About Me:

Hi!! I’m Jennifer and welcome to my blog!! I’m so excited you are here!!

I am a 44 year old stay at home mom, Christian, and mother with four beautiful daughters, and a wonderful husband . I am absolutely dog crazy and currently have three dogs and would have more if my hubby would allow it!!! I have a background in nursing/recruiting and even went a different route and owned my own gift boutique for several years.

This blog has been a dream of mine for quite some time. Since I was a little girl I have always enjoyed writing, I guess you could say it was like therapy to me most of the time. Now that I am a full-time stay at home mom, I finally have time to make my dream a reality.

I look forward to sharing my life with you I and pray that I can be a light to each and every person that visits. I have been blessed with my four daughters and every year as they get older, I find myself growing and learning right along with them. It is some of these things I have learned that I am excited to share with you as well. I have also been married for 24 years to my husband. Our road has not been easy, and the journey to where we are today has taken blood, sweat, and tears. Literally!!! The journey we have had, has made me the person I am today and is my biggest testimony!! I can’t wait to hopefully inspire you with these stories but also others on parenting, marriage, and some fun things too!!

Just know, no matter what you are going through, there are blessings all around. I hope this blog helps you see those blessings and that it brings you hope, inspiration, and encouragement. I pray through my stories you see that, with God anything is possible. With God at the center of our lives, and our family we can see blessings even in the messy days. My blessings certainly are my husband and my four blessings in pink, my daughters.

Let’s meet my family!!

My husband Ryan, we were high school sweethearts, and have been married for 24 years
Taylor my oldest daughter she is 21 and a junior in college, studying to be a teacher
Emma age 18. She is a senior in high school and will be attending UK in the fall
Elle Rose, she is 14 and has the best heart around. Everyone says she is an angel.
Abby Ryan she is 11, and is our feisty one!! She loves to cheer and keeps us on our toes.

Our fur babies Penny, Winnie, and Lola
Aren’t they cute?

Cute DIY Ideas for Summer

I have a confession. It is going to be shocking to some, and I may even lose a few friends over this one, but I must get it off my chest. I do not like Summer, I mean I really do not like it. I get it, most people think I am crazy because of my deep-rooted aversion to summer. However, I just don’t like it. Let me explain myself before everyone gets to mad at me. The number one reason is because, I really dislike critters. By critters I mean, bugs, snakes, and all the creepy-crawlies. I have a deep rooted fear of all the above. You will be able to tell if you get to close to me outside in the summer. You may hear a lot screaming on my part if one gets to close to me. I am terrified!! So with Summer, that means more critters, YUCK!!

Another thing I really dislike about Summer, the HEAT!! Yes, again I know most people think that I am crazy on this one as well. However, I hate the heat and humidity. Especially now as a middle aged woman, the heat for me anymore is just unbearable. I hate it. Although, don’t get me wrong I still love going to the beach, listening to the ocean, and having sand between my toes. At the beach, there is a nice breeze to keep the heat more tolerable. I’m talking about the heat and humidity that is so extreme you start sweating the second you step outside. That heat. No fun for me. I prefer Fall, with the warmer days in the seventies and the cool evenings . That is much more my speed.

So as God intended, the seasons all come and go, and here we are again facing another Summer, and even though it is definitely my most disliked season, I still look for ways to make the best out of it. I have a Southern home with large porches and I am always looking for cute ways to decorate them every year. If I have to be outside in the heat and humidity then I need to at least have a cute place in the shade to sit. Every summer I like to go out and and buy fresh new flowers and plants to put on my porches. One of the things that is a plus about the season is that we are able to have such pretty things outside that helps bring some character to our homes, and it does feel like it brings our plain homes to life with all the lovely additions. I also like to look for other things that I can bring in along with my flowers to make my porches feel cozy and welcoming.

