Sunday, September 30, 2012

Fall Into A New Season

Harvest Time in Fall
A new season is upon us.  What's not to love about cooler temperatures and less humidity.  Living in South Florida you really only have two seasons-hot and less hot.  But indeed, I welcome Fall with great anticipation.  The time will change in a few weeks and we will fall back one hour.  My early morning workouts (6am) will have brighter skies instead of complete darkness.  Days will become a bit shorter but we look forward to leaves changing, college football and Pumpkin spice coffee.  If you have a garden, Fall is also harvest time.  Your hard work to tend to your seeds during Spring and Summer allow you to have a bountiful harvest in this new season.

What is new in your life?  

A new relationship, new duvet cover for your bedroom, new idea/strategy or maybe even a new remodel in your kitchen.  

Whatever it is, don't bring the past season into your new season.  

God has given each day as a fresh start.  Remind yourself daily of that fact.  It is a present, straight from Him.

Let us know what you LOVE about Fall (posted by Roslyn).

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Top 3 lessons from my kids!

Life is an open book.  It's the journey of a lifetime with so much to learn.  The other day while cooking dinner, I looked at my daughter and realized that I have learned so much from my babies.  As much as we think we teach them, they have plenty to educate us about.

Here are my top 3 lessons from my children:

  • Read at least 30 minutes a day
    • My daughter LOVES to read.  She reads in the truck, at the dinner table, and anytime she can squeeze it in.  Reading 30 minutes every afternoon is part of her daily homework.  As adults, we should do the same.  Just 30 minutes to quiet ourselves and curl up with a good book.

  • Eat like an infant
    • When my son and daughter were babies, they had the healthiest diet.  Organic milk (from their mommy), fruits, vegetables, and some occasional cereal was the majority of their food consumption.  Their days weren't filled with sugar, preservatives, saturated fat, and sodium.  Removing these substances from your diet can mean a world of difference for your health.

Skipping rocks in Tennessee

  • Slow down, relax and have fun!
    • Kids have a way of making you forget the cares of the world.  They are full of energy and laughter and it's contagious!  Roslyn recently shared about a "silly" day with her boys.  If you missed it, here you go. 

The lessons are simple, but the suggested changes could transform your life journey forever! Share with us what lessons you've learned from your children.  We would love for you to leave a comment below. (Posted by Renee)

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

What I Know For Sure

Who will be President?  Has the cancer spread?  Will I have enough financial resources to retire?  Will this application help my child get accepted into college?  Who will I marry?  Will I get this promotion?  Do I have what it takes to pass this test?

Our world is riddled with uncertainty, and oftentimes we have to get back to the basics.  Our core values are what sustain us in times of change.  What we know for sure, helps ground us in our mountaintop experiences.  It also helps sustain us during our dark valley seasons.   

Ask yourself, what core beliefs do I know for sure?  

What beliefs do you rely on when life hits hard and fast?  Sometimes we are overwhelmed with trials and adversity. We can also be overwhelmed with blessings and success.  Either way, we must stay true to our morals, core values and beliefs.  I hope this post will inspire you to evaluate what you know for sure.

Here are my top 3:

  • Invest in family
    • Life goes fast.  My oldest son is about to be a teenager in less than a year-yikes!  I remember holding him in my arms after he was born.  I often think, where has the time gone?  Some of the greatest places where I can invest my time and resources are with my children.  I've made hard decisions based around this core belief.  I stayed home for 7 years, making less money and contributing less to my retirement.  I don't cry over spilled milk.  I know for our family, it was the wise choice to make.

  • The words I speak today will impact my tomorrow
    • My life is a sum total of the words I spoke yesterday.  I am a strong believer in the power of your words.  What are you speaking?  Negative words bring negative experiences and people into our lives.  The words you speak attract either life or death.  I am always amazed at the words we speak, yes even myself.  We are among the most blessed people in the world, yet we still complain and allow greed to run our life.  Intentionally choose to speak positive words and words of gratitude.  It will change and shift the atmosphere in your work and home.  Try it!  There is power in your words.

  • God alone is enough
    • It is hard to expound on this point.  The words are simply stated.  I don't need to help God. I don't need to search for other things to make life work for me.  God is enough.  He promises to always be with me.  He provides, delivers, rescues, heals, corrects, guides, sustains and loves me.  He alone is all I need!
Q:  What are your top 3 core values?  What beliefs fuel your actions daily?  Send us a tweet or leave a comment and let us know.  (Posted by Roslyn)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Our 7 favorite snacks!

Getting ready for 4 mile hike with park ranger

Roslyn and I love so many things!  Our morning prayer time with each other, exercising and eating are just some of our favorite things.  We're always looking for great ways to challenge our bodies and great healthy foods to prepare for our families.

Snacking is a part of our 5-6 small meals daily routine.  We thought Fitness Friday would be a great time to share some of our favorite snacks.  We don't always make the best choices but we strive hard.

