Tag Archives: mommy blog collab

I’ll Show You My Blessings.

This month in honor of Thanksgiving we are taking our blog collab and making it grateful. This month I’ll Show You My… Blessings, 30 things I am thankful for. Normally the month of November social media is plastered with daily posts of gratitude. We decided to post in our blogs for you to read in one place. Katie, Tracy, and I are joined this month by Dara and new blogger Danielle.wp-1469151611004.png

1. Freedoms.
Recently the kids and I took a day trip to D.C.  Dawn studied early American history last year and is taking American government this year. Of course a visit to the National Archives was s must. The decades and centuries of fighting, debating, and molding our country are awe inspiring. I am beyond grateful for the men and women who sacrificed, fought and worked so dilligently for the many freedoms we are able to enjoy. Some, possibly most, I take for granted on a daily basis. God bless America! 

2. Extended family
HUGE blessing! From cousins to aunts and uncles to grandparents and in-laws, our lives are full of love and blessings from our extended family. We don’t live close to any of them but if we needed them they’d be here.

3. Stay at home mom
Growing up I knew I always wanted to to be a stay-at-home mom, eventually. I had a lot of wild ideas. Never did I imagine I would actually be able to be a stay at home mom. Some days I love my children more than I could imagine and other days I lose my sanity. All in all I get to be home with my kids as they grow.

4. AJ’s job
This is a double blessing for me. I have the ability to be a stay at home mom because AJ has a job. He works so hard to make sure our family has everything we need and sometimes things we want. We have been thru tight times financially but we’ve never been on hard times so much we couldn’t see a way out. His always having a job has been a huge blessing for our family.

5. Baking skills
Some people can cook a mean steak or prime rib or a great chicken pot pie. I am not one of them, I feed my family and they definitely don’t starve but my skills are in the baking. It may have some connection to my love of sugar and desserts. Fall is the big kick off of my baking season and I’m super excited!

6. Friends
After living out here for 7 years, being an adult for over 15 years I can say I have this “friend” thing down. What I mean is, I have friends, great friends, even some amazing friends; but I have learned I do not need a TON of friends. I have no desire to be the cool kid sitting at the popular table. I am who I am and so are my friends. I know when the crap hits the fan they will be there for me.

7. Religion
We posted on our religion last month so you can read more here. Having religion in my life has been a blessing in my hard and good times. No matter where I live the gospel and Church have always been there providing me a stable foundation.

8. Adoption
Adoption processes have been a part of my life, woven in and out like a tapestry. I have friends who were adopted, and other friends who have adopted. I can’t imagine my life without any of these people and I know I wouldn’t have them if it weren’t for the ideas, processes, and ability of adoption.

9. My health
In all I do to my body and in my life I have been blessed with a healthy body. My blood pressure, despite my self induced stress, has been in normal limits. I have been working on getting my resting heart rate down with working out. I haven’t had any medical problems or difficulties so despite my own self-induced physical body abuse I have quite the healthy body. I have been blessed with great genetics.

10. Healthy kids
My kids have never had major illnesses, (knock on wood for eternity) and other than one broken leg over the last 16 years no broken bones or visits to the ER. No stitches either! We have truly been blessed in this department.

11. Beautiful seasons
Other than a few years in Utah, my seasonal changes have been nil. 90 degrees year round with a slight chance of rain were my seasons. Now I can sit in any room of my house and watch buds sprouting on trees, blossom into full green leaves, blow in the summer breeze, change colors and fall to the ground, then the tree gets covered in a beautiful white blanket. Such a beautiful blessing of colors and changes to watch each year.
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*I found this image here

12. Owning my home
Ok technically, it is AJ’s house, but it is our home. We spent over a year looking for a house in NJ but could not find an affordable house with affordable taxes. After what seemed a small eternity, we finally landed in PA and have a lovely home. So many people are unable to find a place to call home and we have been blessed.

13. Being able to breastfeed
With the first two kids I was able to breastfeed short term. Afterwards they were on formula and on to organic whole milk. We have been so blessed to not have the added expenses of formula or special milk for baby boy K. He is still nursing, bonus! No formula this time around. Added blessing: special bonding moments with baby K.

14. Running water
Have you been anywhere without running water? I have… well water requires electricity and when we lose power we have no running water. One of the many modern day conveniences in America is running water… nope I don’t think I’d survive the zombie apocalypse.

15.Walks in nature
Living in north eastern PA has become a blessing in disguise for rediscovering nature. There are many walking and hiking trails in the local forest. Some trails lead to beautiful waterfalls, others to panoramic scenic views of the local area. Each one

16. Comfort food
My tastes have grown from instant pudding and mac’n cheese as a kid to dark chocolate and shrimp alfredo. ahh the good things in life.

