Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring Brings Easter - Which Means New Life

I think I have suffered from writers block or spring fever, I haven't known what to post for days now. I know I am definitely recovering from the 'winter blues'!  Praise the Lord Spring is in the air and evident all around His awesome creation! I took my camera outside and started taking pictures of anything that had color besides brown. Ha!

 Our Bradford Pear Tree in our front yard.

A few of the blooms on our Yoshino Cherry tree!

The view from our driveway, I LOVE all the pinks, whites and greens!

Can you tell how excited I am about all the signs of Spring?  Riley and I have spent so much time outside over the last several days.  There has been some rain, but that has only brightened the colors and ushered them from their winter covers.

Praise the Lord for new life in Him that we are getting ready to celebrate this coming weekend!  Because He gave His life for us on the cross and rose again on the third day He conquered death and we can have eternal life.

John 3:14-16
14And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
 15That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
 16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Sometimes it is hard for me to believe that God loved me enough to send His only Son to pay my punishment for my sins!  Wow!  How undeserving I am of His love and His forgiveness, yet I am so thankful for His sacrifice!  I can't seem to get enough of Him.  He is my Rock, my Comforter, my Shelter, my Peace, He is 'the defense of my life;' my Guide when I don't know where to go.  He 'gently leads me beside quiet streams' and 'makes me lie down in green pastures' to give me rest (Psalm 23:2).   "...The Lord God is my strength, and He has made my feet like hinds' feet, and makes me walk on my high places." (Habakkuk 3:19)

I could go on and on about what my Savior has done for me and how precious is His love for me.  More precious than Gold or Silver I tell you!  He has redeemed me and I am His daughter.

If you do not know Jesus as your personal Savior I tell you He is Life.  He has changed my life, it isn't perfect by any means but my life is good.  And it is all because of Him, not by my own efforts, but His!  As stated earlier in John 3:16, "For God so loved the world (everyone, yes that's you!) that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish be have everlasting life."  It is really quite simple, tell Him you have sinned and ask Him to forgive you of those sins.  And guess what?  He will. Next, tell Him you want Him to be Lord of your life and ask Him into your heart to live as Lord of your life.   "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved,..." Acts 16:31.  "Behold I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, (to their heart) I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with Me." Revelation 3:20

I hope you enjoy watching new life unfold before you as the weather warms and the sun brightens our world from this past winters blows.  And may you celebrate New Life in Him this Easter!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Simplified! One Room Down...

Three or four more to go!!

I joined Lynnette at Dancing Barefoot in Simplifying our Master bedroom.  It was quite the task, because both my husband and I are stackers at least till we know what to do with it.  Then it might get put in it's proper place.  As you can see, I had dark curtains and comforter that are ready for a change.  Old picture frames were stacked along the wall because we couldn't find pictures to put in them, let alone a place to hang it.  There is a box to the left of this wall that has smaller picture frames that I couldn't figure out where to put them either.  Then of course my husbands shirt hanging on the bedpost...who put that there?????

Along this wall are items I had already purged that are ready for a garage sale.  My storage drawers containing SOME of the scrapbooking items I have is in the corner (there are more in the closet).  Down in the lower right  corner of this pic you can see a corner of ONE of the boxes that contain items yet to go in the garage sale.  Also, there is nothing on the walls!  If you haven't noticed, I have difficulties figuring out what to hang where and what shall be in it!

I did not take a picture of the closet but the shelf has all our sweaters, sweats, shorts and misc stuff all over it.  No neat stacks....they are thrown up there haphazardly, which one does at their own risk because you never know what will come tumbling down on top of you!   I do need a step stool in there to help out, I'm too short to reach the shelf especially if things get piled up high!

The finished project!  I am so excited and thankful to see my floors, the walls and not have any bunny sized dust bunnies under the furniture!  I move each piece of furniture (except the bed), and swept and cleaned that part of the floor.  My sister who is very organized and an Interior Designer suggested that I remove all the pictures from the frames, then I would know what I have and which ones to keep and which ones to get rid of.  That really helped me process it all!  It didn't seem like such a daunting task that way!

We had the bedspread and I found curtains to match I will eventually need to get a bed skirt but that will have to wait.  I also bought some shelves and when I emptied all the old frames, I found some that would look great with the shelves and it made a great ensemble!   The shadow box on the right of the wall has a tiny gown made by a dear friend of mine that passed away about two years ago from breast cancer.  It also has a precious bib monogrammed by my sweet friend Karen.  It say's "Mommy's Answered Prayer" with a beautiful cross on it.  Then there are some other little sweet items that belonged to Riley when he was a baby.  I'm glad to finally get it hung on the wall.

