Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #37

It is almost the end of the year!  Wow, that went FAST!  Ok...well not the waiting for baby part...especially not the extra two weeks.  But everything else went FAST!

2011 Thankful Highlights

1. I am thankful for the birth of my baby girl Abigail!

2. I am thankful for the Lord's provision for all of our needs and quite a few of our wants!

3. I am thankful for a temporary but hopefully successful diagnosis of Grace's rash issue: Citrus allergy!  SO much easier than gluten or dairy!

4. I am thankful for family and friends who have encouraged me!

5. I am thankful for my Princess girls and co-leaders!

6. I am thankful for 27 years of life!

7. I am thankful for flexible schedules.

8. I am thankful for awesome and encouraging moms who blog and let me peer in on their lives.

9. I am thankful for safety at our teen center and events.

10. I am thankful to get to see the Lord at work and be invited to join Him.

I have a love/hate relationship with the end of the year.  I love it because it feels so new when the calendar year changes.  I hate it because I get introspective and pick apart life.  I know there are some new goals I have for the coming year and some things I want to change.  I just pray that I do it in such a way that is constructive and not overwhelming.  To be continued...

Monday, December 26, 2011

I love Christmas.

My husband kept saying yesterday "You just love Christmas don't you?"  I do!  I love it with my whole heart.  I love picking out gifts for people and watching them open them.  I love the excitement in Grace's eyes when she gets something she LOOOOVES.  I love watching her pick up gifts to give to people then proudly announce "I help you!" and help unwrap!  I love that my family is patient and kind to my little girls.  I love the generosity I get to show and receive from others.  I love the new things that populate our home and thinking of who gave them to me.  I love that we [my family] gives gifts that are useful and helpful and pratical with a hint of whismy.  I love that we get to sit around and play games.  I love that we get to take naps.  I love Christmas food and Christmas leftovers.  I love everything about Christmas.

Usually the day or two after I get this little bit of a hole where the Christmas spirit was.  This year though (and I realize we're only a day after) I still feel the joy of it.  I feel the organized cleanness of the house because I was practical in putting away gifts.  My daughter has a toy she will love and play with for YEARS and she gets excited when she sees it.  I feel like this year is different and this year Christmas won't fade as quickly or as suddenly.

I want to tell you all about our day and gifts and treasures but I'm sure you have stories of your own that you are currently holding onto in your mind.  Enjoy them, snuggle in them and when January has you down, make a cup of hot chocolate and go back to them!

Merry Christmas!


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Off to a good start...smh.

So smh means Smack My Head apparently.  Glad I could educate you.  Here is how my day has looked...

Kiddos woke up around midnight and did NOT want to sleep last night.  Abi woke up at 7:45, Grace woke up at 9.

I marked all the stocking presents with first initials...forgetting A stands for both Aaron and Abi.  Abi really has no use for Aaron's socks and undies. 

Breakfast was delightful but I think I need to make french toast more.  (Only hub's favorite breakfast).  I was a bit rusty - it turned out ok.

I accidentally told Hubs he was getting coffee for Christmas awhile ago.  Imagine his disappointment when he waited until after presents to make a pot only to find out it's whole bean and we don't have a grinder.  (He improvised with a mini blender - what a man)

Went to start making the coffee cake.  Need an egg so I probably shouldn't have used them all for breakfast.  No big deal, will grab one on the way to the parent's house and make it tonight.

Put Grace down for a nap...she is still awake an hour later although now she is locked in the crib.

Had some stomach pains.  Figured I was going to die of appendicitis seeing as a friend posted on FB about it last night.  Good news, an hour later it passed.  (After I told her I thought I was dying and it was her fault).

Started on sweet potato casserole.  A few text messages and a phone call later I'm SURE my mom thinks I have lost my mind.  YES, bake then mash the potatoes.  NO, don't bake it now, bake it here.  YES, this is NOT that difficult.  Turns out this needs eggs too.  I got everything else mixed and now need to go to the store PRIOR to going to the 'rents house.

Was going to go ahead and get me dressed so I just need to get the girls dressed after this alleged nap that doesn't appear to be happening.  'Cept all my clothes are in the basement where Hubs is napping.  Didn't feel like putting my pjs back on so I threw on a cotton dress.  I kind of look like a nun.

Ok, Grace is singing, Abi is screaming (just woke up)...I am going to go see what I can do about this crazy.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Thankful Thursday Top Ten #36

Here's the quick list!  Ok, my lists are never quick.

1. I am thankful for celebrating both Christmas and my father in law's 50th birthday last night!  We gathered for an innocent little family celebration at 5:00...and people started pouring in the door for his surprise party at 6:30.  I had been receiving birthday cards for him all week - it was fun.  Jill (mom-in-law) did a great job!

2. I am thankful for how well behaved Grace was last night.  I mean, she's two, but she listened, was polite, said thank you, waited her turn.  I love it.

3. I am thankful for a new prescription for the kiddo.  We have got to figure this rash thing out.  It is back and the prescription, no joke, is for "magic butt cream".

4. I am thankful for my husband and how hard he works.

5. I am thankful for the next two days filled with family and fun!

6. I am thankful that I can take a day mostly off randomly and no one really caring.

7. I am thankful that both Morgan and Joie are going to be home for awhile so I'll get to see them!

8. I am thankful the vast majority of people in my family are Christians and we really do focus on the Lord during this crazy season.

9. I am thankful for peppermint hot chocolate thanks to my little sis-in-law.

10. I am thankful for You!  Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Behind much?

Oh my goodness!

I was doing so well and keeping the blog updated and then life struck!  Here is the week in recap:

Thursday and Friday: Jury duty.  What an experience.  They were all liars! :)

Friday night: Sick as a dog.

Saturday: Prep for church party, hug on my girls who I hadn't seen in two days.

Sunday: Church party. Grocery Store. Hang with Hubs.

Monday: Play office catch up. Bible study. Stay up till 11:30 stuffing newsletters.

Tuesday: Try desperately to keep eyes open.  Love on kids, accomplish something.

Wednesday: So far so good!  I have a lot of baking, house stuff and planning to do tonight then we should be good to go for the rest of the week!

Tomorrow is "Christmas" with Hub's family.  Friday is supposed to be a normal day, yeah right.  Saturday morning we'll eat a lovely breakfast at home, exchange gifts then go to my parent's house after naps!  And of course Sunday is Christmas!

It's going to be crazy and I LOVE IT!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thankful Thursday Top Ten #35 - Jury Edition

I had jury duty today AND was selected to sit as a juror.  Oh, civic duty....

