Thursday, April 26, 2018 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Loving your neighbor...

You are a good neighbor! How can you be a better neighbor? Be a grateful neighbor? Show gratitude to your neighbor, which I may need help with? Loving no your neighbor is something I posted and want to share with you here...

I have to share! I can't hold it in!
We have new neighbors and got to meet the sweet family of four today. Our hearts are both rejoicing for their new adventure but missing the former. We knew long ago this day would come for their growing dreams needed more room. They are still part of our lives and that just makes this story better.

When I got my house two-yrs-ago, I did so, then took time moving my family. I was meeting a couple across the street one afternoon, when I glanced across the street at my house and noticed this young man edging his drive, came down the street curb and kept going up my drive. It was then I realized he had mowed my grass too! I had not yet made it to my house in this meet and greet. I ran over, met him and was overjoyed, offering to pay him as, in my head, sorting through my single mom budget. I was new to doing all this on my own too. For two-yrs since, he has refused to take money. So I tried to bake for them or something but I never was able to repay this deed he did for me and the times he came to my aid for other things I couldn't possibly list esp that first year.

They bought and moved into their new home last week, returning Monday to not only mow the lawn of his former residence, but...mine too! I asked him in a text, to recommend someone because I trusted him. I knew he was busy so I thought I would get back with him later.

Today, when we got home from golf practice with Special Olympics, dirty and sweaty, I saw different cars at the house and went to say hi, welcome them and give them our phone number, etc. The dad was immediate saying, "Oh, hi, Ms Rita...btw don't worry about the yard, I will take care of it!"

I teared up! Seriously, in awe of not only being cherished and loved by the former neighbors but the extent of them selling their home and telling them, guess what goes with the house? Lol maybe not quit that way, but them already knowing about Garrett, which they did, and then me, goes beyond the "Love thy neighbor" even as thyself and the least of these.

I came home and took my little family knees bent in prayer, thanking God for what we have in family designed by Him. My heart is so full of gratitude and thankfulness for how He has poured out His love within His grace and mercy outside of myself, our four walls and into our community.

May I be an example of gratitude. Thank you to my neighbors, all of them, my family. I am thankful and we are all blessed. God is always good and we are always loved. To Him be all the glory and praise!
Saturday, April 21, 2018 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Expressions to Impressions

Each week, the coffee shop is a buzz with people coming and going ordering, picking up and enjoying their favorite coffee, tea, food and my son sits with some of them sharing news, sports, weather or common group topics while I focus on Bible study or reading a book. There are police officers, preachers and those that serve our military that come in and Garrett is in tune if they need a coffee "on him." One gentleman in particular, comes in almost every time Garrett is there on his regular day, wearing jeans and casual wear. However, yesterday, I was in just to pick up coffee when he came in wearing a suit. Now, guys, everyone stops and takes a second glance if you wear a suit, tux or a uniform, especially tailored! Hello!

I wish I was better with words so that you could feel, see and know the impact of what I'm about to share. Last night, a notice came to me sharing some urgent news of a ruling coming down regarding a case that was in our courts of a series of crimes committed one night randomly by individuals. My heart hurt for the depth of reality these young men were living now, coming the rest of their lives, the victims of that night, families of all of these involved on both sides: the mother's, the fathers, and all. 

The ripple of the pebble dropped in the water went beyond these people to four hours away that very night three-years-ago. I won't forget the night. Our bus pulled into the arena of Troy University loaded with repesentatives of Decatur Parks and Morgan County and  we unloaded. Carrying a banner, excitement radiating the smiles of every participant as they went past each and all the law enforcement officers lining the entrance. The many Special Olympic teams were introduced and found their place to sit for opening ceremonies for the 2015 State Games.  The Morgan County Sheriffs and Decatur Police Departments cheered, yelled, high fived their team as they entered. When it came time for the torch to come in and be lit, one of our own team members was escorted. The law enforcement went into formation, led by one of finest Decatur Police. It was then I took it all of n, but didn't realize until after the program, all of our local law enforcement were armed, badged and ready. As I sat there praying for these, I remembered the strain in their faces as we met and greeted prior to our entrance and how they held tight while being ever present for the least of these. 

While a crew of law enforcement were at home working to protect our community, another was supporting a group of kids and their families. Separating themselves which is impossible to do, but ready to leave and speed back home. When this came across my notifications last night, not knowing if this suit clad officer was testifying in that case or not, I thought of these people's work and how their expressions to impressions are guarded to influence to protect but to still live those the serve. 

We are called to do the same. The situations or circumstances in our lives bea may be measured minor to severe, but that isn't for me to judge, I've lived a life if experienced, we all have. However, you call someone a name, hurt someone in someway, steal their idea at work, don't share the spotlight at church, posts a thing directed toward someone that's hurtful or shared rumors or a piece of gossip, the ripple affect is there. The love isn't expressed and the impression is of you not them. The ripple affect of a post goes beyond your page to your family, children, coworkers, neighbors, church, believers and those you may want to win to Christ. The ripple even lasts for years and generations. Expressions to impressions begins with s choice. These young men were so young, committed a long series of crimes in a matter of hours, and will spend a long time away.

 A choice. A word. A post. A changed life. You can be toxic or you can be the balm that heals. 

 Expressions to Impressions.

 Love and Hugs, Rita
Thursday, September 14, 2017 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Easy Peazy Potato Salad Recipe

Potatoes. They are a staple in a lot of homes. When I was growing up, fried potatoes was on our supper table almost every night. It use to frustrate my mother that she could cook or bake almost anything better than anyone else, in my opinion, but fried potatoes. My grandmother made the best fried potatoes ever. I don't know what she did different, but when she saw us coming, I got two things, her fried potatoes and a huge vase of flowers. I loved her so much and sitting on their porch swing with her, talking about everything was always the best. 

When I make anything that requires boiled diced potatoes, I boil my potatoes whole, skin and all. The pealing slides right off easily once the potatoes cool. Then I can cut them any way I want. This is a great way to make twice baked potatoes too. Once you have boiled the potatoes and peeled them then you can make the potato salad...told you that this would be easy!

