Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010 Goals

I'm having a hard time believing it's going to be 2010 in a few hours. Where did the time go? As a child I remember people saying that time seemed to go faster as you got older. I never understood that until a few years ago when it started happening to me. I don't know what causes it...maybe all the busyness in our lives? How do you slow down and still get the things done that need to be done? I'm not sure if I have an answer to that. But, I do know that creating a plan is necessary to make changes. I've come up with some goals for this coming New Year. Not too many to be overwhelming, but enough to make life interesting. :)

Spiritual:
1. Read through the bible in 90 days.
2. Read through the shelf full of unread Christian books I have.

Personal:
1. Eat healthier.
2. Exercise 4 days a week.

Marital:
1. Plan a date night once a week.
2. Get back in the habit of praying for dh daily.

Family/Home:
1. Spend more fun time with the kids.
2. Pray for each child daily.
3. Increase my food storage to a one year supply.
4. Get my garden going.
5. Get rid of more stuff!

Financial:
1. Pay off a loan.
2. Read Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover.

Bible in 90 days



Tomorrow starts the Read the Bible in 90 Days Challenge. I'm pretty excited about this. My book finally came yesterday (I was beginning to get a little worried it wouldn't arrive in time). I have been thinking about how I'm going to carve out time to read the 12 pages a day and have come to the conclusion that I just need to make it a priority and make it happen. There are always a gazillion things that need to be done...but this is the most important thing. I'm looking forward to seeing what God is going to reveal through his word.

If you would like to participate and can't afford the bible there are a limited number of scholarship bibles available.

From the Bible in 90 Days site:

“So many people indicated an interest in our scholarship Bibles that we’ve put the application online. Our ministry is tiny, but we are committed to helping people in need who themselves are committed to this reading. To be successful, we believe it is important to start with resources that are best suited for the purpose. We can’t help everyone, but will help those we can.”
If you have a genuine need and are committed to the challenge, please
apply at the ministry’s website. If you are able to purchase the Bible yourself, or if you are just contemplating the idea, please reserve the scholarship Bibles for those with a genuine need.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Eat-From-The -Pantry-Challenge



Over at Moneysavingmom.com and Lifeasmom.com a new challenge has been put out there. It's an eat from your pantry challenge where you eat what you have and avoid the grocery store as much as possible. The idea is not to eat all of your food and end up with nothing left...but, it can be a good opportunity to inventory what you do have and save some money.

I personally feel like I've spent way too much time in the stores over the past several weeks and would like to get back to the way I used to shop...maybe two or three times a month. Plus, with dh still being out of work I need to come up with as many ways to save as possible.

So, here are my goals for this pantry challenge:


1. I will shop only 3 times for the month (for fresh foods...and if I spot some deals that I just can't pass up, I will buy, but put them back to be used for February).

2. I'm giving myself a $75 budget for the month. It should be doable if I'm careful.

3. I'm going to clear out (use up) the older items in the freezers and and the pantry so we can start anew for the year.


I'm looking forward to doing this challenge. Care to join me?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Menu Plan for the Week of Dec 28-Jan 2




Monday Pork chops, mashed potatoes, green beans


Tuesday Burritos, salad


Wednesday Crockpot turkey, pasta alfredo, salad


Thursday Ground beef, rice, corn


Friday New years Snacks!


Saturday Baked chicken, baked potatoes, salad

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Read the Bible in 90 Days

Bible in 90 Days

I'm going to be participating in a wonderful challenge over at momstoolbox. We're going to read the Bible in 90 days! I've tried reading through the Bible by myself several times over the past 20 years and I've never been able to finish. I found myself getting stuck in the Old Testament readings. This time, however, I'm confident that with a plan and a huge support group I will finish!
Amy, over at momstoolbox, has written the following guest post. Won't you join us?

Have you ever thought about reading the Bible... the whole thing, from start to finish?
I thought about it for years, and even attempted a few times on my own, before I discovered Bible in 90 Days, joined a group at my church and read the whole thing without stopping, cover to cover.
I was so blown away by the experience that I offered to facilitate it at my next church and have since facilitated several more times, trained facilitators and now plan to host an online community via my blog, MomsToolbox.
If you have ever considered reading the whole Bible, I cannot recommend strongly enough that you join me January 1- March 31, 2010, as I read and blog through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, bit by bit, in order, every day.

If you would like to join our online community, here’s what you’ll need to do:
Plan to set aside about an hour each day from January 1- March 31 for an incredibly enriching experience.
Get your hands on a Bible in 90 Days Bible from http://www.biblein90days.org/, or your local Christian bookstore.
Consider also purchasing the Bible in 90 Days Participant’s Guide which offers weekly questions for you ponder to gain more insight from your reading. (I’ll be using these questions for our weekly Twitter meet-ups.)
Consider purchasing the Bible in 90 Days Essential Bible Companion, which offers a snapshot of information to help you make it through each week’s reading without getting distracted by researching on the internet.
Bookmark my site, http://www.momstoolbox.com/, and plan to visit January 1- March 31 after you have completed each day’s reading to see what I learned and report in that you have read for the day.
Follow me on Twitter (@MomsToolbox) and plan to be on Twitter every Monday night of the program from 9-10 CST (much like a study meeting—just online!) when we can ask and answer each other’s questions. Use and look for the #B90Days hashtag for our group discussion.

I would bet some of you are asking “Why this particular Bible?” Here’s why:
The official Bible in 90 Days Bible is an NIV Bible, so it is an easy-to-read direct translation. This edition has large type, minimal footnotes and indicates where you should start and stop reading each day. Sure, you could accomplish this goal using your own Bible, but the statistics point to a huge success ratio for those using this official Bible... and not so much success for those who choose to use a different one. And don’t you want to succeed this time?

Although we won’t be meeting in person, my prayer is that via almost-daily online communication on my blog, as well as on Twitter we can still hold each other accountable, helping each other to accomplish our goal to read every word of the Bible attentively in 90 days.
I’d love to encourage you in this endeavor. It has been life-changing for me.
I cannot express how much reading the bible in 90 days has helped me with every study I have participated in and every sermon I have heard since then. I now know the context of the stories. I know where to find them... and I can clearly see how they are related. And to read about Christ and the fulfillment of countless prophesies just after you’ve read about those prophesies is amazing!
If you’re up for the challenge, I’m up for encouraging you every step of the way.
Pray about it. Think about it… And click on over to MomsToolbox.com to let me know if you’d like to join in the challenge and to learn more. But do it soon so you’ll be ready to start 2010 in His Word… all of it!
Hope to see you there!


A few links to add:
http://www.biblein90days.org/
http://www.momstoolbox.com/
http://twitter.com/momstoolbox

Fall Into Reading 2009: Wrap Up Post

I can't believe the Fall Into Reading Challenge is already over! I wanted to do this challenge because I found myself not setting enough time for reading for myself. I find time to read for work, for school or for the kids...but, I was finding that I wasn't making much time for the books I wanted to read. So, here is my original list...
Made From Scratch by Jenna Woginrich (easy read...nice story about here life of change. I like her blog too.)
What’s He Really Thinking? By Paula Rinehart (Still haven't finished this one...not sure why...the material is fairly easy to read...maybe because I've read a lot of similar books on the subject?)
Left Behind (Book 1) (This really threw me off my list...I finished number 1 and couldn't stop...I'm now almost finished with book number 6 in the series)
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (I never got to read this one...I got it from my library but was too busy...and it had 9 holds on it so I guess it will wait until the next go round).
The Power of a Praying Parent and The Power of Praying for Your Adult Children by Stormie Omartian (These are really ongoing type books...I'm taking the chapters slowly because of the importance of praying for my children... I would recommend these if you have adult children)

I'm very happy I did this because it impressed upon me the importance of making some time for my own personal reading and I am looking forward to the Spring Challenge!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Kiddos Create: Bells In A Bottle

This weeks Kiddos Create Challenge is jingle bells. I was lucky enough to have an old Christmas ornament that was made of small bells that I decided to repurpose. I gave my little sparrow a bowl full of bells and an empty tall water bottle and watched to see what she would do. What a success! She was very excited to shake the bells, drop them into the bottle and then pour them back out...for almost 20 minutes! (Can you believe having 20 minutes of uninterrupted time with a 2 1/2 year old??) One funny comment towards the end of the 20 minutes...she looked up at me and said..."This is really hard work I'm doing..."



