Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Water Bottles #1 - Close Food Bags

Seal a plastic bag with the top of a water bottle or any plastic bottle and the lidAs an AVID bottle water drinker, I find my recycle bins full of water bottles.  So I went exploring to see what I could do with them and I found more then a week full of ideas.  So here is idea #1 for reusing water bottles, use them to close open food bags...

What do you do?

  1. Cut off the top of the water bottle
  2. Squeeze the bag shut and pull the bag through the opening
  3. Then fold the plastic bag over the lid
  4. Lastly screw the lid on tight
  5. This closes up the bag tightly but all gives you any easy way to poor food, especially if its small like chocolate chips
SUPER SWEET IDEA!  Thanks Pinterest for the idea - rejoicing in the present

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Our next generation

Being the hands and feet of Jesus can sound quite difficult and it will be, if you try to do it all in the flesh.  However, if you have the Lord to give you situations and empower you in them, He will.  My husband is great example of being the hands and feet.  I bought a basketball hoop for him for his birthday last year and I have to say, he hasn't used it for himself much, BUT he has used it for the gospel. 

We have some boys that we pick up on the bus and take to church.   They found out where we lived--they happen to live on the other side of the trees in our backyard. So my husband built up a camaraderie with them.  Whenever we are home, he has given them permission to use our basketball hoop and basketball and football.  These boys invite their friends and half the neighborhood ends up in our front yard. Once in a while, He will even go out and play with them.  One day, he started up a game with them and before they began, he decided to lead in prayer. Without even asking they huddled up around him and prayed.  It was such a beautiful sight.  Our next generation being shown God being put first.

It went on that the boys would play and ring our doorbell to get a drink of water.  It became a ministry for us.  Finally my husband came up with another idea.  He would tape up a verse on the door and if the boys could memorize it, he would give them a icee-pop. They loved the challenge and the sweet treat-- and it was a easy way to get them in the Word.

Recently, we have been away so much that we haven't had a lot of contact with the boys but I'm sure it will start up again and I have to think--this is our next generation.  Most of those boys do not ride the bus and most are not interested in sitting down and going to church or hearing about the Bible, BUT I can be the Bible to them.   I can plant a seed here and there.   I can proclaim Jesus, I can make him first. I can be the hands and feet of Jesus, because this is our next generation.  What we do know might make the difference for all of eternity. - Rejoicing in the Present

Saturday, July 27, 2013

CUTE Lollipop Card

Thanks to Pinterest and for this idea..

This is such a cute idea and I tried it with Avery. IT CAN BE DONE. :-) You can use it for any sweet occasion.

What you need ...
1. A camera
2. A lollipop
3. Hole puncher
4. Tape

What you do...
1. Take a picture of your child holding out his fist
2. Get the picture printed out
3. Put a hole right above the fist and right under
4. Thread the lollipop through
5. Hand out and enjoy all the smiles you get. :-)

- Rejoicing in the Present

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Cooking W/ Brandy- Black Beans and Corn Chicken

Sundays are HARD for most families, because by the time you get home from church, your children and husband are STARVING. So I have decided to share some different yummy crock pot recipes over the next couple weeks. These are good for working moms and busy days. 

What is REALLY neat is that these recipes are also freezer meals. So you can prepare these meals, freeze them and then on the day you want them, you get them out and throw it all in the crock pot. HOW COOL!!!!! So it's easier then just easy!

What you need:
  1. 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  2. 2 cans corn, drained
  3. 1 package taco seasoning
  4. 4-5 chicken breasts
  5. 1 cup salsa
  6. 3/4 cup water
What you do:
  1. Place all the ingredients in a freezer-safe gallon size bag
  2. Mix well
  3. Place in the freezer
  4. When you are ready for it, get it out of the freezer and thaw for 24 hours
  5. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 7-8

It's Versatile:
  1. Shred and use it for fajitas
  2. Use on Salad
  3. Serve in a soft taco
  4. Serve over rice 
  5. Serve alone with Mexican Rice on the side
YUM - Brandy O


I am sitting here eating Ghirardelli chocolate and looking at truffle recipes. What is wrong with me?!? :-)   I found a couple different recipes -- they all look super-easy and super-yummy.  Here are my two favorite.  If you have any others, leave a comment below.

This is from Parnell's Pantry...

What you need:
  1. 18 oz. chocolate chips(semi-sweet or milk,or a combination,it's your choice)
  2. 1 14oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
  3. 1 tsp. vanilla
  4. optional toppings such as sprinkles,nuts,coconut,etc.

