Joy and Strength in 2017: Meet Rachel

Hi! I am Rachel. Eldest of the 4 Growing Weisser sisters, married to Aaron, with three little girls (ages 2, 4, and 5) who are BEST FRIENDS.
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Before marriage and kids I attended college at University of California, San Diego. I made amazing friends, tried out rowing and lacrosse and even master’s swimming for a bit. While in San Diego I also met my future husband.
After marriage, Aaron and I stayed in San Diego for 6 years during which time I got my Teaching Credential and Master’s in Education. I taught Special Education, PE, and third grade before leaving behind my then dream of teaching for a new dream as a MOM!
We moved, bought a house, and made a home in Temecula, CA. 2 years later, with 2 under 2 I decided to get back into teaching and joined Fit4Mom as an instructor for Stroller Strides. I am still teaching classes twice a week and I love it. These moms have become my tribe and I feel blessed to do what I love with people I care about. I have added a few more titles along the way including mother of three now, Girl Scout troop leader, Blogger, and Mom boss as a network marketing entrepreneur!
I love fitness, health and Disneyland and feel truly blessed that I can share both with my girls! You will likely find us working out together or at Disneyland dreaming the day away.
I am passionate about helping moms feel healthy and find their passion and purpose. I am learning to get out of my own comfort zone so I can motivate others to live their dreams. God is teaching me so much as a mom, instructor, and entrepreneur  – mostly, that HE and HE alone is in control and if I allow Him to work in me and through me He can do GREAT things.
I strive to bless others in my daily life and by sharing what I am learning (the good and the bad) on my social media accounts. I love giving financially to our church and to GoGoGrandmothers and I’m excited about all the ways my girls and I can give back in our community through Girl Scouts.
My words for this year are JOY and STRENGTH, which so perfectly combine because “The JOY of the Lord is my STRENGTH.”
Instagram: @princessesandprotein

Living Grounded and Living Abundantly: meet Bethany

Hi, I’m Bethany.  I just moved into my next decade which seems crazy, but older and wiser I guess (no pun intended). I am married with one little boy who is the joy of my life. I am learning so much as a new mom and every day is an opportunity for so much joy, patience, and trusting in God.View More: http://jennadawnrenfrow.pass.us/groupMy husband and I both have big families and lots of nieces and nephews so we were so excited to finally join the life of being parents in July of 2016. My husband teaches and coaches baseball at a local high school. Pre becoming a mom I attended Azusa Pacific University where I majored in Youth Ministry and got a Masters in Organizational Leadership. After college, I coached and worked in ministry for years in Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Young Life, and coordinated a Church Leadership program.
Now as a mom I get the blessing of staying home with my little one. We are very involved in our church and lead a Life Group with some amazing families. I am also very involved with the moms group and womens ministry. This year I have started helping with the moms group which I love being able to connect with all the women and moms in similar stages of life. Motherhood is not easy, and it is so much more fun to do it together! I love being active, being outside, working out, running, spending time with people, reading, journaling, and playing games, hosting events, traveling, and giving gifts. I am passionate about people living in the abundance of Christ’s love and joy and freedom in their life. I am passionate about health, not just physical but spiritual and emotional health as well. I am passionate about fitness and activity and making the most out of life.
I am learning so much about being grounded in who I am, in who Christ made me to be, as a wife, a mom, a daughter, a friend, a woman of God. God made me me for a reason. And I want to live in the strength knowing who I am in Him. I am also learning how to be willing. Willing to serve, to give, to love, to be inconvenienced. So much of my life I have chosen the structure and the plan. But throw a baby in the mix and there’s a whole element of unknown and uncertainty to deal with. So I am taking one day at a time and choosing to be in that moment, messy, ugly, happy, funny, whatever it may be. I want to be in it. Ephesians 3:16-19 says ” that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” As I wake up each day in a world that is unfamiliar to me, I want to know that I have the power of God. That I am the example of Jesus that my son will see. That I am right where I am supposed to be for today.  I love being able to be all in with my family and where God is leading us. And I love having an outlet to share slivers of our life. So we hope you enjoy our blog, our family, our life, and our stories. 
 