Thank you so much Lynnette for challenging us to get this done!!  I sure did need it!  My husband loves the room and is so glad all the boxes are gone and we are closer to being ready for our garage sale!  I am ready mentally to tackle the next room, our school room.  However time will not allow it to be done this week, it will have to wait till next week.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Webcam of a barn owl

For anyone who is using Apologia Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day check out this link!  It is a webcam of a Barn Owl on her nest, she has an owlet due to hatch today or any day now!  Great video to watch!

It is a live feed so you catch minute by minute updates on how momma owl and baby are doing!

Check it out!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

You Could Win Big!!!

Let The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine help you encourage family fun and add a little excitement to the school year. Plus, we're giving you three opportunities to win a gift package full of goodies valued at over $345!

It's simple to win. If you are customer #139,000, #139,500, or #140,000 at the Schoolhouse Store, you WIN a gift pack! U.S. shipping addresses only. Click on the link above and check it out. Big opportunities to Win Big!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Old Schoolhouse March Madness Sale

Head over to The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, they are having a March Madness Sale!

March 8 through midnight on March 21

Over 220 items in the store on sale 10%–80% off! 
Items such as the Spring Encouragement Bundle on sale for $20.53, 2009 Planner, Spring WeE-book™ Bundle, Homeschool Convention WeE-book™, Dreams & Designs, WannaBe® – Farmer, and Spring 2008 print back issue.

If you are looking to pick up some items to replenish your supplies click the button above and it will take you to the TOS website and you can start shopping!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wednesday's Walk - He carried Us

It was April of 2006, I had dreaded this day and hoped that somehow it would go away, yet it did not.  I knew Chris felt the same way but much less than I because he had to do this.  You see he was being shipped out to Iraq for a 5 1/2 month deployment.   I know many, countless wives have been in my shoes before me and faced this day many times.  I sat there in the airport with Chris, Riley (who was 4), Chris' Mom, and my parents and my niece (who my parents kept at that time, she is one year younger than Riley), thinking "how do the wives of these soldiers do this time and time again?"  "How can you let the man you love go into the unknown?".  It was at that time I began the battle of being angry. scared and placing our little family in God's hands and letting Him carry us each step of the way.

It was a long 5 1/2 months.  But I learned some very wonderful things that spring/summer about my Lord and Savior, about myself and my husband, and the precious people God placed in our life.  I learned that I could not just sit down and give up and expect life to go on.  Riley and I had the whole summer before us and we had plenty to do.  Riley needed life to be as normal as possible, yet he was angry too!  Surprise, surprise!  I remember realizing for the 2nd or 3rd time in his life that he had a strong will and he was not going to let this one go down without a fight!  We spent two weekends in a row dealing with behavioral issues that reared their ugly heads the first week Chris left.  I prayed the whole time "please Lord, don't let our whole time Chris is gone go like this!  Give me strength and wisdom, please!"  After some time in time-out, some tears (from both of us), some talking to and some discipline and more tears, Riley learned that bad behavior was not going to be allowed while daddy was gone. 

We got busy with things like a garden, we grew Sunflowers that got taller than Riley and I both!  Karate lessons, playing, spending time with family.  I even was bold enough to pull our little camper to Florida with some friends to go camping at the beach!  This was the first time that summer that I realized the power of prayer in our lives.  I was scared to death to pull that camper all the way down there but yet I didn't want to miss it for the world!  I knew Chris, my family and all of us that were camping were all praying as we caravan ed to Destin.  We made it there safely and in one piece, all thanks to prayers being lifted up.  We missed Daddy greatly but we had a wonderful time with precious friends whom we love dearly.

One day we were on the beach and a military helicopter flew overhead very close to the ground.  You could see the soldiers very clearly riding on the helicopter.  Riley looked up and asked, "Is that my daddy?"  My dear sweet friend Karen and I looked at each other and tears welled up in our eyes as we knew the answer was not one Riley wanted to hear.  My heart ached for my precious boy.

It was so comforting to be with friends whom you know you can count on and will step in and help you whenever you need it.  But more importantly I knew they were praying for Chris, Riley and I as we were apart. Those prayers made that trip a time of rest, fun and growing for both of us.

The summer went on and we stayed busy.  Periodically we would have a chat with Chris over the webcam.  What a blessing that was to see his face and see him healthy!  Riley would eat up those times with Chris, telling him everything he could and acting silly of course!  We had a webpage we would go to to count down the days till Daddy got home, we watched it daily.  We visited Grandparents and had a good time.   All the while being carried by our precious Lord.  Those times I began to worry, I would call Karen and ask her to pray for me, then I would have the strength to get on my knees and pray myself.  Many nights I would wake up wondering how Chris was doing (because that was his day time.) so I would email him and he would respond letting me know he was ok and tell me he loved me.  There were times that he didn't respond immediately and I would go back to bed praying for his safety and my peace.  The next morning I would wake up to find a response to my email.  Thank you Lord!!  I know it was only by the grace of God I was able to sleep at all those nights.

