Monday, December 29, 2008

Living Rich for Less

Here it is January 1, 2009! People all over the world are making assessments of their lives. How do they want 2009 to be different from 2008. How do they want to better themselves.
*Loose weight?
*Read the Bible through in a year?
*Have a daily quiet time with the Lord?
*Improve some character flaw?
*Eat healthier?
*Live greener?
*Consume less?
*Charge less?
*Pay down debt?
I have read a lot of diet and excersise books, more than I care to admit. They all have the same basic premise, Eat Less. Move More. If you follow those simple rules you will loose weight. There are lots of different combinations of food and movement that you can use to help you attain your goal. Weight Watchers, Slim Fast, The Zone, Curves, Nutisystem, The Biggest Loser Club, Prism, aeobics, biking, walking, running, pilates, yoga, swimming, eliptical...the list can go on and on. The key is finding one that you can live with to help you attain your goal. What works for you may not work for me. If you can't find something that you can live with, you will fail.

Welcome to the Living Rich for Less blog tour!
I just finished this book by Ellie Kay. Ellie Kay has lots of tips to help you succeed in creating a rich lifestyle. The principals in her book apply to the average american household making $48,000 per year.

So what did I learn reading this book? Our finances are not as bad as I thought, but they still need a diet and excersise workout.

I have been encouraged to really work on my grocery budget this year and to learn how to use coupons (Jamie, I might need a personal tutoring session) and to make our savings account a priority (we have really let this go).

Just like trying to loose weight, to change our finances is going to take work and sacrifice. Argh. Not looking forward to that. But I am looking forward to some financial freedom in the future. By our estimates it will take probably three years to attain the kind of freedom we want...just in time for Emma to start college.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

White as snow

Like much of the rest of the country we are covered in snow. We don't get all that much around here so when the white stuff comes we all take notice. It seems you either love it or hate it. I love it! I have a big ol' suburban that drives just fine in the stuff so bring it on.

Something about snow almost mesmerizes me. I love to watch it fall, like a peaceful blanket. I love how it muffles the harsh sounds of the world. And I love how it covers ugliness with it's perfection. That is until the kids wake up and stomp all over my perfectly manicured lawn with their snow boots and try their hands at snowmen, igloos, and snowball fights.

As I was sitting gazing out the window last night the old hymn 'White as Snow' kept running through my thoughts. My neighborhood is not the most beautiful so when snow comes down like this it covers all the ugliness. The cracks in the sidewalks, the dead grass, the empty flower barrels, the oil spots on the street, the leftover dead plants in my garden along with the rotten tomatoes, the leaves that didn't get raked up. It is all covered right now. Not only is it covered, but this time the snow was sparkly. As I watched it snow, with just the light from the street lamp, it shimmered and sparkled amazingly. I don't know if it was from the arctic winds that were blowing or what but it was beautiful to watch. It reminded me of diamonds glistening and made me think of the precious gift Jesus is, covering all our ugliness and imperfections. All the cracks, emptiness, spots, leftovers and dead places in our lives. It reminded me of how much I still need Jesus. How much I fall short. And only in Him will I be covered white as snow and be made perfect in His sight. What a great reminder just days before we celebrate the ultimate gift of Jesus. Jesus let is snow, let it snow, let it snow...on me.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Running in place

I have been trying to come up with a good 'Works for me Wednesday' post. I got nothin'. Apparently nothing works for me this week.

I have had more time this week that I had planned on. We were already taking this week to finish up some school things before the break, and we did that on Monday (I thought it would take at least til Wednesday). So Tuesday and Wednesday have been baking and laziness. I feel like I have done a lot of nothin'. I am hoping to enjoy the next week (or two) to the fullest. Catch up on some reading and enjoying the cold weather outside while snuggled inside.
I have been chosen, accepted, asked, whatever, to do a little review of a new book that is coming out soon. It is called Living Rich for Less by Ellie Kay. I will be participating in a blog tour between Dec 29 and Jan 2. I am so looking forward to getting some great information and tools to start the new year off right. I have just read the first chapter and it looks like a great book written by and for a little ol' stay at home momma like me. Not the CEO of some big company wondering where to invest my millions. Just a simple momma wondering how to get a little more bang for her buck. Come by and check it out!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Meme

A little Christmas time questionnaire...

