Monday, January 31, 2011


  Have you ever had a nightmare that left you paralyzed with fear? I seem to suffer from these every once in awhile since childhood. But, last night was the first one in many years. I was just telling the hubby that we shouldn't let the kids play Cabela's Hunting game for the Wii right before bed. Since what you watch or talk about right before bed can transfer over to your dreams at night. Little did I know that I should have listened to my own advice!

Photo credit: hotblack from
  There is this show called "I Should Be Alive!" on Animal Planet. It's about humans who have endured torturous days being stuck in the Outback, on side of a mountain in the French Alps, in a crevasse, surviving an avalanche in Transylvania, and the list goes on! Really it's quite educational on the "what not to do's" or the "what to do's" of survival. The only kicker is that some of them are pretty intense. Bob and I sit there thinking "I never would have survived that!" "How on earth did they make it!" Check it out sometime if you get the opportunity...just don't watch it before you go to sleep! lol 

Photo credit: kaagen from
  Another show called "Wild Justice" is about poachers in California. It's a little cheesy, but interesting at the same time.  They are fish, game, and wildlife cops that are trying to catch poachers in the act.

  These 2 shows combined before bed...make for a horrible nightmare! No, seriously, bad nightmare. I woke up and couldn't figure out why I couldn't feel my arms and legs. Everything was tingly and felt so weird. I remember being so stricken with fear that I could hardly breath...even though I knew it was a dream. Once I realized that I was clenching my fists, I released them and feeling started to come back. I was so out of sorts that I honestly thought to myself "did I just have stroke?" No joke. My body felt so drained and wacky. I couldn't really think clearly and I was so drained and tired. My entire body was soaked with sweat, my heart was beating in my ears, and I just kept thinking something traumatic just happened. I really did go through all the things that you should do with a stroke victim...can I say "Sunday" or speak clearly?...can I smile correctly?...can I raise my arms up? It was absolutely terrifying! I know I sound totally crazy, but it was so bizarre that I had to share.

  Once I got control over my shock of everything, I reached for my Bible. 

Proverbs 3:25-26
Do not be afraid of sudden terror
or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes,
for the Lord will be your confidence
and will keep your foot from being caught.

Psalm 27:1
The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? 
Psalm 56:3-4
When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. 
Deuteronomy 31:6
Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.
Psalm 27:1
The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalm 56:3-4
When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?

Isaiah 41:10
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:13
For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

Matthew 10:26
Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.

Matthew 10:28
And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 
 Hebrews 13:5-6
For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." So we may boldly say: "The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?" 

  This type of fear is not healthy and not from the Lord.  You need to put on The Whole Armor of God and give it to Him.  
"Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
"Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.
"And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints...."  Ephesians 6:10-18

Photo credit: earl53 from
  The rest of my sleep was peaceful and quiet, something that only comes from the Lord...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Excellent Beginnings!

  Last night I entered my last order to finish my Excellent Beginnings qualifications!!! 

  lia sophia has a wonderful program for new Advisors called Excellent Beginnings. This program allows new Advisors to earn jewelry premiums to spend on new pieces from the collection to add to their party samples. It begins from the date that you submit your starter party orders and goes for 15 weeks. There are 3 stages that you can qualify for in 5 week increments. In 15 weeks or less new Advisors can be filling up their displays...with $600 in free jewelry! Yes, you heard "less," meaning as soon as the new Advisor meets those sales goals, the certificates come flowing in! Now say you miss a goal, you still can continue onto the next goal in the next time frame. You can earn as little or as much as YOU want. Not to mention you get paid this whole time as well! 30% commission of all sales! Yay!! 
Week 1-5 When a new Advisor achieves $1,500 in total personal recognition sales* with a minimum of three qualified shows, they will be awarded a $200 jewelry certificate. 

Week 1-10 When a new Advisor reaches another $1,500 in sales bringing total personal recognition sales to date to $3,000, they will be given another $200 jewelry certificate. 

Week 1-15 When a new Advisor fulfills an additional $1,500 ($4,500 in total personal recognition sales to date) in the third set of 5 weeks (15 weeks into a lia sophia business), they will be awarded one more $200 jewelry certificate.

