couple to the Lord. The couple started attending the church and grew in through discipleship and fellowship with the believers.
When the pastor would preach on salvation, they would sit in their seats and weep. Many times, they would say to their pastor "If we only knew sooner.  If we only knew, we might have been able to lead our son to the Lord." "Pastor, we don't know if our son ever heard; we believe he must be in Hell."  On and on it went. One day a few years later, the pastor was in their home over Christmas time. The couple would generously spoil the pastor with gifts out of their love for him.
That evening they were sitting and talking, when all of a sudden that pastor saw a photo. He stopped for a second.
"Is that your son?" He asked.
"Yes," They replied, "We sure miss Him."
"Did he used to mow lawns in the neighborhood?" He asked.
"Why, yes," the mother replied, "He used to raise some extra cash."
"Did he used to take off his shirt and throw it over his shoulder, while he mowed?"  The preacher went on in with his questions.
"Yes," They replied again
The preacher finally explained the reason he was asking all these questions.  "One day, your son, came by and asked to mow our lawn.  I usually do it, but I was busy that day.  So I asked your son to do it. Later on, I invited him in and was able to lead him to the Lord. So, dear parents, I know where your son is. He is in HEAVEN!!!"

That pastor had one chance, ONE CHANCE TO AFFECT THAT BOY'S ETERNITY! What if that day, he had just been to busy for that boy? What if________________________...You fill in the blank.

So how are you doing?  Do you take advantage of opportunities to witness? Are you like those in Acts that "Daily...ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ" You may only have ONE CHANCE...use it wisely.

-rejoicing in the present

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Health: Bringing down a temperature

Baby A picked up a bug last week on our trip, so when we returned, we returned with a little sick boy. His temperature went up on Sunday and so I did what every other good girl does. She calls her mom. My mom wasn't home, but my Grandma, a former nurse, gave me this advice.

4 Ways to Bring Down a Temperature
  1. Drink!!!! (Water is preferable)
  2. Dampen: Use a cool wet rag to dampen the body.
  3. Warm Bath: Run a bath. The temperature should be slightly lower than the body temperature. Use one hand to feel your body's temperature and use the other one to feel the temperature of the baby
  4. Take a fever-reducing medicine (This is a last choice of course)
Just remember that a fever shows that the body is trying to fight off something. So, fevers are not always bad.  This method should be used when the temperature is getting out of hand.  If your child has a high temperature, try these methods. - rejoicing in the present

Friday, March 22, 2013

Travel Smart #3 - Budget

When you add up the travel expenses of food, gas, lodging, souvenirs, flight etc., it can get super expensive. So what do we do? How can we make a visit to our family, or enjoy a vacation without emptying your pocket book.

Here are some ways to save:
  1. Travel in groups. Share trips. If you are heading to the same conference, or going back to college to visit the same town, ride together to save on gas.
  2. Stay with friends or family. Find family member or friend or a friend of a friend to stay with. This will save on lodging.  (You should take a hospitality gift or offer to take them out to dinner as a thank you, but it will save you a lot of money)
  3. Flight savings: Book early, take a carry on to save on baggage fees
  4. Coupons: ALWAYS check for coupons on food, flight and fun.
  5. SAVE: Save a few dollars ever week for your trip. 
    1. If you save $5 for 6 months, you will have $130.
    2. If you save $10 for 6 months, you will have $260.
    3. Use this money for gas, food or flight.
Here are some other ways to save from I hope this helps relieve some of the burden and helps you to travel smart. - rejoicing in the present

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Travel Smart #2 - Toiletries

Here is another smart -travel tip. Instead of buying "travel size" toiletries or taking your large container of shampoo or conditioners, take freebies instead.

How can I get them?
  1. Sign up for coupons and they will mail you samples - This is a great site to get coupons and samples.
  2. Store: Pick up a free "tester" at the store
  3. Mail: Sometimes, companies mail them to you.
  4. Hotels: Take home the extra ones that you don't use in your hotel room and save them for future trips
  5. Magazines:  You can usually find free samples in magazines, especially perfumes.
  6. Perfume Counters:  Many times, they will give you free trial perfumes.  My husband saves the cologne samples and takes them on trips.
Many times, companies will send you free travel size deodorants or shampoos, so why spend the money?.

