Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Little Housekeeping

Another full week and I'm just logging on to write.  So crazy how some days seem to linger on and on, but the weeks move so fast I can hardly remember what month we're in.  Funny how time does that.

I have quite a bit to share with you, none of which have a menu attached to it.  My menu is finished, but with Thanksgiving this week, we've got some gaps of this Thanksgiving here and another there.   So to spare you from Thanksgiving #1, 2, and 3.  I'll just leave you with no menu and a new recipe I'm excited to try.

{pic via Skinnytaste.com}

On a totally different note, I want to share a little project the kids and I are working on for today and tomorrow.  After freezing my keister off  Sunday running a relay marathon race, I came to realize how painfully cold I was.  I was whining about it.  Whining about it as I sat in my warm car waiting to board a bus to shuttle me to my leg of the race.  Really?  

In the midst of my belly aching, God kinda revealed to me the pain of living without a home.  Belly aching stopped.  Selfish thoughts, Amanda.  Selfish thoughts.  I decided this could be a great opportunity to offer some help.  Blankets immediately came to mind.  Do you have some?  Blankets, quilts, sleeping bags that are new or like new condition.  The kids and I will collect them from you and take them to John 3:16 Mission to be distributed to the homeless.  It's the least our family can do.  If you are interested in participating, we will be out collecting later this afternoon (Tuesday) and tomorrow morning (Wednesday).  You can send an email to wispclips(at)hotmail(dot)com to schedule a pick-up time.

Lastly, Black Friday is around the corner.  Black Friday means DEEP discounts.  What kind of crazy Arbonne lady would I be if I didn't offer some pretty darn good deals?  Only my deals begin tomorrow and end Friday evening.  If you are not on my client email list, I would highly recommend you send your email address to amandasarbonne(at)yahoo(dot)com.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Menu Monday

Mark this down folks.  As of yesterday, the Torreses have CHRISTMAS LIGHTS on the house.  It's not even Thanksgiving and the lights are up.  Not only are they up, but Steven turned them ON.  We are those people. 

Really, the reason for Steven getting it done was to take full advantage of the warm weather.  Generally, he waits until the weekend after Thanksgiving.  That weekend is generally in the 20's or 30's and Steven gets on the roof with frozen toes and fingers, snot freezing to his face, and suffers through the entire process.  Not this year.  He was an early bird.  Being the extraordinary wife that I am, I volunteered my time and unraveling strands, filling in missing bulbs, and basically ordering orchestrating the the beauty of it all.

Then I cooked dinner.

Which brings me to today.

It's menu time.

Monday-Whole Roasted Chicken, Potatoes Au Gratin, Roasted Green Beans
Tuesday-Baked Fajitas (served over brown rice instead of tortillas) and Corn Saute
Wednesday-Pasta e Fagioli, Salad, and Garlic Knots
Thursday-Creamy Baked Taquitos and Salad
Friday-Pancakes, Turkey Bacon, and Eggs
Saturday-Chicken Noodle Soup and Grilled Cheese
Sunday-Pizza Night!

Friday, November 15, 2013

That # Thing

I have secretly been stalking people and their random unknown facts about themselves.  I thought I'd share.  However, I don't know if they are truly random.

  1. I used to be a major sleepwalker. One night I fell asleep at Steven's house when we were dating, drove home, and woke up while deep frying dough for donuts.  Never happened again after that.
  2. I finished college with a 3.99 GPA.  I received one B in all four years.  I could have received an 'A' in Humanities II  if I had been willing to cheat on the final.  The guy living below my apartment had a copy of the test.  He got an 'A'.  Punk.
  3. Sometimes I wish we lived on a small farm and supported our eating solely off that farm.
  4. I think and think and think about the most efficient way to go about any given task.  When Steven someone goes against my plan, I have a tendency to get a little huffy.  It's something I'm currently working on.  Very bad habit.
  5. When I look at pictures of our family of 5, it always seems to me that one is missing from each photo.  However, having one more child frightens me terribly.
  6. I love to catch people off guard with random comments.  It's one of my greatest gifts.  Little Miss has the gift too.  Cracks me up.
Apparently, I gave myself the #6.  I'm done!