Due to the current state of the economy and the limited choices for shopping this year, I had to make the decision to shop on a pretty tight budget when I was looking for things to spruce up our home. So I decided to look into some DIY projects that would not only help pass some time during this quarantine, but that they also would be wonderful additions to our home. So, of course, I head straight to Pinterest. Y’all, let me tell you, I don’t know what I ever did without Pinterest. It is by far one of my most favorite things of all time. I feel like everything I do is linked to Pinterest in some way. Cooking, cleaning, craft ideas, life advice, you name it I use it. It is there where I drew my inspiration for my porch additions this year. I love doing DIY projects and I love saving money, so all around I had so much fun creating these projects.

My first project was so easy and it turned out super cute. The total cost was around 35.00. I drew inspiration for this project from Pinterest. I was able to snag a palette from a local store that had discarded it, and brought it home. Then after that, just painted it with some black spray paint. I really like the farmhouse, rustic look so I decided only to spray paint the palette with one coat of paint because I wanted some of the natural color showing through. Of course, anyone could spray paint it with more than one coat for a richer darker look, or even a different color. This could be anything you wanted it to be. After that I stenciled a little Welcome sign on the top and it was ready for the plants. I wanted to add some color on to the black so I picked up these colorful hanging pots from Amazon. I added in some flowers and there you have it. It turned out so cute and colorful and I just love it. It definitely adds in a sweet touch to our porch.

The next two projects were just as easy and cheaper!! As you may know if you have read my blog, I also love to cook. Therefore, I was looking for a way to grow some fresh herbs without spending money on one of those in home expensive herb gardens or buying pots to sit everywhere. So again, I looked on Pinterest and saw where you could plant herbs using a palette!! So once again I got a free palette spent money on spray paint, mesh backing, decorative signs and the plants themselves, that is it!! My husband added a few pieces of scrap wood underneath to keep the soil from falling, I spray painted the palette, added the soil, planted the seeds, then hung the small chalkboard signs I found on Amazon with small tacks and there you have it a DIY herb garden. As you can tell from the picture, things are growing well, and I look forward to having some fresh herbs to cook with.

The chalkboard sign on the bottom was the cheapest project of all. The only money spent was for chalkboard paint, and the paint color of your choice for the border. Y’all, I like getting by cheap!! The sign is actually an old cabinet door we had laying around. So all you do is paint around the edges, then add in some chalkboard paint in the center, and you have your very own homemade chalkboard sign!! Super cute and easy !! Add a new saying everyday and I am sure you will make your guest feel welcome.

The last DIY project is my absolute favorite!!!! I am absolutely in love with the Porch Swing Bed!! Now, this is the one project I did not build myself. I also tried really hard to get my husband to build it as well, but he was too afraid to give it a try, since (I will put it the nicer way) he is not a handyman. So, I enlisted the help of my mother and uncle, who both are great with DIY and building things and they got started. I found a very simple plan on plankandpillow.com that my family used to build it. Then once they were done I painted it, added in a twin size mattress, sheets, and decorative pillows. My uncle then hung it securely with some rope, and the bed swing was complete and I am in love!! I have wanted one for so long, but the price of the swings online or in the stores kept me from getting one. Now, I have one for just a portion of the price you would pay retail for. I could not be happier with this one. I will admit, I have already taken a couple of naps in this one.

So even though Summer and I do not jive, I have still found a way to bring joy to the season, my family, and my guests. I hope each and every person that visits my home finds it is not only welcoming and cozy, but that will be blessed when they are here. The heat of the Summer may get to all of us, but at least we have a pretty place to cool off and drink some sweet tea.

I hope each of you are covered with many blessings today, and may you find a way to bring light into any season.

Love and hugs,

Jennifer

Fitness over 40

Exercise. One of the few words out there strikes up a love/hate relationship for most individuals. Some people love to exercise and some people hate it. Or, if you are like me, it really is a mixture of both. I have noticed over the years that my opinion of exercise has evolved. When I was a teenager and in my twenties, exercise was not done for health reasons. For me, it was purely for vain reasons. I wanted to look cute in that bikini every summer! Now that I am in my forties, my perspective has shifted, as I am sure it does for most people. Do I still exercise for vain reasons? Absolutely!! Just because I am in my mid-forties, does not mean I do not care how I look. I still care how I look in that bathing suit or cute pair of jeans or shorts. However, exercise for me now is much more. It helps me care for my body not only physically, but mentally as well.