What do I do?
  1. Save them in a special bag
  2. When you travel, go to your special bag, get what you need and pack it.
This can really save you space AND/OR money. I have been saving mine for over 3 years and I have never been "without" on a trip. Travel Smart! - rejoicing in the present

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Travel Smart #1 - Color Theme

My mom is the one that gave me this idea. She read it somewhere and passed it to me; now I am passing it on to you.

A couple weeks ago I took a trip up north and the night before we left packed a HUGE suitcase. I wasn't really sure if it was cold or hot and since I had a multitude of colors that I brought I ended up packing 7 pairs of shoes. I also had 2 boxes of jewelry and just TOO MUCH STUFF.  My husband was like "really?!" when he saw my suitcase. We were supposed to share it but after I was done I only had a sliver of room for him. So, he had to take his own.

I thought about this concept after it was all done and realized that if I had used a color theme, it would have saved me lots of time and space.

Pack by color.

  1. Everything you pack should be color-coordinated, which means you can re-wear a shirt or bottom making a different outfit.
  2. This means that you will need less jewelry and shoes since they will be in the same color family; thus you will be able to use them with a variety of outfits
  3. This also means you have will be able to wear a little more of the "bling" since you are able to pack less.
  4. This means you can share a suit case with your hubby. :-)
Give it a try and see what happens. - rejoicing in the present

Monday, March 18, 2013

A Prayerless Wife = A Self Sufficient Wife

Recently my husband and I attended a youth pastor's conference at the WILDS Christian Camp and Conference Center. While we were there, I attended a session called "Love your Man; Love His (Your) People". The Speaker was Faith Taylor, a pastor's wife from Calvary Baptist  in Simpsonville, SC. This session was for pastor's wives, but the part about being a wife applies to all wives (ironic).

While Faith was teaching, she said "A Prayerless Woman = A Self-Sufficient Woman."  I have always been a "do it myself, instead of asking anyone" person AND I have struggled over the years with my prayer life as well.
Thus this phrase, "A Prayerless Wife = A Self Sufficient Wife" convicted me deeply. "  God, this is ME!!!"

I think, if I can trust God, to save me through His precious son, Jesus, then why can't I trust Him for the "small" things in my life. Ladies, we need to be on our knees about everything; this is especially true of our families

Our husbands do NOT need us to hold them accountable for every little thing in life. What they need is for us to hold them up to the Father in prayer.
Paul ends the book of  I Thessalonians with "Brethren, pray for us." ( I Thess 5:25) Our pastors and evangelists need prayer and so do our hubbys!!!!

Faith wrote a little booklet called "Praying for Him" and it gave me an idea of what we should pray for our husbands, whether they work in the ministry or not. So here are a few tips for praying for your husband (whether he is a pastor or not)
  • Godly Character
  • Spiritual Growth
  • Protection from Sin
  • Personal Testimony
  • Not distracted by Sin
  • Compassion
  • Handling Discouragement
  • Faithfulness to your and your family
  • The stress of being a husband/father
  • Work ethic
  • ________________fill in the blank.
Ladies, let commit to praying for our husbands - rejoicing in the present

Friday, March 15, 2013

Cooking w/ Brandy - Fruit Pizza

This is a fun project for the girls and also helps encourage them to eat fruit.

What you need:
  1. 1 package of Sugar Cookie Dough
  2. 8oz package of Cream Cheese
  3. 1/2 cup of Sugar
  4. 2 t  Vanilla Extract
  5. Fruit
What you do:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Roll the Cookie Dough on pizza pan or baking sheet.
  3. Bake 8-10 Minutes or until lightly browned.
  4. Cool.
  5. Beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla.
  6. Spread onto the cooled crust.
  7. Arrange cut up pieces of fruit as desired
We love using strawberries, blackberries, blueberres and raspberries. Hope you enjoy - Brandy O.

Picture taken from

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Themed Parties - Girl Tea Party

Little girls LOVE to dress up and they love tea parties--so our church put on a little girls tea party.

