Monday, November 19, 2012

Psalm 16

This Psalm has been blessing me. I pray it will bless you too. Thanks to for making it so easy to share these beautiful words with you.

16 Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
    I have no good apart from you.”
As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones,
    in whom is all my delight.
The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply;
    their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
    or take their names on my lips.
The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
    you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
    indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
    in the night also my heart instructs me.
I have set the Lord always before me;
    because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
    my flesh also dwells secure.
10 For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
    or let your holy one see corruption.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
    in your presence there is fullness of joy;
    at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Summer Plan 2012

Is anyone else asking themselves what happened to the last 3 months?? (Maybe you're wondering what happened to the last 3 years or just the last 3 days... at any rate you know how I feel, mom.)

Today was my kids' last day of school for the year. I'm sitting on the precipice of another summer. This was my first year of "freedom" - two kids in school full time. It felt good. But as predicted I packed every possible moment with housework, volunteering, writing, and working at my "real job" (ie. the one I actually get paid to do).

And it makes me wonder, how will I ever scale back and just enjoy the lazy days of summer?? How can I embark on a summer of fun and adventure without feeling like I'm staring into the abyss? I've done an unofficial survey of other moms I know and there's a mix of emotions. Some are ecstatic to have kids at home this summer; others are dreading it. I have a funny feeling the first group isn't telling the whole truth. There are a lot of hours to fill and without a plan things can get scary in a hurry.

So here's my oversimplified plan to make our summer one that is fun for mom and kids, memorable, and everyone makes it to the next school year thankful for our time together.

Stock up on: sidewalk chalk, bubbles, hula hoop(s), water guns, Popsicles. Don't forget the (video)camera and sunscreen! 

PS. On a side note, I don't know how moms working a full-time job outside the home manage their summers. I'd love to hear from those of you who juggle that responsibility. You are truly amazing!

Day 1 (Sunday) - Church only; that's enough for one day. Relax at home for the rest of the day while making a fun new slushie recipe or something similar. *Call kids friends to schedule a meet-up for later in the week.

Day 2 (Monday) - Chore day; it has to get done so why not do it on a Monday after everyone has slept in and played in their pajamas for a couple of hours? Finish the day with a bike ride to the library. *Be sure to pick out some books with science experiments, make your own game ideas, or kid-friendly recipes.

Day 3 (Tuesday) - You were in the house most of the day yesterday, so it's time to get out and play! Go to a local park, rec center or museum. Pack a lunch and plan on spending the day. Around here, we have tons of beautiful parks and several that have water features kids can play in (Belleview and Cornerstone Parks). Seek out these parks for the best bang for zero bucks!

Day 4 (Wednesday) - Start the day by cracking open those books you got at the library. Let the books guide your morning and try an experiment or new recipe. After lunch, consider what might be going on in your community just for kids. Our library has programs all summer long (click here for the Bemis Library calendar) *Make plans with hubby for what you'll do on Saturday.

Day 5 (Thursday) - Time to get out again! Go to the farmer's market or hit the air-conditioned mall - be sure to set a spending limit! Hit the food court for lunch, you spent almost nothing so far this week, after all. Let the kids log on to their favorite educational website in the afternoon or print some worksheets to keep the learning going all summer long.

Day 6 (Friday) - Make your backyard a splash zone! Get out the hose, water guns or other water toys and invite the neighbors. Snacks and lunch can be an outdoor activity today. Since everyone will be exhausted, this can be a movie night after a low-key dinner.

Day 7 (Saturday)  - Family day! Whether you're just hanging at home or have big plans to go to the mountains, you're all together so savor it! Take a few minutes once everyone is in bed to upload photos and videos, sort and manage or publish them.

I'm not naive. I know this still leaves a lot of time unaccounted for. But just having a plan for something gives the day a rhythm  that it would otherwise lack. And if you're like me, there's just something wonderful about not having any where you absolutely must be. When the kids are happy just to play contentedly at home, bask in it!

Don't forget that there are plenty of free activities to enjoy as a family all summer long. We're blessed to have our historical museum offering great evening concerts (see the list at Littleton Historical Museum - check out what's happening at Streets of Southglenn too) and a our local shopping center offers family movie nights (check it out at Aspen Grove).

What's your favorite summer activity? Share it here!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sibu Beauty

I was asked recently to do a product review... it's not my typical fare here at Mom In Progress. But, I suppose if I'm "progressing" than a a product review is not out of the question.

Sibu Beauty is a company that I had not heard of before and turns out that they have a great product at a fair price (the daily facial lotion is one ounce for about $20) and I'm happy to tell you that my skin is loving it too.

The key ingredient in Sibu products is the Himalayan sea buckthorn berry. I did some independent research on this "miracle berry" and found all sources to make the same claims: the sea buckthorn berry is packed with nutrients that are good for your skin and body.

I was also delighted to see that I can find Sibu locally at Whole Foods, Sunflower Market, and GNC stores.

I've been using the Sibu Repair and Protect daytime facial cream for about 6 weeks and my skin looks great. It might be my imagination, but I actually think I have rosy glow that I didn't have before. (To be fair, I've never been committed to a real quality facial cleansing and moisturizing treatment before either... whatever is on sale has always worked just fine.)

At any rate, Sibu has made me rethink that. Since my skin is not getting any younger, it's good to have some part of nature on your side. Sibu boasts all natural ingredients in a product that is paraben-free and cruelty-free with no dairy, wheat, gluten, sodium, yeast or preservatives. And one better, their sea buckthorn is sourced through fair trade agreements with local harvesters in Tibet.

