Monday, December 31, 2007

Meema and Grandad

In 1933 my grandparents were married. My sister, Natalie, has written a post telling the story of their wedding.

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I have been considering different ways our family can have fun and enjoy each other in the coming year. Here are some of the ideas I have come up with:

Have a tea party each month with my children

  • January~ A Tea to Celebrate New Beginnings
  • February~A Valentine’s Day Tea
  • March~An Easter Tea
  • April~ A Spring Tea
  • May~ A Mother’s Day Tea (invite the moms and sisters)
  • June~A Birthday Tea (celebrate all the kids’ birthdays) and An Anniversary Tea (just the two of us)
  • July~An Independence Day Tea
  • August~ A Back to School Tea
  • September~ An Autumn Tea
  • October~A Chocolate Lover’s Tea
  • November~A Thanksgiving Tea
  • December~A Christmas Tea

Invite a family over for dinner or coffee and dessert once a month

Try to establish a read aloud time. We were very good about doing this when my oldest 2 were little. The past 5 years or so we have struggled with consistency in this area. I would really like to read through the Little House On the Prairie books, but I am concerned that my boys and Baby Girl would be bored stiff. I am going to have to get some book lists for boys and see what I can read that will keep them interested. A Dog Called Kitty was great and they paid attention the whole time!

Celebrate the holidays with our traditions. Make new traditions if needed. Last Valentine’s Day was our most memorable holiday of the year, imo. I am going to do the exact same thing this year and make it a tradition.

Simple things like making sure we all wear green on St. Patrick’s Day and planning ahead for the 4th of July will make a big difference in our celebrations. I think it is good to celebrate as a family.

I would really love to observe a Preparation Day and a complete rest on the Lord’s Day. I think it is wise to rest one day a week, but it is oh-so-difficult to do!!

We all know that I am an over-achiever in the planning department and a slacker in the follow-through department. But I love coming up with ideas like these!

Tonight we ate 7-Layer Dip for dinner and now we are watching Ratatouille. I am going to try to stay up till midnight, but I am already getting sleepy.

Happy New Year!!

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Sunday, December 30, 2007

I realized something a few years ago~ If I don’t stay home it is hard to clean the house. That may not be a revelation to any of you, but it was an eye-opener for me. It was a time when we were running around a lot, just coming home to eat and sleep, for the most part. Now, you may think that because we were not home the house would have stayed clean, but no, that is not the case.

Well, this morning I realized that weeks of being gone a lot, mainly working on the house on weekends, has taken its toll on our home once again. This is what happens:

During the week, I am constantly busy running kids back and forth to school, homeschooling, running errands, taking care of kids and babies, etc. Then, on the weekends, when I normally would take time to clean the house and “play catch up,” we are out at our new house working. That scenario times several weekends, and I have a huge mess.

A house cleaned by children (because they have managed to keep up with their daily jobs) will look like a house cleaned by children. They do a pretty good job cleaning their zones and cleaning up their messes, but this house needs a good Mom cleaning.

I remember the days when I had 2 children and I could take 2 hours and clean the house from top to bottom. I mean, deep clean the house in 2 hours. It was great!

Those days are over, mainly because we have more stuff and also because I get interrupted more often.

Baby has pink eye in both eyes and an ear infection in his left ear. So, this morning I am staying home from church with him and tonight dh is staying home from church with him. I am going to make a list and attempt to tackle it while dh is at church this morning with the kids.

Here’s the list, so far:

Morning Routine (get myself ready for the day, make my bed, get Baby ready for the day, breakfast and vitamins)

Start laundry

Deal with dishes

Put cleaner in potties

Quick pick up in each room

Vacuum all carpeted areas

Clean potties

Wipe out bathroom sinks

Sweep all hard floors

Empty all trashcans

Polish table

Light a candle in living room and turn on candle warmer in kitchen

Make coffee

Sit down and visit with my family and enjoy my “cleaner” home!

I bought a new calendar for 2008. It is called Motivated Moms and it is a printable calendar that you put in a binder or a planner. Go here to take a look at it. I like it because it breaks down the deep cleaning chores into small bites. You do a little bit each day. Let me know what you think! You can view a sample page if you go to the link I gave you.

Have a joyful Lord’s Day!

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Taking Time to Review God's Blessings of 2007

As I sat down to research the past year, I came across this post.
I have taken time to write down the events of the past year each January since 2006. So I have a record of each month of 2005 and 2006 so far. I would like to put these in a scrapbook eventually, adding pictures for each month. I think that would be a great memory book to have. I will hopefully be able to copy one for each of the children to take with them when they grow up and start their families.

