Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My Life Lately

[this picture has nothing to do with my post]

I don't like to be in the habit of posting every other day, but my life lately has looked like this...

a husband who has been sick for months [on his 3rd cold now]
on top of his bronchitis
on top of his broken rib
on top of him launching his new website that's taken up a lot of his time
my three kids getting strep throat
a business dinner
a homebirth meeting
a homeschool meeting
[only] 6 boxes remaining to unpack
emptying two storage units
pool party
loosing my wallet & keys [finding them!]
working on a new etsy business
getting a logo designed for his business

It hasn't all been bad, and I'm not complaining, it's just been busy and full.

We leave for vacation in 6 weeks so I'm trying to get back on my Weight Watcher schedule and lose 10 lbs [2 lbs a week] like I was in the beginning. So I've been walking more, and will start back using e-mealz this week.

Add in my normal chores, child training, teaching, and I'm a busy girl. 

Still...I love the outlet of photography and writing. Hope you'll stick around---even if it's every other day sometimes!

How is your summer starting?

June 1st tomorrow!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Funny Friday #15

This picture was not staged. I seriously have this weird problem...called open a bottle of water, drink from it, lose it and then not trust the kids haven't drank from it. So I open a new one and then stack them up around my sink and let the kids have them until they are gone.

Laugh away.

Moses here---eating his brothers mud pie mixture. Funny, and gross.

If there is something Nation is always working on---it's projects.
Here we have some left over new dryer vent piping.
Nation took it and "dressed" himself with it.
He played like this for an hour.
All I could think of was...lady gaga


Did your kids say anything funny to you this week? Mine did.

Me: Get in the car
Nation: Why
Me: We're going to get some lunch to eat
Nation: Why don't you just cook something here mom?
Me: Um, well, Chick-fil-a just cooks better than mommy


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thankful Thursday Top Ten 43

Thankful This Week For:

1. A friend who braved my boys for 3 hours so I could unpack
2. A refreshing night of pure laughter with two mommies friends
3. A track near my house to walk
4. God's grace to work through harder days of marriage---to the better days
6. Two friends who are now my neighbors [and can drop by in minutes!]
7. Oprah. Despite differences of opinions she has used her life to serve others
8. A best friend announcing her pregnancy [finally!]
9. Playdates at my new house
10. God's healing for Solomon---gets ill & is better in hours 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Weight Watcher Wednesday 16


How I manage to stay the exact same weight---to the ounce---amazes me. I just expect to be up or down at least an ounce, not to the exact ounce! Funny.

So clearly last week I didn't do well, I suppose staying the same is worse than gaining.

Well I've been doing Weight Watchers for 4 months now, I've lost almost 15 pounds and still have another 35 to go. I haven't tracked my points on my phone consistently in FOREVER. I need something to kick me back in gear. I still weigh in, I still make good choices and I've started walking on a track a few nights a week. 


Any tips for getting back on the "writing it down" train?

Storing Things That Have No Value

[Charles pulling me on the cart]

Last night we emptied out our second [and hopefully last] storage unit. We've had these units for almost as long as we've had kids. We needed a place to store all their toys and clothes they grew out of. And my offseason wardrobes---my 4 seasons of clothes---summer maternity, summer, winter maternity, winter. 

[I've spent the last 6 years either pregnant or nursing].

Looking back paying for the unit probably wasn't worth the value of what was inside, but it's all under one roof now and not costing me anything anymore. Just when I was beginning to look like I was getting closer to getting out of boxes---we've filled my basement up with storage unit stuff. 

I wonder if we store things in our heart that don't end up matching the price we pay to hold onto them.

painful memories
wounds from family
words people have said over us
hopes deferred
wounds from a spouse
mistakes we've made
promises unfulfilled
wounds from a friend

We keep them in units "incase we ever need them", finding safety in their near access. All the while knowing it would be wiser to let go of what isn't useful to us---today. Trusting that if we have need in the future He would provide.

And what He'd provide wouldn't be molded, ruined, stale and yesterday's.

Lord, expose those units we pay for that end up costing us...
costing us...more than any service they falsely promise to provide for us in the future.

