Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Party Idea: Paint Party

The daughter of our very own, Brandy, from Cooking with Brandy, had a birthday. Brandy decided to do an art party as her daughter is very artistic.
Below are some pictures:


  1. Art Cake
  2. Cupcakes: Each kid was able to decorate their own cupcake
  3. Hot Dogs: The staple of kids
  4. Fruit (Brandy put it in cute little paint containers)
  5. An assortment of chips, veggies and dip,
  6. Rice Krispy paintbrushes.

The Activites:

  1. Painting:  Each child was given their own canvas to paint on.
  2. Cupcake Decorating: The kids were each able to decorate their own cupcakes. Brandy provided icing, sprinkles, and toppings (such as chocolate chips, crushed Oreo, peanuts, etc) for the cupcakes.   She purchased plastic punch cups to place the cupcakes in and labeled them with each child's name. (this made decorating the cupcakes easier )
  3. Face Painting:  Brandy had a friend come in and do face paint. She said "It comes with simple instructions...almost anyone could do it!:

"Clipp'n the Coupons":

  1. Brandy purchased the canvases from Michaels in packages of ten, and used a 40% off coupon that runs in their ad or online weekly, making them $11.00 each.  
  2. She used acrylic paint also purchased at Michaels 3 for $1.00.
  3. She also purchased plastic chip/dip containers as paint pallets from the dollar tree and paintbrushes.
  4. She also purchased the face paint kit at Michaels with another 40% off coupon. It comes with simple instructions...almost anyone could do it!
  5.  A friend sewed smocks for each child to use and take home.

Goody Bags:

Brandy was able to find all kinds of cute little arty things for their bags. (everything was purchased at family dollar except the paint set and crayons...they came from Party City)
  1. Mini paint sets
  2. Colored glue stick
  3. Mini sketch book
  4. Colored gel pen
  5. Scissors
  6. Glitter glue,
  7. Box of crayons
  8. and a lollipop. 
It turned out to be super cute and ALOT of fun. I hope you can use this idea. If you want to add to this idea, please leave a comment below. THANKS - rejoicing in the present.


Monday, April 29, 2013

Rejoicing in "Just Wait"

Many times as moms, we hear "Oh he's cute now, but JUST WAIT."   Just wait until he goes through his terrible twos, just wait until he's a teenager, just wait until___________, and on and on it goes. This can be quite intimidating and even more, discouraging to a new mom.

This article was from powerofmoms.com. It was sooooooooooooooooooooo encouraging that I had to share it with you. I don't know much about the blog so I am not endorsing it, BUT I am endorsing this blog post.

As I wait at Target, a young couple pushes a stroller in the line behind me. The stroller, brand new, appears to be on its maiden voyage. I peer at the tiny sleeping newborn, his fingers curled up near his ruddy face.
“You guys do good work!” I comment. The parents beam with pride, but the weariness in their eyes lets me know that they are all still in the process of getting to know each other. The lady behind the couple glances at the stroller as well, and asks. “Is this your first?” They nod proudly. ”Just wait…” she snorts, and then follows with a comment about unruly teenagers.
Inwardly, I wince. We seem to live in a country overrun by a great lot of negative naysayers when it comes to parenting. I remember hearing comments like that when I was a new (and overwhelmed!) mom. It seemed that many parents were suffering from a chronic case of disappointment and dissatisfaction called ”Just-Wait-itis,” characterized by the inflammation of impending doom in parenthood…. I felt trapped in a swirl of know-it-alls who were warning me that the worst was yet to come.
Of course, now that my kids are teenagers, I know the truth. Parenting is complicated; it’s wonderful and challenging; exhausting and gut wrenching; heartwarming and heart breaking.
And, at the outset, parenting can be utterly daunting. It just doesn’t help when others douse young parents with stories leading to doubt and despair.

Instead, we seasoned moms could infuse joy into our “just waits…”. As I regard this weary pair, I think of so many things I could say…
Just wait until your preschool son sees you in the hallway at pick up time and covertly grins and waves to you. (It’s the best flirting in the world.)

Just wait until you watch your kindergartener jump off the bus after that first day, triumphant and tired, melting into your arms.

Just wait until your son is up to bat, and strikes out, holding it together despite disappointment. And just wait until the crack of the bat meeting the ball surprises him and he races to first base…safe.

Just wait until your daughter stands up for a classmate who is struggling, and her peers, humbled, apologize.

Just wait until your child, painfully tethered to tubes and machines in the hospital, whispers, “I just want my mommy.” (And you are suddenly aware that your presence is more powerful than any prescription.)

Just wait until your son gets his very first summer job and he is, unmistakably, walking taller and more confidently as a result.

Just wait until your child’s quick sense of humor makes you double over with laughter.