Doug Phillips, of Vision Forum, is who I learned this tradition from. Here is an excerpt from a newsletter I received from him today:

I. Outline and Chronicle the Many Providences of God

Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. (Hab. 33:2)

First, using simple bullet points, outline the key events for every week of every month of the year. Take the time to do the research which will help jog your memory and allow you to make an accurate record. I find that reviewing bills, blogs, journals, newspaper headlines, letters, and even organizing my photographs chronologically are enormously helpful tools. Those individuals who were faithful to journal or keep a diary will have little problem reconstructing key events. Give yourself a good week to reconstruct your own outline of the year. Also, by making this a family project, you will not only build your list with greater speed and precision, but (in the hands of a loving patriarch) the very act of chronicling the providences of God in your life is a blessed tool for family discipleship.

Every family will have a different set of priorities directing what they should record. In addition to recording the key events and providences of the year chronologically, I try to take the time with my family to record some of the following information on separate bullet lists:

  1. Where did I/we travel?
  2. What were the titles and key texts of sermons I preached?
  3. What books/articles did I write?
  4. What significant household projects did we accomplish in 2007?
  5. What were the most important meetings of the year?
  6. What special friendships were made this year?
  7. Which children lost teeth, and how many?
  8. Who grew in physical stature, and how much did they grow?
  9. Who learned to read this year?
  10. What diet and physical exercise regimen did I maintain to honor “my temple”?
  11. What books did I read? Did we read as a family? Did my children read?
  12. What Scriptures did my family memorize?
  13. What loved ones died this year?
  14. What were the great personal/ministry/national tragedies and losses of the year?
  15. What were the great personal/ministry/national blessings of the year?
  16. What were my most significant failures/sins for the year 2007?
  17. What unresolved conflicts/issues am I bringing into 2008?
  18. What significant spiritual and practical victories did I experience?
  19. In what tangible ways did I communicate gratitude to those who have blessed me and invested in my life?
  20. What are the top ten themes of 2007 for my family?
Doug also recommends that we say ‘Thank You’ to those who have invested in your life and forgive those who have wronged you.

I love this advice. If any of you are interested in reading the entire newsletter, just email me and I will sent it to you.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

In 2008 I Would Like To...

learn to quilt
learn to knit
finish my Names of Jesus cross stitch for our new home
design a Names of God cross stitch pattern
stick with Weight Watchers
actually lose the weight I want to lose
do some significant work on the kids' scrapbooks
read one book a month
force myself to stick to a daily schedule
take lots of pictures
get a new camera (I need to do this one before I do the one above)
get the good pictures developed instead of letting them sit in my hard drive forever
get my blog bound~ 2006 and 2007
stop eating fast food
write down the stories I remember my grandparents, grandparents-in-law, parents, and parents-in-law telling me
start a new tradition or two~Family Night and the Special Plate
write in a journal often
and lots of other things!!

There are really too many things to name. I keep thinking of more things I want to do, things I want to accomplish, ways I want to bless others, habits I want to establish, hobbies I want to cultivate. I know 2008 is going to be wonderful and I am looking forward to it's beginning.

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1 Corinthians 13---Christmas Version

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls,but do not show love to my family, I'm just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen,baking dozens of Christmas cookies,preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime: but do not show love to my family, I'm just another cook.

If I work at a soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home, and give all that I have to charity; but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angelsand crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir's cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.

Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the spouse.

Love is kind, though harried and tired.

Love does not envy another's home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.

Love does not yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way.

Love does not give only to those who are able to give in return; but rejoices in giving to those who cannot.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.

Love never fails.

Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust; but giving the gift of love will endure.

---Sharon Jaynes, Celebrating a Christ Centered Christmas

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Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas to You!!

Right now I am taking a break from wrapping and preparing food. I want to wish all of you a very merry Christmas! I hope you have a relaxing, fun time with the ones you love.

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Saturday, December 22, 2007

A Treasure

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I don't have time this morning to write a real post so instead I am sharing some wisdom from A Wise Woman Builds Her Home.
This is a great post she wrote a while back. I have been thoroughly convicted after reading it! Good stuff.

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Making Our Homes A Haven: The Challenge

Crystal at Biblical Womanhood issued a challenge back on November 28th. I just found it today so I am starting late.
Read all about the challenge here.

Day One of the Challenge
1. Refresh our spirit by spending time with the Lord. (5 minutes) This is something I normally do each morning before anyone else wakes up, but I haven't done this in about a week. Everyone is already awake, but I am going to find a quiet spot to pray and read sometime after I take my shower.

