Reviving Motherhood

Learning on the Journey

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Easy Dairy Free, Sugar Free Hot Chocolate

Dairy Free Sugar Free Hot Chocolate

1.  Heat one can coconut milk plus 3 cans water till steaming.

2.  Place 1 T. cocoa powder and 12 drops stevia into 6 mugs.

3.  Add hot coconut milk to each mug and stir well.

We have really enjoyed this recipe this winter!  I know spring is just around the corner, but maybe we can squeeze in a few more days of hot chocolate drinking!


Delightfully Inspiring Thursdays

Simple Lives Thursday


When You Are Exhausted

When I became a mom, I was more prepared than some women, but one thing no one warned me about were the days of total, complete, unbelievable exhaustion.  Even the best little sleeper has nights of sickness or teething that leaves mama wondering if she can put one foot in front of the other.  One those days a nap is ideal, but sometimes not possible.  Here are a few tips to make it through exhaustion a little more gracefully.

Breath prayers.  Forget sentence prayers.  “Jesus help” is sufficient. He hears.

Take care of you.  If there is a day for fave jeans and a cute shirt, this is the one!  It takes 30 seconds to get dressed!  Throw up a simple hairdo and some 5 minute makeup.  Eat a healthy breakfast.  You will still be tired, but you will feel better.

Do the next thing.  My sister wrote a great post about this here.  It’s SO tempting to fall apart and veg on the couch all day.  Be gentle with yourself, but do just one thing at a time that needs to be done.  It’s OK if it’s done imperfectly.  Just take tiny one baby step at a time.

Speak softly.  I am sure I am not the only one, but when I am beyond exhausted I also tend to be short tempered.  I {try to} remind myself to lower my voice and speak very softly on those days.  For whatever reason, that extra measure of self-control helps me to treat my family with respect.  It is not their fault that I’m tired.  Do I fail?  Oh yes indeed I do!  But speaking softly helps.

Lower your expectations.  I would love to serve gourmet meals and have a spotless home and perfectly prepared, delightful lessons for my children each day.  On the most exhausted days, it’s important to realize that things will not reach the ideal.  Save the ideal for a better day.  (Scratch that, perfectionism kills, just follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and do your best!)  If simple supper and the 3 R’s are the best you can do today, it will be OK.  I promise.

Use the TV.  Yep, I said it.  Don’t suffer mommy guilt if you use the TV as a babysitter on those extra weary days.  Make sure the content is educational or at least wholesome and get yourself a nap!


What to do When You Don’t Have a Valentine

Another one for my younger and single friends…

I didn’t date as a teen, so I know what it is like to have one Valentine’s Day after another without—well—a valentine.

Actually, Valentine’s Day has become one of my favorite holidays, but not because of the romance.  To tell you the truth, that is not the best part of the holiday for me.  Couples put each other under so much pressure to create that amazing romantic experience on Valentine’s Day and it is just too much.  Billy and I usually keep it simple.  I like it better that way.

But the colors…hearts…cards…flowers…I love those things about Valentine’s Day.  Oh, and chocolate!

There is so much to enjoy about this holiday even if you don’t have a sweetheart in your life right now!  Here are a few little ways to give yourself a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

Remember, Jesus loves you.  He is the one who will never leave you or forsake you for any reason, and who loves you without conditions of any kind!  How is that for a great Valentine!

Treat yourself.  Who needs a boyfriend to enjoy decadent chocolate, jewelry, or flowers?  Buy it for yourself!  I am not into the whole “love yourself” movement too much, but at risk of sounding cliché, you are worth it!  God adores you, he created you to be a unique, wonderful person, so act like it and enjoy some of his good gifts!

Pray for your future husband.  What could possibly be more important as you prepare for your future?

Write a love letter to your future husband.  God has someone planned for you.  Write a letter to him.

Go out for a nice dinner with unattached friends.  Find other friends who don’t have a date and have a wonderful time together!  You might do this on the day before or after Valentine’s Day to avoid the horrific restaurant crowds.

Throw a Valentine party!  Valentine parties don’t have to just be for elementary school people!

Send Valentines to elderly widows and widowers.  They can use some extra love too.

Spend Valentine’s Day doing random acts of kindness.  Spread the love!  Valentine’s Day is about love, right?

Pamper yourself.  This is not to be confused with treating yourself.  A bubble bath, candles, music, and a good book sounds nice!  What about fluffy pajamas, ice cream, and a great movie?  A pedicure or massage?  Not just an ordinary experience, but something extra special.

Take a younger girl under your wing.  Do something fun with a younger girl, especially if she is a little bummed about not having a valentine either.  Show her that you don’t have to have a valentine to have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!