Sorry for the graininess of the picture...one day I'm going to get a better camera.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

On Christ The solid Rock I Stand

He is my rock.....



Saturday, December 12, 2009

Kiddos Create: Pinecone


Pinecones were the object of choice this week in the Kiddos Create challenge. We decided to make pinecone bird feeders. They're fairly simple to make. You need a pinecone, peanut butter and birdseed. I told dd2 we were going to make a bird feeder so the birds outside could habe something to eat. I laid a small bowl of peanut butter, a handful of birdseed, and a pinecone on a tray. I gave her a plastic knife and explained that she needed to spread the peanut butter on the pine cone and sprinkle the birdseed all over. She stayed at this activity for a good 20 minutes. I did have to tell her she couldn't eat any of the nuts because these were only for the birds....
Disclaimer: The picture above isn't the one we made...my camera is still being flakey.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Simplifying Christmas Day 7~Simple Gift Ideas



We bought plenty of toys for first ds (now age 26). By the time dd rolled around three years later we were buying less because we were getting tired of paying money for toys that were discarded after a short time. We started buying mostly Legos because they last forever and can be added to. We always bought books too. As the children grew older they might get one big gift and several token type gifts.
This year money is extremely tight because of my husbands job loss. Ds15 is getting a keyboard because we gave up our piano for our move...he'll get some pajamas and a a new pillow because practical is the keyword this year. Dd2 will get a new baby doll and some smaller toys I managed to find over the past few months...didn't spend more than $15 total. The older kids (who are out on their own and have jobs) will get a hug and a kiss (just kidding)...but, they will only get token stuff in their stockings.
I'm hoping they won't feel deprived...they shouldn't because we all really have everything we need. I learned that lesson when we had to pack up 15 years of stuff for our move...we have way more than we need. Plus, the real reason for Christmas is not about how much stuff you get.....

Monday, December 7, 2009

Menu plan for this week

Breakfasts:
Toast, fruit
Oatmeal
Cereal, milk

Dinner:
Sunday: Baked Chicken, Baked potatoes, apples
Monday: Spaghetti with ground beef, broccoli
Tuesday: Biscuits, eggs, fruit
Wednesday: Homemade pizza
Thursday: Crockpot chicken, rice, salad
Friday: Refried beans, cheese, tortilla chips,etc. (nachos)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Small Things This Week

This week over at Home Sanctuary one of the Small Things was to sit and think of things you can do in a chair. I fully intended to sit and work on my to do list....but, I sat and took a nice nap. Naps are a good thing, right?

The other Small Thing was to work on a Danger Zone...also known as a hot spot...a clutter catcher...my kitchen table... It sometimes seems an impossible task to keep it clear...

Simplifying Christmas Day 4~Share a Favorite Christmas Memory



One of my favorite Christmas memories was 11 years ago when ds15 was just 4. He was a shepherd in our churchs' childrens Christmas program. He had gone to the practices and sang the songs (no lines because he was too little) and walked down the aisle at just the right time. But, when he saw all the family who had come to see him, he was so excited he just kept waving at everyone for the whole program...didn't sing a song...just stood there with a big grin on his face waving.... :).

Simplifying Christmas Day 3~Keeping Shopping Simple



The thing I do to make my Christmas shopping easier is to shop throughout the year when things are on sale. I've gotten some great deals doing this. It does require a little planning in advance. You do need to know who you're shopping for.

I've also reduced our gift list. This year we are buying only for our immediate family and I will be making some food gifts to take along when we visit extended family.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Simplifying Christmas Day 2~Christmas Cards



We used to send quite a few Christmas cards but, this Christmas I'm only sending out cards for a Christmas card exchange I'm participating in. The expense can be quite a bit. Many of the people that we would be sending them off to we'll be seeing them in person throughout the holidays anyways. Quick. Easy. Cheaper for my budget.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Simplifying Christmas Day 1~ Simplifying Budget and Gift List





In the past we did Christmas pretty big. There were lots of gifts under the tree and so many decorations. Our stress levels were pretty high too. I can remember trying to find the "oh so perfect" gift at the last minute and just hating going shopping. It was really tiring and we ended up spending more money than we planned.

Over the years we have spent a lot less...trying to buy ahead and buy what each person needs.

This year we are really having to curb our spending because of my husband being laid off. We aren't buying anything for extended family (I'll probably make some food gifts). Our two older children who are over 18 might get a small amount of cash (or maybe not...they both have jobs!)
We got our 15 yo a keyboard that I scored on Black Friday for $50 because we had to give up our piano when we moved. Music is very important to him so that will be the one big expenditure. He'll also get some new pajamas (we do this every Christmas) and some small items in his stocking. We have gotten our 2 yo a new baby doll and some toys dishes (I didn't spend more than $15). Dh is planning on getting me new slippers (because that's really the only thing I need) and I still haven't figured out yet what I'm going to get him because he says he doesn't need anything.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Simplifying Christmas

Over at A Heart Of A Mommy a meme is starting up tomorrow about making a simpler Christmas. This is something I've been thinking about quite a bit this year. I don't want the focus to be on what we're going to get. I want it to be about making memories. As my children get older and move out I want them to look back and remember happy memories...not the things they got. I'm looking forward to seeing how others are going to be simplifying their Christmas'.

Unplugged Project


The Unplugged Project for this week was Hands. We did a handprint Christmas tree similar to this one over at The Adventures of Bear. I will upload the picture I took as soon as I can get my camera to work.

Simple Woman's Daybook

Simple Woman's Daybook

November 30th
FOR TODAY...

Outside my window... beautiful red roses
I am thinking... of the many things on my to do list
I am thankful for... my husband and my children
I am wearing... black jeans and a green sweatshirt
I am remembering... our Thanksgiving get together. It was a blast!
I am currently reading... book five in The Left Behind Series
I am hoping... to be more organized for the holidays
From the kitchen... making a big batch of burritos
Around the house...Christmas stuff is slowly being pulled out
One of my favorite things~ watching dd23 sitting with her sleeping 2yo sister

Thanksgiving is over

Yes, I know Thanksgiving was over days ago. I'm just slow. We had a wonderful visit from family (19 of us total). I feel so old as I saw my nephews tower over me and talk about their college experiences. I remember when they were just babies! At times the conversation got so loud you could barely hear yourself talk. The food was plentiful and delicious if I may say so. The turkey melted in your mouth and the new recipe for mashed potatoes I tried had me sneaking tastes before everyone got there. I really love getting together with family, though. I wish it could be more often...

Now, on to Christmas.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Open Ended Art


Over at Letters and Numbers and Books, Oh My! they are doing a meme on Open Ended Art. I've always been a fan of allowing children to create what they want from different materials as well as present them with different craft ideas. That way the get the best of both worlds.


