Beautifly Blended

Beautifly Blended
"Like clay in the hand of the potter, so you are in My hands." God said. Jeremiah 18:6

29 February 2012

More on the Vacation

Well I hope that now my computer has had it's malfunction and is over it.. Some machines the nerve..

Anyway here are a few more photos from our day out in LEGOLAND...

During all of this I couldn't help but to get my son a BRAND NEW FORD EXPLORER.. not really it is made entirely out of legos inside and out... It took more than 350,000 legos to put this bad boy together..




After a study of road sign this little guy was ready for the highway.. ONLY in legoland.. He passed and got his Licenses.

Oh did I mention she would be on the road as well. Look out for these two on the roads in your neighbor hood.

I have to say that we really had a great time and would love to be able to do it again next year.. Maybe the next time we can do every thing that LEGOLAND has to offer.



28 February 2012

Thanks a bunch

to all that took to the time to read about the Ribbens. I just want to say I pray that they make it home safe and sound. I pray that God will continue to be the center of their world. This family is a great example of faith and courage.I know they would appreciate your prayer as well.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
But, now time to tell about the real live vacation we (the family) went on. I was down in Winter Haven, FL. We had the best time in the world. As you have noticed in previous post my kids love, love, love legos and well this vacation was like a DREAM COME TRUE for them and us. I was so impressed with the time put in making all these neato basceekto lego towers.

There we are about to go into LEGOLAND.

Even through all the excitement some were so tired they needed a nap..SHHHHH!

We were even able to skip over to New York..  (all this was made out of legos)

If you disrupted the park any you were sent straight to lock down..Watch out for these too..

Okay malfunction with computer again.. I will post more pictures tomorrow...




23 February 2012

Not your recipe Thursday..

Only because I have been on vacation. That's right a real live vacation. With pictures to boot.
But, all that will come later. On a more serious note.

 There is a blog that I have been only following for a short period of time and I have fallen in love with it (and the people).

A short story of their lives. They left 11 1/2 months ago to Uganda to pick up to precious little children that God has given to them. They got their handsome and darling little boy right away. However, over the course of the 11 months they had to wait patiently on their  beautiful daughter.

God does all things in His own time and now the time has come for them to return home.

Yes, with both kids in hand and heart. This family is an amazing picture if faith, trust, and courage. I want ya'll to be with me in prayer for this family. The blog of this family is let love guide.

I want you that please take the time to read this post if you haven't ever read this blog be prepared to be moved and inspired. I personally do not know this couple but I am amazed by them and I believe given the chance you will be also.

I guess you can say I am try to advocate for them in their great time of need. So, I ask again please click on the link of let love guide and read about this amazing family and the courageous journey in Christ.

19 February 2012

On this night

We had SNOW in southeast Georgia.. Yay for us. Every year our church hosts snow night for our kids and they love. I must admit some adults love it to.



This is where our snow comes from. Weird I always thought it came from the sky, but not down here. This is Andy (Sno Guy).





















One big ole heaping pile of snow.

Did I mention that this was Southeast Ga. It may be snowing outside but, some are just too hot to wear jeans and a coat..(my Ty)

LOOK OUT!! I THINK SHE IS AIMING IT AT US!!!


I have more pictures but my blog thang aint workin right. I will post more later..


18 February 2012

Into the Future

I have a feeling God is on my side. I know I have mentioned several times about adoption and how God really has been just slowly laying on my husband's heart.(or at least I hope so)

Last night I had a dream that he came to me and told me that is was time to start raising money. Now, I don't know if that is God telling me what is to come in the future. The dream was not elaborate or very vivid as some dreams I have had.

But, it was like I was just walking along with God down to the mailbox. He grabbed my hand and told me to face Him and He said "Arica your husband is ready." NOW, with God I wasn't quite sure what he meant by that. No where in the dream before that moment talked or had anything to do with adoption or even children.

When I got back home. I went up to my husband and told him that God and I have been walking and talking today. And, he said that makes two of us. He said "Arica we need to start raising money. I am ready." In the dream my jaw hit the floor and I hit my knees in prayerful thanksgiving.

