Friday, September 30, 2011

Daddy Dates {Book Review}

I'm quite obviously not a daddy! But when the opportunity came for me to review this book, I took it because I'm married to a daddy and that daddy has three little girls. They definitely are going to be going on many dates with their daddy in the years to come.

My original intent was for said daddy to write this review. However, as much as daddy likes to read books, this is also one of the busiest times of the year for him when it comes to work and also his love of hunting.

So you are left with mommy reviewing this book. Maybe in the future, he can come back with his thoughts.

Let me say, that I believe that as a mom, even I learned how to treat my daughters more special by reading this book. Greg Wright is a witty writer and talks openly about how he often feels clueless raising four girls. Often I feel clueless as well in how to raise three girls, so this was refreshing!

I loved that he offers real life examples of how to date his daughters. I loved how it was very evident that his daughters love and respect him. They are still your typical teenage girls, and struggle at times with wanting to obey, but for the most part they are open and honest. I believe a lot of that has to do with their dad taking them on dates.

Without giving away too much of the book, I will say that I would highly recommend this book to dads of girls of any age. It is heart-warming to see how this dad is setting the bar high for his daughters and that is something I think every dad wants.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from I was not obligated to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


This mama and this girl do not like bees! Ouch! :(

P.S. Does anyone know of any good natural remedies to get the swelling down? This happened yesterday and it still looks and feels sore today!

Friday, September 23, 2011

The one where God cannot be contained in a little box labeled Christianity.

There I was singing along quietly to some Jack Johnson on my iTunes when the guest in our home said, "Jack Johnson is sin. You need to stop listening to it."

I stared.

"Really? Jack Johnson is sin? Listening to him is sin?"

And so the conversation stopped.

But my mind did not. The whole rest of the evening I couldn't help but realize that this, this is why non-Christians have labeled Christians as judgemental and hypocritical.

Because the God I know doesn't have a box labeled Christian and only those who listen to Christian music can be in it.

Because the God I know doesn't have a box labeled Christian and only those who don't drink alcohol are in it.

Because the God I know doesn't have a box labeled Christian and only those who dress a certain way are in it.

Heck, the God I know doesn't even have a box labeled Christian.

Instead we so called Christians have labeled that box for ourselves and told ourselves and others that unless you dress a certain way, act a certain way, listen to certain music you can't be a Christian.

The God I know has only one label that I know: LOVE

And oh how He loves us! He truly does. Despits others labeling us, judging us, tearing us down, and misrepresenting Him.

And I'm clinging to that as I listen to my Jack Johnson and know in my heart where I stand with God; outside that little box labeled Christianity.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Truthful Tuesday: Are you going to have more kids???

I decided from time to time to do little scheduled blog posts on Tuesdays called Truthful Tuesday. Basically I want you, my readers, to feel free to ask me questions and I will answer them truthfully! :) I can't promise you I will answer any question you may ask because there are areas of my life that are personal and I will not blog about...but I will do my best to answer if you ask.

The very first question comes from my friend Salena who asked me this quite awhile ago and I told her I would be answering her "soon" in a blog post. Well being she asked me in July and this is September, it wasn't necessarily "soon", but I am finally answering now:


I've always wondered...are you and Chris planning or allowing God to plan for more children in your family?


Can I say the answer to that is both? A long time ago I wanted a big family. When Chris and I met and I shared with him my dream for a big family, he was sort of on board. Then we had Zoelle. Two years later, Meridian. A year after that we adopted Xiomara. Three kids. Three girls. Loud, screamy, sometimes crying girls. In three years.

Yep, we are crazy! ;)

I wouldn't say that having them so close together made me not want more, because that isn't true. I've enjoyed the challenges as they come and go and on the days I don't, I just cry! ;) I think every woman hates that thought of being done. I love soft, squishy, cuddly babies and I can't imagine not having any more babies.

At the same time I say that, I also can't imagine going through another pregnancy right now nor do we want to adopt right now. I get terribly sick in my pregnancies and the thought of the emotional ups and downs of adoption has me running the other way. I also have been either breastfeeding or pregnant for 5 years.