Anyways, the theme for this week is Hans Hoffman. Dd is young so we talked about how Hans Hoffman was an artist who liked to do his art with different shapes. I had her repeat his name and she was able to tell me that the shape we used was a square. She also recognized the colors yellow, green, pink, white, black and orange. She's been showing her picture off to everyone who will use it. :)



Kiddos Create Challenge of the Week


Over at Mama Jenn's there is a blog carnival each week where you use an everyday item to make something creative that is made by, for, or with your children. She posts an item for the week and you get creative. My little one is only 2 1/2 so for now things are going to be pretty simple. We did clothespins in a container. She's been playing with it all week.

Muffin Tin Monday


We're participating in Muffin Tin Monday this week. There isn't a theme for the week so it's gonna be baby girl's favorites..burritos, carrot coins and oranges.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Fasting

I've been fasting and praying today because of a blog post over at A Place Called Simplicity. I've never really fasted before...although I've skipped a meal.

It seems that the Canadian government has decided to stop all Visas allowing children from Africa who are waiting to be adopted by Canadian families.

As I've been pondering and praying about this I find myself wondering why it has become so difficult for families to provide a home for children who need it. Why are they made to jump through so many hoops? Why is it so expensive that it keeps many families from being able to adopt?

I've begun to get that head-achey feeling and hollow stomach that you get when you miss a meal. But, I know that I have the option to have dinner later. I know this isn't my day to day reality. It is for so many children in this day and age.

Each of us has the obligation to do something about this...even if you don't believe in the Bible that says we are to take care of the widows and orphans...it is just the right thing to do. What are YOU going to do to help someone today?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

English Muffin Bread

Today I tried a new bread recipe that I saw over at A High and Noble Calling. It turned really good...after a failure for the first try.



Here is what happens when you don't proof your yeast...those little packets are not always reliable. (My daughter thought it looked like playdough). And yes, that was after it was cooked!




And here is what happens when you do things right.



This recipe is definitely a keeper. I have all the ingredients in my food storage and it was not difficult to make.

Here is the recipe:

Recipe makes 2 loaves. To get the true english muffin texture, make sure you don’t over mix and there is no kneading. This is one bread recipe I don’t use my Kitchen Aid on! I put my ingredients in a mixing and use a wooden spoon to mix it by hand.
6 cups of flour
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 cups of milk (I only had instant dry milk and it came out fine)
1/2 cup of water
1 Tbsp sugar 1 tsp. salt
Grease two 8″ loaf pans and sprinkle with a little cornmeal to coat the bottom and sides.
Combine 3 cups of flour, yeast and baking soda an set aside.
Warm the milk, water, sugar and salt until just warmed. You can do this in a saucepan or microwave.
Combine the milk and flour mixture using wooden spoon. Add the remaining three cups of flour and mix.
The dough will be very sticky and hard to work with, so just scoop it out and put evenly into bread pans. I try to shape the tops a little with my spoon. Sprinkle with a little more cornmeal.
Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.
Cook in a 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Take out of pans immediately and cool on a wire rack.

Menu Plan Week of November 17th

Breakfast

Oatmeal, cold cereal, English Muffin Bread and sausage

Lunch

Sandwiches, leftovers

Dinner

Fettucini Alfredo with ground beef, Nachos, polska kielbasa, rice with ground beef, breakfast for dinner, Chicken Stir-fry (all served with some sort of vegetable/fruit)

He is my refuge

Psalm 91 (New International Version)

1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

2 I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."

3 Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare
and from the deadly pestilence.

4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,

6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.

7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.

8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.

9 If you make the Most High your dwelling—
even the LORD, who is my refuge-

10 then no harm will befall you,
no disaster will come near your tent.

11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;

12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

14 "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.

15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.

16 With long life will I satisfy him
and show him my salvation."

Monday, November 9, 2009

Kiddos Create: toilet paper tubes

Over at Mama Jenns she has a challenge going on to do something each week with a particular item with your little ones. This week was toilet paper tubes. Well, our little one is only 29 months so I went for simplicity. We made a kazoo! Well, I made a kazoo and she watched. You only need a toilet paper tube, wax paper and a rubber band. I put it together and had to demonstrate how to use it. At first she wouldn't have anything to do with it. Then she tried and got the sound you're looking for when you hum correctly. Boy, did her eyes light up!

I do feel a need to post a warning though...when you give your children noise makers...be prepared to listen to them go on and on and on......

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Name Change

I've decided on a name change for my blog. As I look around at what's happening in this world today and see the stresses my family has to deal with on a day-to-day basis, I've come to realize the importance of having a safe haven to retreat to. This is going to be my new focus for this blog...creating a safe haven in our new home.

Update: Shortly after changing the name I clicked on the Heavenly Homemakers blog and look what I found....many words of wisdom...just what I needed to hear.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Gratituesday

I've been reading at Heavenly Homemaker for a while and she has been hosting a meme called Gratituesday. It's been nice to see people writing about the things that they are grateful for. You don't see that very often.
I was struck today while rocking 2yo dd as she woke up from her nap...I am so grateful to be able to parent my children...for the time that I have them...for the ones that are still at home and for the ones who have moved out.
You can be going through some really difficult times and you can easily get wrapped up in the challenges and forget the good times. The time we have with our children is short. Enjoy them while you can.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fall into Reading-One Month In

It's already been a month since I began Callapidder Day’s Fall Into Reading 2009 Challenge. Kind of hard to believe the time has gone so fast...but, my life seems to have gone into overdrive lately. I'm really glad I decided to participate in this challenge. So far I've finished the first book and second books in the Left Behind series http://www.amazon.com/Left-Behind-Novel-Earths-Last/dp/0842329129 and am working on the third one. I only had the first one on my list but had forgotten how much the series can grab you...it's just too hard to read one and have to wait around to see what will happen to the characters next. I have the whole series so I guess I need to add them to the list. I'm also about a third of the way through Made From Scratch and enjoying it tremendously. I was also able to get Hunger Games http://www.amazon.com/Hunger-Games-Suzanne-Collins/dp/0439023483/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1253677674&sr=1-1 from the library. I'm going to have to start that right away because someone else has a hold on it and I only get it for 3 weeks.

M's books: We've read her books many times over and have since read a slew of new ones...too many to list.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Excited about exercise

Susanna over at My Family Forever has started a new linky about exercising. This is perfect timing since one of my goals is to exercise more and improve my diet. I've been walking and using weights but I still need to do it on a regular basis. The weather has started to change up so it's time to pull out my step and some exercise videos. I have the Leslie Sansone Walk Away the Pounds series and some others that I haven't pulled out of the moving boxes yet.

Thanks for the extra motivation Susanna!

Pumpkin Pie Playdough

I pulled out my control journal..got things done that needed to be done and had time to make this....






It makes a soft playdough easy enough for a 2yo use. It stores well in an airtight container in the fridge and makes your hands smell wonderful! I got this recipe over at Ramblings of a Crazy Woman.

Pumpkin Pie Play Dough
Ingredients:
5 1/2 cups flour
2 cup salt
8 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 oz pumpkin pie spice (or your own combination of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and mace)
4 cups water
Food coloring (2 parts yellow, 1 part red)
Mix in a saucepan and heat over medium heat until all lumps disappear. As soon as it cools enough to handle, knead on a flour surface until smooth.
Store in air tight container.

Routines

It's so easy to get out of the habit of doing the routine things when the business of life keeps getting in the way. I have a control journal ala Flylady that has worked well for me...but...it's still in a box in the garage. It should've been pulled out as soon as we moved in. I've been trying to follow along with emails Flylady sends out but that really isn't working because I've been tryin not to spend so much time on the computer. Sooo...what to do? Get up and go dig out my contol journal.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Talk softly

and carry a big stick.... just kidding. I always liked that phrase but only the title has something to do with what I'm taking about.