Easy Peazy Potato Salad

4 cups of boiled potatoes, diced
1 medium onion, chopped finely
1/2 cup celery, chopped finely
1/4 cup dill pickle relish
1 tablespoon mustard (I like the honey flavored)
1 container of fat-free sour cream
1 package Hidden Valley Ranch Mix
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Mix all the ingredients together and serve cold. My son, Garrett, likes to warm the potato salad. It is an individual preference I suppose. Regardless, it is "supper" easy to make. If you have extra potatoes, they freeze easily. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Turkey Burger Sliders with wine sauce recipe

I stand constantly amazed at today's technology. Where once, Granddaddy, watched the football game on local network television and listened to it on a local radio station, now, you can watch it through cable or via your phone. There are multiple apps that you can use to get scores, watch the actual games, several at a time matter of fact or get the highlights. It is interesting how things change. One thing that hasn't changed is food. With football games, I associate hot chocolate, blankets and pom poms. That is what we always carried to local games, but then there was food afterwards. Now, for as long as I can remember, college football has brought the halftime party. Here once again, we added Turkey Burger Sliders to the weekend's menu. Mini burgers that we put inside of gluten free biscuits! I know, can't image, but it was the perfect size and my family loved them more than the tiny rolls I could have bought. Added the  homemade slaw and fixing to the burger and it was a hit!

Turkey Burger Sliders 
with Wine Sauce Recipe

3 lbs of ground turkey
1 large bell pepper, chopped finely
1 large onion, chopped finely
1 egg. beaten slightly
1/2 cup of Italian bread crumbs (gluten free)
1/2 teaspoon each: cilantro, black pepper, garlic

Wine Sauce
1/2 cup red wine
2 tablespoons of bbq sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Mix the meat well and make into small mini burger. Grill or place on a broiler pan and bake at 375 degrees until well done. Remove and place in a baking dish. Whisk together the sauce ingredients well and pour over each burger. Put in the over for ten-minutes. Serve hot.

This makes a great meatloaf too, but I do make more of the sauce to cover the meatloaf really well. Thinking I will try this in a shepherds pie as well. There are so many ideas going through my mind as I share recipes with you. I love cooking now that I have a full kitchen. Living with a two-eye burner, microwave, and a toaster oven for five-years really has made me appreciate this gift that God has blessed me with. There are many reasons we eat at home, it's healthier, saves money, but the main reason is because I am loving having a kitchen. I look where God has brought Garrett and I from and my son and I are so blessed and thankful. I think of that song that has a phrase, "If you could see where He brought me from to where I am today, then you would know..." God is always enough regardless where you are at and He will see you through even when you are afraid He isn't working, He is.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Pulled BBQ Roast with Pineaople Coconut Rice Recipe

I hate to shop! Yup, starting off with a negative. Regardless, if you saw my filing system, you would totally believe me. I go to one department store once a week taking my mother to do her usual shopping and then I take Garrett to his favorite places. I don't go to the mall or the favorite places my girlfriends like to shop. Once, my BFF/daughter called me and asked where I was. When I told her I was shopping she got really excited until I told her I was at a sporting good store. Then she said, "I hope you are shopping for clothes." I replied that I wasn't, I was getting golf gloves for Garrett and looking at guns. She about screamed at me. It was too funny! 

When I do shop, especially for groceries, I look for the best prices and I prep the food when I get home. The meat gets tenderized and seasoned before going into the freezer. That is what I did with this beef roast. I took it out of the packing, pierced it with a fork all over, added meat tenderizer, placed it in a ziplock bag, poured a bottle of bbq sauce over it and one bottle of beer. Then when I was ready to use it, I took it out of the freezer the night before and let it thaw overnight.

The following morning, I placed the whole thing in a crockpot sprayed with cooking spray and let the roast cook for six-hours on medium. When I was ready for it, I sauteed a large chopped onion, pulled the roast and added it to the onion, then added 1/2 teaspoon each of paprika, sea salt, garlic, cilantro, cinnamon and rosemary. I allowed that to heat for 1 minute before adding 1/4 cup of low sodium soy sauce, stirring thoroughly. Sitting that aside. I got the pineapple and drained the liquid into a 4-cup measuring cup and poured the pineapple into the still hot skillet of meat and stirred so the pineapple will warm but not cook. For the rice, I took the 4-cup measuring cup with a bit of pineapple juice and finished filling it up with coconut water and prepared my rice for the dish. 

It was amazing! The pineapple juice and coconut water gave the meat a complimentary flavor since the soy sauce was used on the meat. I am curious now if this would make a good Asian soup for the winter. I may have to try it. Next time I will add egg rolls to the menu. 

As you have seen in my chicken recipes made using the crockpot, a bottle of beer poured over the meat makes a big difference in tenderizing. However, if you are having guest over, it would be a great compliment to them to make sure nobody is struggling with this beverage. A friend of mine said that she can taste it when she goes out to eat and sometimes it will trigger her past. I simple ask, "I will be making my chicken salad and this is how I usually make my there anything in my prep that you are allergic too?" I am allergic to gluten so if you use whiskey in your sauce for your steaks...I will need my epipen! Just saying... It is always good to check for nut allergies too... Yup, I'm allergic to these too! It happens, but it is still worth opening your kitchen to others. You don't want to miss the fun and fellowship.

Monday, September 11, 2017 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Sweet Coleslaw Dressing Recipe

Football season is here and that means that the halftime party brings food. Each week, I look for fun filled ideas to make the games fun for my son, Garrett. He loves Alabama football and the Atlanta Falcons, so needless to say, the weekends are packed with fun, food and football! Welcome fall!

This past weekend, it was meat and potatoes, a manly kind of snack buffet turned into a supper since the game was mid-afternoon. As a side and to top the turkey burger sliders, we had homemade slaw. It would have been easier to just buy and container of slaw, but, one, it is cheaper to make your own, and two, it make a whole lot more when you do. 

You will need at least 4 cups of shredded cabbage, carrots, onion and whatever more you want in your slaw. I know that you can also purchase pre-shredded slaw mix at some produce sections of grocers too. This dressing is really good and could be used on salads as well. It will keep in the fridge for about a week if you want it for another meal.

Sweet Coleslaw Dressing Recipe

1 cup of vegan or fat-free mayonnaise
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
1 tablespoons of sugar or sugar substitute
1 1/2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon of lemon (more if you family likes lemon)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon of sea salt
1 package of Hidden Valley Ranch mix (one of my favorite)

Mix thoroughly together and pour over cabbage. 
Stir the cabbage making sure it is coated completely with the dressing. 

