Monday, April 14, 2014

Drinking Generic Orange Juice in a Tropicana World

Motherhood is a constant learning experience.  Every week there's something new you thought you had already figured out, but no.  Reality shows up, smacks you in the face, robs you of whatever confidence you have in yourself, and promises to come back next week and do it all over again.  At least that's how it happens in this house.  This week, I learned that I can no longer buy "the good orange juice".  And here's why:

You see, I typically buy generic orange juice, seeing as how you can get an entire gallon of it for almost half the price of a smaller jug of the name brand.  And it normally lasts the whole week.  Dave and I usually don't drink it, and the kids never complained, so it's been a pretty good arrangement for us.

But last week, the Tropicana was on sale, so my husband and I thought, "Sure. Why not?  Our little angels deserve a little fresh-squeezed goodness sometimes." And I smiled to myself as I placed it in the cart, counting up the cool mom points I was going to score when the kids saw this one.

Fast forward to the next morning.  The kids were getting cereal bowls, Dave was making eggs, I was packing lunches, and everything seemed to be pretty normal until someone pulled out the Tropicana.  

Immediately, the mood among the kids changed.  They started grabbing for glasses and clamoring for cups.  Elbows were flying as they rushed to the table to be the first to pour the precious juice.  And over the usual morning racket, I began to hear the bickering.  Child B was yelling at A for choosing the "largest glass possible".  Child D was fussing because no one would pour any juice for her.  Child C was mad because Child A didn't pour enough for her, and every child was stating their case for orange juice justice to Mom and Dad who were the only ones completely speechless for the moment.

Who knew that Not From Concentrate could have this much power over people?  It was the most blatant display of self-interest I think I've ever seen in my house.  Dave and I stared at each other in disbelief, until the sad verdict was finally announced that if this is what Tropicana does to us, then we will henceforth and forever, (or until the last child goes to college) buy only generic orange juice in this family.  The sad silence hung over the breakfast table for approximately 3 seconds while the new information sunk in, afterward producing a new surge of selfish propensity, heightened by the "last chance" desperation factor.


"Those kids!"  I muttered as the last one walked out the door to school.  "Well if that's how they're going to act, then they'll be missing out on a lot of Tropicana."  

Then, not like the usual ton of bricks, but more like a clean, refreshing wave gushing over me, I got it.

"Ah! So that's it, Lord."  And I realized:  I've been missing out, too.  But, on what, I wondered?  What have my attitude, my actions, my lack of attention to the right things, been causing me to miss?  Oh, I'm blessed, for sure, but what more could I be enjoying?  What more could my kids be experiencing, if only I would get my act together?  What might the Lord bless me with if He knew I would handle it well?  

More influence?  More time?  More financial gain?

{He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good... Proverbs 16:20}

And maybe even more prayers answered the way I hope they will be?  

{If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me... Psalms 66:18}

I've known these things for as long as I can remember.  But, every now and then, I need a reminder that I need to be living it.

He's promised it.  He will withhold no good thing from those who walk uprightly.  I don't want any of God's good things withheld from me.  Not even orange juice.  How about you?

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

A Spring Refresh in the Family Room

I'm still working my way around the house, bringing in the Spring a little at a time, before I get serious about the yard and outdoor spaces.  I'm ready for warm weather and all the fun that comes with it.  Who's with me?

The past few days, I've focused on the family room, giving it a little wake-up for Spring.

My biggest challenge in this room has always been the TV.  It's a beast, which is great for movie night with the fam, but it really gets in the way of styling the mantel.  

Anyone else have this challenge?  I've got just a few inches to work with on each side to add a little height, but otherwise, everything has to be small to stay out of the way of the screen.

I've already heard a few complaints that my new head planter from Hobby Lobby with its faux monstera leaves get in the way a little, but it's staying.  People in my house have strong feelings about head planters anyway.  What do you think of them?

On the other side, I had just enough room for this cute, mirrored acrylic candle holder I found at a local d├ęcor shop.  And since I had to keep things on the down-low, I wrapped a couple books in gold striped wrapping paper and added this small snail on top.

Gotta love Target clearance finds!

And another great clearance find was this white garden seat from Marshall's...

I freshened up my $8 yard sale chair with my bright throw and pillow...

And then added some Spring color to the sofa with some yellow pillows and a coral throw (also from Marshall's).  If you want to know more about my white sofa, click here!

Hope you like this new look!  Let me know what you think of it.  And if you think this space needs a rug--guess what? I think I'm finally ready. Stay tuned for that.

How are you refreshing your house for Spring?

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Gardening Adventures: Are You Up to the Challenge?

This post brought to you by Gro-ables. All opinions are 100% mine.

It's almost that time again for fresh herbs, fresh veggies, and maybe even a fruit or berry for those brave and adventurous gardeners out there!  I've been buying herb plants for the past several years and love them!  But, so far, that's been the extent of my edible gardening.  I've not yet tried to grow a vegetable because I'm just a little intimidated, and I've definitely not been brave enough to start from seed!  That's just crazy talk. 

But, Miracle-Gro has given me a challenge to try out their new Gro-ables seed pods, which they say are guaranteed to grow if used as directed. 

I love this idea because they've combined the seeds, growing material, and plant food all in one pod so beginners like me can grow something without all the guesswork!  Watch this short video to see how it works:

Click through this link to find out more and see the different varieties available.  I'm expecting mine to arrive soon so I can get started growing something delicious.  Find a retailer near you if you'd like to take the challenge along with me!

Basil photo 12_MG_Basil_4809_1209002_V01_zps6f5578dc.jpg

It won't be long until we'll have our fresh herbs and vegetables and we can make delicious recipes like my Grilled Corn on the Cob with Basil Butter.  Remember that from last year?  Click here for the recipe.  Yum!

I'll be sure to keep you updated on the planting process!  So who's growing with me?

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