Help me to let go and forgive. Giveaway. Stop storing up for a bitter day. Help me to trust again. Help me to forget what hurt and wounded. Help me to help others do this too.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Training Children To Obey -Love vs Fear-

[flowers from Nation...in a recycled spice container]

I've been reading this book, and it's got me thinking a little different about a lot of things. One in particular, how I get my children to obey.

I don't know all the answers [this just in: no one does], but I think Ms. Susan Schaeffer Macaulay might be onto something. Although her book is primarily based on the ideas of homeschooling...it really is more a book about the philosophy of how children learn and how we can best facilitate that.

She brought up a point in her book [hope I don't misquote her here] that we shouldn't get our children to obey out of fear. Not fear of punishment or fear of man.

For example:
Nation is about to climb on the counter.

I could say:
A. "Don't climb on the counter or I'll discipline you"
B. "It makes mommy really upset when you do that"
C. "Don't climb on the counter it's the wrong thing to do"

Now, climbing counters isn't one of the 10 commandments, but disobeying rules you're parents have set in place [who are under God's authority to raise you up]...is.

The problem with fear of punishment
The idea that we coerce children to do what we want based on "if you do this, then I'll do that" works "great" when we're around, but what about when we aren't there to stand over them to "threaten" them with a punishment? I'm not saying I'm against punishments because I'm not, but I'm rethinking if always throwing the punishment in their face is the proper motivation for getting them to do the desired behavior.

The problem with fear of man
My personality naturally struggles with people pleasing...I know this all too well. If I continue to encourage my children to produce the desired behaviors [not fighting, sharing with others, speaking politely, etc] by following it up with "this makes mommy really happy" or "this makes mommy very sad" or "I'm very upset when you do this" it's possible my children will preform correctly, but not for the right reason.

Which eventually [again, when they aren't around me or are grown] will either produce a person who doesn't care to continue following God's standards because they don't have me around to continue to "please" or they will find someone else to try to please with their behavior.

My daughter might look for a husband to please with her behavior. Only cleaning the house to get her husbands attention and not because it's the "right" thing to do to serve others. My son might find his worth and joy in pleasing his boss. He won't be ethical because it's God's standard, he'll just look ethical when necessary.

Motivation and heart get lost in pleasing a person with seen acts instead of honoring a God who is always looking.


God doesn't want a son who is only afraid of his punishments, but a son who listens and obeys because he loves him.

Instead Macaulay proposes...

We train our children to obey with the motivation of it being right or wrong. Our standard is the Word of God and our motivation is honoring a Holy and worthy God.

"If you love me, keep my commands."

It looks like this:
Solomon is about to hit his brother.
I say: "Solomon don't hit, you know it's the wrong thing to do. Remember? Love as brothers."

All this week I've been catching myself unknowingly [if you will allow me to say this] manipulating my children with threats or emotions. Now I'm trying to make it black and white. "We don't behave this way because it's against God's rules. God said this was the wrong thing to do, and He loves us and made this rule to protect us. Make a good choice."

If they choose the wrong decision, there is a consequence, but I have hope that one day...out of my sights...they will still have the Holy Spirit and the Word in their heart to convict them of right and wrong. They won't just "do the right thing" to please someone or avoid a consequence.

God looks at the heart, we must train our children to obey us [and the Lord] with a heart motivated in love...not fear.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Funny Friday #14 [Best Mac & Cheese]

Amy's organic is THE BEST store bought mac & cheese out there. I learned about it from a woman I use to babysit for years ago. Now my kids happily devour it. Usually I eat half and the older boys split the rest, but now Moses eats the whole thing all-by-himself. He started saying "cheese" this week and baby signing "more" for it.

As you can see it's quite messy.

5 essentials for baby to enjoy "the" cheese

1. The mac & cheese [health food freezer section]
2. a bib that will catch it all
3. a table mat that will keep your table from being permanently greasy
5. their 10 fingers [no utensils required]


What about you?
Any funny pictures this week?
Funny stories?

When Seasons Change

When Seasons Change...

...I'm somewhere in between ready for the last season to be over and "can't wait" for the next season all the while knowing that before I know it...I'll be feeling just the same way about this season as I was the last---ready for the next.