My mother use to make a mayo dressing slaw, but then we would get a vinegar based slaw at one of our favorite BBQ restaurants. It is interesting the different ways you can have something so simple as slaw. I loved it on hot dogs as a kid too.  Sneaking cabbage into salads and soups is a great way to get my family to eat it and experience the freshness of that vegetable. It is crunchy and vibrant without all the sweetness of a dressing...however, it is nice to have the option once in a while of something a bit different and a bit fun. Enjoy...

Sunday, September 10, 2017 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Left-over BBQ Chicken and Dressing Recipe with a bit of Cheese

Once again, finding yourself standing at the fridge thinking, "What am I going to feed them tonight?" I can't tell you the last time I had this happen. Due to whatever circumstance or situation I was living in, I had to adapt to that and the menus and supplies had to be on hand to prepare the food for every meal. Now, I plan, but it may be three to four days in advance with tons of flexibility. Then, like last Saturday, I made food for the football half-time and didn't have to cook until Wednesday! It was fabulous! I made bread...that was it!

So, when I had left over BBQ chicken, I made a couple of casseroles. This was one of them, a dressing that was creamy as well as hosting a crisp topping. I even had cranberries on hand to have with it. Using left-overs is a great opportunity to make casseroles, soups, stews, and even dips. Did you know you can make your own bread crumbs from day old bread? What about chips? You can use them too in your bread crumbs or you can make your own chips! I love making our tortilla chips. I can't say that Kale Chips are my favorite, I would rather have kale in my salads or with my greens.

So, let's make a dressing...

Left-over BBQ Chicken and Dressing
with a bit of Cheese

2 cups of BBQ Chicken, cooked, chopped or pulled
1 large onion, chopped finely
1 green bell pepper, chopped finely
2 large eggs, beaten slightly
5 cups vegetarian broth
1/2 a pan prepared cornbread, crumbled 
(I make a large iron skillet size)
1 cup of shredded cheese (fat-free)
1/2 teaspoon each parsley, black pepper 
(Garrett loves it, use less if desired), cilantro, Italian seasoning
1/8 teaspoon garlic
* sage, optional...I don't use sage because it has been known to enhance seizures.


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Mix the ingredients together, yup, with your hands! Get messy!
The mixture should be slightly moist. If not, add a bit of broth or milk.
Pour into a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.
Bake for 35 minutes or until top is slightly brown.
Serve hot.

This is great served with sour cream, cranberries, mashed cauliflower (love them), greens or a large salad. If you freeze this dressing, bake 3/4 the way done, then when you are ready to enjoy, thaw and finish baking the remaining time. 

Saturday, September 9, 2017 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Left-over BBQ Chicken and Cheesy Rice Casseroe

What can I say? I am a truly blessed momma! Two days a week, Garrett has my lunch ready for me so that we can leave for his Special Olympic activities. I may get a soy butter and dill pickle sandwich (lol actually happened once) to a turkey and cheese lettuce wrap. However, when I have been really blessed, I get something like this: a banana and supper warm chicken rice casserole from supper the night before! I love this boy to pieces! I get napkins, a real fork, and then a cup for my coffee! He is the Hallmark Movie wrapped up in a son.

Using left-overs is something I have done ever since I learned to cook. Taking vegetables to make soup, meat to create a chili, bananas to make desserts, even pineapple juice to use in cakes instead of water. There are lots of ways to use various things. Chicken can be used in so many ways, more so than probably hamburger. This past week, I had chicken left from making chicken salad for the football game so I thought of making a couple of casseroles for the freezer and one for supper. So, here is the BBQ chicken I combined with rice adding some cheese to make a creamy casserole that is great for a quick supper any night and for the freezer. If you make it for the freezer, as any casserole, bake 3/4 done and then cook the remaining time when you are ready to eat it. Make a salad during the cooking time and you will be ready for a great supper.

Left-over BBQ Chicken and
 Cheesy Rice Casserole

2 cups of prepared white rice
2 cups of prepared brown rice
1 large onion, chopped finely
5 cups of bbq chicken, cooked, chopped well or pulled
2 cans gluten-free cream of mushroom soup
1 container fat-free sour cream
1 package Hidden Valley ranch dressing mix
1/2 teaspoon cilantro
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon garlic
salt and peppr
4 cups of shredded cheese (fat-free Kraft melts) with 1/4 cup reserved
1 cup of gluten-free Italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup of butter (optional)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Mix together all the ingredients, except 1/4 cup shredded cheese.
Pour into a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.
Top with reserved shredded cheese. 
Thinly slice the butter and scatter across the top of the casserole (optional).
I also added about 2 tablespoons of the bread crumbs sprinkled over the top.
Bake until golden brown. Serve hot.

This will be a great Thanksgiving and Christmas recipe to use left-overs with. I usually make a soup with some of the left-overs so, add the soup to this recipe and you will have a great Sunday after the holidays meal. 


Friday, September 8, 2017 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Swedish Meatball Recipe with a bit of help...

Football season brings food, fun and...well, Garrett, and his love for Alabama Football Games!
Halftime is probably my favorite part because I love to cook.
About three-years ago, I made a first game feast for my son and from that day forward,
it became a Saturday tradition...

It has become comical how during the football week, various people have made
suggestions as to what to make "Garrett" for Football Saturday!
For the second game, Diane suggested Swedish Meatballs, something I had never made.
Diane and her husband Don, who is one of the "let's talk sports" regular coffee buddies 
to Garrett's tea at Starbucks...are fabulous friends.

A sampling of the second game halftime have been posted throughout the week...
Sweet Macaroni Salad and Andrea's Fat-Free Tex Mex Dip, another friend recipe with a twist...

Now, Diane's suggestion...

Swedish Meatball Recipe
(my sauce came out thick this time, so I will change it a bit next time!)

2 lbs of ground turkey
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 cup fat-free milk
1 cup Italian bread crumbs (gluten free if desired)
1/2 cup onion, chopped finely
(I saute mine so the family don't know they are there)
black pepper and kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon cilantro


1/2 cup 1-for-1 gluten free flour
3 cups of vegetable broth
1/2 cup heavy cream


Preheat oven at 375 degrees.
Form meatballs into desired sizes, I make them about 2" round.
Place individually into a baking pain or broiler pan so any grease will drain off.
(Have used a muffin pan.)
Bake 30 minutes or until done.
Place in a baking dish and pour sauce over meatballs.