Just wait until you hear your son invite a friend to church.

Just wait until your daughter receives her first college acceptance and you find yourself overcome with tears…not because she’s leaving, but because she’s ready.

The baby in the stroller whimpers, breaking my reverie.
I smile at the couple and look them straight in the eye.
“You have so much joy ahead of you…” I remark.
“Just wait.”

Thanks to Katie Wetherbee for writing this inspiring piece. - Rejoicing in the present

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Pitocin??? What is it doing to me?

This is a very interesting read.  This is from sicklycat.com.  I am not necessarily endorsing the website but I am encouraging you to read this article. Before I go on, please do not think that I am an anti-drug, anti-doctor person.  I feel like they are needed for certain times and in certain places, but after some research of my own, I've come to the conclusion that many drugs are given out too freely and for unneeded situations.  What is scary about this--This information was provided by the ones who made the product...

21 Reasons to Say No to Pitocin According to Manufacturer

Posted on 24. May, 2012 by Sickly Cat in Health

21 Reasons to Say No to Pitocin According to ManufacturerHave you ever read the package insert for Pitocin? It’s a fascinating read. Did you know that the manufacturer of Pitocin, JHP Pharmaceuticals, actually wrote a really sensible list of recommendations and warnings for the use of this drug?
Given the current nationwide epidemic of Pitocin abuse, I started reading this document with my hackles up, expecting to be annoyed – but it wasn’t long before I became surprised by what I was reading. JHP Pharmaceuticals didn’t create this drug to hurry up the labor experience for normal, healthy women. In fact, the package insert warns against the use of Pitocin induction when it’s not medically indicated. The Indications and Usage section opens with a framed important notice that reads “Elective induction of labor is defined as the initiation of labor in a pregnant individual who has no medical indications for induction. Since the available data are inadequate to evaluate the benefits-to-risks considerations, Pitocin is not indicated for elective induction of labor.”
There you have it, straight from the manufacturer. Pitocin isn’t even meant to be used for induction when there’s not a medical need for it. According to these instructions, there are specific situations which warrant the use of Pitocin. Maternal diabetes, Rh problems, preeclampsia at or near term, certain cases of uterine inertia (ineffective contractions during true labor), or situations where the water has already broken are listed as examples when Pitocin may be used appropriately.
Here’s another warning from the package insert that caught my eye. “When properly administered, oxytocin should stimulate uterine contractions comparable to those seen in normal labor.” That was really surprising to me. I thought it was an unavoidable fact, that Pitocin-induced contractions are simply longer and stronger than naturally occurring contractions. That’s been the common knowledge among women I’ve spoken to about this subject. A huge percentage of women who have given birth naturally and also with Pitocin say that their Pitocin births were more painful. As it turns out, artificially long or strong contractions are associated with overdose of this drug, not the recommended dosage.

Here are 21 more reasons why most women should say no to Pitocin, brought to you by – the manufacturers of Pitocin. Each of these warnings comes from the package insert.

21. Induction with Pitocin requires constant fetal monitoring, but external monitoring is inaccurate. The best way to monitor the baby’s heart rate is by using an internal monitor called a Fetal Scalp Electrode that is attached the top of the head, through the cervix. It’s very invasive and can be quite painful (for mother AND for baby) to have one of these inserted, and there have been reports of babies being cut, scraped, and even receiving eye injuries from the device.

20. Pitocin should not be used when there is a predisposition to uterine rupture, as is the case when a woman has had uterine surgery such as a c-section. The sad fact, though, is that there are many hospitals and OBs that will not “allow” a woman to attempt a VBAC unless she agrees to an induction and close monitoring.

19. Nausea and vomiting are some of the most minor symptoms on the manufacturer’s list of possible drug reactions.

18. Pitocin, just like any drug, can cause a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis, which causes hives, difficulty breathing and swallowing, heart palpitations, and can lead to death.

17. There is an increased risk of postpartum hemorrhage after Pitocin-augmented births.

16. Pitocin can disrupt the normal heartbeat of the mother, causing reactions such as cardiac arrhythmia or premature ventricular contractions.

15. Another risk of Pitocin is pelvic hematoma, a blood clot or even larger area of blood in the soft tissue of the pelvis.

14. Pitocin has an antidiuretic effect on the body, meaning it increases the absorption of water. This leads to the risk of water intoxication, especially when there are additional fluids such as saline in the IV or lots of water to drink. There have been cases of women suffering severe cases, including coma and even death, during labor.

13. Pitocin can cause a hypertensive episode in the mother. This basically means a sudden surge in blood pressure,and if the elevation is severe it can cause a heart attack or stroke.

12. Fatal afibrinogenemia is another listed side effect of Pitocin. In everyday language, this translates to slow, uncontrollable bleeding that results in death.

