Monday, November 30, 2009

Whats the plan?

I have always had a love/hate relationship with Flylady. I am the ultimate perfectionist to the point of inability to function. Regardless of what she said I always thought I had to follow every list, assignment, suggestion she sent out just perfectly. Then I would think this is so pointless and unsubscribe.
Well I'm back. But this time I'm dragging my kids with me. My two oldest girls do the dishes so I will show them how to shine the sink. We are blessing our home today and I assigned each kid and myself one chore from the list.
For the zone cleaning today which was hotspot cleaning in the living room I assigned hotspots from top to bottom til I ran out. Starting with myself.
We will also spend 15m in a room a piece today to declutter.
If I divy up the work then I don't think it all has to be done and in a certain way.
Weird? I know. That's how I hop.
My 15 minutes will be working towards finishing up decorations. I planned two of those and two other 15 minutes for our bedroom.
We'll see how it goes.

Floors are being finished up here this week and we have a party on Saturday that Dhs family is all coming over for. They have not really seen our home in awhile and I am really working hard to make sure that it's nice and clean and inviting. My sister in law is crockpotting a roast for Saturday and I think I will do the same. Just to make sure we have enough. I need to make sure we have enough seats and pretty up the dining room and kitchen. It's in honor of my Mother in laws birthday and I want it to be nice.
On top of all that I really need to bust some homeschooling out this week. We ended up taking off last week except for one day and I have to bust a move to make sure we make our January goal.

I have been reading PennyAnnPoundwise these past few days and I am so inspired. Usually when I plan a menu I go way over budget, but looking over her menus I realize that is not really necessary.
Here is our menu for this week.
Breakfast- leftover oatmeal and apple cake
Lunch- Toasted PB and J and fruit salad
Dinner- Cincinnati chili, green beans, and pecan pie
Breakfast- oatmeal and PB toast
Lunch- Leftovers or hamburger soup
Dinner- Shepherd's pie with sweet potato topping, pineapple and raisin salad
Breakfast - pancakes and eggs
Lunch- leftovers or hamburger soup
Dinner- chicken fried rice w/brco and cauli, strawberry cake
Breakfast- Cinnamon French toast, turkey bacon
Lunch- Leftovers or hamburger soup
Dinner- meatloaf, corn, mashed potato, pumpkin pudding
Breakfast- Hashbrown casserole (I am getting desperate here!) LOL
Lunch- Leftovers or hamburger soup
Dinner- Chicken pot pie, Fruit (must get to store soon! Hopefully today)
Breakfast- oatmeal, PB toast
Lunch- leftovers
Dinner- Birthday party
Breakfast- muffins, smoothie
Lunch- Sandwiches, chips, fruit
Dinner- spaghetti, garlic bread, salad, cookies
Most of the stuff I am using I have on hand. Towards Friday I was getting a little desperate but I pushed through. I am trying to get my shopping day to Friday morning. Early. We'll see how that goes.
Well I need to run and work on my 15m hotspot.

Be Blessed!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Real Expectations

Tonight we actually got the Christmas tree up and decorated. Yipee! The kids are slowly heading to bed for the evening. After much excitement it will take awhile to calm down. :)
Right now we are listening to Christmas music sung by Harry Connick Jr. I like the way he sounds kind of old school.
It's funny as I reminisce about Christmas' past. I remember the first couple of years how fancy our Christmas tree and decorations were. I had a whole red and gold theme going on and blue and silver. Now as I look at my Christmas tree filled top to bottom with snowmen, teddy bears, trains, and all other sorts of plastic doo dads I have to smile. How I used to long for children to celebrate the holiday with. I love the cluster of ornaments at the bottom from Jonathan.
I love the poinsettia arrangements stuck in the gaps by the girls who declared it just lovely.
Tacky has not entered into any of their vocabularies yet. :)

My girls all talked tonight about their future homes and families. What they would do to celebrate the season. I heard a lot of fairy tale dreams. Husbands who enjoyed Christmas as much as they do. Perfect children who knew how to decorate a tree. Quiet times spent admiring the tree and the true meaning of Christmas. As my oldest daughter and I chatted about Christmas and her ideals I told her to hold loosely to her dreams.
When we first married I had many ideas of what Christmas with my husband would look like. Imagine my disappointment when I spent those first few married years shopping alone, decorating alone, and pretty much all the romantic Christmas notions I had were shot to pieces.
My husband just does not enjoy Christmas. Decorations aren't important to him. He could care less about picking out gifts. Usually I am sent off to buy my own presents.
I'm not complaining. Oh I did the first year. I even let his attitude towards Christmas affect mine. I got to where I did not like Christmas anymore. As a matter of fact I am just slipping out of that funk this year. We have reached some compromise. He does shop with me now. We make it a date. He helped decorate the tree this year because I was sick today.

