Behind the Scenes of One Mama's Life

Just Say No

Tell the truth: Did you think this post was about drugs when you saw the title? Ironically when I first saw the title of the audio I just listened to, that’s exactly what I thought too. “Just Say No” was a popular phrase in the ‘war on drugs’ many years ago led by First Lady Nancy Reagan. What a class act she is!

But this talk by Lorri Flem of Eternal Encouragement was about something a little different. No matter what season of life you’re experiencing, or what your vocation is, this talk is for all women. You know ladies, we like to do everything! I don’t know about you, but I was raised that you help others wherever you can. I think I must have stopped listening at the words ‘help others’ and completely ignored the rest. Helping others is important. Helping others is one of the things God wants from us. BUT, the other important part is ‘wherever you can.’

There are legitimate times to ‘just say no.’ What I like about Lorri’s talk is that she uses real life examples; she lets us know that she has difficulties in this area just like the rest of us do. I know that I just can’t get on board with someone’s ideas if they don’t live them out or struggle just like I do. Lorri’s talks are real enough that I feel like she’s sitting across the table from me and we’re sipping lemonade.

While I don’t want to give everything away, I did want to talk about one part of “Just Say No” that really hit home. You see, I’m in a situation where I said ‘yes’ to a commitment and now I have to turn around and tell the person ‘no.’ Now the reasons behind my new answer are not entirely under my control. but Lorri reminded me that God and family come first. I can’t give what I don’t have. Then, not only does my family suffer, but the person I said ‘yes’ to suffers as well because I can’t keep my end of the bargain. In the end, everyone loses.

So… If you are over-burdened, if your schedule is constantly full, if you’re too tired to be fully present to your spouse and children; then you just may need to hear Lorri Flem’s “Just Say No” audio talk. It’s easily downloadable right to your computer or mp3 player (you can also get it as an actual CD, too). If you give it a listen, please come back and let me know how it helped you say ‘no’ to over-commitment and ‘yes’ to God and family.

* Note to Lorri: You and your children would be welcome in our home any time! Any time you’re willing to travel completely across the country, that is!

As a Gabby Mom, I was provided with an audio copy of “Just Say No” by Lorri Flem in exchange for my honest review.

Valentine Treats

Since Sarah is hosting Pinning it Down today, I thought I’d share a couple of treats I made for the family for Valentine’s Day. Obviously, it’s too late to re-create these for this year, perhaps you can pin them for next year or adapt them to another celebration you have coming up.

But before I show my projects, I want to wish Sarah from Amongst Lovely Things a very happy and safe delivery of her blessed baby girl. She is officially ‘overdue’ and is anxious for her darling daughter to make her appearance. May God bless you both with a healthy delivery!

The projects…

First, I made a basket of gifts for the family based on this idea from The original idea had a separate gift for each of the 14 days leading up to Valentine’s Day. However, a couple of the suggestions weren’t possible for us to do due to allergies {and I couldn’t come up with anything better} so I decided to use what we could do and place it all together in one basket.

The original pin had some  free printables, but I was also low on color ink so I had to improvise. I got out my cricut and cut these heart-shaped locks out of pink paper. Then I hand-wrote the the loving puns. The kids loved reading the puns and laughing at them. Then they all enjoyed digging into the feast. Here are a couple of close-ups of the puns we used…



Everyone seemed happy with their treats and they were a lot of fun to make!

This post is linked to Pinning It Down – did you try something off your pinterest boards this week? Join the party and let us know what you did!

This post is also linked to Titus 2sday and Women Living Well.

2012 in 2012 – Week 7

Ok, I’m just squeezing this in on Saturday instead of Sunday; at least for some of you who live in later time zones (Hi Heather from Cali!)! This week is the first week that Saturday has rolled around and I looked over at my corner where I keep my donation pile for the week and said, “Ooops!” I had three things. So I spent part of my Saturday morning seeing what I could do to rectify that situation. It seems having the accountability of posting about this each week provides that proverbial ‘kick in the pants’ I sometimes need to get moving.
So here goes:
  • 3 Articles of Kids’ Clothing
  • 7 Articles of Adults’ Clothing

Thrown Away:

  • 2 broken Toys
  • 1 Pair of Socks
  • 1 Pair of Tights (Diva is hard on her tights!)
  • 1 Pair of Underwear
  • 4 Pairs of Nylons
  • 1 T-Shirt
  • 2 Broken Thermometers

I did not, as I had hoped, list or sell anything on ebay this week. But I did take some more pictures to be ready for a mad session or two of listings coming soon.


