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Mar 19, 2013


Hit the Road, Jack!~with healthy foods
It's easy to buy gas station foods on the road but unfortunately it can mean spending more and let's face it, your body might not like how it feels after 20 hours of junk food. So I've decided to do a little research and find out what are the healthiest snack options that are also the least messy (for the kids) and maybe even save a penny or two in the long run. So here it is, my list of Top 10 ROAD TRIP foods and why: (note: we have both dairy and peanut allergy's so none of these snacks contain either)

10. Smart Pop Popcorn: Prepare ahead of time and toss into quart-sized ziploc bags (one for each member of your family).
SmartPop! Orville Redenbacher's SmartPop! Gourmet microwave popcorn has just 100 calories per 6 cups and is 94% fat free, so you can snack without giving up the delicious, fresh-popped taste and aroma you love.
9. Snap Peas: Most grocery stores carry small prepackaged snap peas. This tiny snack is packed with nutrition. This food is very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Pantothenic Acid, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Potassium, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Folate, Iron and Manganese. Portion yourself at about 1 cup and you have yourself a healthy little snack. About 40 calories/serving 98g.

8. Baby Carrots with hummus: If your kiddos do not like hummus then plain carrots are just fine. Prepackage them in snack-pack sized baggies which will allow about 10-15 carrots or about 15 calories. One package per family member.  
Hummus is about 27 calories per 1Tbsp.
7. Jerky: This snack is packed with protein which helps curve hunger. The best brand is Trade Joe's Buffalo Jerky or Trader Joe's Turkey Jerky. One thing to keep in mind is drink a lot of water because it is kinda salty. At 60cal/1oz. or 3 strips, 0g fat, 11g protein, 6g carbs. This is a healthy snack for the road. 
6. Cutie's Baby Oranges: My kids love these however I do recommend taking the peels off before you hit the road and storing in gallon ziploc bag. One orange is about 35cal. Can't go wrong with that.
5. Blueberries: Blueberries are very low in calories. 100 g fresh berries provide only 57 calories. However, they possess notable health benefiting plant-nutrients such as soluble dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins, and pigment anti-oxidants that contribute immensely towards optimum health and wellness. 
4. String Cheese: Individual packaged and easy to eat make this snack great for the car. Depending on the brand one stick is 60-80 calories.

3. Cinnamon Apple Sticks: There are 140 calories in a 38 sticks serving of Trader Joe's Cinnamon Apple Snack Sticks. Plus they are delicious.

2. Nut-free Trail Mix:Trail mix can still be crunchy and delicious without nuts. Try mixing raisins, cranberries, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, nut-free chocolate chips, and a nut-free cereal or granola, like Chex. A normal snack like this ranges from 180 cal per handful. Minus nuts and chocolate 120 cal/handful.

1. Smoothies: Whip up a smoothie drink for breakfast before you jump on the road. You can pack in a lot of healthy ingredients that are filling and keep your body energized. Here's my favorite smoothie recipe:
(serving size: feeds family of 3-4, double for a family of 5+, about 270cal/8oz.)
  • 1 cup water (or 1 1/2 cup coconut water)
  • 1 Tbsp. Flax seed
  • 1 cup Raspberries
  • 1 cup Blueberries
  • 1 Banana
  • 1 cup Kale (or spinach or both)
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice 
  • 1/2 Avocado
  • 1 Tbsp. Almond Butter (optional)      
Here's my list of resources:

  All these snacks combined are less than 1,000 calories so you even have wiggle room to eat more. Drink water and you have a healthy day of eating. All of these items are things my family eat anyway so trying to convince my kids to try new things isn't a problem. I hope this list is helpful for you and maybe even gave you a new idea for when you hear those magic words, "mommy, I'm hungry."

Hit the Road, JACK! Road Trip Games Part 2

Road Trip games can offer your family a lot of laughs on the road.
From games to jokes and riddles comes this silly post! Try and test your skills on the road with these brainteasers!
*Hint: if you want to know the answers comment on this post or check back in day or two :)

  1. One day two fathers and two sons went fishing. At the end of the day, each had caught one fish, but there were only three fish in all. How can this be true?
  2. Sara Jones has the same number of brothers as sisters, but her brother Sam has twice as many sisters as he has brothers. How many children are in the Jones family?
  3. How long would it take you to cut a log into ten pieces if each cut takes one minute?
  4. What is the next letter in the following sequence-JFMAMJ?
  5. How do you give someone $63.00 using six bills, none of which are $1.00 bills?
  6. Mike bragged about his softball team, "Three of our men hit home runs, and two of those were grand slams. We won 9 to 0, but not a single man crossed the plate." How is this possible?
  7. A used car dealer sold sixty cars during a six-day period. Each day he sold four more cars than he did the day before. How many cars did he sell the first day?
  8. A train one mile long is traveling at a speed of one mile per minute through a tunnel one mile long. How long will it take the train to pass completely through the tunnel?
  9. Jack planned to get to work ten minutes early. He thought his watch was ten minutes slow, but actually it was fifteen minutes fast. Was Jack early, late, or on time for work?
  10. Susie and Sara were born on the same day of the same year from the same mother and father, but they are not twins. How can this be possible?