  Right around my last few dollars to qualify (I reached the $4,000 mark at 5 weeks in), I had 2 wonderful parties that sent me sailing right over my $4,500 goal to $5,617! I achieved approximately $1,250 in profit with $600 jewelry totaling $1850 in 12 weeks.

  I took a big break at Christmas and most of January to get back into the swing of things at home. So in the exact amount of weeks (taking out my vacation) it would have only been 7 weeks, doing about one party a week, and some were even catalog parties where I never left my house. Not bad!! :)

* Three qualified show are only required in the first five weeks of the Excellent Beginnings Program. A qualified show is a show that totaled $250 in personal recognition sales.

*Personal recognitions sales are the total sales of a show not including tax and shipping

  I'm so thankful that the Lord has provided this opportunity for me! I'm only gone for a few hours once a week in the evening and my profit it pitching in around here where it's needed. I get to meet so many new ladies that are potential friends, that I never would have met not doing this. It's hard when you're a homeschooling mom in a new city. You aren't going to school and meeting other moms, so if you aren't purposeful in meeting friends, it's not going to happen easily. Thankfully though, I was introduced to some wonderful ladies just after moving here...and it has been a great source of friendship! lia sophia helps broaden the circle of friends that much more...what a blessing! 

Click here if you are interested in more information about my business. 


Thursday, January 27, 2011


  Our family LOVES pizza. It's one of those foods that could be eaten here morning, noon, and night. I don't know what it is about this food, but we just can't seem to get enough! 

  Our favorite is BBQ Chicken Pizza. We use Pioneer Woman's recipe. Although, I do not use the hunk of Mozzarella (it's too expensive at our stores), I just buy the shredded package of Mozzarella or the block depending on which is less expensive. We love using "Sweet Baby Ray's" BBQ sauce. It's the best and you can get it in bulk at Costco! ;) Cilantro is used as a topping once it's out of the oven, and some might think "really?" such as my dear husband, but it makes the pizza! Even he agreed after trying it (we are very daring when it comes to trying new things!lol) 

  I did however come across this recipe for pizza crust that is amazing from the Mad Hungry Blog. It's Lucinda's Basic Pizza Dough. It really truly taste like restaurant pizza crust. 

  Now, I haven't used it with the BBQ Chicken Pizza yet, but I think next time I make it, I'll be trying it. Pioneer Woman's Basic Pizza Dough is more my style though. It only takes about 5 min. to prepare and I only have to wait 1 hr while it chills in the fridge before I can roll it out. I'm always running out of this is the perfect recipe for me. Lucinda's Basic Pizza Dough takes at least 3 hrs to rise or overnight in the fridge. But, the wait is well worth it.

  I'm telling you, "You won't be disappointed if you try it!" Yum, it makes me hungry just thinking about it. :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Weekday Wear

Weekday Wear
Weekday Wear by messybunch featuring platform shoes
You gotta make rain look good somehow! Wouldn't this be a flattering one? 
   I think us moms could actually get away with wearing this pretty wedge, don't you? Love this shade of purple. It's fun, festive, and beautiful! I'm thinking that Anthropologie is becoming my new favorite store. Such a great top. You know, I bet it would hide my mommy tummy! lol I just wish the prices were a little more budget conscious, but then again most things that are budget conscious aren't super fabulous! This bag is perfect for throwing in some diapers and wipes and being on the you gotta love versatility!
  *The lia sophia Tempest Earrings are sleek and the Midnight Ring is Old World with a modern Chic! This is definitely not your typical "Mommy Uniform," but I bet it wears just like one!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Exercise...does a mind good!

   This last week the kids and I have been diligent in our exercise efforts. I know I've lived in a subdivision for 6 months now, but only 5 days ago did it dawn on me that I can run here. We have sidewalks, pavement, hardly any traffic, and I own a jogging stroller! Hallelujah, we can ALL go! (I hate running, I don't know why people do it, but when you need an event that everyone can do, young or old, this is it.) You see, we use to live in a very rural part of the world. lol No sidewalks, 55mph roads with gravel or hillside for your walking area, the occasional deer crossing...not ideal for traveling with children as your exercise partners, actually I don't think it's even very safe for an adult! :)

