Friday, September 30, 2011


I have been suffering with adult acne for a few months now. I cannot pinpoint what the heck is causing it. Many articles I've read and people I have spoken to say that stress is a big contributing factor. My life is not "stressful". I mean yes, I am a busy mom, with tons of responsibility which often causes me to feel overwhelmed, but I know a ton of moms with similar "stresses" and who have no pimples. Other suggestions are hormonal changes. I guess that's always a possibility. I spent 2 weeks depleting my caffeine intake and increasing my water intake, forcing myself to drink (1) gallon of water a day. My hope was that adding an excess of water would flush and nurture my skin, but it did nothing really. My mother-in-law and I have invested in a few great acne products by clinique and they have helped some, but not to the point of clearing my face entirely. The MAJOR problem area is my forehead. Darren has threatened to send me to "pickers anonymous" and has begged me to STOP picking my face. It seems impossible. It truly is an addiction. After reading some great pimple remedies and watching this video, I vow to myself and my husband to NOT pop my pimples. It will be the hardest vow I ever make to myself and to my HUSBAND. As silly as this sounds, I will add this to my prayer journal and IF you are a prayer warrior, will you pray for me ONE time on this? I'm going to give these remedies a shot and force myself NOT to pick and if that doesn't work, I am going to go a step further and try pro-active and eventually go to a dermatologist.

IF YOU SEE A BIG ZIT ON MY FACE, I KNOW IT'S THERE! LOL! Ignore it, so I can ignore it too. Although, I will be investing in some rubbing alcohol as well as some needles. Whoever is my secret santa this year.... keep these small ideas in mind, ha ha. Just teasing. I don't want rubbing alcohol and needles.

** Disclaimer ** I do NOT care for Oprah at ALL! This video was attached as a link to the pimple remedy website. It's like a train wreck... you can't stop watching it.

Another Bolling Dance!!!

The hubby is at it again!!!!!! Excuse the hideous moves on my part. I had NO idea this would make it to a video. Ugh! The candy came from my sister and brother-in-law's wedding. Their wedding favor to their guests was a candy bar filled with MOUNDS of fun and colorful candy!

Double click on the video to watch it through youtube, so my blog is not in the way!

Funny Friday!

On Friday mornings, Tyson and I have to do the "getting ready for school routine" alone because daddy goes to bible study at 6:00 am. Today is "jersey day" at Tyson's school. Each kid gets to wear their favorite jersey. I forgot. Tyson was already dressed and eating breakfast and all of the sudden Tyson yells out...

Mom: "Oooops! You're right. I forgot."
Tyson: "Mom, you're the best forgetter of this house!"
Mom: "LOL! You're absolutely RIGHT Tyson. I AM!"

That was such a funny way to compliment a HORRIBLE downfall of mine. Mom brains are so boggled down with a gazillion thoughts that we can't think straight.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Valve

I read the below post today from an amazing blog that I follow ("Proverbs 31 Ministries"). I have to seriously keep this post as close to my heart as possible. As a woman, especially, this is a struggle I know is harder to fight than most anything else.

"The Valve" by Luann Prater

“Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.” James 3:5 (NIV)

My husband needed some diesel fuel for the tractor so he asked me to pick up some on the way home. He had put the gas can in a box in the back of his truck. Now, I’m 5’2″, so things that taller-than-me folks can do become a bit more of an issue for this vertically challenged gal. I pumped the gas into the can then tried to lift it, not only up to the bed of the truck, but over the top edge of the box. It was then I discovered the little valve cover was open.

At least a cup’s worth of gas escaped through that tiny opening and strategically ran from the top of my t-shirt to the top of my pants. When I got home I scrubbed and scrubbed in the shower hoping to get rid of the smell, but the stench of gas remained in my nostrils.

My lips are like that little valve. It is such a small opening, yet the fuel that escapes can be unpleasant, caustic and even deadly. Loose lips have snapped at my family. Harsh tones have left friends feeling poisoned. Careless words have killed the spirit of a vulnerable child.

