Friday, January 24, 2014

Cooking W/ Brandy - Armadillo Eggs

Here is another yummy appetizer to wow your man at his Super Bowl Party.  We have made this recipe twice and it's really yummy.  We grilled it and turned out to be a favorite. My husband bought me Miss Kay's Duck Commander Kitchen Cookbook for Christmas and this is one of her recipes.

What you need...

  1. 6-8 large jalapeño peppers, cut in half lengthwise, seeds and ribs removed
  2. 1 package cream cheese, softened
  3. 2 lbs breakfast sausage formed into 12-16 patties
  4. 1 lb bacon sliced thin
  5. 1 stick butter, melted

What you do...

  1. If using the grill heat to medium.  If not, heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Fill each jalapeño half with cream cheese.  Mold sausage around each jalapeño making sure to cover the entire jalapeño.  Wrap each "armadillo egg" with a slice of bacon.
  3. Cook on open grill until sausage is cooked through and bacon is crispy.  Or, bake in oven for 15-20 minutes and broil until bacon is crispy.
  4. Remove the eggs from grill or oven and cover with melted butter

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Fevers are Good!

If there is such a thing, I definitely have fever-phobia with my little guy.  If you read my blog yesterday (or are a mom yourself), you know that fevers can be very scary!  This article was extremely helpful and to you young mom's, this is a GREAT reference! Thanks to

Misconceptions about fever are commonplace. Many parents needlessly worry and lose sleep when their child has a fever. This is called fever phobia. Overall, fevers are harmless. Let the following facts help you put fever into perspective:  
MYTH: My child feels warm, so she has a fever.
  1. FACT: Children can feel warm for a many reasons such as playing hard, crying, getting out of a warm bed or being outside on a hot day. They are “giving off heat”. Their skin temperature should return to normal in 10 to 20 minutes. Once these causes are excluded, about 80% of children who feel warm and act sick actually have a fever. If you want to be sure, take their temperature.  The following are the cutoffs for fever using different types of thermometers:
    1. Rectal, ear or temporal artery thermometers: 100.4° F (38.0° C) or higher
    2. Oral or pacifier thermometers: 100° F (37.8° C) or higher
    3. Under the arm (Axillary or Armpit) temperatures: 99° F (37.2° C) or higher
MYTH:  All fevers are bad for children.
  • FACT:  Fevers turn on the body's immune system and help the body fight infection. Fevers are one of the body's protective mechanisms. Normal fevers between 100° and 104° F (37.8° - 40° C) are actually good for sick children. 
MYTH:  Fevers above 104° F (40° C) are dangerous and can cause brain damage.
  • FACT:  Fevers with infections don't cause brain damage.  Only body temperatures above 108° F (42° C) can cause brain damage.  The body temperature climbs this high only with extreme environmental temperatures (for example, if a child is confined to a closed car in hot weather).
MYTH:  Anyone can have a febrile seizure (seizure triggered by fever).
  • FACT:  Only 4% of children can have a febrile seizure.
MYTH:  Febrile seizures are harmful.
  1. FACT:  Febrile seizures are scary to watch, but they usually stop within 5 minutes.  They cause no permanent harm. Children who have had febrile seizures do not have a greater risk for developmental delays, learning disabilities, or seizures without fever.
MYTH:  All fevers need to be treated with fever medicine.
  1. FACT:  Fevers only need to be treated if they cause discomfort.  Usually fevers don't cause any discomfort until they go above 102° or 103° F (39° or 39.5° C).
MYTH:  Without treatment, fevers will keep going higher.
  1. FACT:  Wrong.  Because the brain has a thermostat, fevers from infection usually don't go above 103° or 104° F (39.5°- 40° C). They rarely go to 105° or 106° F (40.6° or 41.1° C). While the latter are "high" fevers, they are harmless ones.
MYTH:  With treatment, fevers should come down to normal.
  1. FACT:  With treatment, fevers usually come down 2° or 3° F (1° or 1.5° C).
MYTH:  If the fever doesn't come down (if you can't "break the fever"), the cause is serious.
  • FACT:  Fevers that don't respond to fever medicine can be caused by viruses or bacteria.  It doesn't relate to the seriousness of the infection.
MYTH: Once the fever comes down with medicines, it should stay down.
  1. FACT: The fever will normally last for 2 or 3 days with most viral infections.  Therefore, when the fever medicine wears off, the fever will return and need to be treated again.  The fever will go away and not return once your child’s body overpowers the virus (usually by the fourth day).
MYTH: If the fever is high, the cause is serious.
  1. FACT:  If the fever is high, the cause may or may not be serious. If your child looks very sick, the cause is more likely to be serious.
MYTH:  The exact number of the temperature is very important.
  • FACT:  How your child looks is what's important, not the exact temperature.
MYTH:  Oral temperatures between 98.7° and 100° F (37.1° to 37.8° C) are low-grade fevers.
  • FACT:  These temperatures are normal variations. The body's temperature normally changes throughout the day. It peaks in the late afternoon and evening. An actual low-grade fever is 100° F to 102° F (37.8° - 39° C) .
SUMMARY: Remember that fever is fighting off your child's infection. Fever is one of the good guys.

Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Feverish Faith

Early on a beautiful Sunday morning, I went in to wake up my little guy.  He woke up very cuddly.  In fact, I sat on the ground for a bit and just held him close.  This, of course, is usually a blessing, because my little one is so sweet about giving kisses, but he is not a cuddler.  So when Baby A cuddles, I know that something is amiss.
He felt a bit hot and so I took his temperature.  It was 100.1.  Not a fever yet but I wasn't going to chance it and take him to church.  Especially since our church nursery has a strict "no sickness" policy. We stayed home and he played a bit, but that morning he was much more interested in sitting in my lap, then doing a whole lot.  This of course, was another warning sign.  We watched a Veggie Tale movie for our church service and then I laid him down to nap.
When he woke up from his short nap, his temperature had risen.  After two more short naps it had risen to 103.  I was super worried because,  over the 20 months of his life, his temperature had never risen to over 102 degrees.  I called my mom and she encouraged me that if he didn't have any other symptoms to let his fever ride out.  Even my pediatrician said the same thing.  Fevers are not bad in and of themselves because they were helping fight off something that was trying to attack his body.
This momma was scared but she kept him close to her all night and tried to make him as comfortable as possible. The next day he woke up with no fever.  YAY!  It must have done the trick!  So I let him play hard and I fed him and we had a great morning!  Then I put him down to nap.
When he woke up, he had a fever over 101.  Where did that come from I asked?  By that evening it had spiked and was 104 degrees.  I was totally scared!  What if he got brain damage?   What if...?  I called my mom again and she told me I could give him Tylenol but that the fever needed to play out.  I knew that if I did give him Tylenol, it could mask the problem and the fever might not fight off the disease.
  • FACT:  Fevers turn on the body's immune system and help the body fight infection. Fevers are one of the body's protective mechanisms. Normal fevers between 100° and 104° F (37.8° - 40° C) are actually good for sick children.
  • FACT:  Fevers with infections don't cause brain damage.  Only body temperatures above 108° F (42° C) can cause brain damage.  The body temperature climbs this high only with extreme environmental temperatures (for example, if a child is confined to a closed car in hot weather).

It was so hard to see my baby suffer and I scared myself more, by going online and reading articles about Febrile Seizures and Bacterial Meningitis.  I proceeded to bother my mom until she finally said that I had to either trust the natural way of healing or give him some type of drug to mask it.

I knew that this was a battle that Baby A's body had to fight, but it was so painful to watch.  I knew that if I gave himself medication, it could mask the problem and tomorrow he would have to fight that battle all over again.  That night, I was miserable and so was my baby.  I prayed and watched for any signs that could be warning of real danger.  I took his temperature throughout the night and gave him liquids whenever I could.

The next morning, Baby A woke up with no fever again.  I knew that this was a good sign and that his body was able to break it without any help.  I continued to watch him and, even though he was more tired then usual, he started to get better and better.  The afternoon came and no fever, and then, that night, no fever again.  It was a trial for Baby A and Mommy but I knew that we had done the right thing.

This was a spiritual lesson to me as well.  When life gets tough, I usually want to take the easy way out. I  want to mask my pain with ___________, but I know it doesn't actually help in the end.  It just drags the pain out or covers what is going on. Sometimes in those "valleys of death",  I feel God the closest and those are best times in my life.

Psalms 30:5b says  "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."  Trials are not fun nor are they exciting, but they can still be celebrated because God is teaching us a lesson or making us stronger.  Remember, moms, that your labor brought forth such a wonderful blessing, that baby.  What blessing is God trying to give you in your labor and trouble today? Don't mask the pain, go through your trial, "fearing NO evil, for God is with you." - Rejoicing in the Present

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Power of the "I"

Recently I have been reading Courtney Joseph's Woman Living Well book.  It has been very convicting and helpful!  In one of the first chapters she is trying to convey the message of blocking out the world and media so that we can have our alone time with God.  I really needed to hear that because I, too, get overwhelmed with all the social media, and sometimes I just don't get around to my walk with the King.