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
Definitely Hot Chocolate. Especially Ghirardelli's ground sweet chocolate from Cash & Carry

2.Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Santa puts unwrapped gifts in stockings here.

3. Colored lights on house/tree or white?
Just white. This year Eli hung the lights. So they are a little...not so perfect ;o)

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
No, but that would be fun!

5.When do you put your decorations up?
The day after Christmas. I am a big of a Scrooge.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?

7.When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
I think I was in 4th grade. That seems kinda old now.

8. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
Yep. We give the kids new jammies on Christmas Eve.

9. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
Traditional Hodge Podge. Each one is precious and represents a memory or story. Lots of kid made ornaments.

10. Snow. Love it or dread it?
If it is going to be cold, I want snow. Otherwise I could do without.

11. Can you ice skate?
Definitely not.

12. What is your favorite holiday dessert?
Pumpkin Pie

13. Which do you prefer giving or receiving?
I enjoy giving much more than receiving.

14. What is your favorite Christmas song?
Carol of the Bells

15. Candy Canes. Yum or Yuck?

16. Do you attend an annual Christmas party?
Not usually. Ron has a couple staff things we go to but that is all. Nothing fancy. Every year I think I would love to do this with friends though.

17. Do you dress up for Christmas Eve or wear PJ's?
We wear semi-casual to church service and then into the new jammies.

18. Do you own a Santa hat.
Personally? No. But there are several around the house.

19. Who do you normally spend Christmas with?
The past couple years we have decided to stay home. We invite all extended family to come if they want to play games and eat.

So play along! This is a fun easy post girls! I am especially tagging Kelly (because she is new and Beth so she will have something to post! But I would love all of you to post.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Just in case I was bored

Along with the usual busyness that this time of year brings I have also found myself with a little part time job. After much talk, prayer, thought, prayer, talk, planning and such Ron and I came to the decision that it would be good for me to work a little. Things like the economy, our large family, and some not so wise decisions have led us to this point, so I go to work. And really if I have to go to work, it couldn't be any more ideal than this. I went back to work in the same preschool that I taught at several years ago when Emma was just heading into elementary school. The hours are perfect and very predictable, except for the occasional snow day. And I really do love working with preschool kids. I am hoping that with the Christmas break right around the corner I can get a good handle on the kid's schedule while I am gone in the mornings (just 3 days a week) to where hopefully the new year will start off smoothly.

It has made me realize how very blessed I am to have so much time with my kids. I love them so much and am so blessed to be their mommy and teacher. God is good in providing just what we need in a way that still honors Him and my commitment to my family. What a perfect reminder at this special time of year that God is the giver of all good gifts! ;o)

**Thank you Emma for another lovely blog layout. Your the best!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Works for me Wednesday

This is the first time I have participated in WFMW. I am finding I need a little more help lately getting the to-do list done and managing my home and family. So I am looking for all the help I can get.

What works for me at Christmas is our tradition of giving 3 gifts to each family member. Each person receives a GOLD, FRANKINCENSE AND MYRRH gift.

The GOLD gift is one that either is the most costly or most desired by the recipient.
The FRANKINCENSE gift is a gift meant to help you in your walk with the Lord. We have bought devotionals, bibles, music, videos and such. Frankincense used in the temples as an act of worship to God.

The MYRRH gift is a gift for the body. We have bought lotions, soaps, clothing, and such for this gift. Myrrh was used in the burial process in bible times.

This gift process has made gift shopping much easier for our family while also helping us keep our eyes on the reason for Christmas.

The family also recieves gifts from siblings and exteneded family and friends, so don't feel sorry for our kids that they only get three gifts. ;o)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Christmas Budget

I don't know about you, but the budget is a little tight at our house. We are making adjustments to both what is coming in and going out. With Christmas right around the corner I am wondering if any of my bloggy friends have money saving tips? How are you spending money this Christmas? How are you pinching your pennies? What are you spending $ on and what are you giving up this year, if anything? I am curious on your Christmas spending perspectives ;o)

Although we know that God holds our future and that we should not be fearful, I think He also wants us to be wise about planning for the future. I want to be wise in 2009. Maybe that means I will have to start reading Dave Ramsey, who knows.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A little reunion

This past Sunday we had a wonderful reunion with some of the families that we traveled to China with two years ago when we adopted our youngest. It was so much fun to see all the girls and how much they had grown and changed.
Two years ago...

