Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thankful for You Card

Hi Friends-..... Yes if you are reading this You are now my friend!

Ahhhh... Today is Thankful Thursday again....... My favorite cooking night of the week.... I blogged about it here.

So to keep up the spirit of Thankful Thursday and in honor of the official Thanksgiving holiday coming up - I'd like to share an idea with you.

Do you have someone in your life that maybe helps you on a regular basis or often does something nice for you?

Let's honor them this week with a real snail mail- Thank You card in the mail.......Do you remember those?  Don't you love getting "real mail" in your mailbox? I know I do.... On the rare occasion that I get a real hand written note in the mail.... I get so excited and read it probably ten times.... then I tack it on my bulletin board in my kitchen so I can be reminded of it regularly.  And then.... if no one is looking I do a happy dance with a big goofy grin........

Don't get me wrong..... I love a sweet email or a cute e-card as well.... But there is just something about that tangible piece of mail.... that someone took the time to
1. get out their pen and paper
2. Sit down and write
3. Get out of their home and drive to the post office
4. Actually dig throught their purse to find change and buy a stamp
              (who really has stamps on hand now that we do everything online)
5. Put it in the mail
6. Drive home.....
 All this effort just to send me a little piece of paper of encouragement......I take their effort very seriously and appreciate it much!

This time of year there are so many cute Thanksgiving cards out....... or if you are the crafty type you can make your own...There are tons of ideas on Pinterest for making some with your kids.....

Who in your life could you send a "Thankful for You" card-

  • Someone you do business with regularly that always has a smile or kind word? (My local bank lady is great!)
  • The sweet old lady in your church who always gives your kids gum?
  • Family member who watches your kids on a regularly scheduled basis?
  • The friend who brings your kids snacks at church when you forget?
  • Your husband who encourages and helps you? (I sent mine a card in the mail to his work this year.... It was a funny musical card.... He got a kick out of it..... The $5 spent for the cute hallmark card was worth it)
  • The teenage girl who enjoys playing with your kids?
  • The person that invites you to dinner regularly on the days she knows you are too busy to cook?
  • Your friend that always has a listening ear?
  • Your exercise buddy?
  • Someone who is also encouraging and uplifting to be around?

The list could go on and on of ideas for people that might help you regularly that you could send a sweet card to. 

As the veggie-tales song says... "A thankful heart is a happy heart"........... or we could quote the bible hehehe...


Psalm 69:30  I will praise the name of God with song, And shall magnify Him with thanksgiving.

Colossians 3:15  And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful

1 Thessalonians 5:18  in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus

Proverbs 17:22 
A joyful heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones.

Who are you going to send one to?

I better get off here and get started on mine!

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit my little journal on the web- I'd love for you to like my Facebook page and Subscribe by email.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Hosting from your Freezer

Hi Friends!

What do you serve unexpected company? Or expected company when you didn't have time to prepare?


Here are two of our favorites that we like to have on hand in the freezer-
Monster Cookies and The Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls

*Here's a quick note on the Cinnamon Rolls- I've made her recipe several times... This time I used 1/2 the butter and 1/2 the sugar-  and they still tasted amazing!
 (I added walnuts and raising as well... yum!)

We made a batch of monster cookies and cinnamon rolls within past couple of weeks to put in the freezer.

I'm so glad we did!
They saved me 3x this weekend!!!!

We had a few unexpected guests this weekend- some on Saturday and some on Sunday.

I was able to serve cinnamon rolls for breakfast and monster cookies for a dessert.

It was great- No stress, No hassle, and No mess!

Both freeze well and turn out beautiful and delicious reheated.

After making the batch of Monster Cookies I was able to freeze 7 gallon size bags of cookies in our freezer, take 1 bag to a friend + eat the dough with my helper and have several fresh out of the oven  waiting for my husband when he got home.......
So I don't know how many it makes... but A LOT is all you need to know.

Here is the recipe for the Monster Cookies- I hope you'll put some in your freezer.

My big helper! 

Monster Cookies
 12 eggs
3 lbs peanut butter
1 lb butter
2 lb brown sugar
4 cup white sugar
1 tbsp corn syrup
18 cup instant oatmeal
8 tsp baking soda
1 lb M&M’s
2 lb semi-sweet chocolate chips

  • Mix first eight ingredients well. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Use a cookie scoop or ice cream scoop depending on the size you want. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes


yum!
This makes many good cookies… again, it depends on the size you make.