Oh how I wish that day would come soon.

There are so many out there that need our love and support. I help from time to time with families that are adopting. Not anyone I know personally, I usually do it through a website.

Reese's Rainbow is one of my favorite places to admire beautiful faces.

Holly. Look at those eyes!

Gabriella. She has a beautiful smile.

Lizzy she is mine and Syd's Favorite. I could just eat on those cheeks everyday.

Golden. There are no words for how I feel about these beautiful girls.

I pray that they will find a family soon. I pray that one day we will be a family to one of them.

17 February 2012

A trip with the EX?

Wednesday my lovely Syd had to go to district for her science fair project. I was so proud. She called me on Monday to tell me about the field trip and that she really wanted me to go. I told her OF COURSE sweet pea. Ahem, is your dad going?

Yes.

At first after that I was debating if I should go or not. It was really up in the air for me. Because I don't want to make Syd feel like she has to choose between parents or make my ex and his wife uncomfortable. So, I call Syd one more time that week just to make sure that is what she really wanted.

Yes! Yes!

Okay, I manged out of my mouth I will go. I prayed that the time together will go smoothly. This was first for me. To spend all day with my ex and his wife. I wasn't really looking forward to it, but with God on my side it was a very pleasant day.

That's right you read it. A VERY PLEASANT DAY. For me. I can't speak for them but, I feel like everything was cool.  We even ate lunch together all 4 of us at one table with polite conversation. I thank God for that time to show them I don't hate them or dislike being around them. I do believe that if given the opportunity I could do it again. Maybe next time with a little more ease. So, Thank You LORD!!

The day pretty much consisted of movies, lunch, and judging. I will say Syd got 2nd at Hoboke* Ele. but her group didn't place at district. That is okay because they did a great job.

Syd and one of her group members.


This was a dancing lizard. I wish I would have taken Bro because he would have loved it. Also, I could have counted that as an educational school day. How smart would that have been.?


Syd and Geddy


There was lots of cool little things going on for the kids. I am so glad that I got to spend that day with my sweet daughter. Glad that I faced my fear of pride and hung out with my ex.

16 February 2012

Recipe Thursday

I almost didn't make it for Thursday's recipe.

This recipe comes from a dear friend of mine (Joli). She is my healthy eating advisor and I just love her.
However, this recipe has an Arica twist on it. I love to mess around and come up with different things to add or take a way.. This time I added.

Breakfast/Cereal Bars

1cup or 2 Sticks of Butter softened
1 cup of loosely packed brown sugar
1/3 c of honey(this is mine added)
1 c of Oats
2 c. of freshly milled Flour
1/2 c of flax seed ground
4 eggs
2 c. of chopped Pecans (I use almonds or walnuts)
1 c of  Flakes Coconut ( we omit this as well)
1/2c of Chocolate Chips
1/2 of Cereal of your choice. (I will use shredded wheat, crumbled; honey nut Cheerios; etc)
2 t. of Vanilla

In small bowl cream the butter, sugar, honey, and  (1)vanilla.

In medium bowl Combine oats, flour, flax, cereal, and (1)nuts. Gradually add your creamed mixture to the dry mixture and mix really well.

In a 13x9 greased pan press in mixture (crust)

In another bowl Beat eggs until foamy , then add  (1) nuts, chocolate chips, (1) vanilla. Spread evenly over the crust. Bake at 350 for 30-35 min. Cool, cut, and eat.

We love them and are also taking them to LegoLan* for snacks.

14 February 2012

On this day

4 years ago my husband proposed. And, I must say that it was not the most romantic proposal ever.

But, I did try to make that Valentines day of 2008 one to remember and I guess so was he.
I had gotten off work early that day and went to the grocery store to purchase romantic "Food".