1. I am thankful for the right to a trial and an unbiased jury of your peers.

2. I am thankful for people who show up without really lame excuses about getting out of jury duty. (My two favorite of the day were "well, if I don't think the law is right I wouldn't be able to find them guilty regardless" and "I carry the constitution with me at all times so I would first have to decide if the law was constitutional."

3. I am thankful for Stephanie who watched my girls today (5 kids and pregnant with twins...I bet she was as tired as I was!)

4. I am thankful for my second peppermint mocha of the season although Starbucks is still better than McDs and I haven't had one of those yet.

5. I am thankful for a day of adult conversation...I mean, talking to two year olds is great but cracking jokes that adults actually get and laugh at just made my day.

6. I am thankful for people with a sense of humor.

7. I am thankful for the delightful man who walked with me to the courthouse, got selected as a juror too, and told me to have a "wonderful day sweetie and be safe getting home."  There really are still nice people in the world.

8.  I am thankful that the Judge bought us cookies.

9. I am thankful I only have one more day of service.

10. I am thankful for my nap on the couch once I got home tonight.  Now I'm going to see if I can get Abi to bed and get some more rest tonight before reporting again at 8am tomorrow!

Link up here:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

All in a day's work...

Yesterday we...

...colored on the walls. our fingers messy!

...made some new ornaments.

...spent some time just being sisters.

...built block towers.

...this wasn't from yesterday but was a fun picture from our cookie making day!

What did you do yesterday??

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Hi Mom! and The Peppermint Mocha Saga

I recently gave my blog link to my mom...don't tell her I complained about how she made me clean out my car?  mmmkay?

This week seems busy already and it is only Tuesday!  Last night we had Bible study and I am pumped that the girls are coming - not so pumped when I feel like we aren't getting through.  I think they thought I was losing my mind last night.  I must have said "Are you listening because I want you to REALLY hear me" at least three times last night.  I'm reminded that it is my job to plant the seeds and water them but the Lord's job to make them grow.

It was a good night though and I think we covered a lot of good information.  We talked about "must haves" and "deal breakers" in relationships.  This week their journals are what physical boundaries they have for their dating relationships.  It is always interesting to me to see what they came up with and why they choose those boundaries.

Today Hubs took the day off which led to a nice morning with him and then he watched the girls so I could go to the DMV for my license plate.  And FINALLY get a peppermint mocha (although it is the McDonald's variety and not the Starbucks variety but it is a start).

I have been posting on my Facebook page for the past few WEEKS about how I wanted a peppermint mocha but I haven't had time to get one.  So I FINALLY got out of the house on Sunday (by myself) and went to Target with the plan to stop at their Starbucks and drink it while I finished Christmas shopping.  So I approached the counter and proudly stated: I would like a Peppermint Mocha please!  To which she replied: Sorry, we're out of peppermint.  Now, I had been waiting WEEKS for this mocha so I replied in my not so quiet voice: Are you serious?  You can't be serious!  I have been talking about how I was going to get a peppermint mocha for weeks and you're out of peppermint?  I think I may have looked a little crazy and I may have had a tear well up in my eye...and then I finally said, ok, I'd like a medium caramel brulee, not looking her in the eye.  So she rang me up and gave me a coupon for a free drink.  I must have looked pretty upset.  (Although in my defense I was not rude, it wasn't her fault!)

Hope you are enjoying the holidays and not taking the peppermint mochas little things too seriously.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Tradition 4: Stockings

Stockings are a BIG DEAL in my family.  These are the gifts you can open as soon as you get up.  My stocking usually contains: candy, socks, pens, jewelry and other random goodies.  Back when we used "real" film we used to get film every year and as a kid we got Lifesaver books every year.  These are never expensive items and are always fun.  I distinctly remember getting a mood ring one year and wearing it back to bed after I opened my stocking.

Why would I go back to bed?  Because the rule in our house was stockings could be open any time Christmas morning provided that you had first fallen asleep and that you did not use an alarm clock to wake yourself up.  So I generally opened mine about 3am then went back to sleep. 

My sister and I had a competition every year to see who would get there first.  And although she lost EVERY year, it was still indeed a competition.  Oh, that was the other part, you couldn't leave your stocking items exposed.  Since a lot of what we were getting were duplicates we (I) always made sure to pack them away so it didn't ruin the surprise for my sister.

The first year I was married my sister was excited that she was FINALLY going to beat me.  How could I win?  I was in a different house about 10 minutes away.  This was going to be her year.  Just to mess with her, I sent my alarm clock for 4am, broke into my parents house, opened my stocking, packed it up and drove home.  Did I break the rules?  Yes.  Did she think it was hilarious?  Of course.  (Since then she has beaten me since she wakes up at my parents house and we have to drive there after waking up at home...and Hubs does NOT like to be rushed.)

Have I mentioned I love Christmas?


Friday, December 9, 2011

Tradition 3: Passing the Presents

One thing that makes me absolutely crazy in Christmas movies is when you see the kids tearing down the stairs Christmas morning and ripping into presents all alone.  OR when everyone is sitting around but everyone is just opening presents and ignoring everyone else.  (And if that is how your family does things, I do not mean to offend! :)

In our family my mom and dad always implied that if we were all going to spend time and money buying things that we expected each other to enjoy, they wanted to be able to see the presents get opened.  So, typically either my dad or whoever is sitting closest to the tree will pick up a present.  Whoever it is for will open will be taken, oohs and aahs exchanged.  Then, that person will go and present a present to the next person.  You are not allowed to pick a gift for yourself and you are not allowed to dig through the pile unless you have a really good reason or someone hasn't gotten a gift in awhile.  Then it is ok to find them one.  (Or if you have a two part gift and you want to find part one...sometimes that's allowed...other times you just have to wait until part one is found).

Presents in our family take ALL MORNING, we also usually have anywhere from 6-12 people there depending on what family is there.  We get up, eat breakfast, read The Book, open presents, eat more breakfast and finish opening presents.  Usually followed by the younger people messing with electronics, the babies and "old" people napping. 

I LOVE CHRISTMAS.  Can't wait!


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Thankful Thursday Top Ten #34

I am thankful!! :)

1. I am thankful for being finished Christmas shopping!  I got some cool gifts, a lot of personalized things and I have REALLY enjoyed picking things out (and finding great deals!)

2. I am thankful for a to do list this weekend that I'm excited to tackle.  It includes things such as wrapping gifts, dying my hair, watching "The Help"...would be more pumped if Morgan or Joie were home for the weekend to hang with me and the girlies while we did it all, but ya know, it'll still be awesome.

3. I am thankful for my "rest time" yesterday.  Hubs let me chill for a little bit while he watched the girls in the afternoon.  I needed a break.

