Tag Archives: Holidays

The Season of Giving

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It has been an amazing week so far and it’s only Wednesday! It was the idea of some of my co-workers to partner up with a local Spanish radio station here in Amarillo and host a toy drive to benefit the families we work with.  This took place this past Saturday, Sunday and Monday and I am absolutely floored by the response of Amarillo’s Hispanic community.

I was so blessed to see some of these families come and donate bags upon bags of brand new toys. I wasn’t sure I wanted to blog about it but I just had too.  I wanted to share some the special stories I heard while on location.

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We had one mom bring all of her son’s birthday gifts. Harsh right? Lol that was my first thought but then she said that she told him if she could donate the 10 toys she knew he wouldn’t play with, she would buy him a toy he really wanted.  Of course he agreed and she brought us a huge bag full of brand new toys.  Not only is she helping our agency and the families out but she is showing her son the importance of giving things we really don’t need.  Although there was a definite reward for her son, maybe when he is a dad he will do the same thing with his kids and bless 10 more people!

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We also had a the Army donate 32 pairs of pajamas for our families! What a blessing! Who wouldn’t love One Direction and Spiderman PJs!

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A local horse track, Carril San Carlos, came and donated a couple of large remote control toys and some precious life-like baby dolls.
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We had plenty of women go in and take their kids; however, I was amazed of the response of the men taking their families and explaining to them that these toys were going to bless someone.

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Through these strangers acts of kindness God really spoke to me.  I realized that even something as small as donating a toy can bless so many more people than just those who receive the toy. I was absolutely blessed. I went home so emotional and amazed.  We always say we live in a horrible, cold world….but the fact is….there are still so many good people out there. People want to give…sometimes they just don’t know where their donations or time could be used. A big thanks to Viva Media and La Super Economica for helping us so much and giving their time!

I challenge you to look in your community to see if there are any shelters, non-profits or even just families that could use some help.  Some of the kids your child goes to school with may or may not have food to eat when they get home….they may or may not have heat….they may or may not have the warmth of love…ALL YEAR AROUND. You don’t have to do it by yourself! You can serve as a light for your community and just like fire that light will spread. You could get your place of employment to put together a small toy drive or maybe get food together.

My desire to be a light in my community has grown so much this year. It has filled me up so much more than any paycheck or materialistic thing could ever fill me. It’s a high! Who would like to get high with me!  Be blessed!  – Moni ❤

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Happy Thanksgiving!

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I hope you all had a blessed Thanksgiving like I did! I had a day full of food, family and football!  Yay for a Cowboy win! I wanted to share a couple of things that I am extremely thankful for this year!

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I am thankful for Jesus Christ. He died so that I could be alive in Him. I don’t know where I would be without God’s word, his mercy and his grace!

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I am thankful for my sweet husband. I’m so glad to say that I have a partner that truly has my back. It is not 50/50 in our marriage…it is 100/100. We have grown so much this year and I’m excited to see what 2014 brings!
 
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I am thankful for my baby. He is the best thing that has ever happened to me. He keeps me motivated and on my toes. He makes me laugh with his funny stories and he melts my heart with the love he has for God.

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I am thankful for my entire family…both my family and my husbands family. I’m so blessed to have so many people that love us! 

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I am thankful for my church family, Amarillo for Christ. They have all been there for me this year. I love the things that God has done within our young adults ministry!

I am thankful for my job at FSS. I had been searching for a job like mine for so long. I know God had this place for me. I have grown to love the families that we work with. It is so filling to know that we are doing something to help these families be successful. Pronews 7 covered our program tonight. Here is the link to the report:

I am hitting the sheets now. It has been such an amazing couple of weeks. I pray that you and your families are just as blessed this holiday season. Goodnight – Moni ❤

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Overnight Turkey

I went grocery shopping the other day at my local United Supermarket and found a 23lb. turkey for $0.57 a pound! I brought it home and my husband was just as excited as I was! I was going to save it for Thanksgiving but my husband is a truck driver and had a long layover in Albuquerque so I decided to surprise him when he got home. We can eat turkey all day, every day…especially in November!