This past Sunday...

The bigger girls in the photo are siblings also adopted from China. I am so thankful that we have people in our lives who have gone down the same road we have. We can share in each other's trials and blessings. Ella has the benefit of knowing other families like hers. God is so good!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

Playing with Jamie

The Rules: Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the following questions.
* They have to be real places, names, things. nothing made up!
* You can’t use your name for the boy/girl name question.
* Tag at least 5 people to play along

1. What is your name... Jill
2. A four letter word... June
3. A boy's name... Jeff
4. A girl's name... Jane
5. An occupation... Jeweler
6. A color... Jazzberry Jam (I copied Jamie and googled it, I only found 2 that started with J)...or how about jonagold? oh yea, that is an apple.
7. Something you wear... Jordache Jeans. Do they make these anymore? They were back in the day of San Fransisco Riding Gear, G. Smile, Jessica McClintock and gunnysack dresses.
8. A beverage... Jolt
9. A food...jelly...more of a condiment really
10. Something found in the bathroom...jammies
11. A place...Jordan Egypt
12. A reason for being late... Jiggly thighs or tummy...can't find something that fits. ;o

Tag, you're it!

Leave me a comment and let me know if you decide to play along. C'; it'll be fun.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Do you know about this stuff?

This is amazing! Never again will I have to farm out hemming a pair of pants because I can't thread my machine. Life is good.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Status report:

Lately I find my thoughts are scattered. Random. All over the place. I am not sure what to blame this on. Thanksgiving next week? The economy? Our finances? Children? Husband? House? PMS? I am not sure, so I thought I would borrow an idea from Kim. Because I am tired of seeing only menus up on my blog.

Sitting…in the living room

Drinking…a cold cup of coffee

Getting ready to…make lunch

Glad...I have pumpkin bread in the oven, smells so yummy!

Looking forward to…Thanksgiving dinner, and maybe a reunion with travel mates from Spokane.

Dreading…folding socks. I hate this chore above all others.

Wanting…a Thankful Thanksgiving

Needing…To go to the grocery store for Thanksgiving dinner...oh, yea, and bread, and milk, and eggs and... And to put the clean sheets on my bed.

Imagining… Imagining? What is that? Crazy talk.

Monday, November 17, 2008


It's Monday! (afternoon)
Time for ....

Monday: Taco Soup - I have been thinking about this soup all day...I don't really want to make it. Ever have those days?
Tuesday: Hot Chicken Sandwiches
Wed: Dinner @ Church
Thursday: Breakfast for dinner
Fri & Sat - Out of town with my Sweetie!

On another note...go over to Kelly and say 'Hello'. She is new to blogging and just the sweetest little thing ever!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

reunited and it feels so good

Sorry, I couldn't resist. ;o)

I'm reconnected! Although I am sure you have not been wondering where I have been...I have been disconnected. Our internet and telephone services were disconnected due to old wiring in this old house. It took the service provider one whole week to get to it. Grrr.

So, what did I do with my extra time?
*My house is spotless.
*I did a lot of reading. I finished Practicing Hospitality and continued in my reading of Respectable Sins, and the Uncommon Woman . They are all great books that I would recommend.
*I got my lesson plans done.
*Did some baking.

It was a very quiet week around here. No phone ringing, no internet noise. I did realize how much time I waste or use up on the computer though. Ten minutes here, 5 minutes there, 30 minutes here, takes up more time than I care to admit. I need to keep that in check. It was nice to see some bloggers that have not blogged for a while have a post to I am off.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Better late than never...
Monday: Shepherd's Pie
Tuesday: Chinese Chicken Casserole
Wednesday: Dinner @ Church
Thursday: Breakfast
Friday: Homemade Mac & Cheese
Saturday: Chicken Strips & Fires

Last week we kept a crazy schedule. I am hoping with Veteran's Day off tomorrow I will have time to catch up on some lesson grading and cleaning. ;o)
Have a great Monday!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It ain't easy being green

Are these not the cutest reusable shopping bags you have seen?

I can tell you they do no good staying in the back of the Suburban. Beth, Jamie, Kelly and I all bought these at IKEA for $1.50 each last month. I have FOUR. I have yet to use mine. I don't think about it until I am at the checkout. It ain't easy being green.

Monday, November 3, 2008

New November!