4. I am thankful for 42 jars of jelly made, sealed and ready to go for this year!

5. I am thankful for a Doctor who calls me to make sure my kid is still feeling ok.  I LOVE her!

6. I am thankful for friends who call to chat!

7. I am thankful for Christmas cards!  (Ok, any mail that isn't advertisements or bills is good in my book!)

8. I am thankful for the season of Christmas, CHIRSTmas music, and time together!

9. I am thankful for church Christmas banquet next Sunday!  This will be the girls first (of 2-3) chances to wear their Christmas dresses and I'm pumped!

10. I am thankful for more writing this week.  It may not all make sense but it is such a good outlet and I miss it when I stop doing it!

Leave me a comment or link up at:

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tradition 2: The Book

Blog post from my bed #2. If we didn't know each other so well this could be awkward.

Actually, Christmas tradition post 2!  The book.  That's right, this is the tradition you secretly hate as a kid, grudgingly accept as a teen and think of with fondness as an adult.

We would all go get breakfast and finally, finally gather to open presents and then would bring out the book. Someone was picked to read it...I think usually me so I had to pay attention...and then we would all take a minute to remember Christmas isn't about the insane pile of gifts we were about to open but about Christ's love and sharing it with others.

I used to hate it.  I mean, it is such a short book I could probably recite most of it pretty accurately and we read it EVERY year.  But it's what we do. It is my mom's 'thing' and I hope my kids grow up and learn to love it too!


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Mommy, Employee, Teacher, Homemaker

I posted on my facebook the other day...

" I'll start off as mommy, then move to employee (although its not just a job), then switch to teacher and finish off the day as homemaker...its gonna be a busy one!"

This is my life everyday although usually there are a few more hats thrown in.  I get to be a friend, daughter and sister.  Sometimes I get to be the good guy but sometimes I have to be the bad guy.  I get to be a writer, a speaker and a listener.  I wear a lot of hats.

My children are most important.  I was excited this morning that they both slept in.  I was able to get up, get dressed and get my thoughts together before I saw Miss Grace.  Now, she usually wakes up a cheerful little thing but a few minutes to plan goes a long way in my world.  We had breakfast, cut coupons, washed up and played before I heard a noise out of Abi.  I ended up waking her up.  After some focused MOMMY time it was nap time for them and EMPLOYEE time for me.

Now, when I go to work I have a crazy commute.  It usually starts in the living room, goes through Grace's room with some kisses and tucking in, back to the kitchen for a cup of coffee flavored sugar milk then down the hall to my office.  Occasionally there is a detour to change the batteries in the swing or to give baby, baby, camel, doggy, pig and Grace another kiss because the first one didn't count.  In my office I focus on teens, teen events, teen drama and teen missions.  I plan events that will bring kids into our teen center.  I coordinate with people who will be there to make sure nothing crazy happens and of course to tell them about Jesus.  Then I spend a few minutes raising money, a bit of time studying for Bible study and then my inbox is usually full again so I start with event planning once more.  I promote shows, design posters, order radio advertisement.  On a good day I do this fully dressed in real clothes without spit up on them.  On a bad day, I do this with a baby in my lap and a two year old building and knocking over a block tower.  Other than not being able to hear on the phone though is that REALLY a bad day?  After that I switch to TEACHER.

I have the awesome privilege of meeting with 7 girls once a week with two of my dear friends as co-leaders and teaching them about all the crazy good things God has in store for them.  We talk about parents and boys and drama and love and heartbreak and success and the things that make them laugh, cry, and everything in between.  I get to point out where God is in all of it.  It is SUCH a blessing.  I usually start Mondays feeling behind and tired and end them energized from their awesome fellowship.  This is one of my favorite parts of the week!

Then after that I head back to my house where some nights I finish up 21 jars of homemade jelly (made 42 total), or go back to the office to tie up a few loose ends.  I try to do my coupon organizing, floor cleaning, meal planning and house fixing in this time.  It doesn't all get done.  Fortunately my husband is an amazing cook and an awesome friend so together we make it work.

At the end of the day, I make my rounds with peeking in on sleeping kiddos, carry my baby bundle up the stairs and pass out in my bed pleased at what got done, frustrated with what didn't and ready to start it all again the next day.

If you made it to the end of this post, I congratulate you.  This is my life and I wouldn't trade it!

Tradition 1: Ornaments

I thought I would start with this tradition because it started before I was born.  It started when my sister had her first Christmas if I remember correctly.  Every year, sometime after the tree was up but before it was too far into the Christmas "season" my dad would take us shopping for Christmas ornaments.  Just us and dad.  We could pick out anything we wanted (well, within reason) and I remember really looking forward to this special time with dad.  It also made setting up the tree so much more fun because we always looked at our ornaments, figured out how old we were when we got them and got to relive some of those memories.

Grace's first Christmas I remember telling my husband how important this was to me and INSISTING it was a tradition we needed to continue.  He is a trooper :)  Grace has two daddy-daughter ornaments on the tree so far and I'm excited to add one for her and Abi again this year.  All with their names and the year on it so they can look back and remember them.

Our other fun ornament tradition started the year Grace was born with hand print ornaments.  Every year I have gotten some plain ornaments and paint and had her put a hand print on them.  She has three up now and Abi did her first one this year!  I remember the first year trying to pry her little fists open with Joie and getting paint everywhere.  It was awesome.  This year her hand prints aren't smudged and look great! 

I'm not a huge fan of the Christmas tree as a symbol of the holiday but I LOVE that it contains memories and moments that we can continue to cherish.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Funny Friday...On Sunday

Sooo, I'm in bed typing with my thumbs because really, when else am I going to string together coherent thoughts.  And then I woke Abi up...nuts.

Ok, where were we?


1) I changed Grace's diaper today. It just looked weird to me. Then I realized she'd been wearing one of Abi's diapers.  Time to potty train.

2) Thursday I was just having a down day - my post baby body isn't making me thrilled and my hair is in serious need of some help.  I thought it'd be nice if my husband told me I looked pretty.  Then I started cracking up. Hubs of course asked what was funny and not wanting to reveal my innermost thoughts I dodged for awhile but then caved and told him the story above...but ended it with "and then I realized it was 4pm and I was still in pajamas so I could see why maybe that wouldn't cross your mind"

(He has since told me I was pretty)

3) I don't usually recommend movies that could be deemed awkward at times but Crazy Stupid Love made me laugh...hard.

4) Grace asked me what "that" was pointing to my stomach - so I told her it was my belly to which she said ohh, boo boos, I sorry.  Yeah, I have stretch marks kid and they're YOUR fault! :) she's sweet.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Stuff Blogs Are Made Of/Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #32

Hey there,

So I've been MIA recently.  Frankly its been a hard few weeks and I haven't felt like being honest about it and everything else felt pretty fake.  Nothing really serious (honestly!) - just a lot of little things that all seemed to happen at once.  But it is what it is and now we continue.


