Saturday, January 31, 2009

Lesson from the vacuum

Yes, my vacuum cleaner taught me a lesson. It is amazing the things that God can use to speak to you! I needed to vacuum the living room Friday afternoon so I plugged one of my vacuum cleaners in to start the job. I have the bagless type that you can see the dirt through the clear dirt cup and I noticed that there was nothing entering the cup even though I could hear stuff being sucked up into the vacuum. I unplugged it and checked to see if maybe there was something clogged in the hose...nope. So I took the thing apart and checked other areas. There were no clogs. Finally, I decided that maybe the filter needed to be changed so I took the filter out and had my son bring me a new one. It worked! The filter was so full of dust that it wasn't able to clean my carpet.
While I was beaming and vacuuming my floor, I felt like God showed me that my heart is just like that filter. If I don't take time to change my filter by reading my Bible, I will not be able to handle the dirt and junk either. It was so clear to me. Be FILLED so that we can FILTER out the impurities.
I just wanted to share this with you and I hope you are blessed. Have a Jesus FILLED day!
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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Define "Good Day"

What makes a day good? Is it that everything goes perfectly as planned? If that were the case, I would never have a good day because there are always little hiccups in my schedule and I try to just go with the flow....which is something I have learned how to do over the years.

As I got into bed tonight, I was thinking about my day. It was good. What made it good? Did my children act lovingly to one another all day? Heavens no! They bickered a lot today. Is my house perfectly clean?! Did I get everything done that I wanted to today? Nope. So why do I think it was a good day? Because I am just reflecting on the events of today and just feel so completely blessed. We had snow today and the children played in it for awhile. They cleaned the playroom without being told to. Normally on Wednesday nights we are rushing out the door @ 5 to get to Taekwondo before church but tonight there was no service due to the snow so we just stayed home and relaxed. Andrew asked Daddy to play Chutes & Ladders with him and he did. Watching them play was just so sweet. The TV was off. There was a fire burning in the fireplace and it was just them. Now I am lying in bed about to curl up with a good book and just wanted to share my thoughts with you. Things may not have been perfect today but all in all, it was a pretty good day. I look forward to many more of these kind of days!
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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Little Debbie Giveway

Here is an exciting giveaway on one of my favorite blogs:

Win a box of Little Debbie Products like this:

Just visit her blog and enter!!!
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Scheduling to get it all done

I have moms ask me all the time how do I get everything done that I need to do and still sleep every night....well, first off, I don't get everything that I want done each and every day but I do get a lot done! My "secret" is scheduling. I schedule everything...seriously! From the time I get up in the morning until the time I lie down at night, it all all scheduled. Now I do, of course, have to be flexible for life's little surprises but having a schedule is what helps my family.

My particular schedule will not work for you. That is something that you have to figure out on your own. A great resource to use in planning out a schedule is a book by Steve and Teri Maxwell called Managers of Their Homes. I have always lived by a schedule but this book really helped me to put my schedule together for the entire family. I also have so many things going on in my mind all the time that sometimes, believe it or not, I forget to do something so for the past few years, I have reminders in my Blackberry that pop up to let me know that is time to do certain things (for example- take the daycare kids that are potty training to the potty! Yes, seriously!)

Here is my schedule for each day:

5:00-5:30 Wake up & go for a Praise Walk (M-W-F)
5:30 Praise Walk (M-W-F)
6:00-6:30 Shower and Dress,
sweep daycare entry, put load of laundry into washer (Reminder on Blackberry!)
6:30 Coffee with God
7:00 - 7:30 Wake kids, fix breakfast, greet daycare kids
7:30 - 8:00 Get kitchen cleaned up and kids to school desks
8:00 - 10:00 Help kids with school (they have their assignments and can do a lot without me!)
10:00- Fix Snack
10:30 - 12:00 Help kids with school
12:00- Lunch
1:00 -3:00 Nap for little ones
Quiet reading for school agers
Office work for mom (church stuff, listen to podcasts, make phone calls, blog,etc)
3:00-4:00 Snack and then Play with the kids
4:00 - 4:30 Clean up and start dinner prep
5:00 - 5:30 Greet parents picking up daycare kids (W- leave for church)
5:30 - 6:00 Dinner
6:00 - 10:00 Various evening activities...meetings, cleaning, lesson plans, read book, watch TV, etc
10:00 -11:00 Go to bed!!