17. My grandparents
These two amazing people have always been there for me. I can not imagine life without them. I really don’t want to. They will live forever right? Lie to me!

18. My husband
This man of mine… such a blessing. He is an answer to so many prayers, even the unasked prayers. Great to the kids, helps out around the house, and… he even loves me in all of my crazy quirkiness.
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19. My mom
Cheesy? maybe… but my mom has shown me I can overcome any challenge, to never accept failure as the end and to keep searching for my happiness. She is one of my best friends and I am so blessed to have an amazing relationship with her.

20. Relationship with siblings
Four girls and one boy… this is my core sibling list. My sisters and brother. Of course they’ve added on with spouses but my core siblings, the inner-inner circle if I may, are a crazy bunch, yes, and my crazy bunch. They call and text, check in, and fight as siblings do. They are MINE!

21. My Tribe
My tribe! Oh man I’ve been on a physical journey this last…. mmm not quite a year yet. They have been there to laugh, cry, fall, and push me when I need (and sometimes don’t want) it. I have held memberships to gyms before but have never felt like I was a part of a gym. I belong here. Best workout sessions ever! I mean have you ever laughed while doing an ab workout? I do!

22. Military Moments
This sounds a bit vague but it’s a broad topic covering many facets of the military life. Recently I attended a dedication ceremony on a gazebo for families of local fallen military. It was touching to see families and soldiers being honered and remembered years after their passing. The military community is another piece of the puzzle making me. I have been blessed to meet and volunteer with incredible men and women in the military community.
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*photo courtesy of Linda Kerr/Tobyhanna ACS

23. Technology
How did we survive without cell phones, instant internet access and google? Seriously? Does anyone remember. I do, but it’s all a blur like a different lifetime ago. No technology is definitely a 1st world problem. I take it for granted but know what a blessing it is being able to utilize technology every day to reach family and friends across the globe.

24. My education
Walkingor driving to school was no big deal. High school was… well I’m not telling how long ago. After high school I went to community college for the majority of my general education classes then continued onto a university for my undergraduate degree in business management, yep I have a BS in BM haha. Not everyone has these opportunities and I recognize the blessing school has been for me.

25. Music
In high school I actually wanted a doctorate in music and my big plan was to teach… ya I know big dreams. Music has always been a part of me and my life. I sing, dance, play instruments, everthing. When I’m home alone during the day music is playing. I’m not a technical music gal but I dabble a bit. Music brings joy in ways I can not describe. Aside from signing and dancing, music is a talent of mine. I have played an instrument since I was in 4th grade. I picked up a flute and haven’t quit since.

26. Talents
I believe recognizing and knowing our talents is important so we can expand on them. I’ve talked about music and baking. I am a Jane of all trades, master of none, as the saying goes. I dabble in much. Sewing, writing, sketching to name a few. The blessing of talents is the ability and opportunity to bless other lives with those talents.

27. Two car family
This may seem silly but if we only had one car (which many people don’t even have one car) I would never leave the house during the week. No tribe, no errands, no shopping. What would I do?! We do not have public transportation here. Life. Would. Be. Terrible.

28. My exes
Yes, my exes are blessings. The broken hearts, bad boys, terrible mistakes, ones that didn’t last… all of them helped mold and shape me into the woman I am today. They also helped prepare me and my life for the wonderful man I have today.

29. Creature comforts
This includes more of those little blessings I take for granted most days. Heat, a warm bed, comfy blankets, a fireplace, fans during the hot months, thick wool socks. The little things in life really make it great don’t they?

30. All of you
I am blessed to have followers and readers such as you.  Each of you brings new light and perspective to my blog and online life.

What are some things you find yourself thankful for this month? Posting your blessings and gratitude on your blog this month? Post your link in the comments.

I’ll Show You My…

Welcome to the October edition of our Mommy Blog Collab. This month Katie, and I are joined by Tracy and Dara. Pop on over to their blogs and get to know them as well. I hope you all are enjoying getting to know us better as each month we delve into a new topic opening our lives up a little more. This month we are on a different topic. I’ll Show You My Religion.

We have had a few diverse posts showing you in our collab how different we are. A few months ago we posted about our tattoos. Katie and Tracy showed us their tattoos with enthusiasm and excitement, even talking about more they hope to get in the future. Then there was my post…. I don’t have tattoos, members of my family do, I don’t.  We remain friends and I like to think our differences make us better friends as we can explore more aspects of life by talking openly and casually with each other. We aren’t always sprinkles, lollipops and rainbows but we are real. We listen.

What is a religion? Many words are synonymous with religion such as faith, belief, worship and church. Religion is the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods, according to the Oxford online dictionary.  Sounds simple enough… let’s dig a bit deeper into that definition on a personal level.

I am a Mormon.

