Monday, April 14, 2014

Hosanna, Hosanna {Palm Sunday Craft and Treat}

"A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

“Hosanna to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” - Matthew 21:8-11

Hannah may be young but she is soaking up so much information at this age. I can see her learning and growing on a daily basis and I am just amazed. That is why we are starting young teaching our little lady about Jesus and the things of God.

Yesterday we taught her about Palm Sunday and Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem. She loved when I traced around her little hands to make the "palm branches" and then waving it around in the air while I sang a kid song about Palm Sunday. She especially loved when I made treats for my AWANA girls. I think she thought they were for her! I did let her lick the frosting off the whisk. ;)

One of the verses that drives me as a parent is the one from Deuteronomy 6:7 that says, "You shall teach them [God's Words] diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up." It is our duty, no matter how young (or old for that matter), to teach our children God's truth. I hope and pray that she will someday come to know and love the Lord but until then I will continue to share and impress upon her how good He is to me and been in my life!

Quick and Easy Palm Sunday Cupcakes {No Recipe Required}

 I wanted to make a treat for my AWANA girls but I didn't have much time to do any serious baking. I bought some pre-made muffins/cupcakes at the supermarket and then whipped up a quick frosting to top them with. For the toppers I used the sugared "fruit" candy. Cut the green candies  length-wise and stick a toothpick in them. The cut sides are super sticky so they stick together well. Stick them together to resemble a palm branch. My toothpicks were really long for some reason so I made some little banners that said hosanna on them. They turned out pretty cute. I even gave the girls some chocolate gold coins to represent Jesus throwing out the money changers at the temple. :P Enjoy the rest of Passion Week and remembering our Savior and His great love for us!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

My {After Baby} Transformation

During my pregnancy with Hannah, we went to the ultrasound appointment expecting to hear that she was growing healthy and everything was going according to plan. It wasn't. My doctor said that our little bean was growing but she was measuring small for her gestational age. She advised me to stop working out and to eat as many calories as possible to get her big and healthy - and that is just what I did. Now I know that you gain weight while having a baby, to ensure a healthy living space for those 9 months in the womb and also to make her healthy as she grows, but I gained upwards of 60 to 65 lbs!

After having my bundle of joy, although I was happy to finally have her in my arms, I was suffering from postpartum depression. Add being overweight to the mix and I was not a happy camper. I saw a former co-worker post on her facebook page about an exercise program she was doing that was specifically geared towards moms. I checked it out and fell in love. I contacted the coach immediately and started a few weeks later in her next session. I completed two rounds, took several months off and now I'm back to complete two more sessions. I am down to the weight I was when I was the most fit I've ever been. But honestly, it's about more than the weight.

Neubody, showed me that I am capable and strong. I can achieve anything I put my mind to. I feel great! I love working out and taking care of myself. I love the positive impact it's had on my family. Hannah copies the workout moves that her Daddy and I do. It's so darn cute and it's wonderful to think that we are instilling in her good habits about taking care of the bodies God gave us so we can care for and serve others.

Along with the workouts in the program, I learned about how much nutrition plays into your overall health and weight lose. Our household already ate pretty clean because of Jeremy's food sensitivities but it has been revamped and is 99% clean of processed foods, except for the occasional items like packaged dijon mustard, although I did just find a homemade dijon recipe that I will be trying so we can get to 100% clean.

On our 4th wedding anniversary last summer, Jeremy and I got dressed up and went out to one of our favorite restaurants in the area. Afterwards we came home and had some amazing homemade raw key lime pie. You'll never guess what secret ingredient is in it that gives it it's creamy texture. Ready, it's - avocados! Go and try the recipe, pronto! It's so simple and oh so delicious. Who needs processed and sugar saturated desserts when God made natural sugars and treats that are WAY better, in my humble opinion! :)

*Chef's Note: We omitted the tapioca flour and substituted figs for the dates since Jeremy can't have them. It turned out amazing. Seriously, go try this now!*