I am ready for a break.

But we have always brought that back to whether or not God is ready for us to have a break. And the answer, despite the chagrin of the grandparents is, yes we believe He knows we need a break and is going to give it to us. He also has shown us that just because what we wanted was a big family, isn't necessarily what He wanted for us. I can honestly say we never brought it before God in prayer. We just assumed that we would have a big family. But the more we pray about it, the more we feel God calling us in a different direction for our life and our family.

So in short, I feel like we are letting God decide, yet at the same time God knows our hearts and knows that we need a break. If you do find me pregnant or adopting at some point in the future, then you know that God wasn't finished with us yet...and I'm ok with that too.

P.S. If someone has the time and talent to make me a blog button, I'd love to start up a link up for Truthful Tuesday. I just have no idea how to make a button! :)

Have a question you want answered? Email me at: jewelsntreasures (at) yahoo (dot) com

Monday, September 19, 2011

Palm & Pond Mei Tai Giveaway {Closed}

I love babywearing! In fact just the other day I was thinking how absolutely sad I will be when my babywearing days are over with. :(

Anyway, sometime back I was talking with a friend on the phone who told me that she had tried a Mei Tai by Palm & Pond but because of her height, it didn't work well for her. She offered to pass it on to me which, babywearing nut that I am, I said yes! She mentioned that if I chose not to use it, to please be sure to pass it on.

It wasn't that I didn't want to use it. In fact I had every intention of using it. However, I love, love, love my Ergo and Beco and thus everytime I went to grab a carrier I would grab one of those and not the Mei Tai. Those who know me know that I can't stand to have things sit around unused!

Win it!
So I want to pass on the love to one of you who would absolutely love to have a Mei Tai! I planned on doing a Rafflecopter entry form this time. However Rafflecopter is by invite only and I still haven't gotten my invite from them after signing up. So I'm making this easy for you. 3 simple ways to enter.

Mandatory Entry:

1. Tell me why you want to win this Mei Tai. Please do me the favor of making sure you leave your e-mail address in the comment if it is not visible on your profile. (1 entry)

Extra Entries:

1. Become a Facebook fan of Jewels & Treasures. Leave me a comment telling me you are a fan along with your first name and last initial. (1 entry)

2. Follow me on Twitter and leave a comment telling me you are along with your Twitter ID. (1 entry)

That's It!

Winner will be chosen at random from Winner has 48 hours from being contacted to respond, or else a new winner will be chosen.

Contest ends Monday, October 3, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. CST

 Congrats to Sunflower Joy! Hope you enjoy it! :)

*I received this as a gift and am not affiliated with the company at all. Instead I just would like to pass on the love! Enjoy! :)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Dear _____________Year Old Me,

Dear fourteen year old me, I'm glad you grew out of the paint your nails whatever color you are wearing stage.

Zoom in to see my blue nailpolish! Oh and I'm singing here, that is why my mouth is open! ;)

Dear fifteen year old me, praise God you grew past that mop top of a hairstyle! Why oh why did you not wear your hair curly? Why the bangs?? And oh my God, what are you wearing?!?!

Mom are you reading this? Why did you let me go out like this? I'll bill you for my therapy! ;)

Dear sixteen year old me, if you could go back, you would go on 1,000 more of these life changing mission trips before you were married and had kids.

Saying goodbye to my dad before my mission trip to Brazil.

Dear seventeen year old me, you are not a cheerleader. You may have the loud voice of one, but you really could not cheer! ;)

Freezing cold while cheering!

Dear eighteen year old me, you were wise to get a couple of close girlfriends. They will still be your close girlfriends 10 years from now, support you when you most need it, and run a 5K with you.

Graduation with my two closest girlfriends Sharon and Tara

Seriously now...dear any teenage year me, I wish you would have realized how beautiful you really were, how non-fat you were, and how you were worth more than him or even him. The tears really weren't worth it and in the future you had a guy who was. Ten years from now, you will look back on these pictures and realize that your world was really so small and that God had bigger plans for you.