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20.

Y’all, let me tell you. When you take time to exercise, even it is just 20-30 minutes a day, it will make the biggest difference. Even if you don’t notice a huge transformation physically(which you should), but emotionally, mentally, and spiritually you will be changed. There is enough outstanding evidence out there of the importance of exercise for your health, and you will also find research of the importance of it for your mental health as well. In both aspects, especially as you age exercise should be an essential part of your life.

I think the older we get the busier we get. Once you have a spouse, a job, kids, errands, extracurricular activities, the time for exercise seems to diminish. This is why making exercise a priority is so important. When we put it up there on the list of things that have to be done for the day, then we will more than likely do it. It may mean that our schedules have to be navigated in order to incorporate exercise in. Whatever it takes, it needs to fit in. Don’t let excuses enter in. Be strong, be committed, make time for you.

Heart disease is the number one cause of death for women over the age 50, and as we age and estrogen levels decline, the higher we are at risk for cardiovascular disease. A steady workout routine of combining both cardio and strength training will help lower a woman’s risk of heart disease. Lately, my favorite go to workout has been my beloved Peloton bike combined with weight training. Yes, I know the Peloton bike is an expensive piece of exercise equipment, but it has been totally worth every penny spent. It challenges me in ways that I never expected, and by far is the best cardio workout I have ever done in my life. It is what I like to call, good stuff!! If you can purchase one or hope to in the future, I encourage each of you to take the leap and do it!! You will not be disappointed. Along with the bike, you can also download the Peloton app, which includes access to Peloton users of numerous other exercises such as cardio, strength training, yoga, and more. I love it and honestly, cannot live without it.

Along with the cardio, I also try to incorporate strength training into my normal exercise routine. I do this by doing typically a 20-30 minute cardio session, then a weight training session for about 30 minutes. Each day I try focus on different areas of the body, for example, one day will be leg day, one day will be arms, etc. I do this combination of exercises 3-4 times a week then the other 2-3 days I will include a more low impact regimen, this may include yoga, pilates, walking, dancing, or anything that is more low intensity. Then I rest typically 1-2 days week where I allow my body a break. This routine works well for me and if I am in a hurry I can usually cut the time to even about 40 minutes. Yes, that is all it takes, 40 minutes to an hour of your day to do something for you. To not only care for your body physically, but mentally to be stronger as well.

I am blessed to have a small gym in our home. We saved money for months and decided one year for Christmas, that instead of other gifts we would make a room in our basement into our very own gym. My older daughters are very much into fitness, and my younger two have started training for their sports teams, soccer and cheer, so it was a win for all of us to have the gym. We all use it and we have saved a ton of money in gym membership fees. The best thing about it, it is open and there anytime I want to use it!! It has made a huge difference in my fitness journey. I no longer dread finding the time to go the gym, but instead I have the opportunity to exercise when I want to. Yes, I understand a lot of people may not have the space or money for an in-home gym. I totally understand. I will tell you it was a huge sacrifice on my whole family’s part to get one. However, like the Peloton bike, it was a sacrifice that was well worth it for all of us.

You don’t have to have a Peloton bike or home gym. Get some dumbbells or resistance bands for strength training, go for ride outdoors on your bike, or go for walk. The only thing that you truly have to have, is commitment. A commitment to yourself, that everyday you are going to get moving in some way. That you will become stronger both physically and mentally. Yes, your mind and body will play tricks on you and some days you just will not have the heart to exercise. You know what? That is ok. We all have those days and it is normal. However, make sure the next day you get up stronger and decide that today you will be better than yesterday. Today is your day to love yourself from the inside and out. Give yourself a healthy heart, healthy mind, and strong bones and watch the quality of your life soar. Be strong, be courageous, be fit, and just fee good about being you.

I pray each of you are healthy and strong today. I also pray each of you are covered in many blessings today.