While meatballs are baking:
Spray skillet with cooking spray.
Pour flour into skillet and brown slightly.
Slowly add broth whisk while doing so until it thickens.
Add heavy cream and continue whisk until sauce thickens but is still creamy.
It will be a gravy consistency.

I hope you have a great fall season
and that your team spirit will flow.
Do remember that regardless that in Christ,
we are united regardless of sports, seasons or peoples...
our ultimate attitude is a witness to all every moment of everyday.
May He find us faithful, true and pleasing always.

Monday, September 4, 2017 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Andrea's Fat-Free Tex Mex Dip Recipe

Do you have those friends in your life that prove themselves the definition of a friend? I realized the definition of friend in reality when it was shared through a scripture perspective during a study of 2 Corinthians in the Bible. Paul is writing a letter to the church at Corinth telling them about unity, forgiveness and so forth. However, through references elsewhere, the passages ties together the depth of what a person is to do...listen, encourage, support, no gossip, be unified, grounded in what is righteous and godly, balancing all on what God says...what God says in His Word. I experienced that, but it was after my life-experience when I realized there were four people, all women, in my life that did just those things. They stood strong with me the last two-years of my marriage, knowing all that I was going through. I removed the veil of reality I was living in and followed their advice even when my marriage ended with my husband walking away. After that these same women were there and have been. It was said in just a few words, "A friend stands closer than a brother," but that friend needs to be standing firm on the Word of God and, to be honest, if they are, they won't be any room for the enemy to take advantage of the situation because these same friends will call account again based on the Word of God. 

So, now, this one of the four ladies, is Andrea. She is fantastic! Although we are on different sides of the fence when it comes to football teams, she Auburn and Mr. Garrett's house, Alabama, as Garrett says, "We have to love them anyway," lol. I was having coffee with Andrea, making my grocery list for the week, when she suggested this Tex Mex Dip to go with Tortilla Chips. She texted me the recipe and I had to make it. I sent her the photo of the results and have no idea if that was what it was suppose to look like, but it certainly is delicious. I have some other ideas for this dip so keep watching! So, get some tortilla chips warmed and let's dip!

Andrea's Fat Free Tex Mex Dip Recipe
(The original recipe wasn't fat-free, so I adapted)

2 cans fat-free refried beans
1 cup fat-free mayo
1 cup fat-free sour cream
1 package gluten free taco seasoning
1 small can chopped black olives (only fat, so optional)
1/2 cup onion, chopped finely
1/2 cup tomatoes, diced super small
2 cups fat-free cheddar cheese

Using a 9x13 glass dish, spread refried beans evenly in the bottom. 
Mix mayo, sour cream, and taco seasoning together well, then spread on top of refried beans.
Top the taco mix spread with half of the olives, onions, and tomatoes.
Add the cheese on top of the pretty veggies.
Place the remaining veggies on top of the cheese.
Serve at room temperature with warmed tortilla chips. 

I am thinking this will be great on top of bake potatoes too! Maybe I am leaving the fat-free zone lol. How about on top of steamed cauliflower? I am thinking pasta too! Maybe I am just ready for more dip...loving the fall and football season.

Sunday, September 3, 2017 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Rita's Sweet Macaroni Salad with Sour Cream Recipe

This time of year brings outings, family gatherings and, of course, football. As I was planning what we would have during the halftime portion of the first Alabama football game, my son, Garrett, asked for Macaroni Salad. I could have bought a box of it, but why when I could make a larger bowl of it for the price of two cups plus a bit healthier. This was a twist when I added a bit of sweetness to it using brown sugar instead of regular sugar and then adding balsamic vinegar. It was super delicious. Cutting the calories allows for a bit of indulgence elsewhere so why add them into hidden places of elbow pasta...let's create a rockin' awesome salad:

Rita's Sweet Macaroni Salad with Sour Cream Recipe

1 16 ounce box gluten-free box macaroni elbow pasta
1 cup vegan mayo (love the taste if I have to use mayo)
1 cup fat-free sour cream (can use 2 cups if no mayo)
1 table spoon balsamic vinegar 
2 tablespoons brown sugar substitute 
1 cup celery, chopped finely
1/2 cup onion, chopped finely

Mix all together well. Put in the fridge for one hour and serve cold. 

Happy Football Season!
Go Teams!

Saturday, September 2, 2017 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

The first Alabama Football Halftime Buffet is planned!

This week, I heard one of my lovely ladies from one of my group fitness classes ask another lady regarding Alabama football, “You have never heard of people devoted to football like us?? Where are you from?” The conversation went on, but it was all in good nature humor and we were seriously laughing, but it was the truth. In Hartselle, Alabama, I will be bold enough to write it, come Friday night, it is where everyone is at…the Hartselle Football stadium! If the hometown high school is playing locally, then that is where the people go. Most have seasonal tickets and will be standing in line when the booth opens pre-season as early as six in the morning to get theirs. We love to support our team and we go crazy about it more than any other sport at times.

Then there’s college football, pardon the pun, but that is a whole nother game! Alabama and Auburn! Not from here? Indeed, that is something that should be at the top of your check-list in moving to Alabama…pick a team before heading this way. When a high school student picks a college, they will stay true to their family’s devotion regardless if one or the other offers the better school for the degree they need. See, each college in the state offers a focal point for education regardless if they say they do or not. For example, here is a simple list: UAH offers Engineering while UAB is medical, UA at Tuscaloosa is Athletic and Law, Athens State is Education, Auburn is Agriculture, Music, Pharmaceutical and one of our local community colleges is Nursing while one in South Alabama is well known for offering scholarships for track and golf. It is like this in other states I am sure, but I haven’t heard where most things shut down for college football like the state of Alabama.

