Monday, January 30, 2012

What a Start...and I need your help.

I'm feeling productive today!

So far I've folded one load of laundry, got the bleach-ables out of the dryer, washed the girls clothes, made bread (bread machine), fed both girls a healthy breakfast, updated my to do list, meal planned, got my grocery/deal list together (looking a little lame this week), and read my Bible study book.  Good times, good times!

I Need Help.
So Hubs and I had our 5 year anniversary on Friday and he worked pretty much non-stop all last week, this weekend and will continue this week.  We are hoping to take a weekend off in February but what are some awesome "I love you and am thankful for your hard work" ideas to demonstrate my thankfulness in practical ways this week?  He is totally a gift guy but sooo hard to buy for.  And I'm not a huge fan of buying things for the sake of having something to hand him if it isn't wanted or practical.  Ok, go....

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Simple Sundays: Keeping Track of Memories

Hi.  My name is Elizabeth and I am terrible about updating baby books.

When I had my first daughter I bought the super cute, super traditional baby book.  I was SURE that I was going to keep track of every milestone, fill it with pictures and she would be proud of the memories.

That lasted until I got out of the hospital.

I did an ok job keeping track of her milestones but I always found the book SO hard to use!  I mean, what if she gets teeth before she crawls or if she says a word before she starts to walk!  I have to remember what things to look for, find the right page, remember when it happened, oh my.  So yes, there are big things in there but lets just say if she wants to use it for a scientific record of when these things happened in her life for future research she will be disappointed.

Then there comes the problem of when they are old enough to create things.  Seriously, my first kid I don't want to throw ANY paintings, drawings, hand prints, or pen markings away.  Ok, maybe I'm not quite that attached...but these certainly don't fit neatly into a baby book so now what do I do with all that STUFF?!?

Let's conquer the "stuff" first...they come home with hospital wristbands, paperwork, foot prints, hearing tests, you're going to need a plan.  Each of my girls has a box in my office with their name on it.  It is a normal "bankers" box - just the cardboard kind that folds up.  Right now it is all just thrown in there since they are not old enough for it to have gotten out of control.  Going on my to do list is to organize it by year into something like this:  (and yes, I think calendar year is MUCH easier than age so all kids rotate into new folders at the same time.  Call me smart, call me lazy but call me organized!)
These are plastic, expand up to an inch and should be able to store a reasonable amount of things for a year.  And, they'll fit neatly into my box.  Of course anything that doesn't fit into these can still be marked accordingly and stuck into the box so we can still keep that first finger painting on oversized sketch paper.

Now, for the baby books and milestones.  I went on a search before Abi was born for something that would work for me.  I found this Easy Baby Memories.

The first picture is the cover of a spiral bound calendar.  Basically starting in the month the kid was born you label and number the months.  Then you use the stickers to mark important dates.  Of course you can write in what ever you want on the rest of the squares or leave them blank.  On the top is a place for a picture and height/weight each month as well as a journal prompt (What makes baby laugh, babies favorite song, sleep habits are just a few examples.)  I LOVE IT.  This I can do.

Now, this got me thinking - ok, if it is this easy for Abi, why should I stop keeping track of fun and important things for Grace.  So I went out and bought her a "planner" calendar.  It is small, has months with squares and lets me write in whatever I want.  I just need to buy some stickers to jazz it up!
Grace's on left, Abi's on right.

Of course this will work even without babies.  I have a working calendar that I use but I may get our family a "memory" calendar too just so we know what fun things we did together.  We shall see!

Hope you have a great Sunday!


Friday, January 27, 2012

January 2012 Family/Ministry Letter

1 Thessalonians 2:8 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.

January 2012
I cannot believe that we are already in January!  It seems like 2011 went by really fast!  Ok, except for maybe the two weeks that we waited to meet Abi past her due date, but other than that REALLY fast!  Grace turned two, Abi (finally) arrived and Aaron and I are coming up on five years of marriage at the end of this month!  God is good!