11. Women have died from uncontrolled high blood pressure, bleeding on the brain, water intoxication, hemorrhage, and uterine rupture after the use of Pitocin during the first and second stages of labor.

10. There have been no studies to examine the carcinogenicity or mutagenicity of Pitocin. In layman’s terms, we have no idea if this drug causes cancer or causes cells to change in any way.

9. We have no idea what kind of effect Pitocin has on a woman’s future fertility, let alone the fertility of her newborn baby.

8. The deaths of babies, for a variety of reasons, have been associated with the use of Pitocin during labor.

7. Pitocin has been associated with heart problems in the newborn, such as bradycardia (slow heartbeat), premature ventricular contractions, and other arrhythmias.

6. Cases of permanent damage to the newborn’s brain or central nervous system have been documented as a result of Pitocin-induced births.

5. Pitocin during labor is associated with low scores on the five minute Apgar test, the newborn exam that looks at alertness, respiratory, and circulatory health.

4. Retinal hemorrhage, a common symptom of shaken baby syndrome, can be caused by the physical force of a Pitocin-induced birth.

3. Increased risk of newborn jaundice is associated with Pitocin.

2. Hypertonic (excessively strong) contractions, and tetanic (prolonged) contractions are some of the most common side effects of Pitocin overdose. If the contractions are coming so fast that there’s no resting time in between, the dose is too high. And this leads to my number 1 reason to say no to this drug, because it seems that far too often an inappropriately high dosage is given.

1. Overdose of Pitocin is characterized by an even more frightening list of symptoms, including cervical and vaginal lacerations, deceleration of the baby’s heart rate, postpartum hemorrhage, fetal hypoxia (oxygen deprivation), and even organ failure and death in the mother or baby. It’s chilling to me, to realize that the long list of complications before this paragraph are in regards to normal doses of Pitocin, and there is a separate section to discuss the problems with overdosing.
Pitocin, just like any of the pharmacological drugs we have available to us, is an important and sometimes lifesaving tool, but like any drug or medical procedure, it must be used with caution. The list of dangerous or even fatal complications is very long, and this list doesn’t even mention some possible lifelong implications of this drug, such as the suggested link between Pitocin and autism. There are always risks when we interfere with the natural order of pregnancy and birth, and these risks must be considered carefully when an option like Pitocin induction is on the table. It’s almost always possible to wait a while longer to let nature take its course, but once the induction is underway the options become more and more limited as the urgency of the situation grows.

Was Pitocin involved in any of your births? Do you feel you were well aware of the risks associated with it? Source: BrioBirth

#17 happened to my mom after the 5th times of pit. So do your research. - Rejoicing in the present.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Cooking W/ Brandy: Bacon Wrapped Green Beans

This is not the healthiest way to eat your vegetables...but they are delicious!

What you need:
1 can green beans, drained
12 slices of bacon
1 stick of butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce ( I prefer Tabasco brand)
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper ( I prefer Tony's or Slap Ya Mama)

What you do:
1. Melt butter. 
2. Combine butter with brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic salt, and pepper. 
3. Blend well. 
4. Wrap green beans (approximately 6) inside of bacon. 
5. Lay in a Pyrex or oven safe dish. 
6. Pour mixture over bacon wrapped green beans. 
7. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to 1 hour until bacon is done.

*you can also substitute asparagus for the green beans... ENJOY!!! - Brandy O

Thursday, April 25, 2013

This little piggy had to clean off the table :-(

While blogg-hopping, I came upon this article teaching manners at the dinner table. I really love the teaching tool they use here and I'm sure you will as well. This article is from madsmemories.blogspot.com. Once again, I don't necessarily endorse their blog BUT I really like this teaching tool. Here it is...

With Thanksgiving around the corner, we decided to teach our kids to have better manners at the table. I came across this idea long ago and decided to finally use it and BOY does it work!

Meet Mr. Pig...

No one likes Mr. Pig because when we act like a 'pig' at the dinner table, (burps, reaching over someones plate, yelling, slurping, etc.) Mr. Pig gets passed to them.

Whoever ends up with Mr. Pig at the end of the meal must clear the whole table.

And I bet you can't guess who ended up with Mr. Pig at the end of the meal? Happy Manners!
I really like this idea, especially the part where they have to clean up when you are the "pig." If you have another idea about manners at the dinner table, please leave a comment below. - rejoicing in the present

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

To Sleep or not to Sleep (A Twist on "Expert" Advice)

Ava Neyer of Fort Bragg, NC got so fed up with all the different books and their advice that she decided to write her own "advice". If you are a mom I can promise you that YOU WILL ENJOY THIS! This is what Ava said..

