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. :)

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

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

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

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!

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 and 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, 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,, 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 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:

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 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 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

Toast, fruit
Cereal, milk

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 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.