Dairy Free Sugar Free Fluffy Chocolate Mousse

I’m such a sucker for creamy, fluffy desserts.  It’s the thing I miss most since we don’t keep dairy products in the house any more.  So this one thrilled me!

I found this recipe on Pinterest and now it seems to no longer be linked to the original blog.  I wish I could give credit to the recipe inventor, who called these “frosting shots.”  (Edit: In the comments, Leah pointed  me to Chocolate Covered Katie as the inventor.  Thanks, Leah!) It would make good icing, but it makes a really great mousse!

Basically, it’s this.

Put  cans of coconut milk in the refrigerator so the coconut cream will rise to the top and get thick.  (I use Golden Star, which is the cheapest and doesn’t contain emulsifiers that prevent the milk from separating.)

Open the cans and scoop out the cream, leaving the liquid in the can.

Place cream in mixer bowl and whip until fluffy, just like whipped cream.  Along the way, add cocoa powder and liquid stevia to taste.  (I use GNC liquid stevia.  I have heard that it has the least offensive aftertaste.  I think it tastes nice.)

My proportions were 4 cans of coconut milk, approximately 2 t. of cocoa powder and around 60 drops of stevia, give or take.

Spoon into dessert cups and refrigerate awhile longer.  It will get very thick.

So decadent and delicious!  Just in time for Valentine’s Day!

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For the Children’s Sake Friday 2-9-12

“We devalue the personhood of our wonderful children.  We rob their minds of proper, interesting, strong meat to nourish their growing needs.  We belittle their interests.  We compete with the entertainment of TV.  We flick images, flash colors, use tricks.  And yet many small children are at the same time being robbed of free and happy childhood play.  Endless “play-approach” lessons bore them and leave no time for imaginative real play in or out-of-doors.”~For the Children’s Sake chapter 2


Affordable Cold Air Essential Oil Diffuser

Recently I made the determination that I needed to diffuse some essential oils in my house for therapeutic purposes (mainly thieves oil, an oil with a funny name and an interesting story).  An aromatherapist told me that the diffuser must be a cold air diffuser and recommended a good one—at around $200!  Another knowledgeable friend recommended one in the $120 range.  There was no way I was going to pay that much for a diffuser when I am just beginning!  After a lot of research I found  the Spa Scenter diffuser by Hubmar for $35 on Amazon.  All in all I’m very pleased.  It’s easy to use and clean, it takes up a small amount of space, and it runs quietly.

Is it the best diffuser available?  Probably not.  But it meets my needs as I begin to learn about essential oils and how to diffuse them.  I’m sharing this because I imagine that I am not the only one who is hesitant to begin diffusing oils because of the prohibitive cost.

I ordered most of my essential oils from Mountain Rose Herbs and mixed my own thieves oil, which was much more affordable than buying thieves premixed.  I understand that Young Living essential oils are supposed to be the purest oils and they seem to have a corner on the essential oils market.  I don’t know if they are actually that much better than those from Mountain Rose.  Maybe they are; I have no way of knowing. I do know that Mountain Rose is a reputable company and I felt comfortable purchasing from them.  I will continue to use these oils unless I find out that they are unsafe.  So far I have been happy.

Do any of you use essential oils?  Any tips for getting started?

Linking up!

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Turkey White Bean Chili

Turkey White Bean Chili

1 turkey

2 lb. dry white beans

1 onion

1 can green chilies

1 can rotel tomatoes with green chilies

1 t. or more cumin


Salt and pepper to taste

Boil and debone turkey.  Set meat aside.

Cook white beans and onion with water and turkey broth till tender.

Add green chilies, rotel, cumin, garlic, salt and pepper.  Stir in turkey and keep on flame till heated through.


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For the Children’s Sake Friday 2-3-12

Sorry, I totally flaked out on For the Children’s Sake Friday last week!  Back on track today!

“Twaddle.  If I were to have to label much educational material today, I’m afraid a large percentage would definitely be twaddle.  How colorfully and scientifically our generation talks down to the little child!  What insipid, stupid, dull stories are trotted out!  And we don’t stop there.  We don’t respect the children’s thinking or let them come to any conclusions themselves!  We ply them with endless questions, the ones we’ve thought up, instead of being silent and letting the child’s questions bubble up with interest.  We tire them with workbooks that would squeeze out the last drop of anybody’s patience.  We remove interesting books and squander time on a clinical procedure called “reading skill testing,” using idiotic isolated paragraphs which nobody would dream of choosing to take home to read.  The recording of testable features of a child’s taught tricks (“skills”) is held to be more important than the mysterious, exciting growth of a person. ~For the Children’s Sake chapter 2