Instagram: @Bethanycwilkes

Peace and Progress in 2017: Meet Bekah!

Hi, I’m Bekah, the “baby” of the Weisser Family. I am also the wife of a Pediatric Resident, and Mom of Sophie, who is turning 1 in just a few weeks! Before these latter roles became a part of my life, I attended Azusa Pacific University for college. I played softball for the four years I was there and got involved with Fellowship of Christian Athletes, combining my passions of sports and Jesus. I majored in Industrial/Organizational Psychology (basically psychology in the workplace) and minored in Marketing. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do when I finished college so I moved home to the Bay Area temporarily. Soon after, I got engaged to my college sweetheart and thus reignited my passion for planning and finding “the best bargains around” while planning my DIY on-a-budget wedding.

View More: http://jennadawnrenfrow.pass.us/group

A month after getting married, we moved to the Caribbean to pursue my husband’s dream of becoming a doctor. If any of you know the process of becoming a doctor, you know it is quite the crazy ride. Add in going to a Caribbean school, and it gets even crazier, if you can imagine. We lived there for two years, and although it was one of the bravest things I have every done, it was also the hardest. The best part about that experience were the friends I made who now continue to go through this journey along side me –especially because the journey didn’t end once we left the Caribbean. We were then placed in California for Clinical Rotations, the second half of medical school. We moved to Redlands; and after the first year there, my husband lived temporarily on the East Coast for a couple months for rotations, we lived in the Bay Area for a month, traveled all over the US for Residency interviews, and then finished the year in Redlands. And, all the while, I was pregnant with our first child.

But we survived, my husband finished medical school (he is officially a doctor now!), and we had a beautiful baby girl to add the role of parents to our repertoire.

About nine months ago, we moved to Clovis, CA to begin Residency (“Doctor Training”) for the next three years. We have spent the last few months in our new home getting settled in to what will be our longest stretch in one place since getting married. Although it has taken us longer to move in and figure out this residency life than we would’ve liked, we really feel like this is home! I’m excited to keep learning more about our new life here, find some new places to get involved and settle into a church, too!

           And, now, I get to pursue my dream – being a Mom – while still supporting my husband through his! My daughter, Sophie, has been the biggest bundle of joy in my life. Even though she has “FOMO” (Fear of Missing Out), which has led to more of a napping struggle than I ever thought possible, her smile can make anyone’s day! I didn’t know that one little person could take up so much room in my heart. God is teaching me so much through motherhood; I am not in control, I need to go to Him for my strength, and that He is my source of True Peace, to name a few.

         Some of my passions and hobbies include baking, crafting, making photo books, going to Disneyland, planning theme parties, fitness, and making a memory at every moment possible! Sophie and I love playing (usually me chasing her around), going on walks, getting some energy out and making new friends at her gymnastics class. We love to go to the zoo and spend as much time as possible at the pool during the scorching summer heat!

As a previous college athlete, fitness and nutrition have always been a part of my life. However, I didn’t realize until I stopped playing sports just how important the nutrition is for not only my physical health, but especially my mental health. Two years ago, Rachel shared with me about Isagenix, my whole family’s now favorite superfood nutrition! I have been using the products since, including through my whole pregnancy and as a nursing Momma (They were a LIFESAVER!!). As Sophie is beginning to be more interested in what I’m eating, I’m looking forward to sharing the products with her, as well as the mindset I hope she can achieve for herself; to be a strong, confident, and healthy!

My word for this year is PEACE. I want to feel and know “the peace of God which transcends all understanding” (Philippians 4:7), and I want to instill that into my daughter as she grows up, as well.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bekah.weisser

Instagram: @bekahb623
Isagenix: http://bekahbanihashemi.isagenix.com

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Life, Passion and Growth in 2017