Brain Ticklers
  1. What starts with T, ends with a T, and is full of T?
  2. Two turtles tied twine to a tree to trick Tommy Tucker into a trap. How many T's are in that?
  3. What three-syllable word contains all twenty-six letters?
  4. What has cities with no houses, rivers without water, and forests without trees?
  5. What flies when it's on and floats when it's off?
  6. What has a big mouth but can't talk?
  7. What question can you never answer "yes" to?
  8. With what vegetable do you throw away the outside, cook the inside, eat the outside, then throw away the inside?
  9. Would you rather an elephant attacked you or a gorilla?
  10. What kind of cup doesn't hold water?
  11. What two things can't you have for breakfast?
  12. What ten letter word starts with g-a-s?
  13. Which will burn longer-twelve candles on a cake or ten candles on a cake?
  14. How many three-cent stamps are in a dozen?
  15. Forward I'm heavy, backward I'm not. What am I?
  16. What can speak any language in the world?
This is just a silly fun way to make the looonnnggg hours in a car seem to go maybe just a bit faster. Hope you enjoyed this post!


Mar 17, 2013

Hit the Road, JACK! Road Trip Games Part 1

Now-a-days its all about how can we entertain our kids with technology while on the road. But instead of using just technology I wanted to come up with a few things to do while we road trip on our next vacation. Here's a great list of things to do with family and friends that I found in books and online:


Twenty Questions:
Choose a player to be the leader. They must have in mind the name of an object or famous person for the other players to guess. Then the other players take turns asking questions about the mystery word or person. Good questions build on the previous ones. The first person to guess the answer on or before the 20th question is the leader for the next round.

Tom Swifties
When Tom Swiftie talks, he uses adverbs that make a joke about what he says. These quotations are called "Tom Swifties" and are hilarious to make up and listen to. Here are some examples: "I need to get to the other side of the street" Tom said crossly. "I love trees" Tom said woodenly. "I really don't like hot dogs" Tom said frankly. All players must think of a Tom Swifty and tell it to the other players. Everyone votes on the funniest one, and the player with the most votes is the winner.

Sounds Alike Can you get the homophone?
The first player thinks of a sentence with a pair of homophones. Homophones are words that sound alike, but have different spellings and meanings, like sea and see, or to, two, and too. Once the first player has thought up his homophone sentence, he gives a clue to the other players to help them guess it. For example if his sentence is "He stares at stairs," the clue might be "A boy who looks at steps." Everyone trys to guess the sentence. The player to guesses it thinks of the next homophone sentence.

This is a classic but in case you forgot: The first player comes up with a funny story sentence or two the whispers it in the ear of the friend next to them. That person then whispers it to the person next to them and on. The last person to hear the story announces it. Then the starter announces the original and everyone get's a good laugh out of it.

Odd One Out
The first player thinks of 3 different objects, with two of them sharing some quality and the third one lacking this same quality. For example a bird and airplane share wings, but a car doesn't. The first player tells the others the three objects, and everyone takes turns trying to explain which one doesn't belong and why.

I Spy
The first player chooses something inside or outside the vehicle, which must be something that can be seen for a long time. The first player starts by announcing "I Spy..." then the others try to guess. Takes turns guessing each others "I spy." 

Cow Counting
 In the simplest form of this game, each player counts the number of cows on her side of the car. The first player to reach a predetermined number (like 50) wins or the player who has the highest number when you get to the destination wins.

Punch Buggy
In this game players earn points for every Volkswagon Beetle they call out. One point per car, two points if they name the color of the bug, and 10 points for Beetle vans.

License Plate Alphabet
The object of this game is to find every letter of the alphabet in order on license plates. Each player watches the plates and calls out the alphabet letter as they see them.

Choose one player to be the hangman. The player chooses a mystery word and writes a dash on a piece of paper for every letter in the word. Then the other players guess the letters in the word. If right then the hangman writes the letter in. If wrong, hangman draws the base of the gallows. For every wrong answer the hangman draws more parts to the gallows until either the word is guessed or the gallows with the hangman is complete.