1) I am thankful for family time putting up our Christmas tree.  I am thankful for my little girls' handprints on ornaments that I can treasure for years to come, ornaments Grace got with her daddy, and ornaments that bring back memories.

2) I am thankful for low pressure Christmas shopping.  I now enjoy buying presents at great prices that make eyes light up...or making presents, or doing something thoughtful.  It makes Christmas more fun.

3) I am thankful for getting almost caught up on work.  I say that because I don't think I'll be truly caught up until my kids go to school everyday (if that ever happens!) but here's hoping! :) really, I've had a productive few days.

4) I'm thankful I can text my Doctor on a Sunday morning about a problem I have with the girls AND that she takes the time to pray about her answer before replying.

5) I am thankful my girls were troopers when they got their shots.  Also thankful Grace did a great job when she got blood drawn to check for allergies.  I know that was hard on her...and me.  But she did get two suckers in one day and A LOT of stickers!

6) I am thankful for a Grace-sized picnic table that sits in my office so she can color while I work...and maybe one day paint when she is trustworthy :)

7) I am thankful for awkward situations that bring much needed bonding at Bible study!

8) I am thankful for the song "How He Loves"...the lyrics just play in my head constantly.  Gracie-bug sings the Ohhhhh part with me (Ohhh He loves us, Ohhhh how He loves us, Ohhhh how He loves us, Ohhhh how He loves).

9) I am thankful that when asked "what song do you want to sing" the top three are ABCs, Twinkle Twinkle and Jesus Loves Me.  So sweet.

10) I am thankful for my dear friend's TWO babies due in April.

11) I am thankful for friends who let me cry.

12) I am thankful for the heater in my van that has settings other than on/off like my old truck.

13) I am thankful for my amazing little girls.

Ok, now I'm just getting sappy. 

I'm reminded that it isn't really about the things we accomplish or the great things we set out to do...but it is how we handle the little things, the small moments.  What is our response when the choice is to trust or be afraid?  What do we do when the option is to be crippled by fear or turn it over to the Lord?  Do we dwell on the things that we are thankful for or the things we wish we could change? 

Today, I'm choosing to dwell in Him and to be thankful for what is...and when I forget to be thankful, to go find my babies and give them a hug to remember again.

**My goal for December is to write about some family traditions we have surrounding the holidays!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Weekend Update

Hey there!

So this is a nutty weekend at the Teen Center so my Hubs is gone pretty much all weekend.  Last night I went to my parent's house to hang out with them and my cousins and Grace ended up spending the night.  This is the quietest Saturday morning I've had in awhile! 

It is now Saturday night and I figured I should finish writing my post :)   I... my office pretty clean.

...figured out a coupon system that would make me feel productive but not make me crazy.

...made sugar cookies and let my two year old help me decorate.  She did really good not eating all the cookies...not so good not licking her fingers.  We'll probably only give those to close family and friends ;)

...let my kid run around in underwear.  It was cute.

...made two batches of chocolate chip cookies (which feels pretty lame because I usually make six at a time)

...admired the 34 quarts of applesauce I made last weekend and never posted about.

...went to Meijer and used a new carrier that my kid apparently loved.

...remembered that I forgot to sign up to bring food for church and am now considering what is left in my kitchen that would be appropriate.  (Cookies?  Applesauce?)

...emailed some people.

...deposited a check. (You know you care!)

...danced with my babies.

...continued to contemplate if I should say "I have a 12 week old baby" on my jury duty notice.

...put the right plates on my new van. (ROCK ON)

...sent a picture of my daughter dancing in her underpants to my mom.

...gave the baby a bath.

...picked out clothes for them for tomorrow...which reminds me I need to move laundry.

...prayed a lot.

...found episodes of Covert Affairs on my tv that I haven't seen yet.

...talked to a friend.

...ate too many cookies.

...picked up lunch for Hubs and dropped it off which just makes me feel like a good wife.

...was reminded how quick my kids grow and how much I love them.

...made a mental note to get this DC trip planned.

...enjoyed finding peace in the moments.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Blogs I Read

Thought I'd do a quick list of blogs I read regularly...along with some quick notes.  That way when I don't keep you entertained enough you can check in with one of them!

1. Curious Georgi - we became friends during her family's stay in Dayton.  I still regularly ask for mom wisdom, tips for beating things like thrush and breastfeeding.  She does more than "mom" posts and keeps it real about life!

2. Moments With Love - I think she is awesome about sharing her mom moments, adoption stories and more.  I feel like a stalker because I don't know her but find her fascinating!

3. Life In A Shoe - she has 10 kids and has a lot of fun things to say!  I love reading about big families and how they do it all!  You will probably notice the big family thing tends to be a trend.

4. I'm A Lazy Mom - tips, recipes and tricks to help keep life simple!

5. Raising Olives - Another big family blog.  I don't always agree...although the disagreement tends to be more with the delivery then with the statements.

6. Parent Hacks - a fun blog with helpful tips!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #32

1. I am thankful that I can say to my husband "You're right and I'm wrong."  (He was totally right about how to use a word - a category I usually win but he totally got me on that one!)

2. I am thankful I finally figured out how to set up my blog for easy reading on my phone!

3. I am thankful that ya'll haven't left me (and by ya'll I mainly mean Morgan...if anyone else reads this feel free to leave a comment) even though right now I'm posting once, maybe twice a week.

4. I am thankful for some time last Sunday to take pictures of my baby girl.

5. I am thankful for yet another new medicine for Grace.  We have GOT to get this infection beat.  (Also thankful that God is showing me another area I could use some work in - PRAYER!)

6. I am thankful Hub watched the girls for a bit today so I could get some work done!

7. I am thankful for my new van!  Can I tell you, I am SO glad I joined the mom-van club.  It is driving my couch.  As I said last week, some people call it in the right place at the right time, I call it in His hands.

8. I am thankful for God's protection.  We have a couple crazy shows at our teen center this weekend and I am being thankful in advance that God is in control.

9. I am thankful for some sweet time with Miss Grace.  Now that there are two of them I LOVE taking her to the store or out to do something by herself.  We waited quite patiently for our turn on the horse at Meijer tonight and didn't fuss at all when it was time to leave!

10. I am thankful for some new prayer time.  I think acknowledging that I didn't pray enough led to more prayer.  Which led to wanting to pray more.  I love it.  I didn't end up reading Beth Moore's book again just yet but hope to do that one day too!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

How He Loves Us

They did this song at church today.  Makes me happy.

