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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Gratitude Challenge Day 30! Our final day!

The last day of November and the last day of our challenge! Wow! Where did November go??

My family and I had a fun family day today. We are getting our Advent wreath and calendar ready to go for tomorrow. I love the Advent season as we prepare for Christmas. It is always so hard to stay focused on preparing rather then celebrating and getting caught up in the hustle and bustle but we still try.

Having said that, we decided to get our Christmas tree today. We are holding off a bit on decorating it but the next few weekends will be busier and the weather wasn't too cold so we went off to the tree farm near our home and cut down our tree. This is the second year we have done this and it is a lot of fun.












So today I am thankful for a fun family day as we prepare for Christmas. And making memories and traditions with my family. 
I am also thankful for YOU! The readers who came along with me on this gratitude challenge and did it with me. I appreciate you hanging in there with me and hope you got as much out of this challenge as I did. And I am thankful for all of the people who have supported my business this year.  We have so much to be thankful for!

Thanks for reading! Keep a look out for my 12 Days of Christmas specials coming very soon!! :)

And stop over and visit me on Facebook soon too!

~Rebecca~

Friday, November 29, 2013

Gratitude Challenge day 29!

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is over and tomorrow is the last day of November already? It seems like the year had just begun and now it is coming to an end. For many people I know, 2014 cannot come soon enough as they have gone through some extreme hardships this year. Losing a child is at the top of the list and every parent's worst nightmare. Two of my friends went through this in 2013. Other friends went through job loss, loss of a parent or friend, loss of a spouse, a cancer diagnosis of a child or friend, losing a home to a tornado and for us and at least two other friends - miscarriage….it's depressing when you think of it! And it's hard to imagine some of those things being part of God's plan.

But when I see my friends endure these hardships, And become stronger because of them, then I know God's plan is working in their lives and in my own through His Grace. As difficult as those things are, knowing that God is there walking with us through the difficult times is comforting. And my friend's strength has had a direct impact on my faith life and I am grateful for that.



I have a friend who lost her son to a car accident in 2004. He was in his late 20s and planning a wedding just months later. It was devastating. But the strength my friend showed through her faith, was truly amazing. At the time I didn't have kids and wasn't even married yet. In fact, I was planning my own wedding a few weeks after her son was planning his. It made me question God's plan but in seeing how my friend rose above the pain and kept on keeping on in her faith, was inspiring to me.

So what am I thankful for today? To be honest, when I write some of these posts I am not sure where I will go with them. I am not trying to be depressing. This was one of those posts that went in a direction of reflection. I was really thinking about my friends who have gone through loss or are going through hardships right now and how they are praying to make it to 2014 without any more loss. And how through prayer and the grace of God, they have been able to endure.



Today I am grateful for God's grace. And how through His spirit, He is able to help those who have faith, to rise above life's turmoil and see that He is working in their lives. It is not always easy, but knowing that He is always with us is comforting and something to help us get through the good as well as the bad times in our lives. And I am very grateful for that.

Matt Redman has a wonderful song that I love about God's Grace. Take a listen.



What do you need God's grace for in your life today? What are you thankful for today?



Thanks for reading! 

~Rebecca~

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Gratitude Challenge Day 28 - Happy Thanksgiving!!

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Hanukkah to my Jewish friends! Today is a day to say thanks for all that we have. We have so much to be thankful for! It is so easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing and what they have and we compare ourselves. But it is always important to realize the gifts that you were given - and when you really think about that and realize that, then you find things to be thankful for. We all have them. We just have to dig deep sometimes to see them all. :)

We had visited my family in Wisconsin this past weekend so today we stayed in Indiana and are having a wonderful day together. My boys gave us a nice gift of sleeping until 8am today and then we got some wonderful cuddles with them in bed. :)

Last night my husband and I had fun making some wonderful cinnamon rolls together and baked them when we woke up and enjoyed them for breakfast. They were SO good and I will do a separate post later sharing the recipe.




We played games and enjoyed parts of the Macy's Day parade this morning.



