Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Time Travel Tuesday~ Dates Gone Wrong!

When I saw Annie's "Dates Gone Wrong" edition, I thought of our most recent "date night." Our oldest daughter had some birthday money. She gathered up $5.00 and gave it to me and told me and her dad to take the money and go to McDonald's for a date night. How cute is that?

So we got the boys in bed, put the baby in the truck, made sure dd13 was all comfy in her room, and set off for our date. My plan was to go to McD's, get an ice cream cone and a coke for each of us and then go to a park to sit and talk while I fed the baby. That sounded like a calm, relaxing thing to do. Don't you moms agree? I love sitting and talking with dh alone (Baby doesn't count, we are still alone when we are with Baby, as far as I am concerned).

We went to McD's, got our food and drinks. Then dh wanted me to call my dad. Dad is our Construction Manager for our home we are building. We had some questions for him about the driveway. Well, I got on the phone with him and was just talking away, then I noticed that we were parked in dh's friend's driveway.

While I was talking and drinking my coke and not paying attention, dh had driven to his friend's house and was planning for us to go inside to hang out with them. They are wonderful, nice people and I love hanging out with them, but I was planning a nice time of talking ALONE with my sweet hubby.

So, instead of going into the house and being sweet to everyone, I told dh to take me home!
Not only did we end up arguing about this, we were rude and drove out of the friend's driveway without going in to say Hi! Dh gave me the silent treatment the whole way home, and vice versa. We were very mature, weren't we?

We were at the friends' house Sunday and we told them what had happened. they didn't even realize we had pulled into their driveway. That is so funny because we sat in their driveway arguing for at least 10 minutes before we left. Plus, dh's truck is diesel so it is LOUD. I am so surprised they didn't hear us.

This is funny to me now, but at the time I was very disappointed because I wanted to sit and talk with dh and instead we ended up going home and going to bed mad at each other.

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My Favorite Resources

Here are a few of my favorite resources:

www.doorposts.net A Day of Delight is one of my all time favorite books! It talks about making Sunday the most important day of the week, a "day of delight!" So many times we rush around getting ready for church, then spend the afternoon cleaning, napping, or watching a football game on TV. This book helps change our focus to the Lord and the Lord's Day. I highly recommend this book. Other resources I have used from Doorposts are the If...Then chart, the Blessing chart, and the Brother-Offended chart. I want to buy Polished Cornerstones, Plants Grown Up and Prepare Thy Work. Oh, we have also used For Instruction in Righteousness, the Ruby doll kit (LOVE this!!), and Toys for the King's Children (haven't used this yet).

www.aboverubies.org This is such a valuable, educational, inspiring, hope-giving resource! Sign up for their FREE magazine. I have been getting this magazine since 2000 and God has used these ladies to change my life. This is a true "Titus 2" magazine. It will enrich your life. I am going to the Arkansas Above Rubies retreat in November. I would love to have someone go with me. If you are interested, let me know!
Oh, they also have many Bible study books. I am working through a study called The Power Of Motherhood right now and it is so great! I have also done The Family Meal Table and Hospitality. Be Fruitful and Multiply is very good (Elizabeth, you need to read this one). I want to read all of Nancy's Bible studies and I want to buy Serene's cookbook for raw foods.

www.titus2.com This is the website of a family with 8 children, the Maxwells. They have a resource called Managers of Their Homes for moms who want to learn to manage their time better. I must admit, I have been trying unsuccessfully to manage our time since 2001, but many of my friends have used this resource and have successfully mastered time management for their families. I am a MOTH (Managers of Their Homes) failure, but I am still trying! I will not give up!!!
They also have a book called Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit. It is so, so good! And real.
There are several other books I want to read of theirs: The Moody's (series to read aloud to the kids), Keeping Your Children's Hearts, and Preparing Sons (how to prepare sons to provide for a one-income family- we have 5 sons so this should be a good tool for us).

Check these out! You will be blessed.