I am a terrible pray-er.  I just have a hard time focusing and every time I try so hard to not do a "to-do" list for God it still comes out that way.  Even the good things like "Show me your will." come out like commands.  I hate it.

Lately I have been trying to really pray during night time feedings or the early morning ones.  I need HIM.  I need Him to saturate my heart and mind.  My days and nights.  My conversations and my inner thoughts.  On my own I fall so short of what He desires from me.  It is SO easy to get caught up in myself when I am not caught up in Him.

Awhile ago I did the Whispers of Hope book by Beth Moore that has sections to write out daily prayer.  Off the top of my head I don't remember what her acronym stands for but it is something like

But I think she does PRAYER instead of PRAY. I need to pray.  I need Him.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #31

1. I am thankful for a 3 hour nap for both my little girls AT THE SAME TIME!  That makes for one super productive me.  Of course, while I'm typing this Grace is waking up so I'm going to have to finish my list with her on my lap.

2. Super cuddly little girls who still like to be in their momma's lap! ;)

3. I'm thankful for time with my big kids, phone calls with friends who live far away and the encouragement of those around me.

4. I am thankful that because of leading our new Bible study (with two other awesome ladies) I am seeing lies in our society VERY plainly.  I love the new awareness of the message of music, tv and more that I have now.  It also makes me sad that I can't hear or watch anything anymore :)

5. I am thankful for two young ladies that want to come watch my kids on Saturday so I can make applesauce.  They are possibly the answer to my prayers for some new "big kids" for our family but we shall see, time will tell!

6. I am thankful that God uses the strangest of situations to prove Himself faithful.  Some people call it "in the right place at the right time", I call it in His hands.

7. I am thankful for a kids' room that rearranges well.  I once again moved furniture around so Grace was not by any windows.  Ugh.  That kid :)  She has been going to bed so well lately, I'm VERY proud of her!

8. I am thankful for medicines and therapies for my kiddos when they are sick.  We are still trying to beat Grace's infection and she has a cold now too but she is getting better and getting the help she needs.

9.  I am thankful for friends who ask what I'm doing (either right now or at a time in the future) because they want to come visit me!

10. I am thankful for a plan for my momma's birthday that includes breaking and entering, surprises and lots of sugar.

11.  I am thankful for "alone time" in my car last night where I got to rock out to "I Will Survive" and "Man I Feel Like A Woman"...really really loud. :D  I miss the 90s.

12.  I am thankful that I am only called to be me, I don't have to try to be everyone else too.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My Bigs and Littles

Grace and Amanda

Picture this - one of my big kids calls and wants to come over. We're past nap time (and focused work time) so I say sure, come on over! Through the day she runs errands with us, shares treats, watches the littles so I can vote and eats dinner with us (that Hubs surprised us with!). My littles were all smiles and giggles, I got to talk to my other big kid on the phone and made plans with two of my new big kids.  Super fun!

I love not only getting to work with teens at the events and Bible studies but to really allow them in and live my life in front of them.  It makes my heart happy to know that they get to see mommy love toward the kiddos and love between Aaron and I.  A lot of them don't have positive role models and while we are not perfect it is a joy to give them a glimpse of what could be!

Pray for my family if you will as we live in front of them.  It is a great chance to influence their lives but also a spotlight on flaws and shortcomings.  I am also contemplating a new blog (or an additional blog) that I feel like I can make public for them to be a part of and read...but still praying that one out.

"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us." 1 Thessalonians 2:8

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

And then I sit down to write...

Throughout my day my kids do funny things or I have a God moment or I read something that catches my attention and I think "BLOG POST".  I start writing in my head, the words are flowing.  It is eloquent and catchy.  Then I sit down to write.  All the thoughts go out the window and I'm left thinking, hmmm, I know I had something to say.  Ah well.

I've been thinking a lot this week about emotions.  We talked last night at Bible study about how if we put too much worth into other people and their opinions of us we are sinning by making someone else's opinion more important that God's.  I agree with that - what God thinks of me is more important and I shouldn't be hindered by what other people say about me or how they act toward me.

Then I got my feelings hurt.  Twice.  In one day.  Bad.  I was so ready to quit.  To give up.  I'm one of those people where if I'm offended I don't even want to look at the person who offended me.  If someone thinks lowly of me I do not want to see them, talk to them or have anything to do with them.  It is so "easy" to just cut them out of my life rather than deal with it.  I almost think it is a twisted form of self preservation...I just don't want to be hurt more.

One of those situations I just have to let go.  I have to allow myself to heal and move on.  I can't keep holding onto it, replaying the conversation and stirring up the hurt.  The other situation I talked to the person about...but can I tell you? it still hurts. 

Why do we care so much about our value in other people's eyes?  I am amazed by the insecurity I find in myself still and maybe one day I will overcome it.  Until then, I will rest in this truth:

Psalm 139:14
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

And this one:

Luke 12:25
Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #30

Here are my QUICK thankfuls - I have a babysitter so gotta get some work done!!

1. I'm thankful for a phone that let's me email myself so I can write thankfuls while holding a sleeping baby and "watching" Blue's Clues.

2. A babysitter tomorrow morning so I can catch up!  (And she brought Starbucks!)

3. A doctor appointment for Grace tomorrow...gotta get rid of this diaper rash.

4. Baby smiles.

5. Christmas shopping!  So excited this year - have I mentioned that? (Still NEED to make applesauce!)

6. An end in sight to the crazy hours.

7. Showing teens how the Bible really does apply to their lives in specific ways.

8. A lovely comment left on a facebook picture that totally made my day (week?).

9. A good nights rest last night (relatively speaking :)

10. Going to sleep listening to the quiet breathing of my two little girls.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Post #150

Who would have thought I'd come up with 150 things to say...not all of them interesting, but 150 either way! :)

This has been a busy week!  The Monday night Bible study is going great.  I am so proud of those girls and their decision to be a part of it.  I'm looking forward to this week.  We're talking about lies, how we hear them, entertain them and become a part of them.  It'll probably be convicting for me too!  :)  Gotta love that!  Speaking of which, I should probably get some lies written out for them soon so we can dissect them!

The rest of the week has been a blur of no naps, sickness, finger paint, laughter and busyness.  I am learning to be anxious for nothing!  Really though, I have found after having Abi I am having some issues with anxiousness I thought I had beat in high school.  I think the cause here is different than the cause there (then it was mainly doing stupid stuff and hoping I didn't get in trouble for it...nothing too stupid though!).  Now it just seems like I get fixated on what HAS to get done that I forget that it either probably doesn't HAVE to get done or that I still HAVE to be nice in the process :)  I'm working on it.  I think it is interesting how even at 27 I continue to discover new things about myself.