And then had a wonderful Thanksgiving feast! This was the first year we got a fresh turkey from one of my Shaklee customers, Elliot Dale, who uses Basic H on his organic farm. I knew it would be good, but I had no idea how good this bird would taste! I am not the biggest fan of turkey and this actually tasted more like chicken to me. It was tender, juicy and delicious.  I also bought a stewing hen from him as he assured me it would make the BEST broth and that it did! We used the broth in our stuffing, as a base to cook the turkey in, for the mashed red potatoes, and have plenty left over for soups and recipes. You can see more of the great meat options available through Elliot if you live in Indiana on the Maple Hill Farm's Facebook page. It is located in West Point, IN which is not too far from Lafayette. The boys and I had fun going to pick it up on Tuesday as they ran around and played in the leaves. :)



I also made homemade stuffing this year (another first) and we had my mom's famous cranberry dessert with fresh cranberries, fresh pineapple and plain greek yogurt and then freeze it overnight and thaw it this morning so it is a little slushy. It was really good too! 



And of course pumpkin pie made from real pumpkin. The taste is so much better then canned in my opinion and gave us extra pumpkin to make cookies with, hopefully tomorrow:)

Rose champagne followed by going to see the movie "Free Bird" which is very cute and about some turkeys trying to save the turkey from being the official meal served at Thanksgiving. The boys really enjoyed it.

All in all, a good family fun day!

So today I am very thankful for this day, good food and my wonderful family to enjoy it with!

What are your Thanksgiving traditions? What are you thankful for today?

Thanks for reading and enjoy your holiday!! Safe travels if you are heading back home this weekend. 

~Rebecca~

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Gratitude Challenge Day 27

It has been COLD here in Indiana lately! I just took my oldest to preschool and our car read 17 degrees outside but I know with the wind chill it is in the single digits. Brrrrrr!!!




I was thinking back to when I was a kid in Wisconsin and my mom drove me to school, how she would have to go out and warm up the car for 20 minutes before we left. We didn't have an attached garage and it got really cold out there. Especially in a Wisconsin winter! (I feel spoiled here in Indiana because it does not get as bitter cold as it did where I grew up) But it is cold here none the less. 




So today I am so thankful for our attached garage that stays fairly warm and not having to go out in the cold to warm up the car before we left for school today. Also very thankful for cars that work!

What are you thankful for today? What are your plans for Thanksgiving tomorrow?

Have a great day! Hope you can stay warm! :)

And stop over and visit me on Facebook soon! 

~Rebecca~

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Gratitude Challenge Day 26

I heard some sad news today when I dropped my youngest off at preschool. One of the boys in his class was recently diagnosed with a rare childhood brain cancer and is really sick.

It hit me very hard as I know this child. He was in class with my other son last year and now is with my youngest. Benjamin only mentions a few children who he plays with at school and this boy, Eli, is one of them. When we talked about what was happening with Eli today, that he is sick and we need to pray for him, Benjamin got sad and said, "Eli is my friend, mommy". 

 Eli came to Andrew's birthday party last year, which is the first time I met him and I was so impressed by his larger then life personality and his sense of humor. He was not shy at all and was very excited to participate in the games and events at the party as was his older sister. 

You can read a bit of his story in this newspaper article in our local paper.



Eli has a tough road ahead of him and knowing how powerful prayer can be, I would like to ask you to pray for this boy and for his family. I pray for God to heal him and strengthen him and for his family to have strength and God's grace as they face what lies ahead. I also pray for the doctor's knowledge that they are able to heal and help Eli make a full recovery. And for scientists to find a cure for cancer.

 You can also follow his story and see how you can help through the Facebook page set up for him.

So today I am very thankful for my children's health and for each and every day I have with them. Life is precious and is a gift. It should not be taken for granted and Eli's story today reminded me of that. 

Thank you for reading and praying for Eli today.

what are you thankful for?

Have a good day:)

~Rebecca~

Monday, November 25, 2013

Gratitude Challenge Day 25

A few years ago I was flipping through the TV channels while I fed my newborn and came across the Ellen show, something I hadn't seen in quite awhile but enjoy. She was just sharing a story of a man hiking in Arizona who came across an abandoned puppy 350 feet down in a slot canyon! The story drew me in so I paused on the channel to watch this amazing story.

