Peace

I saw this today and found it so incredibly appropriate. Recently I have had to struggle with decisions I have made whether it be at home, at school or in my personal life. I have struggled with how things have turned out in situations and how people were affected by what I may have (or have not) said. Then I came across this….. and this is so.very.true.

Sometimes the why something happened is not as important as the fact that it actually happened. Maybe things happen for a reason. A confrontation, a friend who walks away, a relationship ending.

It all happens I think because it is SUPPOSED to. Faith is a huge part of our lives and if we believe that something happened for a reason, I find… at least for myself that is easier to let go.

Anyway- I am sharing this because I came across it after a recent confrontation I had at work. And although the coworker and I are strained and still have a relationship…. I know that it will never be what it was.

I hope you are able to let go of what things have a hold on you, and find peace in decisions you have made. I am finally getting to that point, and it makes life a far more healthy and happy place to be.

~Laura

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Thoughts on time alone

I think that those who follow me have pretty much figured out that I do not get a whole lot of time alone. I am with a child, or two, or three most of the time. I think wait… I KNOW that I deserve this once in a while. But I am constantly around kids so my time alone is precious to me.

I really do not have a “space” of my own in my home. Each room is taken by a kid (or two since we have a foreign exchange student now) but I often times have time alone in my living room at night while the boys are watching football downstairs and my daughter is in bed. It is in this time that I realize that this will one day be my norm? I dread that day.

I know that in 2 years Nate will move on, Ty in 5 and eventually Addie in 10 years. I am trying to implement more me time once in a while so that this is not such a shock when that time comes. I think that will be one of the hardest things I will have to manage…. time alone? In the hours, days months and years until that comes, I hope to fill my days with as many experiences as I can with my children. Enjoy them while I have them.

There is a man at church that is elderly that I see every Sunday siting alone. He is there, in the same pew, by himself week after week after week. I noticed him for a while… and then I decided to change that.  I started dragging my family to his pew. I introduced myself. I introduced my husband. I introduced my children. He now jokingly saves my seat. Now he looks for us.  My kids greet him. We are his happy moment. He lights up when we greet him. He tells me how blessed I am and what a nice family I have.

I tell him thank you. I ask him about his family. I think about when I am alone and my spouse is gone (as his is) will someone do this for me?

What I am getting at. Time alone can be a blessing. Time alone can be a curse. I need more time alone, he needs less. Balance in life is so good.

If you see someone alone ….someone who is always alone… be their someone. Just because you are needing more time without others does not mean that other person needs time alone. I enjoy visiting with my “friend” weekly at mass. It fills my bucket, and I know it fills his. He walks away knowing he is cared about. He is noticed, he is someone worth seeing. I walk away knowing I gave my free time away, but for someone who needed it.

Do I need more time alone? probably. It will come though. I surround myself with others now because I know that time is precious. I pray for those who have no one, and I thank God for my loved ones who surround me and uplift me with their presence every day.

Now, I better go…. I have 3 kids calling my name. Boy- I am so blessed.

Chicken Sour Cream Enchiladas

It has been SUCH a busy week! It’s the week after homecoming so a recovery week for sure. We had meetings all day Monday, then back to school Tuesday and church Wednesday, football Thursday and Friday. On top of that my middle child turned 14! I cannot believe how time has flown. We worked in birthday cake and presents on Thursday after football and we acquired another 4 teenage boys last night overnight to celebrate after the football game. We also had to work in the driver’s permit test and getting a permit. Meanwhile my daughter headed to another overnight for her friend. All in all, as my husband says… this hen will be happy once all of her chicks are back in their own nest and we get back to some semblance of routine.

did manage to get dinner made nightly, and I brought back this old favorite from my childhood! Its easy, and soooo good. I need to note that I collect and love cookbooks, especially those compiled from small town celebrations, family reunions and church fundraisers. I think this is because the people who contribute like to throw in their favorites! This one came from my stepmom and she made it at Christmas at our family get togethers as I was growing up. I also think it is even better reheated so that is a bonus for parents like me who are on the go and seldom have a meal at home together.

I made this Monday night because we were home and together. It takes a little while to roll all the enchiladas up before baking but it is worth it and is so filling when served with rice or chips and salsa. It is a favorite at our house, enjoy!

