Family Life

As most of you already know my husband and I are currently on the 90 day challenge with Body by Vi.

Here is the reason why.

For the past year, Joel and I have struggled. Struggled to make it financially, struggled to get vision for our future, and struggled to lose weight. I tried to pursue my baking and actually got lots of catering orders which was wonderful. But devoting a lot of time to perfecting baked goods does a real doozy on the body and I ended up gaining 15 lbs. Not good, not good at all. I still had 5 lbs of baby weight to lose from Maxwell so adding 15 to that was not ideal. I needed something else, other than turning to my baking every day.

Over the year, Joel struggled with his health and ulcerative colitis. We are such foodies, which isn’t helpful when he has to watch what he eats and we tried diet after diet, and nothing worked.

I prayed over and over that the Lord would highlight something to me and that I would be able to start a business or find some way to produce income from the home. Money was beyond tight and Joel was working two jobs to make ends meet.
I was fed up with my weight gain and decided to make the sacrifice and go to the gym every night, 5 nights a week and workout. I combined that with counting my calories and taking out all sugar and carbs. In the course of 2 weeks, I lost 2 lbs, and never saw my husband because evenings were the only time he was home.

I was devastated. I honestly felt hopeless. I worried that I could never change my body, change Joel’s body and health, change our finances, and get a vision for something that I could do from home for the next 5-10 years.

Then one day in January, I met with Jordan Sarmiento, a friend of mine and Joel’s. He just started with a company called Visalus and was promoting a 90 day challenge. He had made decent money promoting it and asked me to look into the products myself.

I did lots of research and was totally surprised.
I have been asked to do every MLM under the sun, and never once had a peace about it. Until now.
I was stoked. For the first time, I had excitement about my future. “This could really work because it’s a product I truly believe in.”

I started promoting it, started my challenge and in my first week I lost 8 lbs. I was beyond shocked.
In over 3 weeks on the challenge, I have lost a total of 13 lbs. I only have 7 more to go before I am at my goal weight.

Never in a million years would I think this would work for me. Never would I have thought that I would love the products, and be able to make some extra income.
I am not making “bank” by any means, YET, but I am making at least an extra $400 a month which pays for my kids to go to their amazing Christian school .
I couldn’t be more grateful to the Lord for His leadership over my life and bringing this company to my awareness.
I truly believe it was my tool get me out of the hole I had dug for myself.

This is not a sales pitch. This post is for me to encourage you that in the midst of your situation, whatever it may be, the Lord has a plan for you. Keep pressing in, persevering, and asking questions. He will answer you!

If you have any questions about Body by Vi or the 90 day challenge, you can go to my website here.

Bless you! Have a fabulous Monday!


If you are looking for an amazing chocolate pie recipe, this is it!!!!!

Seriously it’s that good. Just ask my kids.

I needed to make some pie tartlets for a friend of mine hosting a benefit concert. These babies fit the bill perfectly.

Here is my recipe for French silk pie.
– 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature
– 1 cup sugar
– 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
– 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
– 3 large eggs
– Whipped cream, for serving and chocolate shavings if you’re all fancy and such.

Beat butter and sugar together with a paddle attachment for 2 minutes. Add melted chocolate and vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time and beat for 5 minutes after each egg. This part takes the longest and it’s easy to think that it’s whipped enough, but just keep whipping it! Set the timer on the stove, the mixer at med speed and beat those eggs into the choc/butter mixture.

Then spoon the chocolate mixture into a fully cooked pie crust and refrigerate overnight or at least 4 hours.

Serve with homemade whipped cream.

I pour some heavy whipping cream into my mixer and start beating it on high until it forms some consistency. Then I add powdered sugar and vanilla. Add sugar to taste. When it forms and becomes thick, taste it and see if it’s sweet enough or needs more vanilla etc. You can always add more sugar and vanilla, just not take it away 🙂

Tomorrow I will post my 3 favorite pie crust recipes. Look back here tomorrow and pick your favorite to try.

Cheers!!! Hope you enjoy your chocolate pie. O wait, you don’t have it. I do.

No seriously.

Enough truly is enough. This is a new year, a time for resolutions, and a time for true change. I am not just saying this. I am actually going to change.

I am taking on the 90 day challenge. Want to do it with me?????

I officially and sadly have 20 lbs of weight to lose that I never lost after having Max, my fourth baby. I am still, nearly 20 months later, not in my old clothes. It is frustrating to say the least, but more uncomfortable and sad. I wear clothes that cover my problem areas. I put so much time and effort into making my face and hair beautiful, and feeling uncomfortable from the neck down. I am done. I need to change and I don’t need some “fad, extreme” diet. I need something healthy that will actually work.