And then she brought the hero, Zak, out - a former Marine, with his wife Michelle. I watched them greet Ellen and then she asked Zak a question. And the second he responded I just about fell off my chair as I knew who he was! I went to middle school and high school with Zak! His story was courageous and I know that there are not many people out there who would have done what he did.

Here is a clip of Zak and Michelle along with their newly rescued puppy, Riley, on the Ellen show. The same clip I watched that day when it aired.


Zak went on to write a wonderful book that I just finished today, about the events that day. He writes in his book about his own story of struggles, bullying and abuse as a child emerged as he wrote the story of Riley's rescue and how the dog had been abused and left to starve in this canyon. The story is of how Riley rose above his near death struggles and how this experience also helped Zak to face some of the demons of his past.

His story hit home for me in many ways and I pray that in his telling it, it will draw a bigger light on bullying and perhaps save some kids the torture of going through it.

So today I am very thankful for people like Zak, who are not afraid to do the right thing even when nobody is watching, and share their personal struggles to perhaps help other people who are facing something similar. 

You can learn more about Riley and Zak & Michelle on their Facebook page.

Thank you, Zak and thank you to everyone reading this today!

What are you thankful for today?

~Rebecca~


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Gratitude Challenge Day 24

Once in awhile my family and I are able to get away for a fun weekend. This weekend was one of those times and we had a blast!

We headed to Wisconsin on Friday to stay at the TimberRidge Waterpark hotel in Lake Geneva for a couple of nights. We swam, did the water park fun things like slides and lazy river and I enjoyed the hot tub for a bit, had some good meals, met up with friends, did scavenger hunts, arcade games, crafts and snacks. And today ended with mass at St. Andrew's church in Delavan which my oldest child, Andrew, thought was pretty cool followed by an early Thanksgiving party at my brother's house with extended family and friends. Very fun. Very cold! Brrrr! and Very tiring and now it is good to be home! I will post more pictures soon.



So today I am thankful for a fun family getaway and good quality time with my crew. 

Did you have a nice weekend? what are you thankful for today? Wishing you a wonderful week ahead!

~Rebecca~


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Gratitude challenge day 23

My boys are young, 3 and 5, and both are in preschool. My oldest will start kindergarten in the fall. We are really fortunate to have found preschools for both kids that fit them very well. They enjoy school and neither is too excited when it is time to go home. They love the toys there, games, friends, teachers, snacks, playtime,
And my oldest loves arts and craft time. The teachers are wonderful and both schools are close to our home. As a parent it is really reassuring to see your child thrive and enjoy his school environment so much.





So today I am very thankful for good schools and good teachers in my children's lives.

What are you thankful for today?

Happy Saturday! 

~Rebecca~

Friday, November 22, 2013

Gratitude Challenge Day 22

My church choir combined with other choirs in our area last night to sing for the end of the church year Mass. When I told my director I could sing and play flute a couple of weeks ago it seemed like a nice idea. However, as yesterday wore on which was a busy day, and the rain fell as did the temperatures outside, I really didn't feel like getting myself ready, making an early dinner for my family and getting myself to church by 5:30 for rehearsal….

But I am not one to back out of a commitment so I got myself ready, made a nice dinner for my family which I gobbled down in 5 minutes and rushed out the door so I wouldn't be too late. 

I was truly not prepared for the experience I had at church last night. I wish I had pictures to share from last night.



Musically, the experience was so nice as the choir sounded excellent and the pianist was fantastic. I was able to add to the music with my flute. I am always amazed when I play flute at church as how something kind of takes over and leads me to improvise freely and enhance the sound much better then I could do if I was actually thinking or planning it.

But the impact of being near the alter with the choir and in such close proximity of 2 Bishops, around 20 priests, a couple of deacons, the alter servers and all of the Knights and women of the knights that were there in their uniforms while they prepared the alter and said mass. WOW! Truly amazing!

It was a beautiful mass with a beautiful message from our Bishop. The Mass usually moves me in ways I don't expect but last night was extra special. I was so glad that I said yes to being there. 

So today I am thankful for the many ways God works in my life and in all of our lives! We just need to be present to realize it sometimes.

What are you thankful for today?

Have a great day!!

And remember our FLASH SALE ends very soon! Don't miss out!