Hugs,

Jennifer

Making Lemonade

When life hands you lemons, what do you do? You make lemonade!! I am sure everyone has heard this popular quote before. And if we are honest about it, then we all could say that even though we have heard this and even given advice to others to do this, we rarely follow it ourselves. When life throws hard things at you it is very difficult to make negative circumstances into positive. I believe it is just so common during trying times to cave into the negativity. To panic, to cry, to fall into depression, to ask why me? I would bet there are very few people who actually make the lemonade out of those lemons. More of us are probably eating more lemons than drinking lemonade.

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. James 1:12.

Life is tough, and each and every one of us will face many different trials throughout our lifespan. Some of those trials will be mild, and some will be beyond difficult. Either way it is inevitable that all of us will face them. We also will have to decide during those times how we are choosing to deal with them. Yes, we get to choose that. No matter what the situation is, or what life throws at us, we get to choose the reaction we have to them. So I ask you, what do you want to do? Do you want to be the person who lives at the bottom, sulking in the negative circumstances? Or do you want to be the person who rises to the top and makes some delicious lemonade? Guess what? It is up to you.

This past weekend, my family and I decided that we were going to make the best out of some very negative circumstances. Yes, we chose to make lemonade out of some very sour lemons that were given to us. My daughter, Emma, is a senior in high school, and due to the Covid-19 virus her senior prom was cancelled. This broke all of our hearts. Prom, especially your senior prom is a milestone in life. It is one of those events that you will remember for the rest of your life. And for Emma, this memory that would have been was taken away. Yes, Emma was devastated to say the least, and as her mother I took it pretty hard too. My heart broke for what she was missing and because she was hurt as well. Overall, it was just a very sour end to the end of her senior year, along with all the other senior activities she was missing.

My husband and I have talked numerous nights and prayed about the best ways to try and make things as normal as possible for our kids during this pandemic. So we came up with an idea. If Emma could not go to prom, then our family was going to bring the prom to her. Yes, we were going to have our very own family prom!! And so we did. We tried to make it as fun for Emma as possible. We all dressed up in our formal attire. We took the standard “prom pictures”. We fixed some pretty delicious finger foods. Had some music and dancing and even played some games after to mimic the Project Prom that usually follows the formal dance at school. Overall, I believe it was a great memorable night. I will also say Emma had the best, most handsome prom date this year, her daddy.

What a great night we had as a family. Not only will Emma be able to look back at this night and have a senior prom to remember, but as a family we all made memories that night that will live forever in our hearts. Something positive that came out of very negative circumstances. So you see, even in the dark, scary days we can always find a way to turn the tide and bring a little positivity in. I think as a family, we not only had a fun memorable night, but we also achieved a lot of growth as well. No, this was not the “ideal” prom night Emma had envisioned for her senior year, but she saw that sometimes we just have to take what is given to us and make the best out of a situation. As a family, we are so proud of her. We all grew in watching her make the choice not to let the situation get her down, but to rise above it.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

I am proud of my whole family. We all came together to make sure Emma was able to have a special memory. It absolutely was such a blessing to be a part of. My family decided we were going to make lemonade out of a very sour lemon. We chose to be thankful for what we were given, not sour because of what was taken away. Y’all, how much better would things be if we could apply this to all areas of our lives? Trust me, I am like everyone else, it is very hard for me to know let life knock me down. However, after being blessed with this experience and seeing my family come together during a very hard time, I now can see that the best thing to do is just to turn the negative into a positive. I can tell you there is nothing better than to make and enjoy some of your very own lemonade.

I pray each and every one of you are safe, healthy, and covered in many blessings today. Please enjoy some of our prom pictures.

Love and hugs,

Jennifer

Easy Dessert

Most weekends my family gets together and has a movie night. We gather together in our basement and watch movies on our big screen and the girls love it!! Since we all have been home lately, and all extra-curricular activities have come to a halt, we have even more time that we are able to enjoy some really good movies and shows!! And what else does movie night mean? Snacks of course!! I mean what is movie night without good food? Do you know anyone who even goes to the movie theater and does not get a snack? Of course not. It is a must have!