Start with the filling ingredients, mix with cooked chicken

Mix filling well. Add green chilis to your liking, I used 2 cans chopped green chilis since they are not too hot

Ready to go in the oven….mine fit in a 13×9 in pan plus a 9×9 inch pan

Sour Cream Enchiladas

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

2 8 oz. cartons sour cream

8 oz. shredded mozerella

8 oz. shredded Monterey Jack cheese

2 cans green chilies

1 lg onion chopped

4 cooked, shredded chicken breasts

24 corn tortillas (or I used flour and omitted the use of oil to soften)

Combine all ingredients, except tortillas. Spread several tablespoons of mixture into the bottom of a 9×13 in. baking dish, Soften tortillas in oil and drain on paper towel. Tope each tortilla with a heaping tablespoon of mixture, roll up and place seam side down in baking dish. Pour remaining mixture on top, add water to spread if needed. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Source: Nancy Shirbroun, Bayard Cookbook

I hope you have a great rest of your weekend! Tomorrow we go help my brother move after hosting a church breakfast and teaching Sunday school in the morning. Football wraps up this week too and then on to basketball, traveling basketball and wrestling. I think I have a hard time saying no…. 🙂

Find this at the February CountryLINKed blog party at this link!

February Country Fair Blog party!

 

What I see when I look at my sons….

I post a lot about sports. Let’s face it, if you follow my Facebook or my Twitter page I post about sports on almost a daily basis. This is not because I’m overly athletic, this is because I have two sons that are overly athletic. I’m proud of them, I am proud of their hard work, I’m proud of their dedication.

Nate and I following his Homecoming game this past weekend. We lost…but he is still smiling.

My oldest has had one of the toughest football seasons of his football career. He is a high school junior. He started playing football as a flag football player when he was in kindergarten. He loves the sport. He played every year through flag football, little kid tackle football, and now in high school football. He has always been a lineman and has always played center.

This year in the first few weeks of football, he has lost most of his teammates to injuries. I’m talking most of his varsity teammates, not the freshman and sophomores, not the little guys, but the big guys who have been playing the sport as long as he has. Despite it all, he has continued to play. He played although he has lost every single game except one. He played although he came home with jammed fingers and bruises all over his arms, and an overwhelming and incredible sense of loss.

He has continued to get up early every morning to lift weights, and has gone to bed late at night after doing homework so he could get back at it in the morning and practice after school.

He has run miles when asked to… lifted pounds when he was asked to, hit his opponents harder when asked to hit harder and reassured those other teammates (those younger teammates) when he was asked to. He continues to prepare himself for his wrestling season while still trying his hardest to complete his football season. Despite all the pain, loss, and frustration, he.has.played.on.

Then I see my 8th grade son. The son who has always been watching son #1.  He has copied him, respected him, wanted to follow him. He has been in sports his whole life. He has played basketball, football, ran track and attempted baseball and wrestling. He made a traveling team in basketball last past year after trying out for the very first time.

I know everyone has an opinion on traveling teams, don’t get me started on that. What I see when I look at him is a child who pushes as hard as he can and pours his all in what he does……. to do the best that he can every.single.day. Without fail.

Tyler on a tip off- #15

He played last weekend in a basketball tournament for two days. He played the entire game of every game, he ran until he was dripping with sweat and it was running in his eyes. He was hit and pinched and kicked and everything in between trying to fight for that ball but he did not quit.

What do I see when I look at my boys? I see perseverance, dedication, hard work, commitment, pride. I see two people who will never give up no matter how hard they are asked to try. I see two people who are proud of themselves and their commitment. I see two people who acknowledge they’re worth is not in the win or the loss but in the effort.

I see two brothers so tight that when one is up the other is up and when one is down the other is down. I see two brothers who know the value of hard work and know the value in the effort they put into the game.

I see two teachers for my own life. I am learning more from watching them then they are learning from me. I see them modeling for me the value of hard work and seeing something through. I learned to commit myself more fully to everything I do because of how they commit themselves. I learned that my value does not come from others but from within myself.

I could not be more proud of my two sons. I could not be more proud of who they are becoming. I am watching them grow into outstanding young men.

For some, the value comes from whether or not a team makes playoffs. For some the value comes from whether or not they have a winning or losing record. For me though, value comes from the heart and the perseverance and the dedication put into the game.

I cannot stress enough to my children, their value as an adult will not be determined from the record they have now. Their value as an adult will come from the lessons they have learned in the process of playing. They have learned teamwork as well as commitment and this will take them far in life as they grow into responsible respectful adults.

Have my children experienced wins? Yes. Have they experienced losses? Yes. I literally would have it no other way. It is in both the ups and downs in life they have learned how to be successful.

So for me, I consider it a privilege to share a little about my sons. I consider myself so lucky to have been chosen by God to be their mom. How blessed I am.

Thanks for reading.

~Laura

Iowa summer sights “John Wayne birthplace museum”

Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway -John Wayne

Statue of John Wayne at the entrance of the newly built museum in Winterset, Iowa

The only area of the museum where pictures are allowed, along with props for kids to try on and take a picture in. Nice job Addie!