   Now that we have come to the city side of things, life just got easier. The 3 oldest kids need the exercise, so they get to run with me, and the 2 littlest ones get the smooth ride from the jogger, and we all need the fresh air. I had my husband trip it on the way home from work and our little loop is almost exactly 1 mile. It's just enough to get the blood pumping and clear a foggy mind. 
 I put on my iPod (I hope those things are sweat proof, cause being attached to this out of shape body, it gets a bit of a shower) and we hit the road. I find a little Lady Antebellum, Rob Thomas, and some Fergie do the trick!  Mr. Michael Buble finds his way in ever so often, but I let it slide. You can't fault a guy for trying to run with my cool mommy pack! lol  What's on your iPod that gets you energized? I'm all over the place. Do you stick with one type of music, or just whatever you're feeling like that day?

Here's what they look like when we get back:

   Some of us held up better than others!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Weekday Wear

Weekday Wear
Weekday Wear by messybunch featuring dolman sleeve tops

  This has pretty much become my Traveling Suit when we travel back and forth from Eastern Washington to the West Side. It's perfect because it doesn't wrinkle! The skirt is super soft and wrinkle free, the sweater super comfy too. I add the leggings in the colder months, since you never know when you'll have to make a pit stop to go potty with 5 little ones! :) Sitting for 4hrs in the car can do a number on what you're wearing and your why not make it as pleasant as possible?

   I was introduced to these Miche Bags in December, and let me tell you, this woman is a genius! You buy a base, and shells to change out the look without emptying the contents of your bag every time. The shells have magnets in the corners and you either wrap it around the base, or slide it in depending on your shell type. Genius!! 
As always I've paired it with these beauties from lia sophia, Standing Ovation Earrings in Hematite , Flapper Necklace , Ryne, by Debbie Ring 
  *We try and make our trips as fun as possible. We sing songs, play car games, and trade off the iPod containing history lessons for Alexis and Ty. Make the best of 4hrs...'cause it's a long ride! We head out again this Friday for a weekend of friends and family!

Monday, January 17, 2011


Have you all been healthy these last few months? 'Cause these last few weeks a bug has held on strong to my sinuses and throat. Not very good timing with all the fun festivities...Christmas...New Years...and all the cleaning up that goes along with them. 

 This has been my recipe for survival!
"Constant Comment" Decaffeinated tea...with oranges and sweet spices. I add it to a mug of steaming water and a little honey. So sweet and soothing! Ahhh...can you hear the sigh?! :) Anyone who knows me, knows that I LOVE sweets. This tea is sweet enough to not add sugar. Yes, I know honey is just like sugar, but in a good way, not the white refined sugary, bad kind of sugar, that I usually would add by the spoonful...Gasp...I know that's bad, but I can't help myself! :) 

I think I can add this to my "favorites" list for sure! What are some of your soothing cold tricks? I'm not a big fan of I'd love to know your helpful secrets!

Saturday, January 15, 2011


As a child my parents did a fantabulous job of teaching me the value of a dollar. I was the kid who, if Mom or Dad were buying, I’d be all for it! Once the tables were turned and they introduced us kids to the envelope system, and I was fully in charge of all of my money…I was a total Scrooge! That money was not leaving my envelope unless it was something spectacular! It was really important to me as a 10 year old to have as much left over at the end of the month as possible.

Our Envelopes consisted of:
-Tithing- 10%
-Savings- 20%

*These envelopes were based on a monthly allowance. We bought all our own clothing, gifts for birthday parties, put away savings, and our tithe. I can’t remember the exact amounts, but we were “paid” and then we divided up all earnings into these envelopes and they were to last us, until next “payday.” It was a pivotal point in my life, for sure. Life changing I would say.

Bob and I have now decided to start this with our children. Not to the scale I did as a child, but with an allowance that pays into their tithe, savings, and spending. It was such a wonderful learning experience for me that we’d be robbing our children of a skill that is so important to life, if we didn’t do it with them. Yes, it’s that important!

Our Envelopes consist of:
-Tithing- 10%
-Savings- 20%
*Every week the children get paid a weekly allowance that is their age. Alexis=$10, Ty=$7, Gabriel=$5, Addison=$3, Shelby=Not Old Enough to Care! Lol

-Here it is in a nut shell: They must complete their “Chore Packs” before 9:30am every morning with a “Happy Heart” in order to receive a “smiley face.” If they choose to disobey these orders, they receive a “frowney face.”