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Monday, July 30, 2007

Great Contest!

Go here to enter this contest. There will be 2 winners and they each get a $250 Gymboree gift card! Wow!
Thanks, Michelle, for posting about this great contest.

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Friday, July 27, 2007

Happy Chubby Baby

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My Priorities

Lately I have been asking God to show me, again, what my priorities are to be. Back in the spring of 2003, God showed me what He wants my priorities to be. He showed me lots of things I can do, practical ways I can live out those priorities. I found the papers that I wrote all of that information on and I want to share it with you. God has answered my recent prayers by showing me that those priorities are still the same as they were in 2003. I just need to refresh my memory!

  1. God
  2. My Husband
  3. My children
  4. My Home
  5. The Church, God's People
I am in there somewhere, too. I have always felt guilty for making myself first, basically, but just yesterday I realized that taking care of myself is taking care of dh and my children. They need me to be healthy, fit, and rested so I can take care of them. So, I will list myself between God and Dh.

Here are the practical ways God showed me that I can make these priorities real in my day-to-day life.

~Bible reading
~Bible study
~Worshiping God with my family weekly with other believers
Sunday mornings, Sunday nights, Wednesday nights

~Physical needs
rest (different than sleep!!)
supplements (right now I am taking a multivitamin and flax oil)
my appearance- keep my hair cute, my makeup updated, smell pretty, etc. (these things are for my own confidence and for dh's benefit as well. He always appreciates it when I keep my appearance nice, and when I smell pretty. hee hee)

~set aside a time just for him, to talk with him, and listen to him (When I wrote these things, we had 5 children, ages 9 and under. It was really hard to find time to talk with him. Now that we have 7 children, it is even harder, so this is something I need to work on)
~prepare meals: get up early and make breakfast for him, pack hi lunch and snacks for work
~have dinner ready or in process when he gets home from work
~prepare his clothes for work
make sure his "basics" are clean (undershirts, etc.)
make sure his work clothes get taken to the cleaners on time (instead of sitting in a bag in the van for weeks)
lay his clothes out for him at night (I figured out that my dh doesn't work this way, he wants to pick out his own clothes. i am thankful for this because i have enough people to pick out clothes for!)
~ask him if there are errands he needs me to run, phone calls he needs me to make, etc.
~anything I can do to help him (finances, making sure kids do their jobs at home, our house-building project, making extra money to pay off our debt)

My Children
~Teach them about God and His Word
Read the Bible with them
Pray with them, together and individually
Take them to church as a family
Help them memorize scripture
~Care for them physically
meals, snacks, drinks
well child checkups
organize their time
~Spend time with them
bike rides
go to the park
play outside with them
read to them
~Train them
Brother-Offended Chart (www.doorposts.com)
If-Then Chart
Blessing Chart
Training Time
answer door
answer phone
set table
make bed
clean zone
clean room
clean bathroom
prepare simple meals
fold laundry
table manners
simple courtesies (shake hands and speak up when meeting someone, look others in the eye when they are speaking to you, etc.)
~Educate them (when I wrote this, we were homeschooling all of them. This coming school year, we will be home educating our 13 year old and the 9, 7, 7, and 4 year olds will be in school)
home economics
arts and crafts
Reading Club (my good friend, Jill, had a club for reading that she did with my 2 oldest kids and her kids. We did this for about a year. The kids loved it and learned so much!)
Extra stuff like soccer, swimming lessons, etc.

I can't find the stuff I wrote about my home and the church. But I will try to remember it.

My Home
~Keep it clean
~Keep it organized
~Make our home a place that is relaxing, not tense or stressful (messy areas are stressful to me and everyone else in the house
~Make our home welcoming to others

The Church/Family
~be involved in our home congregation
~give regularly of the money God gives us
~invite others into our home
~help others when we can, financially and physically
~be an example of Christ
~keep in touch with our family
~get together with family as much as possible

God also broke all of these things into daily, weekly, monthly and yearly things I can do to live out the priorities He has given me. I promise you these things were given to me by God. That day in the spring of 2003 my pen just flew across the paper as I wrote all of these things down. It was like He was just pouring this stuff out through me. I know some of you will understand this and others will think I am nuts. I am okay with that. Some of you probably already think I am nuts.