It's November! The calendar has turned and here we are! I have spent the past several days feeling like I am so far behind in so many things, do you ever feel that way? Today is a new day, a new week, a new month, a new start. Last night I stayed home from church to get a little caught up on paying bills, cleaning house, laundry, and meal planning. It feels so much better going into a week when you don't feel like your days behind already. ;o)

Last night I sat down and planned out all the meals for the whole month. Yahoo! It has been months since I have done that. Instead I had been going week to week and that is just not enough planning in this house.

Here is this weeks menus:
Monday: Beef Barley Stew & rolls
Tuesday: Chicken Burgers & salad
Wednesday: Dinner at church (roastbeef & mashed potatos)
Thursday: Chili dinner @ Emma's school
Friday: Spaghetti, bread, and salad
Saturday: Shepherd's Pie & rolls

I also started a new book that I am so excited about. It is called The Uncommon Woman: Making an ordinary life extraordinary by Susie Larson. Here is a little taste:

UNCOMMON: remarkable, extraordinary, exceptional, singular, signigicant, special, unearthly, mind-boggling

We're all different but the same. We all hurt on occasion. We've thrown the spear and we've been hit a few times. We've said one thing and done another. And we've had our heroic moments when no one else was watching. All of us come to the noble path from a different place. But that doesn't matter so much. Where do we go from here? What do we do with what we now know?

Do you long to rise above the petty behaviors that are familiar to most women? Are you ready for a radical overhaul of how you view yourself, others, and your place in this world? Are you provoked by the pain in the world and do you long to make a difference with the life you've been given?

As we shake off the status quo, we will pursue the higher road.

The uncommon woman believes the wonderful truth about herself. Moreover, she has the capacity to view others from this same heavenly perspecitve. Bursting from her heart is the conviction to do something about the injustices in her world. She walks with purity that allows her to see God everywhere. And the Kingdom of God is so strong in her life that everywhere she places her feet suddenly becomes uncommon and holy place-because she's there.
I need a little spirit-lift-revival right now and I am hopeful this may be it. Recently I have seen God moving in a mighty way in several people's hearts, all coming together, without judgment fighting for each other and His glory. It is awesome to me to see a transparency I have not seen in a very long time. It seems like we have been trying to hide our inadequecies from eachother for a very long time which leads us to believe the lie that we are the only one that struggles with parenting, fear, isolation, finances, discouragment, and so on.

Could it be that God is sending a revival? Let it be Lord, and let it begin in me.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Unprepared Momma

I get the 'Unprepared Mom" award for not having my batteries charged up for Halloween. To be truthful they were not charged up last week for Eli's last football game either. I am sure you can relate with 'running and getting nowhere', that has been the past couple weeks. Lots of busyness. So I am 'stealing' this picture from Carol. I have to say that we had the cutest Things at the party.

But I don't have pictures of my cute little puppy (Eva) or the spy (Eden). Oh well.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Smells like fall

In the spirit of fall I thought I would pass on this fantastic recipe. I found it on someone's blog last year (sorry, I have no idea where). These cookies make your house smell so yummy...almost like Thanksgiving. We are enjoying a batch today.

Woops! Thanks Misty for pointing out that I forgot to add 350 degrees for 15-20 minuts. Sorry.
Iced Pumpkin Cookies
2 1/2 C Flour
1t. Baking Powder
1t. Baking Soda
2t. Cinnamon
1/2t. Nutmeg
1/2t. Ground Cloves
1/2t. Salt
1/2c. Butter
1 1/2c. Sugar
1 Can Pumpkin - the large one
1 Egg
1t. Vanilla
Expect the dough to be very wet. I add an extra cup of flour, the dough is still really wet, and the cookies come out cake like.

2c. Confectioners Sugar
3T. Milk
1T. Butter
1t. Vanilla

Carol taught how to ice cookies last year. Maybe y'all know this. Dip the tops of your cookies in a shallow dish of icing and let the extra drip off. Turn the cookie over and let the frosting set. The icing comes out perfect every time.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thursday already?

It has been a busy week playing catch-up after being away last weekend with the girls. Laundry, house cleaning, and homeschooling, whew...

So since my brain is not engaged, I am participating in this little tag.

1.) Favorite Smell... Something clean, I like Cotton Linen by Yankee Candles. I also like Green Apple.

2) Favorite Food... Anything Mexican!