~Rebecca~

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Gratitude Challenge Day 21

I have had some interesting jobs in my life. My very first was in high school as my summer job working at a factory near my house. I was making $6 an hour which was top dollar back then and for a kid I got some nice pay checks! But it was HARD manual labor! I even had to wear steal toed shoes and be there by 6:30am  :)



I also worked as a pet sitter for my flute teacher and helped her file music for some extra money too. I had a 2 week stint in high school as a janitoress in the Mayor's office. I didn't realize that was the job when I took it.  A lot less glamor then I thought so that didn't last too long. lol 

 I held a few different bank teller jobs in college and also taught flute lessons, which I still do, and lead music classes for toddlers and babies in grad school, which I also still do occasionally. 



I went to college in Iowa for music therapy and worked for the state of california for three years as a rehab/music therapist. That was probably the most interesting job I ever had as the unit I was assigned to with men who had autism and behavioral issues kept me on my toes. Imagine the worst tantrum that your two year old has had. And then imagine that in a 40 year old 200 lb grown man! Yep, life was pretty interesting then but I loved it! 



In 2006 my husband and I moved to San Diego where I opened my Waterways Music Services business. I knew at that point that I would never work a J.O.B again. I absolutely LOVED working for myself. The flexibility, no ceiling on my income, being my own boss, tax benefits and everything that came with it. My office was my car and it was really fun. 



In 2008 we moved to Indiana and I moved Waterways with me. But I was also 6 months pregnant with our oldest child and knew I would be starting another career very soon - MOM.  the best and at times hardest "job" I have ever had. I knew that I wanted to stay home with my kids so I slowly built Waterways again around our family schedule. 




In 2010 I added more health and wellness options to Waterways through the natural nutrition products that Shaklee makes. These are products that I grew up with and we were using and loving in our home and gaining great health benefits from, so it was an easy transition and very enjoyable and an easy merger  with music therapy as they both work in wellness and helping people.




Today I am doing a lot more with the natural nutrition part of my business and really loving it. It doesn't take me out of the home so I have complete flexibility with my schedule and that has been so great with my young family. I was recently promoted in my Shaklee business so the extra income has also been nice and I am thankful for all of that!!

So today I am thankful for my work and the flexibility it gives me with my family.

What are you thankful for today?

Thanks for stopping by! Have a wonderful day! And don't forget to take a look at our great FLASH SALE which ends Tomorrow!!!

~Rebecca~

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Gratitude Challenge Day 20

I LOVE Pomegranate! They are so good for you! Kind of like a super food. 




Pomegranates are packed with vitamins and antioxidants and have been known to help with many health issues.

I love how they taste! I love the juice, the seeds, everything! 

EXCEPT…..cutting them and eating them raw! It is always so hard. But today I found an awesome quick video on how deseed it quickly in a much easier way. 




Pomegranates were on sale at Aldi this week so I bought some and my kids and I enjoyed it as a dessert after lunch. We all enjoyed it. :)

Just cut a slit around the fruit and open it into two halves. 




Then get a bowl and a wooden spoon and whack the back of the fruit and watch all of the wonderful deliciousness fall effortlessly into your bowl.




And enjoy! Simple!!! And tasty!!! 




I also love my energy tea that happens to be pomegranate flavor. It's a quick and easy energy booster mid day and I look forward to it every day! Nice for weight management too!


So today I am thankful for pomegranate season. And a new and easy way to cut them and enjoy them!

Do you enjoy pomegranate too? What are you thankful for today?

And be sure to visit me on Facebook soon and check out the great Flash Sale I have going Right Now! 

Have a great day!

~Rebecca~

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Gratitude Challenge Day 19!

I can't believe it's day 19 already! This month is flying by! Is it for you too? Thanksgiving is just around the corner!



My youngest son needs to bring the snack to his preschool tomorrow. When I asked him what he would like to bring he said Cookies and Apples:) So that is what he will bring. 



The boys helped me bake chocolate chip cookies today and they turned out so yummy! I have a horrible sweet tooth so I am glad we are baking these to give away. Of course we will have a few to share at home but the sooner they are eaten (by not me!) the better.





I did manage to sneak a bit of nutrition in them today and they still taste so good!



