A free gift

Prayer is one of the best free gifts we receive. There is no cost, just a lot of reward. When you pray believe God will answer.

My prayer for you today:

May today be all you need it to be. May the peace of God and the freshness of the Holy Spirit rest in your thoughts, rule in your dreams tonight, and conquer all your fears. May God manifest himself today in ways you have never experienced. May your joys be fulfilled, your dreams be closer, and your prayers be answered. I pray that faith enters a new height for you; I pray that your territory is enlarged. I pray for peace, healing, health, happiness, prosperity, joy, true and undying love for God. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen. II Corinthians 13:14

God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.

Have a blessed Memorial Day Weekend!


What’s your teen doing this summer? Making money or playing Wii??

Are your teens having problems getting a job?
Well, according to a new study from Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc, 2009 may be the first time since 1954 that fewer than 1 million teens, ages 16-19, will find summer employment. Teenagers will have more trouble finding a summer job this year.

In 2008, 1.154 million teenagers gained jobs in May-July, down nearly 30 percent from 2007, when 1.635 million teens joined the summer labor pool. Teen employment is already lower in 2009 than it was a year ago, with 4.7 million 16- to 19-year-olds currently employed compared to 5.3 million at the same time last year.

The job market has become increasingly tight for teenagers and the types of jobs they typically seek in retail and food service are being eliminated as consumer spending plummets. For the jobs that remain, teens are competing not only with other members of their age group, but also with older, more experienced job seekers willing to accept positions for which they are most
likely overqualified."

Thanks to President Obama, teens seeking paying part-time and/or summer jobs will find the 2009 Stimulus Act provides $1.2 billion for youth activities, including the creation of one million summer jobs for youths. The bill also extends from age 21 to age 24 the age of eligibility for youth services to allow local programs to reach young adults who are unemployed and not in school. The federal government will dispense funds to the states and ultimately trickle down to cities and communities in the form of jobs. Workforce Investment Boards will provide the discretionary over site for the programs. Your teen should check out their local CareerOneStop for more information on what's available in their community and eligibility or visit Due to economic uncertainties overall hiring has slowed and businesses are reluctant to hire minor teens. This infusion will help teens in areas hardest hit and with the greatest need. Others will still have to work to find work. Older teens 18-19, have more opportunities available to them. Minor teens will really have to work to find work in their local areas from employers willing to give them a chance. Next week I will post on other summer alternatives to working; internships and volunteering. All of the options are much more enriching than a summer spent playing Wii and Gameboy.

Regardless of your age, if you want a paying job you must demonstrate that you;
  • Have the basic education required to do the job,
  • Are willing to work hard and learn new things,
  • Have a positive attitude,
  • Are reliable.
  • Understand the needs of the business.

Make sure to help your teenager write a resume. A teenager seeking a summer job needs to stand out. Include any previous work, including: babysitting, lawn mowing, home repairs, community services and volunteer work. Also include any extra-curricular clubs and organizations in and outside of school. List 3-4 references (not parents) such as a previous employer, teacher, counselor, coach, pastor or neighbor.

Here are 6 easy steps to follow that will help your teen land a job this summer:
1. Check with teachers and school counselors about summer jobs in the area.
2. Apply at fast food restaurants, grocery stores, department stores and malls.
3. Put a "teenager seeks summer job" ad at the local grocery store, church or any community establishment. Send out emails to friends and neighbors.
4. Check with the city or town you live in (or nearby). Most cities/towns have websites to look for an "employment" contact. If not, call the main phone number and explain what you are looking for. Some large metro cities work with businesses just for teenager employment. Also, ask about positions at local community centers, parks and recreation programs. This includes day camps and life guard opportunities. Don't forget to ask about summer sports programs that may need coaching assistants etc.
5. Contact your local library. Often, libraries either have summer employment or can point you in the right direction.
6. Look on the internet to see what summer camps may be in and around the area where you live. Sometimes summer camps hire teens as assistants for crafts, sports, etc.