I have had the opportunity to work with another group of young ladies—my Princesses– through
Harvest’s Princess Program.  I absolutely love getting to work with these girls.  At our first meeting the other two leaders and I were blown away by the home situations that they live in.  One young lady told us that she lives with whatever friend will let her sleep on the couch.  And sadly, we’ve seen it first hand, she is not exaggerating.  It is a blessing to not only work with them once a week but also just get to live in front of them and show them what their future can look like if they make good decisions now.

Aaron has been working very hard at the thrift store!  We recently moved to a new location that has better access from the main road and is a more modern building.  It looks great!  He spent a lot of time planning, moving and preparing for the opening.  We were blessed with an amazing donation of racks and fixtures for the store.  The down payment for the building came the day before it was due—definitely God timing!

We have both been very involved in the Attic—me in planning the events and Aaron actually at the events.  It has been fun continuing to work more closely together and seeing the relationships continue to build.  Again, it is a joy for us not just to see the kids on the weekend at the youth events but to also get to live in front of them and show them what a home based on the Lord looks like.

This year we are looking forward to continuing to work with teens, grow some of the mentoring
relationships that have begun to emerge and to focus on what the Lord is doing in the Dayton area with these teenagers.

Missionaries In Dayton
In 2011 all the servants at Harvest Youth Ministries were challenged to stop thinking of ourselves as “employees” but rather as missionaries.  It seemed like just a simple word change initially but as the idea started to take hold inside of us, it really started an outlook change.  Yes, we serve through Harvest Youth Ministries but by acknowledging our calling from the Lord as missionaries we are more focused on His mission and rely on His provision and support from the church body.  We may not be living and serving in another country, but rather are living and serving in a nation where young people are becoming every bit as godless.

Would you prayerfully consider helping support us so we can continue this mission?  We desperately need monthly donors to help us meet our goal of raising 100% of our own funding.  At this moment we have raised 11% of what we need for support and the remaining 89% comes from the general fund, which of course cuts into the ministries’ ability to serve in other ways.  We could not have gotten where we are without your prayers and support and we are deeply grateful for that!  All donations are tax deductible and can go toward our family account, the Princess Program or other special projects.  We appreciate you so much!

· Please pray for the young ladies currently working through the Princess Program!  They will be going on their Princess Day at the end of February!

· Please pray that the Lord would continue to provide staff, security and mentors for our youth events!

· Please pray for our family as we try to seek Him daily.

We are always willing to come speak about what the Lord is doing in the Dayton area and through Harvest Youth Ministries.  If you know someone or a group with a heart for teens, we would love to share about the ministry and opportunities available!

**Donations can be made to Harvest Youth Ministries and sent to 3101 Indian Ripple Road, Beavercreek OH 45440.  Please mark it with our name and 100% will go toward our families’ funding.

Five Years

My Father In Law performing our ceremony. 

Left to sister, my grandma, me, my mom.

My little sister in law and my dear friend's daughter. 
These two are still great friends.

My sister in law, one of my best friends, (me),
my sister, my older sister in law, my little sister in law.

To this day this is the only picture of our wedding
up in our house.  It is maybe a 3x5 that
someone printed and framed for us.

I was happy.  Can you tell?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #41

1. I am thankful that tomorrow is January 27th.

2. I am thankful for my amazing husband.

3. I am thankful for my delightful kiddos.

4. I am thankful for a playdate with a good friend this morning.

5. I am thankful for shiny red fingernails.

6. I am thankful for free gum and a dear friend who will enjoy it.

7. I am thankful for surprises.

8. I am thankful for memories.

9. I am thankful for a husband who gets up with my 2 year old so I can SLEEP!

10. I am thankful for joy.

I want...