I was born and raised in Texas, which has...basically...one season. Hot. Okay, two seasons, Hot & Humid. Neither which work well with naturally curly frizzy hair. Moving to Georgia my sophomore year in high school was the best thing that ever happen to the locks attached to my head. They throughly enjoy those few months between summer and spring to hold those hot roller-curls and soak up the compliments like bounty paper towels.

Being in Ohio, we did enjoy the snow, but the cold there [and here] I'm over. It's mid May and my heater has been on this week? I'm ready for the warm. Ready to break out the capri's and skirts and rock the Rainbowsir.gif till November, or December. As for my hair, well, it will mainly stay in a pony tail.

As for other season in my life. The season of packing, unpacking, moving, packing, unpacking, traveling, looking to move, packing, moving, unpacking---is---hopefully over. We've been here in our new house for two weeks and I'm looking forward to the next season of---no boxes.

Another season I've been thinking about is, baby bump time. Normally around the time my baby is a year, I get pregnant, and I'd love to be pregnant like...yesterday, but am trying to faithfully finish Weight Watchers. I'm growing tired of this season of no baby in my belly, but looking forward to it maybe this Fall. But then again, looking around at all these boxes [and my pregnant friends] I'm maybe still thankful for that heater on, maybe I'm not quite ready to be lugging that huge belly around up and down these stairs. But maybe I am.

You forget how much work it is!

Seasons, they are a funny thing. They encompass that "grass is greener on the other side" more than anything else in life.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thankful Thursday Top Ten 42

Photo Credit: cleaning out the camera i found these photos from our sitter

Thankful This Week For...

1. Having some of our small group over to dedicate our new house to Jesus
2. Finding renters for our previous house

3. Enough room for kids to push Moses around in stroller for entertainment
4. A lawn kid to mow for 2 hours instead of me [or Charles]

6. The "fall" weather outside...despite how weird it is in mid-May

7. Our first date night on "this side of town" [exploring new places to date]
8. Having Charles' office at home again [not sure if he's as excited as we are, ha]

9. Cleaning out storage unit [one away from having all our stuff in one place]
10. The pink key Charles got for me the house [#lovelanguage]

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Weight Watcher Wednesday 15


I'm down another pound from last week, but still up .6 overall. It's taken me about a month [sigh] to get back to my previous best at 190. But I think it's all up [or down I mean] from here because we've moved, my kitchen is unpacked, life isn't all in boxes anymore...well just sorta kinda.

My bestie and I have started walking together in the evenings since we're only 4 minutes from each other!! I think this will really help both of us. We've also both decided to stop going to meetings because after almost 4 months of meetings, we've learned the ropes, lost some weight, and feel confident moving forward just keeping each other accountable.

Plus we'll save $20 a month ; )

I bought a Weight Watcher scale from Publix this morning and weighed with it right after weighing on their scale. So my plan is to just weigh at home Wednesday morningsl, but not go to the meetings anymore.

Now...to keep track of my points [sigh].

How's y'alls weight loss going? 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Five Things That Make or Break Your Day

Five Things

1. Jesus
2. Relationships
3. Sleep
4. Nutrition
5. Exercise

I know this isn't rocket science, and we all already "know" this, but man if only knowing was enough. Putting priorities into practice at times does seem like a science. [Did I mention I was a Communication major?] #dislikescience

When there is stress in my life, or things seem out of control I can usually narrow them down to 5 categories. I've never put pencil to paper [or in this case keys to screen], but in my mind I often know---there are 5 reasons why I'm upset...and I could have prevented all of them.

The reason I'm yelling is because...I've not met with Peace today.

The reason I'm feeling down is because...I haven't invested this week in anyone, but myself.

The reason I'm short with the kids is because...I stayed up too late watching TV last night.

The reason I don't feel good about myself is because...I ate junk food all day.

The reason I'm so fatigued doing housework is because...I haven't been regularly working out.

In the moment, it feels like it's "life's" fault. Like a series of events is all to blame for my stressed out-overly tired-depressing-never-ending-overwhelming day, but really, most of the time it's not because the world has fallen apart---just my priorities. And when your priorities fall apart, in a way, your world does. At least for me.

I'm not interested in self-help and I certainty am not trying to "fix" your life. This post [or any for that matter] don't have the "power" to change your life, but He does. I'm by no means fixed myself, but I've just really been trying to be mindful that it's not worth pretending it's outside circumstances that get me down, but that it's a lot of decisions I could make better.