And you will appreciate having these pictures (as ridiculous as they are) because ten years from then, you will need similar reminders about your 20's.



Post inspired after listening to Taylor Swift's song, "Fifteen" and also finding a bag of old photgraphs. Hope you enjoyed! :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

School for Zoelle

I didn't blog about it last week, but this week we are starting our second week of homeschooling Zoelle.

We actually had no intention of homeschooling Zoelle this year. We signed Zoelle up for a local private preschool and even went to the open house at her school. However, in the back of my mind, I was very uncertain. I loved the school, loved the teacher, but I felt as if I would be paying for a 2 day a week babysitter. Zoelle knows how to read and how to do simple addition. In pre-k, she would have been learning her letters and letter sounds, her colors, shapes, etc. All stuff she knew.

When it came down to it, I could not justify being a wise steward of our finances if we were just going to send her to be socialized. I also could tell that she really wasn't ready to be gone from mom that much.

So here I am homeschooling again this year. After researching quite a bit, I will again be using Heart of Dakota Publishing as I really loved how it was set up last year. She is still young at 4 and I don't plan on doing any real formal schooling with her. I certainly don't plan on doing it with her each day. In fact she is now considered in the Kindergarten curriculum and my plan is to space it out this year and get about half of it done, and then next year (if we homeschool) finish the other half.

One thing I want to get across to those who know us is that I don't plan to judge your schooling choices. I was very hesitant to jump on the homeschooling bandwagon because I didn't want to become a part of the homeschooling mafia. You know the type where I read on a homeschooling message board the other day:

"Even your worst homeschooling day is better than a day in public school."! No, no, no! That is not me. Not us. And not what homeschooling is about for our family. We will take homeschooling year by year, child by child. Next year we could be sending her to public school, or we could be homeschooling again. We just know that we refuse to limit our family to just homeschooling or just public school. Instead, we choose to acknowledge that God will lead our family year by year.

What are you doing for school this year? How did you decide what was right for your family?

P.S. The sign is a back to school printable sign that I found on Pinterest. You can find it for your grade here!

Friday, September 9, 2011

What I Learned During a 5 Day Nursing Strike

Those of you who follow me on facebook and saw my status yesterday, found out that Xiomara and I are finally past that horrible period of her not nursing. I was ecstatic yesterday when she latched on and nursed with just a slight hesitation. Each nursing session since then has gotten better and it is almost as if she has forgetten again that she didn't nurse for 5 whole days.

During those 5 days I learned a lot.

First, surround yourself with those who love you, will support you, and uplift you. One of my very best friends sent me beautiful flowers to cheer me up. Even though she herself only nursed her kids a little bit, she still supported me and understood how upset I was at the possibility of Xiomara weaning.

Secondly, research, research, and more research! I turned to my local lactation consultant for help. When she told me that most likely Xiomara was weaning, I turned to some really close online friends of mine. They pointed out several articles on how to get your baby back on the breast, one woman's story of a 40-day nursing strike, and how to survive a nursing strike. Without these articles and the knowledge of these friends, I'm not sure I would have made it! They are also the ones who told me to pump to keep a supply for Xiomara in case she did make it through this nursing strike.

Lastly, and this is just a personal one for me, don't take nursing for granted. Since breastfeeding has always come very naturally for me and I have had very few problems nursing any of my girls, I have often taken it for granted. Those 5 days were some of the longest and most emotional days of my life. All I could think about was wanting to enjoy and relish in her snuggled close to my body, getting the nurishment and attachment she needed, just one more time! I seriously don't think I will look at nursing ever the same again!

Have you ever gone through a nursing strike? How did you survive? How long did it last?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

{Almost} Wordless Wednesday: The Chase

                                           This happens all day long!

And it is quite hilarious.

But most of all, absolutely precious!

Because she loves her sister!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Teething? Nursing strike? Weaning?

