Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

Happy Valentine’s Day from the Growing Weisser family!

Here are a few of my favorite Valentines…….. So adorable-little Garrett!!!

Rachel, Mikah, Ellie and Hanna fill our hearts with joy! Adorable Hanna and Mikah …Love and hearts everywhere! Fun and spunky Sophie who gets the award for #1 BEST big sister to Hezi!!!Precious Hezi and his new smile! Jorde having  yummy bowl of ice cream! Zeke making Valentines.Reese and her new bicycle.Calvin is always a happy boy.My sweet husband had these gorgeous flowers on the counter for me this morning. I gathered with some wonderful girlfriends to make homemade bagels that I am giving my sweet husband for his Valentine’s day treat.

The following Valentine is my absolute favorite…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!!

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Italian Roasted Chicken and Vegetable Soup

On a cold winter night a big bowl of this hearty soup served with a crusty piece of bread and a salad is a wonderful dinner for family and friends. We had some special friends over last week and I served this and it was a hit. You can roast your vegetables ahead of time and cook your chicken in the crockpot or use leftover shredded chicken. Bethany tried a very similar recipe from www.againstallgrain.com and let me taste it. I loved the Italian spices because it reminded me of the food we ate on our anniversary trip this fall so I made some Growing Weisser adaptations to make it our own. Here are the ingredients I used…

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cubed
  • 6 stalks celery cut into ½ inch slices
  • 1-2 leeks washed and cut into ½ inch rounds
  • 3 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 2 yellow onion
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 cups chicken stock, store-bought or homemade
  •  2 pounds uncooked chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 2  teaspoons sea salt
  • 2-3 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2-3 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 2-3 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2  teaspoon seasoned pepper
  • 3-4 zucchini cut into ¼ inch slices
  • 4-6 cups baby spinach

I chose to cook my chicken the day before in a crock pot. I used a box of chicken bone broth from Costco to add protein and a richness in flavor. I cooked the 4 large frozen chicken breasts on high in the crockpot for 4-5 hours. If your chicken is fresh or thawed you can probably cook on low for 4 hours or on high for 2-3 hours. While the chicken was cooking I roasted my vegetables by cutting the onion in cubes and tossing …

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Spiritually Fit


What does it mean to be healthy? What kinds of things do you do to be healthy? We pour so much time and effort into healthy living, healthy eating, healthy habits, and healthy thinking. It takes intentional effort. It takes planned out thought. It takes discipline. It takes saying yes to certain things and no to others. In the moment you may be what you think might be sacrificing, but you are trying to make certain choices, change, and change your lifestyle because of the lasting benefit. Health is such a focus of the new year, but let’s look into it from a different perspective.

Some people call it dieting, others call it healthy living. But it is all the same thing. It all comes down to changing your actions to change the effect. What should really be focusing on is creating a healthy lifestyle.  Because then it isn’t just a fad, the newest trend, or a temporary phase. A changed lifestyle lasts. When you first start a diet you usually cut things out or add things in.  Have less dessert throughout the week, make healthier choices at meals, and control your portions.  The more established those habits become, the more routine it becomes.  It becomes second nature to make healthy choices. It becomes a part of who you are.  Usually over time you prefer the good things rather than the instant pleasure of the not so healthy things. Your appetite changes. Your cravings change. And you change.

Often times faith and a spiritual life is seen as something that is regimented and monitored.  You have to “do” all these things to feel close to God.  There is a continual push to read your Bible, pray, and be surrounded by good people. And we say it is because you …

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Simple Ways to Connect

Do you find a whole week goes by and you haven’t found one moment for yourself, you feel like you have accomplished nothing, or you don’t remember what you did in the week? As the new year has begun, I have been trying to think of simple ways I can connect. Ways I can connect to God, to myself, to my husband, to my boy, and with the world around me. As I have reflected the ways I want to grow, I have discovered some simple ways that can ground me, keep me connected, and make me feel more fulfilled.

Connecting with God

  • Prayer- I really like when I make intentional effort to pray at specific times or for specific things. It helps me remember and is something consistent. Like when I drive I can pray for my community. When I get ready in the morning I can pray for my family. When I serve food we can always pray before a meal. When I get ready for bed I can thank God for where I saw him that day
  • Time in Scripture- It is so easy for whole days to pass by and I totally forget to even think about God. Great things I have found are the
    • First 5 App
    • If Gathering App
    • She Reads truth App
    • The Bible App
  • Worship Music- A great way to get in touch with the Lord through song, worship, praise. Listen to the words
  • Podcasts- Find your favorite pastors or favorite churches podcasts. Listen while you drive, walk, run, do dishes, etc.