3.) Favorite color... Red...for now

4.) Favorite drink... Killer Carmel Latte from Barracuda's or White Mocha from Starbucks

5.) Favorite Treat... Hmmm...Cake

6.) Favorite place to visit... The beach

7.) Favorite Candy... Dark Chocolate M&Ms

8.) Favorite movie to watch...You've Got Mail

9.) Favorite clothing to wear...Jeans

10.) Favorite Outdoor Activity... Walking

11.) Favorite Football Team... Dolphins B team (my son)

12.) Favorite Fall Holiday... Thanksgiving

13.) Leaving this one blank...Too weird to repeat

14.) Favorite Food at Thanksgiving Dinner... Stuffing

15.) Favorite Pie... Pumpkin

16.) Favorite Fall Hobby... Reading

17.) Favorite Fall Memory... IDK

18.) Favorite Fall Sight... Leaves turning color

19.) Overall Favorite Fall Thing... Thanksgiving, enjoying a holiday that does not revolve around gifts

20.) Favorite Season... The beginning of any of them.

If you want play along! Tag your it!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Lots of laughs ;o)

I had a great weekend away. The conference was not exactly what I expected or looking for but it was still good. The best part of the weekend was the girl time. We had lots of fun walking, looking, shopping and laughing. It was great to be able to have some complete conversations with out any interruptions from little ones (or big ones). I found a couple great deals on somethings I needed which is always fun.

I had my first experience of public transportation. I think I may have rode our local bus a time or two when I was in Jr. High, but that is the extent of my green-riding. The girls talked me into riding the Max in Portland, Or. We were going downtown to Saturday Market. When we stepped on the Max there were only three available seats so I was going to stand. There was a friendly gentleman that offered to let me sit on his lap for the ride and I nervously declined. He said he was just trying to show a little southern hospitality (Aren't we in the Northwest?) but it did give us all a good laugh. I think it gave the other girls a better laugh than me though. My laugh was a little nervous.

I was amazed at the number of young homeless people. I was thinking about that song I posted a time or two ago "Give Me Your Eyes" when a young man came and asked me for a fry that I was eating. Then a young girl, no more than 14, asked if I would give her whatever I didn't eat. It made me so sad to think of the situations and choices that brought them to this spot.

At first I thought "This is the real world", but I don't know that is all correct. It is certainly reality for downtown Portland Oregon and many other places in the US and around the world, and I know there are homeless in my community on a much smaller scale. In may corner of the world the hurting and needy look a little different. Maybe it is the family I know that is falling apart, or maybe the neighbor that is struggling to put food on the table, or maybe the mom I know that needs a friend. That is the Real World too. I need to be more deliberate in looking at people the way God sees them and finding how God would like me to partner with Him. It is all the real world, just some parts are more raw and astonishing than others.

Thank you Beth, Jamie and Kelly for a great time!! I really appreciate your friendship, you are each special treasures to me! Thank you for putting up with me and my quirks. I am sure I am like fish and after a few days...pew!

Hopefully Kelly will be joining our blogworld soon. ;o)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Yea Hoo!

Have a great weekend ladies! Until next week...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Give me your eyes

So did you guess yesterday? It was Teddy Roosevelt. Interesting.

God has been working on my heart. Continuing with the theme of living a life of purpose.

Sunday night a team that recently traveled to Guatemala shared about their experiences. I also got a comment yesterday asking:
Jill, can I ask you a question? Did you ever just have one of those days where EVERYTHING seemed to go wrong and you just want to sit down in one place and barely breathe for fear of another unfortunate thing happening? What do you do on those days to survive?

Some days it seems like that is all I am doing 'surviving', not thriving and certainly not living the life of abundance. At least not abundant joy. Maybe abundant opportunity, or abundant laundry, or abundant children, but not abundant joy.

The Guatemala team shared about this sweet little deaf girl, who given a different set of circumstances would have been able to hear. Of course I immediately thought of Kate and was brought to tears. But really given another set of circumstances it could be any of us. But for the grace of God.

How much time do I waste on the trivial? As I contemplate whether we should sheet rock our basement, there are people going hungry, people without homes, children without parents, people suffering and hurting. While I am trying to figure out I picked the right shade of brown for the bathroom, someone is wondering where they will spend the night. It makes my "issues" seem so small, and they are, at least most of the time.