Mormon is the nickname given for a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. LDS, LDS Church, Mormon Church; these are all synonymous with the Church. Where did the Mormon nickname come from? I’m glad you asked! The long in the short of it, we believe the Holy Bible to be the word of God, in the proper and correct translation given from God. There has also been a second record located and translated in these latter-days. The records follow families from Jerusalem as they escaped under the direction of God in the early years of the reign of King Zedekiah. The bible traces the history of the Jews, while these new records follow the families who left Jerusalem and eventually came to the Americas. Much as the bible follows and recounts the history of many people over a long period of time, this other record does the same. Think of it as prophets keeping a journal of the church and people. These records were compiled by the last righteous man of the people, a man named Mormon. He abridged the records together creating one book. This book is called The Book of Mormon. As this book is unique to our religion we are given the nickname Mormon. This is the average, as opposed to the short,  in the long of it so to speak. You may obtain your own free copy of this book here.

Who are Mormons? What do we believe? Basic and simplistically put members of the Church are Christians. There is a lot of information available if you want the facts and statistics. Here and here are a few. We do not practice polygamy. Most likely the information you have from watching TV shows, movies or plays is an inaccurate depiction of modern day Mormons. The exception to this is Meet The Mormons, real people, real life, not a reality show.

Where do I fit into all of this?

Well I was born into the Church, meaning my family were active members of the Church, attending and practicing their faith. As a baby I received a baby blessing in front of the congregation during Sunday worship, Sacrament meeting. Eight years later on a Saturday in December I was baptized a member of the Church, of my own free will.

This is similar to a confirmation in the Catholic Church as we are now accountable for our own actions and decisions, as far as our knowledge has allowed. I have been thru a rebellious stage in my life where I did not live up to my own moral standards and beliefs. By the time I met AJ I was a practicing, full-time, active member of the Church again. We married in a civil union then a year after he joined the Church, and was baptized, we were able to enter the Salt Lake Temple and be sealed together for time and all eternity as husband and wife as well as to our children. 

Our lives are normal, we are regular people living in a normal house in the middle of nowhere PA (also known as the Poconos). Each Sunday we attend services as a family. Sacrament meeting is comparable to mass, or communion. We partake of the Sacrament, think last supper, and are taught Gospel Doctrine by other members of the congregation. Sunday School is less formal. The adults have separate classes from the kids for the remainder of services. The third hour adults attend a second class but are taught in groups of men and women. The women attend Relief Society and the men are in a Priesthood class. The children are in Primary for Sunday school and auxiliary classes. Teenagers have a Sunday school class followed by Young Women and Young Men/Priesthood classes. There are also other activities during the week and get togethers throughout the year. All classes, meetings and organization are lead by members of the Church in a volunteer capacity. Our Scout groups, the youth leaders, even our ward leaders are volunteers. These volunteers are asked to serve in these capacities as a calling from God.

Every Sunday we have service. Every six months there is also a Church wide broadcast to the world. This broadcast is from the Church leaders in SLC,UT providing guidance, admonition and direction for members and the world. While there are guidelines and direction given all religion is individual.

Like other aspects of life, there are ups and downs, high points and challenging moments.  I do not know everything but I will continue to strive to learn and improve myself. I am a work in progress. I do know and believe my religion is a part of who I am. While I do sustain and follow the guidance of our Church leaders, I seek God as an individual. My relationship with Him and His son, Jesus Christ are very personal. I believe He speaks directly to me giving guidance and council as I ask and listen. The Holy Spirit guides and prompts when I am worthy.

One of my favorite quotes is framed with a picture of Jesus, “I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it.”

I welcome any and all questions and comments about my post and religion. Please do so  respectfully.

If you wish to join us in this month’s blog collab post, tag back to this post or comment below. Interested in future topics of I’ll Show You My? Reach out to myself or Katie.

I’ll Show You My…

Has it been a month already? It has!! Time for September’s edition of mommy and lifestyle blog collab I’ll Show You My… with Katie. This month we are talking back to school haul!

Our kids are back in public school this year. We made sure to have enough of everything and then some for the entire school year, not only the start of the year, but all year long. With one child in 1st grade and another in 11th so they have different needs.  Not knowing exactly what the girls would need this year in school we stocked up on about everything they could need.

Fortunately, we receive back-to-school supplies thru Operation Homefront. They run a school supply donation drive each year and several military units are able to receive these donations. We are able to get a lot of supplies as AJ’s unit is small and there are enough for everyone. Half of these supplies are actually left over from the small supplies we received last year!

When school started we received notice from #2’s teacher she did not need any school supplies as she provides everything so it can all be the same. We will send in other supplies she needs such as disinfectant wipes and tissue. High school is a bit different and they are expected to be more responsible for themselves. #1 has supplies as she has seen fit to use, mostly composition notebooks, pens and pencils. Luckily we have enough of those and she seems to be doing well with them.