"You shouldn’t sleep train at all, before a year, before 6 months, or before 4 months, but if you wait too late, your baby will never be able to sleep without you. College-aged children never need to be nursed, rocked, helped to sleep, so don’t worry about any bad habits. Nursing, rocking, singing, swaddling, etc to sleep are all bad habits and should be stopped immediately.
Naps should only be taken in the bed, never in a swing, car seat, stroller, or when worn. Letting them sleep in the car seat or swing will damage their skulls. If your baby has trouble falling asleep in the bed, put them in a swing, car seat, stroller, or wear them. Use the crib only for sleep and keep it free of distractions. If the baby is having trouble adjusting to the crib, have them play in it first. If the baby wakes up at night and wants to play, put fun toys in the crib to distract them.
Put the baby in a nursery, bed in your room, in your bed. Co-sleeping is the best way to get sleep, except that it can kill your baby, so never, ever do it. If your baby doesn't die, you will need to bed-share until college.
Keep the room warm, but not too warm. Swaddle the baby tightly, but not too tightly. Put them on their backs to sleep, but don't let them be on their backs too long or they will be developmentally delayed. Give them a pacifier to reduce SIDS. Be careful about pacifiers because they can cause nursing problems and stop your baby from sleeping soundly. If your baby sleeps too soundly, they’ll die of SIDS.
Don’t let your baby sleep too long, except when they’ve been napping too much, then you should wake them. Never wake a sleeping baby. Any baby problem can be solved by putting them to bed earlier, even if they are waking up too early. If your baby wakes up too early, put them to bed later or cut out a nap. Don’t let them nap after 5 p.m. Sleep begets sleep, so try to get your child to sleep as much as possible. Put the baby to bed awake but drowsy. Don't wake the baby if it fell asleep while nursing.
You should start a routine and keep track of everything. Don’t watch the clock. Put them on a schedule. Scheduling will make your life impossible because they will constantly be thrown off of it and you will become a prisoner in your home.
Using the "Cry It Out" method (CIO) will make them think they’ve been abandoned and will be eaten by a lion shortly. It also causes brain damage. Not getting enough sleep will cause behavior and mental problems, so be sure to put them to sleep by any means necessary, especially CIO, which is the most effective form. CIO is cruel beyond belief and the only thing that truly works because parents are a distraction.
Formula and solid foods will help the baby sleep longer. Solid foods shouldn’t be given at night because they might wake the baby. Don't stop the baby from nursing when asleep. Be wary of night feeds. If you respond too quickly with food or comfort, your baby is manipulating you. Babies can’t manipulate. Babies older than six months can manipulate.
Sleep when the baby sleeps. Clean when the baby cleans. Don’t worry. Stress causes your baby stress and a stressed baby won't sleep."
Ava, a mother of twins, is still struggling to get sleep but says that she is now taking advice with a grain of salt. She wrote "WHY WONT YOU SLEEP" in response to all she had read and learned. Thanks Ava, for this WONDERFUL laugh! - rejoicing in the present

Thanks to today.com for sharing the story.

Monday, April 22, 2013


I read this article and HAD TO SHARE.  I had a "few" boyfriends before I met my amazing and wonderful husband.  I can tell you it matters.  I was 115 lbs and had a boyfriend who wanted to print out exercises for me to do because I wasn't perfect enough for him, told me that I needed to "shave my mustache" and then cheated on me with three different ladies.

At one point this "winner" told me that he was "kissing" this one girl because I wanted to "wait" until I was married to do that type of stuff.  He then affirmed that after we got married he wouldn't cheat because then he could do that with me.  WOW!  REALLY.

At that time in my life I thought he was pretty cute, and romantic, but now I look back and see the real picture. My husband has him beat any day, half-sick and at his WORST moment.  You can't even COMPARE.  Why?  Because God picked out my treasure.

Friends, sometimes we get so desperate, that we end up with "winners" that break our heart. It would better for us to stay single with no one then to marry a loser that God never intended for us. Please read this article and see the importance.

Remember, anyone can find trash, it takes patience, time and, ultimately God, to find a treasure.

My husband and I were once with a youth group. There were three kids sitting across from us at a meal: two guys and a girl. The one guy was a computer geek with glasses. The other one was a college student with slightly cooler hair and no glasses. The girl was obviously with him. But while the computer geek was busy serving everyone at the meal, clearing plates and garbage, the college student got angry with the girl for a small accident and poured red juice over her leather jacket and white shirt. She picked the wrong guy, and the juice didn’t seem to change her mind. She is in for some grief if that relationship continues and especially if it leads to marriage.

So to all the young, unmarried Christian girls out there, listen up: who you marry matters. You might think that the way he treats you isn’t so bad. It’s not going to get better after the wedding. You might think that he’ll change. It’s possible, but most don’t. You might think that you’ll be able to minister to him and help him. Possibly, but if you can’t now, you won’t then, and you will be at risk yourself. A husband should lead and cherish you, not need your counsel for basic personality or behavior issues.