Information provided in this post is based on research from,, my personal experience with teens and other conversations with moms.


Cherries are in Season! Relief for Gout?

A Natural Gout Cure… Cherries

Cherries - cure for gout or is this an old wives tale? For many years, red delicious cherries have been thought to help control and decrease gout symptoms. Over 50 years ago a doctor named Ludwig Blau announced a cure for one of the oldest diseases known to man, gout. Dr. Blau suggested that eating about 8 cherries a day would cure gout.

We now know that cherries contain anthocyanins which have anti-inflammatory properties that work in the same way as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID).

Cherries work to reduce the inflammation that causes gout pain by reducing the uric acid that causes gout. And cherries are much better than NSAIDs because cherries cure the cause of gout. And NSAIDS only treat the symptoms (inflammation). However, many gout sufferers have found that eating as many as 40 cherries isn't the most convenient remedy. And now researchers believe that cherries are not the only gout cure that works.

The Most Effective Treatment for Gout

Gout was once thought to be caused by an unhealthy diet and excessive alcohol. This was sort of true but there are many other causes as well. By looking at all the causes of gout, natural health doctors have been recommending a natural cure for gout that works nearly all the time.

If you would like to start taking your health more serious and cure gout naturally, here are 5 tips you should know about a natural cure for gout.

1. Dieting! Most people who cure gout do it with a healthy diet! You should keep a food journal and keep note of what foods cause high uric acid levels. Stay away from purine-rich foods like: red meats, alcohol, fish and beans.

2. Vitamins! Did you know that most gout sufferers are deficient in 3 key vitamins that are essential for flushing uric acid? Vitamins A, B5 and E are found in many fruits and vegetables; fresh cherries, strawberries, blueberries, and other red-blue berries; vegetables including kale, cabbage, parsley, green-leafy vegetables; Tofu, although a legume and made from soybeans, may be a better choice than meat

3. Flush! Are you flushing everyday? I'm not talking about the toilet but about your body! Did you know that you can literally flush your body of many impurities with water and a high fiber diet? Flushing benefits your body by keeping the bad stuff out, like uric acid. Drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day. You weigh 220 lbs. = 110 ounces of water.

4. More Acids! Surprisingly, ascorbic acid is also very beneficial to flushing uric acid. Did you know that ascorbic acid is also another name for vitamin C? Vitamin C is also a simple natural remedy that has helped many gout sufferers.

5. A common trend among gout sufferers is inactivity. If you live a sedentary lifestyle, you are very likely to get gout someday. On the other hand, when you exercise your body is able to effectively flush your body of toxins, uric acid and other impurities. It is also thought to be able to break up uric acid crystals between joints.
Try to go for a walk at least once a day and eventually, find an exercise program that suits your body type and goals.

These are a summary of tips from several of my favorite resources and other homeopathic research; and

In California, we know it is cherry season by all of the roadside stands that pop up.

Here are some helpful hints on selecting the best cherries. Pick a handful of cherries at a time and only select the best fruit. This may be time-consuming, but the reward will be better cherries. Good cherries should be large (one inch or more in diameter), glossy, plump, hard and dark-colored for their variety. Buy cherries with stems on — they should be fresh and green. Reject undersized cherries or those that are soft or flabby. Avoid fruit that is bruised or has cuts on the dark surface. If you find many damaged fruits, consider buying cherries somewhere else, as a number of spoiled cherries will start the others to decay.


Loosely pack unwashed cherries in plastic bags or pour them into a shallow pan in a single layer and cover with plastic wrap to minimize bruising. Store cherries in the refrigerator and cherries in good condition should last up to a week. Check the fruit occasionally and remove the cherries that have gone bad. Wash the fruit before eating.

You can freeze cherries by rinsing and draining thoroughly, spreading them out in a single layer on a cookie sheet and placing in the freezer overnight. Once the cherries are frozen, transfer them to a heavy plastic bag. The frozen fruit may be kept up to a year.