I found this.

Check back here to track my progress and still get amazing recipes from me. I will still be blogging on all things life, God, family, and food. We are in this together. I am not looking for a quick, extreme fix. I want something that will fill my body with nutrients not deprive it of something while I try to lose the weight.

So cheers to life, a new year, a new body, and change!

Mmmmmmmmmm, homey, delicious, warm, healthy, amazing chicken noodle soup.

Nothing is better than homemade chicken noodle soup. Here’s my recipe.

Take a large onion, and chop it. Add to a large pan with extra virgin olive oil and saute for a few minutes.

Chop of a bunch of carrots. I never count or measure the veg. I just do what seems right. If i have extra carrots than I chop them too.

Throw the carrots in the soup pot with the onions and just let it saute while you chop up some celery.

Throw the celery in the pot. Keep the soup pot on med heat and just saute the living daylights out of it.

Now I add my herbs. Rosemary, thyme, sage (I used fresh because I had it on hand, but I normally use dry ingredients at around 1 tsp. a piece), oregano, salt, and pepper.

Throw them in the pot and add your chicken stock. I use homemade from the chickens that I roast once a week. But you can use store bought or homemade. Add a good amount. Again, I never measure. I just know what looks right. Definitely cover the vegetables by a couple inches.

Bring the stock to a boil and throw in the egg noodles. Let them cook in the soup, and then add some chopped up chicken.

I usually roast two chickens a week. We eat one for dinner then I pick the chicken off the other and save it in a ziploc bag for either soup or a casserole during the week.

Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed.
There you have it!

Enjoy and make it on a cold day or when someone is sick and needs to get better fast!!!! There’s healing in this soup.

p.s. Thought you would enjoy a view from where I cook. I have such a wonderful view of all my friends on my refrigerator. While I chop, cut, and cook, I pray for all my friends and their families. Want me to think and pray for you? Send me a photo of your family. 🙂

So yesterday, my little brother turn 21. Crazy how fast time flies.

We celebrated with a homemade pizza contest. Each sibling couple had to bring a large homemade pizza of their choice. Everyone voted anonymously, and the winner won two movie tickets and free babysitting.

The selection of pizzas included a white pizza with spinach and feta from Beau and Mercy, a chicken pesto pizza from Brian and Grace, a pepperoni and olive pizza from Marcus and Rachel, a proscuitto and fig pizza from James and Hanna, and a deep dish pepperoni, peppers, and sausage pizza from me and Joel.

Our pizza came in second. We lost to Hanna and James. But you know what. That’s okay. I have resolved my anger and jealousy.

It’s a bad picture, but it’s the only one I have. This is my pizza. First time ever making a deep dish and I have to say it turned out awesome. There will definitely be “tweaking” but that’s normal in the game of food.

Happy Birthday Truman!!!!! I love you so much and I am so proud of the man of God you are. We love you too Lauren. 🙂

Here are some snapshots of me and my handsome hubby.

Life is grand isn’t it?

Tonight, I threw a couple chickens in the oven for dinner. My kids, sadly, are entirely sick of roast chicken and veg. From being on the GAPS diet for 3 weeks, they had their fair share of chicken stock and vegetables cooked in chicken stock. They need a break. But alas, it was what I had and they had to eat it.

My method of cooking chicken is foolproof and super delicious. I thought I would share it.

I always throw two chickens in a roasting pan, usually weighing 3-5 lbs a piece. I throw some chopped up vegetables in the pan too. Celery, carrots, potatos, squash, onions, or anything else that sounds good. I love using fresh herbs but don’t always have those available. Today, though I did and I used fresh thyme, rosemary, and sage, along with salt and pepper which I generously spread over the chickens and veg.

Put half a stick of butter on top of each chicken and put in the oven at 250 degrees for 4-5 hours. It always takes my oven 4 hours to get fully cooked but I have a terrible fear of serving under cooked chicken. It is one of my biggest fears. So I always want to make sure my chicken is fully cooked. And cooking the chicken at 250 nearly guarantees that it won’t be overcooked even if you do go over time.

Many a time, I have been in a rush and cooked my chicken at 350 for a couple hours, and the meat is always tough. In this method, you will have juicy, succulent meat. I promise.

Add some cumin, paprika, garlic, onion powder, anything you find in your cupboard. Experiment with seasonings. But 250 for 4 hours is the way to go.

I almost forget to mention that halfway through cooking, I add another stick of butter to the pan and mix around all the veg and start basting the chicken for the remainder of the cooking time.

The great thing is that you have plenty of bones and chicken for stock and soup the next day!!!!

Cheers and happy eating!

p.s. On a side note, for lunch I tried some veggie burgers from Costco.