This week we are going to share with you our “Updates” on our lives, our passions, and the new activities that will be filling our lives in 2017………View More: http://jennadawnrenfrow.pass.us/groupI am passionate about people. As a wife and mom and grandma (aka Gammie to 9 incredibly cool grandchildren), I am still madly in love with my husband and I find joy in serving my family and in having a voice of influence in the lives of those I love. I am very careful to remain a “cheerful consultant” for my 4 adult daughters and 4 SILs. I hope to continue to be a person they feel comfortable calling on for advice or just to be available to be a listening ear. My first priority passion (even trumping my love for family) is my faith, my love for Jesus and my unquenchable thirst for reading and studying the bible. Out of this passion, I carefully choose how to prioritize my time commitments. Currently I spend a good deal of time in a leadership role in a large women’s bible study in my community. I also serve on a board of directors for a really cool ministry called “Gogo Grandmothers” (I often write about this on our blog). This ministry has opened my eyes and heart to the joy filled people in Malawi, Africa. Their ability to find joy and peace amidst their difficult circumstances is humbling and helps me keep my perspective on the “hardships” I sometimes face. I am on the go visiting the grandkids a few times each month and try to make sure I spend equal Gammie time with all of them. My best friend, (Poppa to the grands)tries to come on at least one of the road trips each month so that we can both stay actively involved in their lives. After all that busyness,  I still manage to find some free time to share life with, encourage and mentor the incredible women that God has brought into my life. As I am studying the Book of Psalms this year, God is teaching me how to grow closer to Him through worship and obedience and servant leadership. These passions are right on target with the theme of our Gogo Grandmother’s ministry retreat, “You never know what’s on the other side of your obedience”. I am waiting expectantly to see how God will weave this theme throughout my life this year. I am hoping to be able to go on a “vision trip” to Malawi sometime in 2017. Another one of my passions and hobbies is fitness/nutrition. I love to do yoga, zumba, pilates and barre classes at the gym. My favorite forms of fitness are outdoor activities; hiking with friends, riding bikes and going skiing with my husband. The best thing my girls have taught me lately is how to gracefully manage healthy aging (I just turned 60!!). They all encourage me to daily pursue my health goals and they are my best examples of healthy eating and how to incorporate superfood nutrition into my daily regime.

My motivational quote for this year is “YOU CAN AND WILL MAKE A LASTING IMPACT”.
My goal is to stay committed to a life of obedience and servant leadership with a humble heart of lovingkindness and compassion. I want to live with no regrets, treating those I love with grace and forgiveness.

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Things We Love – FIT4MOM

A short while after I had my second daughter a former co-worker friend of mine contacted me. She, like me, had also been a teacher and, like me, decided to stay at home rather than return to teaching after the birth of her first baby. She raved about a Mommy and kid stroller fitness program she had joined called, Fit4Mom. She told me she was planning to become an instructor, and I should do it too.

She invited me to attend a class with her in San Diego. I went. I loved it. I immediately returned home to find out all about classes where I lived.

I attended for my free week, and knew THIS was where I wanted to be. I started with the intention of someday becoming an instructor, and a few months in I received my teaching certification!

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I have been teaching classes now for almost 3 years, while breastfeeding, a third pregnancy, breastfeeding again, and now pushing 3 big girls around in my BOB stroller. Thankfully, one is now at school most days, so pushing 2 kids is a piece of cake!

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I love Fit4Mom and their motto of “Strength in Motherhood.” It is truly a place of fitness, fun, and strength. It is where you will find your tribe, community, and have the opportunity to thrive as a mom alongside other strong moms!

Visit the Fit4Mom blog to find classes near you, read motivating blog posts, and join the community whether you are a member or not! If you don’t have classes in your area, I highly suggest you find out more about starting your own franchise. It is such an incredible program and there are moms everywhere looking for this type of community to find their place!

I also highly recommend the podcast, “Motivating Mom,” by Fit4Mom founder, Lisa Druxman. It is filled with awesome tips and motivation for moms in all stages of motherhood.

Let me know if you plan to check out a class near you!

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Loving Your Kids for Who They Are

I love parenting wisdom from Christian experts, authors, and speakers. However, in this first year as a new mom, picking up a big book to read at the end of a long day has seemed overwhelming and exhausting. That is why podcasts and daily broadcasts, specifically from Focus on the Family and FamilyLife, have been such a lifesaver. They usually are 30 minutes or less and I can find different topics to listen to right on the apps on my phone when I have a pocket of time throughout my day!