Cherries, cherries everywhere what to do after you eaten the umpteenth are some scrumptious recipes:

Black Cherry Champagne recipe


1 bottle champagne.

Black cherry juice.

Black cherries, with stems.

Superfine sugar.

Preparation Instructions:

1. Wet the rim of 2 champagne glasses with water, then turn each glass upside down and dip gently in a saucer of sugar.

2. Pour 1/3 of chilled cherry juice and top each glass up with the champagne.

3. Garnish with a cherry.

Cherry Muffins with Crumb Topping

Crumb Topping

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

Pinch of salt

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 cup butter (melted)

3/4 cup whole milk

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon almond extract

1 1/2 cups pitted sweet cherries (try to use 2 cherries per muffin)

1/3 cup chopped pecans (optional)

makes approximately 16 muffins


1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Line 16 muffin cups with paper or foil liners or spray 2 muffin tins with cooking spray.

2. Make the Crumb Topping: In a medium bowl, combine the flour with the brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in the melted butter, then pinch the mixture until it forms pea-size clumps.

3. Make the Muffins: In a medium bowl, sift the flour with the baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, eggs and melted butter and beat with a handheld electric mixer at low speed until combined. Beat in the whole milk and vanilla or almond extract. Add the flour mixture all at once and beat at low speed until the batter is smooth. Stir in the cherries.

4. Spoon the batter into 16 cups, filling them about three-quarters full. Sprinkle the crumb topping on top of each one and bake for about 30 minutes or until the muffins are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 10 minutes before serving.

Great served with your morning cup of tea or coffee.


Brain Food

Got Decisions to make – job, finances, family, American Idol?

If you want to make the right decisions in chaotic times—your grocery list can help with your to-do list. The brain, which accounts for 2 percent of our body weight, sucks down roughly 20 percent of our daily calories. A picky eater, it demands a constant supply of glucose — primarily obtained from recently eaten carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables, grains etc.). Only in extreme instances of deprivation will the brain use other substances for fuel.

I’ve rounded up some of the best foods to munch on when you need a mental boost—and found studies that show that you can be up to 200 percent more productive if you make the right eating choices. Stock up on these items to halt mental decline, jog your memory, sharpen your senses, improve your performance, activate your feel-good hormones, and protect your quick-witted sharpness, whether you’re 15, 40—or not admitting to any age whatsoever!

The Short Term Memory Boost - Coffee

Fresh-brewed organic coffee is the ultimate brain fuel. Caffeine has been shown to retard the aging process and enhance short-term memory performance. In one study, British researchers found that just one cup of coffee helps improve attention and problem-solving skills. However we tend to overdo it with coffee - “too much of a good thing” too many jolts of caffeine from the late afternoon onward, a Red Bull cocktail will disrupt your sleep. Sleep is reboot time for your mental computer, and you don’t want to mess with it.

For Long Term Memory - Blueberries

Antioxidants in blueberries help protect the brain from free-radical damage and cut your risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. They can also improve cognitive processing (translation: thinking). Wild blueberries, if you can find them, have even more brain-boosting antioxidants than the cultivated variety. The best wild blueberries are found in Maine and ripen in early July. So book your vacation now!
If you can’t make it to Maine in July – buy them frozen. The freezer locks in peak flavor and nutrients, so the berries’ antioxidant capacity is maxed out. Those pale, tough, and expensive off-season berries usually ripen on a truck, rather than on the bush, so they’re nutritional imposters compared to the real thing.