The Theme: TEA FOR 2, TEA FOR U! (Tea for 2 was because they were allowed to invite their moms)

The Food: We had a lot of "yummies"! They included...
  1. A Variety of Sandwiches (peanut Butter and jelly, ham, cucumber, and chicken salad)
  2. Fresh Fruit
  3. Desserts: Valentine Cookies, Brownies and Sweet Bites)
  4. Scones
  5. Tea (also had hot chocolate and hot apple cider for the girls that didn't like tea)
  1. When they first arrived, they each made a foam tea craft for their moms.
  2. While the girls were enjoying their tea and scones, I talked to them about the history of tea.
  3. They ate lunch.
  4. Then they were told a story about Tilly the Tea Pot and her experience with faith. It was a really sweet story told by our pastor's wife.
  5. We ended the day by painting little tea trays.
Fun Extras:
  1. The girl that brought the most visitors won her own tea set.
  2. Each girl was given a little treat bag that contained some jewelry, stickers, tea bags, candy and a few miscellaneous treats.
The girls had a TON of fun. It was a big success and I know that this is a great way to celebrate a birthday or make your little girls feel special. - rejoicing in the present.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Teen Event: Sweets for the Sweet

I wanted to do an event for our teen ladies. I had several goals.  1. Since it was around Valentines Day, I wanted to talk to them about purity.  2.  I wanted the girls to have some fellowship time and to get to know each other. 3. I wanted them to do something, for someone else.  4. I wanted there to be chocolate.

So I planned this teen event, where the girls came together and made a bunch of goodies and then delivered them to some dear older folks in our church.

Their sign-up list: (What I had them bring)
  • 2 pans of brownies (already made)
  • 2 dozen cookies (pre-made)
  • Sugar Cookie Dough
  • Strawberries
  • Chocolate Dipping Sauce
  • Bag of Candy
What I had for them:
  • Scrapbooking paper, Stickers and Pens to make homemade cards
  • Cute Valentines Day paper plates
  • My House
  • Other Ideas: Church Kitchen OR another church family's house
The Itinerary:
  • Preparation: (cards, cookies, ice and dip strawberries) (6-7:30)
    • Make the cards
    • Make the sugar cookies
    • Cut up brownies
    • Clean and dip the strawberries in chocolate
    • Dip the brownies
    • Ice the sugar cookies and add sprinkles
    • Let it all sit for a bit so that we could place them on the plates
  • Purity Devotional (7:15-7:45)
  • Made up the plates (7:47-8)
  • Delivered them to the homes (My husband returned about this time and took half the girls and I took the other half)
The Result:
  • The girls enjoyed this
  • The church members LOVED the goodies
  • SUCCESS :)
If you have some thing to add...feel free to leave a comment - rejoicing in the present.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Themed Parties: Boys Miltary Party

This is a great birthday party idea or church event. We had 2 separate "winter" activities this year for our kids program.  We had a boy's military party in January and then a girl's tea party in February.  Both the boys and the girls had a BLAST!!!  We received a lot of feedback and it was ALL positive. 

The Title: Fight'n a Good Fight (I Tim. 6:12)

The Idea (Spiritually):  As Christian's, we are at war with the Devil, and we must be prepared to fight him with the Sword (God's Word)

The Mission:  The boys sat down in the recruiting center and were told that they were to earn their dog tag. To do this, they were given a full day and 3 missions to complete.

The Itinerary:
1 Physical Preparation: To prepare them, they were first taken to boot camp. One of our former military men came and put them through a mini boot camp. (45 Minutes)
2. Preparing for Battle #1:  (CRAFT) They came inside and made mini bows and arrows. Click on the link to see how to make them. (20 Min.) <----- see picture
3.  Preparing for Battle #2:  (LUNCH) They ate lunch in the mess hall to get energy to fight. (30 Min.)
4.  Preparing for Battle #3  (DEVOTION AND VERSE) My husband taught them about being armed with scripture. He taught them a verse that they were to memorize. (20 Min.)
5. Battle Ready: See Below Missions (1 Hour)

The Mission:
Mission #1 - To rescue Mr. Jeremy from the foreign Mafia
  • The Boys were brought into a board meeting where they were given 3 manila folders with 3 different missions. Right as the 1st folder was being opened, the enemy ran in and kidnapped Mr. Jeremy. They hid them and it was our mission to find him.
  • THE TWIST: If the enemy popped out and tried to kidnap one of our kids, that child had to quote the verse Mr. Jeremy had taught him, earlier during preparation #3. If the child could quote the verse, they were free, BUT if they could not they were captured until the end of the round.
Mission #2 -Deliver Bibles to the underground church
  • We had one hallway that we made into a tunnel through which you could only crawl. The kids had to take the Bibles through a certain passage to a specific location and deliver a certain number of Bibles.
  • THE TWIST: If the enemy popped out and tried to kidnap one of our kids, that child had to quote the verse Mr. Jeremy had taught him, earlier during preparation #3. If the child could quote the verse, they were free, BUT if they could not they were captured until the end of the round.
Mission #3 - Scavenger hunt -
  • The boys were given clues that led to other clues that eventually led to the box of gift baggies (inside was some military paraphernalia including the dog tags)

 We hope this gave you some neat ideas. It was a lot of fun and a must-do in the future - rejoicing in the present

Sunday, March 10, 2013

What is the point to living?