The book of James tells us that our tongue is like a restless evil full of deadly poison. Ouch! My husband didn’t want me to spill that gas; we wanted to use it for good. God doesn’t want our tongues to open unless they are going to encourage and spur one another on.

Several years ago I made a very small, but very life-changing decision. When a hurtful thought comes into my head, I tighten my lips and force a pause button to appear in my brain. When I allow myself to have just a second to think about the potential hazard that could come from ‘speaking my mind’ it gives the Holy Spirit time to check my heart and motives. In that pause moment I say, “Lord, take control of this tongue.” And He does.

Do I get it right every time? No. But I can see fewer wrecks in my life, fewer wounds, fewer poison-tipped darts flying out of this mouth. And I no longer reek of gasoline I added to the fire.

Want to join me? Pause. Seal up the valve and allow the Holy Spirit to work for good through the words you speak.

Dear Lord, thank You for reminding us that our tongue can rip a heart apart, or seal it back together. Teach us to pause long enough to give Your Spirit time to work in and through us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Happy Birthday Aaron Fernandez!!!!!!

One of our dear friends, Aaron Fernandez, is having a milestone birthday tomorrow. He's turning the BIG 30. Makes me feel soooooo old. I have been searching for a reason to test out this adorable gift idea, but I thought it would be at least 5 more years before I would be celebrating someone's 30th birthday and by then the gift would be old news or forgotten. Aaron is so mature, I would have never guessed he was under the age of 30.

I am NOT a fan of the word "sucks", but I couldn't resist this cute gift idea. Here's what you need....
1. A decorative box = $1.00
2. A piece of floral foam = $1.00
3. Krinkle paper = $1.00
4. (30) SUCKERS = $3.00

I added a colorful sign that reads, "3o Sucks"!!!! Again, not my normal choice of words, but it was just too appropriate to go along with the 30 SUCKERS.
I've witnessed Aaron enjoying a sucker or two, from "Candy Karen", on Sunday (a church member brings in bags and bags of candy, every Sunday, for the kids to enjoy) so I'm pretty confident this gift will not only be enjoyed by his two, sweet girls, but also by him!!

Happy 30th YOU OLD MAN!
It doesn't take a scientist to figure out how to assemble this, but I did try to give a few pictoral hints to those who suffer from being craft challenged.

Marble Painting FUN!

I have been trying to use the gifts that God has given me and share them with my children. I have been known to be a tad on the creative side. I've been cherishing those preschool days where I can roam freely without something attached to me, but on those OFF days, I am also trying my best to cherish and spend some quality time with the kids. The other day they had art class in the bathtub. LOL!! Today, they tested out "marble painting". It's nothing NEW. I'm sure you've seen it before. It was fun and simple. Virtually NO MESS. My kind of artwork.
Materials needed: Paint, Paper, Marbles, and a LARGE rubbermaid container.
Have children pick out 5 marbles.
We had different sized marbles from a marble run set we have!!! Dollar Tree sells an entire BAG full of them if you do not have any.
Place the white paper inside the rubbermaid container. Squeeze paint onto the paper.
Let the child move the container with marbles back and forth, up and down.
The marbles will run through the paint.
Creating beautiful masterpieces.
Pant NEVER touched my children's hands, yet they got to "paint."
A WALAAAA! Beautiful artwork to share with a grandparent or loved one!!!!!

"Italian Sausage Soup!"

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, when one of my girlfriends shares a recipe with me. They know not to waste their time on an "ok" recipe. It has to be one worth sharing. One worth making. AND one worth KEEPING! I'm okay if it's a tad expensive or VERY lengthy with ingredients. Good is GREAT... even if that means time consuming, costly, or physically exhausting to make. NOW, I can't have a ton of those because ahem... I do have 3 kids. Anyway, try out this recipe. I PROMISE you and those you are cooking for... WILL NOT BE THE LEAST BIT DISAPPOINTED. I have made this twice now. The second time I made it was Monday night. Darren said, "Mmmmm, this is my all time favorite meal that you make!"  Click on the link below for the recipe.