This is the recipe that I’ve used for about three years and I love it!  It’s a mix between Mom’s recipe and my mother in laws recipe. You will want to start the seasoned butter the day before to give it enough time to cool. This is what you need:

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Lipton onion soup mix, a couple of lemons, celery, butter, pineapple juice, salt, thyme, rosemary, garlic powder,  poultry seasoning and of course a turkey! 

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The day before melt two sticks of butter.
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You are then going to add about a tablespoon of each of these ingredients plus one package of onion soup mix (not pictured) to the melted butter.

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Once all the ingredients are added then your going to put the mixture in a ziplock bag and freeze it.

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The next day you will start with your defrosted and rinsed turkey. Make sure and take the neck and giblets out. The first time I made a turkey I forgot to take out the giblets. Lol.

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After your turkey is cleaned and patted dry, chop up the lemons and some celery and stuff them inside the turkey like so.

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(I failed to get photos of the frozen butter but I’ll explain it.)
After your turkey is stuffed with the lemons and celery take your frozen herbed butter out of the freezer and chop it up into quarter size pieces. Take a knife and slide it under the skin of the turkey to loosen it up some. Once it is all separated a bit start sliding your butter quarters in between the skin. This will give the turkey a yummy buttery flavor. If you have butter left over like I did rub it over the top of the turkey.

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Now you are ready to out the turkey in the oven bag. (Oven bags are heaven sent! 😉 Make sure and slit it at the top right before you put it in the oven!) Once it’s in there I added about two cups of pineapple juice. This gives it an amazing tangy flavor and helps with moisture.

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Secure the bag and stick it in the roasting pan you are planning to use.

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Then stick your turkey in a preheated 350 degree oven for an HOUR. I started mine at about 11:00 PM.

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In one hour lower the temperature to 225 degrees and let it cook all night. I woke up at around 8:00 AM and the little pop up that came with the turkey had already popped up. I then raised the temperature back to 300 degrees and left it for 30 minutes.

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After the 30 minutes are up, check the temperature and make sure it reads at least 165 degrees. Once it does then your done! Your turkey will have a crispy buttered skin and a juicy inside!

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Excuse the chunk missing on the side…I couldn’t help myself. Haha. If you have any questions please let me know! 🙂

I hope this helps make your holiday season yumilicious! -Moni

Living a Thankful Life

It’s November ya’ll!  I can’t believe we are approaching the holiday season so soon. This year has been a year on ups and downs…but mostly ups. I’ve learned to live…in Him…laugh…at the enemy…and love…just to love. I started a new job. I started singing again. I built new relationships with amazing friends. There is just so much to be thankful for.

I’ve never been good at the whole 30 days of thankfulness on social media.  I usually start late or forget a couple days.  I don’t mean to bash anyone that does it; however, we should be this thankful every single day of the year.  If we made it our mission to post what we are thankful for every day, our blessings would noticeably take over our burdens.

I started a new job this year in working not only with lower income and less fortunate families, but families that are dealing with tough situations.  It was an absolute eye opener and made me realize how selfish and inconsiderate I can be sometimes.

Some families in our community have NOTHING. Parents are sleeping on floors to let their children sleep on the only bed they have. Kids are going to school hungry. Some families are struggling with illnesses and parents are doing without medication to be able to put food on the table. It is a very real truth here in the Texas panhandle.  Although many families in our community struggle for very different reasons I have found one thing they all have in common…they are THANKFUL for what they do have.

I have yet to meet a family that is bitter because of the situation they are going through. I always sense a speck of HOPE and GRATITUDE.  I can’t help but think…Gosh, I’m such a horrible person. I have a home. I have a healthy family. I have food. I have a job. I have transportation. I have so much more than I could ever need…but yet sometimes I so easily let the enemy get in the way of my gratitude. That, my friend, is a sad situation.

In a season when it is socially acceptable to want…want…and want some more, I’m challenging myself to make it my priority to be excessively grateful for the life God has blessed me with. I encourage you to do the same.  I know it will not only bless you but also bless any who witness your gratitude.  I also encourage you to give a little more, not only material donations but give your time and share the love that Christ has shared with you.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

-Moni ❤

Ps. I’m thankful for painted skies!
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