I want... write about life. remember to enjoy the crazy moments. have a time out to think and plan and dream. hold my girls close, not look at my phone and not worry about having to do anything else. jump in snow drifts with Grace! remember Abi will only be small for a short time. stop stressing about about the small stuff. cook more. clean better! take the time to let Grace paint and create. organize. sleep well.  :) celebrate my family! find new ways to honor my husband. remember what makes me tick. find a way to help orphans. show love through things I'm good at. remember I don't have to be good at everything. bake and decorate an amazing cake. finish my to-do lists and not add anything else for a whole day! meet a friend for breakfast. remember to spend time in the Bible every day! paint my fingernails. remember that it is every moment, every day that makes up who I am and what my life looks like.  And lets face it, I've got a pretty awesome life.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Deals of Today

Some deals today...

2 Mentos UP2U packs...on sale for $1 each.  $1 off coupon (had 2 of them)  = FREE

2 Mentos 15pc gum...on sale for $1 each, $.55 coupon doubled to $1 (had 2 of them) = FREE

Skinny Cow candy on sale for 3.99 each, Buy 1 Get 1 Free coupon + $3 off 1 coupon = .48 each

Suave Hair Styling Products on sale $1.50 each, $2 off 3 coupon = $.83 each

Hunts Tomatos - $.99 each; $.45 Hunts coupon + $1 Target coupon = .51 each (apparently there is a better Hunts coupon out there I have yet to find that makes them .30 each)

Will keep you posted...I've got CVS and Walgreens to visit this week still :)

Oh what a Monday!

Last night I think the only person in the house that slept well was Grace.  I considered banishing Abi to the hallway but figured it would be a bit cold.  Dang, but she is CUTE even in the middle of the night!  :)  I am in "oh so much to do" mode so I figured I'd do a post about what I'm working on!

- Finish painting frames for the girls' room.  My handy decorating helper (Amanda) is coming over tomorrow to help me place them correctly.  She is definitely an artist so her approval on the project made me happy!

- Get my coupons organized and ready to go!  Abi woke up in the middle of my coupon planning yesterday so I need to finish that up so I am ready to go before Bible study.  I know I need to hit Kroger, Walgreens and Meijer.  I also need to swing into Once Upon A Child.   (Ok, rereading for typos and this made me laugh...I am looking for a swing @ Once Upon A Child...giggles.  Ok, done now)

- Bible study!  I definitely need to read the chapter!

- Family newsletters!  Our family/ministry update newsletter is going out this week!  If you'd like to receive it you can send your address to onegloriousambition AT yahoo DOT com.   (If I have your address you will most likely receive one!)

- Post videos, photos, etc.  I have a video of Abi rolling over I was going to post but I figured I'd wait until my parents can see it first hand :)  I also managed to lose my camera (and some awesome photo ops) but I just located it so I'm excited about that!

- I want to collect and review my year of thankfuls.  I know I've got another 16 weeks but lets face it, if I don't start now I will probably never get it done!

- Letters.  I want to hand write at least two letters this week.  Hopefully more.  I love receiving letters and the best way to do that is to send them! :)

- Don't Stress!  I think I had too much coffee and not enough real food this morning.  I need to take a nice deep breath and realize that if I don't quite get all my projects done that will be ok!

Deal: Covergirl lip gloss (which I have been wanting for so long!) Regularly around $4, on closeout for $2.36 with a $1 off coupon for a final price of $1.36!  Excited!

Simple Sundays: Couponing 102

So the next part of couponing is planning your trip.  It does no one any good to have a huge stack of coupons and no game plan.  You'll either make everyone in the aisles crazy because you'll see something and need to flip through your coupons OR (more importantly) you'll miss deals because you didn't know they were there!

Here is what I do...

1) Start Where You Usually Find Deals
I usually go through the Meijer, Kroger, and Target ads and then occasionally add drug stores.  If I see coffee on sale for example for $7.99 and I have a $2 off coupon for it I'll write on my Meijer list:
Folgers Coffee $7.99 + $2off (5.99)
Then I continue on my search.  But if I find that Kroger has it on sale for a better price, or if I have a store coupon I'll scratch it off my Meijer list and put it on my Kroger list.  Sometimes if the price is the same and my coupons are good in both places I'll leave it on both lists and that way if I only make it to one store I haven't missed it!