I have a little boy in my classroom who talks in a loud voice ALL THE TIME. He only started a few weeks back and comes from a very challenging homelife. The first thing we do when we have a child like that is see if there might be a hearing problem. That's not the case with this child. I'm pretty sure it's environmental because I've known the stepmom since she was a child and I know her mom...she is loud as well.

When he comes rolling in the door on Monday mornings the noise level doubles as the other children have gotten into the habit of talking loud so they can be heard over him. We know that he can talk in a softer voice...we always get close and down to his level...speak in a softer than normal voice...and he drops his voice lower as well. By the end of the week he isn't shouting at us as much. But, of course, the weekend rolls around and we have to start all over again. Sigh.

Our little one (age 2) also speaks in a loud voice (and she is a non-stop talker). I'm pretty sure it comes from being in a household of big people and just wanting to make sure she gets heard. We are having to work on her toning it down as well. I've also noticed that if the tv or radio is on we all get louder to be heard over it...it's a little harder to get a room full of adults to tone it down than it is a classroom full of children....

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Small Thing:Inner Sanctum

This Small Thing was done over the weekend. It was all about cleaning up your inner sanctum (your bedroom). I had several hot spots that were trying to turn into raging infernos. It looks very nice now. I took before and after pictures but will have to wait to post because my batteries are dead.

Cooler Weather Cooking

It's been very cool in the early mornings here lately. Cool enough to need to keep windows closed. It put me in the mood to cook (and warm up the house). I baked some turkey breasts and wings I found on sale the other day. Some of the wings will go to my mom and the meat from the breasts will be sliced and chopped up for meals during the week.



I also made a big pot of rice (the pot behind the turkey) that will be used throughout the week.

I made a big batch of pancakes for breakfast...thinking that there would be a lot of extras to freeze...ummm, not in this house...



Everyone must have gotten the memo that it is colder...and the cold makes you hungrier...because out of a batch of 35 pancakes this was all that was left...

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Mind of Christ Experiment

This discussion is going on over at SUM.

Transformation of your heart and mind begins with this:

Placing Jesus Christ on the throne of your life.

Are you placing Jesus on the throne of your life?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Small Thing

Today's Small Thing was a thought provoking one. It's about leaving behind baggage that keeps you from going where God wants you to go in your life. One suggestion was about refusing to listen to God's direction.
How many times have I found myself in a bad situation because I didn't follow God's direction? I've been trying harder to allow myself to listen to what God wants me to do...then I find myself "tweaking it" so I end up doing what I want to do. So...what am I going to leave behind? My stubbornness...that keeps me doing what God truly wants me to do.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

How Time Flies and Setting October Goals

I can't believe that October is right around the corner. No matter what people say, time really does go faster when you get older. This whole year has just flown by incredibly fast.
I'm setting some reasonable goals for myself for the month of October. The reason I say reasonable goals is that I have a tendency to make up very long to do lists and then feel bad for not getting them done.
My goals for this month are:

Spiritual: Daily Bible Study
Physical: Exercise 5 days a week
Lose 8 pounds
Family: Make sure we eat at least one meal together each week
Home Org. :Create a "chore" plan
Organize garage
Plan/create garden boxes
Financial: Start a change jar
Set a 'use it for what?' goal

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fall Into Reading Booklist 2009




I’m going to participate in Callapidder Day’s Fall Into Reading 2009 Challenge. Since getting a computer I’ve found myself not reading as much because it seems I never seem to have the time. I know I’m missing out on some really good books out there so the plan is to make time for reading.
I’ve chosen some fiction and some non-fiction books, two bible study books and some read-alouds to read to M., age 2yrs 4mo. Some will be for my own personal reading and some will be for book reviews for Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Non-Fiction
Made From Scratch by Jenna Woginrich
http://www.amazon.com/Made-Scratch-Discovering-Pleasures-Handmade/dp/160342086X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1253678230&sr=1-1
What’s He Really Thinking? By Paula Rinehart (Book Review) http://www.amazon.com/Whats-He-Really-Thinking-Relational/dp/0849918804


Fiction
Left Behind (Book 1) I was given the whole series from a Freecycler and have decided to read them again.
http://www.amazon.com/Left-Behind-Novel-Earths-Last/dp/0842329129
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (waiting to get from the library)
http://www.amazon.com/Hunger-Games-Suzanne-Collins/dp/0439023483/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1253677674&sr=1-1
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (waiting to get from the library)
http://www.amazon.com/Catching-Fire-Second-Hunger-Games/dp/0439023491/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1253677674&sr=1-2

Bible Study
The Power of a Praying Parent and The Power of Praying for Your Adult Children by Stormie Omartian ( I love her studies!)
http://www.amazon.com/Power-Praying%C2%AE-Parent-Deluxe/dp/0736922067/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1253677750&sr=1-1

Read-Aloud (with M., age 2yrs 4mo)
Elmer by David McKee
Elmer Takes Off by David McKee
Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed by Mo Willems
The Monster at the end of this Book by Jon Stone

Monday, September 21, 2009

Small Thing

Today's Small Thing over at Home Sanctuary was to take care of our Physical Nature Call Center and give our potties a scrub. Now that we are in our new place we have one bathroom instead of two. Can I mention that the small inconvenience of having four people using one bathroom is almost made up for because of the ease of cleaning only one bathroom? At our old house both bathrooms were small and it was a major challenge to get to the backs of the toilets. Because of that...they didn't get cleaned as much as they should have. Ew. At our new house there is space around the toilet and I can get to the back easily...even with my creaky knees...

Menu Plan Monday

This weeks menu will include:

Monday: Ground turkey, rice,veggie
Tuesday: Stirfry with pork, rice, veggie
Wednesday: DD23rd b-day (out to eat)
Thursday: Pasta, veggie
Friday: Pizza (ordered from Little Caesars-ds15's fav)
Saturday: Can I say I have no idea? We have a friend visiting from Seattle and we might just go out to eat. Still waiting to talk to her....
Sunday: Baked chicken, mashed potatoes, green veggie,bread



Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Small thing: Bathroom Junk & Paper Clutter

I'm still playing catch-up with the Small Things. Yesterday and today were about dealing with bathroom junk and paper clutter. When we moved in I filled a cabinet(not a drawer) with toiletries. Even dd22 (who has a ton of toiletries) couldn't believe how much I had...neither did I. The problem was it was stored in a storage room and kept getting forgotten. Now it's all in the bathroom cabinet and getting used. However....I don't need to buy another toiletry item for another year or two...or maybe three.....

As far a paper clutter goes...I'm shredding away. We still have a lot of boxes in our garage. I'm just not sure I want this stuff to come in to the house. We are all really enjoying the minimalist look.....

Monday, September 14, 2009

Small Thing

Now that we're moved in I want to get back on track with the Small Things.
I'm going to backtrack a few days. So far I've dusted a lampshade in one room, am creating some order in my home by unpacking a few more boxes, and used some 'pockets' of time (I can do a lot of things in 10 or 15 minutes).

Menu Plan Monday

Monday Spaghetti, salad, bread

Tuesday Scrambled eggs, rice, veggies/fruit

Wednesday Macaroni and cheese with hot dogs, veggie

Thursday Leftovers (it’s my bunco night)

Friday Pizza



We are in!