Some of the daily stuff is a repeat of the stuff I have already written. But I am a list person and God knows that so he broke this down into a list for me. And he made it all very simple to understand because He knows I get little sleep. It has been years since I slept through the night so things have to be simple for me to be able to stick to it. One day I will not be sleep-deprived and I will be able to do complicated things once again. : )


  • God
    • pray
    • read one chapter of the Bible
    • study His Word
  • My Husband
    • prepare meals
    • have dinner ready when he gets home
    • have his clothes clean and ironed, if necessary
    • pick up his clothes if he leaves them on the floor
  • Children
    • teach them about the Lord and His Word
      • read the Bible to them
      • pray with them, at meals, at bedtime
      • work on scripture memorization together
    • care for them physically
      • 3 meals
      • 2 snacks
      • lots of water
      • clothes- help little ones get dressed, help others pick out their clothes if we will be leaving the house (the reason God had to tell me this is because a lot of days my little ones will stay in their pjs until daddy gets home and my older boys will go out in public in their play clothes)
      • make sure they get fresh air, sunshine, and exercise
      • baths- give little ones a bath everyday and make sure the older ones take a shower everyday (my kids are always pretty clean, but this is just a good reminder to do this everyday. I get busy with other things, and the toddler may not get a bath for 3 days. not pretty.)
      • laundry- assign, and stick to, a laundry schedule
      • vitamins at breakfast
    • read to them
    • Train them
      • go to charts with them as needed
      • character training
      • discipline as needed- do not let this go
  • My Home
    • clean one room each day
    • make sure the kids do their jobs -inspect the jobs
    • be consistent with morning and evening routines
    • be consistent with laundry schedule
  • God
    • go to church with my family
  • DH
    • make sure the lawn gets mowed (dd13's job now)
    • weed eat the lawn so he doesn't have to do it on Saturday
    • make sure trash gets taken out on trash days
    • Friday night date at home (this is FUN! we give the kids their dinner early, like hot dogs and chips at 5, then we put a TV in one of their rooms and let them watch a movie, usually something they haven't seen before or one of their favorites, and then we have a special dinner with just the two of us. It is really a great thing to do. Every Friday may be pushing it, but I think we could do this once a month)
  • Children
    • do something fun at least once a week- park, walk, swimming, bike ride, play in the sprinkler, etc.
    • have a weekly training time- teach them how to do things like answer the phone, set the table, etc.
  • Home
    • declutter once a week
    • keep yard nice and neat
    • Scentsational book- work on making our home beautiful and efficient
    • work on organizing our stuff
  • The Church/Family
    • Is there someone I can help this week? (a meal, a card, etc.) Can the kids do this with me?
  • DH
    • see what clothes he needs, make sure he gets them
    • make his hair appt. ( I have learned that I have to do this or it will not get done!)
    • make sure he gets the money to pay his gym membership
    • take care of the finances so he doesn't' have to worry about it
  • Children
    • plan meals
    • clothing inventory- what do we need to buy/throw away/give away?
    • hair cuts
    • reevaluate how we are managing our time
    • plan school
      • daily
      • weekly
      • what school supplies/curriculum do we need to buy this month?
  • Home
    • work on big to do list for house, garage, and yard
  • The Church/Family
    • Family
      • keep in touch with extended family members (write notes, send email, send pictures, call them)
  • God
    • have a weekend away for spiritual and physical refreshment
  • DH
    • have a weekend alone with him 2x a year (every other quarter)
  • Children
    • annual well-child visits
    • dental checkups 2x a year (this is very hard for me to keep up with. I get them there once a year, but not two)
    • try to go on a vacation once a year
    • annual celebrations and traditions
      • birthdays
      • Thanksgiving
      • Christmas
      • Valentine's Day
      • Easter
      • July Fourth
That's it! Those are the ideas I was given a few years ago. Those things still apply to my life today, even with 2 more children added to our family. I am going to look at these ideas and see what I need to focus on right now.