Solomon asked this same question in Ecclesiastes chapter 1.  Everything is vanity, which means "emptiness".  If everything is empty, then why are we here. Why are we living?  what is the point of our living?

The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun? One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever. The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose. The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits. All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again. All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us. There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after. I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem. And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith. I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit. That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered. I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge. And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit. For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

If you think about what Solomon was saying, life seems empty. You work all your life for what? To pass your worldly goods down to the next generation who then pass their goods to the next and so onYou have maybe 80 to 100 years tops to do what? "(One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh" )  Babies are born, people live and die, life moves on and people are forgotten, even legends fade away. So WHY ARE WE HERE? 
Stuff? Money? Relationships? Experiences? When will it make you happy?

Tennis star Boris Becker was at the very top of the tennis world -- yet he was on the brink of suicide. He said, "I had won Wimbledon twice before, once as the youngest player. I was rich. I had all the material possessions I needed ... It's the old song of movie stars and pop stars who commit suicide. They have everything, and yet they are so unhappy. I had no inner peace. I was a puppet on a string." -  Vanity

Not even fame or fortune?

Becker is not the only one to feel that sense of emptiness. The echoes of a hollow life pervade our culture. One doesn't have to read many contemporary biographies to find the same frustration and disappointment. Jack Higgens, author of such successful novels and The Eagle Has Landed, was asked what he would like to have known as a boy. His answer: "That when you get to the top, there's nothing there."  - Vanity

"...when you get to the top, there's nothing there."  - This phrase boils down the whole subject. Nothing outside of God will bring contentment.

As one theologian once said :) ...
  • No God No Peace
 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.- Phil 4:7 (Peace - keeping your heart and mind focused on God)

What is the point? The point is to know God, to have a daily relationship with Him. 
Ps. 55:17 Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.

To tell the world about HIM so that others will have peace and contentment.
  • "Go ye therefore into the highways," - Mathew 22:9
  • "And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled." Luke 14:23
  • "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" - Mark 16:15
In doing this, you will bring glory and honor to the One worthy of it and bring yourself closer in relationship to him. The point is Jesus! Our point to living is Jesus's point to dying.  (John 3:16) 
- rejoicing in the present.  

Friday, March 8, 2013

Cooking W/ Brandy - Avocado Sandwhich

I am trying to incorporate veggies in my 3 little girl's diet and find meals that they will enjoy. Here is a yummy, yet healthy sandwhich

Grilled Avocado and Cheese Sandwhich

What you need...

  1. 2 Avocado Slices
  2. 2 Cheese Slices (we like pepper jack)
  3. 2 Slice of Bread
  4. Butter

What you do...

  1. Butter outside of Bread Slices
  2. Layer
    1. bread
    2. cheese
    3. avocado slices
    4. cheese
    5. bread
  3. Grill in skillet on each side until desired
  4. Serve with fresh fruit or veggies of choice
Enjoy - Brandy O.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Health - Juicing #3 - Recipes!

The last 2 days, we are have talked about the whys, hows and what to juice.  Today, I am going to give you a few recipes that I found on

Before I give you them, I am going to give you my recipe for my juice. It tastes to me like a thick cup of grapefruit juice, but it is chuck full of goodies.

My recipe...

  • 1 bunch of carrots
  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 1 pepper
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 grapefruit (for taste)
NOTE:  My hubby loves homemade orange juice, so I have also used this machine to juice him fresh citrus

Thanks to for these recipes...

Good Morning
• 4 apples
• 3 carrots
• 4 stalks celery
• 2 cups of kale
• 1 pear

Simple Green Juice
• 1 cup of spinach
• 2 cups of kale
• 2 cups parsley
• 1 cucumber
• 3 stalks celery

Green Zipper
• 2 1/2 green apples
• 1/2 cucumber
• 1 snippet of ginger (about the size of the tip of your thumb)
• 1-2 cups of kale (to taste)

Mean Green
• 1 cup of spinach
• 1/2 cucumber
• 3 stalks celery
• 3 carrots
• 2 apples (red or green)
• 2 cups kale