Steak
Lobster Tail
Salad
Candles
Valentines for him and Bro

I arrived at my Valentines house around 4:30. I wanted to get ahead start on making supper special. I worked around the clock that evening preparing the romantic food.
When they boys got home I was so excited that I went ahead and gave Bro and my Valentine their gifts. The excitement got the better of me. I was going to wait but caved in.

So, I stood there in the middle of the kitchen patiently waiting on my valentine from my Valentine. I soon realized that I was not getting one. I was very upset the rest of the time. The entire time it took me to finish cooking, to eating, to clean up after ward I was so mad at him I couldn't even enjoy the romantic food I worked so hard on. Then he asks if I would like to sit down and watch a  movie. My first thought was heck no and I said it to. I was so mad all I wanted to do was go home and pout. Here I had done all this hard work for what? NOTHING. I couldn't believe it he hadn't even gotten me a card, no flowers, not even any candy. What kind of guys was I dating.?

I was at the moment it was do or die. Either I was going to given and stay even though I meant nothing to him. Or, get my booty in the car and drive off thinking this is not worth my time or my romantic food.

In just a moment my whole world turned upside down.

He walks out of the bedroom with a card in hand. My first thought Yay he is not a Jerk.
When I opened the card I could tell he had spent a lot of time picking it out. Inside was a beautiful poem that he wrote to me. And, as I read it each line rhymed perfectly until I got to the end. I thought wow he was doing pretty good there but oh well. I looked up and told him that was nice. He said I ran out of room turn the page.

Will you please marry me.!!

And, he held up the ring and I was like you are not a Jerk. Btw the that line finished the poem..

4 years to this day I said yes to the man I love.

13 February 2012

Coffee Connoisseur

I LOVE COFFEE.  In the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening. Pretty much just when ever. I love the smell and the taste.

When I started out drinking coffee over 5 years ago I must admit it was some what of a requirement. Needed to stay awake for long hours at a time. But, over the course of that first year I began to love it. So I started trying different kinds of coffee and coffee creamers. I have become particle to some and others I find just plain yucky!!

When I met my husband he was not much of a coffee drinker at all. One day after work he invited me over to met his little boy Bro. Well you can guess I fell in love with him. Anyway, back to the coffee story. He asked what I would like to drink, I piped up with a exciting cup of coffee please.

He looked at me like I had lost my mind. He asked do you realized that it is a 110 degrees outside. I perfectly understood this fellow has no idea how much I love coffee. Sure I said but I would really enjoy a cup of "Joe". With some resistance he made me a pot of coffee. Which I enjoyed down to the last drop.

Now, I am in a food co-op and well guess what? I order my coffee through there. I of course order whole bean because nothing taste better then freshly ground coffee beans. And, it is also all organic.

About a month ago I was telling some of my other moms about my extremely old coffee pot. And, how it took for ever (like 20 mins) to brew. I was becoming miserable hanging out around the coffee pot in the morning try to patiently wait. Please understand that I am not admitting to be addicted to coffee. I just really love it.
Some of the ladies talked to me about some different pots out on the market and well I was intrigued. I must see these new pots. I was in the real bad spot of needing a new one and soon.

So there I am at Wal-Mar* looking at the vast beauty before me. Oh which one do I get.

The one cup at a time.
The cheapest on on the market
The most expensive one.
Should it match my appliances at home.
How many cups should it hold.
Do I want one I could preset.

All these options were weighing on me. So I did what any smart woman would do I called my husband.

Here is what is said. Don't get the cheapest, don't get the most expensive. I don't want to make one cup at a time. And yes get the one you can preset.

Great I thought we have done it the both of us. WE went into this both knowing we needed a new coffee pot and with my husband advice I have found the ONE!!

This bad boy right here has an automatic cleaning, preset, I can make it stronger or I can brew 1-4 cups at a time. Also, it will beep three time to let me know that I can go ahead and grab a cup before brew time is up. I love this pot.

Also, my husband is now a Coffee Connoisseur just like me.

12 February 2012

Stacking my Tomato

That is what I have been doing these last few days. And, I have to say that I have already noticed a difference in my  little man. I do believe that he would rather be stationed right next to me then sitting in his room pouting over the misbehavior.