Did you get enough of your own school supplies? What does your stash look like? Post yours and link it back here!

I’m including a giveaway this month! I want to pass our blessings on to one of you! One person will win a flat rate box filled with school supplies! To enter simply make sure you are following my blog as well as Katie’s blog, then comment below! Entry deadline is Friday 16 September at 11:59pm ET. 

I’ll Show You My…

That time of the month is here again! I love participating in the I’ll Show You My collab I joined with my favorite Momma bloggers Katie and Tracy. On the third Wednesday of every month we show you something we’ve randomly selected, and we hope that you’ll show us yours too! Just link your posts back to us and comment below with your link!

This month we are showing you our empties! I don’t mean the empty ketchup or the empty toilet paper roll. I am showing you my empty products I love, like, hate, will never buy again and can’t wait to buy again! These products range from local shop purchases, to direct sales purchases, to online mass retailers.  So without further ado here are my empties:

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Not shown: Divine moisturizer and cat litter.

Cat litter: I haven’t found a particular brand we love over the others but with three cats we go thru our fair share of cat litter. I absolutely will not buy the non-clumping litter tho. I’ve never tried it and I do not have any intentions on starting. Just ew!

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Shine eye makeup remover wipes. These are from Younique and are a miracle product! The wipe is not only great for eye makeup but for the entire face. I LOVE using these, especially at night when I don’t have the energy to scrub all the makeup off. The entire wipe is great for a full face makeup removal. On the nights or days I only wear a light amount of makeup, half a wipe is plenty and works splendidly! What’s more, these wipes are refreshing in smell. Have you ever used a makeup wipe only to have your hands or face smell like chemicals? Gross! These wipes leave your fingers and face smelling fresh and feeling refreshed!
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Divine moisturizer. I didn’t get a photo of this product before I threw it away, but it is in the photo above with the Shine wipes, oops! Another Younique product. I have used various facial moisturizers from high end down to drug store brands. I have used products where I have needed to reapply and others where I felt the moisturizer made my skin feel greaser. Divine is absolutely that, divine! I get enough moisturizer for my dry skin but not too much that my skin feels greasy. My facial skin tends to be dry and flaky at times and the moisturizer is delicious to my skin. After this bottle ran out I thought I could manage and use some other moisturizer I had still sitting around the house. That has not been the case! My skin is screaming for Divine and can’t wait for it to come in the mail this week!

Ghiggeri’s Oils & Balsamics. We found this quaint little shop in town one weekend. The owners are nice and welcoming, as are the employees. The shop has a wide variety of oils and balsamics, all available for testing at your leisure. There are also honeys, bread mixes and other nice items to go along with any oil or balsamic you may choose. My favorite is the California Garlic infused olive oil. I am a bit impartial to garlic anything tho. If you live in the area, give them a try. If you don’t, come over for a visit and I’ll take you there!

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Calgon. Having cloth diapers for K, a front loader and hard well water makes laundry rough, especially on the cloth diapers sometimes. I bought Calgon to use specifically for our cloth diaper loads. I did not realize or know about the proper way to use the product originally so do not feel I have had the best experience with the product. Now that I need a new one I am looking forward to a good and proper use in the wash for the cloth diapers especially. Good bye water stains and rough clothes!

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Purex. Again with the washer! Now that I know how to get Calgon properly in the wash I may not need as much soap and the soap can do its proper job fighting dirt on clothes instead of dirt in the water. I always try to use HE detergents and a detergent with stain removal. My family is tough on their clothes.

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R.W. Knudsen Organic Apple Juice. Baby K is still a big fan of nursing but every now and again he’ll drink from a cup. He has yet to drink cow milk but he loves apple juice. I try not to buy too much fruit juice and soda around here due to the amount of sugar and processing but this apple juice at about the purest I’ve seen it. Organic isn’t quite as important but I’m so tired of juices from concentrate. It even settles and separates. So I’ll give him a 1:4 ratio of juice:water when he does want something other than mama milk. Bonus: I found a coupon and scored two new bottles at the commissary for less than a dollar each!

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Eucerin lotion. This container no longer has its label but I LOVE this lotion for my body. It is a thick cream and works splendidly for my dry flaky knees, elbows and feet. I have tried many lotions over the years for my dry skin and this is the only lotion to ease my dry skin. Here is a stock photo for you to see what it looks like with the label still on 🙂

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Lastly is my candle from Jenn’s Two Scents. Remember my giveaway/review post? I really love her products. (Her candle is on the right) Which reminds me, I think it is time to place another order! If you haven’t yet, check out her Etsy shop. If you don’t see a scent you like, message her she’ll work with you!

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