*To thaw out the Monster Cookies- grab one out of bag and put in microwave until desired temperature....
I like mine still cold in the middle but warm on the outside..... mmm... yum....

What are some your your favorites to have stocked in the freezer? I'd love to hear! 



Thanks so much for stopping by- I love visitors to my little corner of the web journal... While you're here I'd love for you to go and like my Facebook Page and sign up to let my come quietly and humbly to your inbox. 

Blessings, 



Thursday, October 11, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Woo Hoo!
Today is Thankful Thursday....
My family has been doing this for about a year "ish"......

Here's what we do:
Every Thursday we have either:
  • Oatmeal
  • Beans or
  • Rice for dinner! 


We started this to help teach our children to have a Thankful attitude.
At dinner time on Thursday's we talk about:

  • Why it's important to be Thankful
  • Why God wants us to be Thankful
  • How there are people out there all over the world who do not have anything to eat and would love to be at our dinner table eating oatmeal with us. We want them to be aware and compassionate. 
  • How to practice Thankfulness
We started this about a year or so ago. It has been wonderful talking to our kiddos about some of these subjects..... 

What's funny is- It's usually our favorite meal night of the week. 
I light candles and put on soft music while we eat.
There is a calm, simple, and  peaceful atmosphere.
Cooking is minimal - less than 10 minutes. Woo Hoo! (use  crock pot or rice cooker)
Clean up is minimal - less than 5 minutes. (Woo Hoo!)
There is more time for other things in the evenings. 

It has been a huge blessing for us........

Confession from the Cook:
Okay... now here is another part.... I love doing this for all the "Thankfulness" reasons... but .... man... I can honestly tell you- It's made my life WAY EASIER!!!!!!!!!
If you cook something that has leftovers on Tuesday or so- 
Then You don't cook again until Friday!
It makes menu planning easy! It's easier on the budget! 
It is completely stress free and I look forward to it weekly.....

Do you do anything like this in your family? I'd love to hear! 

One more confession:
When the kids go to bed my husband and I always eat another snack!
 ( usually a dessert...) Don't Tell!
(It's considered "spending quality time with you spouse" right???) 

Thanks for stopping by and visiting my corner of the web! Why you're here I'd love for you to like my Facebook Page-


Blessings, 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Enjoy your Children

Enjoy your children.....

Society tell us children are a burden.
Children are not a burden.....
They are a blessing...
Let's show that with our lives, actions, and attitudes...

Psalm 127:3
Children are a blessing from the Lord. 

Having littles is such a short, quick season in your life and it will be over before you know it.

James 4:14
whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.

I have often found myself saying....
"When they are older we'll be able to do ______ and __________."
"In just a few years we will be able to go  ________________ and ___________"
" I'm really looking forward to___________________"
"It'll be really fun when____________________"

The Lord has showed me that by constantly saying those statements and looking to the future..... That I can not whole heartedly enjoy and embrace the season that I'm in. I enjoy them now- but constantly thinking of "what we will be able to do" hinders me from being 100% and totally present in this season of their precious lives.

I don't want to look back and wish that I'd enjoyed them more or savored the season a little more. I choose to take the advice from the older, wiser women around me who say "It's over before you know it. Enjoy it"


In just a few short years there will be no more (or a lot less of)
  • kissing boo boos that make it better and save the world 
  • sweet slobbery kisses
  • rocking and cuddling 
  • innocent and funny little sayings
  • watching them learn to do somersaults in the grass
  • dancing toddler jigs in the living room
  • wiggly squiggly bodies in your lap at a ballgame
  • watching them learn to run around  and explore everything  for the 1st time
  • peek-a-boo
  • singing silly songs



So I am choosing to Embrace this precious season in my life and to quit looking to the future for fun and enjoyment.

I choose to be thankful for each dirty diaper......
I choose to enjoy this season of littles......
I choose to to be thankful each time they "need" me....
I choose to make each meal, clean up each mess, make each snack with a cheerful heart....
I choose to enjoy, embrace, and be thankful.