What to do:
  1. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and sweetened condensed milk, stirring occasionally until smooth.
  2. Let the mixture cool,
  3. Then refrigerate for at least one hour or until it's hard enough to roll
  4. Remove the mixture from the refrigerator, and roll into balls.  Immediately roll into your topping of choice. 
  5.  If you are not serving immediately, keep refrigerated.
***Again,the chocolate mixture may be melted using a microwave, but I prefer a double boiler.


This is from Pillsbury

What you need:

  1. 2 cups (12 oz. pkg.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  2. 1 teaspoon orange extract
  3. 1 (16 oz.) can Pillsbury® Creamy Supreme® Chocolate Fudge Flavored Frosting

What you do:
  1. Melt chocolate chips in medium saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly; remove from heat.
  2. Stir in orange extract and frosting; blend well.
  3. Refrigerate 1 to 2 hours or until firm.
  4. Place each coating in its own pie pan. 
  5. Scoop mixture into 1-inch balls; drop onto coating (mixture will be sticky).
  6. Roll to coat. 
  7. Place in foil candy cups, if desired. 
  8. Store in refrigerator.
HAPPY CHOCOLATE DAY!!!!! - Rejoicing in the present

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Its almost time to go back to school!  Can you believe it?!?!  In tribute to all those wonderful teachers out there, I want to share this laugh from Jeff Foxworthy.   If you are a teacher, you know this to be true.  This is super true and super funny! - Rejoicing in the Present
  • This has been around for years, but it still gives us a good laugh.


    1.You get a secret thrill out of laminating things.

    2.You can hear 25 voices behind you and know exactly which one belongs to the child out of line.

    3.You walk into a store and hear the words, "It’s Ms./Mr. ____________ and know you have been spotted.

    4.You have 25 people who accidentally call you Mom/Dad at one time or another.

    5.You can eat a multi-course meal in under 25 minutes.

    6.You've trained yourself to go to the bathroom at two distinct times of the day, lunch and planning period.

    7.You start saving other people's trash, because most likely, you can use that toilet paper tube or plastic butter tub for something in the classroom.

    8.You believe the Teacher's Lounge should be equipped with a margarita machine.

    9.You want to slap the next person who says, "Must be nice to work 7 to 3 and have summers off."

    10.You believe chocolate is a food group.

    11.You can tell if it’s a full moon without ever looking outside.

    12. You believe that unspeakable evils will befall you if anyone says, "Boy, the kids are sure mellow today."

    13.You feel the urge to talk to strange children and correct their behavior when you are out in public.

    14.You believe in aerial spraying of Ritalin.

    15.You think caffeine should be available in intravenous form.

    16.You spend more money on school stuff than you do on your own children.

    17.You can’t pass the school supply aisle without getting at least 5 items!

    18. You ask your friends to use their words and explain if the left hand turn he made was a "good choice" or "bad choice."

    19.You find true beauty in a can full of perfectly sharpened pencils.

    20. You are secretly addicted to hand sanitizer.

    21.You understand, instantaneously, why a child behaves in a certain way after meeting his/her parents.

    HAPPY 2013-2014 SCHOOL YEAR PLANNING -TEACHERS!!!! - Rejoicing in the Present

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Mother's Prayer by Anna Ruwersma

I stumbled upon this blog post and felt very convicted about this. We often are so busy with our ministries that we often become a Martha instead of a Mary.  We need to sit at Jesus' feet, whenever we have the opportunity.  Here is a GREAT yet useful article - Rejoicing in the Present

A Mother’s Prayer

We know there is power in prayer, but sadly many of us fail to pray. We get busy. We are tired. We forget.  Lately the Lord has convicted me of my lack of prayer, specifically for my son. I realize this is a broad topic and much can be said on the matter of praying for your children. I am not an expert and fail so often, but I am doing my best each day to strengthen my prayers for my son. I thought I would share a few ways that have helped me pray for Noah and teach him to pray.
  • I return to Noah’s room after he is asleep at night and kneel next to his bed in prayer. When I hear his soft breathing and feel his smooth skin it moves my heart to pray hard for his God-given life.  I look forward to this sweet time each day. Once I started praying for him in a deeper way I noticed it was changing my heart. I was more patient and consistent with him throughout the day. My motivation for disciplining him was for the right reasons.  My heart was prepared to be mother who could point him to Jesus Christ. Some nights I’m next to his bed for a long time, other nights it’s just for a few moments, but it’s a special time of surrendering him to God each day and praying for his future. I hope one day he will remember his mother’s prayers.
  • My son is only one year old, but I think it’s a great idea to claim a Bible verse for your child each year.  Praying scripture is always good, but having a specific verse to pray each day for them is great. I like the verse I Samuel 12:24“Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart; for consider how great things he hath done for you.”
  (Trace your child’s hand, choose a verse or a some special requests to pray for them throughout the year.)
  • I am in the process of making Noah his own prayer book. Right now he prays, “Dear Jesus, Amen.” I cried the first time I heard him pray – what a blessing! Since he can identify his family and friends in pictures perhaps a prayer journal will help him say a few names in his prayers. Here is a link for an idea how to make a children’s prayer journal,
I want to be a good example of a praying woman for my son. Time spent in prayer is never wasted, and let’s remember there is power in prayer! Abraham Lincoln said, “I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.”