I am finally getting to my last blog post ( I believe) of our summer travels around our beautiful state. I had a MISSION this summer to show my children some of the great places our state has to offer and we saw several. One of my favorite though was the John Wayne birthplace and museum. The home is located in Winterset Iowa and very recently they built a new museum next door which was still not completely finished. When we were there they had tile in the entryway that had not yet been laid etc. Overall though the place was ready for visitors.
The visitor center and museum tour starts with a video about the life of John Wayne and some clips about his famous films and television shows he has starred in. plays on a continuous rotation and if I recall correctly lasts about 10 minutes.

From there you move into a large room that has memorabilia from John Wayne’s life on display. There are pieces of hollywood props and sets he used, old letters and scripts etc. There are no videos or pictures allowed in the room, which really was the biggest downer as I would have liked to have taken some to show my husband. Oh well.

From this room you exit the building and if you paid to also tour his birthplace you walk next door and take a tour of the very small home that is right beside the museum. The picture of the decorated conversion van was taken between the two. From the looks of it, this van was custom-made by a super fan and they allow the museum to park it there for display at various times throughout the year. It was kind of parked off the sidewalk under a carport between the 2 buildings.

 The house was neat. Very small, and was crowded the day we were there. It was a weekday in August, but that is also prime tourism season so I am sure that contributed to the congestion. Everything in the house is on 1 level and it takes only about 10 minutes to see it all. It is very small and is decorated to look like period for his life but does not contain a lot of actual John Wayne items. Interesting, but the whole tour of both buildings did not take as long as I would have thought.

My kids were (eh..) on the whole thing… they really do not know much about John Wayne so that is understandable. I enjoyed seeing it because I am a person who likes to see and experience as much as I can. I have no plans to return though. I appreciate any opportunity to support small town Iowa attractions though and would recommend this as a stop if ever in the area.

We were able to experience this museum and also the covered bridges in Madison County – read more here Iowa Summer sights, Bridges of Madison County in an afternoon along with an ice cream stop.

I think this is my last post about Iowa summer sights…. that is until I find more pictures in my camera and I remember another stop we made…

Thanks for reading!

October Ipsy glam bag

I’m so excited! I’m so excited! I love the day my glam bag arrives!

And to be honest I haven’t even tried on the products in my September bag. But I can tell you I’m trying this night cream I got back in August tonight, that tells you how far behind I am!


But truthfully, when you gut and redo your bathroom in the course in the summer most of these things get packed away in a box and you forget about them. This is what happened to me. So I will catch up, I promise!

This is what I got…. I have the link to each listed below. And I must note that the fact that I got a pumpkin mask in October probably excites me more than anything 😉

It cosmetics hello lashes It cosmetics at Ulta

Update! I have been using this and think it is kind of “eh”. Don’t hate and don’t love. No clumping but if you prefer thicker mascara that makes your lashes fuller… then this is not for you. 

Meet Matte Hughes Liquid lipstick (I can’t wait to try this one~ it came in the color “committed” which looks very neutral Meet Matte Hughes

Emite professional tweezers (eek!) Emite

Eva-Nyc hair mask Eva-Nyc at Ulta

and the one I am MOST excited about simply because the word pumpkin is in the name…..

Peter Lamas exfoliating pumpkin facial scrub Peter Lamas scrub at Sephora

Update- LOVED this mask! I used it until i could not squeeze out another drop. Fragrant is mild and the mask was awesome in polishing skin. I would buy this again for sure.

I swear I will get to trying some of these things soon I simply forget I have them and like I said this summer we remodeled the bathroom and had all my samples packed away until everything was done. Time to get them all back out.

Have a great weekend! We are in Omaha this weekend for a basketball tournament for Tyler and his traveling team, so it is more bleacher time for this girl.

Enjoy!

~Laura

Throwback Thursday photo, Christmas magic

Addie, age 3 looks out at the snow

I LOVE this picture. It was taken in our old house at our acreage in northern Iowa. My then 3-year-old was watching a snow storm outside and I was breaking in my newly purchased DSLR camera. The result was her looking out the window and me capturing the moment for all posterity. I can remember how she was so excited to see the snow. Now that she is almost 8, the magic is not so prominent which makes this picture all the more special to me.

I think of this picture each year as we approach the holidays and remember how special her face was to me. I think it embodies the magic the holiday season brings. I hope I can continue to capture these moments on my childrens faces as they continue to grow. They change so fast.

Happy Throwback Thursday! Tonight I am off to watch another football game for Tyler…. Fall continues to fly by.

~Laura