I just typed out our typical schedule. We don't start each item right on the dot so that is why I put a range of time before each activity.

If you have any questions about any of this, please feel free to ask! I feel so blessed to be able to share what I have learned with other women so that they can accomplish more in their day!

i am bd bread
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Friday, January 23, 2009

Week in Review

This week has been kind of busy and that is why I haven't been blogging much. I don't think any of the kids updated their blogs this week either now that I think about it.

We didn't have any of the 2 year old come on Monday because their parents were all off of work for the MLK holiday. We just worked on things around the house.

Tuesday of course was exciting! It was actually snowing here! We don't get that very often so I let the kids go outside and play in it while it lasted so we started school late. Our topic of the day was Presidents & inauguration ceremonies. We watched the 44th Presidential Inauguration and had some worksheets that went along with it.

Wednesday, my husband called to let me know that his father was going to have a triple bypass surgery...that was a little shocking. I wanted to go to the hospital to sit with my mother in law but I had a new little girl start that day so I just waited by the phone. They didn't start the surgery until later that evening so I took the kids to church and William went to the hospital. He called me around 11:30PM to let me know that his dad was out of surgery & that he was going to come home after he visited with him awhile. I think he got home around 1:30 AM....I am not sure, I was snoozing!

Thursday we had our stay at home and do nothing night. I love doing that sometimes! We had no set agenda, no place to be....I went to bed! LOL

Today is Alex's 12th birthday so we are going out tonight. He wants to go bowling and go to Bass Pro. We are going to visit Paw Paw first. He is doing well and hopefully will get moved into a regular room so we don't have a set time to visit.

That is all for now. Have a great week!
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Saving Money!!

Ok, it is official.....I am turning into one of "those people" LOL You know, the ones who are in front of you at the grocery store and have every ad for all of the stores in the area and a bucket load of coupons. You ALWAYS get behind on of them don't you?! And they take FOREVER! Well, I AM starting to see WHY they do it! Have you seen the economy? Hello! It is time to take some coupons in hand and work on saving some money for your family. This week I have picked up a lot of great ideas from my mom, my friends at the over night crop I went to and from surfing the net. There are so many ways to save money and I am gonna try it! The first site that I would like to recommend is one that allows you to load money saving coupons onto your shopping card (for my area, it is Kroger). Simply go to ShortCuts with your shopper's card in hand. Register your card and start adding savings! It is SIMPLE!! If you don't have a shopper's card, GET ONE! You really do save money using them. Yes, they are tracking your purchases but who cares. They use it for market research and the best part is, that they will mail you coupons occasionally on items that you actually use. I get a packet every few months that has coupons for things like $9 off entire order over $90....well, I am feeding a family of 5 plus have a home daycare, of course I can spend $90 in one shopping trip! The next site you need to visit is P&G eSaver. It is the same type of thing. You add e-coupons to your Kroger card on various P&G brand items.... every little bit helps! The next places that I recommend are sites where you can print coupons right from your computer. I went to Coupon Mom and Cool Savings and printed a few but also downloaded the Coupon toolbar and printed some there. My favorite find of the day was this site.... Stretching a Buck. I came across this post where she was teaching people about organizing your coupons and it was exactly what I needed! For you see, I am notorious for cutting out coupons and leaving them at home or putting them into my little coupon caddy and forget about them....only seeing them again when I clean it out and they have expired. When I had a vision in my mind yesterday about how I wanted to do my coupons, this was it! I am so happy that I found her! There are other great sites out there I am sure so if you happen to know of one, please share! I am going to keep track of all of my savings this year to see what a difference this makes. Have a great day! Go save some money!!
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Monday, January 19, 2009