Courtney says "Have we forgotten the power of the "I" - not the iPad, iPhone or iPod - but the Great I AM?"  I feel like it is so easy with all the different "i's" to spend time  on - Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter- and thus we waste hours of time on nothing.

During Christmas, we stayed at my parents' house in TN and I had a lot of leisure time.  I found myself lying around and spending vast amounts of time on social media.  I felt so blah, I thought I was getting sick.  Toward the end of the trip, I got my Bible study book out and started back up on my study and immediately felt energized.  Friends, don't take a break and get on your "i", instead wake up or break with the greatest I AM.

If you lost your "i"-phone, or pad or pod would you be miserable?  What about if you lost touch with the Great "I"?  How would that make you feel?

Courtney went on to give some verses to us about the great I AM in her book, but I decided to do my own research and here is some verses that encouraged me~ This is who I must worship:

"I am the Lord that brought thee out... "- Gen 15:7
(In this verse, He is talking to Abraham about taking him out of Ur, but I love this phrase.  Just think of what Jesus took us out of...)

"I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob."
- Ex 3:6
(and He should be my GOD too)

"...for I am the Lord that healeth thee." - Ex 15:26
"For I am the Lord, I change not" - Malachi 3:6
( reassuring is this!!)

"I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living" - Mathew 22:32
"I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst." - John 6:35

"I am the bread which came down from heaven."  - John 6:41

(a beautiful picture of the spiritual manna that feeds our hungry soul)

  •  (He explains....) "I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world" - John 6:51
 "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." - John 8:12
  •  As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. - John 9:5 

I am the door of the sheep. - John 10:7
  • I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. - John 10:9
I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep John 10:11

I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live - John 11:25

I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. - John 14:6

I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. - John 15:1

  • I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. - John 15:5

Friday, January 17, 2014

Cooking W/ Brandy - 7 Layer Dip

The Super Bowl is coming up and it's always a great night to pull out all the stops on appetizers. Here is a yummy dip that is great with Corn Chips. You can make a large pan or even put them in individual cups. Enjoy! - Brandy O

7 Layer Dip:

What you need...
1 package taco seasoning
16 ounces refried beans
1 cup sour cream
1 cup guacamole
1 cup salsa
1 cup lettuce
1 cup Mexican blend cheese
4 ounces sliced olives, drained
1 cup tomatoes, diced

What you do...Layer ingredients in the following order
1) refried beans mixed with taco seasoning
2) sour cream
3) guacamole
4) salsa
5) lettuce
6) cheese
7) olives mixed with tomatoes

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Common Sense Marriage

I don't know much about Candace Bure (former child star on Full House), but I love her comments on marriage. They are just plain common sense. Just follow God's simple plan, ladies. He ALWAYS makes sense in the end, even if we are slow to get it. - Rejoicing :-)

Candace Cameron Bure and Valeri Bure
In Candace Cameron Bure's household, her husband is the one in charge.  In her new book, Balancing It All: My Story of Juggling Priorities and Purpose, the Full House alum says she has a "submissive role" to her husband, Valeri Bure. During a recent appearance on HuffPost Live, Bure defended her views on marriage.
"The definition I'm using with the word 'submissive' is the biblical definition of that," Bure explained. "So, it is meekness, it is not weakness. It is strength under control, it is bridled strength. And that's what I choose to have in my marriage."
In her book, the former child star wrote, "My husband is a natural-born leader. I quickly learned that I had to find a way of honoring his take-charge personality and not get frustrated about his desire to have the final decision on just about everything. I am not a passive person, but I chose to fall into a more submissive role in our relationship because I wanted to do everything in my power to make my marriage and family work."
Bure told HuffPost that she stands by what she wrote, and is happy with her 17-year marriage to the former NHL player. (The spouses are parents to daughter Natasha, 15, and sons Lev, 13, and Maksim, 11.)
"I love that my man is a leader. I want him to lead and be the head of our family," she said. "Those major decisions do fall on him, but it doesn't mean I don't voice my opinion or have an opinion, I absolutely do."
But, ultimately, her husband gets the final say. "It is very difficult to have two heads of authority," Bure explained. "It doesn't work in military, it doesn't work -- I mean, you have one president, you know what I'm saying?"
She further explained: "We are equal in our . . . importance, but we are just different in our performances within our marriage." -
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. - Eph. 5:22....and remember even when it's hard that you are doing for the Lord!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Asked and Answered