2) Pull Your Coupons
In my book where I write down my shopping lists there is a pocket in the front.  I pull all the coupons I think I am going to use on that shopping trip and put them in there.  If I look at something and then decide that I don't really want to buy it, I move the coupon out of the stack.  Then, when I get to the register I glance through one more time to make sure I have everything I need.

3) Print Your List
If you do an excel sheet or something similar, make sure you have an up to date list in your coupon book.  That way if you see cake mix and frosting on sale and you remember you have a coupon for it, you can do a quick check to make sure it is the right brand then pull your coupon out!

4) Don't get distracted!
Getting distracted by things that aren't on your list will kill your savings. Ignore them. :)

5) Be willing to wait.
Just because something is on sale and has a coupon does NOT mean it is a great deal.  For example, Wheat Thins were on sale this week for $2.75 a box.  I have seen them a few times recently for $2 a box so I held onto my coupon knowing that I could most likely get a better price.  I found them last week for $1.88 a box and paid a final price of .88 each for six boxes.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

I have babysitters!

So I am in my office painting, writing, thinking and debating if a nap on my office floor would be acceptable or not :)

I bought some really old, not pretty frames at the thrift store yesterday.  Then I took out the glass and all the innards.  They are being repainted in pretty colors that match the girls room.  Hopefully by tomorrow we'll have enough coats of paint to hang them and start decorating.  It definitely would have been wise to do before and after pictures!  One of my more artistically inclined teens is coming over today to help me make sure that what I have in my head will translate onto my walls and that I won't really mess up this project! :)

If I was smarter I would have stocked my office with snacks and a lighter for my candle.  Ah well, next time.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #40

This week I am thankful for...

1. Play time in the snow with Grace and with both girls at the mall playground.

2. Coupons...learning the deals, trying not to get stressed out by them :)

3. Pedicure with my momma!

4. Bible study with my girls and my good friends!

5. Decisions to make some changes.

6. Discipline for the young one...I love knowing that learning rules and behaviors now have a lasting impact.  Makes me want to stay on my toes as a mom.

7. Grilling!  I am NOT a fan of cooking meat (I always end up tearing it up to see if it is done, it's a problem) but I grilled hamburgers (or hamburger footballs...only had sub buns) all by myself and they were YUMMY!

8. My hardworking super handsome love of my life Hubs.

9. Sleep...ok, this has been a bit sparse but I have an idea to get some more sleep that I'm excited to try.  It may involve my kid's pack and play being moved into a closet.  :)  (I can't sleep if I can hear her...just too light a sleeper...but I need to be able to hear her if she gets loud because if I can't I won't sleep worrying about I figure if she is in the closet there will be sound dampening if she's just babbling but if she needs me I can hear her)

10. Grace.  And not my kid Grace (although her too) but just the knowledge that we are covered in grace.  Without it I'd be a mess.

What are YOU thankful for?  Link up!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

5 Minutes: Positive or Negative?

I've decided when I have nothing that I really want to say but still want to write I'll just do a "five minute" post on whatever happens to be rolling around in my brain.  Today it is positive vs negative correction.

I've been thinking lately about how I correct Grace's behavior, how I prefer my behavior to be corrected and how other people around me respond to correction.  Grace is probably the easiest to give examples of...

We don't hit.  vs We use gentle touches.

We don't yell.  vs We use our quiet voices.

We don't take away toys.  vs. We share with our sister.

We don't say NO.  vs We obey mommy and daddy.

We don't throw the ball.  vs. We roll the ball inside the house.

It seems so simple but I feel like when we give her negative correction (and I mean that only in the sense of it is framed in a negative sentence structure, not that it is inherently negative) she still only hears the action.  We hit, We yell, We throw, etc.  If I give her a positive correction I feel like she hears and responds to the actions that I want her to take.  We share, We obey, We roll.