Here are some  ways to practice Savoring the Season of Littles this week:

1. Read to them before you cook breakfast for 1 week
           (and then read some more at the table.. We do our toddler devotions at the              table)

2. Choose to skip a few Chores to go on a long fall walk and gather pinecones and acorns

3. Choose 3 kid friendly Crafts from pinterest to do after nap time/rest time with your littles
          We did something similar to this one yesterday and are going to do                            this one next week

4. Every Friday have them help you make a special fall treat

5. Make a huge tent in the living room and choose to play with them for 1 hour

6. Pick 1-2 hours during the day to turn off all computers and phones
          (We do not have anything on from 5 pm - 8pm every night and I do not             answer phone calls during any meals or reading times during the day)

7. Go outside, Go outside, Go outside!!!

8.  Paint a pumpkin with glitter and glue

9.  Turn the music up really load and dance with them.... record them dancing...           mine love this

10. Make a point to not say " In a minute" or "Not right now"... Make a point to say "YES"

11. Play Hide and Seek in the house

12. Play, Smile, and Laugh with them..... What kind of legacy or story do you want them to tell 20 years from now?

Let's be intentional and deliberate in creating a home for our family. 

What is something you are going to do to savor the season of littles this week? I'd love to hear your comments! 

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you have a great week Embracing whatever Season of life you are in!
Enjoy your day!

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Monday, October 8, 2012

Morning Challenge

Hello Friends- (If you are reading this.. I now consider you my friend)

What is your morning like? Why is it important?

My morning can set the tone for my whole day. I'm the type who needs quiet, alone time with the Lord early in the morning to set my attitude right and direction for the day. It helps me get focused and ready for the day ahead..... My whole attitude is changed. What is His will for me that day? opposed to my "to do" list

How do you do this with littles? (who like to get up early)....

There is no secret answer to this question... It's very simple.....

Get up earlier than they do

I've had to learn this the hard way.

Proverbs 31: 15 
She also rises while it is yet night, And provided food for her household, And a portion for her maidservants.

The Proverbs 31 woman rises early to serve her family. She cares deeply for them..... She chooses to sacrifice her sleep to serve her family.

To serve my family with a cheerful, thankful heart- I need time with my Lord and Savior. Without the Lord I am a selfish, selfish (yes I meant to write that twice) girl who likes to do what she wants to do. I need the Lord. He is my strength, friend, and counselor. 

What about you? 

Would you like to make a pledge with myself  and Mandy @ Biblical Homemaking to rise early this week? 

Here is my (early) morning routine:

3 days per/week
4:45 am Rise and Shine 
5:15-6:00 am Run with Running Partner: 
6:00- 6:20 am Visit and Share with my Husband- Enjoy Yummy Coffee: 
6:20- 6:45 am Good Morning Girls Study on Colossians/Prayer/Reflections: 
6:45-7:10 am Check Email/Blog/ while holding and snuggling a baby: 
7:10-7:40 Get up- Go away from computer... Hold and love on my early risers- 
                 sit in chair with them, read books, talk, etc......: 
7:40-7:50 Jump in Shower...... Pray for day
7:50-8:00 Get Dressed, Quick tidy of bathroom, Put load in washer 
8:00- on..... Start day with breakfast and Devotions with my littles... and move on to Day Routine


Now... this is just a rough example of how a morning will go at our house..... Please don't call me at 7:41 to make sure I'm in the shower.... It's just a basic guideline of how things run.... Give and take a few minutes here and there.....Depending on how hungry my kids are.... I can push breakfast to 8:30.... Which I really like.. because it gives me a little bit more time on all the other things in the morning. 

Like I said my kiddos wake up early.. Sometimes a lot earlier than I expect.....
So when that happens I adjust and change my schedule:

Basically- I'll sit down and try to have my quiet time while
 snuggling with them on the couch. 
To adjust- you have to identify what's the most important for you to do in the morning:
Mine is - 1. Time with the Lord and 2.Showing my kids that they are more important than my "routine" and computer list of things to do

I want them to have sweet memories of the morning times of me showing interest and investing in them. Courtney @ Women Living Well says it well. I want my children to tell a good story about me! 

Here is my struggle... On the days I don't run... 
(Thank you running partner for keeping me accountable to get up and run in the cold!) 
I want to sleep in a little...... (which does not make my morning run smoothly)

My goal this week- To be out of the bed and dressed before 6 am every day this week (that I'm not running) 

Today after I finished.. I looked at my clock and it was 5:59... Woo Hoo! I made it....

Will you join me? I'd love to hear your goals.......
What time are you going to wake up this week?




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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Savor the Moments

Savor the moments........
I have never heard an older, wiser, lady say 
"I wish I would've worked more when my kids were little"....

What do you hear?