Italian Sausage Soup Recipe 

Wordless Wednesday!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Homemade Fun!

I am constantly on the search for something to entertain my children. I have learned that children and TOYS are a BIG joke. So why do we still buy them? I guess in hopes that ONE day, our children will put them to use and entertain themselves LONG enough for mommy and daddy to have a decent conversation or long enough for dinner to get prepared without interruption etc.... I found this idea and thought it was mighty clever.

What you will need...
1. Pipe Cleaners
2. A Strainer

Allow your child to use the pipe cleaners to push threw the holes of the strainer. Let their creative juices flow.

This was intriguing to the twins, but only lasted a mere 6 - 8 minutes MAX! It was worth trying. Maybe your child will be entertained a tad longer than mine were.

Chocolate Chip Pancakes on the Food Network

Mmmmm!!!!!!!! Often, more often than probably DARREN would like, I make breakfast for dinner. It usually happens on the nights I don't feel like cooking. It's impossible to mess up breakfast and it's always delicious. Tonight I made scrambled eggs (I love to use heavy whipping cream inside the batch to make them "melt in your mouth" delicious), bacon, sausage, and chocolate chip pancakes. These were phenomenal. A definite MUST TRY! Click on the link below to view the recipe. Poor Tyson does NOT like chocolate and Lilah does NOT like syrup, but Darren, Jax, and myself fully enjoyed them.

Chocolate Chip Pancakes on the Food Network (5 STARS)

Friday, September 23, 2011


Great NEWS!!!! I just received this email from Old Navy that the "buy one, get one 75% off" is through Sunday, September 25th. I am so excited. I actually DID share a fabulous find with you today that hasn't expired. LOL! Go out and take advantage of this amazing promotion. Keep in mind, the promotion is ONLY good in-store.

Fabulous Finds Friday!

I'm really bummed that I do NOT have consistent "fabulous finds" to share with you. I have some, but AGAIN, not ones I can share. This "find" doesn't really HELP you NOW considering the sale is over, but I do have to share ONE of MY "fabulous finds" of the week. My children reaped the benefits this time.
The photo above is of a receipt, from OLD NAVY, the length of a 3-drawer dresser.

Old Navy had a "buy 1, get 1 75% off yesterday." PLUS, they let me combine that promotion with a 40% off coupon, off of 1 regularly priced item. I left the store with $127.00 worth of merchandise, but I only spent $55.00. I LOVE THESE TIMES!!!!! Goes to show you have over priced the stores mark up their items.

Don't Wash My "Baby"!!!

I'll let the pictures do the talking, BUT, take note, these pictures were captured FROM my laundry room. It was NEVER this difficult to snatch "baby" away from Lilah to wash. It's getting harder and harder and harder to keep her safety net fresh and clean.

Check out the death grip on daddy's hanging shirt.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Poor Judgement Call

Every day I put Jax and Lilah down for a nap, I allow them to pick one or THREE books to bring into their crib with them (it's hard to believe they are almost 3 and still in a crib!). On Friday, I made a HORRIBLE judgement call. I allowed Jax to "sleep" with "bro-bro's" most prized possession... his 1st YEARBOOK! By far, this is Tyson's favorite thing he owns even above and beyond his Nintendo DS. I entered the twins' room, about 15 minutes after laying them down, because I heard some raucous and to much shock and disappointment, this is what I found when I entered.
(The Old Year Book!)

Needless to say, Jax was in deep trouble. As I was reprimanding him, Darren walked in and was livid. Jax got a good, three hard spankings from Daddy AND let's just say, I, too, got yelled at. "What in the world were you thinking? Do you realize how devastated Tyson is going to be?" YIKES. It's never fun being the one on the receiving end of daddy's wrath.