Finally in late Aug of 2006 it was time for Daddy to come home!  Riley and I traveled to Montgomery to pick him up.  The waiting in the airport was awful, Riley had drawn a picture to give to Chris.  Members of his guard unit were there as well to welcome him home.  Finally Riley and I dressed in our best saw our Chris walk through the gate!  Before I could say anything Riley took off running and jumped in this Daddy's arms!  I thankfully had the sense to have my camera out so I snapped this great picture (through lots of tears of course!).  I couldn't believe he was finally home!

Our precious friends were such a blessing to us once again.  They collected enough money and put together a wonderful basket so that Chris, Riley and I could spend a night in a hotel together that first night Chris came home.  I made the reservations and got it all squared away.  We stayed at a Nice hotel there in Montgomery and had a wonderful breakfast together.  We visited Chris' Mom and got some stuff squared away on base before we were ready to head home.  Riley was so happy to have his Daddy home, he talked all day and told Chris just about everything he could think of!  Once we got home, he pulled out every toy he could think of to share with his Daddy.  He was making up for lost time.

Chris brought Riley this awesome hat home that had his name, Spiderman, and Operation Iraqi Freedom on it and a teddy bear.  He still wears that hat today.

Since that fall of 2006 when Chris came home and even times after, it has been so comforting to me to look back and see every instance that God carried Chris, Riley and I.  I remember asking myself when he left, "How do the wives of soldiers do this time and time again?"  Because for us, it has only been once.  Now I know the answer.  God does it.  Not by my own strength and will power but God carrying each of us in His hands.  Giving us the grace and the strength to face each moment that comes up.  Giving me the strength to get on my knees and place my family in His hands.  Placing precious people in our lives that were willing to stand in the gap and lift us up in prayer daily.  What an awesome time that was to see God work. 

I hope you've enjoyed my Wednesday's Walk down memory lane.  I'm sorry it was so long, I prayed that I would have a memory to share this morning and this is what God laid on my heart.  Click on the button at the top and join us on our Wednesday's Walk, won't you?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Great Lunch Idea!

I don't know about you but sometimes I have the worst time trying to figure out what to do for lunch. We have the famous standby's that get old very quickly, sandwiches and soup. But today I had something that was delicious and I actually felt like I could have been eating out it was so good!

At Target I had bought a package of Flat Out Artisan fold-able sandwich bread (Olive oil and Rosemary flavor), in their bakery area (only 24 carbs per serving!). I sauteed some green pepper and onion with steak pieces (they were actually the frozen fajita seasoned kind from a package). After spreading the meet onions, and peppers on the bread, I then sprinkled Mozzarella cheese all over the meat, green peppers and onions and folded it in half. Delicious sandwich!! It was so good I just had to share with y'all! And no I didn't take a picture because I didn't think about sharing it till I was almost done with it. I didn't think y'all would appreciate that... :-)

We need to finish school, I have a hair appointment then we have ball practice and dinner at Nana's tonight so I probably won't get anything done on Simply for Life with Lynnette. It will have to wait till tomorrow. Don't forget to stop over at Dancing Barefoot to grab her button if you want to Simplify with us this week!  Have a blessed day!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Digging Out From Under the Clutter

As you may have seen in my earlier posts I too am going to be busy....

Join in the fun this week as we dig out from under the clutter!  Click on the button above and Lynnette at Dancing Barefoot will get you started!  Blessings to your efforts!!

Household Notebook

Today is a new day! The sun is shining and it is warmer than it has been all winter! I am so thankful for some warmth and sunshine. There is definitely something about spring that renews the spirit and gets you going!  I am thankful too for that renewed spirit.  I have been struggling over the last month or two with not having any energy, no motivation to get stuff done, being tired all time.  It's time for a change!  It's time to get off the couch and away from the computer...and get busy!!

I posted earlier in How Do You Do It? that I was thinking about starting a household notebook.  Do you have one?  I am ready to make some changes regarding getting the clutter under control, staying on top of things and keeping track of stuff.  I do make lists of things to do, to buy etc but just not consistently.  When I do make a list it helps me immensely.   I find myself a lot of times getting bogged down with trying to remember when to do something or trying to find that one piece of the time we finish school, I am ready to tackle a task and not get stuck on a wild goose chase!  I heard from a few people about what they do for a household notebook, chores, and managing their household.  Once I heard a few of the suggestions I was a little more motivated!  So I got started. It took me a while to get a feel for what I needed our notebook to be like and consist of, but I think I at least have a good start.