I decided to take a week off from Facebook.  I still need to use it for work and to communicate with my Princess Girls but I'm going with no status updates or pictures for a week (it'll end Friday).  I just don't want to get so attached to things you know?  I'm not telling anyone (except ya'll) - I just want to quietly take a break and make sure I'm focusing on the important stuff.  More blog posts instead?  I'll try! :)
On to better subjects.  Christmas shopping!  Can I tell you, I am LOVING Christmas shopping for Grace this year.  It is so much fun to think about things she would like.  For example, my Grandpa was in the Air Force.  My kid LOVES planes right now.  Soooo, perfect fit - They could get her a toy plane!  (They asked for ideas, I'm not suggesting anyone is being told to get my kid something or specifically what they should get.)  She loves to color - I am going to get her a big drawing pad and more finger paints because that was just fun!  She might even get markers...ok, not feeling that brave!  Cars, bubble bath, shirts, playdoh - all on the list.  The problem is I have most of her presents bought and two more months of "oh she'd love that" ahead of me! :)

I'm also still trying to work in a weekend of applesauce making.  So far it hasn't worked out and life isn't looking like it is going to slow down any time soon.  I have been spending my evenings pricing jewelry for our thrift store - the new location is going to have it's grand opening THIS Saturday (please pray it all gets done and it goes great!) and it is busy busy busy!  I am also making postcards, banners and other random items!.  Honestly, loving it although on top of everything else it means my Hubs is gone more and more random stuff for me.  Ah well.  I just say I'm getting my ODAR hours in (other duties as required).

My little girl (Abi) is smiling like CRAZY now!  She loves her daddy - I'm so excited about that.  I got a little over zealous and put her in her "My Daddy Rocks" outfit today.  It was too big so I had to change her :)  And Grace is starting to get to pick out her clothes (from carefully preselected options).  It's so much fun to see them grow.  Grace has been such a doll lately even while suffering from severe diaper rash that is just starting to clear up.  Ugh, poor thing.

Ok, that was my crazy Sunday ramblings.  I have a ton of projects I want to get done (but nicely and not anxiously) so I'm going to go tackle the one I can now then make a list and check them off as I can! :)


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #29

I am most thankful that I finally feel better today and don't want to throw up every time I look at my computer screen.  I get really weird headaches that make me really sick.  Its been a long day.

1. I am thankful that at 8 weeks after a baby I fit into my skinny jeans again!  I am not where I want to be as far as weight (actually, the number is less important that the level of jiggly-ness...was that too much information?) but I got them on and they fit right so that's a victory!

2. I am thankful for friends.  I had a rough week with the kiddos and life but I have a couple AWESOME friends that just speak wisdom in my life in the moments I need it and for them I am so thankful!

3. Dual monitors. That way when Grace HAS to be in my office and HAS to be on my lap she can watch Barney on YouTube and I can still get stuff done!

4. My father in law who has 10 kids.  I said I have been sick to my stomach.  He asked if I was pregnant.  Such is my life. :)

5. My big girl!  The window above our door is rainbow shaped.  She pointed the other day out of nowhere and said. "rainbow. rainbow. rainbow!"  Took me awhile to get it since I had never heard her say rainbow before.  She is a smarty pants.

6. My baby started smiling real smiles!  Ok, that probably should have ranked above skinny jeans.  And Barney capabilities.  (See picture at least I was smart enough to lead with the picture!)

7. Getting to see my kids wearing the same clothes.  Soooo crazy!
Grace is on the left :)

8. Bacon, eggs and french toast.  Yep, haven't eaten all day and that is dinner.  I'm excited.

9. Hubs who cooks me Chicken Florentine and plates it pretty! (The dark part is spinach)

10. A few quiet minutes to sit and be thankful.  :)

11. This made me laugh.  From one of my "big kids":
"someone asked me if going to a party was a good idea. I almost gave an answer, but all I could come up with was "if you wouldn't want Beth to know-its probably not a good idea. and God always knows anyways." I chuckled..."

Sunday, October 23, 2011

One of those days...

Yesterday was one of those days.  You know the kind?  The ones you want to remember every moment of to look back on.  The kind that warms your heart, makes you feel like a good mom and reminds you of all the fun that can be had in the crazy. 

The day started out routinely enough.  We got up, watched some cartoons and played.  Hubs got up and joined us for a bit and we just enjoyed each other's company.  Then Morgan came over and we got to play with her!  Grace took a nap and I got to have a real adult the middle of the day...on a SATURDAY!

Later we ate lunch then packed up to head out.  We were NOT going to waste this beautiful day in the house.  To the park we went and it was one where everything was her size!  Grace had a blast playing on the slides and swings and running.  At one point I was feeding Abi and a wonderful Grandma asked if it was ok if she lifted Grace into the swing.  YES, and thank you.  Then her 5 year old granddaughter asked if she could push Grace's swing while I finished feeding Abi.  YES, and thank you.

When we had to leave there were no loud protests, no crazy cries.  Just what bites do you want when we get home?  NUGGETS!  So we came home and had chicken nuggets.  Then a bath.  The first bath in WEEKS that hasn't been a fight.  Finally, my freshly cleaned two year old and my teeny tiny love snuggled on the couch to watch Sesame Street.  Oh how I love the times it works out that my arms and lap are big enough for both of them at once.  I love holding my girls.  Then it was off to bed without a peep. 

Abi and I watched a movie.  But her smiles were so distracting I had to pause it and just let her smile at me for 20 minutes.  I love her toothless grin.  I got one of my big projects for the weekend done during our movie time too. 

I loved yesterday.  I love my girls.  I love when I decide that it's ok to do the "hard" thing because they will love it.  When I remember babies are portable and the weather isn't going to be nice long.  Those are the days that I feel like a great mom and I go to bed thinking lets do that again tomorrow.

I loved it.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I'd never... Funny Friday

I read a blog where she denies having ever done things that are just too awful to admit to.  I figured I'd give that a shot today.

- I would never take a picture of my daughter because of her overly dramatic response to not being able to watch Barney. 

- I would certainly never respond to a message my husband sent that read "that's sad" when learning about the tv issue with said picture of child with a caption that says "no, this is sad."

- I would never put a poopy diaper between a window and the screen because it was the middle of the night and I didn't want to go all the way back downstairs to put it outside.

- I would certainly never forget about said diaper so it has been sitting the rain...for the better part of 24 hours.

- I'd never forget that I got $1000 from the bank to put in an ATM machine so it was just sitting on my kitchen counter.  I'd also never load my kids in the car, in their PJs, drive to work, make someone sit in the car with them and run in to fill the ATM while there are 300+ kids in the building.  Yep, that's safe.  (Disclaimer: the person in the car I know and trust...just the waltzing around with $1k seemed like a bad idea)

- I'd never complain about the stack of work I have to get done then sit at my computer and write a blog post...and then blame it on the fact that I can't get Outlook to work.