We have officially moved in to our new place and really loving it. It's interesting how you can move into a house and it very quickly feels like HOME. It's a very good fit for our family. Of course we still have a lot of unpacking to do and we will be starting from scratch with the very BIG backyard. But, I'm looking forward to the challenge.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I want to be Fearless: Book Review



I was able to get an advance copy of Max Lucado’s book Fearless and I want to tell you I was impressed. I’ve never read any of his books before even though I’ve seen them on the bookshelves. I tend to stay away from prolific authors because a lot of times it’s just the same-o same-o, know what I mean? It took me less than two days to finish the book…even with moving and unpacking. It was an interesting read.
I am the worrier. I worry for myself. I worry for my family. I worry for the people at my job. Fear and worry run along the same vein. Lucado said on page 10 “…fear feels dreadful. It sucks the life out of the soul, curls us into an embryonic state, and drains us dry of contentment.” How true is that! I’ve been working very hard on giving up my worries to God. The book is filled with passages calling us to be courageous and not filled with fears over our children, our finances, things happening in this world…of dying. It also has a discussion guide for individuals or groups.
Definitely a good book to read.

Monday, August 24, 2009

I'm still here!

The countdown is 7 days until our move. I'm still doing the daily husband encouragements (if I wasn't I'd probably be wringing his neck by now with all the stress from this move) but there is just no time to blog about them. We will have everything moved onto the truck on Aug 31...then it will have to sit there until Sept 4 because now we can't get ito the house until then. Oh, the stress....

Sunday, August 16, 2009

30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge Day 16

God says it's not good for man to be alone. But, are we so critical of our husbands that they want to be alone? I have to admit I've had some times where I was critical, whiney and complaining so much my hubby actually left the house to get away from it. It's embarrassing to admit that...but, I'm learning. It is something I must remind myself daily...to be more encouraging and a lot less critical.

"And the LORD God said,"It is not good that man should be alone;I will make him a helper comparable to him." Genesis 2:18

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Garage Sales

I love going to garage sales. I love the opportunity to find something wonderful and make a really good deal. But, you know what I really don't like? It's being on the other side of it. The selling side.... I have discovered that I really, really don't like sitting on a Saturday morning while people come by and go through your stuff and then either try and bargain it down to a few pennies or walk away. Am I a hypocrite because I do the same thing when I go to ohter peoples sales? Although I have to admit that I won't try and bargain something down to a ridiculously low price.
But, I do know that as I sit here on this beautiful Saturday morning I keep thinking I could be doing something else....and I could just give all this stuff away.....

***Update...we made almost a hundred bucks and got rid of a lot of STUFF so I won't whine anymore.... :)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Food Preparedness Challenge

I started the food preparedness challenge 12 days ago that is going on over at Preparedness Pro.
This is day 12 for us in the challenge. Here is what I’ve learned:
1. I have a lot more food than I thought (about 6 months in most areas).
2. A large amount of the food is stuff that is to be used in making things from scratch.
3. That sounds good…unless you are the main cook and hurt your finger to the point of infection and can’t make a lot from scratch because it is downright painful.
4. We didn’t have enough comfort/snack items.
5. As soon as we get moved in I’m going to get a garden started back up because we ran out of fresh veggies very quickly when not able to go to the farmers market.
6. I don’t have enough cat food.

I’m posting this early because we are having a moving sale tomorrow and an unexpected family visit on Sunday. This has been a good experience.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge Days 10-13

Ok. I hate doing this...but, I have to consolidate these posts...again. I overused my hand..opened up the wound...it got worse...and extremely painful. The pain meds are making me sleepy... Doctor says I need to keep wrapping for several more weeks and I need to be more careful. Let's see...18 more days until we move and I'm supposed to take it easy?

Day 10: Today we need to show our hubby's some appreciation...instead of spending time criticizing...spend some time telling him how much you admire him.

Day 11: This day is about showing respect to you husband. One of those ways of showing respect is by submitting to our husband's authority and leadership.

Day 12: This day is about checking in with ourselves. Do we have unreasonable or unrealistic expectations of our husbands actions?

Day 13: Today is about the sexual relationship with our husbands. This one is a pretty important issue...especially to the men in our lives. We need to be sure to encourage your husbands in the areas of lovemaking. Could be fun.... :)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge Days 8 & 9

I'm doing two days in one post because the injury to my knuckle got infected...so I'm on antibiotics and pain killers and it's difficult to type with the bandage. I'm still able to work on being an encouragement to my hubby. :)

Day 8 is to be faithful and encourage faithfulness in our husbands.

Day 9 is to really take the time to listen to your husband. This isn't an easy task for me...I like to come up with answers when he doesn't necessarily want one from me. One of my goals is to work on truly listening to him.

Friday, August 7, 2009

30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge Day 7

Finances....one of the biggest reasons for marital problems. Today we are to let our husbands know how we appreciate how he handles the finances...whether or not he is strong or weak in this area. Not necessarily an easy thing to do if you feel you could do a better job. However, it's important that we figure out ways to encourage him in the areas that he does do well in and work together to create a sound budget.

"That I may cause those who love me to inherit wealth, that I may fill their treasuries." Proverbs 8:21

Small Thing

Today's small thing is to pick a task you've been putting off and set the timer for 15 min. I love my timer! I use it regularly to get me back on track. Today I used it to get my laundry caught back up.

30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge Day 6

Sorry this is a day late. Spent a number of hours in the doctors office. I had an accident while cutting some fabric....took a chunk of skin out of my knuckle...my finger will be wrapped for several weeks until it heals. Pretty painful...and a real pain trying to do things (like typing).

Yesterdays challenge was to recognize and appreciate our husbands "creative gifts."
Dh's is definitely his people skills and his ability to work with extrememely difficult children. He's pretty amazing. :)

"Whatever ye do, do all to the glory of God." 1 Cor. 31b

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Small Thing

Todays small thing was to......make your bed. A small thing, yes. But try making your bed and seeing what a huge difference it makes in how your bedroom looks.

30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge Day 5

Todays challenge was to build our husband up in the eyes of others. I was able to make some postive comments about him in front of our ds14.

"Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers." Eph 4:29

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge Day 4

Todays challenge is to let your husband know that you appreciate and value the work that he does. My challenge is that my husband was one of the many teachers in California who got a pink slip in the spring. His last paycheck came this past Friday. I'm working on keeping a positive attitude and not one of worry. I'm also trying to show him that I can be very frugal with the money that is coming in. And doing a lot of praying that the right job will come through for him.

Small thing

Todays small thing is a very important one for us ladies. Today you should do a breast self-exam. I had a scare in the spring that turned out benign...but is something I will have to have checked every 6 months. Here is a site that gives some good information on how to do this... We need to take care of ourselves so we can take care of our families....

Monday, August 3, 2009

30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge Day 3

Todays encouragement challenge was to determine to not say anything negative to or about your husband. The idea is that you try to be encouraging instead. I did it! One thing I do know...when I am more positive and encouraging...everyone around me is more positive and encouraging.

"...love suffers long and is kind..." 1 Cor. 13:4

small things

Todays small thing is to get your school supplies organized. I can happily say that I have that one done! Ds14 has what needs in his backpack for the first day of school and the rest are boxed and ready to move.

Menu Plan Monday and Food Challenge

I’m participating in a Food Storage Challenge over at Preparedness Pro. So for the next 2 weeks I won’t be going to the store to shop. This is going to help empty out our freezer for the move in a few weeks too. I’m gonna have to get creative!