Our method of charting is not done perfectly…just simply, it is a piece of paper with days of the week and notes that hang on the fridge (shown below).

Every “frowney face” =’s an amount for each child. Alexis=$0.75, Ty=$0.50, Gabriel=$0.25, Addison=$0.10. Everyday they have the chance to redeem themselves if they have received a “frowney face.” Which means that if they earn a “frowney face” and a “smiley face” in one day, they cancel each other out. (They still get their real life consequence for their actions + the “frowney face.”) This is a way for us to teach the children that even though you mess up and sin, there is a way to get back from it, after they have done the “time for the crime.”

Our payday is every Friday when Dad gets home from work. We sit down and go over each child’s actions for the week and what they learned from it and reward their good behavior and encourage those that didn’t do so well to try harder next week. They receive their allowance based on what they get every week, then they pay/hand back $ for any “frowney faces” they received that weren’t canceled out with good behavior.

God calls us to be good stewards of our money. That is one area in which we can teach our children well. We might not be so great in other areas, but this one we CAN do, and WILL do for our children. We pray that our children’s future spouses parents are teaching their children these same principals. Life and marriage are hard enough without money issues! So why not give your children a head start?!

What are some things you and your family are doing to grow the desire for good stewardship in your children?


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Weekday Wear

Weekday Wear
Weekday Wear by messybunch featuring flare leg jeans
Perfect for a day at the park. Even little Sophie can leash and all! Beautiful lia sophia earrings, and ring. Fossil watch, AVON beauty products, boot cut jeans, adorable pink All Stars w/ soft striped socks, boyfriend cardigan, Coach purse, and a pretty pink and white top. This is comfy, casual, & feminine all wrapped into one pretty package!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sunshine...where art thou?

Have you ever noticed the lack of motivation or energy when our beautiful friend has not been around to visit? Or, is it just me?? By friend, I of course mean my beloved Sunshine! Saturday morning she graced us with her beams of sunlight bursting through the windows warming our faces. The day began with a boost of energy from the get go. A list then begins in my head of all the things that need to get done...the faces I need to find and say "Good Morning Sunshine" to. It gives me that "pep in my step" as my husband would say!

Photo credit: dharder from

We have not seen her since Saturday, it's been really gray, and I'm beginning to think that I am way too controlled by her presence. Maybe the winter time blues? I'm not sure, but it's absolutely ridiculous that I cannot function properly without her. Fatigue, moodiness, feeling like Eeyore...this is not good for me or my family! I think to myself "where is that 300 days of sunshine the Tri-Cities offers?" Then I remind myself that we might just be in the 65 day stretch without the can't be fast enough until she returns.

 I have heard of SAD which is a form of depression that is light related (seasonal depression.) I'm not sure that I'm that severe, but you never know. That involves light therapy, using a light box.

-Here are the symptoms of SAD:
Symptoms of winter SAD include:
* Fatigue
* Increased need for sleep
* Decreased levels of energy
* Weight gain
* Increase in appetite
* Difficulty concentrating
* Increased desire to be alone

Symptoms of summer SAD include:
* Weight loss
* Trouble sleeping
* Decreased appetite
 I'm more than positive that summer SAD is not related to me!

It's a bit scary, but the winter SAD is very close to point on, minus the desire to be alone (never been an issue with me, the more the merrier, although all the noise is starting to get to me most days!) Wouldn't be a bad idea to run it by a Dr. just to see.

Until then I will just keep on thanking God for the days that I do have, here and now. Praying that He will supply the light that I need! Thanking Him for being so forgiving to this grumpy girl. Thanking Him for my children who find "sunshine" everyday and me being witness to it. Thanking Him for a husband who knows & understands me and is willing to love me just the same.

**Praise You, Lord for your mercy, love, & grace!

Photo credit: kakisky from

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Live, Love, Laugh

Live, Love, Laugh
Live, Love, Laugh by messybunch featuring silk jewelry
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest...- Matthew 11:28

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Eating Out

Many people have asked us how we are able to still eat out and do fun activities with a family our size. Bob and I don't see our family as being REALLY big as some would say, but needless to say, that's what we hear more often than not.