Parsley Pep
• 1 cup of parsley
• 1 cup of kale
• 1 red apple
• 2 carrots
• 2 celery stalks
• 1 snippet of ginger

Eye Eye Captain
• 5 carrots
• 2 cups of kale

The Energizer
• 2 red apples
• 1/2 cucumber
• 1/2 lemon (peeled)
• 1 cup kale
• 1/2 cup spinach
• 4 stalks celery
• 1 snippet of ginger
• 1/4 head of romaine lettuce
• 2 carrots

Hope you enjoy your drink, your new energy and your improved health. :-) - rejoicing in the present

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Health: Juicing #2

So yesterday we talked about the whys and how's to juice. Today we are going to talk more about what to juice. If you read yesterday, you will see that I have gotten a lot of tips from Dr. Mercola. Here is one last one...

What should I juice?

Please note that the order listed below is only intended for those that are new to juicing so you do have a pleasant experience with it. However, if you use ¼ to ½ lemon or lime to the juice you can start experimenting with the more bitter greens early on as the lemon and lime effectively counter their bitterness.
Please note it would be FAR better to use lemon or limes than carrots, beets or apples, which have far more fructose than lemons or limes.
Step 1: If you are new to juicing, I recommend starting out with these vegetables, as they are the easiest to digest and tolerate:
  • Celery
  • Fennel (anise)
  • Cucumbers
These three aren't as nutrient dense as the dark green vegetables. Once you get used to the 3 vegetables listed above, you can start adding the more nutritionally valuable, but less palatable, vegetables into your juice.
Step 2: When you've acclimatized yourself to juicing, you can start adding these vegetables:
  • Red leaf lettuce
  • Green Leaf lettuce
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Endive
  • Escarole
  • Spinach
 Step 3: After you're used to these, then go to the next step:
  • Cabbage
  • Chinese Cabbage
  • Bok Choy
An interesting side note: Cabbage juice is one of the most healing nutrients for ulcer repair as it is a huge source of vitamin U.
Step 4: When you're ready, move on to adding herbs to your juicing. Herbs also make wonderful combinations, and here are two that work exceptionally well:
  • Parsley
  • Cilantro 
You need to be cautious with cilantro, as many cannot tolerate it well. If you are new to juicing, hold off on the cilantro. These are more challenging to consume, but they are highly beneficial.

Step 5: The last step: Only use one or two of these leaves, as they are very bitter:
  • Kale
  • Collard Greens
  • Dandelion Greens
  • Mustard Greens (bitter) 
When purchasing collard greens, find a store that sells the leaves still attached to the main stalk. If they are cut off, the vegetable rapidly loses many of its valuable nutrients.

Make your juice taste great...

If you would like to make your juice taste a bit more palatable, especially in the beginning, you can add these elements:
  • Lemons and Limes: You can also add a quarter to half a lemon a lime (leaving much of the white rind on).
  • Cranberries: You can also add some cranberries if you enjoy them. Researchers have discovered that cranberries have five times the antioxidant content of broccoli, which means they may protect against cancer, stroke and heart disease. In addition, they are chock-full of phytonutrients, and can help women avoid urinary tract infections. Limit the cranberries to about 4 ounces per pint of juice.
  • Fresh ginger: This is an excellent addition if you can tolerate it. It gives your juice a little "kick"! And, as an added boon, researchers have found that ginger can have dramatic effects on cardiovascular health, including preventing atherosclerosis, lowering cholesterol levels, and preventing the oxidation of low density lipoprotein (LDL). 
Thank you  Dr. Mercola. Tomorrow I am going to give you a few recipes I found online. I hope you will enjoy them. :-) - rejoicing in the present

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Health: Juicing

Pinned ImageGrowing up, my mom used to juice almost everyday. Recently I decided to get back into juicing and so here I am.

I found a juicer at ALDI's and have been enjoying this. One thing I really struggle with is getting all my veggies. This is one of the reasons that juicing is so great for me.

There are all different types of recipes, but you can do whatever you like. I usually always add a fruit like grapefruit or orange. They have such a strong taste and it covers the other veggies I don't like.

What is juicing good for?

Dr. Mercola says:

1. Juicing helps you absorb all the nutrients from the vegetables. This is important because most of us have impaired digestion as a result of making less-than-optimal food choices over many years. This limits your body's ability to absorb all the nutrients from the vegetables. Juicing will help to "pre-digest" them for you, so you will receive most of the nutrition, rather than having it go down the toilet.