I used the recipe on the back of the dark chocolate chip bag. Dark chocolate is a better choice then milk or white chocolate as it has some good stuff that can help with blood pressure and it also has antioxidants in it. These can  help with free radical damage. When eaten with milk however, it can lose this effect. Just remember moderation is key here. :) (telling myself! )

I also added about a tablespoon of chia seeds, which are a tiny whole grain that are so easy to mix into recipes like baked goods, soups, drinks, etc. I add them to my morning smoothee and they help to bulk up my breakfast and keep me feeling full. Chia seeds are rich in omega 3s, protein, fiber and antioxidants!

The last healthy ingredient I added was this instant baking protein that does not lose any bioavailability when heated. I replaced almost half of the flour with this protein in the recipe. I also add this to soups, stews, other baked goods, oatmeal, yogurt, etc. There are some great recipes in the more info section on the protein link above. It is an easy way to get extra nutrition and when mixed with water makes a wonderful homemade soy milk! Soy has a bad reputation but when it is processed correctly (water washed rather then the cheaper alcohol wash) it is a great and complete plant based protein choice.

My kids and I had so much fun making these cookies today and even more fun sampling them after! Benjamin is excited to share them with his friends tomorrow at school. :)




Today I am thankful for fun time in the kitchen with my kids.

What are you thankful for today?

Have a great day and don't forget to check out my Flash Sale that is going on Now!!!

~Rebecca~

Monday, November 18, 2013

FLASH SALE!!!! Take 10 Years off your Skin's Appearance!!

I am super excited to share this guys… a fun FLASH SALE that will help you take 10 years off the appearance of your skin! Read on to hear all about it….


Do you feel like this when you look in the mirror or see a picture of yourself? Are you getting older??


Of course, we are ALL getting older, right? But more and more people are turning to things like surgery, face lifts, botox, etc to make themselves appear younger. Expensive things that sometimes can be risky to your health.



Well, I am here to share how you do not need to do those things! There are ways to prevent the signs of aging and reduce those signs of aging if you already have them. Ways that will cost a lot less money and time! And ways that are safe and natural for you to do.


I have had acne problems my ENTIRE life. Ok, maybe not as a baby, but pretty soon after that. Terrible, cystic acne. The kind that leaves scars. Awful stuff. I still get acne when I eat dairy, chocolate and basically junk food and from stress. But when I am eating right, drinking lots of water, taking my Vitalizer, protein, GLA for hormone balance and zinc in order to heal my skin from the inside out, I can keep it more under control. 

Topically, I LOVE the Enfuselle anti-aging skin care products from Shaklee! I started these about a year ago. They were the only products I have ever tried on my skin to not make me break out and actually improve the look and feel of my skin tone! AND diminish all of the scarring I had from the horrible acne I have had in my life! It improved my skin texture, and appearance. Thankful!!! :)
It is Nutrition Therapy for the skin and I love it and love sharing it with you!

Shaklee is the #1 natural nutrition company in the US and has been around since 1956! I grew up with Shaklee and one of its product lines is Enfuselle, which means to infuse the cells of your skin with actual vitamins! Enfuselle uses only pure ingredients and you never have to worry about parabens as Shaklee does not use them! Not many cosmetic companies can say the same.

Enfuselle is the only skin care line out there that I know of, to have patents on their products. My scientist husband just got a patent on his work last year at the university where he works and it was a huge deal and a very expensive one to get with lots of legal hoops to jump through to get it! So getting a patent on a product or on your work is definitely not easy. And we have 8 patents on Enfuselle!

One of the things that completely impressed my very hard to impress researcher husband, is the science and quality of science and integrity of science that Shaklee has. We have done clinical trials and testing on our products that has been published in peer reviewed journals. (in over 100 of these!!) Again, I know first hand how tough this is as this is something my husband does with his job and it is not easy to publish in these top medical and scientific journals. Shaklee also does third party testing on the products and has pharmaceutical standards on our supplements, something not required by the FDA. Just something we do because it's the right thing to do.

Shaklee tests all of the products, at the beginning, in the middle and at the end of production for any contaminants, chemicals, impurities , etc. And when I say all products, I literally mean EVERY batch of product where other companies may just test one or two batches a year!