Jennifer Tankersly aka List Mama at List PlanIt had a good suggestion on household notebooks.  She uses more than one, she has one for finances, one for her kitchen and then a third one for household stuff.  If you visit her site you will see she has lots of great ideas for organizing, lists and making life easier.  For a $20 annual fee you can print the forms she has on her site, she has other options available with an annual fee.

There are some other sites out there that make forms available to you.  Molly's Econobusters Money Saving Digest which you can purchase and download from The Old Schoolhouse store.  They have a couple of different E-books that you can download and get the forms to print.  They range in price from $4.95 to $20.00, depending on which one you pick.  I also found this site that has forms as well.   The Organized Home site has download and print forms for free.  The nice thing is that there are so many options out there you might be able to find the forms that fit your needs perfectly!

For our household notebook, I have started out with one notebook containing monthly calendars, daily to do lists, weekly planner, weekly chore list, spring cleaning room by room (I hope I actually get to this part...).  I bought dividers with folders that I can put coupons, menus from restaurants, and our flex spending info in (with a few extras).  I also included a big pocket for our box top collection for school.  I can see how I might need to expand to another notebook but right now I will start with one and go from there.

My prayer as I start this is that I will keep it up.  I see how it can help me keep track of things, not forget to do certain things, and have a lot of stuff at my fingertips.  My problem is getting something started and making it a habit.  I am motivated and ready for a change, to get some things under control, so lets go!

So if you have a household notebook or another method of keeping things under control, I'd love to hear about it.  Now I am off to get our day going.  I am doing the Simplifying for Sanity with Lynnette over at Dancing Barefoot this week, I've got a lot to do today so I better get going.
Y'all have a blessed day!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Join the Blog Parade!

Abigail over at Rear Window is having a Blog Parade!  Come join the fun! 
It's a great way to meet fellow bloggers and make new friends.  Here goes:

1. What's your favorite time of the day, and why?
I actually have two favorites.  First thing in the morning.  Yes for those of you who know me I do have a hard time getting going but that is when I can have my quiet time with my Lord.  So that is one of my favorites.  The other is when Chris comes home and we have dinner together as a family.  Good stuff!

2. If health wasn't an issue, what food could you live off of?
Pasta of course!  Pasta and cheese!!!

3. If you could have one wish granted (besides wishing for more wishes), what would it be?
Another child in the house, which of course would mean a sibling for Riley. 

4. What's one thing that you get teased about a lot?
My laugh.  Sometimes nothing comes out, I just hang my head and laugh which means I shake when I do.

5. If you could choose one movie, book, or TV show to spend your life in, which would you pick? What type of character would you be?
I would choose The Red River of the North Series by Lauraine Snelling.  The characters of the book came to America from Norway to make their home in Blessing, North Dakota.  They worked hard, loved the Lord, and were strong people.  The women in these books were a good example for me.  They faced their hardships with God right by their side and they stood strong in Him.  They were strong courageous women.

6. If you could have one talent that you don't already have, what would it be?
It would be either Photography or painting/drawing.  I love taking pictures but don't really know how.  I would love to learn how to draw or paint.  My mother and all of my sisters can draw and/or paint and are very talented!  I didn't have the patience when I was younger to learn. 

7.If money were no object, where would you go on vacation?
Europe, Hawaii and Jerusalem

8. If you were an awesome singer, which genre would you sing?
The Big Band or swing era.  That had to be fun times!

9. If you could have a $10,000 shopping spree to one store, what would it be?
Lowes!  I could redo our kitchen.

10. If you could live in any point in time, when would it be?
The 1800's.  Yes, wearing all those skirts would be a big hassle but I still would like to experience living during that time.  I would love to learn to live off the land and use what we had and appreciate it!  To work for what we have and feel a sense of achievement.

11. If every outfit in your wardrobe had to be one color, what would it be?
Royal blue or dark blue.  It is so calming.

12. If you were one of the seven dwarves, which one would you be?
(Doc, Grumpy, Sneezy, Sleepy, Bashful, Happy, or Dopey)
I would like to be Happy because he is so happy all the time!

13. What's the last album you listened to?
The Best of Andrea Bocelli Vivere
Great Album!  He has a wonderful voice!

14. What's something we'd be surprised to know about you?
My husband Chris and I lived around the corner from each other when he was 3 and I was 2. 
We did not know this till we met in 1992 but isn't this a small world?!

There!  Now it's your turn!  Head on over to Abigail's blog and she'll get you going to join the Blog Parade. 
Thanks for stopping by and have a great week!