I, being an adult, am able to separate out and hear what is not desired from negative correction, but I prefer to be given a replacement behavior as well.  Maybe instead of "Don't make this dinner ever again because it STINKS." something like "I'm not a huge fan of this dinner.  I like chicken better when it is grilled."  (Ok, simple and stupid example...and my husband would never say anything I cooked stinks but you get the idea...)
Just something I've been thinking about lately.  I think people respond better when we are positive, even if it is correctional in nature. 



Recent Deal:
Wheat Thins regularly 4.50 x 6 = $27.  On sale for $1.88 each (x6 = 11.28) plus two $3 off three boxes coupons (-$6) = Six boxes of Wheat Thins for 5.28  (or right around 80% savings)

Monday, January 16, 2012

2 Quick, Inexpensive Meals

Thought I'd share two quick, easy and inexpensive meals!

1) Soup over Rice
You've probably seen the Campbell's commercials with their chunky soup over rice (or mashed potatoes).  It is actually really good!  I recently got 4 cans of soup on sale for $1.25 each with a $.50 coupon that doubled so $1.00 each.  This is 2-3 servings for me.  I buy fairly large bags of rice so lets say a serving of rice is about $.10.  A good (fairly) healthy meal for me is about $.60 a person.  Some other tips to make it really quick, especially if you are eating alone.  Rice freezes well so you can make a bunch in advance, freeze it in serving sizes and heat it up as needed.  You can also pour the soup right on top and microwave - no pan needed!

2) Shepherds Pie
The cheap way is to get a pound or more of ground beef (I think I got 1.5lbs for around $3) and brown it.  Then mix in a $1 bag of mixed vegetables, 12oz.  Mix up a brown gravy pack (about .75) and mix those three things all together then put in a 9x13 dish.  Make mashed potatoes (potatoes are cheap) and spread that on top.  Top with some shredded cheese and heat long enough to melt the cheese and make sure everything is heated through.  The super easy way to do this one is to buy Bob Evan's or similar already made mashed potatoes.  I suppose you could use instant to but I'm pretty much opposed to the taste of those! :)  I would say about $1 per serving then I am going to add salad (with a coupon), homemade applesauce and homemade bread!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Simple Sundays: Couponing 101

All of my couponing posts will probably 100 levels just because I am just starting out.  I am LOVING saving money though and this will help me toward my goals of frugality, hospitality and purposefulness.  Here are my starting tips:

1. Collect Coupons
I do not get the paper but fortunately my mom does so I clip coupons weekly from the local paper.  I also visit and usually about twice a week to load coupons onto my shopping card (Kroger) or print them (Target) so I am ready to go. 

I think it is REALLY important at this stage NOT to save coupons for things that you won't ever buy.  For example, I am brand loyal when it comes to toilet paper (I don't know why, I just am) so clipping coupons for other brands is a waste of time because I KNOW I won't buy them.  I also won't ever buy dog food, cat food, things our family won't eat, etc etc so there is no point in organizing or storing these coupons.

2. Organize the Coupons
I started with a "wallet" size expandable file which I really liked (and may end up going back to).  My categories were Baby, Boxes, Cans, Dairy, Fridge, Cleaning, Health/Beauty, Paper, Staples, Other.  Pretty much everything fit into one of those categories so it was clipped, logged (more on that in a minute) and filed. 

I have since moved to a binder style with sports card protector pages but I don't like the bulkiness of it as much although it is easier to see what I have without shuffling through individual coupons.  We'll see if it sticks around.  Since I have a plan going in I tend to pull the coupons I plan to use so the wallet style is still fine for that since I generally won't flip through it.  Just when I see mascara on the super clearance rack and know I have a coupon for it too - then I'd have to flip.  We'll see.  I'll keep you posted on my methods as I go.