I find that when my eyes are in the right spot even in the place of chaos and confusion there is peace. A peace that passes understanding (right, Jamie ;o) But so often I get my eyes on the wrong thing. The trivial, the non-essential.

I have no idea what is going on with mholgate,
and I certainly don't want to belittle what is going on in her life. Sometimes life is so hard that all you can do is keep breathing and trusting in the One that holds you in the palm of His hand.

God, keep working on me, give me your eyes.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Blogkeeping, fitness, and menus, and trivia

This blog looks a little like my house, needing some housekeeping ;o)

I updated the miles walked...yea! Over 200 miles! Thanks again to Wendi for being my faithful walking buddy. A couple weeks ago Wendi was sick with Strep. I could have walked by myself, but I didn't. I also updated the weight ticker, yep, gained back that wonderful pound that took three weeks to lose. Oh, well. I am trying to be good this week because I am planning on not being so good this coming weekend. Is that premeditated sin?

I am thrilled to only be planning three dinners this week. I am heading out of town on Thursday with friends and can hardly wait for the fun to begin. It will be a great time of catching up quality girl time.

Monday: White Chicken Chili -YUM! I got this recipe last year from Katherine @ Raising Five! Love, love, love it!
Tuesday: Broccoli Quiche - Have been trying to get this made for the past two weeks now. Tuesday is the day!
Wednesday: Church dinner, pork roast
Thursday: Fall Harvest Chowder -I can throw this in the crock pot before I leave town and leave the family with something over the weekend. Besides it smells great, and will remind them all how much I love them.

I have pre-made dinners for my family when I leave before, but they never seem to eat them. So I am not going to hassle with it. I am sure everyone will eat. There is lots of food in the cupboards.

I made a couple loaves of Pear Bread this morning. It smells so good, just like fall.

I recieved this from my mom-in-law this morning. Any guesses??? ;o)

Who Am I?

I am 42 years old,

I love the outdoors,

I hunt,

I am a Republican reformer,

I have taken on the Republican Party establishment,

I have five children,

I have a spot on the national ticket as vice president with less than two years in the governor's office.

Did you guess? I will tell you tomorrow.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The family franchise

Katherine has a great post over at Raising Five today. Go check her out.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Whiny Behiney?

That's what we call Ella when she whines.

I seem to have come across as whiny in yesterdays post. That was not my intention. I just thought it funny that when I was talking of living on purpose I was thinking big dreams and making a big difference in the big world. My big difference is right here at home ;o) One fish Two fish... Ella, keep it dry...

Thanks for all the encouragement ladies! One heart beat at a time!!!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Not His ways.

I have to smile. Yesterday while at Costco a friend and I talked about wanting to live a life of purpose. Here is my day.

I need to get up and go walk with Wendi. Don't want her to wait on me.
I need coffee.
Cereal of muffins for breakfast?
I wonder if Emma has made her lunch yet?
Ron needs to get going.
Are they done with their dishes?
I think I need a second cup.
I need to make new play-dough. Maybe orange for October.
I need to go downstairs to get Ella some puzzles to work.
The dryer turned off. I need to move that load of laundry.
Look at all those socks.
Why did I come down here? Oh, yeah, puzzles.
I need to dust that.
When did Eli vacuum?
That glass needs to go upstairs.
What should I make for lunch?
Can lights or a fixture?
What shade of brown for downstairs?
When is the sheet rock guy going to be here?
If Sally rides 3.5 miles one way how long did she ride all together?
Put more slant into your letters.
Time to read.
Eden, practice your spelling words.
Eli, quit tossing the football in the house.
I need to take the hamburger out of the freezer.
Eden take the little girls outside.
I need to fold that laundry.
That water needs to go in the fridge.
It smells like sheet rock mud.
I need to go get Emma and take her to teach her piano lesson.
Em, did you have a good day at class?
Eli, get ready for football.
Eden, get ready to go with dad.
I would like to check email and blogs...
I need to gather the library items. The videos are due back tomorrow.
Ooo, tomatoes still coming from the garden.
The counters need to be wiped down.
Emma, watch the girls while I go get Eli.
No, Eli, no slurpee. No Mountain Dew. No Pepsi. Water or milk.
Girls into the tub. Wash with soap. All crevasses.
Ella to bed. One Fish, two fish.
Yes, Evie, you can have ice cream.
Only one bowl, Ev. Let's read Pet Show and A Letter for Amy.
Emma, quit texting. That's enough for tonight.
Did you all brush your teeth? With toothpaste?
I love you.