2. Take Time To Plan (5 minutes) Crystal wants us to focus on our morning routine. Like the above, I normally have a morning routine I follow. It is pretty long, and I think I have posted it before. The basics are: spend time with the Lord, get myself clean and ready for the day, take care of my children, take care of my home.

3. Do Something (5-15 minutes)
Crystal says,

"Put on an apron, light a candle, and turn on some uplifting music. Then go to your front door and pretend you are a first-time visitor to your home. Walk in and take a look around. What is your immediate impression of your home? Is it calm and clean or cluttered and chaotic? Take five to fifteen minutes to clean, de-clutter, and beautify your entry area. Do a quick pick up if there are items out of place, mop or vacuum the floor, shake the rug, spot clean the walls, and rearrange things."

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Moving to Campers, Part 2

The plan has changed. We are no longer moving to the campers. Which means I will have internet service after all. We had an awakening and a reality check when I got the flu and Baby got pneumonia. I envisioned us in the campers trying to deal with illnesses, mud, rain, and cold weather, and I backed out of the plan.

I am not a camping type of girl. What was I thinking?

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Beauty in the Common Things: the warmth of my jammies and my bed
Listen In: Baby Girl telling Baby something important
Supper Plans: a friend from church is bringing us dinner!
Today I Plan To: survive, figure out how to get my pocket pc off caps lock
View From the Kitchen Window: dreary, rainy weather

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007


1. This past Friday I came down with the dreaded flu.
2. It is actually the 2nd time I have come down with the flu this year, although this time it is obviously a worse case.
3. I stayed in bed all day Saturday and all day Sunday, except when dh drug me out of bed to go get something to eat and look at Christmas lights Sunday night.
4. Yesterday morning dh had to go to work so I had to get up and take dd13, dd2, and Baby to the pediatrician.
5. DD 13 has an ear infection.
6. DD2 has an ear infection.
7. Baby has pneumonia.
8. Dr. sent us to the hospital to get Baby's chest x-rayed and dd2's finger x-rayed.
9. Sometime over the weekend, while I was in bed, she got her finger shut in the hinge side of the glass door.
10. Ouch!
11.Her finger was not broken.
12. Baby's pneumonia was confirmed with the chest x-ray.
13. Neither one of them cried during the x-rays!
14. Dh took the day off work and met me at the hospital since I was sick and having a hard time.
15. I took 1000 mg of ibuprofen before I left to take them to the hospital.
16. I didn't mean to take 1000 mg.
17. I thought I was taking 800 mg.
18. Then I took a moment to look at the bottle.
19. It said 250 mg capsules.
20. Oops!
21. I was feeling pretty good by the time we were finished at the hospital so we went to lunch.
22. After lunch we came home and I crashed on the couch.
23. Dh went to get the boys from school while the babies and I napped.
24. Dh took all of the big kids (ds5, E, B, ds9, dd13) shopping.
25. Did I mention yesterday was my birthday?
26. They came home with shrimp and baked potatoes for dinners.
27. They also came home with lots of great presents!
28. Dh spent more $ than we budgeted for my bday.
29. I am okay with that.
30. All in all, I had a great birthday!
31. Dh babied me, my kids and dh gave me great presents, and dh and the kids cleaned up the house!

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Friday, December 07, 2007

A Great Deal!

If you are interested in creating a will, go here. US Legal Forms has a great holiday special right now. You can get a state-specific will for only $15.00! I have been meaning to do this for a while, so tonight I am going to take care of it. It is one of those things we don't want to think about, like life insurance. But I think it is so important to take care of those left behind if something happens to one of us or both of us.

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Checking In

Packing is going well and is taking up lots of my time. It helps to keep my mind occupied. I still feel an ache in my heart pretty much all the time. I really can't imagine how my sister feels. To lose a child must be the hardest thing to bear. I am praying that God holds her in His hand and comforts her each day. This journey of grief will be a long one for all of us, but especially for her parents and siblings.

Anyway, I didn't mean to get off on that subject. It just dominates so much of my thinking these days.

So we have been packing and moving, packing and moving. Today we found out that we had a water leak out at the land for the past 3 days. Someone finally called today and turned off the water meter. I feel sick thinking about how much water was wasted and how expensive it's going to be. Water running full blast for 3 days. Ugh.

But it's not the end of the world and we can handle it.

This weekend we will be babysitting our 4 nieces. They are ages 8, 6, 3, and 1. We ought to have a fun, busy weekend full of squeals and giggles. I am sure I will be ready to send them home come Sunday afternoon. : )

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