They all say....
"It goes by so fast... I wish I would've spent more
 time with my kids when they were little"

Proverbs 19:20
"Listen to counsel and receive instruction, That you may be wise in your latter days"

I choose to take the advice from these older women who are past their "years in the trenches" with littles.

I do not want to look back with my gray hair and regret not... baking one more cake with my toddlers....... going down the slide one more time....... building one more giant tent in the living room....... making another mud-pie.... reading just 1 more book....... or miss out on the 1,000th game of 
Hungry Hungry Hippo...


I want to invest my time into the training of my children for the Lord.

Proverbs 22:6
"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he
 is old he will not depart from it"

I was thinking today what a privilege it is to have been chosen to be the mother of my children......
I mean God picked me to be their mom! WOW!!! What an honor!.....Chosen....
Soak that in for a minute..


I mean really think about it.... He picked you... He ENTRUSTED you....with souls to train for His glory... Wow! It's very humbling and I feel honored that he would give me this responsibility.....
I want Him to look at me as a faithful servant with whom he is well pleased. 

Believe me.... I'm in prayer daily seeking his guidance and wisdom in how he wants me to raise these babies. There is no way this selfish girl could accomplish such a task without the Lord... Thank you for grace!

I'm excited, pumped, and giddy about this Journey of Motherhood that I'm on-




Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Cleaning Schedule

Hi-

I've tried out many "systems" and listened to lots of advice from others on how they manage their homes........ This "homemaking" thing is serious business! I have three years of humbling experience of getting to be the Manager, CEO, Senior Executive, Head Coach,  Principal, etc... etc... over running a household....
(while still striving to be the wife God intended me to be following my husbands lead)

Here is the system that I've currently adopted that seems to work well for me as far as cleaning goes. As we are not home everyday..... I do not follow it perfectly... But it is a nice guideline.

For example: If I'm out on Tuesday- I just double up on Wednesday and do both days chores.

It has helped me keep our house cleaner and more organized.... AND most importantly... it doesn't take that long- which gives me  more time to be the mother and wife that I want to be.

If you click  link on the Right Side that says "House Notebook"- You can download, print, and edit the documents however you'd like so that they would best suit you.

Here is a typical "normal" day... (If there is such a thing):

First thing when I get up- (after my quiet time/ coffee with husband) (We wake up early)
I start the Daily Duties
I also start a load in the washer (I'm not a big fan of "Laundry Day".... I prefer to do a little each day)

Next... I start my Weekly Chores-
I use this chart by first doing the "weekly chore section"---
Next I have my "Focus Area Chart"- organized by day/week..... This is the last thing I do in the mornings.

Once per week- I do a heavy cleaning on the Kitchen.
I know it seems like a lot to do in one morning- but if you do it every week- It really doesn't take long at all.

Also- I like to focus on keeping my Office area clean at least once/week. It really helps in not letting piles of paper build up into huge, overwhelming mountains. (even though it still seems to happen daily!)

I like to not clean anything on the weekends- except dishes and maintenance- because I much prefer hanging out with the family!

I hope that this system might help you in developing one that suits your lifestyle and needs.

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Beginning of Motherhood

A little of my "Beginning of Motherhood" story-

I have been married to the man of my dreams for 7   8 1/2 years. We got married after my freshman year of college.

 Now I can honestly say that we had a blast being married during our college years. We have fun  memories from that experience! Go UCA BEARS! We were able to "grow up" together. Getting married young is not for everyone, but it was for us.


 After we graduated from school we both got basketball coaching jobs at the same high school. Coaching together was such a fun experience.  He coached the boys and I coached the girls basketball team. We even shared an office.  How cool is that!
We got runner up in this picture- Can you tell how happy some of them are? haha
They were the champs in this picture. 

I had so much fun that year! I enjoyed my team and I enjoyed getting to spend so much time with my husband. I was super pumped and full of excitement and passion for my job.

Then, not too long after we got pregnant with our first baby.

So, I finished the year out and then I hung up the whistle to take on the full task of motherhood with an undivided heart.


While I love teaching and coaching, I know there will be a time to pursue that later- but right now I want to pursue my children's hearts. There are lots of great coaches and teachers out there. Someone will very easily be able to fill my shoes in that role and I will soon be forgotten. But, I am the only one who can be mom to my kids. 





I am passionate and serious about embracing my role as mom and wife. I am the only person they call "mom" and the only one he calls "wife".

It is a very special, privileged, and honorable role to play:)

 

 


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