They were just okay. The only redeeming thing is that I ate them with Frank’s sauce, the most glorious condiment on earth.

I am still looking for the best veggie burger available in stores.

Please let me know if you have on you adore! Thanks!

Hello everyone,
Today I had a moment.
A moment where time stood still and I knew that I would remember this day for the rest of my life.
Every night before my kids go to sleep, we have bible story time. Well, that’s not true. I try to stir up everything within to be spiritual and tell them something that they will remember about God. Most nights, it happens, but other nights are just busy and a tired mom can only put her children to bed.

Tonight was a night where heaven met earth.

Let me give you a little history.
Two sundays ago, a friend of mine, Shelley Hundley (name drop) gave an incredible message. One thing she said stuck out to me. She was not a believer in college and a group of Christians at her school started praying for the Lord to save her and encounter her. They knew that if God could save Shelley, anything could happen. This group of believers on Shelley’s campus, started praying for her daily. She eventually came to know Christ.

This got me thinking. How often do I pray for my unsaved friends? So that very day, I sat down and started praying. Specifically for my friend Nathan. My kids came in and saw me kneeling down with tears in my eyes. They of course were worried for me. I ended up explaining all about hell and told them to pray with me for my friend Nathan, that he would not go to hell and that Jesus would encounter him.

Today, we drove by a funeral home. My kids have never asked before, but for some reason, today they asked. “Mom, what is that building?” I went on to explain about when we die, we get buried in the ground and our spirits either go to heaven or hell. That kind of confused them, but they knew the heaven and hell part.

Audrey nearly started crying saying that she never wanted to die. Then of course I start telling them about heaven and how we will get to be with Jesus forever.
Conversation ended.

Tonight, after a busy crazy day, I sat down with the kids. I had yelled at them just 30 minutes before for their bad attitudes and had to repent for my anger. I am just saying this to let you know that I am not some super spiritual amazing mother. I struggle with anger. I am not perfect. But I am quick to repent and I know that it takes effort to stir myself up at the end of the day and tell them about Jesus, so I do it. Tonight, I told them about Mary of Bethany. We talked about pouring out perfume on Jesus’ feet and loving Him with our whole hearts.

Somehow we got talking about heaven and hell again. We went into specifics this time. We talked about the lake of fire and people that don’t know Jesus who will burn in hell for ever. The kids all got tears in their eyes. Then we talked about Jesus and how we will be in heaven with Him forever, worshipping Him, dancing, eating good food and talking with all the heroes of the bible. Then we talked about hell again and about how important it is to obey God, and our parents and love each other and give to each other. We talked about evil men and women and how they have turned their backs on God.

Audrey looked at me crying, asking to go to heaven to be with Jesus. She said, “why do I have to be here on earth? I want to go to heaven!”

This broke my heart. My daughter, who just turned six, is yearning for eternity in a way that I wasn’t. I am happy here. I am content to go about my day and sleep in my bed and wake up and drink delicious coffee. Tears were streaming down her face tonight, because she was not satisfied with her life and wanted to be with Jesus.

Then we prayed.
Each one of my children were in tears. Each one of them closed their eyes and prayed for Nathan to come to know Jesus so that he wouldn’t burn in hell for eternity.
Then we prayed for our own lives. That we would love righteousness and hate wickedness and we would love, serve, and follow Jesus all the days of our lives.

Tonight, I am convicted by my children. They have shown me how to hunger and thirst for righteousness. They have shown me how to long for another age.
Today was a long, hard day. I did not feel spiritual. I did not feel righteous. I have no goodness apart from Jesus.

I have always struggled to feel that I was doing enough, and teaching my children enough about Jesus. When they were 2 and 3 years old and I would sit and have bible story time, they didn’t take it seriously. Guess what? I took it personally. As if it were my fault they weren’t more spiritual and talked about Jesus all the time. I thought to myself that I was doing something wrong and I had to change my approach or if I had just let them watch less movies, then they would hunger for Jesus more.
Guess what? They were just young. They didn’t have the brain capacity to understand what I was even saying to them. Now, they are older. They are starting to get it.

My point is this. God uses weak people, in seemingly unimportant moments of life, to glorify Himself. I am just a weak person, a mom, who is trying the best I can (and I fail miserably), to teach my children about Jesus. My hope is that in my weakness and in the mundane, hard, trying, tiring, moments of my day, that suddenly, in a moment God will show up and glorify Himself. Tonight was one of those moments. My heart is happy, convicted, provoked, and needing more of Jesus.

I hope this encourages you in the journey that you are on. Keep persevering and pressing on, because in a moment, God can come and reveal Himself and glorify His Son.
Blessings tonight!