This was not what I was referring to yesterday in my conversation. Isn't there a verse about His ways not being our ways?

In the interview by Paul Bradshaw (Time Mag 8/08) with Rick Warren , Rick said:

People ask me, What is the purpose of life? And I respond: In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven.

One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body-- but not the end of me.

I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act - the dress rehearsal. God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity.

We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life isn't going to make sense.

Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you're just coming out of one, or you're getting ready to go into another one.

The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort.

God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy.

We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that's not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ likeness.

When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, God, if I don't get anything else done today, I want to know You more and love You better. God didn't put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list. He's more interested in what I am than what I do.
That's why we're called human being, not human doings.

Happy moments, PRAISE GOD.
Difficult moments, SEEK GOD.
Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD
Painful moments, Trust God
Every moment, THANK GOD

Monday Menus and a give away

Not only are there hundreds of menus to look at today over at The Organizing Junkie today there is also a give away!!!

Monday: Tacos
Tuesday: Fish and chips
Wednesday: Church dinner
Thursday: Broccoli Quiche
Friday: Chicken Cacciatore (we didn't have this last week)

We are also working hard to finish the bathroom this week. Hopefully it will be painted by week end and we will have a functioning facility ;o) It is hard to share a bathroom with a teenager ;o)

We are also starting to fir in the basement and tile. Whew! Thank goodness my dad has been such a big help this week. It has been hard to keep up on laundry, schooling, meals and parenting all while trying to work on the house.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Weekend update

We have been crazy busy around the house this week. It is either feast or famine when we work on the house. Apparently we don't understand the concept of 'slow and steady wins the race'.

My dad took some time off to help with the bathroom remodel which was so nice. The sheet rock guys come tomorrow to tape and mud and then hopefully texture on Tuesday. What started as just new wallpaper is now replacing everything but the toilet. And that is only because we replaced that a few years ago. I picked out the paint colors and a new light fixture. In the end I will have a beautiful updated bathroom and a fabulous walk in closet.

We also replaced a window in the front of the house. The window we had was 30+ years old. It was aluminum and did not open. In the winter it would sweat horribly (and grow mold), and in the spring and fall you couldn't open it for ventilation. We bought this one a year ago on a great deal from Lowe's, I think we paid $25. If someone special orders a window and then decides they no longer want it you can get a great deal like that. This is also true for other big ticket items like washers, refrigerators, vanities, mirrors etc. You just have to keep your eyes open, time it right or buy for the future. Or have your dad work there. ;o)

I also finished sealing the walls in the basement. The walls are cinder block and have occasionally leaked. We have a footing that wraps the end of the basement that is about 3 1/2 feet tall and 2 feet wide so we are going to tile that. Again my dad got a great deal on tile. I think he paid like .18 per 18" tile. It was such a blessing to find tile that was a neutral color at a great price. They are discontinuing this tile. We are still scraping the carpet residue off the cement floor down there and hope to paint it with an epoxy to put the game tables on. Emma (14) got all excited last night when she could visualize a fun place to hang out with her friends.

On a side note, Eden (10) was throwing up all night last night. She has some sort of bug. She and a friend drank water out of someones fountain in their yard yesterday and I am hoping it is not from that. She seems to be doing better this morning but I am going to keep her home from church to keep an eye on her.

Have a great Sunday!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Family Driven Faith

I just finished this book last night. Loved it! Here is a little bit:
More teens are turning away from the faith than ever before: it is estimated that 75 to 88% of Christian teens walk away from Christianity by the end of their freshman year of college. Something must be done. Family Driven Faith equips Christian parents with the tools they need to raise children biblically in a post-Christian, anti-family society. Voddie Baucham, who with his wife has overcome a multi-generational legacy of broken and dysfunctional homes, shows that God has not left us alone in raising godly children. He has given us timeless precepts and principles for multi-generational faithfulness, especially in Deuteronomy 6. God's simple command to Moses to teach the Word diligently to the children of Israel serves as the foundation of Family Driven Faith.
I would love to give you bits and pieces of what I thought was so great but frankly there is just too much. Ron and I were reading this together but I sped on ahead of him because I was so excited and encouraged by what I read. After being involved with youth ministry for the past 10 years I can say that what Dr. Baucham talks about with the state of the family and youth of today is completely true and accurate. I pray that as a people of faith we wake up and do something about it before it is too late.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Monday Menus & starting the week