Yes, most of the time we will have your typical snacks like popcorn or chips. And we even make a trip sometimes to grab boxes of the candy that you would usually get at the theater, sour patch kids, goobers, starburst, etc. And sometimes we love to come up with our creations or try new recipes to include in our fun family tradition. This past week we made a very simple and yummy dessert/snack, Pretzel Bars. Y’all, these were amazing! We made two pans of them, and both pans were gone by the end of the movie. We found the recipe on Pinterest and there were different variations of the recipe you could try. This is the one we used:

Pretzel Bars

Ingredients:

12 ounce package semi-sweet chocolate chips

8 ounces mini pretzel twists

11 oz bag Caramel Bits (or homemade caramel)

sea salt

  • Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Melt just 8 ounces of the chocolate chips in microwave ( keep remaining 4 ounces for another step). Be sure to stir and check on these as you microwave about every 10-15 seconds stirring until smooth.
  • Spread the chocolate evenly over the parchment paper. Immediately add the pretzel twists and press them into the chocolate. Don’t worry they can overlap.
  • Add caramel bits to microwave safe bowl along with 2 tablespoons of water and follow instructions on package for melting. Mine took a little under 2 minutes. Be sure to stir until smooth.
  • Drizzle the melted caramel over the pretzels.
  • Melt the remaining 4 ounces of chocolate and drizzle over the caramel and then sprinkle with sea salt.
  • Refrigerate until hardened.
  • Cut into squares or tear into pieces.

Guys, this is such a yummy treat!! The mixture of the chocolate, caramel, and salt is just a dreamy combination. Give this a try for an easy dessert or snack. Cut them or tear them up on a plate and cuddle up with a blanket and get ready for your movie night snack. Hurry and get yours though, they will go quick!!!

I hope you all enjoy this delicious treat and prayers for many blessings for you all today.

Love and hugs,

Jennifer

Be Kind

This week has been a really tough week for me. I am not sure if it is the stress from having to stay home, hormones, or a combination of those things. It has just been a very tough week. To top it off I had to step into an unfortunate situation this week involving my daughter in which I had to defend her. It was definitely not what I needed on top of a week that was already turning out to be a stressful one for me. I know I should never complain. It most definitely could be much worse. My family is healthy and safe, and that I am thankful for. Especially with everything going on from this terrible virus that is invading our lives. As we all know though, even when we are thankful for good things, sometimes the sadness can still creep in.

As I mentioned in another blog, I do suffer from anxiety. It is something I have dealt with my whole life. The area I suffer the most is social anxiety. It is so difficult for me to be in crowds, or in groups of people, both big and small. I know, it doesn’t make since why then the quarantine would be adding to my stress, because it takes me away from all that. The stress comes from just not being able to live our lives in the “normal” way we are accustomed to. I am stressed for my kids and the activities, memories, and friends they are missing. I am stressed for my husband and the extra burden he is having to carry financially. I am stressed that someone in my family will become ill. Basically, I just stress over everything, and do enough worrying for everyone. It is just my nature.

Even though this week has been hard, and the stress has seemed to be an extra burden for me this week, I can still say I have grown a lot over the past few days. That growth has come because I was reminded of the importance of being KIND to everyone. I will say this week, kindness was something that was a challenge for me. No I am not a mean hateful person, but the burdens that were on my heart was making it difficult to reach for that kindness. The stress I was feeling made me just want to lay around and be sad. I had no energy, and not much motivation to do anything. And then I also had the unfortunate incident with my daughter. I can honestly say when this happened, kindness was not something that came to my mind. They hurt my daughter, so my first reaction was that I wanted to hurt them in return. Fortunately , I took some time to pray and reflect before I took any action. As a Christian, I wanted God to guide me in how to handle the situation. Somehow, I was able let the stress from the week go, and I dealt with the situation with kindness and respect. Was this difficult to do? Yes. Especially because my daughter was hurting. Did I receive kindness back? Unfortunately no. I actually received rudeness and negativity in return. And guess what? I am ok with that. After the anxiety I was feeling from the week, you would think that I would not be. However, I had to get back in touch with reality and realize who I really was, and show others the same thing. I never want to be seen as an ugly, rude person. I want to be seen as someone who shines light, love, and kindness no matter what the circumstances. Yes, this week was tough for me and no matter how many times I tried to just give my worries to God, a new one would come in. So the burdens felt heavy. But I did not want those burdens to make me into something that I was not.