While using my firm and "I meant it voice", he totally understood at the moment that I was going to win the battle of misbehavior. However, in the long run I would love for him to know that I will win always.
You may notice that I am only talking about one of my beloved children right now only because he is the only one I am able to use "Tomato Stacking". The other two are still at their dad's for the week.

I know, I know it is Sunday and I should have them back but, we are leaving for legolan* next week and they are getting to come along. I had to make a sacrifice for them to go. 4 extra days without them so that I can spend 7 days with no school with them.. How AWESOME!!!

Anyway, back to my Tomato..Not only does this book tell you and show what to do. It also give wonderful scripture.

Proverbs 19:20    Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.
I love Proverbs. But, come on how true is that. We want our kids to be like that. Listening to our instruction  and obeying. Sometimes I wonder if I have just started in the womb would that have been a better start. Hahaha, I know they don't understand. But, the do recognize your voice and body tension. So I really believe more so now than ever using, God's word is the way to go in order to train my children in the way they should go.

Deuteronomy 5:29 ( I love this book too) Oh that they had such a mind as this always, to fear me and to keep all my commandments, that it might go will with them and with their descendants forever!
Ending with a exclamation mark. He means business. Forever. We want that for our off spring hold fast to God commands.

See training doesn't just stop with you. If you teach your children then your children will teach their children just has God said passing it along from generation to generation. We as parents are to always be teaching our children the commandments of God. Not only when they have done something wrong but, always. I will confess I am not one to be this kind of mom, but I want to be desperately. I spend countless hours in prayer more for forgiveness then guidance. ONLY because I am not a perfect mom. I am an IMPERFECT PERSON.  And, thus for NEED Christ.

So I say don't give up, don't go to bed feeling as if you have lost. Because YOU and I have God on our side. And if He is for us than you is against us. AMEN!!



10 February 2012

Borrowed

From Passionate about Homemaking..These are not my words but so graciously fit how I feel.

Passionate Homemaking: Digging Out of the Pit of Guilty Motherhood

I failed miserably in my mothering today. Everything from getting coats and shoes on, to going potty in underwear, to getting out of bed before the proper time. Each situation was responded to with an outburst of anger and frustration.
I experience guilt on many levels in my motherhood. I feel guilty when my house isn’t clean, organized, or I don’t have the energy to design all these glorious organizing tools (thanks Pinterest! . I feel like a failure when I don’t spend enough quality time with my children or waste too much time on my phone or computer browsing this and that. I feel guilty when we don’t do family devotions as if my children’s salvation was all dependent upon me. I feel like a terrible homemaker when I don’t get anything done on my to-do list. So in response to my guilt, I get frustrated and the cycle continues. It’s a dangerous pit of self focus that destroys my joy.

The only means through which we can find deliverance out of this battlefield of guilt, condemnation, and anger is through the power of the gospel. The only lasting freedom can come through acknowledging what Christ has done on my behalf.

We have to steep ourselves in the power of the gospel. We have to soak it in.

I have to remind myself that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). Yes, you and I will surely fail. But we have a glorious Savior who bore our condemnation. He bore our guilt. It was nailed to the cross. So in our failure, we can have hope. Christ Jesus has replaced our sinful record with His perfect righteous record.

As Elyse Fitzpatrick says, “When you are tempted to slide down into a miry pit of self-condemnation, you can remember Jesus’ sinless life and the perfect record that is now yours. Yes, it’s true that you sin heinously and consistently, but you have a perfect record before God, the only one who opinion really matters.”

“Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. (Romans 3:24)”

You have a perfect record.

Colossians 1:16-17 says,The Father…has qualified you [past tense; it's finished] to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us [past tense again; the deliverance is completed] from the domain of darkness and transferred us [past tense once more: the transferal is already concluded] to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have [present tense; this very moment we possess it] redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

My outbursts of anger were nailed to the cross before I even walked this earth. My fear of failure is a waste of my energy. He paid the greatest price for them. In order to experience true freedom from guilt, I must stop focusing on all that I need to do in order to become a better mother. I must first turn my gaze upon what He has already done for me.