We hid the torn yearbook from Tyson until I was certain that it could be replaced. Ty's teacher saved the day, really the year, by finding a new yearbook that we could purchase.
(The new year book!)

Monday, September 19, 2011

In Your Presence!

Lord, you are worthy of all adoration and praise. Father help us to be faithful to you even in times filled with despair, anguish, and pain. Your grace is sufficient for every hurdle we will face. Your love is abounding. May we never loose site of you, our FIRST love. Everything we have comes from your hands. You've breathed life into our nostrils and gave us temporary life on earth and if we choose to turn our life over to you, you have promised us eternal life in Heaven. What an undeserving gift! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I pray everything we do points back to your son Christ's death and resurrection! I LOVE YOU LORD JESUS!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Tyson's FIRST Football Game

After 4 LOOOOONG weeks of grueling 3 days a week practices, Tyson's FIRST football game was last Tuesday. AND JUST AN FYI will be EVERY TUESDAY from here on out for 5 more weeks. Just a PLUG for anyone interested it joining us! The team did so good and the boys were really gung ho about tackling the members of the other team. Our little man was awarded the role as quarterback, so I was really nervous to watch as the plays unraveled. Gabe Shaffer scored the first touchdown of the year! GO Gabey!!!!!

I have to admit, FOOTBALL, is way more exciting to watch than BASEBALL. There's just something so incredibly cute about watching your 6 year old play a sport with full blown pads/uniform on.

It was next to impossible to capture the best shots. The bull dogs had the LARGEST fan base I could have ever imagined from our church. I think I counted well over 30 + visitors. Plus I had to deal with the twins going potty AND a few months back, I left my long distance camera lens at Greenhill Park. BOOOOO! Maybe my hubby will replace it at Christmas time.

We lost our first game 2 to 1, but these little boys played great considering it was their FIRST ever football game. I hope we cream the team this week :)

Football Videos of Tyson's FIRST Football Game

Date Night With My Hubby

Last night, Darren and I got away for a few hours. It is always a blessing to take time away from our responsibilities and spend some time focusing on our love and each other's needs. I had anticipated this date for a few days. We went to the new steak house, Longhorn! It was scrumptious! I'd have to say, Outback now has some competition. We ran a few errands and then we headed up to the Roanoke City Star!!! The drive up was a little eerie. We joked to try and lighten the mood, but Darren followed it up with, "This is a license to die!" I replied back by saying, "Yea, I think we've watched ONE TOO many Datelines. Maybe we should turn around. At least leave your wallet in the car." LOL!!!! It's crazy where your mind will take you in a dark atmosphere. Once we got up to the top of the mountain, we realized we weren't the ONLY crazies. There was a ton of people up there. The weather has been getting a tad chilly, so we stayed long enough to look out over the city and snap a photo of us by the Star. The night was very enjoyable! A HUGE thank you to Destiny and Elise for babysitting. You spent some great quality time with our children (outside play, baking cookies, fun bath time, the game memory, etc....) Our children LOVE you BOTH!!!!!

The Bride Throws the Bouquet

More Tobin Wedding Videos

The Groom Retrieves the Garter Belt!

I FORGOT I CAPTURED Tyson's "catch", of the garter belt, ON VIDEO!!!!! It was much more hilarious in person!!!!! What a smooooth capture. The only bad part was the fact that I didn't realize he has to then put the garter belt on the girl who caught the bouquet. Luckily, he put it on her arm and NOT her leg.

Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Tobin

On September 9, 2011, our family traveled to Pennsylvania to be a part of my sister's wedding. Myself along with all three of my children were honored to be a part of the bridal party. The ride up was perfect. The kids are world travelers, even with the terrible traffic in D.C. and the twins' potty training, we made it in 6 hours. We NEVER STOPPED. I just brought a portable potty and let the twins get out of their seats when they needed to use the potty. Praise God for our safety there and back.