3. Log the Coupons
I like to be able to reference things quickly and I type quickly so it is worth the time to me to punch the coupons into an excel spreadsheet.  Then I don't have to compare the ads and flip through individual coupons, I can just run down my list to see if anything matches up.  I generally log expiration date, what the coupon is generally for (soap, soup, laundry soap, baby food), the brand  and if it has to be used at a particular store and what the deal is.  (So something like 2/19/12 , body wash, Old Spice, $2 off any 1 exc. trial size). 

To me those are your first three basic things you'll need to do to get started with coupons.  Again, I am not looking to get everything I buy free or to save tons and tons of money, I just want to shop smarter.

Recent Deals:
$1 Old Spice and Suave deodorants at Kroger ($1.99, save $4 with purchase of 4, .99 final price)
   I also had some coupons that matched up with this so they ended up taking the $7.96 price off my bill PLUS an additional $1.04  (part of this extra off was an overlap of Kroger Plus Card savings and coupon savings that shouldn't have technically been allowed - I don't think either of us realized it happened)

$1 Toothpaste (I think Crest) at Kroger ($1.99, save $4 with purchase of 4, .99 final price)
   Again, had some matching coupons, took $5.38 in toothpaste off the bill plus $1.68

Duracell batteries at Kroger, $8 in batteries for $1.73 (again with P&G $4 off 4 and some coupons)

Old Spice Body Wash ($3.69, $4 off 4 for final price of $2.69 with $2 coupon) paid $0.69

Target dryer sheets for $.36 using a web coupon

Flinstones Vitamins originally $5.52, used a $2 manufacturer coupon and $2 store coupon - $1.52 final price

Suave body wash...on sale for $1.79 for 12oz...had some promotional bottles with 50% free for same price (18oz), coupon for buy two get one free so total I paid 3.58 for 24oz and get an additional 34oz free.

Baby stuff...Aveno lotion (on sale for 7.99 plus $2 off = 5.99) and two Johnson's baby wash at (5.99 x 2 -$2 Coupon = 9.98) for a total of 15.97 but I also got a $5 target gift card for buying three items so $10.97.  I would probably stick with store brand usually on this stuff, but when you know that my kid needs super strong lotion for a skin issue and I usually pay $12 per bottle that makes this deal a bit sweeter :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #39

Is this a sign I check my emails and read blogs too much while I feed Abi?
1. I am thankful for date night with my husband last night.  We ate at Mama Di Salvos which is possibly the best Italian restaurant ever then picked up the girls, put them to bed and watched Moneyball.  I enjoyed it. 

2. I am thankful for more blogging.  I've been trying to write more when I have time and scheduling the posts to go out later or just doing drafts that I can come back to and tweak.  Hopefully I'll get a routine and keep posting!

3. I am thankful for little boy twins we'll get to meet any day, a little boy that is due one month from yesterday and little boy and girl twins that we get to meet in March or April!  I AM SO EXCITED FOR BABIES!  And I noted yesterday it seems like when someone else is pregnant it goes so fast...when I'm pregnant it goes sooooooooo slow.

4. I am thankful for time with family tomorrow night.

5. I am thankful for my to-do list.

6. I am thankful for a couple nights of decent sleep (although a great nap and a night with more than 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep would be amazing).  I am planning to nap on both Saturday and Sunday when the girls it sad I am SUPER excited about this?

7. I am thankful for generally happy babies.

Not really interested in cereal...

8. I am thankful for coupons - so much fun...I am such a nerd.

9. I am thankful for God speaking to me with the things I need to hear.  I love when I think "I need to work on this" and then that is what I run across in my quiet times.  (Which I need to do better at!)

10. I am thankful for growth.  For phases.  For the knowledge that the hard will pass and the good just gets better.  I am thankful that in my life He is faithful to complete the work He started in me and in my kids' live today is just one day in a really long process.  I'm thankful.

12. SUPER pumped to get comments from people who don't normally comment!  Thanks for that, made my day!  (, if you're still lurking you should comment every once in awhile too)
She rolled!

Link up here:

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Nine Years Ago...