To Think Faster - Salmon or Mackerel

If you have an interview and want to be on your toes, the omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fishes are a primary building block of brain tissue, so they’ll amp up your thinking power. Salmon is also rich in niacin, which can help ward off Alzheimer’s disease and slow the rate of cognitive decline. To maximize the benefits, be sure you are purchasing wild caught Salmon and not the farm raised stuff. Wild salmon is not only an incredible food for brain health, it qualifies as incredible across virtually every other health standard as well and is clearly one of the healthiest foods that one can eat. Wild salmon (not farm-raised) in particular is a true brain food: one of the best sources of Essential Fatty Acids (such as the all-important Omega-3), a rich source of high-quality non-land animal protein, low saturated fat, generally among the lowest amounts of contaminants (such as mercury) among seafood, and other health properties -- wild salmon can help do everything from improve your brain matter, your mood, your synaptic connections, your arteries, reduce your risk of stroke and Dementia and Alzheimer's and much more.

It's also important to know that only WILD salmon has been shown to contain the highest levels of the good stuff that your brain & body wild-caught fish grow and evolve their muscles, tissues and fat levels the hard way, fighting for survival of the fittest in the oceans and rivers. By contrast, many or most farm-raised salmon exist in a locked-up, artificial and sometimes contaminated environment and thus have to be fed food (or worse, color added later just before going to market!) to make them LOOK orange and healthy instead of white and sickly.

While there ARE some good sustainable, eco-friendly, health-focused farmed salmon operations out there, I'll take my salmon fresh and wild and naturally orange in color, thank long as wild salmon remains a mostly non-endangered fish species (particularly in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska). Even if it costs more. Your brain and body are worth it.

To Energize - High Protein Salad with Vinaigrette

The Olive Oil in your dressing will help slow down digestion of protein and carbs in the salad, stabilizing blood-sugar levels and keeping energy levels high. Leafy greens—arugula, chard, spinach—are rich sources of B vitamins, which are key components on the assembly line that manufactures feel-good hormones such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. According to a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, a lack of B6 can cause nervousness, irritability, and even depression. So energize yourself at lunch by building your salad on a bed of romaine and spinach for an added boost in riboflavin, add some tomato, cucumber and carrots an then add chicken and a hard-boiled egg for more energizing protein.

To Calm Down - Low Fat Yogurt or Mixed Nuts

Scientists in Slovakia gave people 3 grams each of two amino acids—lysine and arginine—or a placebo, and asked them to deliver a speech. Blood measurements of stress hormones revealed that the amino acid-fortified guys were half as anxious during and after the speech as those who took the placebo. Yogurt is one of the best food sources of lysine. You might consider walnuts during times of stress-especially if you're in "fight-or-flight" mode: walnuts contain L-arginine, an amino acid that is converted into nitric oxide, a chemical which allows blood vessels to relax. This helps overall circulation, including delivery of nutrients to skin cells. Walnuts are the only nut that contain a significant amount of omega-3s in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an essential omega-3 fat necessary for smooth, supple skin.nuts pack loads of arginine.

A study from the American Journal of Public Health found that people who drink 2½ cans of soda or drinks with high fruitose corn syrup including Arizona Green Tea daily are three times more likely to be depressed and anxious, compared with those who drink fewer. Check the labels on those so called “good drinks”!

To Concentrate - Peppermint Tea

The scent of peppermint helps you focus and boosts performance, according to researchers. Need to reach Chicago before nightfall, and you’re stuck in traffic around Cleveland? One study found that peppermint makes drivers more alert and less anxious.
Peppermint candy, mints or gum don’t count! Sugary foods incite sudden surges of glucose that, in the long term, cause sugar highs and lows, leading to a fuzzy state of mind.
And of course my favorite – Chocolate - Grab the real thing, the darker the better. More cacao means more happy chemicals and less sugar, which will eventually pull you down. White chocolate isn’t chocolate at all, since it contains no cocoa solids. So it won’t stimulate the euphoria-inducing mood boosters like serotonin, as real chocolate does.