Connecting with Yourself:

  • What do you like to do? Think of one thing you can do a week for yourself
  • Journal
  • Focus on being thankful: I used a thankfulness journal for years and loved it
  • 5 minutes a day book:
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Goal Setting for 2018

Do you set goals for the new year? The more I listen to and learn from successful people the more I hear the same thing: When you make goals and write down your goals they get programmed in your mind.

What you focus on, you find.

Let’s start by defining GOALS. Goals are not “dreams.”

The difference between a dream and a goal is dreams are a fantasy, the have no boundaries. Dreams can guide your passions, yes. However, dreams are a goal without legs. Goals are a clear and vivid target that you want to attain. “SEE THE TARGET. HIT THE TARGET.” Goals are always accompanied by a plan and action.

How do you set goals?

  1. Decide what you want to accomplish
  2. Devise a plan with small action steps
  3. Work on the plan to achieve your desired results

This week, I attended a goal setting workshop. I loved how they separated goals into categories: Faith, Family, Business/Work, Fun, Fitness and Health, and FREAKY (goals that literally freak you out!).

Tips for setting goals:

  1. choose goals that are worthwhile
  2. opt for goals that are achievable
  3. make your goals specific
  4. be committed to your goals

I liked the SMART acronym that we used in my training.

S – Specific

M – Measurable

A – Attainable

R – Relevant

T – Timely

How to start?

Write down your goals for each category. Remember, what you focus on you find. So focusing on your goals is going to keep those goals in the forefront of your mind. You will think of your goals, envision yourself accomplishing those goals, and therefore get into action.

Each goal should have action steps. How are you going to achieve that goal? What is one thing you can do every day to move toward that goal. Here’s another …

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A Sticker Chart for a New Year

My focus for the year is to get more organized. This “organized” is all encompassing, including organizing the things in my home, my scheduling with a better routine, and my mindset as a mom. The “mindset as a mom” is a big one for me as I have often felt recently like I am always catching up instead of being ahead of the kids’ new transitions and phases. As a result, I am wanting to do more intentional parenting this year so that I can feel more on top of what my kids are going through and have a more smooth ride through each phase.

Lately, Sophie has been as curious as ever and testing more and more with each new day. It is sometimes hard to remember that just as I am learning everyday more of how to be a mom, she is learning how to go about life and how to grow and develop through different stages of life. And with that comes a lot of frustration and days filled with “No”. I was tired of having the same day over and over again and not doing anything to make a change.

Sophie has been very into stickers recently! She loves to make cards with stickers to send to her cousins and she loves to put stickers on her shirt. I decided to take this new interest and match it with something to encourage good behavior- A Sticker Chart! It is so simple to make and, so far, quite effective!

Here’s what I did…

  1. Choose your categories – Find a few tasks that your child can work on where you know they will be able to have some success. This is important for them to understand the concept of the sticker chart and to feel encouraged to continue
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Fruit and Nut Healthy Snack Bars

Fruit and Nut Healthy Snack Bars will be your new go-to snack for on-the-go nutrition. Packed full of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory foods, this bar will be a new family favorite. They are easy to make and they freeze easily. Have fun adding other dried fruits and nuts that you like for a variety of flavors. You can substitute apple sauce or pumpkin puree for the banana. I love having an easy snack to reach for in the mid-afternoon that will curb my sweet-tooth and give me a quick dose of high energy food. For so many of us that over extended in many ways during the holidays (excessive lack of sleep, overindulgence in activities and over eating) , this healthy snack bar is a great option. Bake up a batch and enjoy!