  • Donated: 10 Items
  • Thrown Away: 12 Items

Week 7: 1747 – 22 = 1725

Guess that’s what happens when you wait until the last day to work on your weekly project! I guess I’ve blown that ‘ahead of the game’ status I mentioned last week. But, the bottom line is that items are still leaving the house and we are still de-cluttering.

Until next week…

Electability – Fact or Fiction?

We hear a lot about electability during primary season. Throughout this entire process we’ve been told that Mitt Romney’s the only ‘electable’ candidate in the field. Heck, even Donald Trump endorsed Romney because he “doesn’t get Rick Santorum.” Apparently, according to Trump’s standards, someone who’s lost an election should not run for another office. So, I guess what Donald Trump is saying is that once you fail (whether it’s your fault or not) you shouldn’t try again. I guess Mr. Trump’s never failed at anything.

Yes, Rick Santorum lost his last election in 2006. Yes, he lost by a lot. But that’s not all that is important about that election. Remember that the election took place in 2006. If you recall that year Rick Santorum wasn’t the only one. That’s an important point; things were different six years ago. We are now living in a country with more debts and less safety. We are now living with fewer freedoms – our rights are slowly being stripped away from us. We are now “helping” those who refuse to help themselves.

But that’s not the only thing… it seems that the man who was endorsed by Donald Trump has lost an election as well. Let’s take a look at a side-by-side comparison of the election records of both Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum and see what we find…

Source (click here for original article)

If we look at Mitt Romney first, we see that losing an election does not preclude one from winning the next. As you can see, Romney was defeated by Ted Kennedy in 1994. Then he won his bid to become governor of Massachusetts in 2003.

Now let’s take a gander at Rick Satorum’s election record. We see first of all that he has a proven track record of winning elections. Not only that, we can see that he didn’t just win them. He defeated the incumbents. And not just once – he’s done it twice! Isn’t that what we need in November? We need to oust the incumbent. Rick Santorum has the experience to do this. He has proven that this is not an impossible task.

There’s one more thing I’d like to point out that is not shown on this graphic. Mitt Romney has one other defeat on his record. He lost to John McCain in 2008. Why would we nominate the man who lost to the guy who was defeated by Obama? What makes us think he can get the job done this time? He can’t. But Rick Santorum can. He has the proven record. He has the experience of running against and defeating incumbents.

For more information about where Rick stands on the issues, please click here.

For more information about Rick Santorum, please click here.

To donate to Rick Santorum’s campaign, please click here.

Note: These are my conclusions and opinions. This is my “mom blog,” if you will. I will not tolerate (read: I will delete) any comments that are mean-spirited, profane, or contain personal attacks toward me or either candidate. All comments are moderated.

2012 in 2012 – Week 6

Uh-Oh, started a pattern of not posting my weekly results on Saturday night, I’d better nip that in the bud! But, better late than never, so here’s is this week’s tally!
  • 8 Articles of Kids’ Clothing
  • 9 Pairs of Socks
  • 28 Kids’ Books (most will be going to two little cousins and the rest went to Goodwill)

Thrown Away:

  • 1 Pair of Underwear


  • 1 Muffy VanderBear
  • 1 Steiff Collector’s Book


  • Donated: 45 items
  • Thrown Away: 1 item
  • Sold: 2 items

Week 6: 1795 – 48 = 1747

Ok, so we didn’t do as well this week. But the most important thing is that we’re still making progress. Things are still leaving our house. Diva’s room has been cleaned up and rearranged. LegoFan has fewer items in his dresser and the drawers actually close (amazing!).