The weekend went fast!!!! It was wonderful to spend time with my family and to see the biggest smile on my sister and NEW brother-in-law's face. The wedding reception was a TON OF FUN. You can tell they put a lot of effort into making this a memory for not only themselves, but their guests as well.

My sister is no longer a Crisafi, but a TOBIN! I will let the pictures do the talking!!!! Double click on the album below to see the photos on a larger scale.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

$1.85 Goes A-LOOOOONG Way!

Who'da thought a $1.85 would entertain a set of 2 1/2 year olds for almost an hour. That happened to me on Friday. After a LOOOONG hour spent at toyota, with both kiddies, to get my car fixed (a light came on), I decided to run to A.C. Moore to return something. Jax and Lilah spotted the Mall's entrance and wanted to "Go dat way mommy!" I knew exactly WHY they wanted to "go dat way". They've been that way before and I took them on a ride.

I had $1.85 in my pocket and it took me over 1 hour to spend it.


We walked from A.C. Moore to Belk where they rode the merry-go-round = $1.00. After the ride, I got them .50 cents worth of M&Ms (their new favorite candy). I divided the 24 pieces into (2) "snack" bags (I just happened to have with me). That lasted 15 minutes. Wish it took me that long to eat 12 M&Ms. Then we walked to the fountain where they were able to throw in 5 pennies each (super exciting to them) = .10 cents. Then we walked to the end of the mall to look at a dinosaur exhibit. FREE. Then I let them ride the escalator UP, BY THEMSELVES (nerve wracking as ever) FREE - BUT THE ABSOLUTE BIGGEST HIGHLIGHT OF THEIR LIVES! And ride the glass elevator DOWN - also FREE. Then we headed to the gumball machine where they split a piece of bubble gum - .25 cents. On our way back to A.C. Moore, where we parked, they strolled the mall and rode pretended to ride the other rides for FREE.

On the way home, they said, "No home mommy, no home!" Their new favorite line.

$1.85 goes a long way.

Just some ideas if you are aching to get of the house this winter. Get a roll of pennies (.50 cents) and let your child spend 20 minutes throwing the pennies in the mall's fountain. Ride the escalator several times and the elevator several times. :)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Who Doesn't Like FREE STUFF?

Bath and Body Works, TOMORROW, is having their BIGGEST giveaway ever. The invite is open to the public BUT it has NOT been overly advertised. I happened to receive TWO invites because, unfortunately, I shop there too often. So, here's the scoop...

Where: Bath and Body Works
When: September 17, 2011
Time: 11 am - 3 pm

ONLY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST. Apparently, there is ONLY enough giveaways for the first 300 guests. LIMITED 1 per customer.

A cute cupcake TOTE
2 Mini Candles in Candied Sugar Plum, Marshmallow Peppermint AND Gingerbread

The mini candles sell for $3.50 EACH in the store, so without counting the cost of the bag, you are already received $10.50 worth of FREE STUFF.

If you've NEVER smelled their candles, I PERSONALLY, think they are more pleasing to the senses than YANKEE candle. Yankee candle is SOOOO powerful/strong.

Fabulous Finds Friday!

As Christmas is approaching, I am finding it to be a tad more difficult to post "Fabulous Finds Friday" because if I do, I am disclosing all the gifts I plan to give away. Darren has reassured me that no one reads our "PRIVATE" blog anyway. He loathes that it's private and is begging for it to be public. LOL! BUT.... I have reassured him that those who I love and I know love me DO READ this blog and those are the people I am on the hunt for Christmas gifts for. ANYWHOOOO!

Last Friday, I couldn't post. I was running around like a mad dog trying to get out of town for my sister's wedding in Pennsylvania. AND, I did have some great finds, but again, they are GIFTS! I 100% promise to take pictures and share them AFTER the FACT.

I only have ONE "fabulous find" that I can share from this week's outings. I went to Sam's Club with the kids on Wednesday. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Sam's around the Fall and Christmas. They always have such great and DIFFERENT gifts.