1 cup oats
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
1/2 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup coconut flour (nonfat dried milk can be used)
1/4 cup ground flax seed meal
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 large eggs
1 ripe banana, peeled mashed (unsweetened applesauce can replace banana)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Coat a 9 × 13-inch baking pan with nonstick spray. Combine the oats, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, apricots, pecans, raisins, cranberries, coconut flour, flax seed meal, and cinnamon in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is finely chopped. In a separate bowl combine the syrup, eggs, mashed banana, and vanilla and mix until well combined. Add dry ingredients from food processor to wet mixture in the bowl and stir until combined. Transfer the mixture to the pan and press down. Bake 20-25 minutes until the mixture is golden brown and firm to the …

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Margins for the New Year-Simplifying my Life

Busyness verging on chaos with a schedule so packed I sometimes felt like I had NO TIME for sleeping or breathing. My 2017 was marked by an unexpected remodel of a major portion of our house. This disruption of my regular life was disconcerting and ridiculously frustrating on many levels but in the process, I learned so much about myself. In the end, I LOVE the changes and the openness of the living room, dining room and kitchen area. I love the lightness I feel with so much of the clutter gone and less stuff everywhere. But the process was VERY DIFFICULT for me. I had to face some of the ugly realities of my “too busy” schedule. What could have been fun and enjoyable often felt like a burden and there seemed to be so much wasted time. The experience was stressful for me, since I am the queen of “efficiency”—-someone who really does NOT like wasting time. I spent much of 2017 trying to stay organized in a very disorganized environment.

So in 2018 my theme is simplifying my life-MARGINS for the new year-created by scheduling pockets of unscheduled time in my life on a regular basis. My expectation is to allow more time for God to surprise me with His agenda.  Welcoming and having quality time for the unexpected phone call, the spontaneous invitation to go for a walk with a friend, more time to read, send encouraging notes and pray for people I know and love. More time to serve, more time to enjoy each precious moment with my grandchildren. More time to invest in the lives of others. Time to minister to the poor and raise awareness, getting others involved in Gogo Grandmothers where friends and I can be putting our love in action to …

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Sweet and Spicy Chex Mix

Happy New Year! We are back with many wonderful ideas to share. Even though it is a week past New Year’s Eve and most of us have put away all our holiday decorations…there may be a gathering or two that pop up this month and you may need a sweet and savory snack to take to share with friends and family. Here is a tasty and somewhat healthy easy to make snack to make and take.

Chex Mix has been an American favorite for years. This special sweet and savory version is an adaptation from a recipe that a dear friend makes every year. We were recipients of this snack mix for many years before I decided to ask if she would share her secret concoction. I have adapted it so that it is a bit healthier.

8 cups dry cereal (Wheat Chex, Corn Chex, Rice Chex, Crispix)
1 cup goldfish
1 cup mini twist pretzels
3 cups unsalted mixed nuts
1 ½ sticks of unsalted butter
6 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1-2 teaspoons worchestershire
3-4 cloves garlic smashed (or 2 teaspoons garlic powder)
1-2 Tablespoons curry powder

Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Melt butter in a small saucepan (or in the microwave0. add brown sugar, chili powder, worchestershire sauce, garlic and curry powder. Stir until all flavors are blended and the butter is melted. Pour melted flavored butter sauce over dry ingredients and mix carefully to coat all. Pour mixture into a large shallow baking tin or two and spread out so chex mix will cook evenly. Bake in a 250 degree oven for 1 ½ hours. Stir every ½ hour. Remove from oven and let cool. Store in an airtight container. Lasts for a few weeks. This is one of our favorite …

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Emmanuel-God with Us

From the Hebrew name עִמָּנוּאֵל (‘Immanu’el) meaning “God is with us”. This was the foretold name of the Messiah in the Old Testament. It has been used in England since the 16th century in the spellings Emmanuel and Immanuel.

This is not a personal name. In Isaiah 7:14 it is fulfilled, not in the naming of Jesus, but in the whole account of His origin and naming. It is not that Jesus ever bore the name Immanuel but that it indicates His role, bringing God’s presence to man. Matthew showed that the virgin conception was not something new, but that it had been predicted by the prophet Isaiah. God is now with the people to save them as the prophets have predicted. Therefore “God is with us” would not so much describe the exact nature of Jesus, but rather that God has been gracious to His people by sending His Messiah.

When the conception of Jesus was announced to Joseph the angel told him that a son would be born who would be called Immanuel – God with us. The phrase may be emphasizing the truth of the gospel that God became a human being in Jesus Christ. It is also possible that Matthew is emphasizing that God was faithful to His promises in sending the Messiah to His people the Jews.

Devotional about Jesus our Emmanuel….

This is another name given to Jesus. Jesus was truly one with God – taking on humanity to bring reconciliation between God and us.

This was the only way to bring us back into relationship with God. God came as a baby, then grew to be a man – He walked, talked and had fellowship with humanity in the person of Jesus – Emmanuel – God with us.

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