Xiomara nursing shortly after her 1st birthday! I love this picture!

I'm always amazed at the amount of people who find my blog searching for "adoptive breastfeeding". Mainly because I haven't really blogged much about my journey of nursing Xiomara. Which is mainly because I don't really have a journey. I didn't have to take pills, pump a ton to stimulate my breasts to produce milk, or do anything else. Instead, I was lucky enough to have Meridian still nursing, thus have a supply for Xiomara.

My breastfeeding journey with Xiomara has been relatively easy. When we first met Xiomara she was due to take a bottle, but they held off giving her one so I could try and nurse her. She latched on immediately and after supplementing for a little while, she took off on nursing and never looked back. While she has struggled to gain weight, that has more to do with her being premature and her birthmom being small, than nursing. We have seen a lactation consultant regularily and no problems have arose until now.

Now, at almost 14 months, Xiomara has started biting. She got her two front teeth and since getting them she won't nurse, but rather just bites me. I've tried different positions, different times of nursing, and different reactions to the biting, and yet she continues to bite.

I am devastated. I don't know if this is just a phase, but this weekend I have had to stop nursing her and just pump. I obviously cannot force her to nurse. I just wasn't prepared to be done nursing, so I really am hoping this is just a nursing strike and that after the new teeth come all the way down, she will start back up again.

I just wasn't ready to be done with the baby snuggles, and bonding that I felt with her through nursing. And honestly, I'm not ready to process that possibility yet.

Here is to hoping that I can have a positive update soon for you all! Off to cry now! :( If you have any thoughts, prayers, suggestions, I would more than appreciate them!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Meet my new niece Natasha

I became an auntie again on September 1st! My next youngest sister gave birth to a beautiful little girl named Natasha. Yes, that makes 5 granddaughters for my parents. No grandsons..yet!

Since my sister lives in a different state than I do, I have yet to actually meet my niece and hold her. Thank goodness for technology because I have been texted pics and we plan on a Skype conversation today so I can say "hi" to her for the first time ever! Even though I haven't officially met her, I still feel this incredible love for her, the same as I felt the first time I became an aunt.

I'm looking forward to a lifetime with her and spoiling her like crazy! :)

Do you live in the same state as your nieces and nephews? If you don't, how do you keep in touch?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Chocolate Rasperry Pie {Recipe}

I love to bake. It's pretty well known around this house that mom does not like to cook much, but loves to bake! I'm always looking for the next fun thing to bake.

Last week, I promised that I would share this recipe from my Wordless Wednesday as long as you didn't judge me for eating it for breakfast. Since you all were so kind to me and many begged pleaded with me for the recipe, I am sharing it today.

I originally found this recipe in a Taste of Home magazine, but I did alter it a bit to have more chocolate (yum). This is one of those recipes that it tastes so elegant that it seems as if it is hard. It is not. In fact, while it does have quite a few steps, those steps are super easy.

All the ingredients you need.


1 unbaked pie shell (or if you are Martha Stewart you could make your own)
3 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
2 cups of fresh raspberries


1 8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream, whipped


2 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate baking squares
3 tablespoons of butter


1. Line unpricked pastry shell with a double thickness of heavy-duty foil. Bake at 450 for 8 minutes. Remove foil; bake 5 minutes longer. Cool on a wire rack.

2. In a saucepan combine the sugar and cornstarch (listed under ingredients). Stir in the raspberries, bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; cool for 15 minutes. Spread into shell; refrigerate. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until fluffy. Fold in whipped cream. Carefully spread over raspberry layer. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

3. Melt chocolate and butter; cool for 4-5 minutes. Pour over filling. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours. Store in the refrigerator.

Eat for breakfast and enjoy! :)

P.S. I originally attempted to be all Ree Drummond on you and take pictures while I made it. But, I'm not multi-talented and cannot hold the camera and pour/stir/etc. while taking a picture. I also didn't have a full open sunny kitchen for pictures. But hey, all that matters is the end product right? And that is beautiful! Enjoy!