We should always be mindful that no matter what is going on in our lives, there is never an excuse to be unkind to anyone else. The stress we are feeling at home, work, or anything else should never carry into how we choose to treat others. Kindness and respect should always be our top priority. Yes, even when someone hurts us. I know, as I said this is so difficult to do. I was faced with that this week. You never know, though, what others are dealing with also. They may be having a bad day or bad week, and their behavior is reflecting that. Your words to them may be the only thing they hear that day. Do you want to add to someone’s burdens or ease them? I want to be someone’s light for the day, even if they do not want to see it. Even if they have nothing kind to say to me, I want to show them my heart is not only full of love and kindness, but a reflection of grace and kindness. Isn’t that what God commands us to do? To love, respect, forgive, and treat others like we would like to be treated?

Take the time to always treat people with kindness, and yes there will be times you do not get it in return. Just remember the light you shine today, will be remembered tomorrow. So be the reason someone smiles today because you never know what someone is going through. Let’s all make the world a kinder place for all of us.

Be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving each other, just as God also in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32.

I hope each of you are covered in many blessings and an abundance of kindness today.

Love and hugs,

Jennifer

Know Your Worth

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm139: 13-14.

Recently my oldest daughter, Taylor, opened up in her blog about being in a very bad toxic relationship. I was so proud of her for her bravery in coming out with her story and taking on this important topic. Abusive relationships are not discussed enough in our country, and when it is a certain stigma seems to come along with it. I invite you to read her blog and get an idea of what she had to endure, and also want to share a little on what it is like for a parent to watch your child live in such an environment.

Since Taylor was a child she has always been very shy and insecure. As a parent I question myself all the time in why she is. Is it something I did wrong as a parent? Could I have done anything different? I have suffered from anxiety and shyness all my life as well, so I question if this is something that can be passed on to your kids as well? No matter what the answer is Taylor has had to navigate through life trying to overcome these issues. My heart would always hurt watching her as she was growing trying her best to make friends, feel included, and just be part of the crowd and feel good about herself. I often had to push pretty hard just to make her go to birthday parties or take part in a physical activity. It was a struggle to say the least. The insecurities within herself often would appear in ways that no one can even imagine. Taylor, starting as early as her 5th grade year in school, developed an eating disorder that we still struggle with to this day. (I will discuss that in more detail in another blog). There were so many struggles for her from the very beginning.

Then the age came when it was time for boyfriends. As each new boyfriend came into our lives, so did a new set of problems. Due to Taylor’s insecurities she was never the best judge of character. This in turn made for some pretty unhealthy choices in the relationship department. The relationship she got out of recently turned out to be worst of them all. It was very mentally and we later learned a very physically abusive relationship. It was one of the most agonizing things as a parent to watch your child suffer and there really is nothing you can do about it. Yes, we were her parents and did try various ways to try to get Taylor out of the relationship she was in. However, like most teenagers the more we pushed one way, she would push the other. So we had to just sit back and watch and spent many days praying that in some way the relationship would end. Thank God our prayers were answered . He ended the relationship.

I watched my child suffer so much. I watched her become someone that I did not even know. Yes, she has always been insecure and shy, but I witnessed what seemed like the life dripping out of her slowly. Therapy was a must, and many prayers were lifted up. It was a very dark time, but after the relationship ended we were finally able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I immediately had a sense of relief come over and saw the softening occurring in Taylor as well. It was almost instant that the chains were broken from her and life came back into her. It was such a blessing as a mother to see that all hope was not lost.