 I know that when I use a Shaklee product or give one to my family, it is the best quality you can get. If there is an impurity in any product, Shaklee will not sell it and work to get it right for us. Again, so thankful for that!

The science on Enfuselle done at the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego (where my hubby happened to do his post - doc) showed some pretty impressive statistics:

The AM Repair Cream reduces fine lines and wrinkles by 421% in 28 days!!

The C + E PM Repair Cream (my favorite!!) increases skin firmness and elasticity by 154% in 4 weeks!! I have known people who have gotten rid of basal cell carcinoma (beginning of skin cancer) as well as moles and skin tags with our PM cream!

Here are a a few amazing before and after pictures using Shaklee products.




Pretty amazing results!!!

Our Vital Repair that is in the Enfuselle products contain antioxidants and vitamins to protect your skin from free radical damage from exposure to the sun, chemicals, and environmental toxins.  

When you do our Enfuselle challenge by using the system for just 3 minutes in the morning and 3 minutes in the evening for 28 days, you will reduce the look of your skin by 10 years!!! Guaranteed!!! Try it for yourself to see! If you don't like it, you will get your money back!



So now for our FLASH SALE…this is really great!!



Are you ready to give this a try and look younger? This is a Great time To give it a Try!!

***When you order the Enfuselle Nutrition Therapy Normal to Oily System OR the Enfuselle Nutrition Therapy Normal to Dry System from Waterways you will get a FREE Enfuselle Infusing Mineral Masque ($19.05 SRP) from me! In addition, you will get a FREE Spa Shea Butter Cream ($35.55 SRP) from Shaklee which is temporarily replacing the Lip Treatment in the systems. Wow! So that is almost a $55 value of FREE stuff that will help you look younger!!!***


Hurry though because this FLASH SALE ends this Friday, Nov. 22, 2013 at noon EST!!

This sale is open to all current Waterways customers and new people to Shaklee. You must contact me before ordering so we can add your free products to your order.  Or Contact your Shaklee distributor to see about matching this special for you.

Thanks for stopping in! Looking forward to hearing how you improved the age of your skin soon too! 



Have a great day and visit me on Facebook! Would love to connect with you there. :)

~Rebecca~



Gratitude Challenge Day 18

I know many people who have have been affected by yesterday's storms. In our area there was some damage to homes and many are still out of power. We are praying for everyone affected.

For my family, we are thankful that our neighborhood somehow got missed by the brunt of the storm that passed through yesterday. But because of the storm, the schools near us were closed which meant that my oldest did not have school today and our afternoon appointment got canceled. 

Here are a few pictures we took today. The boys refused to not be silly. lol






So today I am thankful for extra time at home with my boys. And for having friends over for impromptu play dates. 

What are you thankful for today?

Have a good day!

~Rebecca~

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Gratitude Challenge Day 17

As many of you know the midwest has been hit by some severe storms this afternoon. We have been watching the weather here and although we did have the tornado sirens going off and a tornado warning was issued, the storm came and went without much fanfare in our area and I am thankful for that. We did hunker down in the safest place we have in our home, which is the downstairs half bathroom. Not a whole lot of space there so good thing I like my family. :)

This is my five year old who after seeing a few pictures of the tornado on the iPad wanted to draw a storm. So that kept him busy while we waited it out. As I type he continues to draw storm pictures in his room. I better not introduce him to the movie Twister or maybe he would take a serious liking to storm chasing!





Now, if you know me at all, you know that I do enjoy a good storm. That was one of the things I disliked when we lived in southern california as they rarely happened there. I think in the six years we lived there I could count on one hand the number of good thunderstorms we had.

But nobody likes severe storms that take peoples homes or lives. A friend of mine lives in Washington, IL where there is so much devastation from today's storm. This is a picture that was posted on her Facebook today taken from her mom's house. They had damage but their houses still stand and they are thankfully ok. Some of their neighbors lost everything and we are praying for all of the people who are affected by this. 


A couple of my college friends in Wisconsin lost their home to a tornado a few years ago and it was devastating to them as any of us would imagine.

So today I am thankful that we are safe in our home and were not personally affected by today's tornados. We will continue to pray for those who were.



Praying that all of you are safe today!

~Rebecca~

 
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