Our 7 favorite snacks:

  • Fruit
    • We don't go to the store without buying some type of fruit.  Apples & grapes are some of our favorite picks.  They are especially great this time of year.  Shake it up a little by serving apple slices with peanut butter.  It's a yummy snack that even my kids enjoy.
  • Granola bars
    • It's such a great snack before or after a workout.  Cascadian Farms is usually our bar of choice.  It's organic and reasonably priced.
  • Frozen yogurt
    • I love frozen yogurt and with all the new yogurt shops popping up throughout the city, it's easy to indulge on a regular basis.  Make sure to eat a quality frozen yogurt that contains live and active cultures.  You also want to watch the toppings.  Try adding nuts and fresh fruits instead of candies and chocolates.
  • Greek yogurt
    • This is Roslyn's love.  I am honestly not a fan of Greek yogurt.  She enjoys topping the yogurt with raw almonds and organic granola.
  • Almonds
    • They stay in both of our homes.  Raw & natural almonds are best because they aren't full of sodium like some of the other choices. 
  • Triscuits
    • It's a whole grain cracker that is a great substitute for chips.  They are also great topped with chicken or tuna salad.  Dunk them into a bowl of soup for an extra special treat.
  • Popcorn
    • Most people don't realize that popcorn is full of fiber.  Sticking with the air popped popcorn is best.  Although it's tempting, be cautious when adding butter and salt. (Posted by Renee)

What's your favorite snack?  We would love to hear about it.  Visit us on Facebook or join the conversation on Twitter.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Mountain Post #4-Butterfly Catch

We've been sharing some of our fun times from our summer vacation in the Smoky Mountains.  If you missed last week's post, read it here

Butterflies on the ground
 During our stay in Tennessee, we visited one of our favorite places, Cades Cove.  It's a beautiful scenic 11 mile loop nestled between two mountain ranges.  On a good day you can find black bears, deer, and all sorts of wildlife roaming free.  This area is also home to a large species of butterflies.  During our trek, we were blessed to find an area where they were fluttering around low to the ground.  The kids were ecstatic!  They tried with all their might to catch a butterfly.  Their ability to quiet themselves long enough to allow a quick passing butterfly to rest gently on their fingers was more than they bargained for. 

In theory it shouldn't have been hard for them.  All they needed to do was stand still.  If they could remain calm and motionless for just a few quick seconds, they would be able to catch a beautiful insect that can reach speeds up to 30 miles/hour.

What a life lesson!  Everyday we have the ability to stand still and see the power of God working in our lives.  If we could just surrender and yield to His authority, He could handle the most difficult of tasks.  The Bible shares a wonderful story about King Jehoshaphat and his ability to stand still under God's authority.  A massive army was coming against him.  Even though he was shaken by the news, he prayed and trusted God to handle the situation.  God provided all the guidance that King Jehoshaphat needed.  In 2 Chronicles 20:15 (NLT), God declared the following:

~This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. ~

Beautiful butterfly catch!

In the same way our children quieted themselves and finally caught the butterfly, when we face adversity in our lives, God wants us to quiet ourselves, stand still, and know that He is able.  It's not your battle to fight, let God handle that for you.  In the end, you will win your battle and catch your own "butterfly"! (unfortunately the 3 year old never stayed still long enough to catch one) (Posted by Renee)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Mountain Post #3-Live.Rest.Journey

This Monday we continue our Mountain Post Series:

No hair or makeup-just God's natural beauty
I was recently on vacation in the Smoky Mountains. Many people chuckle when I say relaxation for me is in the mountains. Florida is such a tourist destination (Disney World, beaches, etc.) so they wonder why the mountains are so appealing.  

The world becomes much quieter as you journey to the top of the mountains. The experiences are so different from "city life". For instance, I never once put on makeup during my vacation. I even went five days without combing my hair-yikes! Life just becomes rustic and organic. Everyday was spent hiking. We explored the massive habitat of over 17,000 species that live in the Smoky Mountains.

The views are breathtaking. One photo can't capture the majesty of those mountains. Skipping over rocks, digging for crickets, searching for beetles are all apart of my country living vacation. It's a time to unwind, listen and relax. As we all know life can get hectic. Our world becomes noisy and cluttered from work, kids, schedules, etc. This journey to the mountains allows my head to become uncluttered, unplugged and enjoy a simpler way of life. 

Make sure in this moment, you are also taking time to Live.Rest.Journey 

Looking Up
There is a huge world that surrounds us. How much of it have you seen? Half of the fun of vacation is traveling to your destination. Don't be so focused on where you are going. Take time to make little pit stops along the way. The best part of Tennessee is pulling over and listening to the running creeks or watching the wild turkey on the side of the road. Snapping a photo of the massive 500 year old oak tree. 

When we first came to Gatlingburg on our way from the airport, I noticed the "Hot Doughnut" sign on at Krispy Kreme. These doughnuts are my absolute favorite. The very sight of that red sign makes me want to pull over because I instantly start craving the soft, buttery and super sweet treat. 

The hubby was driving so I said, "Pull over the hot doughnut sign is on." The kids were in the back seat shouting for joy.  His response, "We don't have time to stop, we have to get to the cabin to check in." Our cabin was only ten minutes away. I was angry and realized how focused he was on getting to that destination, he didn't take time to enjoy the journey to get there. 

Not to worry, I finally bought my two dozen of hot doughnuts and thoroughly enjoyed sharing and eating them. The same lesson applies to you. As you travel though the realities of life, remember to Live.Rest.Journey. (Posted by Roslyn)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Fun Friday-College Football

Don't you just love this time of year?  

College football is here.  Every Saturday you will find my family on the couch watching countless hours of football.

As we head into the weekend, what is your favorite college team?  Who will you be cheering for this Saturday? (Posted by Roslyn) 

I am passionately a Florida Gator!