2. Juicing allows you to consume an optimal amount of vegetables in an efficient manner. If you are a carb type, you should eat one pound of raw vegetables per 50 pounds of body weight per day. Some people may find eating that many vegetables difficult, but it can be easily accomplished with a quick glass of vegetable juice.

3. You can add a wider variety of vegetables in your diet. Many people eat the same vegetable salads every day. This violates the principle of regular food rotation and increases your chance of developing an allergy to a certain food. But with juicing, you can juice a wide variety of vegetables that you may not normally enjoy eating whole.

What type of Veggies should I use?

Dr. Mercola says: Use pesticide free veggies.

It is wise to choose organic whenever possible. However, some vegetables are worse than others. Below are the vegetables that are the most pesticide loaded ones according to the Environmental Working Group.

So it would be wise to only purchase these vegetables if they are organically grown. The worst ones are listed first.
  1. Celery
  2. Spinach
  3. Kale
  4. Collard Greens
  5. Lettuce
  6. Carrots
  7. Cucumber (not as bad if you peel the skin)

How soon do I need to digest the juice? Can I store it? 

Dr. Mercola says:

Juicing is a time-consuming process, so you'll probably be thinking to yourself, "I wonder if I can juice first thing in the morning, and then drink it later?" This is not a good idea. Vegetable juice is HIGHLY perishable so it's best to drink all of your juice immediately.

However, if you're careful, you can store it for up to 24 hours with only moderate nutritional decline. This is really helpful if you are bringing your juice to work with you so you can consume it during the day.
How to store your juice:
  • Put your juice in a glass jar with an airtight lid and fill it to the very top. There should be a minimum amount of air in the jar as the oxygen in air (air is about 20 percent oxygen) will "oxidize" and damage the juice.
  • Purchase a food vacuum pump like Food Saver with a Ball jar attachment. You can pour your juice into a pint jar and put the lid on and use the Food Saver to suck out the air in the jar to vacuum pack it. This will remove most of the oxygen that will damage the juice.
  • Immediately store it in the fridge and consume it when you are ready. It is best to drink it as soon as possible and in any case within 24 hours of juicing.
Most people juice in the morning, but if that does not work out well for your schedule, please feel free to choose whatever meal works best for your lifestyle.

Well I hope these tips help you. Tomorrow, I am going to give you a another thought from Dr. Mercola and some recipes the next day following- Enjoy your present :-)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Joy in Trials

Trials are NOT fun. Most times, they are painful and full of heartache. We cry out "Where is God? If only we would cry out "What are you trying to show me God?" "What are you trying to teach me"

David, a 2-year old with leukemia, was taken by his mother, Deborah, to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, to see Dr. John Truman who specialized in treating children with cancer and various blood diseases. Dr. Truman's prognosis was devastating: "He has a 50-50 chance." The countless clinic visits, the blood tests, the intravenous drugs, the fear and pain--the mother's ordeal can be almost as bad as the child's because she must stand by, unable to bear the pain herself. David never cried in the waiting room, and although his friends in the clinic had to hurt him and stick needles in him;  he hustled in ahead of his mother with a smile, sure of the welcome he always got. When he was three, David had to have a spinal tap--a painful procedure at any age. It was explained to him that, because he was sick, Dr. Truman had to do something to make him better. "If it hurts, remember it's because he loves you," Deborah said. The procedure was horrendous. It took three nurses to hold David still, while he yelled and sobbed and struggled. When it was almost over, the tiny boy, soaked in sweat and tears, looked up at the doctor and gasped, "Thank you, Dr. Tooman, for my hurting." - Monica Dickens, Miracles of Courage, 1985.

If only we could say "Thank you God, for my hurting." My FAVORITE "attitude" verse in the Bible is Gen 50:20. Joseph is talking to the same brothers who sold him into slavery. He says "But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive."

Dear God, Thank you for the goodness you bring out of our "hurting" - Love YOU! - rejoicing in the present

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Cooking W/ Brandy - Kid-Friendly PBJB

Peanut butter, banana, jelly roll on whole wheat flat bread

This is a super easy recipe the kids love and can help with in the kitchen. It is a good source of protein and an easy way to hide those fresh fruits!

What you need...
1 ripe banana
Peanut butter
Whole wheat flat bread

What you do...
Mash banana.
Mix mashed banana with approximately 1/2c of peanut butter and 3T of jelly.
Spread on flat bread and roll.
Cut in half and serve with fresh fruit.

Makes 3 to 4 rolls