Saturday, December 31, 2011

12 in '12


Last year I wrote out my 11 in '11 which were my goals for last year. I don't think I did that well! This year I want to keep tabs throughout the year so I can actually track my progress! I know one was to eat healthier and I definitely did over the summer since I had my first garden! Then once winter hit and I started with SAD my eating wasn't so great! So here are my goals for 2012.

1. Spend more time with the Rev. Sometimes, especially when we're both busy, we let our time together slip aside. We definitely need to be more intentional during these times. I'm hoping we can do our devotions together at least twice a week.

2. Spend more time with my boys. I know that I homeschool but I want to do more fun things and actually get involved in the fun things! Like playing football with them, or a game. My goal is to do one thing every day even if it is small.

3. Let my housecleaning go....sometimes! I know that I have to clean. I do it all the time but I want to be more intentional in letting go sometimes and doing what really matters. Like spending time with the family.

4. Read more! I love to read and I never have time. I am hoping to read 2 books a month. I'm coming up with a list of books.

5. Continue to stay active. I love being outdoors, riding my bike, jogging, etc. I can't always do it in the winter but I still want to get 30-45min 5 days a week of activity that gets me breathless and sweaty! I have been using my DVD's and it's been good.

6. Spending more time with God. I have been doing better and that is one thing that I think did change and get better last year. I want to keep on with that.

7. Invite people over. Yep, my house is my private sanctuary and I don't usually invite people over except family. Hopefully I can break out of my shell a bit and invite some people over. I'm going to start small and say 3 families over the next year. I think that's doable!

8. Cut back my internet time. I have done thing already since homeschooling started. All it does is each precious time I could use for other things!

9. Make a menu plan every week. I was doing so well and then I stopped. Every day I get in panic mode and thing, "What's for dinner?!?"

10. Get back into couponing. I did really well tracking my expenses every time for 7-8 months and then I lagged off because we got so busy!

11. Keep in touch with extended family. That's self explanatory.

12. Keep saying I can do this, because I can!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Let's hear it for the boys!

Fall 2010
 Yep, it's time for boy bragging! If you didn't know my boys are pretty amazing and it's time to tell all about it. First off, last night for church we went to a local trailer park and delivered presents to kids and sang carols. It wasn't as cold as it could've been but it was still very chilly but it had rained almost all day and it was sopping wet! HUGE puddles and yards just all mud. And still my boys (and many other kids from church) trekked through for two hours and they had a great time! I don't think I heard any of the kids complaining!

Also, I am so proud of B because he really struggles with math. When we pulled him out of public school and into cyber school he was a month behind what they were teaching. Well, after doubling and tripling up on lessons he finally caught up to his classmates yesterday!! Just in time for Christmas break!

Next up is my little T. He is the most helpful four year old  you'd ever want to know. Anytime anything needs done he is always willing to help and he does a great job!

MyMy is such a sweet guy. He is listens so well and had been obeying mom and dad very well this week. This isn't always easy for kids! He always does his morning chores and does them with a smile. I'm so proud of him!

Mr. N has been excelling at his school work. He's been working hard and working ahead. This week he finished his work two days early so he got extra Christmas break this week!

And my oldest, L. He has been working so hard at basketball this season. I definitely see improvement from last year and I am proud of the hard work he's putting in at practice to become better.

There are so many more things. My boys love each other so much and it is evident to me daily. They love their friends like brothers. They are the best boys and I am thankful that God chose me to be their mother!         

Monday, December 12, 2011

Spending time with God


So, sometimes I think it's funny that we have to "find time" to spend with God. Like it's some kind of after thought or just another thing on our to do list. I've been trying to be intentional in having meaningful time with God. And I do make it intentional. You need to do what works for you. (and that may be different than what works for me!)

I am naturally a morning person. I function my best from 5:30am until about 2-3pm an then I crash. I am my absolute most productive before lunch. Also, I have five boys. (four of which are homeschooled, so I'm busy!) I find what works for me is first thing in the morning. My oldest gets up at 6am for school. I find that getting up at 5:20-5:30am gives me some time to eat something small and spend some time in the word. After that, I get my exercising in. I actually break my exercising into two parts. I do 20 minutes in the morning.

