What is the real point of marriage?

Its been almost 2 weeks since Duan I were married.  Getting adjusted to regular life has been rough.  Getting back on schedule and orgranized  has definitely been a chore.  Slowly but surely things have  calmed down and life has gotten back to normal. 

Two weeks later I can definitely tell you that I completely under- estimated significance of the day.  Duan and I had already committed ourselves to each other.  So getting married seemed to only be for logistics (the marriage certificate).  I was pleasantly surprised about how great that day truly was.  We tried to keep the day simple; focusing on the spiritual aspects of the day, rather than the cosmetic commercialism which today encompasses most weddings. 

I realized that if people really and truly took their vows seriously as they should, we wouldn’t have a 50% divorce rate.  I personally think people get so caught up in the glitz and the glam of the day.  Finding the perfect dress, wedding coordinator.  According to Tickled Pink’s Bride blog the average cost of a US wedding: $28,800 (est. for 2007)
Average number of guests: 167
Destination weddings: 11%
Percentage of weddings paid for by brides’ parents: 57%

Details:

Engagement ring: $5570
Photography/videography: $2570
Band: $3197
DJ: $804
Rehearsal dinner: $1153
Flowers: $2048
Wedding gown: $1564
Chapel or Site Fee: $435
Officiant: $263
Wedding Cake: $543
Wedding Planner: $3262 (but only 17% of brides will use one)
Hair and Makeup: $190
Attendants Gifts: $605
Bar/Bartender: $2938
Honeymoon: $3825

The average age of brides and grooms has grown higher in the last decade, with today’s newlyweds aged 27-29 years old. This age group claims a yearly salary of $51,900.

Commercialism is a virus that has infected the vast population.  It obvious to see that you should not spend $30,000 on one day  when that is half or even a third of your yearly income.  I feel like our wedding day was authentic, pure, and loving.  —not to say if you spend $ 30,000 your day would be special or true.—-I am happy that we did it.  We didn’t just go through the motions, our vows came from the heart. It was more than a legality, we declared our love to each other in front of our friends and families, and instantly became accountable to our commitment.  As far as I’m conscerned there is no out clause.  I’m am going to be with Duan forever and ever and ever and ever……( 🙂  you get the point). 

If you or anyone you know is getting married step out of the box and don’t keep up with the Jones’.  Stick to what is important, the spiritual union of two people.  Its okay if you don’t have everything you saw on “Platnum Weddings”.  Keep your money in the bank and buy a house for your family, or pay of some debt.  Set your family up for financial success in the begining rather than in debt. (Don’t let anyone else like your parents go into debt either, they probably want to retire at some point, right!) I hope you have a great day. 

Much love, Reneca

Go to 3 Orchids to check out some more pics of the day.

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You are my sunshine!

In most places around the country it is HOT HOT HOT (especially here in Colorado, 18 straight days of 90 + degree days!).  What a perfect opportunity to teach your little ones about the sun.

Here is what all of us should know about the sun.

YOUR TOP 10 SUN FACTS:

1. The sun is a star. This makes it extremely important for life on Earth. The sun provides us with energy, which brings life on our planet. It defines the seasons, the harvests, and even the sleep patterns of all living creatures on Earth.

2. The sun is the closest star to our planet. Imagine two cars on the road during the night with their headlights on. One car is closer to you and the other one is far away. Which headlights would seem brighter and bigger? That explains why we see the sun so big and bright. It is simply the nearest star to Earth.

3. Remember! The Earth orbits around the sun.

4. The sun is way bigger than the Earth. In fact its radius is 109 times bigger than the radius of the Earth. For those of you who are curious, the sun’s Radius is 696,000km and the Earth’s radius is 6, 376km.

5. DON’T TOUCH THE SUN! IT’S HOT! The sun’s average surface temperature is 5700 C. Compare that to the Earth’s average temperature, which is 20 C.

6. The sun is 150 million km (93 million miles) away from the Earth.

7. How old is the sun? Can you imagine 4.5 billion years?

8. We know that the Earth’s structure consists of different layers. The sun also has layers but unlike the Earth, the sun is entirely gaseous; there is no solid surface.