Which brings me to, Garrett Cobbs! My fabulous and wonderful rockin’ awesome number one Alabama fan! You may love football, consider yourself devoted to football, but, I am sorry, this guy is sold out to the team, every coach they have had in his lifetime, and ready for every sport Alabama has to offer. He once asked a guy, “Are you an Alabama fan?” The guy swore he was, until Garrett found out that he only watched Alabama football. Garrett quickly told him that he was just an Alabama football fan and since he didn’t watch all their sports he wasn’t a true Alabama fan. Bless him!
Each Alabama football game, however, I make Garrett a half-time buffet. The great part is the food lasts through Monday. I have my motives. Sometimes, friends come over and join us for the game and spend time with us. With today being the first game, here is the menu thanks to the suggestions of some amazing friends:

Swedish Meatballs (the sauce came out a bit thick, but delicious)

Sweet Macaroni Salad with Sour Cream

Andrea’s Fat Free Tex Mex Dip

Also, planning to make chicken salad and banana pudding which I have made several times, but the pudding will be fat free, but added the not-so-fat-free recipe link. I am excited about the dip. Andrea is an amazing friend and entertained often. She has so many great ideas and recipes!

Hope you have a fabulous football season filled with hot chocolate, warm blankets, total wins (for Alabama lol cause I have to live with Garrett for the next year!) and great memories!  I will post the recipes for the three other dishes this week! Enjoy the game!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Getting Healthy through Reading

#MommaRita and son, #GarrettCobbs during tutoring time...
We had also just worked out lol...

Reading is something I was not interested in growing up through high school. Then in college an English teaching opened the world of reading for me. I haven't been able to get enough since. Throughout the week, Garrett and I practice reading, but on Fridays we spend quality time, reading, writing, doing spelling words, counting money and practicing computer skills. He loves to read Archie comics and if he does well on all the areas we work on, then we read a comic book. 

For the past two-weeks, we have read two comic books that have had Archie running around the subject of fitness. This week there was a guy on the beach that was a body builder obviously and the girls told Archie he was just jealous when he made some "pillow" comments about the guys body. When Garrett read it, I had to record it, then we will talk about reading and's too funny! I may play it when I am feeling this way lol...

#GarrettCobbs: about jealousy!

Laughing is the a great way to relieve stress so is reading. When you can't sleep, reading something that is encouraging, praise worthy or uplifting will bring your mind to a place of peace so that you can fall asleep. I have never understood why someone watches something or read a frightening book before bed and then try to go to sleep. Read the Bible, the book of Psalm or Proverbs. Pick up a book of poems that encourage. Poetry can give you great directions that you never thought possible. Quotes that are funny but carry a point that you will remember later. Short stories from books that hold inspirational themes of people that have come from areas of life to be successful and happy.

Then there is reading to seek a better way to eat and workout. Thinking about eating in a way that the first ingredient is managing food rather than taking pills or requiring surgery is a great book to read. Then cookbooks that really emphasize clean eating and healthier choices; realizing these may make you hungry, watch the warning signs and skip cookbooks. Workout books energize and encourage you to move. This is what you want. Inside these books are excellent tips for workout not only on the street, in your home or in the gym but also in everyday sittings like in your office chair. My favorite tip once from a fitness book I was reading was simply drinking water. 

Another excellent thing about reading is, like with Garrett, use bedtime reading to your children to include a devotional, Bible reading and include fitness inspiration in this as well. There are plenty of stories and things written to equip you and your family to live a healthy life-style. We are living a life with no limits, no boundaries, plenty of resources to make it easy to live healthy, strong and fit for our bodies, minds, souls and lives as a whole. 

We have changed our home so much in the past three-years, not just since 2011. No sodas, no gluten, adding a water cooler, focusing on protein and fresh vegetables, fitness twice daily, daily Bible reading/devotionals and at least eight hours of sleep. Those are just a few things we have done. I challenge you to live with no excuses to move toward a healthier life-style. Reading. Find the things that inspire you today to live better tomorrow. 

Tuesday, August 29, 2017 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Football, Menus, Clothing, Fun...

This time of year is one of my favorite seasons. Fall brings hot chocolate, popcorn balls, chili, soups, the county fair, outdoor concerts, campfires and football. I never was much into football until last October. Garrett and I were gifted tickets to the first college football game we had been to together. We had a bit of experience attending and got to be on the sidelines. However, standing there with thousands of people surrounding the whole stadium was energizing and such an amazing experience. I fell in love with football. Garrett made sure I had Alabama shirts, even too big, but I had them. Friends brought me shirts and a ball cap. 

However, the most fun I have had began about two-years ago, when the first Alabama football game of the season, I treated Garrett to a half-time buffet full of fun foods from egg rolls, sausage balls to chips and salsa. It was suppose to be a one-time thing when the next Friday rolled around that he came up to me and politely said, "Momma, tomorrow is an Alabama game, what are we going to have at half-time this week?" It was then the tradition began. It became fun to go to the gym and ask the front desk, what is Garrett having this week for his half-time party?  This year, I am still trying to find the Burrito Bowl recipe?!

So, when I saw these outfit and accessory items in a magazine yesterday, I flipped with rockin' awesome excitement! I think Garrett would be impressed with his momma rocking these hounds-tooth items, of course, maybe not all together at the same time, but oh my goodness...can you imagine? It is so much fun to watch his excitement over football, from Alabama to the Falcons then hit the baseball season with the Braves. 

Now, to think about shopping ((gulp)) something this momma doesn't do...maybe I will just consider the menu instead and skip the clothes shopping... Send me your ideas for half-time buffets... I am "game" to try most anything! Recipes to come...

Monday, August 28, 2017 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Chili Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

I remember growing up with Sundays being one of three Southern Sunday dinners, at noon, if the preacher let us out in time that is. The dinners would be my mother's fried chicken or oven baked pork chops, two-inches thick steak style, or we would go to Big Bob Gibson's. Regardless we had a dessert with our meals at home or at Bib Bob's. Today, my son, Garrett, and I live a bit differently. After church, he gets his personal pizza and a bit of shopping at Target then we go home and I make supper. This works well for us and makes him happy. Family gatherings still happen, but at a different time of the week. This past Sunday, we had chicken, but a bit different. I am planning foods for the "half-time" buffet for football season. Here is one of the recipes we will be having:

Chili Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

6 small boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 small onion, chopped finely
1 can of black beans, not drained
1 can of black beans, drained
2 cans of seasoned diced tomatoes
2 cans tomato sauce
1 large jar salsa
1 can mild hot peppers
1 teaspoon cilantro
1 teaspoon chili powder


Place all the ingredients in a crockpot sprayed with cooking spray. 
Cook for 6 (six) hours on medium.
Remove the chicken breasts and cut into cubes, put back in soup, stir.
Cook thirty-minutes longer.
Serve over tortilla chips, top with shredded cheese and sour cream.