If I go back to my original calculations of how much needs to go each week to stay on track, I am ahead of the game. The average number of items to go each week to complete this task by the end of the year is 40. So, even with this week’s 48, I’m above average! And, with 265 total items gone, I’m averaging just over 44 items per week. We’re on a roll ~ and it feels good!

Now I need to get serious about listing on ebay. I have taken several pictures of things that can go to other good homes and uploaded them to my computer. Now I just need to sit down and list them. It’s really not that difficult. In fact, if you have several items of the same type, you can set up one listing and then just change names and pictures to make subsequent listings much easier. So it’s time to get busy!

Let me know how your purge is going in the comments!

Pinning It Down {5} – Breakfast Casserole

I missed last week’s Pinning It Down *sigh* – chaotic week! But this week I get to combine Pinning it Down with a quick breakfast solution. This recipe arrived in my inbox one morning and it looked simple and delicious, so I pinned it. It was for a one-minute egg casserole. While I am learning to be a better homemaker, I am still NOT a morning person. So this sounded like a great solution – it was quick and contained three food groups! So we tried it one morning; and it made a return appearance the next morning! Diva really liked it a lot; LegoFan was a little on the fence, but even he opted for it over his usual favorite the next morning. So I think we have a winner.

I apologize that this is not a really pretty photo – it’s not a really pretty meal. I mean it IS a casserole. But it’s not important how pretty it is, as long as the kids will eat it!

It is SO simple to make. All you do is break up some bread, add some milk and shredded cheese, then one egg. Mix it all up and microwave it for one minute. Done! Please click through to the original website for the exact recipe. Try it, you’ll like it…

I also tried another item I pinned to my Helpful Tidbits board. Amy Bayliss had done a post on Cajun cooking and this tip was found there. She said that if you put your onions in the freezer for about 20 minutes before you need to cut them, you don’t cry!!! This was something I had to try. So last night, I was making burritos and was adding sliced onions and peppers. I remembered that tip and decided to try it. Ya know what?! IT WORKS!!! Not one. single. tear. Ya’ll (said in my best southern accent as a tribute to Amy) are just going to simply have to give it a try.

Looking forward to seeing what other pinned down this week (and last week ’cause I’m just a wee bit late…). Feel free to follow me on Pinterest.

This post is linked to Pinning It Down, Titus 2sday, and Raising Homemakers.

2012 in 2012 – Week 5

I’m getting this week’s report in a day or so late, but here it is…
My son and I did get to go through some of his clothes, but we did not get to all of them. My daughter, however, continued her purge – I am SO proud of her! She got rid of some more clothes and a bunch of toys.
I did sell a few things on ebay, but I’m not including all of them as they have not yet been paid for. Sometimes these items just don’t end up leaving the house, unfortunately!
  • 20 Items of Kids’ Clothing
  • 44 Horse Related Toys
  • 5 Misc. Toys
Thrown Away:
  • 2 Shower Caddies
  • 1 Shower Curtain Liner
  • 1 Pair of Socks
  • 3 Torn Shirts
  • 2 Pairs of Underwear
  • 1 Broken Testors Model
  • 1 Out-of-Shape Plastic Cup (actually recycled)


  • 1 T-Shirt
  • 1 Hoppy VanderHare Rabbit


  • Donated: 69 Items
  • Thrown Away: 11 Items
  • Sold: 2 Items

Week 5: 1877 – 82 = 1795

Now, two of the items we threw away were replaced – you kind of need a shower curtain liner, and a shower caddy is certainly helpful when you have multiple people and all their various bottles! But I still counted them in the totals because we got rid of three things that were no longer in good condition.

Diva is starting to see the difference she has made. Her room is much cleaner without all the clutter, and she has more space to play with the toys that are more important to her. I think this has been a valuable lesson for her. Now I just need the lesson to sink into LegoFan’s head…

Though, if truth be told, I think they both get it from me. I’m thinking that I may need to provide an even better example. We’ll see what happens this week!

Anyone else purging? How’s it going?