Unless someone married is very frank with you, you can’t understand how much a husband will impact your entire life. Next to salvation there is no other long term event that will change so many areas of your life so deeply. Here are just some of the ways that marriage will impact every aspect of living.

1. It will impact you spiritually. If the guy is not a believer, you can stop right there. You have no business yoking a redeemed soul with an unregenerate one, even if he seems open to change. Christ has bought you with a price and it is not an option to give away that blood-bought heart to someone who doesn’t know and love your Lord. It will cripple your spiritual development, open up a host of temptations, stifle your prayer life, make regular church going difficult, and cause massive parenting conflict if you have children.

If the guy is a believer, is he a strong one? Will he lead you in prayer, Bible reading, family devotions, and public worship? Or will you be on your own? Is he going to make spiritual growth a priority or do other things come first? Is he going to ask you how it’s going with your soul so he can help you grow in holiness and love for Christ, or will he leave that to your pastor? Is he going to lead the children in this, or will you have to spearhead that? In church, is he going to help the kids sit well, pray, find the hymn, or will you be the one pointing out what is happening next and helping the family keep up? Many women have married spiritually immature men, thinking that it wasn’t a big issue, or that the man would change, and they were wrong. They bear the scars.
The health of your eternity is at stake. Think carefully.

2. It will impact you emotionally. Is the guy you’re thinking of going to encourage you, love you, be kind to you, and seek to understand you, or will he want to go out with the guys when you’re having a hard night? Will he listen when you are struggling with something or will he be preoccupied with a video game? Is he going to be annoyed when you cry or will he get you Kleenex and give you a hug? Is he going to going to understand that you are probably more tender than he is, more sensitive to issues and comments, or is he regularly going to run rough shod over your feelings? One woman was struggling to breastfeed her new baby, believing that that was the best thing for her, but it was very difficult. Instead of giving support and encouragement, the husband would make mooing sounds whenever he saw his wife working at it. We have to get rid of princess complexes, but we do have emotional needs. Any guy who is uncaring about your feelings and self esteem is selfish and should be left alone.

Be careful – a husband can cripple or foster emotional health.

3. It will impact you physically. Is the guy you’re with going to provide for your basic needs? Will he be able to shelter, clothe and feed you? At one point in our marriage, I was worried that there was no employment opportunity. My husband assured me that he would work at McDonalds, dig ditches, clean up roadkill – whatever it took to provide for the family, regardless of his gifts and training. That’s the kind of attitude you want. A man who doesn’t provide for his household is worse than an infidel (I Tim. 5:8). You might have to help ease the financial burden, but unless your husband is disabled or there is another unusual circumstance, you shouldn’t have to carry it yourself.
Will the man you are with care for your body or abuse it? If he gives you little smacks, kicks, etc. when you’re dating, get away. It’s almost guaranteed that he will abuse you after marriage, and stats show that’s especially true when you are pregnant. Is he going to care for and protect your body or will he hurt it? There are women in churches across America who thought it was no big deal to have little (sort of friendly) punches or slaps from their boyfriends, but who are covering up the bruises from their husbands.

Will the man you are with care for you sexually? Is he going to honour the marriage bed in physical and mental faithfulness to you or will he flirt, feed his porn addiction, or even leave you for another woman? You can’t always predict these issues, but if the seeds or practices are already there, watch out. I recently saw a newly married couple and the husband was flirting openly with another woman. Unless something drastic happens, that marriage is headed for disaster.
Is he going to be tender and gentle to you in bed? An unbelieving co-worker once told my sister that after her first sexual encounter, she had trouble walking for a few days because her boyfriend was so rough. In other words, he wasn’t selfless enough to care for the body of the woman he said he loved.
Watch out. Your body needs care and protection.

4. It will impact you mentally. Is the man that you’re thinking of going to be a source of worry or will he help you deal with your worries? Is he going to encourage your intellectual development, or will he neglect it? Is he going to value your opinions and listen to what you are thinking, or will he disregard your thoughts? Is he going to help you manage stress so that your mind is not burdened that way, or is he going to let you struggle through issues alone? Is he going to care for you and be thoughtful of you if you are experiencing mental strain, or will he ignore it? I know of a woman who could handle pregnancy and child birth very well physically but postpartum depression took a huge toll on her mind. The husband overlooked it, continuing to have more children, until his wife ended up in a mental institution.
You might think that the intellectual or mental side of a marriage is small. It’s bigger than you think. Consider it seriously.