Miracle Muffins

When I made my menu & grocery list last week, I had planned to make sausage & biscuits for Sunday morning breakfast but didn't buy the sausage because I thought I would be able to go get it Saturday. Well, I went to an overnight scrapbooking event Friday night & was there from around 6 PM Friday evening until 4:15 PM Saturday. I took about a 2 hour nap during that time. Needless to say, when I left there, I was not interested in making a stop @ the store to pick up sausage. William got home around 9 & I was already in bed. I told him that I wasn't sure what I would fix for breakfast because I hadn't gone to the store. I told him that I could have made muffins but I was out of sugar and eggs. He said "oh, no you're not. Your dad started a new diet and sent a bunch of food home with me". I jokingly said that the girls in my Sunday school class like chocolate chip muffins so I wish I had some. William said "You do. Your dad sent those too!" I was amazed and thankful. See, God ALWAYS provides! So Sunday morning, I got up and made "Miracle Muffins" for my family & the 5th and 6th grade girls Sunday school class.

Thanks God for having my dad send the food.

Share your miracle stories! I love to read about how God works!!
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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Too cold for the chickens

It is so cold here that we actually had to bring the chickens in tonight! The current temp is 13! William discovered that 2 of his new chickens didn't survive the cold so he brought the rest of them in for the night. These 2 are in a cage now but when they first came in, he just let them roam freely in the playroom in front of a space heater so they could thaw out. Normally when you thaw out chicken, you just set it in the fridge or in water for awhile! LOL
I sure hope it warms up again soon so we can put these birds back outside! They haven't even given me any eggs this week and now they are getting to sleep in the house. I better get lots of eggs next week!!! LOL
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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Mighty fine day

Wow! It has been a great day! The kids zoomed through their school work today and did well on their assignments....Amy made a 100 on her spelling test! Yay!
Andrew updated his blog today but Amy and Alex didn't want to. Alex needs to do something soon...his blog has nothing on it. I think he needs a topic so I may give him one tomorrow if he doesn't come up with something.
During quiet time, I listened to one of the workshops from The Ultimate Homeschool Expo. It was of Cindy Rushton talking about copywork. We have recently started doing copywork. I never thought about it before but it has been a great addition to our lessons. While I was listening to it, I made some copy work sheets for the kids to use tomorrow. I also sent some pictures of our pastor's youngest son in for their "Farewell Sunday" slideshow. They are moving to Oklahoma to pastor a church there. I am excited for them and can't wait to see how God uses them. We are going to miss them terribly but know that God has a wonderful plan.
Believe it or not, I am working on our VBS for June. That may seem like a long way off but it will be here quickly! We will be doing "Studio Go!" from Standard Publishing and I have to get volunteers and supplies ready. Oh, in other exciting news, I am now the local sales rep for a cookie dough fundraising company. Little Lambs has wonderful pre-formed cookie dough that organizations can sell and earn cash for! I will be setting up fundraisers with groups in the area and helping my family earn money too. This is a God send because we really needed that extra income! If you are involved in an organization that would like more information, let me know and I will email you some info.
Thanks for stopping by today. Be blessed and happy in all you do!!
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Monday, January 12, 2009

Tired yet full of passion

Bet that title caught your attention but it has nothing to do with what you might be thinking!! Read on.
This morning started out ok. I didn't get up early and go for my walk because I had trouble sleeping last night and didn't drift off until almost 2 so when the alarm went off at 5, I hit snooze....many times! LOL
We started school about 20 min later than normal and everything was going ok until around 10:30 when I was trying to give spelling tests and was so sleepy that I kept forgetting to give them their words! We go through it but it was tough.
William came home from work early because he said that he wasn't feeling well. We both feel blah now. I think it is going to be a very early night.