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This week, I listened to the interview of the authors of No More Perfect Kids, Jill Savage and Kathy Koch, on Focus on the Family. They discussed different points about the high expectations parents have for their children and more in this 3-part interview that I would love to share with you!

In a culture that is so perfection oriented, where parents feel like the behavior of their children is a direct reflection of themselves (Yes, me included even in these first 11 1/2 months…), it was such an encouragement to hear how important it is for us as parents to create an environment that is safe for our children to fail.

1. Excellence vs. Perfection

Excellence is attainable, perfection is not. We have these high expectations for our children and we often focus on what they are not doing well enough. Even if we are saying a lot of positive things, we need to remember that negativity is LOUD. Every child is dying to hear that they are LOVED and they are GOOD ENOUGH!

2. “Raise the children you were given, not the children you wish you had”

There is a two step process when your child is different than your expectations and dreams for them — GRIEVE and KNOW. Grieve the sadness you feel that you won’t be able to share in something that maybe you did or that you were hoping for them. Then, take the next step and really tune into who they are, study them, observe their interests. And, then, celebrate who they are, internally and externally.

3. “Come to Momma Attitude”

This concept is all about PROGRESS, not PERFECTION. It is based on the idea that when your child is learning how to walk, you are encouraging them to take more steps and “come to Momma”. The child usually takes a few steps, then falls down. We, as parents, celebrate those steps and encourage them to get back up and try again! So, when they turn 8, 9, 10 and they “take a few steps, and then fall down”, why do we see that as imperfection or unacceptable instead of progress?

4. “Perfection Infection Parenting”

Perfection Infection Parenting is not allowing our kids to fail, when failure is not safe and expectations are unrealistic. When this is the environment you create as a parent, you will spend all your time correcting your children, and not connecting with them. Good parenting needs both. Children need correcting but they also need to hear “I’M SO PROUD OF YOU.”! Connect with your children by asking them, How did you do it?, What caused the success?, What do you think you may do next?

As parents, we want a home and family environment to be open and honest, not a place where our children feel like they can’t fail. Don’t forget the power of encouragement! Also, don’t forget that your kids are watching you – How do you respond to your own failure? We need to show ourselves grace and show our kids grace, because of the grace that Jesus has already given for all of our failures! Ultimately, parenting is hard and I’ve learned that I am not in control of my child like I thought I would be (it’s been a long 8 months of struggling with the napping battle). So, pray, turn to God for wisdom in raising your children, and ask Him to show you how to love each child for who they were created to be!

Listen to the broadcast of Love Your Kids for Who They Are (Part 1)

[Part 2 and Part 3 are also available}

Buy the book No More Perfect Kids on Amazon or you make a donation of any amount to Focus on the Family and get this book as your gift!

Which of these points really resonated with you?

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I scream for ice cream!

I have a new favorite. Have you heard of this stuff?? It is AMAZING. 

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Why is it so good? It tastes good still like ice cream and is so much more healthy for you! It may not be as healthy on the wallet, but we all deserve a splurge once in a while right? It has more protein, less sugar, less fat, and only added natural sugars. And did I already say it tastes AMAZING?

INGREDIENTS:

 Milk and cream, eggs, erythritol, milk protein concentrate, brownie dough (flour [wheat], sugar, butter, cocoa [processed with alkali], soybean oil, white rice flour, vanilla extract, organic soy lecithin, salt), organic cane sugar, prebiotic fiber, high fat cocoa, vegetable glycerin, sea salt, natural flavors, organic carob gum, organic guar gum, organic stevia.

“so where’s the sugar?

In short, we use organic stevia. Stevia is a plant native to Paraguay that’s been used to sweeten foods and beverages for more than 200 years. And, because it’s so tasty, we use it as a sugar replacement. We also use Erythritol, which though it has a rather scientific-sounding name, is actually another all-natural sweetener found in fruits like pears and grapes. Though it’s technically a sugar alcohol, it’s unlike the others because erythritol doesn’t affect blood glucose or cause bloating.” -halo top website

Flavors

  • vanilla bean
  • chocolate
  • mint chip
  • cookies and cream
  • cookie dough
  • birthday cake
  • pistachio
  • red velvet
  • oatmeal cookie
  • peanut butter cup
  • smores
  • lemon cake
  • sea salt caramel
  • chocolate almond crunch
  • strawberry
  • black cherry
  • chocolate mocha chip

Social

Instagram: @halotopcreamery

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HaloTop/

GO TRY SOME!