9. The sun rotates on its axis approximately once every 26 days. The sun is made of gas, which is why its different parts rotate at different speeds. The fastest rotation is around the equator and the slowest rotation is at the sun’s polar regions (more than 30 days).

10. The sun changes. No matter when or where we look at the sun, we will always see something interesting. Scientists observe these changes by watching the sunspots. They increase and decrease on a regular cycle of about 10.8 years.

source:Nasa for kids

Now lets make a sun of our own.

What you need:

  • paper plate
  • yellow paint
  • black paint or magic marker
  • yellow construction paper
  • scissor
  • pencil to trace hand print
  • glue

Lets Play!

  1.  Paint the paper plate yellow.
  2. Draw a face on the plate with either black paint or a marker
  3. Trace and cut out your child’s hand prints
  4. Glue the hand prints around the backside of the plate.

Now you have your own sun.  Enjoy your sun and teach your child this cute little song.

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.
You make me happy when skies are gray.
You’ll never know dear, how much I love you.
Please don’t take my sunshine away.

The other night dear, as I lay sleeping,
I dreamed I held you in my arms.
When I awoke, dear, I was mistaken.
So I hung my head and I cried.

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.
You make me happy when skies are gray.
You’ll never know dear, how much I love you.
Please don’t take my sunshine away.

I’ll always love you and make you happy,
If you will only say the same.
But if you leave me to love another,
You’ll regret it all some day.

 

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.
You make me happy when skies are gray.
You’ll never know dear, how much I love you.
Please don’t take my sunshine away.

Have a wonderful day!   Kalisha and Reneca.

Tackle it Tuesday…Gratitude

Lately, I have found myself being so irritable and my patience is wearing thin. It has been the situations that last a few seconds that I let affect me and overshadow my moods. It could be a temper tantrum performed by Faith or a fake shrill scream that Journey howls when she is very mad! I don’t want to be the grumpy mommy this week. I want to be able to give my family 100% of me. This week for Tackle it Tuesday I want to change my mommy-tude. As I was thinking how to change it I realized that I need to learn to fully focus on the things that I am grateful for.

Gratitude for the traits my family have that I love them for…

In so many ways Journey, Faith, Brett and even Sterling (shown in no particular order) teach me how to be gracious–I just need to open my eyes.

At times when Journey is so thankful and happy for something I had granted her (like maybe an extra potty treat) she will says so sweet and sincerely, “Oh! Thank you, Mommy! I love you!” Her deep felt gratitude for something so simple helps me to learn how to hace gratitude in even the smallest things. Thank you, Journey.

Then there is Faith. Everyday she asserts herself in many ways without hesitation. I can’t believe the determination and independence she has all packed into her 16 month old body. She is her biggest cheerleadder. If there is something she wants to do she will loudly declare, “Idodat!” and with the task completed she will clap for herself. Thank you, Faith for teaching me to have confidence and to be grateful for my many gifts and talents. Idodat!

Now on to my partner, lover and friend (in no particular order), Brett. I really can’t figure out how to put my love for him into words because I know deep down that I truly am so deeply in love with him. It is like a sense of peace. We have been through some pretty hard times and some really good times. But no matter what Brett always percerviers and never stops trying. I am so proud of him for that. Last night we were hugging and I had told Brett, “Thank you for everything” and he says, “Well, I try.” I know he tries–he more than tries, he never stops. Besides the obvious things he provides us (shelter, food, clothes) he does things out of love and gratitude for us. Everyday when we go to the park he will straighten up the house. If I am too sleepy to finish straitening up the house at night he will do it. He brings up small tokens of his love, a candy bar or special treat. He is amazing at organizing and last night he cleaned out and reorganized the freezer! Amazing in itself! lol So, Thank you Brett for allowing me to see that gratitude comes in many forms and never stops! It is in everything. There is nothing in my life that I shouldn’t be grateful for.