:D  Happy Friday.

Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #28

I complain all weekend about how some of my favorite blogs don't have updates (mainly because I like to read them during that late night feeding to stay awake) and then I realized I have been really lame in posting the past week.  Ah well :)

1. I am thankful that Abi is sleeping sooooo well!  She usually eats around 9/10, falls into "night" sleep at 11ish and then is out until 6am or so.  Today she slept until 7am.  I tend to make noise if I wake up during the night to see if she'll wake up to eat (I'm THAT mom) but so far she's stayed pretty solidly asleep.

2. I am SO thankful for my husband.  I know I talk about him every week almost but the man works SO hard for our family and I am so blessed to have him in my life.  We just got our date nights back to ourselves last week after Abi was born and it is such a blessing to just spend quality time with him and KNOW that it is coming.  I never have to ask if we are going to spend Wednesday nights together - I know I get that time.

3. I am sad that our TV died.  Thankful I didn't have to watch Barney today :)  We have another tv we could move but I'm interested to see how long it takes before Grace stops asking.  And yes, I did take a picture of her horrible sad face when the TV didn't turn on...trying to decide if that makes me a terrible mom or not :)

4.  I am SO thankful that my work day (which starts around 1pm) started with a cup of coffee and Bible study prep.  I love looking through the book, picking out key points, imagining the crazy things the girls are going to ask, and seeking wisdom for how to speak truth into their lives so they comprehend it.

5.  I am thankful I get to see Miss Morgan this weekend!  I miss my friend!  (She is an awesome student at BG and is a wonderful young lady!)

6.  I am thankful that as my "big kids" grow up and need me less it appears I am getting some new big kids in my life.  I "adopted" two girls when they were around 14...they were best friends and ALWAYS at our teen center.  They are now 21 and doing great things (although they still call me in the middle of the night when they can't figure out the directions to assemble their bookcases) and I have a whole new group of young girls to work with.  I'm hoping a couple of them end up being super close with our family like the original two did. 

7. I am thankful for the holiday season.  I LOVE October/November/December not so much because I know Christmas and gifts for me are coming (although lets face it, I like that too) but because I love to think about each person, what they would want and then find it at an awesome price.  I love when I get just the right thing - that makes me happy.

8. I am thankful for words that seem like they were written just for me.  At Life In A Shoe she is talking about getting project done with little ones running around (she has 10 kids)...needed this today: Yes, everything goes faster and better when you can focus, but this is real life and you are a mom. Live it, learn it, love it. This is your life.

9. I am thankful for all the people who write thankfuls and link up (see link below) so that I can read what everyone is thankful for.  It makes me happy to know that we all took at least a few minutes to just be glad.

10.  I am thankful for God's provision.  I love how He comes through in unexpected ways and provides for me and my family again and again.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Weekly Update

I'm giving myself 5 minutes.  Then it is work time.

It is has been a busy week.  Grace decided not to nap yesterday.  That always makes for a harder day.  She tends to be grumpy because she didn't sleep.  I tend to be grumpy because I have a pile of work to do that I didn't get to.  Frustrating.  Fortunately she played in my office after her "nap time" and then Hubs played with her a little bit before I left for the evening.

I went to the Family Christian Bookstore to get another book for Bible study.  We have 10 girls wanting to participate!!  So exciting!  While I was there I picked up a fiction book off the clearance rack that looked really interesting marked $4.95.  When I got to the counter the lady said it rang up on super clearance...for $.50.  AWESOME.  Then I went to Once Upon A Child and got a pair of jeans and three shirts for says "Daddy is my Prince" which I loved.  Anyway, one shirt was 50% off...but she hit the wrong button and rang it all up at 50% off.  THEN she said, ah well, it's your lucky day.  Again, willing to pay the marked price, but I'll take the deal too!

More important stuff - Bible study was AWESOME.  We had 9 of the 10 girls there last night.  It is amazing to me their family backgrounds, the raw emotion they have and their willingness to lay it all out there.  I don't want to share too much of their personal information but 8 of the 9 girls have single parent homes, a couple of them have NO relationship with the parent they don't live with.  One girl lives wherever friends will let her sleep...she is 15. 

If you think of it, pray for us on Monday nights.  It is an awesome opportunity to get to speak truth and love into these girls lives.  It is my favorite part of what I get to do and I can't wait to see how God works through this Bible study.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Funny Friday

- Me getting IN THE CAR for date night.
"My shoes feel really weird....    ....oh, they're on the wrong feet."

- Convo while I'm in the bathroom finishing up makeup
Hubs: "Hon, are you ok?"
Me: "Huh?"
Hubs: "Did you have a problem?"
Me: "What are you talking about?"
Hubs: "Your phone is in the middle of the kitchen floor."
Me: "Yeah, I missed the counter.  Didn't feel like picking it up"
Hubs: Very loud laughter.

- Convo @ my parents house.
Me: "Grace, do you want a pretzel?"
Grace: "YES! A TREAT!"
Mom: (under her breath) "Dang, didn't know pretzels counted as a treat."

Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #27

Not a great picture of me...but wanted to illustrate the ONLY way
my baby will sleep for any length of time!  (Note bag of STUFF and box
of books in the background that is leaving...YEA!)

1. I am thankful to be getting rid of stuff! (See last two posts, more to come)
2. I am thankful for an awesome date night with my Husband. Noodles and Company followed by That Crepe Place. A nice stroll outside. So wonderful - I love my husband.
3. Being told I "look great" and it not followed by "for just having a baby".  :) I got some new jeans that make me feel super cute so I'm loving it!
4. The blessing of wonderful kids. Even on their "bad" days they are still sweet children.
5. My mommy. I love that she leaves nearby, she loves my kids and she stays calm when I'm emotional! :)
6. My daddy. I love watching him play with the kiddos. I love knowing if my husband is ever unavailable there is always someone else ready to help me!
7. Bible study! We had our first info group on Monday and have 8-10 girls that want to participate! So excited! Now I just have to raise $250 per girl to cover their workbooks, new Bibles, and fancy night out!  We do hair, makeup and get a limo ride to a fancy dinner to reinforce the idea they are Princesses!
8. Marveling at the things my little girl learns everyday.  I don't know where she picks it all up but it is so fun!  She is now REALLY into planes!
9. Christmas dress! Abi has a Christmas dress that Hubs bought for Grace her first Christmas. He surprised me with it too!  I found Grace's dress last Monday...for $3.50!  Looooove it!