The only way to become a better mom is to preach the gospel to myself every day. It’s not by behaving that makes me a better mom, it’s by believing- believing more deeply in what He has accomplished.

God doesn’t call me to be perfect. He calls me to embrace my standing before him, and to run in that freedom he has already granted to me! I am adored by Christ! I am redeemed! I am accepted!

Ultimately, when I enslave myself by guilt I am mocking what He did on the cross, I am disbelieving the grace and mercy purchased for me through his sinless life. This guilt is witness to the fact that I am depending upon my own strength. I am believing that my children will only grow, flourish, and follow Christ if I do this certain set of practices.

So when you are tempted to put another brick of guilt on yourself, may I encourage you to stop, and declare with me:

“Because Jesus was strong for me, I am free to be weak;
because Jesus won for me, I am free to lose;
because Jesus was someone, I am free to be no one;
because Jesus was extraordinary, I am free to be ordinary;
because Jesus succeeded for me, I am free to fail.” -Tullian Tchividjian

Praise God for the full and abundant life I have in Christ!

Jesus loves me just as much today as He did yesterday!

Many of these insights have been gleaned through Tullian’s powerful book, Jesus + Nothing = Everything.


So beautifully put.. I had to use this ....

09 February 2012

Recipe Thursday

I almost forgot about my recipe for the week... I have to tell you guys I love doing this. I find it very fun to try different things..Although my kids may not like what I cook all the time I believe that this is helping in broading their taste buds. Always a plus for this very picky house.

Fried Cabbage and Egg Noodles

1 (16 oz) package of Egge Noodles. (I used Roman noodles instead, I like the way they look)
1 stick of butter ( I used a 1/3 of Olive Oil)
1 Medium Head of Chopped Cabbage.

These are some ingredients that were not called for but, I wanted to add them any way.
1 small largely chopped onion
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast cut in slivers.

Boil you noodles in lightly salted water. Cook until noodles are tender. Once done drain and set to side.

In skillet begin heating oil on low heat. Add Chicken allow the chicken to cook throughly. Next add onions and cabbage continually stirring (so they don't stick) Once that is done add noodles. Cook for about 5 mins. Add salt and pepper.. or Soy sauce.

Enjoy.

I loved it.. Nana B liked it as well.

I am sorry I have no pictures

Failure

Okay after much deliberation I have come to the conclusion that I am a complete and utter FAILURE..!!!!

Why you ask? Because I can't seem to get anything done right now.

Remember my "TO DO LIST" well. I haven't gotten anything else on it done. Nada thang. I wanted to have all of it done before Jan was over. Well now it is Feb and I still haven't any other goals marked off.

What a failure. 

So what do I do about this complex of being a failure. Therapy with some major prayer. bahahaha

First I need to prioritize my goals a little better. Maybe getting that book read that I have wanted will have to wait especially since I am reading like three others at the same time.

Where do I begin. I would like to have over half done before we leave for LegoLan* in 2 weeksish.

 I would say that I am a neat freak but really I am not. I like to be lazy and take time to sit my happy hiney on the couch and not do a thing all day long.

Prioritize----Sitting all day on the couch (not good)

Where do I start? How to I start?

Conclusion: pick one a day to do. With the help of some great kids.



08 February 2012

Gardener ?!?!?

I am knee deep in "Raising Godly Tomatoes". 

That's right you read correctly. I borrowed this book because I thought I could always use godly advice in raising my kids. (I borrowed from one of my bestest friends Joli.)

Okay let me just start off by saying I should NOT be a parent NOT to a kid, dog, cat, bird, or rat.

I started this book yesterday evening and I am already at page 75 (unable to put it down). The book is by L. Elizabeth Krueger. If you have never heard of it. I recommend that you check it out sometime soon. It will change the way you look at parenting.