Where do I begin with my beloved Great Dane who thinks he is a poodle and can sniff out pepperoni pizza a mile away? His form of gratitude is in the form of unconditional love. No matter how frustrated I get with him he is always so excited to out for a walk. I can tell him to “go lay down!” a million times and he will always approach me to lay his head on my shoulder for a hug. Weird. Dogs truly understand what it means to be grateful. They just love. So, Thank you Sterling for teaching me that gratitude comes from unconditional love–seeing only the good and quickly forgiving the bad.

Already I feel my mood lifted. I truly feel so blessed for my family. I didn’t think my tackle this week would be so important to my life. I want to have gratitude and show it more. And to do that I will be more conscious of seeing the good and quickly forgiving the bad. I will have gratitude for the smallest things. I will be confident in myself and have gratitude for my talents. I will never stop showing my gratitude. I will always have unconditional love.

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

Eating organic on any budget

Trying to go organic without going broke? Here are eleven ways to squeeze organics into any budget – big or small:
1. Buy Store Brands
A growing consumer interest in organics has prompted many grocery chains to launch their own organic product lines. Make the switch to store brand, and you could shave an easy 25% off of your bill.

2. Look for Coupons
While you probably won’t find many coupons for organics in your Sunday paper (yet), coupons for organics do exist. Here’s a list of manufacturers offering coupons:

3. Grow Your Own
Plant a garden in your yard and grow your own organics. You may spend a bit more for organic seeds, but otherwise it won’t cost you any more (and may even cost you less) to grow organic produce.
4. Seek Reduced Produce
The organic trend is still new, and that means many stores haven’t figured out how much to order. Look for reduced prices on produce (and other goodies) that need to be used today or tomorrow, and you could snatch up organics at or below the price of traditionally grown produce.

5. Buy in Bulk
Warehouse stores like Sam’s and Costco are a great source for bargain-priced organics if you’re willing to buy in bulk, as is Amazon.com – a newcomer to the grocery market.

6. Buy Unprocessed Foods
Processed foods are more expensive than whole foods, whether they’re organic or not. Spend the bulk of your grocery dollars on basic foods – fruits, vegetables, dairy, grains – and you’ll be able to afford more organics for your money.

7. Shop Locally
Farmer’s markets are a great source for value-priced organics. No markets in your area? Then, look for locally grown organics in your grocery store. Since local produce doesn’t have to travel far, the prices are often lower.

8. Shop Seasonally
Foods–organic and otherwise – are cheapest when they’re in season. Here’s a guide to what’s in season now:

9. Join a Co-Op
Farm Co-ops and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) groups allow you to buy a share in a local farm in exchange for a portion of the food that the farm produces – a real bargain. Locate an organic co-op or CSA in your area through Local Harvest.org, and enjoy more organic fare for your money.

10. Stick to the Dirty Dozen
Can’t afford to buy all-organic produce? Then, stick to the twelve fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide levels. According to The Environmental Working Group, this includes: peaches, apples, sweet bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, lettuce, imported grapes, pears, spinach, potatoes.

Source:

http://frugalliving.about.com

——————
Here are a few organic recipes we thought you would enjoy.

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

A quick and easy recipe that will leave kids and adults alike begging for seconds!

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. elbow macaroni, fusilli, or other small pasta
  • 8 oz. Horizon Organic shredded cheddar cheese
  • 12 oz. Horizon Organic cottage cheese
  • 8 oz. Horizon Organic sour cream
  • ¼ cup Horizon Organic parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

    Preheat oven to 350 F. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil, add pasta and cook until done. Drain. In a 9×13 inch baking dish, stir together the pasta, shredded cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Bake 30 to 35 minutes.

——————-

Cranberry Apple Muffins

A delicious breakfast choice, the tartness of the cranberries compliments the sweetness of the apples.

Ingredients:

•    3/4 c. chopped cranberries
•    1/2 t. shredded orange peel
•    1 c. shredded apple
•    1,1/2c. all-purpose flour
•    1/2 c. sugar
•    1 t. ground cinnamon
•    1/2 t. baking soda
•    1/2 t. salt
•    1/4 t. baking powder
•    1 beaten egg
•    1/2 c. Lifeway Nonfat Plain Kefir
•    1/2 c. vegetable oil

 

Directions:

 

Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease twelve 2 1/2 inch muffin cups or line with paper bake cups. In a small mixing bowl stir together chopped cranberries, orange peel and shredded apple. In a medium mixing bowl stir together flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Make a well in the center of dry mixture. In another medium mixing bowl combine egg, Lifeway Nonfat Kefir, and oil. Add cranberry mixture and Kefir mixture to the dry mixture. Stir till batter is moistened and lumpy. Spoon batter into the prepared muffin cups 2/3 the way full. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden.