Enjoy you're weekend.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Little Man Turns 7

Last week our oldest turned seven.  I really can't believe the years go by so fast.  Wasn't I just in the hospital working with the lactation consultant last week?  The same consultant that reached right over and squeezed my boob without warning--that's another story entirely--point is, time goes by too fast.

On his actual day all Little Man wanted to do was eat at Texas Roadhouse so he could sit on the saddle while everyone wished him Happy Birthday.  He had this planned back in June.  For months he would mention how excited he would be to sit in the saddle. He got his wish.  Still cracks me up.


The things kids come up with.  He was so pumped to go sit on this saddle he opted to miss out on First Wednesday service...which he LOVES...which we love, but it was his day and we were celebrating him.

We continued his festivities during the weekend.  On Sunday we wrangled 13 boys in our backyard for another year of a Chicago Bears Football Combine party.  Yes, the exact same party as last year.  Makes planning a breeze. Thank you Little Man for simplifying the birthday planning process.  I think this could work well into your 30's for sure.

Seeing the joy on his face melts me.  More so because I know this child's heart.  He is compassionate and has a heart for helping others.  And, I have a story just about that.  I promise it does tie into his birthday, so stay with me.

A month ago or so, we received the Samaritan's Purse Gift Catalog.  If you aren't familiar with the gift catalog, I encourage you to search it out.  It is like no other catalog. You will be humbled.  

Little Man and I were looking through the catalog during Fall Break while everyone else was napping.  We went through each page and read all the ways to give.  As we were reading, he was circling every opportunity to give.  No matter the amount, he circled it.  It was hard to explain why we weren't able to give for every area, so we picked out the ones that were near and dear to his heart.  He chose to purchase baby chicks for families, milk for babies, blankets for the homeless, and sports equipment for children in third world countries.

When it came time to count the money in his piggy bank he was short $10.  He cleared out his entire piggy bank without hesitation.  He gave it all.  We covered the rest of his choices, and picked up some other items that we wanted to gift.  

The amount he gave was quite a lot for a 7 year old boy.  I can't remember the last time I gave every DIME I had, yet he gave it all without a bat of an eye.  He melts me.

Bring it back to his birthday.  He received so much cash from friends and family, his piggy bank is well stashed again.  Way above his original cash amount.  God is so faithful no matter how big or small you are...

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.--Luke 6:38

His comment to me a few days later, "Mom, can I look at the book thing again?"

Seriously?  God gave him a special heart.  I love the leadership and example he sets for his siblings.  He sets an example for us as well.  You simply can't out give God.  Ever.

*Little Mommy Note here:  Little Miss also chose to purchase from the catalog.  She chose the little lamb stuffed animals that play Jesus Loves Me.  It is so her.  She carries stuffed animals around most of the time and loves the song Jesus Loves Me.  I want to remember each year and what they gave to.  Hopefully, I will be reminded by their giving what was important to them.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Menu Monday

The Torres menu is always finished by Thursdays so I can have time to shop over the weekend for all the ingredients.  It's really a matter of me finding time to type it out on this very blog.  Maybe I need to add an hour to my day.  Totally.  I need 25 hours in my day.  That will do the trick!

So without further ado, the Torres menu for this week...

Monday-Steak Salad (thanks Erica for bringing dinner to our house!)
Tuesday-Hawaiian Ham Sammies and Sweet Potato Fries*
Wednesday-Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa*, Brown Rice*, and Grilled Veggies*
Thursday-Chicken Fiesta Soup, Grilled Cheese
Friday-Date Night!
Saturday-Greek Tacos with Feta, Tomato, and Greens Salad

Monday, November 11, 2013

Menu Monday

I'm slacking AGAIN!!!

I will get our menu up...possibly later today, but definitely by tomorrow morning.  I do have a few things to share with you.

First off, the Black Bean Butternut Squash Enchilada Skillet was DE-LISH!  Loved it.  So, so good.  Bonus:  it was fairly simple and quick.  A must try for sure!

{pic via Tasty Kitchen}

So if anything, make this all week.  Every day, all week.  It's that yummy!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Thankful: A Heart Issue

It's the month.  The month where everyone posts one thing they are thankful for daily.  I don't do it.  I'm thankful, but I don't Facebook reflect it everyday.  I enjoy reading others thoughts, but I don't share mine.  Then I think, "Man, I'm a selfish stinky non-thankful person." 