Monday:
Breakfast Easy banana bread muffins
Lunch Salad, fried rice (leftovers)
Dinner Homemade chicken strips, corn on the cob, grapes

Tuesday:
Breakfast oatmeal, turkey sausage
Lunch tuna sandwiches, grapes
Dinner bean and cheese burritos, Spanish rice, lettuce salad

Wednesday:
Breakfast Eggs and toast
Lunch smoothies (yogurt, frozen strawberries, bananas)
Dinner rice-a-roni, ground lamb, salad

Thursday:
Breakfast Oatmeal, turkey sausage
Lunch Quesadillas, fruit
Dinner ground beef, rice, leftover veggies in freezer (goulash type dish)

Friday:
Breakfast Cold cereal
Lunch BLT wraps
Dinner pasta alfredo, zucchini, rice

Saturday:
Breakfast biscuits, eggs, juice
Lunch grilled cheese sandwiches, fruit
Dinner baked chicken, cabbage, rice

Sunday:
Breakfast Pancakes, eggs, orange juice
Lunch Tuna sandwiches, fruit
Dinner Italian sausage, rice, zucchini


Ds14 is making peanut butter balls to go in the fridge for an easy snack. I also have some snack items “put away” to pull out when needed.



Sunday, August 2, 2009

30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge Day 2

Today we are to give our husbands praise for their willingness to serve others. My dh is very good about doing what needs to be done for his mom and older brother who lives with her due to some handicaps. He's been doing it for years and doesn't get enough kudos for what he does from other family members who sit back and do nothing. Anyone have some of those? In retrospect, I've come to realize I've been stingy with my own praise and with the "thank you's" that should happen on a daily basis.
It's time for a change.....

"..through love serve one another." Gal. 5:13b

Get Rid Of It #18

This past week at Kathi's Project Blog we are being encouraged to let go of 21 items. I need to let go of a lot more than that!
So far I've gotten rid of old children's books, earrings,plastic containers,shorts and shirts ds14 has outgrown and pot lids that don't match anything. That's just for today! Think I'll be doing this for the rest of the week...

Saturday, August 1, 2009

30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge Day One

I decided to start the 30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge because I've heard some positive things about it. I'm hoping to see some positive changes in my relationship with my husband.
Todays challenge was to thank your husband for choosing you above all other women and to let him know that God put us together.

Is your husband confident that you love him?

Friday, July 31, 2009

Cake Mix Applesauce Muffins

For Food Storage Friday I whipped up a batch of these today. I got the recipe over at The American Homemaker. They are delicious!
In my short term storage I have a bunch of cake mixes I got on sale for .50 a box and I'm trying to figure out some different ways to use them up. The applesauce in it is also some I home canned last year.

Photobucket

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Get Fit

Did 10 minutes on my step today. Trying to move at a faster pace to get my heart rate up.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Small Thing

Todays Small Thing is to clean your cutting board. Very easy...got out the vinegar and now 2 of them are sanitized and packed in boxes.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Small Thing

Today's Small Thing is to take Isaiah 51:1 and print it off, post it up, or use it as desktop decor. Meditate on the process the Master is using in your life and know that He is preparing you as only He can.

Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness
and who seek the Lord :
Look to the rock from which you were cut
and to the quarry from which you were hewn;
Isaiah 51: 1.

Independence Day Challenge

It’s hard to stay with this challenge with getting ready for our move, but here goes:

Planted something/Community food systems: Cucumbers at the work site

Want not/Prep: We are eating from the freezer and our food storage to lessen what we need to move. Also picked up free grocery bag of asian pears, lemons and zucchini from a neighbor. Added 25 pounds cornmeal to preps (yes, I know I’m trying to pare it down, but it’s driving me crazy to see my food storage dwindling). The cornmeal has been vacuum sealed in jars and boxed to move. Practicing with solar oven.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Solar Cooker Challenge

So here I go adding another challenge. Over at Preparededness Pro a challenge has been issued to prepare your meals in your solar oven for two days. Today I made the rice for our meal and a peach cobbler. This is the second time I've made rice and each time it comes out sticky. It was still edible but I'd like to figure out what to do to make it a little more dried out. Or is that possible? Hmmmm....



The peach cobbler was very good as usual...although I think I'll use a little less butter and none of the juice from the can so it's not so soggy on the bottom.

Clean Heart Challenge

This weeks Clean Heart Challenge is about learning to trust in God. This can be very difficult to do because throughout our lives we learn not to trust in people…we get let down all the time. But, that’s because as people we are not infallible. Your expectations might be that someone you trusted very much has let you down…so maybe God will too? But, we need to remember that God is always there. We may not be able to see it when we are in our most difficult situations, but He is there.

Here is the verse for the week:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5 (NIV)

And a prayer from The Clean Heart Devotional that I will be praying:

Dear Heavenly Father,
There is so much to done and the task seems so overwhelming. I pray that you would give me the strength to start, and finish, what needs to done. I give myself to you to make the changes in me that need to begin. And as I go about each day this week, I pray that I would not drift from You, but lean on You for understanding and for you to direct my path. I submit myself to You and trust You with my life and all my heart. Direct me Lord. Be there to catch me when I fall, and give me the strength I need to continue on. I trust you Lord. Be with me now and throughout this week, and the rest of the year, as I look to You to finish the tasks that are ahead of me.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen.


I hope you all have a blessed week.

Menu Plan Monday

Breakfast: Oatmeal
Biscuits and eggs

Lunches: Leftovers (I’m at work so the family feeds themselves)
Pb&j’s, fruit
Tuna sandwiches, fruit

Dinners: BLT tortilla wraps
Pasta with ground beef/ salad
Spaghetti/ cornbread/ salad


Desserts: Applesauce coffee cake
Peach cobbler


Small Thing

This Small Thing was to do something fun to relax. We went and saw the Eagle (ds25) in this play. It was a very intense play..but, I am so impressed with my sons acting abilities. It is interesting to watch him grow and wondering where this will take him in his life.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Small Thing

This Small Thing is to put away something that doesn't belong. I'm working on my kitchen table that is the family dumping spot. No pictures...way too embarrassing. I'd really like to be able to sit down and eat a meal there. The problem is keeping it clear. We all seem to drop things on it...and once one thing is dropped on it..it becomes a clutter magnet.

Ok...changed my mind...how about an after picture? It took 30 minutes and everything on the table was tossed or put where it belonged. Now to keep it clear...

Get Rid Of It

GROI #15 is cleaning out the silverware drawer. Mine really needed it. Can't remember the last time I cleaned it. I threw out a few things, donated a few knives (didn't put these in the free box because of kids browsing through it) and moved some canning lids. One thing I discovered is I have a number of non-working can openers. I haven't found a really good one that's easy to use and doesn't break after a short time. Anyone know of a good brand? I didn't think to take a before picture...but did take an after picture. Looks pretty good, huh?.

Get Rid Of It

I'm been behind on doing the GROI projects so I'm going backwards in trying to get them done. GROI #17 was to get rid of something you could possibly use some day, but you know giving it away would bless someone else. I couldn't come up with anything specific...but, over the past weeks of decluttering for our move I've realized how much I've been hanging on to stuff because I can always think of a reason to use it in the future. It has felt really good to put stuff out in front of our house to give away instead of trying to sell it at a garage sale. I know that some of the people I've seen can really use what they've taken. And I also know that we just have too much stuff. There is no way I'm going to allow so much clutter into our new home.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Get Fit

I did one set of 12 of these http://www.squeezeitin.com/2009/07/new-exercise-crayon-kicks/

And two sets of 12 of these http://www.squeezeitin.com/2009/07/new-exercise-scribble-and-squeeze/

And, 10 minutes on my step.....

Small Thing

Todays Small Thing is to get your entertainment center together. We don't have an entertainment center, but I have gotten all vhs tapes and dvds in their cases and in the plastice shoeboxes. Can we say organized!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Small Thing


Todays Small Thing was to do something square to improve your home sanctuary. Sooo...I made brownies! My family really liked this assignment. As you can see from the picture...one disappeared before I could even get to the camera.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Shelf Reliance Giveaway

Free on Friday: The Providence Essential Two Person 72-Hour Kit!
Shelf Reliance is excited to offer you a chance to win the Providence Essential 72-Hour Kit. This kit includes supplies for two people.