So I'm going to share one of our tricks to still be able to enjoy restaurant food without depleting the bank account!

For this there are two options:

1)The we want to eat out, but we shouldn't spend $60 on one meal kind of night.
2)The we really don't have much extra for eating out, but you just have that "ohh, that sounds so good right now!" kind of night.

*The key for us is Applebee's Car Side to Go! Every Wednesday, all day, kids eat for $0.99. At first we assumed that it was one kids $0.99 meal for every adult meal purchased, but this is incorrect. For every adult meal you may purchase 4 kids meals at $0.99. When you use Car Side to Go, you don't pay tip and there isn't a need to buy 2 sodas at $2.95 a piece. So right there you saved $13.90! Especially since you pay tip on the regular price of the meals, not the sale price.

1) type of night:
-Bob and I will purchase the 2 for $20 Special. Bob gets Chicken Tenders Platter. I get the Fiesta Lime Chicken. Our appetizer usually is Onion Rings w/ bleu cheese dressing (they are the most filling, you get the biggest quantity and they are just plain GOOD!).

-For the kids we buy 5 Chicken Tenders Baskets with Fries and Chocolate Milk (which comes with the meal.)
-This whole meal totals: $27.02
-If you were to purchase this meal at regular price:$53.22 w/out tip or drinks.
-Saving $26.20 before tip and drinks!!!

2) type of night:

-I order Chicken Fajita Rollup.
-For the kids I order 4 Chicken Tenders Baskets. Bob makes a plate with one of the kids chicken strips each and a few fries from each. Shelby eats a PB&J sandwich because she's 1yr and doesn't care what she eats at this point.
-We all end up with what we like and what we normally get for only $14.02!!!
-Bob usually tips on this (because he feels guilty using there promotional...I say use it!)
-That's cheaper than going to a fast food restaurant!

*The beauty of having Applebee's 2 min. from your home is your food is back and on your table in less than 15 minutes from the time you call it in and pick it up. Again, faster than a fast food restaurant, no waiting in drive-thru lines, and you can eat in your P.J.'s if you want to!

Try it out next time you're crunched for $$ and wanting your yummy food fix...I guarantee you won't be sorry!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

AVON & lia sophia Open House Event

Avon & lia sophia are teaming up for one night of fun!

Friday, January 21st 6-8pm

Join us for a fun evening of every girls favorites things...Jewelry & Beauty!

*There will be "cash & carry" items, samples, demos, and even a few raffles where we will give away prizes from both lia sophia and Avon.

...*Be one of the first to get a sneak peek at lia sophia's brand new Spring/Summer catalog, coming out Feb. 1st (I'll even have some NEW pieces to share)! Enjoy the January Reverse Customer Save Plan...Buy 1, Get 2 Half Price!

**Bring your friends! Get an extra entry into the raffle for each friend you bring.
**Drawing for lia sophia Hostess Benefits as well!

Remember this is an Open House, so stop by for a few, or stay with us for the whole evening...We'd love to see you!

-Send me your email address in the comments section for the Address to the party!
It will be held near the Vancouver, WA area :)

Katie Sanders
Independent Sales Representative

Heather Messner
lia sophia Advisor

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Weekday Wear

Weekday Wear
Weekday Wear by messybunch featuring hobo bags

Perfect for a wintery 10 degree day!

Here in Tri-Cities it has been FREEZING! I'm talking 10 degrees of pure frozen ice. You have to start your car 15-20 min before you want to leave, otherwise you'll be driving with a peep hole in your windshield. Safe, not really!

This outfit is made for extreme colds (yes, I know it gets colder elsewhere, but it's cold!) Long warm socks, a snowboarding jacket (dual purpose fashion/utility), gloves, tall boots to keep the toesies warm, scarf, a pretty decorative headband (cause you're going to want to leave your hair down for more warmth!), your favorite mug from Starbucks to keep the insides warm as well, and a Baby Phat Hobo in a beautiful purple! I added lia sophia's Masquerade Necklace & Standing Ovation earrings in hematite. Perfect for this outfit!

Now tell me that you wouldn't want this! Comfort and beauty wrapped into one stunning package.

Enjoy your chilly winter days!