Seriously, why must I feel the need to find one more irrelevant thing to beat myself up about?  Really, Amanda?  Really?  Is this a heart issue or a comparison issue?  Probably more for comparison, but just in case I'm battling a heart issue I wanted to reflect on what I am thankful for in my life.

So here I am going over what I'm thankful for in ONE big post, and I know you all are so thankful for it...

I'm thankful that everyday I wake up to the same man, and that very man loves me despite all some of my annoying qualities. 

I am thankful I have first world problems.  There is never a day I wake up and fear for my life.  I don't fear if my home will be ransacked and my children ripped from my arms.  I don't fear if we will become deathly ill from lack of sanitary water.  I don't fear preventable diseases.  I don't fear the evil many others face.

I am thankful for books and the  people who wrote them.  I used to be a big fiction reader.  As of late I have a list of books sitting on my bedside table that are more in the realm of self-development.  I admire the people who took hours of their lives to devote concentration and discipline so that I may read them and internalize the information to develop a better version of myself. 

In fact, I have one book Left to Tell that I am honestly not sure if I am courageous enough to read.  I am so afraid of reading the book because it might require an emotion to be touched that I'm not sure if I'm ready to go there.  I am thankful that this is one of my biggest struggles right now.  Simply picking up a book.

I am thankful for my children.  They have made me better.  They have taught me lessons in serving that I could have never received outside of motherhood.  Those three Torres kids hold me accountable for walking in love and demonstrating love even when I feel like ripping someone's head off. (Yeah, I have some ugly moments).

I am thankful when I have ugly moments I have the opportunity to redeem myself.  I am surrounded by loving friends and family who give me grace and second chances.  I have a God who sees me as He made me and sees me where He wants me.  I am thankful for His patience as I work to get there.

I am thankful for each person who has spoken into my life.  For each season lessons have been learned and trials have been faced, but those around me have taught me many lessons on what it means to continue to grow, forgive, love, and laugh.

I am thankful for my children's friends.  They have chosen kids to be in their lives that will speak life into them and not suck it out.  I am thankful my church spends countless hours mastering the way to teach children how to make friends that are worth having.

I am thankful for Disney World my kids' school, their teachers, and other parents in the school.  Never EVER have I witnessed a place like where my kids are during the week.  It is truly the Disney World of education.

I am thankful for my Arbonne business. It has required me to step outside of myself, focus on others, and paint a bigger vision for my family's ability to serve those who cannot serve themselves.  It has required me to grow spiritually, professionally, and personally.  I like the new version of me and I'm thankful for who I will become along the way.

You know, it's not quite 30 thankful things but, it's from my heart.  I am thankful for so much more but it would be never ending. 

And simply because no post is fun without a picture, I leave you with Chubby Cheekers.  Because, darn it, I'm thankful for my crazy strong genes.  Who would have ever thought I'd have a mini WHITE version of Steven Torres!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Slacker Menu Monday

It's Menu Monday Slacker Edition! 

Monday-Creamy Chicken Roll-Ups, Steamed Broccoli, Grapes
Tuesday-Homemade Pizza and Salad
Wednesday-Little Man's Birthday Dinner! 
Thursday-Black Bean Butternut Squash Enchilada Skillet**
Friday-Turkey Burgers, Crispy Potatoes, Raw Peppers
Saturday-Whole Roasted Chicken, Corn Casserole, Green Beans
Sunday-Avocado Salsa Salmon, Grilled Peppers and Onions, Brown Rice*

*An asterisk on the menus will denote a detox friendly meal.  If you are planning on beginning the detox with us in beginning January 2nd, I encourage you to begin printing out these recipes and/or incorporating them into your meals rotations.  This way you are inching your way into some healthful recipes that eliminate highly addictive and allergenic foods.

**This recipe calls for corn tortillas and cheese.  Both must be omitted during the actual detox.  Instead, you may use brown rice pasta tortillas and rice cheese.

Hope your week is amazing.  I know mine will be!  I'm healthy, happy, surrounded by amazing friends and family, and my little guy turns 7 tomorrow!  Life is good!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Menu Monday

I failed!  I've been working to get this posted today and it hasn't happened.  Be on the lookout for the menu tomorrow.  I have a new meatless recipe for you!  It's new to me too.  We'll see how this one flies!