The winner of this great prize will be ready to go with items like an AM/FM radio, a tube tent, sleeping bags, ponchos, water, and a deluxe first aid kit. You can check out the entire list of included items by clicking here. The pack is valued at $119.99. A great thing about this kit is that it’s designed for a quick getaway. It would be great to keep in the trunk of your car or in a closet by the front door, where it can be easily accessed in an emergency.

http://www.shelfreliance.com/blog/index.php/2009/07/20/free-friday-providence-essential-person-72hour-kit/comment-page-1/#comments

Small Things

Today's Small Thing is to put an ironic twist in your life by doing ONE THING that has been plaguing you. (What have I been putting off?)
Well, there is a bag of magazines that I've been meaning to take to my job so the kids could cut them up for collages. However, the handle on the paper bag broke so it seemed like such an issue to pick it up and get it in the car. It's sitting right in the entry way creating an eyesore. Care to know how long it's been sitting there? Over a month... It's now in the recycle bin. I just decided I needed to get rid of it...instead of telling myself I was going to get them work.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Clean Heart Challenge

I decided to take part in this challenge because I truly believe that you have to be “clean” on the inside before being able to be “clean” on the outside. I’ll be talking to God this week about cleansing my heart of the anger and discontentment that is so difficult to get rid of. Here is the prayer for this week.

Dear Heavenly Father,
I’m so sorry for the things in my heart that have hindered me from doing what you have called me to do. (Take a moment to list the heart issues you need to bring up to the Lord). I have procrastinated and ignored my duties, things have piled up, and I’m suffering, along with my family, because of it. Lord, please forgive and my attitude toward keeping my home. I’ve looked at it as a burden, instead of a blessing and a way of showing Christ-like love towards my family. Please help me as I pursue cleanliness in my home, to find peace in my heart. I pray that as I seek You throughout this journey, that you would reveal to me any issues in my heart that may still need to be addressed. Please guide me Lord and help me to get my home in order, but most importantly, let my heart be one that speaks of selflessness, happiness, and contentment in my words, as well as my actions. Create in me a clean heart Lord, and bless me as I pursue a clean home as well.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Prayer is taken from a page in the Clean Heart devotional.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Get Fit!

Today I took the dog for a 25 minute, brisk walk. I'm gonna have to start going earlier (before 9) because I was sweating and Abby was panting pretty quickly into our walk.

Also did one set of 12 of this... http://www.squeezeitin.com/2009/07/new-exercise-towel-time/

Friday, July 17, 2009

Peanut Butter Balls





Todays Food Storage Friday recipe was very simple. The Hawk (age 14) actually put together this one. This recipe uses only three ingredients...peanut butter, powdered milk and honey.....one cup of each. Yummy!

Technology

I really enjoy being on the computer and all that the internet has to offer. I've decided to use my love of Twittering and reading others blogs to help me get more organized and in better shape.

I've been using Twitter already to record some stuff I'm doing, but I'm going to use it more on a regular basis to record things that are "done." I'm following Fly Motivator...she sends out reminders on Twitter that I try and follow. http://twitter.com/FLYMotiv8r

I also follow a number of blogs out in blogland that have different challenges going on. I'll be doing different challenges on different days.

http://www.homesanctuary.com/rachelanne/ I do the Small Things...

http://sharonastyk.com/
I also follow Sharon Astyk's blog and try to keep up with the Independence days Challenges.

http://safelygatheredin.blogspot.com/2009/07/its-tuesday.html
On Tuesdays it's time to look at our 72-hour kits, 3-month supplies, and longer-term storage and on Fridays it's time to test a food storage recipe on the Safely Gathered In blog.

I'm trying to get back into shape, so I'm going to have four days out of the week for some form of formal exercise. I will be following several blogs that emphasize getting fit.
http://www.squeezeitin.com/
http://fitnessistaworkout.blogspot.com/2008/08/august-24-2008.html

http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/aCleanHeart/ This a wonderful devotional blog...

Starting August 1st I will also be doing... http://www.reviveourhearts.com/pdf/30DayChallenge.pdf

I'll also be doing Kathi's Project as she posts them...http://blog.kathilipp.com/


Think I've got all areas covered? :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Organization

I've been trying to figure out a way to use this blog to help me get a little more organized. I figure I'm on the computer so much I should it well. More later....

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The What Ifs?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about why it is so difficult to make a full commitment to some things. Why is it that we do “just enough” but can’t give of ourselves 110%? Why do say “yes” in our heads that we’ll commit to something then find ourselves doing just enough to “get by"?
I believe it’s fear that holds us back…of failure, of being hurt, of not being right all the time…

This impacts everything we do. We may avoid relationships or we don’t fully give of ourselves in ones we are already in because we are afraid of getting hurt again. We set ourselves up for failure when trying to lose weight because we’ve tried it so many times over and it always comes back. We set up situations in our jobs that cannot possibly come out well. We take on project after project knowing that there’s no way we can successfully do them all.

But, it doesn’t have to be that way. God doesn’t want that for us. He doesn’t want us to have a spirit of fear, but a heart filled with peace.

For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
2Timothy 1:7

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.
John 14:27

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Vegas pictures

I finally was able to get the pictures off my camera of our trip to Vegas. Sorry, but they're not the best quality because I have a cheap digital camera.



Wind turbines on the ride down at 6 in the morning.



The Excalibur hotel is beautiful all lit up.




This is the ceiling of the Bellagio. They're glass flowers. Stunning!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Out of shape!

We just got back from several days in Las Vegas. That place is pretty spectacular but it sure feels good to be back home. One thing I learned while I was there is that I am terribly, terribly out of shape. If you want to see all the beautiful displays and shows they have going on in front of the hotels you don't drive...you walk. There are just too many people. We did so much walking up and down the strip...I can't believe how tired I was. And it was a little embarrassing because I had to ask dh (who is in great shape) and ds14 (also in great shape) to slow down because I was having a hard time keeping up. This is so ridiculous.... I have to stop making excuses and get myself in gear.
I got a stairstepper last week from a Freecycler. I pulled it out today and pulled some Youtube videos on the tv (thinking I could time myself by how long the videos were). Hmmm...I did 8 minutes...yes, that 8 minutes and I was so out of breath I had to stop.
I don't know what's happened to me. I used to be in pretty decent shape.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Challenges

I haven't been posting the challenges daily but I have been doing at least one or two of them each day and they are making a big difference.

GROI Challenge So far I've cleaned out my inbox, gotten rid of 21 things (some really gross!) from the fridge and cleaned out my purse.

Independence Day Challenge: I've been using the solar cooker regularly instead of the oven. I read in one of my books that you can't burn something in a solar cooker. Well, you may not be able to burn it, but you can sure make something inedible. Sunday, when it was 111, I put out some pork chops to cook. normally they take 1 1/2 to 2 hrs. I checked after 1 1/2 hrs and they were shriveled up and dried out. The inside of my cooker was 475! I tried again on Monday when the temp was 99 and they turned out juicy and tender after 1 hr and 15 minutes. Lesson learned: Don't wait to use your solar cooker...there is a learning curve just like there is in gardening.

Shmily Challenge: Yesterday we ended 30 days of prayer for our hubby's. As I look back I can see the difference prayer has made. It's hard to be mad at someone when you're praying for them (jk). I will continue doing this daily on my own.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Hot days!