Then comes one of my most favorite parts of the day. While my oldest is waiting to get on the bus I walk or jog and spend time with God. One on one. He and I. Together. Completely alone with each other. No mp3 music to distract (although sometimes I sing a song of praise by myself). I love the silence (often the only silent time all day!) I love pouring my heart out to God and waiting for a reply. Sometimes I have a lot to say. Other times I'm quiet, just listening. There have also been times when I just don't have words and I've simply cried out, "Please, Jesus!" over and over. And I do this no matter what. I've walked in the rain, under amazingly starry skies, watching the sun come up, under completely black skies and in freezing temps. It is time I cherish.

Maybe for you it's time at night after the kids go to bed. Maybe it's during their afternoon nap. Maybe it's while you're in the tub or shower. (although, mine is usually interupted!)  Maybe it's while you're folding laundry, taking time to bring each person in your family before God as you fold their clothes. Maybe it's while making dinner. It is so incredibly important to have time with God. Not only reading the Bible and digging into His Word, but spending time talking to and listening to God. God has answered me many times in this quiet time with him. I encourage you to find sometime to spend with God daily. Taking time to read His Words of love to you and to talk and listen to Him. It is time you will not regret spending with Him ever!

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Friday, December 9, 2011

The Christmas Singing by Cindy Woodsmall

I read a book not that long ago by Cindy Woodsmall and really enjoyed it. If you like reading about the Amish you'll like her books! She has a book out now called the Christmas Singing. Here's a little video about it. (to turn off my music go to the right, scroll down and click pause!)

It looks like a really great book and I wanted to share! You can also read the first chapter.
The Christmas Singing (Chapter 1 Excerpt)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Homeschooling update!!!


So we are now in our 3rd full week of homeschooling. It was with much prayer and talking that the Rev and I decided that this was what was best for our family and our younger boys. L still goes to public school and loves it an is doing well. My other boys (N and B were in public) hated it. I hated it. There were many things that factored into us decided to pull them out. The biggest factor was God. Seriously. I was so distressed and unpeaceful about sending them daily. I spoke to the Rev about it at the end of September and we agreed to pray seperately and together.

If you don't know, I walk or jog every morning while L is waiting to get on the bus in the mornings. Even when it rains. (I esepcially LOVE it when it rains!) I use this time to pray, worship God and talk with him. I brought this matter before him for a couple of months (even before I mentioned it to the Rev.) and I was already feeling that God was saying yes. I knew this would be a big undertaking. Not only would I need to ensure my kids were all schooled every day, I still have all my daily chores and stuff to do. And I am doing stuff at the church too. I in no way wanted to do this unless God was truly calling me because I knew I couldn't do it otherwise.

So, after the Rev and I prayed we both agreed that we both felt it was indeed what God was calling our family to do. So far it has been fairly smooth. Some days it's trying and seems to take forever to get done with the day's work, but God has truly enabled me to stay calm (not stressed!) for the most part. I am more sure than ever that this is what God has called us to do!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

You've been RACK'd!!

Photo by tsjphotography

   OK so what exactly is RACK? Why it's Random Acts of Christmas Kindness!!   So I've decided to try and give away Christmas some this year with RACK. I first found it on pinterest.    I was immediately interested in it. I love to give things away and give gifts. Something about giving feels sooooooo good! So when I went to the original blog post at tsjphotography I knew it was something I wanted to do with my boys. She is doing it for every day of advent. And it need not be anything expensive. (Believe me, we don't have money for expensive!) Sometimes it's the little things that make someone's day! She had ideas like taping candy canes to atm machines, pay library fees for 5 people, visit a nursing home with cookies and cards. Really the possiblities are endless! I'm not going to be able to do it everyday (as I don't leave my house everyday! I'm a major homebody!) but I'm trying to do one thing every time I go somewhere. Some ideas are taping quarters to those machines that kids love! (you know the kind that your kids always beg you for quarters at the exit of stores!) Also leave a few dollars bills in the toys section of a dollar store. Or visit a nursing home with some cards. Unfortunately, some of those people never have anyone visit. This is something I really want to look into with my boys! I am also thinking of leaving something in my mailbox for my mail person. (although this wouldn't be so random! She'd know it was from us!) You could also leave a few dollars on a coffee shop's table. And on the other blog (listed above) is a template that you can leave with your little acts so that people know what it is! I think it is fabulous and I am going to talk to the boys and the Rev about it today! So I encourage you to maybe try something small, even one thing a week until Christmas. That only makes 4 things! Completely doable!