If you stuck with me through that post, you're a trooper!!

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A Morning Wish

The sun is just rising on the morning of another day. What can I wish that this day may bring me?Nothing that shall make the world or others poorer, nothing at the expense of other men; but just those few things which in their coming do not stop with me but touch me rather, as they pass and gather strength.
A few friends, who understand me, and yet remain my friends.
A work to do which has real value, without which the world would feel the poorer.
A return for such work small enough to not to tax anyone who pays.
A mind unafraid to travel, even though the trail be not blazed.
An understanding heart.
A sight of the eternal hills, and the unresting sea, and of something beautiful which the hand of man has made.
A sense of humor, and the power to laugh. A little leisure with nothing to do.
A few moments of quiet, silent meditation. The sense of the presence of God.
And the patience to wait for the coming of these things, with the wisdom to know them when they come, and the wit not to change this morning wish of mine.
-Walter Reid Hunt

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Menu for 2 Weeks

I just made my menu and grocery list for the next 2 weeks. My 2 neices are coming to stay with us next week, so I tried to add in some things they will like. Dd13 said they like hot dogs and ketchup and that's all! ha ha I know that's not true, but it was funny that she thinks that.

I have had a HUGE turkey in my extra freezer for a while and I am going to cook that this week. It is a 20-pound turkey!



Eggs and toast (homemade bread)

Smoothies- made with a different fruit each time- blueberries, bananas, peaches, mangos, strawberries


Hot dogs



Sandwiches- turkey, grilled cheese, pb& j, pb& honey









  1. grilled chicken, mashed potatoes, green peas
  2. Turkey pot pie, salad
  3. Turkey, baked potatoes, green beans
  4. Turkey soup
  5. Turkey Tetrazinni, salad
  6. Spinach Lasagna, homemade bread, green peas
  7. Loaded baked potatoes
  8. Soft tacos, Spanish rice
  9. Italian Chicken, pasta, grilled corn on the cob, salad
  10. Red Beans and Rice
  11. South of the Border Salad

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Monday, July 16, 2007

My Rich Friends

I read two very wonderful posts today by two of my "friends" ~ blogger people whom I have never met!
I want you to read these posts so you can be blessed like I was.

The first post is by Michelle. She wrote a beautiful post about her daughter's 4th birthday and the past year. I cried when I read this one.

The second wonderful post I read was written by Roger over at You're Doing What? I got warm fuzzies when I read this one! I love it!! Reading this put my life into perspective and made me look again at the riches I have all around me, even the loud 7 year old twins who seem to be under my feet all day long. *smile*


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Friday, July 13, 2007

Hi everyone!

I'm too tired to write much tonight but I wanted to say Hi! I have been getting tired at about 8 pm each night this week. Something about a little baby boy keeping me up all night.
I had better get to bed. Good night!

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Thursday, July 05, 2007

Simplify Your Life

I just read a book called Simplify Your Life~100 ways to slow down and enjoy the things that really matter. The author is Elaine St. James.

I loved the book, so I made a list of my favorite ideas from the book.
  • Use "speed cleaning" to clean your house. Read Speed Cleaning by Jeff Campbell and the Clean Team.
  • Plant a garden. You already know I want to do this. I have a great set of garden beds out in the yard, but no plants. Just weeds.
  • Build a simple wardrobe. Find a style that is flattering to your body and personality and then stick with that style.
  • Drop call waiting. It is annoying and people can just leave a message on voice mail instead of beeping in while you are talking to someone else.
  • Take a vacation at home. Take time to get to know your city and the surrounding areas.
  • Get out of debt. www.daveramsey.com
  • Turn your hobby into job.
  • Simplify your eating habits. Keep meals simple- fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean meats prepared using simple techniques such as grilling or broiling. Fast and healthy.
  • Always split a restaurant meal.
  • Have a fruit or juice fast one day a week.
  • Make water your drink of choice.
  • Take a walk.
  • Get up an hour earlier.
  • Be in bed by 9 one night a week.
  • Slow down to the posted speed limit.
  • Keep a journal.
  • Do one thing at a time. This one will be hard for me.
  • Take time to watch the sunset. I also want to take time to watch a sunrise. I have never watched the sun rise.