Do you ever think about what your kids will be when they grow up by looking at what they are interested in now? Andrew LOVES to watch the weather and will give me a report later on. He likes to look at radar maps online, he loves the WeatherBug, he likes the interactive weather feature on the satellite. But, he also is a train fanatic and will watch documentaries about the history of trains. William and I always say that he is going to be a Train Engineer/Meterologist! LOL
Alex has started to be very interested in painting with acrylics. He got an acrylic paint set for Christmas and has painted 3 pictures. He is actually pretty good. I will have to take pictures of his work and post them. I don't think he wants to be a full time artist but he enjoys it. He has actually always said that he wanted to be like his daddy and build houses when he grows up....well, that was before the housing slump. William hasn't built a house in a year. I wonder if Alex will still want to do that.
Amy...what can I say about her? She likes to cook and is really into fashion design. Maybe she will be a fashionable chef! She loves cookbooks and watching cooking shows...oh and is a QVC freak but that is a whole other story. LOL
I want my kids to pursue their dreams and I do whatever I can to help them learn more about the things that they are interested in. We read library books, look up info on the web, watch TV shows, and visit museums that have the topic that we want to explore. I think this is one of the reasons I love homeschooling so much. I get to see the spark and excitement when they learn something new about something that is so close their little hearts.

I hope you enjoyed reading about thoughts for today. I look forward to sharing more another day. Have a good evening and be blessed!
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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Healthy & Frugal Meals

I really try to feed my family healthy meals. Yes, sometimes we eat things that we probably shouldn't but for the most part, we do fairly well. I have discovered that my kids prefer homemade chicken nuggets and burritos over the frozen kinds. It makes me very proud for a few reasons.

First of all, it is more economical to make them ourselves. I can buy a pack of boneless chicken breasts and put my own breading and seasoning on them for a whole lot less than buying them already prepared. The same goes for the burritos and the ones I make are bigger than the frozen kind.

Secondly, they are healthier. I don't add all of those preservatives and fillers that are in the prepared foods. For our burritos, we use the whole wheat tortilla shells and the kids LOVE them! For our chicken tenders, I use whole wheat cracker crumbs for the breading.

Lastly, it just makes me feel good when my kids say that their meal tasted good. I receive more praise for my cooking when I do it myself. That may not mean much to some moms but to me, it is special. I love to cook. It is like an artist who hears how great his piece of art is. Cooking is my "art".

Some of my favorite places to get recipes are:

Christy's Once A Month Cooking Recipes
Dottie's Weight Loss Zone
Rachael Ray
Saving Dinner

Please feel free to share links to your favorite recipes. I am always looking for new things to try!

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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Kid Bloggers

My kids are blogging! This is something that I have thought about doing for awhile and since some of my friends have started doing it, I decided to do it too. I had always thought it would be a great way for family to keep up with what they are doing as well as help them in their computer, typing, spelling and grammar skills. I have seen many homeschool kids put their educational journey on blogs and thought it was pretty neat. Well, now my children will be sharing their lives with everyone on their own blogs.

Today Amy's blog was very simple and she just introduced some of our animals. It looks like I am going to have to work on her creative writing skills a little more.

Alex's blog doesn't have a post yet...maybe tomorrow.

Andrew blogged about a few different things and it was exciting watching him be excited about his blog. You can read what he wrote here Andrew's blog Here are pics of him blogging:

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I love having the Internet!

As a homeschool mom, I must say that I LOVE having the Internet to find material to use in teaching my children. Since money is so tight, I can't go out and buy tons of curriculum and supplies so I rely on what is available right here on the web. For example, today we are learning about Robin Hood and I found a website that offers free audio books that are read by volunteers so the kids and I are actually listening to chapter 1 of The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood right now! They are coloring a picture of "Robin Hood" while they are listening to it. I also found another site that has tons of links about Robin Hood so I can go through there and find things that we want to use as well. It just amazes me that we have all of these resources at our fingertips. I think we are so blessed when I think about how the people that have homeschooled in the past didn't have this luxury.