I used to have my hair REALLY long and braided for every game so I could drop it down the back of my jersey.  That way the other team didn't know I was the girl!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Twelve for '12

Here are my Twelve goals for 2012!

1. Frugality
I want to save my family money where possible.  I don't have to be an extreme couponer but I will not be wasteful.

2. Schedule
I want to know what to expect in my days, plan time out of the house, and help my kids be the best they can be by giving them a routine.

3. Prioritize
I want to make sure I do the most important things first and let the silly things slide.

4. Repurpose before Purchase
I have so much STUFF at my house.  I want to use what I have before buying new.  That will involve both being creative and knowing what I have!

5. Hospitality
I want to practice hospitality by inviting people into my home and being purposeful about loving on people in practical ways.

6. Fellowship
I want to make sure I carve out time to fellowship with other women.  I NEED them!

7. Memorization
No really, this year I want to get back to memorizing scripture.

8. Don't lose me.
I want to make sure I am true to who I am and what I'm called to do.

9. Journal
I want to write more.  I miss it!  (Blog might count?!?)

10. Disciple
I want to make sure I am purposefully pouring into a life/lives consistently through 2012.

11. Treat My Body Well
I want to exercise and eat right.  I don't have to have a diet, I don't have to have an exercise plan to lose a ton of weight.  I just want to treat myself right.

12. Be Purposeful
Although some days will end with "now, what exactly did I accomplish today?" I want to be purposeful and mindful of how I spend my minutes.  I want to know that I did something to accomplish goals and move forward in one way or another.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Prayer For My Daughters

While I was anxiously awaiting the arrival of my second little girl, I was struck by the fact that perhaps the worries I have for them are not the most Biblical.  And of course, since my prayers are based mainly on my worries, perhaps I have some work to do.

- I worry about all the "normal" mom things.  Do they have enough attention, growing properly, major medical issues, social issues, are they "safe", will they face abuse or be subject to any sort of traumatic situation.  I think that is somewhat normal.  I don't think obsessing about these things helps me OR them.  I think it is fair to say "You need to stay where I can see you."  but the extreme of that is "We're not going anywhere for fear something may happen."  And that is not ok.  Fortunately, knowing I lean toward over protection I remind myself that some things are out of my control and my husband is a great balance.

So that being said what should my prayers look like?

- Use me to teach them Lord.
- Let them experience life the way YOU need them to.
- Give me wisdom in boundaries.
- Don't let me stand in YOUR way.
- Thank You for trusting me with them, help me to trust YOU with them.

I know the Lord says He will provide for my children and He has proven Himself faithful in my life. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

5 Tips for Getting It All Done

I always think it is really funny when people ask me how I do it "all".  I have two kids, I don't homeschool, I don't work outside the home, I don't have a huge plethora of outside the house responsibilities.  I read blogs of people who have 10 kids, homeschool, grow their own food, make bread every day and I think how do THEY get it all done.  Here are my tips though for anyone, kids or not, for getting it all done!

1. Make Two Lists
First, make the list that happens regularly.  I talked about my weekly chores list (and if I tagged my posts I would be able to find it quickly, but more about organization later).   This is something that gets printed and hung on my fridge every week.  It usually gets done on the days it is supposed to, but not always and that's ok.  For example my post holiday trash can didn't have any more room in it before Tuesday trash all the house trash will be rounded up today so it doesn't have to sit next to my back door for a couple days.  And the laundry days may switch if someone NEEDS something clean, but again, general guidelines keep my floors from being embarassing and my toilets from making me cry.

The second list is an Ongoing Project list this is where I put stuff like "return crib to rightful owner who is going to have twins very soon" and "clean out the file cabinet".  Stuff that doesn't have to get done right away but will make me crazy if it doesn't get done SOMETIME and is easy to forget.  This also goes on my fridge.

2. Coffee
Just kidding.  It is important to keep track of how/what you're eating and how that makes you feel.  I LOVE sugar!  It isn't a secret.  But sugar slows me down so if I eat too much I'm worthless to my family. 