Mom can I? ...Please? ...Why not? ...Just for a little bit, please? How many times are we nagged through out the day? How many times, do we have to answer the same question, over and over again? I love this idea from  Positive Parenting Solutions by Amy McCready

Nagging is a learned behavior that children of any age can pick up. They might continue to use it because once, in a moment of weakness, you caved and let them stay up an extra half hour after they asked for the eighth time.
But like any learned behavior, child nagging can be unlearned. The solution comes from Lynn Lott, co-author of the Positive Discipline series of books, and it works on kids as young as two or three, all the way through their teens.
It only takes three simple words: “Asked and Answered.”

The concept is simple. When seven-year-old Daniel begs to dig a giant hole in the front yard and gets “no” for an answer, chances are he’ll be back in five minutes asking again – this time with a “pleeeeeeaase” just so you know he really, really wants to dig the hole.
Instead of repeating yourself or jumping in to a lecture, avoid child nagging by getting eye to eye and follow the process below:
Step One: Ask, “Have you ever heard of ‘Asked and Answered’?” (He’ll probably say no.)
Step Two: Ask, “Did you ask me a question about digging a hole?” (He’ll say yes.)
Step Three: Ask, “Did I answer it?” (He’ll probably say, “Yes, but, I really ….”)
Step Four: Ask, “Do I look like the kind of mom/dad/teacher who will change her/his mind if you ask me the same thing over and over?” (Chances are Daniel will walk away, maybe with a frustrated grunt, and engage in something else.)
Step Five: If Daniel asks again, simply say, “Asked and Answered.” (No other words are necessary!) Once this technique has been established, these are the only words you should need to say to address nagging questions.
Consistency is key! Once you decide to use “Asked and Answered” with your nagging child, be sure to stick to it. If 14-year-old Emma is particularly determined to keep asking to get her eyebrow pierced, stay strong. Answering her question again – or worse yet, changing your answer – will reinforce to her that her nagging works. Although it’ll take some patience, your child will eventually connect the dots and you’ll see results!
Make “Asked and Answered” a joint effort with your spouse, and consider including any family or friends who may have to deal with child nagging and negotiating from your child. When Daniel and Emma realize that they won’t get a “yes,” even after they’ve asked twelve times, they’ll get the hint and retire this tactic.
Speech and Language Pathologist, Stacy Pulley reports this technique works well for children with communication challenges, particularly those with Autism. She suggests bringing a notebook or a chalk/dry erase board into the mix and writing down a question once they’ve asked it more than once, keeping in mind their reading level. Or, draw a picture. Then, when your child asks again, point to the board or notebook to remind them that they’ve asked, and you’ve answered. Be sure to use as few words as possible and stay consistent in your language to help them understand the connection as they learn to listen to and respect your answers.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Flight of Faith

During the summer of 2008, I had an amazing opportunity to go to Africa for 3 months.  A year earlier, another young college student and I heard about the idea and fell in love with it.   I had always been burdened for Africa and wanted to serve some time there.  She had always had a burden for the deaf, so we went and worked with the deaf in Africa.  We also had the opportunity to live in and serve at an orphanage. 
When we were making plans, we tallied up the costs and started raising money. We needed anywhere from $5,000 to $7,000 for just those three months.  The biggest cost was the airplane ticket which would have been anywhere from $2,000 - $3,000. 
So Megan and I sent out letters and started raising money.  At the end of May, I had raised about $1,500 and she had raised not even $1,000.  We started to worry but continued to pray. The semester ended and we went home to prepare for the trip for which we had not raised enough money.  The weekend before we were to head to our training camp, to prepare for our trip, Meg called me.  We talked about finances and what we were going to do.  Meg continued to talk positively about our trip and encouraged me that God would provided a way.  I was annoyed with her and the whole situation and replied, "Oh, so, maybe God will give us a boat and we can paddle over there."  Meg blew it off and we finished our conversation.

The next day our team leader called to let us know that someone had donated 2 free tickets. 

I was quickly reminded of Matthew 6:25-31, "Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on.  Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?  Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them.  Are ye not much better than they.  Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?  And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?  Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.