Wow, almost one o'clock in the afternoon and I am just now getting around to posting the menus.
Monday: Fall Harvest Chowder
Tuesday: Breakfast w/ Green Chile Cheese bake
Wednesday: Church dinner
Thursday: Taco soup or Mexican Chicken Chowder
Friday: Spaghetti or Chicken Cacciatore

Be sure to check out other menus @ Laura's Where they are doing a special Family Favorite Addition.
Here is a new family favorite:
Fall Harvest Chowder (slow cooker)
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 C chopped onion
4 C water
1 C carrots
1 C diced celery
1 C cubed potato
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatos
1 can (8 oz) tomato puree
1 t. salt
1/4 t pepper
1/4t crushed bay leaf
1 1/2 t Italian seasoning
6-8 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high

I started the day off taking Eden (10) to the dentist with a broken tooth. As the dentist looked at it and her chart he told me we were supposed to put a crown on that tooth two years ago. I was feeling like a neglectful parent, I don't remember this at all. I asked him to remind me of the date. Late November 2006. That was two weeks before we traveled to China. The next six months were a fog. Thank goodness for grace. She is scheduled to get a crown the middle of Oct.

Ron took Emma (14) to class this morning early because she had school pics, only to find out pics are next week. Argh.

But...dinner is in the crock-pot so the afternoon is looking up. Whew.

I tried a new recipe this morning for breakfast.

Omelets to go

6 eggs
1 1/2 c ham chopped
1/4 c shredded cheese
1/2 c bread crumbs
3T melted butter
1 T onion finly chopped

Beat eggs til foamy. Add remaining ingredients. Pour into greased muffin tins.
Bake @ 375 for 20-25 minutes
Ron and I thought these were yummy. The kids thought they were just OK. I was looking for something new to do in the mornings that was a little different, yet easy.

We are continuing the work on the bathroom. I keep saying 'I only wanted new wallpaper', but here we are now replacing everything but the toilet. My dad is taking some time off this week to help put it all back together. We are hoping to have it textured on Friday, but there is a lot to do between here and there.

Have a great Monday.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


The other day I bought a magazine because it had a great haircut. I know that this could very well qualify me as shallow. I am always on the lookout for a great new cut and have a library of hair magazines to prove it. The mag is called Baby Couture (Josie Bissett's hair on the cover made me buy the mag). It is mainly about what is hot for babies, and I mean extreme luxury. It had famous people and their babies modeling clothes and other baby items. "So and So wearing Such and Such", Crazy. I can't believe how much people are willing to pay to dress their babies. Absolutely nuts. And how much better are their strollers compared to mine? It is just a stroller! Anybody have some hand-me-downs they are willing to hand over?

It made me think about what a friend of ours said recently as he has been dealing with his daughter in the hospital for the past four weeks. He said 'God is more concerned about my character than my comfort'. Lord, let me be concerned about my character too.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Perfectionism and legacies

I started a new book this weekend; Building Her House by Nancy Wilson. It has many short essays on family, marriage, mothering and attitudes. It is a pretty light and encouraging read. One of the essays that I read made the statement that
'God is perfect, but not a perfectionist'. Perfectionism is man's invention.
This goes right along with what God has been revealing to me or teaching me about our home. Not the remodeling part although it could certainly apply here too. But more on the heart of the home. A week or so ago I saw a video of Voddie Bauchum and his wife Bridget. It is 14 minutes long, but very powerful...It is titled Leaving a Legacy. (sorry, I couldn't post the video here)

When he talked about family worship being more about doing it, setting aside time to honor God, not necessarily the content, but just doing it, that really spoke to me. I get so caught up in thinking things need to look a certain way that I miss the point. So this goes back to God is perfect, not a perfectionist. For me this has been quite freeing. Do what I know God wants me to do, and trust Him to fill in the gaps. Our family is going on three weeks of having a daily family worship, before we have been hit and miss. Sometimes more miss than hit. It has been great to have a casual time in the mornings, no pressure, no outline, just focusing on God's Word and plan for our family. I don't say this to give glory to us, it is all God, working it out.