Monday, July 22, 2013


Will you join me in praying for Mendy on Mondays? This young godly pastor's wife was in a HORRIBLE accident and needs you and I to join together and pray for her. The below information was copied from Please pray for her - Rejoicing in the present!!!




Please pray Mendy can regain use of her hands and fingers once again.


Pray for relief from the extreme pain Mendy is suffering at this time.


Pray the doctors will know how to best care for Mendy and wisdom in how they communicate with the family.


Pray for the 4 precious Brockman children - Alana, Ainsley, Analiese, and Jack.



Update on Mendy (from Cindie Trieber): I was able to speak with Jason at great length this evening. On the positive side, Mendy had a good day today. She was able to sit in an electric wheelchair for a substantial amount of time.
Please pray specifically for: the nerve pain to subside. She is in a lot of pain with that. She needs an INCREASE in her blood pressure. It is too low. Mendy is begging God's people to pray that she will get the feeling back in her fingers and her hands.
Jason and Mendy are trophies of God's grace. Please continue to pray!


Ask your friends to pray as well.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Mendy Brockman drove to Denver to pick up her husband, Jason (Assistant Pastor at Lighthouse Baptist Church in Colorado Springs, CO) who was returning from preaching in Florida. After picking him up, they headed home and were thirty minutes from home when they were involved in an awful car accident. Their vehicle rolled six times, and Mendy was critically injured. Mendy was airlifted about 30 miles from the crash site to Penrose Main hospital in Colorado Springs late that night. Jason was transported to the same hospital and later released. That night, the doctors and Jason decided for Mendy to have an operation to repair her broken neck. Mendy had severe spinal cord injury/ trauma and her injury was based at the C6/C7 area.
Mendy is paralyzed from the neck down. She does, however, have some movement in her triceps and biceps. This does not mean her hands and fingers function, though. We are praying earnestly for returned movement and function.
This sweet couple still has months in the hospital and a very long road of rehabilitation ahead of them. Mendy is requesting prayer one day a week. Would you pray on Mondays for Mendy? Of course, we would encourage God's people to pray much more throughout every week.
Thank you for your prayers!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Homemade Baby Wipes

And yet another coconut oil recipe from This was brought to my attention from Elizabeth Ryan. Thanks girlie! Hope you all try it!

Having a baby can be a really exciting time of life, but all of the costs that come with your new family member can be very stressful! Everybody knows that babies use tons of diapers, so you can be sure that they’ll also go through a bunch of baby wipes! Thankfully, you can make your own homemade baby wipes to help save on some cash. These easy to make wipes will help out your wallet and your baby!

What you need:

  1. 1. Cup of Water
  2. 1 Tablespoon of Coconut Oil
  3. 1 Tablespoon of Baby Wash
  4. 1 Roll of toilet paber
  5. 1 Container
What you do:
  1. Mix the liquid ingredients together in a bowl
  2. Place your toilet paper in a tight container (shown above)
  3. Pour the liquid over the toilet paper
  4. Put the lid on it and store
Voila! - Homemade baby wipes - Rejoicing in the Present

Friday, July 19, 2013

Cooking W/ Brandy Creamy Ranch Pork Chops

Sundays are HARD for most families, because by the time you get home from church,  the children and husband are STARVING. So I have decided to share some different yummy crock pot recipes over the next couple weeks. These are good for working moms and busy days. 

What is REALLY neat is that these recipes are also freezer meals. So you can prepare these meals, freeze them and then, on the day you want them, you get them out and throw it all in the crock pot. HOW COOL!!!!! So it's easier then just easy!