Source: Organic Recipes

Speechless Sunday

Lounge Tip # 8

Lounge tip # 8: Explore your hobbies.

Many people feel that hobbies are a waste of time.  That couldn’t be farther from the truth.  Hobbies actually have many health benefits.  It helps to relieve stress from the day,  ease depression, improve mood and immune system and have multiple health benefits so make time for your favourite hobby.

Exercise for your body

  • Any physically active leisure pursuit is going to have positive health benefits
  • If time alone is what you need most, going for a bike ride or a swim or a walk are great ways of making a temporary escape
  • If solitude is the last thing you need you can find something you can do with others—a walking club, a tennis club, a class at the gym

Exercise for your mind

  • Staying mentally active may actually help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia
  • Doing anything stimulating—playing cards or board games, doing crossword puzzles, reading or going to the museum or art gallery may minimize age-related memory loss

Social Connections

  • We need the support of, and connection to, other people to maintain good health
  • Having social support and feeling included can influence whether we are healthy or not
  • Hobbies can help us feel connected
  • Hobbies can help make the transition from working life to retirement smooth and enjoyable
  • Thinking ahead, having different interests and being engaged with others are two important ways to age success

Here are some hobbies you can try if you don’t have one

  • scrapbook
  • photography
  • baking
  • gardening
  • cooking
  • journaling
  • stamping
  • crocheting
  • biking
  • hiking
  • rollerskating
  • swimming
  • singing
  • playing an instrument
  • walking
  • reading
  • knitting
  • sewing
  • embrodering
  • pottery
  • painting
  • drawing
  • sculpting
  • decorating
  • collecting
  • woodworking
  • beading

The list can go on and on.  What ever you enjoy doing can be your hobbie.  So have fun doing your hobbie or try one of these.

Kalisha and Reneca

Source:changing gears

Mom’s Brownies

Here is a recipe for delicious brownies! Enjoy!
————
Remove teddy bear from oven and preheat oven to 375.Melt 1 cup margarine in saucepan.

Remove teddy bear from oven and tell Jr “no, no.”

Add margarine to 2 cups sugar.

Take shortening can away from Jr. and clean cupboards.

Measure 1/3 cup cocoa.

Take shortening can away from Jr. again and bathe cat.

Apply antiseptic and bandages to scratches sustained while removing shortening from cat’s tail.

Assemble 4 eggs, 2 tsp. vanilla, and 1-1/2 cups sifted flour.

Take smoldering teddy bear from oven and open all doors and windows for ventilation.

Take telephone away from Billy and assure party on the line the call was a mistake. Call operator and attempt to have direct dialed call removed from bill.

Measure 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 cup nuts and beat all ingredients well.

Let cat out of refrigerator.

Pour mixture into well-greased 9×13-inch pan.

Bake 25 minutes.

Rescue cat and take razor away from Billy. Explain to kids that you have no idea if shaved cats will sunburn. Throw cat outside while there’s still time and he’s still able to run away.

 

Frosting

Mix the following in saucepan:

1 cup sugar
1 oz unsweetened chocolate
1/4 cup margarine Take the darn teddy bear out of the @#$% broiler and throw it away — far away.

Answer the door and meekly explain to nice policeman that you didn’t know Jr had slipped out of the house and was heading for the street. Put Jr in playpen.

Add 1/3 cup milk, dash of salt, and boil, stirring constantly for 2 minutes.

Answer door and apologize to neighbor for Billy having stuck a garden hose in man’s front door mail slot. Promise to pay for ruined carpet.

Tie Billy to clothesline.

Remove burned brownies from oven.

Source: http://www.randomjoke.com/funny/momsbrownies.php