I dream of helping people that homeschool or want to homeschool find ways to teach their children without having to spend a lot of money so I will continue to post links here of some of the things that we are using in our homeschool and would love for you to share any that you know of in the comments section.

Thanks for stopping by! Have a blessed day!
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Monday, January 5, 2009

I got a hippopotamus for Christmas!

I am just testing out the mobile picture upload for my blog. But since I had to send something, I decided to send a pic of the hippopotamus I got for Christmas! Ok, I didn't really but my daughter said I should say that! LOL
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Back to School after Christmas Break

Today went really well! I actually was expecting some resistance from the kids about having to get back into our school routine but there was none. Everyone was up, fed and at their desks by 8 and ready to go! Amazing for a Monday!!

We did our devotion first and the topic was about honoring our "old people". My kids know that I just love the elderly. I think they are so cute and I love spending time with them. I want to instill that love for senior citizens in them.

In history, we did a review quiz first....I wanted to make sure they didn't lose anything over the past 2 weeks. They all did very well. The Mystery of History makes history fun and interesting so they tend to remember the information better. After the review, we read a lesson about Richard the Lionhearted, Saladin and the Third Crusade.

They all had spelling tests and did so-so. They will be reviewing the words they missed and will have to retest on them. I am not too bothered by it. They haven't had to spell anything for the past 2 weeks so I was expecting it to not be 100%.

Amy and Alex had a review in math. I had planned on reviewing and then starting a new topic but when they were struggling with some of the review problems, I decided that we needed to master that before we moved we did. Andrew did his review sheet and is ready for his next lesson.

They all read books that they had checked out from the library during their reading time. Andrew is reading a book about Pluto so his reading is counting as science as well. Two birds with one stone! The book is called When is a Planet not a Planet?The Story of Pluto and is sparking an interesting discussion between him and Alex.

Enough about school work....let's talk about other things we did today. Oh yeah, during our break, we watched Rachael Ray make this recipe and they decided that we need to try it. She has some great healthy, low cost recipes on her site so check them out!

It has been raining almost all day and since the temperature is low, it is forming ice on the trees. We would love some snow but it looks like that isn't gonna happen. I am just glad that it wasn't raining when I went for my walk this morning at 5:15. That would have ruined it for me. I walked further today than I did last time...I don't know the distance but I know it was more than a mile. I had my music in my ears and just walked to the beat.

It looks like I am going to have to bring in more kids to our daycare. We really need the income right now. Since I don't want to get re-licensed, I can only take on 2 more. I have looked through all of my old daycare stuff and it made me kind of excited about doing preschool again. I just have to get into a routine of doing school with my kids and do preschool with the little ones. William is going to be looking for side jobs to do too to help make some extra money. He can do pretty much anything around the house....your typical handy man. He also works on cars. If you have something for him to do, give him a call 481-6145. We just have to come up with some ways to make sure our bills are paid. I know I was making decent money with my home based business but it was keeping me away from home more than I liked and I was missing some important events in my kids' lives. I am a distributor for another company that I can do from home and not have to go out and do parties so I am looking into actively building that business too.

Wow, this is a long post. I guess I will stop now. I am gonna go cuddle with my man and watch a little TV with him and the kids before bed.

Back to School after Christmas BreakSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Sunday, January 4, 2009

First Sunday of 2009

We had our first Sunday service of 2009 and although the attendance was a little lower than normal, it was wonderful.

In Sunday school, we talked about how we can help use our talents to solve problems in the world. Remember now, I teach 5th & 6th grade girls. They had to come up with a "slogan" to help start change. It was interesting to see the things that they came up with. We talked about how even at their age, they have talents from God to use to make changes in the world. We also talked about what the Bible says about being a leader and how you have to serve to be a leader. They didn't quite understand what that meant until I explained to them that Pastor Troy is a leader but he wouldn't be unless he was serving them by doing all he does. Their faces just lit up when they talked about how much time he puts into children's ministry. It is always amazing to see these girls growing in the Lord.