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Valentine’s Day

Love is in the air…it’s Valentine’s day!!!

This Valentine is sent to each one of us from God!!! Read it and believe it..it will change your life!!FullSizeRender-1

Here are my Favorite Valentines…IMG_1702IMG_1708FullSizeRender-8IMG_3056      FullSizeRender-13FullSizeRender-9

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My little Valentines are irresistible, full of JOY and make me praise God for His blessings of family, EVERY DAY!

What brings you joy and puts a song in your heart?

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Date Night Ideas AT HOME

If you are a mom or dad of young ones, like me, it might be hard to get out for date nights as often as you would like. Or maybe you are more of a homebody, trying to save money, or wanting to plan a GIRL’S NIGHT in!

Whatever your situation, here are some great ideas to spend time with your special someone at home on Valentine’s Day.

FOOD IDEAS:

Make a fun, easy dinner

Cook together

Cook something new, or a fancy dinner you don’t usually make, but really like!

Order in!

Have an indoor picnic

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My favorite easy food is pizza. Form it in a heart, write with pepperoni and voila! a very special meal.

DESSERT and DRINKS:

Do a beer or wine tasting

Make ice cream sundaes

MOVIES:

Watch the first movie you ever watched together

Watch movie and make popcorn (pick the movie the day before so you don’t waste date night time picking a flick)

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PLAY:

Play a game for 2 – Puzzles, Card Games, Boggle, Scattergories, Carcassone, Settlers of Catan

Play video games.

Trivia Game – How Well Do You Know Your Partner, How Well Do You Know Me?, Newlywed Game

ACTIVE:

Do a home workout together

Put the kids in the stroller and go on a walk around the neighborhood. But talk about YOU, not the kids!

Do yoga together

Do Karaoke. Seriously. YouTube “Karaoke Songs With Lyrics” and get singing!!

Do this silly couples challenge: Try to go all the way around your spouse without touching the ground. It’s really funny AND requires you get very close. Should start some sparks as you laugh!

ROMANTIC:

Look at your wedding album. Share your favorite moments.

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Plan a date night for the future.

View More: http://jennadawnrenfrow.pass.us/couples

Plan a trip together. View More: http://jennadawnrenfrow.pass.us/couples

Share your favorite thing about the other person. See how many things you can list!View More: http://jennadawnrenfrow.pass.us/couples

We hope you enjoy this list and use some of these ideas this Valentine’s Day. Let us know if you do, and of course share YOUR ideas so we can add to our list for next year!

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To Red Card or Not to Red Card

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To Red Card or not to Red Card, that is the question??…. But it shouldn’t even be a question! I held off for so long, but wow am I so grateful that I finally bit the bullet and signed up. I know, I know every time you go through the Target line they ask you if you want a Red Card… It may get old, but they really are only trying to help your quality of life. How many of you shop at Target weekly, or maybe even daily some weeks? How many of you have trouble keeping track of all your receipts? How many of you like free shipping? And how many of you like discounts and added benefits? If you raised your hand or said me to any of those questions, I think it may be time you take advantage of the Target Red Card. You may be thinking, “really, one more card”, but did you know it doesn’t have to even be a credit card? You get a debit card that is linked to your bank account with no credit charges or fees. So what are the actual benefits?

  • 5% off all purchases
  • Keeps track of all purchases
  • Longer time to return items
  • Free shipping on all online purchases
  • You make the target workers so happy when you get to say you already have one
  • Special Pharmacy rewards

5%… really??  That’s 5% on all food, gifts, baby items, clothes, sales, clearance items…. It’s a great savings on top of great deals already!

How can you say no??

So next time that friendly person in the red shirt asks you, say yes! It has definitely improved my life, helped my budget, and rewarded my spending habits.

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