My only advice for you is that you pray. Pray next time you find yourself down or being short with someone and ask..."did I have anything to do with this?" Is it possible this attitude isn't just "happening to me", but I made some bad choices this week/yesterday/today that have brought me to this point.

Pray that He'd make you mindful of them. Pray that He'll show you how---so that---you might enjoy Him, others and yourself more during our brief time here on earth.

It's simple. It isn't rocket science, unless...we try to do it...without Him.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Funny Friday #13

My Funny Friday #13 [& my bestie's] fall on Friday the 13th!
Now that's Funny!

Here is the BEST Mother's Day card---ever!

OR this one...

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Thankful Thursday Top Ten 41

playroom in progress

Thankful This Week For...

[my new house!]

1. My first playroom
2. My first linen closet
3. My first garden tub
4. My first pantry
5. My first garage
6. My first basement
7. My first dining room
8. My first screened in porch
9. My first neighborhood [with sidewalks!]
10. My first stairs [burning the calories!]

SO thankful we finally made it. We're here. After all we went through, it's ours. Unpacking with the kids...looks like a few boxes a day and more mess than production, but thankfully my mom has come over twice already to help. Charles has been busy with work [and ill], but hopefully we can knock some boxes out this weekend! Either way, I'm blessed.

What are you thankful for this week?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Weight Watcher Wednesday 14


My last weigh in was two weeks ago, I wasn't about to go weigh in when we flew in from Vegas last Wednesday. Oh no, it's not the City of Sin [well maybe], it's the City of Food. Delicious food. Too much.

I'm thankful I was down a pound, I attribute it to moving. And my new two stair cases vs. my previous none.

Now that we're moved in, and I'm 4 minutes away from my bestie, I'm hoping we can get some walking in a few times a week together!

Wordless Wednesday -1-

Some Motherhood Moments are like this...

And some are like this...

--finding joy [and gray hair] in everything between--


[took these this week for a friend]


Wordish Wednesday

the long road

Better in Bulk

The Paper Mama


Dear Crissy

Live and Love...Out Loud

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What Happens In Vegas [Ends Up In A Blog Post]

Last weekend, Charles finished up a two week job in Vegas, and the next day he turned 30---as you know---I went out to visit him from Saturday to Tuesday night. I wrote about our time in the Grand Canyon, but  hadn't posted many pictures from our time in Vegas.

It may or may not have had something to do with the fact that I moved this past weekend...

We stayed at The Venetian one night.

Got a great deal on Expedia.com the day before I flew out there, and we throughly enjoyed our nearly 700 square feet hotel room. I told them it was his 30th birthday and they gave us a free "room view upgrade" so we could see the city and pool!

The hotel had gambling I think [ha!], all I know was there was lots and lots and lots of food and shopping. In our off time we watched TV on all three flat screens [at the same time] and avoided the $13 mini bar M&M's.

Hard to believe this is the cheapest, lowest ranking room at The Venetian.  

Since we were taking the red eye flight late Tuesday night, we just hung out by the pool after check out. 

I giggled at most of the fancy stores, didn't really feel like my Old Navy outfits qualified me to walk in them. We were going to do the gondola ride, but they were $65 a piece and I'd rather just go to Venice and ride a real one someday.

Charles LOVE's The Beatles, so naturally he wanted to see it, and LOVEd it. I've seen a lot of Cirque Du Soleil's, I'd describe this one as mainly acting, dancing, and singing and not so much circus tricks. I really did enjoy it, loved the music. Only disliked one scene---got a little Tim Burton dark for me. 

Can you believe we paid the same price to stay in this gorgeous house hotel as we did at this Motel-6-quality hotel at The Grand Canyon Lodge. I guess when you're the only place in the park you can charge whatever you want. Oh, and making reservations less than 24 hours before arriving probably doesn't help either. 

Regardless, the views were beautiful. We stayed at the Maswik Lodge, I'd suggest saying off property, or doing the lower priced rooms [if available] because they can't be much worse [but they are half the cost!]

It was walking distance to great viewing points and restaurants, but there are also free bus routes if you stay in an "inconvenient" room.


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