I picked up this toy set and wound up buying it because, to me, it was a steal.

1. Classic Learning TOY BOX by Melissa & Doug
Retails: $54.00 +
PAID:    $29.99

(The lacing shoe is not shown.  It's packaged up for our nephew WILL's birthday!)

Each item individually retails for...

Abacuas:                                $14.95 on amazon paid $7.50
"Tick, Tock, Shape Clock":  $14.95 on amazon paid $7.50
Lacing Sneaker:                    $12.95 on amazon paid $7.50
Wooden Magnetic Letters:   $10.95 on amazon paid $7.50

This set includes (4) INDIVIDUALLY wrapped classic toys: Abacus, "Tick Tock Shape Clock, Wooden Magnetic Letters, and a Lacing Sneaker. I checked out all of these toys on and they all received a minimum of 4 stars and a maximum of 5. Melissa and Doug are well known for their vibrant, sturdy, and well crafted toys, puzzles, and crafts. Originally, I bought this set for my nephew who just turned 4. I wanted to buy him the lacing sneaker for a while now.  His mommy is a teacher and this is the perfect age to start learning to tie, but when I couldn't find the shoe alone and saw this, I decided to get him the entire box. THEN, in all of my endeavors this week, I started collecting MORE and MORE for him and realized I went over my budget. I opened the box and to my surprise, I noticed each toy was individually AND nicely plastic wrapped. WHOOP, WHOOP! NICE!!!!!! Now, these other toys can be given to some other special kid in our life OR I can always save them for my kiddies for Christmas (although my kids have 2/4 already).

I realize this is a MORE pricier "FIND", but look at it this way, you can spend $29.99 and give out (4) gifts. That's less than $7.50 per child, plus you're saving over $25.00. Go out and get yourself a box before they run out. I know so many kids, I may have to go grab another. Is your child starting preschool, kindergarten, or even 1st great? This is a great gift!!!!! It helps your child(ren) to count, tie their shoes, tell time, and spell!!!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

First Day of Preschool For Lilah and Jax

Lilah and Jax's first day of pre-school was Thursday, September 8th. They woke up excited as ever and more than willing to get dressed. I got them dressed FIRST and then we headed downstairs for breakfast.
All items brought to school had to be labeled. Preparations for preschool was rather intense. :)
(Of course they had to bring Ms. Donna and Ms. Amy a little welcome gift! I thought these "lunch box" hand sanitizers were cute from Bath & Body works)

I didn't make anything fancy for the first day of school because I wasn't sure if we'd have time for the usual. Unfortunately they ate NONE of it, or barely anything. I guess the anticipation was killing them.
Before school started, we took some traditional "first day of school" pictures. They are so cute together aren't they?
My "handsome bunny!"

My "pretty princess!"
Jax fell down RIGHT before this picture. :(
After loading up the car, I headed to Hardees for a diet coke. On the way to school, from Hardees, we back tracked and it appeared as if we were heading to our home, but we WEREN'T. Apparently, Lilah and Jax thought I was so they both simultaneously (go figure) said, "No home mommy, no home!" Of course, I reassured them that we were NOT going home. Instead, we were going to school.
Off to school we went. The doors opened promptly at 8:55 am. In Lilah and Jax went with NO ISSUES what-so-ever. I dropped them off and they NEVER looked back.

They picked up where they left off on orientation night.

When I came back, 4 hours later to pick them up, I'm assuming, from Lilah's reaction, they had a blast. She saw me and said, "NO MOMMY!" Basically telling me she wanted to stay. LOL!!!!
(Taken after school let out)

I think it helped that familiar faces existed (Cohen and Cyrus), but Lilah has made two new girlfriends as well.... Paras and Kaitlyn. I am so happy they love it. I LOVE IT TOO! I enjoy being a mommy but I think every mommy deserves and NEEDS a break!!!!! Since school last week, Lilah nor Jaxon have had ANY accidents in their pants either. YAY!!!!!!