** Tip...for leftovers, add prepared rice, stir well, place in a baking dish and top with shredded cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes for a great casserole. 

Hugs, Rita

Saturday, August 26, 2017 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Feathering Things in the Grace...

I have this amazing friend that I met through social media who is an amazing quilter. The great "pond" separates us. I have said a thousand times that one day, I am going to get on my broom and fly over, walk into her shop one day to surprise the thread out of her stitching! When I was on the golf course with Garrett and the Special Olympic team as they practiced last week, I found a white perfect feather. I had to take a photo of it. My friend posted that she had seen so many feather this past week and I replied that it was a sign for her to design a feather themed quilt. When I gave the feather I found to Garrett and he quoted the verse, somewhat, of "Eagles wings..." When I went to find the verse to put with the photograph, I came across Psalm 91:4, "He will come you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield..." Taking the imagery of a mother bird and her babies within a carefully constructed nest is the way God is with us. We can't be plucked from His refuge if we believe and put our faith in Him. 

Over the past few weeks, I have talked with many people about their life journeys and decisions to get healthy. The stories are vast and reasoning to make a difference in their lives will encourage others like a ripple in a stream as pebble is skipped across the waters. That is the way the witness of anything we do in our lives should be, to encourage and press others toward their goals and dreams. 

One story is of a woman who lived through a tragedy that I will tell you now will be difficult to hear, read or write. You may want to leave now. As the story unfolds, she was thirteen at the time, living in a subdivision in an upper income neighborhood. The people had lived there most of her life and her family knew they all well. On this particular afternoon, she had been riding her bike and stopped in the driveway of an older couple's house. The drive was to the side of their home which was on the corner of two streets. As they chatted, the wife went into the house and the older man walked over to her bike and before she realized what was happening, he pulled her off her bike, hand over her mouth, leaving it in the driveway and pulled her behind the house. Threatening her, he raped her. When he was done, he simply left her there and went into the house. When she was able to get her clothes back on, she made it to her bike and walked home. When she went into the backdoor of her house, she walked into a heated argument between her parents with her mother crying. The young girl, broken and not sure what to do, went to the bathroom, cleaned up and went back outside.

When I found my voice, I asked, "What did you do?" It was chilling to know that there was no voice to never telling what has happened to not this one but so many. She didn't tell of the experience and the man never acknowledged what he had done. When she went outside, she knew she had a choice to let it take up space in her head or let it go because her home life wasn't stable nor did she thing anyone would believe her. Then she said, "While I was being raped, I prayed for God to protect me. It was the strangest thing that at that moment I saw a bright light and don't remember all the details of what he did not even to this day. One thing I knew, I trusted in Christ that very moment with my life, heart and soul." As an adult she told her mother about what happened to her, just as she thought, her mother didn't believe her nor did her siblings. The man died long before her telling her story. However, feathering things in grace multiplies like the grass under our feet when we trust Him for our protection and with our very lives.

Once again, I see forgiveness, grace and living in peace. We have a choice to allow crises and circumstances to rent space in our heads, live in chains, prisons and bondage or we can take the key we hold in our hands and use it at anytime. Freedom is ours, the door can be open, chains can be broken and prisons can be released. We live with no excuses for wallowing in our on whining, bitterness, pasts or circumstances. It is a choice. Why allow anything to take up residence even for a second within our being other than what is joyful, good and godly? Living forgiveness, grace and love is living a life free, with no excuses. It's time to live a healthy lifestyle and it begins with breaking free without and within our being.

Break the chains that hold you from freedom...
Live a life with no excuses...

Friday, August 25, 2017 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Cloud Rainbows are the Best...

#RitaHutchesonCobbs at #PointMallard #DecaturAlabama

If is a really big word. However, I have to think that "if" I had thought my options through as a child to teenager, would I might have made other choices in what I would have been when I grew up to be an adult. When asked as a child, I would tell my Sunday School teacher, Mrs. Alexander, every single Sunday that, one, we were moving back to Phil Campbell, Alabama to our family farm, and, two, I was going to be mayor when I grew up. Then regardless who you were or what "test" I took that asked me what my big dream was for the future it was to be a wife and mother to which I succeeded at both. The wife part lasted thirty-four years at least but the mom part is a lifetime even when a child might want a different mother, heard a child say that to his mother one day. With all THAT said, I think I would have studied clouds. I have taken so many photographs of them over the years. As a child and then as a mom with my sons, I would watch them, making up stories about them as they floated overheard.

Garrett loves to say, "Puffy clouds" this or that when referring to rain coming or the possibility of a change of weather other than a warm sunny day. This is usually when he can't play golf. Puffy clouds come our way beyond the weather. They come in situations, circumstances, people, places and things. It is how we handle the puffy clouds that determines the inner ability to deal with them and experience continued joy and peace. If we don't have a well deep in abundance of peace and joy stored up then we can't deal with puffy clouds and what they may bring our way. It is easier to watch them pass over when we have water plenty within our wells.

This mom that had her child say, "I hate you! I want a different Mother!" told me how it broker her heart when he was a child and said this, but then when he said it again as a teenager, she begin to realize, he meant it. Thinking he would someday out grow it, she sees now that he hasn't. I asked her how she was handling this and she replied, "I have so much peace about the situation, knowing that someday, he will make the decision to turn around." The rest of the story is that he was also verbally abusive and due to the already domestic violence in the home, the husband, the boy's father, did nothing to correct the son in his behavior. The boy grew up, educated, good job and a family of his own, but estranged from his mother. To this she said, "I have apologized for my part in the breakup of our relationship and let him know he is welcome to come home." She showed me a box, white and not decorated, the top folded into itself. She gently opened it with hands shaking a bit. As I looked inside, there were cards in envelopes, gifts wrapped and then items laid inside. I asked her what they were for and she replied, "Each holiday or on a random day, I put something in this box so that when my son comes home, he will know I have loved him all this time and that more than me, God loves him."