5. It will impact you relationally. How’s your relationship with your mother? Your dad? Do you love them? Does your boyfriend? Fast forward ten years: you tell your husband that your mother is coming for the weekend. Is he excited? Disappointed? Angry? Making snide jokes with his friends? Of course, a husband should come first in your priority of relationships, as you both leave father and mother and cleave to one another. But parents are still a big part of the picture. Whatever negative feelings he has about your parents now will probably be amplified after marriage. Your marriage will either strengthen or damage – even destroy – your relationship with your parents. The people who know you best and love you most right now could be cut out of the picture by a husband who hates them.

It’s the same with sisters and friends. Will they be welcomed, at reasonable times, in your home? Will the guy who you’re with encourage healthy relationships with other women, or will he be jealous of normal, biblical friendships? Will he help you mentor younger women and be thankful when older women mentor you, or will he belittle that?

Don’t sacrifice many good relationships for the sake of one guy who can’t value the people who love you.

So how will your boyfriend do after the vows? Because this is just a sampling of the ways that a husband can bless or curse his wife. The effects are far reaching, long lasting, and either wonderful or difficult. True, there are no perfect men out there. But there are great ones. And it’s better to be single for life than to marry someone who will make your life a burden. Singleness can be great. Marriage to the wrong person is a nightmare. I’ve been in a church parking lot where the pastor had to call the police to protect a wife from a husband who was trying to stop her from worshiping and being with her family. It’s ugly. Don’t be so desperate to get married that your marriage is a grief. If you are in an unhappy marriage, there are ways to get help. But if you’re not married, don’t put yourself in that situation. Don’t marry someone whose leadership you can’t follow. Don’t marry someone who is not seeking to love you as Christ loved the church. Marry someone who knows and demonstrates the love of Christ.

Thanks to The Christian Pundit for writing this fabulous piece. - Rejoicing in the Present.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Health: Arnica

Last week, I pulled some muscles in my neck. OUCH! I still am recovering from it. Yes, I look like that cartoon character that has a cell phone stuck between his head and his shoulder, except with no cell phone.

ANYWAYs...So when this happened, I did what every smart woman does. I called my parents first and then the doctor. My dad suggested that I give Arnica a try. He said that he used it in the past for his sore neck.

So I went to our health food store in town and bought some...AND IT WORKED! My neck is still recovering BUT the Arnica has helped the pain. Below is a testimony from diynatural

TESTIMONY: Bumps and bruises are inevitable in our house. Thankfully, we have arnica balm. My toddler alone could use a whole tin for himself the way he always leads with his head – into walls, sidewalks and other inanimate objects. Arnica is a great herb not only for healing bumps, sprains and bruises, but it also helps to alleviate pain. - diynatural

So what ARNICA???

"Ehow" says:"Arnica cream is a topical ointment made of an extract of the arnica plant. Arnica cream has been around since the early 1500s. Europeans used arnica to help stomach complaints and skin rashes, but it was the Native Americans who began using it to relieve pain associated with the muscles. Today, it is commonly applied to sprains, bruises and strains. The active ingredients in arnica cream promote tissue healing, reduce swelling and inflammation, and ease pain. It's also frequently used to soothe joint pain related to arthritis and to ease tired, sore, overworked muscles. "

I love that it is natural! Give it a try :-) - rejoicing in the present

Friday, April 19, 2013

Cooking W/ Brandy: Homemade Beans

Beans are a great side when barbecuing. This is my mom's bean recipe.
What you need:

  • 1 lb. pinto beans
  • 2 slices of bacon ( fried and crumbled )
  • 3 jalapeƱos ( remove seeds and slice vertically )
  • 1 tablespoon diced onion
  • 6 cups of waterTabasco
  • Garlic salt
 What you do:
  • Soak beans according to package directions.
  • Place all ingredients in a crockpot and season with Tabasco and garlic salt.
  • Add a tablespoon or two of the bacon grease.
  • Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
Enjoy - Brandy O.

picture from theroguegourmet.com


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

"Bakin" and Eggs

My dad found this little trick online and sent it to me.

What you need...
  1. Muffin Pan
  2. Oven
  3. Eggs

What you do...
  1. Place a egg in each muffin pan
  2. Cook in the oven on 350 for 30mins
Voila!!! - They are cooked evenly and no watery mess to clean up.  THANKS DAD - rejoicing in the present

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Infant Swim: Self-Rescue

This was super eye-opening.  I went immediately to infantswim.com and found out that there is an instructor only 5 minutes away.  I would encourage other parents to be aware and even look into this. About 2 years ago, we had a sweet toddler in our area drowned because of a situation like the one in the movie, where she wondered off and, in seconds, had drowned. You can't prepare for everything in life BUT it's better to be proactive then reactive. - Rejoicing in the Present

Monday, April 15, 2013

Copy Cat

The other day in the church nursery, one of our junior teens was playing around with Baby A. He would pretend to throw his arms up in the air and then fall down on the ground.  After a few times, Baby A started copying him.  Then later, Justin shook the crib bars and once again Baby A started to copy him.  Over and over, baby A copied.  I've noticed that he copies us so much. There have been times that hubby or I laugh and then he laughs. We start to smile and he smiles. This is definitely a reminder to us to do things that we want him to copy, but more than even that, I think we need to be like this with our Lord.