For Sharper Senses - 1 Tbsp of Ground Flaxseed Daily

Flax is the best source of alphalinoleic, or ALA—a healthy fat that improves the workings of the cerebral cortex, the area of the brain that processes sensory information, including that of pleasure. Flax seed also stabilizer your hormones and can reduce the symptoms of "hot flashes". A coffee grinder works great to grind the flax seed before sprinkling it on your oatmeal, salad or mix it into a smoothie or shake.

This list of brain food was pulled together from several of my favorite resources Delicious Living and Eat This Not That and Organic Spa Magazine.


Got Garden?

Have you planted your garden? It’s mid- May and if the answer is no, you still have time. Gather up the gardening tools, find a nice patch of soil and get to work! If the First Lady, Michella Obama can do it… than so can you!

Plus there are many benefits to planting a vegetable garden; it is a healthy way to relieve stress, your food is healthier and safer - because you control what goes on your vegetables, and produce from the garden provides better nutrition to your family.

You can challenge your creative side by laying out your vegetable garden so that your space looks great.

Whether you have a huge area for a vegetable garden, a small area, or just a deck or patio by being creative you can use your space optimally. There is nothing more satisfying than growing your own vegetables in your own garden without the use of pesticides or chemicals.

With the recession eating away at family budgets, vegetable gardens are growing in popularity, says a University of Missouri Extension horticulturist. "Vegetable gardening is an excellent way to save on the family food bill," said David Trinklein. Seed companies,greenhouse operators and other retailers report a 10-15 percent increase in garden-related purchasing, he said.

You don't have to start gardening alone. In many areas, there are neighborhood or community gardens where families share in expenses and labor. With as little as $50 invested in seeds and gardening supplies it can yield as much as $1,200 in vegetables. With just a little TLC, you might be able to achieve 10 to 15 pounds of tomatoes per plant…and that a lot more than many people realize a tomato plant is capable of producing.

Here are 3 indispensble herbs for the garden:

Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

Basil: Sometimes referred to as the king of herbs (the name is derived from basileus, which is Greek for king), basil has fragrant, bright green leaves on 6-inch- to 2-foot-tall plants. Annual. All zones.

Best culinary varieties: 'Finissino Verde A Palla' bush basil, 'Italian Pesto', 'Lettuce Leaf', 'Mammoth Sweet', 'Mrs. Burns' Lemon Basil', 'Profuma di Genova', 'Red Rubin', 'Sweet Basil'.

Growing tip: Basil thrives when the soil is warm and nighttime temperatures are above 60°, so don't rush springtime planting. To encourage branching, cut back stems to just above the first set of leaves when plants have developed three pairs of leaves.

Harvest tip: Prune often to avoid flower formation. When a stem has developed four pairs of leaves, cut each stem down to just above the first set. Continue cutting plants back throughout the summer, or set out new seedlings in succession a month or so apart and harvest the entire plant for pesto.

Uses: Eggs, fish, marinades, meats, pastas, pestos, salads, soups, stews, and tomatoes.

Chives (Allium)

Chives: Green, grasslike, 12- to 24-inch-long spears form in clumps. Clusters of rose purple or white flowers in spring. Perennial.

Best culinary varieties: Chives(A. schoenoprasum); all zones. Chinese or garlic chives (A. tuberosum); zones 1-24, H1-H2.

Growing tip: Increase the number of plants by dividing in winter every two years or so.

Harvest tip: Gather chives by snipping the spears to the ground (otherwise you'll have unsightly brown foliage mixed in with the green).

Uses: Butters, cheeses, eggs, lamb, mayonnaise, potatoes, rice, salads, sauces, seafood, soups, sour cream, stews, and vegetables.

Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum)

Cilantro: Bright green leaves on foot-tall stems look similar to flat-leafed parsley. Cilantro refers to the leaves; the seeds are called coriander.

Best culinary varieties: Grow types that are slow to bolt (go to seed), which are labeled as such or sold as a variety called 'Slow-Bolt'.