Weeks 1-3

Week 4

Papertrey Ink 5th Anniversary Challenge #1

Papertrey Ink is kicking off its 5th Anniversary with an amazing challenge. Nichole has asked her design team to list their top five favorite products and their favorite post(s) of the last year. Then, she challenged us to take a look at them and pick one that inspired us to create something of our own.

I have been a stamper and paper-crafter for a while, but I haven’t really posted a lot about things I make. I’m not an expert and I don’t know a lot of techniques. I kinda get inspired by the celebrations at hand plus the daily emails of some of my favorite designers.

So today I looked at the inspiration posts and saw some great stuff – Nichole has some amazing ladies on her team! And while I liked many of them, one of them stood out as a post I had wanted to remember and do myself. The designer is Betsy Veldman and you can click HERE to see her original project. It’s basically a collage of sentiments, using various fonts and colors. I really liked the way they turned out!

With Valentine’s Day approaching I thought I would use this as an inspiration for a Love card. The card base is a 5×5 square made out of a deep red piece of cardstock; and the matting is a sheet of white paper with pink hearts (4.5×4.5).  Both papers are from Creative Memories. Next I took a piece of pink card stock and cut it into a 4×4 square. In the center, I stamped “It’s Your Day” from Think Big Sentiments #2 with an embossing pad and covered it with white embossing powder. Before I heat embossed the image, I scraped the letter ‘Y’ off the word your so that it became ‘our.’ Since the card was about ‘our love’ I thought it was more appropriate that way. However, it didn’t all come off like I had hoped. I will stamp over it later.

Then I used two pieces from the Love Birds set: a pair of doves and a trio of hearts. I stamped them with Versamark Dazzle Ink randomly over the entire square. In retrospect, I probably would have skipped this step. In the end, I think it turns out a little too over-crowded.


Then I added a couple of sentiments, similar to Betsy’s idea. I added “Love Birds” from the Love Birds set and “love you” from the Tag-Its #5 set. And my last stamp is a pair of hearts from the Tag-Its #4 set in the space where the ‘Y’ used to be. Then I attached all the pieces together with adhesive.

While I like the card in general, there are some things I would do differently – the versamark background and the pair of hearts in place of the ‘Y’ because they don’t give the polished look I wanted. Also, it would have been helpful if I hadn’t run out of my usual adhesive – it would look more professional if it was sealed all the way around. I am hoping to remedy that as soon as I can get to the store this week!

All-in-all it was nice to sit down and craft before the Super Bowl comes on tonight. I don’t really care about the outcome as I don’t really care about either team. However, I am Boston Red Sox fan, so perhaps I should cheer for the Pats, but they did beat my Ravens so…

Rick Santorum — The Servant

Rick Santorum — The Servant.

I know I don’t normally post about politics on this blog, but I do have a new page in the upper right-hand corner where I lay out my reasons for supporting Senator Rick Santorum for president. We don’t have to agree on that choice to get along and continue to read/follow each other’s blogs. However, I came across this article today that really sums it up and I wanted to share it with you.

I commented on the author’s post acknowledging that there are characteristics in each of the other three men on the ballot that would compel me to select their name on the ballot against Obama come November. But it would be the same as any other election: I would be voting for the “lesser of two evils” (in my opinion).

This election can be different. This time, I FINALLY have an opportunity to support a candidate because I truly believe that he is the best man for the job. In Rick Santorum, not only do we have a man who is intelligent; supports Israel, understands our immigration problems, truly supports job creation and manufacturing in America, and so on; but we also have a man who is principled. He doesn’t just believe things, he LIVES them. He is a man of conviction.

Anyway, back to this article. The author takes a look at each of the four remaining candidates and assigns a one-word description to each. I’ll let you read the article to see how he categorizes the other three, but I agree with him. His one word description of Rick Santorum is Servant. How appropriate! Santorum has been quoted saying that he is not running to be the most powerful man in the country, but he is running to restore that power to the people – where it belongs. A servant. He wants to serve America and her people. He cares for people – even the poor, especially the poor. He is a man of conviction.

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