There are many more great games for the road but these are just a few to get the wheels turning to remember the old fashioned way of road trip entertainment.

Good Luck on your next road trip!


Thirty Devotions for Mothers

Friendships with Other Mothers
Read Luke 1:39-45
Sharing the childhood and adolescent years of our children's lives bonds women as friends for the rest of our lives. There is something about those consultations (often over the phone) about sleep patterns, temper tantrums, school activities, discipline issues, and teenage trauma that builds a kind of special trust. Perhaps sometimes it's simply not knowing--together

Mothers need good friends. We need the connection, the sense of being part of a web that is the world of other women who understand what it is like to live in the years of maintaining a personal identity and personal interests when most hours of our days are devoted to others. A primary characteristic of those friendships is mutuality. Much of the time, what we need is not solutions but a listening ear and empathy.

Help me, O God, to be an encouraging friend to another mother, Amen.

Blessing this Sunday,

Mar 9, 2013

10 Days of Financial Wisdom: DAY 10

Integrity Matters
In his book The Millionaire Mind, Dr. Thomas J. Stanley studied the habits of several hundred individuals with a net worth of at least $10 million. He really wanted to find out what makes the typical millionaire tick and uncover any common characteristics that contributed to their wealth.
As he examined the results of his interviews and surveys, Stanley found a definite connection between personal integrity and financial success. In fact, he ranked integrity as a prime predictor of wealth potential - even higher than an individual's chosen business or industry.
In other words, integrity matters!
The reason so many people struggle with building wealth is that they also struggle with integrity. They lack a basic commitment to honesty. That's a strong statement. In fact, it may be so strong that you think it doesn't apply to you. But if you're breathing and if your heart is beating, you have wrestled with being completely truthful at one time or another - and some of those struggles probably had something to do with money.
Simply put, there are two ways to make money and build wealth. You can rely on dishonesty, or you can stay completely committed to integrity. In Proverbs 13:11, Solomon drew a sharp contrast between the two.
Dishonest money may seem to come more easily, but it never lasts. It dwindles away like sand running through our fingers. But honest money, gained through hard work and investment over time, grows. It provides security - not to mention a clear conscience.
Integrity matters - in your finances and in every other part of your life - because a moral breakdown is not a victimless crime. Dishonesty will deeply wound you and those around you. Unless you hold yourself to an ultra-high standard, you will walk through life with an emotional and spiritual limp.
Fortunately, it's not too late to correct course. If you've skimped on integrity in the past, now's the time to come clean - to yourself, to others and to God. Repair that chink in your armor today.
Remember, integrity matters!
By: Dave Ramsey

Initially when I read this I thought, "well this doesn't apply to me because I've never really been dishonest with money." But when I really examine myself I find that it's really not true. I have been dishonest at times, with my husband, about what I bought and how I paid for it (with a credit card).

Just because I wasn't directly conning somebody doesn't mean I was still being honest about money and how I was handling it. Everything we have is from Him and to use it so deliberately with dishonesty is horrible. And what's even more shocking is that I wasn't being frugal with God's money or taking care of my marriage. My sin in spending against my husband, when he worked so hard for that money, is a direct insult to God because God gave my husband to me- as the perfect companion. We were created for each other. To go out and spend recklessly then to be dishonest when my husband ask 'how much did you spend?' is truly appalling and when I finally was able to say to myself, "You were not truthful and this does apply to you" can I then really repent of my sin toward God for ask for forgiveness from my husband.

Ladies, reckless spending of the money God entrusted to you is dishonest. He has so much stored up for us with all the riches and glory this world cannot offer. Spending to fill a hole that only God can fill is purposeless. Spending because you're bored, that also, is unwise. Holding on to stuff around your house that contributes to all the clutter in our lives because at some point we spent money on it, it not being frugal. Be careful.  Are you tempted to lie (sin) to your husband about how much you spent? Does your spending cause dissension in your marriage? Speaking from a gal who's already been there, if you feel the need to 'exaggerate' about what your spending so it doesn't seem so bad' is dishonest.

Sorry if I'm coming down. A lot of what I say is to preach to myself and my blog is just a way to vent my own learning. Some of this may not apply to you but for those of you whom it does apply-take steps starting tomorrow to implement all we've learned in this study. I truly believe that when we ask we are given. Sometimes not in the way we planned but ultimately God knows where he's leading us and if we have the faith to believe that our financial situations are not permanent (given we make changes today) then He will lead us in the path of righteousness.

Please know that I am not a righteous person. I just desperatly want to know Him more, be changed and renewed, and follow the plan he has for my life in Jesus name.

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