It has a velvety top, red bow on front with ribbon that ties in the back and slight "bubble" skirt!
It looks even better on her and NOT on my car seat! :)
10. Learning to take things a day at a time, a moment at a time.  I tend to get stressed about things that aren't here yet but I'm learning to control that!

Also, I generally don't do stuff like this, but my family works in ministry. We are missionaries right here in Ohio to teens and their families.  We need to raise 50% of our support by the end of the year.  If you have a heart for teens please check out our family page!  The website is undergoing some revamps but I would love to share with you about what we do and why!  Thanks for taking the time to read that and my thankfuls! 

Leave a comment or link up with your Thankfuls here:

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Goodbye "Stuff" Project: Why I Accumulate Stuff

The Goodbye Stuff Project Continues: 1/2 bag, pile of books taller than me
(The bags are leaving, the stack of books are leaving, the books on the shelf STAY! :)

I was thinking today about how things come into my life.  And thought I'd just hit on some of the major reasons.

1. It was free (or close to it).
I am a sucker for things that are free.  Anything really - bags, books, shoes, clothes, toys, stuff. I like free.  That's not to say free is always bad - anything that is currently or soon usable is fine. Free STUFF for the sake of having STUFF is the problem.  I often have clothes that are given to me that I just won't wear.  Why do I let it in? Because one day I might have the right occasion or one day I might fit it...NO. Not doing it anymore. If it is not CURRENTLY usable or soon usable in the case of kid items I'm not letting it gather dust.

2. Just wanted to shop.
Things come to my house sometimes when I just want to shop. If I'm honest I do this most when I'm angry - I just buy stuff sometimes. I think it gives me control over something but like all control outlets, it isn't healthy.  I didn't even think about this one much until I started writing the post but I do buy things just for the sake of it on occasion (not often and not expensive stuff, but stuff nonetheless).  This is probably something that now that I've realized it about myself I need to pray and think about.

3. The best intentions...
I love containers. The problem is they always seem to get filled with something. I read a book about home organization that said never buy a container until the area is cleaned out, you know specifically what it is going to be used for and you have measured the space. Otherwise you'll end up with a container in some random place with random things in it. These items are either not important to begin with or you buy again because you forget which container they are in or that you even have them.  Over organization and lack of organization have the same result in my house.
These bins each hold diapers...purple for Grace, pink for Abi. 
I want to get two more to hold their PJs and similar "rewear" type items
but haven't gotten around to it yet.  A great example of make a plan,
measure and wait for the right container.

4. It seemed like a good idea
I often have genius ideas for things in my house. Picture walls, closet organization, kid friendly things - but I don't always think them through.  If I took more time to plan the project I wouldn't end up with random things that I don't need when the project takes an unexpected turn.

5. I let myself get talked into it
This happens to me a lot with clothes. I hate walking out of a store knowing that I thought it looked good there but I'd never be brave enough to wear it in public.  I'm not good with styles and trends. If something does not logically "go together" for an outfit I will never get there on my own.  I feel like I still need to learn MY style, even at 27 years old and stopped getting talked into things that just aren't me.

 The closets are another decent example of make a plan, measure THEN buy.  Both sides of the closet are identical.  Each girl has a hanging rack.  The drawers for Grace hold shoes, sock and books she can't be trusted with (paper pages).  Abi's holds shoes, socks, onesies and sleepers.  We have hair bows hanging on the back closet wall now and will be adding nails for each girl to hang their "next day" outfit.  Planning ahead saves me SO much time in the morning if we are in a hurry to get somewhere.

The coat rack on their door was a $1 find at Target that cleared up a lot of space and functions EXACTLY as I need it to!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Goodbye "Stuff" Project

I am in the process of simplifying. I don't like getting rid of things that could be useful one day. I may have an end purpose in mind but for the most part it is just a habit of accumulation. I'm done with it.

Sunday I cleaned out the master bed room. I cleared out 3 bags of stuff I didn't want or need from my closet and dresser. 3 bags! I also sorted out my 3-6 month clothing bin and got 1/2 a bag of clothes I would never put Abi in...and I have a full bin left!

I don't need a recipe binder and a recipe box! I don't need "reference" books from college that I have not referenced once since I graduated. I certainly don't need books that I have never cracked open, inherited from my parents, just because they are books! I'm done with it. Out it goes one room or area at a time.

Why? Because I have a relatively small house and I want there to be room for the things we want to enjoy. I want to teach my kids not to accumulate "stuff". And I want to enjoy a room when I walk into it without a mess because things are laying around.

So far the goodbye "stuff" project has 7 bags of stuff out of my house! I find I'm actually enjoying the process, reliving some memories but letting go of things that have no real attachment. More to come!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Project Thankful Week: Friday

My final day of Project Thankful's been a good week!

I am thankful for one of my best friends being in town this weekend!  YEA!  She finally gets to meet Abi and we get to hang out!

I am thankful for a semi-clean office!  Makes the work thing easier :)

I am thankful for chicken that actually turned out well for dinner (I am TERRIBLE at cooking meat).

I am thankful for being able to dye my hair tonight.  No this is not "technically" my natural was close to my natural natural color is teen-induced-gray-streaked.  Lets not talk about that.

I am thankful for the quietness of evenings to pause and unwind.

I am thankful the bread pudding is gone so it can no longer tempt me.  (Ok, it IS gone because I ate it all but it can't tempt me now so that counts right?)

I am thankful for friends in other states, other countries, other cities and other walks of life and the wonderful collection they all bring to my life!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Project Thankful Week: Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #26

I have been trying to focus on being thankful all week! :)

1. I am thankful for a week of thankfuls!  (I've done a minimum of 5 Mon-Wedn because my Hubs told me I needed to be more cheerful...lovingly)

2. I am thankful for a full work board.  It means we have a lot of big upcoming events at the teen center which both bring in money to pay the bills but more importantly give us the opportunity to get involved in kid's lives!

3. I am thankful that my Grandpa is home from the hospital and doing well. 

4. I am thankful that we start our new "Princess Program" Bible study next week!  It is a 15 week Bible study with teen girls where we just get to teach them and love on them.  Then we get them all dressed up fancy, do their hair and make up and take them out to dinner in a limo!  It is AWESOME.

5. I am thankful for my little people!   Abi is 12 pounds now!  ACK!  (She was 9lbs 8oz at birth 5 weeks ago)

6. I am thankful for meal planning...and having it thrown out the window because Hubs cooked ME dinner instead - that was awesome.

7. I am thankful we serve a loving and understanding God. 

8. I am thankful for a Husband who loves his daughters.

9. I am thankful for sales racks, inexpensive but adorable clothing and great deals!

10. I am thankful that I feel less self conscience after this pregnancy than I have so far...not completely uninhibited, but less of a need to be perfect.