What you need:
  1. 4-6 pork chops
  2. 6-8 medium potatoes, chopped into large pieces
  3. 2 cans fat-free cream of chicken soup*
  4. 2 packages dry Ranch dressing mix*
  5. 1 cup milk
  6. Dried parsley to sprinkle on top (optional)
What you do:
  1. Place all the ingredient in a freezer-safe gallon size bag
  2. Mix well
  3. Place in the freezer
  4. When you are ready for it, get it out of the freezer and thaw for 24 hours
  5. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 7-8
YUM - Brandy O

This recipe is from the six sisters

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Jello Slices

I saw this idea on pinterest and had to share. This is such a CUTE idea for a little girl's party or a snack that is shared at school. 

What you need:

  1. Oranges
  2. Jello Packets
  3. Cooking Supplies
  4. Cupcake pan
What you do:
  1. Pick out the jello flavors that you want to use.
  2. The more colors the prettier it is.
  3. Follow the instructions on the jello packet.
  4. When you come to the cooling part, stop.
  5. Now cut the oranges in half and spoon out the insides.
  6. Next spoon the jello mixture into the orange cup and place the oranges into a cupcake pan so they don't spill.
  7. Let the jello cool and harden.
  8. Once the jello has solidified, you can then cut the oranges into slices.
This can be a little time consuming BUT it's too cute! Everyone with children should at least try it once. :-) - Rejoicing in the Present

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Education First - EF

So the last couple days I have talked about being involved in "Bringing Missions Home" and being "the Book" that everyone reads.  If you have been convicted about this or you are just interested in hosting some exchange students and would like to talk more about it, please contact me or  Here is some information, but if you have more questions, please leave a comment and I will personally get back to you.

If you would like to request information from EF. Click on the following link:

 Where are the exchange students from?

Here are some Q&A's that might help you ...
What is EF Foundation for Foreign Study? EF Foundation for Foreign Study, a nonprofit committed to promoting global awareness for over 30 years, is the leader in high school exchange, bringing more international students to the United States than any other program of its kind. 
Our mission is to promote international understanding and global awareness across the United States, and to do so with the highest levels of program quality and participant support in the exchange community.
How many students does EF Foundation place each year? EF Foundation places approximately 3,000 students each year.  We bring more students to the United States than any other high school exchange program.  Since 1979, we have matched over 100,000 enthusiastic students from around the world with caring host families across the United States.  All of our students are screened to ensure that they are well-prepared for their exchange experience.
Where do these students come from? Since 1979, EF Foundation has placed over 100,000 students with American families. Today, our students come from 25 countries.
How does EF Foundation differ from the other organizations offering student exchange programs? EF Foundation is the leader in high school exchange.  We bring more international students to the United States than any other high school exchange program.  We have over three decades of experience and offer unparalleled support and resources to our host families, students and schools.
We offer the strongest local and national support network in the industry to students, host families and schools. EF Foundation’s host families and schools have access to our full-time professional staff located at our Cambridge, Massachusetts headquarters. Our national staff is available 365 days a year/24 hours a day and has overall responsibility for each exchange student while they are living in the United States. 
Our trained coordinators and placement specialists have extensive experience working with thousands of families each year.  Ensuring that families are well prepared for the exchange experience and matching the right student with the right family is a top priority.
EF Foundation is the only high school exchange program to offer host families the opportunity for great discounts on exciting travel through EF Education First’s Educational Tours, Smithsonian Student Travel, International Language Centers and Go Ahead Tours.
How long is the typical exchange experience for students?
EF Foundation offers students the opportunity to experience an academic semester or a full high school year in America. 

What is EF Foundation’s role in the exchange process? EF Foundation is responsible for coordinating every aspect of the student exchange process once the student arrives in the United States.  We find host families; enroll students in school; and provide students, hosts and schools with ongoing support and guidance to ensure a successful exchange year.   Our national staff is available 365 days a year/24 hours a day and has overall responsibility for each exchange student while they are living in the US.
How is EF Foundation affiliated with EF Education First? EF Foundation is an EF-branded program.  EF Education First is the world's largest private educational company, with a group of 15 subsidiaries and non-profit organizations centered on language learning, educational travel, cultural exchange, and academic programs. Subsidiaries include: Educational Tours, Smithsonian Student Travel, Cultural Care Au Pair, International Language Centers, Hult International Business School and Go Ahead Tours.
Where can I get more information? In addition to this website, you can call our national office at 1-800-447-4273 to speak to a member of our staff. We look forward to speaking with you, and thank you for your interest in high school exchange!
I hope this helps and I hope you get involved. It's a great opportunity for ministry! - Rejoicing in the present.