Growing tip: Cilantro grows best in cool weather. Plant in early spring after last frost (autumn in the low desert). If practical, start from seed; cilantro has a taproot and transplants poorly. Plant in succession every few weeks through summer. Once it goes to seed, the flavor changes.

Harvest tip: Cut off leaves as needed. Harvest the entire plant before it starts to flower.

Uses: Beans, curries, fish, lamb, Mexican dishes, pork, poultry, salads, salsas, sauces, shellfish, and stir-fries.

My favorite basil recipe is Pesto. On a hot summer afternoon, I love to spread pesto on Puglisi Bread and sip a crisp glass of Sauvignon Blanc. My daughter loves Angel Hair Pasta with fresh tomatoes and basil. Here are two of my favorite Basil recipes – both are quick to prepare and absolutely delicious!

Fresh Basil Pesto Recipe

* Note - pesto is always made to taste, based on the ingredients at hand. So adjust the ingredients to your taste. Most pesto recipes call for Parmesan cheese, we often use Romano which has a stronger flavor.

If you want to freeze the pesto you make, omit the cheese (it doesn't freeze well). Fill an ice cube tray with the pesto. Freeze and then remove from the ice tray and store in a freezer bag. When you want to use, defrost and add in grated Parmesan or Romano.

* 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
* 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
* 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
* 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
* 3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
* Squeeze of lemon juice

1. Toast the pine nuts – Toasting pine nuts gives them roasted flavor, browns them, and makes them firmer, too. It's easiest to do in a dry skillet over medium-low heat. Shake the skillet frequently to ensure even browning—the pine nuts are small and full of rich oil, and will burn quickly if you don't watch carefully. When the nuts are fragrant and browned, take the pan off the heat. Transfer the pine nuts to a plate to cool.

2. Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.

3. Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese, squeeze of fresh lemon and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt, freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Makes 1 cup.

Serve with pasta, or over baked potatoes, or spread over toasted baguette slices.

Angel Hair Pasta with fresh tomatoes and basil


* 2 pounds ripe tomatoes
* 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 red onion, finely chopped
* 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
* 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
* 1 oregano sprig
* Pinch chili flakes
* 1/2 teaspoon sugar
* 1 pound dried angel hair pasta
* 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
* 1/4 cup chopped basil, plus whole sprigs for garnish


Bring a large pot of water to a boil and prepare an ice water bath. Cut a small "x" on the bottom of each tomato. In batches, place the tomatoes in the boiling water and blanch them for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the skins are easy to peel away. Remove and immediately plunge into the ice bath. Peel the tomatoes and halve horizontally. Squeeze out the seeds, using your fingers to get them all. Roughly chop the peeled and seeded tomatoes. Set aside. (You can also use whole peeled canned tomatoes. Simply drain them, seed, and roughly chop).

Heat a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions and garlic and saute for 2 minutes. Add the thyme leaves, oregano sprig, and chili flakes and saute until the garlic begins to turn golden brown. Add the tomatoes and the sugar, a pinch of salt and black pepper and stir well. Lower the heat and cook slowly until the mixture is fairly dry, about 15 minutes.

Cook the angel hair pasta in boiling, salted water until al dente. Drain the pasta. Toss the cooked pasta in 1 teaspoon of virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt. Add the pasta to the sauce. Add the grated Parmesan and basil and toss well. Place in a large pasta bowl and garnish with Parmesan and basil sprigs. Serve with a glass of crisp Sauvignon Blanc and baguette.


Happy Mother's Day - Awesome Moms

Happy Mother's Day to all of the Mothers, Step-Moms and Spiritual Mothers,
Enjoy the day...and remember EVERYDAY is Mothers Day! Many Blessings
(author unknown)

Before I was Mom

Before I was a Mom,

I never tripped over toys

or forgot words to a lullaby.

I didn't worry whether or not

my plants were poisonous.

I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mom,

I had never been puked on.

Pooped on.

Chewed on.

Peed on.

I had complete control of my mind

and my thoughts.