II Corinthians 3:18 says "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord."

When we peer into the mirror of God's Word, we too will be changed into it. When He smiles, we smile. When He is sad, we should be sad. When He loves on children, we should love on children.  When he gives to the poor, we too should give. You can't go wrong copying Jesus. - rejoicing in the present.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

"Green" Clean Machine - AKA (Swiffer Reusable Covers)

Set of 3 Eco Friendly Cotton Swiffer CoversSwiffer Reusable Covers: I saw these on Pinterest. There was a lesson on how to crochet them. I'm not all that talented when it comes to crocheting. And if I could crochet them, I probably would think they were too cute to use on my floor. Anyway, I went into my used towels and sewed up a few reusable covers. It was super easy.

What you need:
1. Old Cleaning Towels
2. Sewing Machine
3. Scissors
4. Pins

What I did:
1. I pinned the towel around the swifter with enough leniency to be able to stretch it on and off.
2. Then I sewed the 4 corners.
3. Remember it doesn't have to look amazing because its going to be used on the floor.
You can also try elastic thread.

If you would rather just buy one, you can go to Etsy and find one. - Rejoicing in the Present.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Cooking W/ Brandy: Potatoes on the Grill

Now that it is grilling season, Cecil and I love to cook outdoors.  This is an easy recipe for a delicious side! 


1. 5 potatoes diced
2. 1 package of ranch mix
3. 1 tablespoon of Tabasco spicy salt ( you can substitute with salt of your choice)
4. 1 tablespoon of olive oil 

What you do:
1. Place diced all ingredients in a ziplock bag, seal, and shake well to coat potatoes.

2. Remove potatoes from the bag and loosely wrap in foil.  
Place on the grill and cook until tender!  

*tip - potatoes will stick so be sure to spray the foil

Enjoy - Brandy O

Thursday, April 11, 2013

1 Man's Trash = 1 Lady's Treasure

Having a place for everything can be difficult.  I, personally, do not like to have to dig in box after or box for things.  For me, everything needs a specific place. Between the two of us, my husband and I had a variety of tools.  Especially after we moved into our own house, we purchased a lot of little things to help us fix up our house. We had light switches, nails, screws, paintbrushes, WD40 and much more. They were everywhere.
About that time a friend moved out of town and tried to get rid of this dresser. There was a lot of scratches on it and so she was not able to sell it at their yard sale.  They donated it to us. I  was going to up-cycle it, meaning I was going to sand it down and repaint it; BUT THEN I had a revelation.  I decided to use it to organize my tools. It has been a big blessing.  I keep it in our garage and I have a drawer for extension cords, paint tools, extras...and more.  Think outside the box. I may refinish the dresser someday but now it's a great tool chest. - rejoicing in the present

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Ladies Tea: Tea 2 Go

We are having a Ladies Tea this Saturday and I am co-hosting a table.  We decided to have party favors @ our table and so I put together Tea2Go.  This is so that the ladies can experience a nice cup of tea in their home at a later date.

What I used...
1. Tulle
2. Lacy see-through wrap
3. 3 different individual packages of Biglow Tea
4. Milano Cookies
5. Ferrero Rocher Chocolates

What I did
1. I taped a selection of teas on the Milano individually-wrapped cookies
2. Then I wrapped it with the plastic wrap and tied a tulle bow around it.
3. I finished by slipping a Ferrero Rocher Chocolate under the bow.

- Rejoicing in the Present

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Cross Wall

I love crosses, probably because I love the story of our Savior's sacrificial love for us on the cross. So I decided to design a wall of crosses.

This is what I used:
  1. Projector
  2. Paint
  3. Wooden crosses (all shapes and sizes)
  4. Stain
  5. Nails and a hammer
This is what I did:
  1. I took the crosses and I stained them with "Americano" Stain
  2. Then I laid them out on the floor to figure out how I wanted to hang them.
  3. After I knew how/ where I wanted to hang them, I found a verse I wanted to use
  4. I projected this verse onto the wall and traced it on the wall with paint
  5. Then I nailed the crosses on the wall
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. - John 15:13

It turned out beautifully - rejoicing in the present

Monday, April 8, 2013

Stain Glass Cross

This is a GREAT Sunday School project.  I did it for Easter, but "the cross" is always a good lesson, year around.  You can also cut different shapes out for different seasons.  Last September, I did a stain glass leaves for fall. Use your imagination :-)