Yesterday it actually hit 111 degrees...just too hot to even move... Today cooled down to 103 (said with sarcasm...). It's only 99 right now (at 7pm). Nobody wanted to move today...around noon we all started crashing...naptime! Meals were yogurts, smoothies and salads for dinner...it almost felt too hot to eat....

Saturday, June 27, 2009

I won something!

I entered a giveaway at Callapidder Days and actually won the book she was giving away! The book is called Elisha's Bones. Here is a review of the book from the website. I can't wait to get it!

Elisha’s Bones

by Don Hoesel

The bones of the prophet once raised the dead to life…
but they vanished from history in a whisper.

Every year, professor of antiquities Jack Hawthorne looks forward to the winter break as a time to hide away from his responsibilities. Even if just for a week or two. But this year, his plans are derailed when he’s offered almost a blank check from a man chasing a rumor.

Billionaire Gordon Reese thinks he knows where the bones of the prophet Elisha are-bones that in the Old Testament brought the dead back to life. A born skeptic, Jack doesn’t think much of the assignment but he could use the money, so he takes the first step on a chase for the legendary bones that will take him to the very ends of the earth. But he’s not alone. Joined with a fiery colleague, Esperanza Habilla, they soon discover clues to a shadowy organization whose long-held secrets
have been protected… at all costs. As their lives are threatened again and again, the real race is to uncover the truth before those chasing them hunt them down.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tossing

GROI Challenge: It's time to really get into high gear with packing for the move. We're doing really good with tossing and donating. I tossed a whole bunch of outdated cosmetics. I don't want to take anything along that I don't need.

Independence Day Challenge: Vaccuum sealed 10 quart jars of steel cut oats. These will go into the freezer for 48 hrs to kill any bugs that might be in them. Also picked up 2 dozen mason jars from a Freecycler.

Shmily Challenge: Yesterday and today we are to pray for our husbands emotions and his walk as he journeys through life.....

Shelf Reliance Giveaway

Shelf Reliance is having an awesome giveway that ends June 26. They are giving away (for free!) The Harvest 72" food rotation systems. Wouldn't you love one of those? I would! So, hop on over and sign up to try and win one...
http://www.shelfreliance.com/blog/index.php/2009/06/15/free-friday-bringing-harvest/comment-page-60/#comment-3126

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Week 2 Challenges

Independence Day Challenge:
Preserve Something: purchased a flat of strawberries...they are hulled (made ds14 do it ) and in the freezer to be used for smoothies this summer. Yum!

Prep Something: Added paper towels to the stash

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Saturday Challenge

Oh my! Has it really been since Tuesday since I've been on? I've kept up with the challenges...just no time to blog about then.

Clean Heart Challenge: Part of the Clean Heart Challenge is to think on a verse each week. This weeks verse comes from Proverbs.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (New International Version)
Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.

SHMILY Time Challenge: Today we are praying for our hubbie's attitude...
http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/DandelionSeeds/700847/
One of the questions asked is how do I react when dh is struggling with his own negative attitudes....in a nutshell...very poorly. I tend to react right back in a negative way. My prayer will also be for me to change my negative attitude as well.

Independence Day Challenge: Picked up 5 bags of potting soil and 2 bags of steer manure and dropped them off at work for the work garden.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Clean Heart Challenge: Part of the Clean Heart Challenge is to think on a verse each week. This weeks verse comes from Proverbs.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (New International Version)
Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.


SHMILY Time Challenge: Today we are praying for our hubbie's reputation...
http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/DandelionSeeds/699719/

Independence Day Challenge: Plant Something and Work on your local food systems: I picked up a dozen freebie tomato transplants from our local university. These will go in the work garden over the next few days. We are going to be overflowing with tomatoes come August! This is a good thing...the hope is that we will have so much that we can send a lot home with the childrens families. (And I plan to can some ) It's really interesting how the children are so different with gardening. About 90% of the kids in my classroom live in apartments and have no access to any kind of gardening. Our garden is right next to our play yard , so when we are outside, the children have access as much as they want. Some aren't interested much at all. A couple really only want to come in when we are watering. But, there are 2 boys and 1 girl who are very interested in this. From the beginning, they are the ones who always wanted to help when we started out with our container gardens. When we started some plants from seeds they were the first ones at the table to help and the ones who checked everyday on the seeds growth. Now that we are using our garden beds they're the ones who are in the garden each time(they spend most of our outside time hanging out in the garden)...wanting plant something, checking on what we've already planted and smelling our scented pants(yarrow, anise, mints and rosemary). I'm so excited about this! I love seeing kids who are interested in gardening....

Cook something: My goal is to clear out the freezer about and use up bulky goods before we move. So, today we had a boxed pasta dish with hot dogs (found in the freezer) and more of our masonades( I have a lot of frozen lemon juice).

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Day 5 Challenges

Clean Heart Challenge: Gave in and bought a burger for lunch. I was out running around and got so hungry. It was only a small burger...but, it still makes me mad at myself for getting it. :(

SHMILY Time Challenge: Yesterday was praying for his protection and today was praying for his trials. I've been doing that for a long time and will continue to.

Independence Day Challenge: Today we got rid of a huge amount of STUFF. It sure felt good. The house feels lighter and our move will be easier with as much stuff as possible gone.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Summer's here!!

Today was the last day of school. The Hawk is done with 8th grade and Daddyman goes tomorrow to close down his classroom. I, unfortunately, have to work through the summer. I do have vacation time accumulated so hopefully we'll get to go somewhere.

Day 4 Challenges

Clean Heart Challenge: Almost went for fast food for dinner. I'm glad I decided to cook instead.

SHMILY Time Challenge: Today was praying about his health. A few years ago my dh started exercising and lost quite a bit of weight. I'm finding that it's my job to help him by keeping healthy foods around the house and making sure meals are prepared so we don't break down and go for fast food.

Independence Day Challenge: Today I harvested a small amount of peaches from our tree.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Day 3 Challenges

Clean Heart Challenge: I'm finding that if I stay away from the stores I don't feel the need to buy anything...

SHMILY Time Challenge: Today was praying about his purpose. I think knowing why God put you here on this earth is essential to our daily living. Working at something you don't like doing everyday can wear you down. I'm praying that my dh finds this out for himself.

Independence Day Challenge: Today was a very long, busy day. All I can say I did today was to reduce waste: I picked up a bunch of newspaper that will be used for mulch and dinner was made up of leftovers to help clear out the fridge.

Oh wait... I forgot...I got some muskmelon and tomato transplants from a fellow Freecycler (and they're heirlooms). They'll go in the ground next week.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Day 2: Challenges


Clean Heart Challenge:
Didn't buy anything unnecessary today. I did buy gas...but, since my gas light came on I thought that was definitely a necessity.

SHMILY Time Challenge:
Today I am praying for dh's fears...all those "what if's"... My dh is not one to come out and say what he is afraid of...

Independence Day Challenge:

Plant something: This one won't be happening at my home very much because we are moving at the end of the summer. But, the raised garden beds at my work have been weeded and are useable now. This is where most of my gardening energies will be going this summer. Today we planted 3 tomato starts. One Early Girl, one Shady Lady and one unknown that was donated. The sunflowers the children started in the ground from seed are about 2 feet tall now and we have a dozen transplants that the children started from seed...squash, watermelon, tomatoes, cantaloupe and some flowers. These will go in the ground next week. Tomorrow a lady from freecycle is bringing by some muskmelon transplants for us as well.

Prep something: I added more refried beans and brown rice to my storage.

Cook something: Made a small pork roast in my solar cooker today.

Work on local food systems: This is something I'm doing at work. The goal is for these gardens to be eventually be able to help feed the childrens families. The children have been harvesting strawberries but none of them have made it home. They like to eat them too fast!