3. Prioritize and Organize
Having the lists isn't enough.  Have them set up in a way that makes sense and you know what is REALLY important to get done and what is just a pet peeve that needs to be addressed eventually but doesn't really matter today.  Do you have the supplies/tools/resources/time to attack the project at hand?  Knowing where all the pieces are before you get going always helps!  (And by pieces I mean everything from the screwdriver to the babysitter).

4. Know Your Limits
I know I only have so many hours in a day so that helps me decide what to take on.  (Including not just projects but time with friends, alone time, family time, etc)  Also know when to ask for help.  It's ok to not do it all yourself!

5. Keep on going.
The worst thing to do is to get overwhelmed and stop.  I admit I get to this point sometimes, but if you keep going things get done!!

Again, I'm not an expert.  I have two kids, a work from home job and a great support system but since I'm asked, there ya go - top five things I'd recommend!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #38

I am thankful for

1...15 minutes of alone time in the car while waiting to pick up my little sister from driving school.

2. All 16 of my brothers and sisters in law. :). (Yeah, and only 4 are from marriages...I expect that number to be at least 23ish before all is said and done)

3. An awesome date night with my man last night. Yummy yummy food and delightful company!

4. Getting to know secrets.

5. My grandparents. I am so blessed to have them and know them. I hope my kiddos get to know them when they can remember and that they one day feel the same way about their grandparents.

6. My brother in law home safe from his deployment!

7. Extra in person and phone time with my sister the last few weeks!

8. That I have the good sense not to wear shorts in the winter...unlike the person I am looking at in the parking lot (see #1)

9. Happy kids.

10. A better attitude :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Forget New Year Resolutions

I'm forgetting about New Year resolutions for the time being and focusing on New Day resolutions.  Today I resolve to be...

...less cranky.
...more friendly.
...less scattered.
...more organized.
...less unhealthy.
...more nutritious.
...less emotional.
...more peaceful.
...less upset.
...more relaxed.

Today I resolve to not be the version of me I've been the past few days and to get out of this little funk I've been in!


Monday, January 2, 2012

Eleven For '11 Revisited

Last year I posted my Eleven for '11 goals for the year.  Today I'll revisit them...tomorrow, or later this week we'll work on Twelve for '12!

1) Do first the things that only I can do.
I think I have done a good job realizing I have to be a wife and mom first and everything else falls into place after that.  The roles that only I can fill I have filled, the roles I've needed help filling I've asked for help.  It will always be a work in progress but I'd call this a success!

2) Do the things I KNOW I am called to do.
I specifically mentioned leading teen girls in Bible study which I am doing on Monday nights right now!  I love it!  Success.

3) Keep a clean home.
Much better this past year and continuing to improve.  I'm working on re-purposing before purchasing and throwing away before hoarding ;)  And you'll be glad to know my stack of computers (4 CPUs and 2 laptops) are now gone.  Success.

4) Pray
I am still a terrible pray-er.  I need more work on this!

5) Memorization
This came up a couple times through the year but I have not successfully accomplished anything.

6) Study
I did not take a class or learn anything new.  Still need to work on this!

7) Personal time
Sort of.  I don't have a lot of carved out personal time but I am spending the time I have a bit more wisely.  Sort of success?

8) Financial Support
Epic fail.  We just received our "year end" account statements.  I am not anywhere near 100% of our financial support.

9) Appreciating my husband
Success.  He is such an awesome guy and works hard for our family.  I have tried to both tell him that and show him that this year and I think I accomplished that quite well.

10) Find a mentor.
Not in the sense I had in mind, but I do still have friends who are just not that impressed with me and willing to keep it real :)

11) Love
Do we ever really accomplish this?  I would say yes, I am known by my love but I certainly have my moments and have a long way to go!

So much fun!  I jotted some notes during church yesterday of some goals for this year so I'll try to get those up here soon!!

Thanks for your friendship in 2011!