What you need:
  1. Clear contact paper
  2. Colored tissue paper
  3. Scissors
  4. Ribbon

What you do:
  1. Cut the tissue paper into small one inch squares
  2. Cut a large piece of contact paper (large enough for your cross) and lay STICKY SIDE UP
  3. Lay the tissue pieces down on the sticky side in a random order, barely overlapping each other
  4. Cut another piece of contact paper and lay it down so that the sticky sides of the two pieces of contact paper are touching each other
  5. Cut your cross out
  6. Make a hole at the top for your ribbon
  7. String ribbon and tie a knot
What a beautiful, yet simple project. - Rejoicing in the Present

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Health: Immunizations

 I have to ask myself...why are their so many more immunizations?
Does my child really need all of these?
Are these age appropriate?
Is this going to help or hurt my child?
Do the research! Know why and what is actually needed before your child and you are "stuck" in a very uncomfortable situation.
By the way, to  immunize or not are the rights of the parents...this should never be forced. You may want to check out this article and see what is going on
!Immunization Interventions!! 
-rejoicing in the present

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Resurrection Rolls

John 19:39-40 "And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.  Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen cloth"

Resurrection Rolls are a GREAT visual to teach children about the burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ and they are yummy as well! :-)

This is what you need...
  1. Oven
  2. can of crescent rolls
  3. Butter
  4. Marshmallows
  5. Cinnamon-and-sugar mix
This is what you do...
  1. Read the Scripture to the Children
  2. Then explain how Jesus is like the marshmallow (pure and white)
  3. Dip the marshmallow into the butter (like Jesus was covered in myrrh and aloes)
  4. Use the crescent to wrap him (like with the linens)
  5. And then sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar on him to smell good (like the spices they used)
  6. Bake the croissants in the oven for as long as recommended on can
  7. When they came out of oven, have the children bite into them.
  8. "What's missing" - the Marshmallows
  9. "He is not here"- HE IS RISEN
Great Example....Enjoy - Rejoicing in the Present

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Garage Sale Treasure

I was at a garage sale, a few months back and found this picture room-divider for $2. There was glass missing. It was scraped up and nicked, but I found a treasure.  I love pictures and so it was heaven-sent.  So this last week, I finally got around to fixing it up.

Here is what I used...
  1. Picture Holder
  2. Spray-paint
  3. Sandpaper
  4. Brush
  5. Dollar Tree picture frames
Here is what I did...
  1. First I took out all the glass and backing
  2. Then I sanded the frame down, so that the paint would adhere better
  3. Next I wiped it down to get all the dust (from the sanding) off
  4. Then I spray-painted it and used the brush to even the paint out.
  5. I let it dry and then sand-papered the frame to give it more of a rustic look (optional)
  6. I finished by adding the glass, picture and backing,
It turned out really nice! - rejoicing in the present

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

I Spy

I spy something that is red and silver, it's made of iron and wood and it has a head but isn't a living thing...Um... a HAMMER!  Yes. :-) This is a fun game to play with your children. In fact, the above picture is from a website, scholastic, where you can play all sorts of fun "i spy"games. The I Spy game is exciting and fun but also has a great lesson that we can teach our children with it as well. 
Cherie Bertaut MealsWhile I was at the WILDS this last week, I bought some CDs from the Rich Ladies Retreat. I listened to one of the speakers, Cherie Meals, and I got this interesting idea. They were so neat; I had to share.
Wikipedia gives this explanation of the game. The original game is a guessing game. One player chooses a letter of the alphabet and says, "I spy with my little eye something beginning with ...", naming the letter. Other players have to guess the chosen object.[1]I spy is often played with young children as a means to avert boredom in long car journeys.
What lesson can be taught from I Spy?
There are many different people, with many different needs. Teaching your child to "spy" them and then help with those needs is such an important lesson to be taught. Cherie mentioned that her kids loved to color  and they would use their coloring sheets to give to other people that needed to be cheered up.
Examples she mentioned:
  1. Her boss's grandmother lost her husband unexpectedly.  When Cherie expressed the lose to her children, they came up with the idea of singing her a song.  Then another time, they sent her a little DVD of them singing and quoting scripture and talking to her.
  2. Leaving cookies out for the trash men.
  3. Making a meal for single working moms after they had worked a full day.
  4. She also encourages her children to thank police officers and military men for their service. One day, her son slipped off in a store to go thank a police man. It was a bit frightening but encouraging to see her son spying a need and filling it.
  5. Taking candy and singing to the residents in the nursing home
  6.  ____________Fill in the blank 
 Spy on those that are hurting and help them. :-) - rejoicing in the present