I slept all night.

Before I was a Mom,

I never held down a screaming child

so doctors could do tests.

Or give shots.

I never looked into teary eyes and cried.

I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.

I never sat up late hours at night

watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mom,

I never held a sleeping baby just because

I didn't want to put her down.

I never felt my heart break into a million pieces

when I couldn't stop the hurt.

I never knew that something so small

could affect my life so much.

I never knew that I could love someone so much.

I never knew I would love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom,

I didn't know the feeling of

having my heart outside my body...

I didn't know how special it could feel

to feed a hungry baby..

I didn't know that bond

between a mother and her child.

I didn't know that something so small

could make me feel so important and happy.

Before I was a Mom,

I had never gotten up in the middle of the night

every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.

I had never known the warmth,

the joy,

the love,

the heartache,

the wonderment

or the satisfaction of being a Mom.

I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much,

before I was a Mom .

Send this to someone who you think is an awesome Mom.

May you always be overwhelmed by the Grace of God rather than by the cares of life


Between Breakfast and Lunch

Brunch is a delightful way to begin any day. The word brunch, a combination of the words breakfast and lunch, causes one to sigh in eager anticipation. Who wouldn't want to sleep in and then be treated to a table overflowing with mouth-watering delicacies that transcend the ordinary?

Why Brunch?

It's not really breakfast, though most of the time breakfast foods are served. And it's not really lunch, though it often extends through lunch and beyond. In a nutshell, brunch is an internationally recognized meal that allows participants to sleep in. This is especially well-received after an invigorating evening, such as a wedding or late-night travel, and is a perfect way to start any day, especially a day that will be filled with activity. Brunch is also a wonderful way to start a holiday.

Rumor has it, the word brunch was coined in 1895, by Guy Beringer, who was a journalist for a hunting magazine. Mr. Beringer was indeed onto something when he said he felt brunch—a meal served after the morning hunt and before the heartier meal of the day—would promote "human happiness.”

Creating a heavenly brunch is a wonderful way to treat and honor the Mom in your life. Waffles topped with fresh strawberries and whipped cream is the star of any brunch menu. My waffle recipe creates a crispy, melt in your mouth heavenly treat. Enjoy!

Crispy, Melt in Your Mouth Waffles

1 3/4 cups all- purpose organic unbleached pastry flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon sugar

2 egg yolks

1 3/4 cups milk

1 tablespoon yogurt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup melted butter

2 egg whites

In a large mixing bowl stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, sugar and 1/4 teaspoons salt. In a small bowl beat egg yolks with a fork. Beat in milk, yogurt and vanilla until smooth. Add the melted butter and stir until mixed. Add to the liquids to the flour mixture all at once. Stir mixture until blended but still slightly lumpy.

In a small mixer bowl beat egg whites till stiff peaks form. Gently fold beaten egg whites into flour-milk mixture, leaving a few fluffs of egg white. Do not overmix.

Pour batter onto grids of a preheated greased waffle baker. Close lid quickly and do not open during baking. Use a fork to help lift the baked waffle off grid. To keep baked waffles hot for serving, place in a single layer on a wire rack sitting in a baking sheet or cooked sheet. Place the it in a warm oven. Makes 4 waffles

Sliced Strawberries and Whipped Cream Topping

For the strawberries:

2 pints fresh strawberries

3 tablespoons sugar

For the whipped cream:

1 cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 tablespoon sugar

1. Quarter the strawberries, and take 1/3 of them and slice thinly. Combine the sliced strawberries with the quartered strawberries and sprinkle with the sugar. Allow to macerate for about a half hour.

2. Place the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla in a stand mixer. Mix on low speed until bubbles form, then raise the speed to medium-high. The cream will start leaving a path. Continue mixing until the cream is light and airy, but make sure not to mix too long or you'll end up with butter.

Plate the waffles and top with the strawberries and whipped cream. Serve with warmed real maple syrup.