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Something I am Trying

When I was first married, I bought a book called Miserly Moms. Corey thought it said Miserable Moms! ha ha!

Anyway, it is a book explaining how to live a frugal lifestyle while raising children and having a family. I have lost the book, but I remember it talking about basing your menus on the sale items at your grocery store. I did this one time in the past and I remember saving $80 during a 2-week period. I usually grocery shop for 2 weeks at a time.

Well, I decided to try this again. This week I got the sale papers from each grocery store in or town (only 3) and I circled the good deals. I called my sister Christina to ask her about each thing because she is really good at spotting good deals at the grocery store. Natalie is, too. I however am not.

So this is what was on sale:
split pork spareribs .99/lb
Whole chicken .59/lb
Philadelphia cream cheese .88 each
Bush's baked beans, 28 oz can .88 each
Hunt's ketchup .88 each
15-lb bag of russet potatoes 3.99
Hass avocados 3 for .99
Pilgrim's Pride boneless skinless chicken breasts, frozen, 3 lb bag 5.99
Kraft singles 3 for 3.00
fresh split chicken breasts .99/lb
green seedless grapes .97/lb
Oscar Mayer hot dogs 4 for 5.00
State Fair corn dogs, 16 ct. 2 for 4.00

Okay, so those are the good deals this week. I took those items and made my menu.

This is the menu (I do have to buy somethings that are not on sale, but not many):
Breakfasts: cereal, eggs, toast
Lunches: hot dogs, corn dogs, sandwiches
  1. Tender and Tangy Ribs (crockpot), baked potatoes, green peas, peach cobbler
  2. 40 Clove Garlic Chicken (crockpot), mashed potatoes, corn on the cob
  3. Creamy Italian Chicken (crockpot), noodles, salad
  4. Spanish Rice with Beef, green beans, salad
  5. Roast Sticky Chicken (crockpot), grilled potatoes, salad
  6. Cream Cheese Chicken (crockpot), mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables
  7. Burgers and hot dogs, baked beans
  8. Porcupine Meatballs, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob
  9. Chicken fajitas, toppings, Spanish rice
  10. Chicken-Rice Casserole, salad, green beans
  11. Chicken Rice Soup
Some of the sales ended last night so I took my sale papers to Wal Mart (they match prices) and I bought several things. I took cash and left my debit card in the van. That way I wouldn't spend more than I planned to spend. I actually had to put some things back because I ran out of cash, but this is a learning experience and I did very well for my first time at this (first time in a long time anyway). It was my first time to take advantage of Super Wal Mart's price matching system and it went very well. It was great to get everything at one store. The last time, and only time, I based my menus on the sale items, I went to 6 different grocery store and took several hours to do all of the shopping. This time it took me one hour at one store. I think in the future it will take even less time because I will get better at it.

This is what I got for $39.03:
4.6 lbs of green grapes
3 green bell peppers
2 whole roasting hens (about 5 lbs each)
2 3-lb bags of frozen chicken breasts
6 cans of Bush's baked beans
5 lbs of fresh chicken breasts (I got this for $5 and it is normally $15)
3 packages of Kraft singles
2 packages of light cream cheese

The chicken alone would have cost more than $40 if it had not been on sale. I am very excited about my savings, obviously. : )

I will do the rest of my shopping tomorrow, on payday. My goal is to spend $100 or less on 2 weeks of groceries for our family of 9.
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