Since my girls were little, I have always tried to teach them about self worth and loving themself. I would always tell them that they were made by God, so that means they are beautiful. I always tried to make sure they knew it doesn’t matter what others think of them, that are beautiful to me and in the eyes of God. You will see, through our experience with Taylor, that sometimes no matter what you do it will not keep them safe from harm. There are many days I blame myself. I would always tell my girls to know their worth, when a lot of times I was blind to my own. As a woman, living in the environment we do, it is hard not to be critical of yourself. We are all expected to look a certain way, and the expectations are almost to much to bare sometimes. So, like others I was guilty of being hard on myself as well. I am not saying it caused Taylor’s problems, but I do not think it helped it much.

I just want to make sure that everyone knows from our stories the importance of knowing your worth. Do not let this visual world make you feel less than you really are. Take control of your life. Don’t let others tell you what you are and where your riches lie. Know your worth. Know that you are a child of God, and he makes all things beautiful. If you find yourself criticizing yourself, go to him in prayer and read your bible and renew your mind with the power of his words. If you find yourself in a bad relationship, get out. Do not let someone else affect your mental health. Be strong and know your worth. But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength . They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31.

I am so happy that Taylor is in a much better place now. She has a strong faith and that has also helped her through everything that she has been through. She is in a new relationship now that is loving and healthy. We are so grateful for that. I am also grateful that she has learned so much from her experiences and she has learned to rely on God to help guide her path. I love watching her become a strong powerful woman, who knows her worth.

I pray each of you are covered in many blessings today!!

Love and hugs,

Jennifer

Family Dinner Favorite

Dinner in my home is always a big deal. You would think I lived in a house full of boys, instead of girls for the amount of food my children consume. I mean, they are big eaters!!! They love their food and they are always asking for me to go the kitchen and cook them something. My 18 year old daughter jokingly says “Woman, get in that kitchen and fix me some food.” She’s our comedian, can’t you tell? Coming up with good dinner ideas for my big family can be challenging sometimes. Especially coming up with dinner ideas that are easy and will feed a large family. Most of the time I have to double any recipe I make. My 11 year old is also a pretty picky eater also, so when I cook I always have to keep in mind the things she will actually eat.

I love to browse Pinterest for different dinner ideas. I also love cookbooks. I have a pretty big collection that I have accumulated over the years. I recently have pulling a lot of recipes out of my cookbooks lately. One of my favorites ones was a gift my oldest daughter got me for my birthday, The Pioneer Woman Cooks, Come and Get It. I would say I have been reaching for this particular one a lot lately. The recipes are not very difficult, and are pretty fast and easy for a busy family.

This book can be purchased at Walmart, Target, and many other stores. I also found it available on Amazon. Anyone who is a Pioneer Woman fan, or just looking for some easy delicious recipes, would definitely enjoy this book.

I have made several recipes from this cookbook. One of our favorites we tried again this past week, slow cooker glazed ribs. This is a delicious recipe that your whole family will love, and we can’t forget it is done in the crockpot!! Anything I can do in the crockpot is a favorite in my book. You definitely can purchase the book and find the recipe or look online for the recipe as well. I am also posting it here on my blog for an easy reference.

Slow Cooker Glazed Ribs

Ingredients:

2-3lbs of pork loin ribs or baby back ribs

1 Large onion

12 garlic cloves

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup plum preserves

1/2 cup ketchup

1/2 cup Barbecue sauce

Several dashes of hot sauce

Directions:

  • Cut the ribs in half and place them in the slow cooker
  • Add the onion, garlic, salt, and pepper
  • Place the lid on the cooker and cook on low for 8 hours, make sure you don’t keep lifting the lid.
  • After 8 hours, strain off all the cooking liquid, make sure not to strain garlic or onions.
  • Make the sauce in a bowl combining preserves, ketchup, barbecue sauce and hot sauce. Stir these together until combined.
  • Pour sauce over the ribs and move the ribs around a little to make sure the sauce is on the ribs as much as possible. Ribs are tender at this point, so be gentle.
  • After sauce is added, continue to cook for 15 minutes.
  • Remove ribs to cutting board to separate.
  • Serve and enjoy!!

I promise that you will love this recipe!! We served with some good southern corn on the cob, and had a perfect dinner that everyone enjoyed. Give it a try!!!

Love and hugs,

Jennifer