I will give you a little insight to it. OBEDIENCE. That is really all I have found this book to be about. But, as I started reading it I begin thinking of all the times I was not obedient to God. How can I teach obedience when I am clearly not obedient myself. (slap in the face. much needed Thanks.)

Going back over the times that I have taken the time to train my kids in the way they should go I felt like that was the godly thing. I mean instructed them to do what was right in the sight of the Lord. Working on their heart. Because we all know that the heart is deceitful. I have one, my kids have one, and you have one.

But, what about the times when I don't really feel like "Training" them? The times I am elbow deep in dirty dishes from the night before and dirty laundry from the week before.
My solution is to yell from down the hall quit whatever it is you are doing.!!!!  I don't even know what was going on. Was that training in God's eyes? NO. That was training in Arica's eyes. But, what did that do for their heart? Nothing. They learned nothing from my screaming down the hall.

Okay so, she says that Motherhood is a full time JOB. No joke. Literally stay by the side of you kids so you can know what they are doing at all times. Difficult yes. But, I am strongly believing it is a must.

Here is a snipit of some things she goes over in her book.

1. Understand that tantrums are absolutely forbidden
2.Come without Hesitations when you call your kid.
3. Stay near you when you tell them to.
4.Hold your hand upon request without pulling away or letting go.
5. Say or indicate "Yes Mom" or "Yes Ma'am" when you ask him to do something
6.Preform your request without crying, whining, or pouting.
7.Not to misbehave in the car or in public.
8.Remain quiet when you tell him to, or when you hold a finger to your lip.
9. Sit quietly next to your for as long as you want him to, without being birded or entertained.
10. Remain seated at the table until given permission to leave.

All these were designed for a toddler, But, come on my 7 year old wont do half of these. So, I now have to examine myself, reconsider my ability to raise godly children. Because if I keep doing what I am doing my kids will never have a heart change and never come to fully love and trust in Christ. They may feel like they are raising themselves. I don't want self raised kids. I want loving, obedient kids who Worship our Lord and Saviour, and we can't do that with an ugly, cranky, whining, selfish, angry, bitter, defiant heart.

06 February 2012

I am back!!

Back from VACATION.!!  A vacation from bloggin.

That sounds better than being lazy which was what I really was. Lazy.. But, not any more. Sometimes, you need to just be lazy at something.

Right?

So, anyway, so much to talk about and so little blog time.

I will post again later today but for now I have a few recipes that I need to get out there.

Recipe #1   Pizza Dough

1 2/3 c of warm water
2 T. of Olive Oil
2 T. of Sugar  (I use honey) Same amount
1 t. of Salt
2 T. of Dry milk
4 1/2 c. of Bread flour (Preferably Freshly Milled)
1/2 c. of Flax seed Freshly ground
2 t. of Active dry yeast.

Place all ingredients in order in a bowl or bread machine (I use a bread machine). Knead until all ingredients are mixed well. Allow time to rise and beat down again. Once you have it spread on your pan greased and lightly floured pan poke with a fork to prevent bubbles from rising in the dough while it bakes.

Cover with tomato sauce. I like my sauce thin you may like it thick. Add topping of your choice. Finish with Cheese.

Bake at 400 for 15-20 min until golden brown. Allow 5 min cool time before cutting.

Recipe #2   Whole Grain Pancake mix.

Part one -Making the mix.

16 c. of freshly milled flour
4 c of powdered sugar
1 cup of sugar.. I use sugar here not honey
16 t. of baking powder
8 t. of baking soda
4 t. of salt

Mix in large bucket. Store in tight container in freezer


Part Two- Making pancakes

1 1/2 to 2 c. of flour
2 T of Olive oil
1-2 t. of Vanilla (to taste I use 2 t.)
1 egg
1 c. of water

Mix in order.

Okay, not only do I use this recipe for pancakes I also use it for muffins. They rise really well in the oven. I also use this recipe for cobbler bread as well.

I really love this versatile recipe. I hope that you will enjoy making these recipes for your family.