I received one product for testing and review at no charge. My review is honest based on my own experience.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Thing I Never Planned To Do, But Did

It was mid-December and life was racing along as usual at our home. Gifts were bought, cards were sent, cookies were made. You know. All of the things that we generally do in December were high on the priority list. And somewhere in the midst of all the celebrating and eating I heard the word "cleanse." And I do mean in the physical, biological sense.

It seemed that everywhere I looked there was a push toward healthier eating. Not just the usual "I need to lose weight " New Year's Resolution kind of stuff, but clinical research, can't-deny-the-proof stuff. If you know me, a healthy and environmentally responsible lifestyle is something I try to live out everyday. I'm not perfect, but since my first pregnancy I've always been careful about what I put in my body, how much, and be aware of where it comes from. But this chatter of "paleo diet" or "plant based diet" was hard to ignore. If you're not familiar with these terms don't worry... neither was I. Interestingly to me, they are not the same thing.

Generally speaking, a paleo diet is one specific to "whole foods" that includes a wide range of meats, poultry, eggs, and fish and stresses single ingredient foods. In other words, if you can't pronounce something on that can of soup that you're holding, just put it right back on the shelf. The paleo diet allows for eating all fruits and vegetables, some nuts but absolutely no legumes, grains, dairy, or sugar/sweeteners of any kind.

A plant-based diet is quite a bit more self-descriptive. If it grows from the ground, you're good to eat it. No animal based food of any kind is allowed. We most commonly hear the term "vegan" for people who eat this way. Unlike the paleo diet, the plant-based diet includes whole grains and legumes, but excludes any and all meat, eggs, or dairy products.

As of today, I am two weeks into my paleo diet. I'll admit to a "cheat" last weekend for a wedding we attended but I can honestly say I haven't had one taste of butter, one drop of honey, or a single sliver of cheese since starting this cleanse. And I do call it a cleanse, because I plan on making some diet adjustments after a couple more weeks.

Let me share what I've discovered for myself already in my own personal health:
  • I'm sleeping better than I have in years. Although everything I read promised this result, I never expected it. I'm so grateful.
  • I have the same level of energy or better than I had before and my energy level is consistent throughout my day. I absolutely do not have the dips in energy that I used to have.
  • This is not a weight loss regimen for me, but there's no doubt that my abdomen is flatter than it was two weeks ago.
I'll be excited to share my report at the end of the cleanse as well. My intention is to replace meats with more legumes - I miss my hummus!! - but continue to eat eggs. I also intend to discontinue the use of cow's milk and use only coconut milk (no soy here unless it's organic).

So much of our lifestyle journey is based on our beliefs, our faith, our health, and our convictions. Science can prove or disprove many things, but our own experiences can't be denied. This somewhat unintentional journey deep into the world of health and science makes me want to plea with you to take some time to discover for yourself what the effects of your eating habits have on your health.

Don't drink another diet soda until you know the risks.

Don't continue eating dairy products because you grew up being told that was how you had to get your calcium.

Don't be fooled into thinking that sugar-filled and highly processed foods aren't killing you slowly... and maybe not so slowly.

Wishing you good health in 2012! See you back here in a couple of weeks.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Easiest Peanut Butter Cookies

I found this recipe in a Christmas Cookie Cookbook about 8 years ago. Since then, I have misplaced the book, but the recipe is soooo simple that it's still one we make every Christmas. It's certainly a great year round recipe and perfect for kids to help with!

Here's what you need:

1c. peanut butter
1c. granulated suger
1 egg

That's it! You can double or triple the recipe for bigger batches. The 1-1-1 ratio makes about 30 cookies (1 tsp. sized).

Cook at 350 for about 12 minutes. One note: you'll need to press down the cookie because it does not spread.

A few of our favorite variations include rolling the cookies in sugar before putting them on the cookie sheet, adding a Hershey Kiss, and mixing in chocolate chips. Some things I haven't tried yet but I think would be lovely and yummy are a candy coating drizzle or dip, using chunky peanut butter, and adding sprinkles.

What would you add to this super simple recipe?

And by the way, I intended to have a picture for you, but these cookies were eaten so quickly I never had a chance. I'd say that's not a bad thing altogether. :-)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Frisco's Wassail Days


I'm so excited to bring you the details of this family event in Frisco, Colorado! Nothing says Christmas like getting up into the beautiful Rocky Mountains and celebrating the holidays nestled in a cozy town with your closest friends and family. Fresh snow. Lighted trees. Sleigh rides. Visits with Santa.

And it all starts with the Santa Dash for Cash - a 1K "fun run" in which all participants must wear Santa gear! The run is TOMORROW and when you register at you will receive a Frisco Santa shirt, a Santa hat and at the end of the run you will receive a stocking full of goodies including Wassail Cash (the official currency of Wassail Days that can be used at local restaurants and retailers) and a FREE pass for a ½ hour of tubing at the Frisco Adventure Park Tubing Hill. What a deal!!

Wassail Days is going on all week long (Dec 3-11). Start a new tradition with this annual event that has something for everyone in your family! (And, if you can't make it this year, mark your 2012 calendar.)

Here are a few more details:
                 12/3: $25 entry fee for SANTA DASH FOR CASH – receive Frisco Santa shirt, a Santa hat, Wassail Cash, ½ hour                    tubing pass for Frisco Adventure Park.
o    FREE admission to Tree Lighting along Main Street
o    Chili Cook-off at the Frisco Adventure Park where runners can redeem their ½ free tubing hill pass
12/7: Wassail Night at the Historic Park
12/8: FREE Nordic Ski, Tubing and Sleigh Rides
12/10: Breakfast with Santa at Tuscato’s (register for this event at
                12/11: Final voting day for the Wassail competition – sip and vote for your favorite wassail for FREE at participating retail shops along Main Street in Frisco.
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