Tears came to my eyes. Without excuse, we live forgiveness. There is nothing that can or will be done to me or you that can't be covered in grace, love, and forgiveness. One day, we will come face to face with the One who gave the ultimate grace of all wrapped in love and nailed with forgiveness with a cross, nails, a tomb and eternity. There is nothing I can do more than what He has done for me. When I asked this mom what she would say to her son when he comes home, she said, "I will say that I love him and for him to forgive me." I was again wrapped around the words. Nothing in those words of the past. Nothing in those words of forgiving him. Nothing in those words of "if". Nothing in those words but grace. Nothing more than no excuses. 

Regardless if this son comes home to this mother, she is living grace and she is living peace. She isn't walking in regret or unforgiveness. She is walking a healthy mindset of what life is now, not worrying about what could have been or what will be. She isn't living in what ifs either. She is living a life with no excuses. It is ironic how I know about a life living with no excuses and my greatest desires is to please Him by living grace, living love, living forgiven.

Maybe it's time we open the box and release the gifts it holds...
the gifts from our Father...
He has been holding them so long for us to come Home.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Routines and tips to make them better...

#MamawHutty with #RitaHutchesonCobbs during Saturday's Outings

When it comes to my daily schedule, well come to think of it, my month's calendar as a whole, I am pretty much a routine kind of girl. I love routine, but yet I am flexible enough to multi-task when needed as well as move things around when needed. However, when it comes to individuals with disabilities such as Alzheimer's or Autism, you pretty much stick with the normal schedule and routine. I love that about the two people I care for regardless of our care situation or it just be age, we had pretty much the same activities daily.

Sundays are set aside to worship and lunch at my son's favorite pizza. Then on Monday through Wednesday, we share among these days bowling, swimming and golf. Thursday and Friday, we focus on running and tutoring even though we still do those throughout the week. Saturday is Mamaw day where she gets pampered. Woven in those events is fitness, work, a tiny bit of grocery shopping (lol) and coffee with Garrett's regulars and then dinner with his Special Olympic friends once a week. Life get's busy even with a routine, but it is worth it for these amazing people to have their time of special moments that I will cherish for the rest of my life. 

It is with routines that we can get into ruts or we can use them as positive challenges. Planning for snacks, meals and eating out is important to maintain a healthy life style regardless what we are doing. Here are some suggestions when life is busy and you are having to be out and about:

*  Meal prep. Take a weekly or monthly calendar and at a glance think about meals you may want for suppers. go ahead and prepare freezer meals or do the chopping and dicing that needs to be done so that time is cut in half for those meals. When I bring groceries in, I go ahead and prep my food to save time. My meats go in the freezer with tenderizer and marinate. 
*  Eating out monies and menus. Make an envelope, putting designated monies inside for those time you need to eat out, planned and impromptu. Then look at the menus for those restaurants online to see what foods are healthy, the calorie content and ingredients so that you can stay within your food choices and the calories you have burned from the daily workout.
*  Workout times.  Regardless if you have one-hour or five-minutes, take the time to do it! Take the stairs where you are rather than the elevator. Park as far from the department stores or mall as you can and walk. Do wall pushups every time you go to the bathroom. Stand, march in place, then do four squats as you get up to march and as you sit back down, when commercials play on television especially now that football season is starting. Volunteer for Special Olympics in your favorite sport, they will love you, but please stay faithful and committed when you do.
*  Automobile care.  Saturday nights go fill up your cars for the week. Make sure you schedule automobile services every 3k miles especially if you are on the road often. During these times of waiting, walk their parking lots or seek a place that is buy or within a grocery store so that you can multi-task while the job is done. 
* Lists. Make lists for the grocery store so that you save money and time. My little family is great about the grocery list which hangs on the fridge. When the last package is opened, that item goes on the list so that it can be replaced. Paper products is about the only thing we stock pile now. We eat fresh vegetables and fruits most of the time. Make a list of errands to save gas and time. 
*  Gift Buying. Each week or at least every other week, purchase a gift for someone. If you have three girlfriends that you buy birthday presents for, a safe gift to get are candles. If my family reads that, they may chock I typed it...candles are something I normally don't buy for a reason lol. However, Christmas gifts for me were always bought by August 1st. I have a box of items that I keep because I have someone in mind for each item. Baby showers, I get diapers and wipes then place the receipt in the card in case the baby is allergic or the mom wants to get something else. Shop early, shop wise, save money.

More suggestions:
* Pack Lunches on Sunday for the week. I wrote a blog about this...
* Clean one thing every day and declutter one thing every day...wrote about this last week too...
*  I have a cleaning schedule as rocks and makes my life easier: Monday, clean kitchen; Tuesday, clean bathrooms; Wednesday, change bedding; Thursday, dust; Friday, clean floors. I will be changing this soon, but this is a general idea of how it goes. 
* When you are out and about, always have a bag with you that contains a book, notepad, pen/pencil, and maybe something artistic, I take crochet...these things will help should you get stuck somewhere or have to wait for a long period of time. I make gifts for a neonatal unit and I use these times to crochet blankets and hats. 

I hope this will help make your routine a bit better. When you can't sleep at night or you need something to help you relax, read scripture. It brings peace of mind and victory over stressful emotions. Our lives can be overwhelming when instead lives should be healthy and lived thankful. May yours be so this week.

Monday, August 21, 2017 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Reasons NOT to lose weight! Seriously...

The impossible things have to be so visible to us that when we actually see it, we are in shock that it actually is the reality in front of us. We take a photo of a rainbow and are in awe when we look at the photo again and see not only a solid, end to end rainbow, but we see two of them. We are in a heart felt state of thankfulness and a bit of emotional, heart rendering knowing that God is real regardless of how we may normally feel on a regular basis. I for one, believe.

I get this same reaction when people see my before and after photos of weight loss. They do a double take before the questions start pouring out of impossibilities and self-doubt of their ability to do it as well as a list of those they know who need to do the same thing. It amazes me, though, of the reason why people say they can't or won't lose weight to live a healthy life style. Here are a few I have heard:

"I don't want to get wrinkles." I immediately pulled the compact mirror from my purse for fear I had developed something really bad on my face since that morning makeup session in the privacy of my home.

"The Bible says, '...all the fat is the Lord's!" Yup, I was told this with a straight face... Enough (Lev. 3:16)

"I don't want saggy skin and I don't want to work out to get bulky." Wow, that was one that I didn't see coming. Let me think... No, can't come up with anything for that one.  I love working out, leading a fitness class, reading running magazines. I know how much better I feel after I workout or run. I haven't gotten bulky from working out, but I want more muscle and think I would be fine with that type of body. After weighing 450lbs, I am going to have some skin left, but not near what I had full of fat!