In City Lights (our Children's service), they started a new series called "Ready, Set, Grow" and it is about the Fruits of The Spirit. I didn't get to see much of it because I was at the sign in/welcome area but I heard some of it. The City Lights team does a great job of presenting the message so that kids "get it". I look at these little people and think that in a few years, they will be the ones that are teaching, preaching and sharing the Gospel! The time will go by SO fast and I am so blessed and honored to be a part of what God has planned for them!

Thanks for stopping by to visit today and reading about my day. Tomorrow we start school again after having a 2 week break so be sure to check back in to see how it goes!
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Saturday, January 3, 2009

My favorite things

Yeah, I know that the song is now in your head and I am sorry for doing that to you but I was just sitting her thinking about some of the blessings that I favorite things.

*The sound of my children laughing and playing together.

*Happy conversation at the dinner table.

*My bed when it has freshly washed sheets and comforter on it and it is made. It looks so peaceful and inviting.

*Scrapbooking. I enjoy making this memory albums so that my family has a visible record of the events of our lives.

*Music. I love listening to, singing and playing music. It can lift my spirits in any circumstance.

*Family. I love being with my family. Not just the people in my home, my WHOLE family. I love big family gatherings but feel like we don't do them often enough.

*Vanilla....candles, scent, ice cream....whatever.


*Reading.....I love to read books, magazines, blogs, whatever.

*Movies...romantic comedies are my favorite.

*The smell of wood burning in the fall.

*Puppies and kittens....that is why I have too many animals.

*Watching my husband sleep in his recliner....unless he is supposed to be doing something else of course! LOL

*A clean and cozy home. It is just so relaxing to walk in to my living room when it is clean and just feel at home. I don't like stuff laying around.

I am sure I can think of some more but I would love to hear what your favorite things are.
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Economic stress

I am wondering what you are doing to help your family save money during this economic crisis. My husband was in construction building new homes and when the housing market fell, he lost his job. For awhile he went into doing remodeling and repairs but that slowed down too for him so we started really struggling to pay bills. I cut back on our grocery spending, we quit eating out, the kids had to quit piano lessons, we gave up our Y membership, we don't get out much now at all because it costs money to drive (obviously!) so we end up running all of our errands on one day. I watch children in my home and currently have 2. The money I make off of that buys our groceries and gas each week. I have tried to find other families to provide care for but with so many people being unemployed, the demand for quality childcare isn't what it used to be. I used to get call ALL the time and stayed full most of the time.
I don't know why I am sharing all of this with you except to say that I am trying not to be afraid. I know that God will provide for us but it is hard sometimes to wait to see what will happen. I have seen Him do wonders in and with my life and I KNOW that he will.
Today I am thinking about the bills I can't pay and the things I need to buy and am trying to stay positive. I am praising God for all we do have and praying that He will show me what to do to help my family during this troubled economy.
I know I am not alone. I will pray for all of us that are struggling. Please join me.
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Friday, January 2, 2009

2009 Goals

Hey everyone!
Yeah, I know it has been awhile since I posted. I was trying to decide which blog tool I wanted to use and after trying out a few different things, I have chosen this one :) Maybe it is because so many of my friends are here....maybe it is the ease of use....I don't know. I just decided that this is the one :) My mother in law will be happy because this is one of the ways that she keeps up with what my little ones are up to. She likes to look at their pictures and see what they are learning about in school.....Hi Memaw!

I wanted to share my 2009 Goals with ya'll so here goes:

Finish my 2006 scrapbook
Blog regularly (at least once a week)
Help other women be the best that they can be......wife, mom, daughter, etc.
Spend more time with my mom.
Become more physically fit.

Thanks for sharing in my goals. I am sure that I will be adding more as the year goes by but this is what I am working on right now.

I pray that you will do all that you want to do in 2009.

Be blessed!
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