"I don't have the money." This has expanded from buying healthy food to joining a gym, but food is the same price if you buy pre-packed, healthy foods or eat fast food to going in the gas station for snacks. Then working out can be purchased or free! The road is free, parks are free and simply going to the mailbox ten times in a row is free! Climbing steps anywhere is free! Money shouldn't be a hindrance. God says that He will provide all your needs. My grandmother use to say that if it's a hindrance, He could remove it. Food for thought, sorry for the pun.

"I don't want to lose my bottom or my boobs." Seriously!? Don't you want them to be firm rather than sagging? That's my thinking... Don't ask your spouse...just don't. It's not nice to put your partner in the place of answering questions you already know the answer. They love you regardless and if they criticize any part of your body, mind or soul, then run! Run fast. If anyone is negative about you in any way that is untrue then you need to move away from them because more than likely their panties are too tight and they have deeper issues within themselves to get help with. Now if you are lazy, have habits, hangups or other problems that you know are truths, then get help...

Everything if Possible and I am living proof of that as well as knowing there is no excuse to live healthy. The benefits of doing so is joy, happiness, peace and hope. I can't explain how the stresses seem easier, bills coming in the mail don't seem so bad, people don't bother you as much. Then there is the endurance you feel physically as well as the oxygen to the brain to make clearer decisions and think better. These things can't be explained unless you make the decision to change your eating habits and add a workout routine. I challenge you to do so for thirty-days. Simple. What do you have to lose? Thirty-days! That's it, no cheating, no excuses, no compromise, just do it!

Sunday, August 20, 2017 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

"Muscle Bound" beyond the Body to a Life Style!

#GarrettCobbs and I tutoring workout terms during reading...

It was a busy day, people were racing from one station to another, grabbing items obviously on paper lists that they brought with them or ones from memory. Few people had time to smile, say anything, only time to rush their baskets squeezing wheels forward toward the end destination to checkout and get home or wherever they needed to be. It was in the checkout line that I met her, a woman about my age with a shopping cart overflowing with grocery items and household needs. She looked tired, overwhelmed and ready to melt into the floor. I smiled and mentioned what a nice day it had been, offering words of encouragement. She looked at me like a deer caught in headlights, as we as southerners say.

It was all it took, as it usually does. My sons have teased me for years, that I can find out about everyone in the grocery line and the clerk by simply saying, "Hello" and looking in their shopping cart. It's a gift I suppose. This particular woman began telling me her life story so I listened. Her husband had walked out and recently moved in with the woman she thought was her best friend. Those groceries were the first she had been able to buy because she had finally got alimony. He refused to help with their two daughters who both had Autism and were over the legal age for child support. Then she went on to tell me how her health was in serious condition due to the stress. I tried to keep my eyes focused on her face, but they slipped to her shopping cart. It was then she said, "I know, I need to eat better and exercise, but I just don't have time." It as then, I took a deep breath, said a prayer and opened my mouth...

I have said a thousand times, deciding to live healthy is a choice. You an't sit by me and offer a single excuse not to live a healthy life style.  For the same amount she was buying what was in her grocery cart, she could have made a difference in her life and in her home. Her focus had to change to, let the man go, he isn't worth the time he is occupying in her head... Then I made some daily suggestions to help her daily, one step in front of the other, and soon she would see the courage that lives deep within her to move forward in her life.

Simple Tips for "Muscle Bound" 
within Daily Living:

1.  First thing in the morning, make your bed! It sounds simple, but there is something about walking in your bedroom and seeing the bed made, pillows propped up and then when you crawl in the sheets at night from being made that morning.
2.  Get up an hour earlier than normal, even if you don't feel like it, meditate. Take this time to mediate, read scripture, list at least three things you are grateful for, read devotionals, pray, focus on your breathing, read positive influences. Do not pick up the newspaper or turn on the news! Have this quiet time before the rest of the house gets up.
3.  Walk at least 1 mile everyday. This can be at lunch or while you are waiting on the kids practice at soccer. Use downtime or while you waiting for someone or something.
4.  Drink 8 glasses of 8 ounces of water every day then add two more. Can't stand water? Then add lemon juice or lime. Move away from sodas, beer, wine, any other beverages that exceed water. If I have coffee, my other beverage, I have three 8 ounce waters for 1 cup of water. I drink more water than that, but I do make sure I have at least that much.
5.  Don't journal? Write down what God has taught you about life that day.
6.  Get dressed everyday, preferably first thing in the morning, wash your face, comb your hair, whatever, but get dressed!
7.  Clean on thing everyday. Declutter something everyday too. It takes less than a minute to dust a table and you can clean the shower while you are in it! Decluttering an area can take as long as you want, but doing one spot a day will get your home more relaxing easily in 30 days!
8.  Send someone a nice note via snail mail! While you are waiting in the carpool line or at the doctors office, write a quick note and drop it in the mail. This can change the course of someone's day.
9.  Start a workout routine and do it even when you don't want to. Everyday, Garrett and I do some type of activity even though it may surround Special Olympics. I also run, workout at the gym, hike and walk. Garrett participates as well. We are active.
10.  Get involved in a group of people that share moral and disciples that you are passionate about. It is important to me that church be a part of my life. My friends are my small group from Sunday mornings. Then I have in addition to that a Bible study group that share the same principles I do about raising Garrett and creating a home sharing love and happiness.

When I was tutoring Garrett last week, we looked ahead at one of our reading projects. The comic book portion of our reading, Archie, the opening segment was about working out. I can't wait for us to read this week about Archie and his friends adventure. Garrett and I read a chapter book and he has spelling words to go with our study. At this time we are studying how to have a healthy body in hopes that he will grasp a better understanding of diet and exercise.

We all can look too much at the negative in our lives, situations that make up our realities. However, we have to get to the point that simple things we do everyday can give us a bit more confidence in bringing us joy so that we can live in hope, peace and courage when stresses come our way. It is proven that when we eat better, workout and live a healthy life style that when crises happen, we are better prepared emotionally to handle it. Try these tips for thirty-days and see how you feel.

Hugs, Rita
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