I shared with my young daughter tonight that if her husband does not share her enthusiasm for Christmas that it's ok. She can still enjoy the holiday. Make it something special for him.
I love hearing my girls talk about their future homes and families. I don't squash their hopes and dreams, but sometimes we do have talks about real expectations. Who knows if they are even listening. I know what the stars in our eyes can do to our perceptions. LOL But I figure as their mom it does fall to me to disciple them in this area.
I was so selfish as a new wife. I was used to stomping my foot and getting my way. Ohh the fights we had those first few years of marriage. All because of my unreasonable expectations. Fortunately I married a strong man who knew not to give in to me. That has been a huge source of maturity for me. Having someone finally tell me,"No." I hope the same for my girls. A man who loves them enough to stand firm when he needs to. I also hope they are a bit more mature heading into marriage than I was. :)

Well I need to get busy getting school ready for tomorrow.

Be Blessed!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Christmas Traditions

Well I wanted to start decorating yesterday but I realized that where my tree is supposed to go is already occupied. By the girls room. Roy is finishing up their floors today and we still have all of their stuff in the living room. Right now it's a big girly Christmas explosion in my living room. I have my Christmas stuff sorted around the room and the girls stuff is pushed up against every wall. It's a little bit disarming right now. But dear husband will finish the floors today and we can regain some normalcy. Whatever that is!

I did make it to Target yesterday. The five dollar pajamas were gone, but I got some flannel PJs for each kid for $10 each. Sounds like a lot, but they have not had new PJs all year. They will open those on Christmas Eve for cute Christmas morning pictures. I also found some nice lightweight jackets on sale. Here in FL those are essential. Sometimes it's just not cold enough for heavy jackets but too cold for just long sleeves. Of course it's going to be 39 degrees tonight at the boat parade so they will not get to wear their cute light weight jackets.

I also picked up two presents for hubby. I won't say what here because sometimes he peeks. :)

I wandered over to look at Thermos but was appalled at the price. $25-$35. I am going to Walmart today to check out their prices. I really want to take hot chocolate tonight. I am also going to bake pumpkin cookies and chocolate chip cookies for tonight.
Fun times.

Starting Tuesday we will be playing our twelve days of Christmas game. I will write out twelve Christmassy activities on twelve pieces of paper. At least twice a week we will pull out an activity to do as a family.

Here are some of the activities we have done in the past.

Walk around the neighborhood to check out the Christmas lights.

Read the Christmas story by tree light.

Watch a Christmas movie while sipping hot chocolate and eating popcorn.

Christmas craft.

Turn on the AC and build a fire, listen to a audion version of A Christmas Carol.

Bake and decorate Christmas cookies.

Have a birthday party for Jesus where we each give him one gift for the new year. Like a promise to be more kind to others. A promise to spend more time in prayer. Ect...

Have a family sing along of Christmas songs.

That's just a partial list of all the fun memories we make at Christmas. It helps us to slow down
and really connect as a family. As the kids get older this gets to be more and more important. It's so easy to loose track of family during this busy season.

I hope you all have a blessed Christmas season!

Be Blessed!

Spell check is not working so excuse any spelling errors. I spell as bad as any homeschooler I have ever met. :)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Twas the day after Thanksgiving

All my Christmas stuff is down from the attic. Now I have to sort through it and come up with new creative ways to decorate. I'm hoping to have it all done by the end of the weekend. Last year we were in Atlanta for a week before Christmas and then at DH's parents house for Christmas so we did not put up any Christmas decorations. The kids have asked many times if we are going to have a tree this year. LOL

I am headed out to Target in just a little bit for a few things for Roy and I want to cash in on one of the deals today if they still have any. Five dollar pajama sets. Yes! My kids all need new pajamas and robes. My friend said they still have some at the Target in the next town which is the one I will go to. It's usually not crowded during the holiday season. The rest of the Christmas shopping will be done next week with Roy. I am pretty excited about it. I can't think of a better way to spend the day than alone with my honey.
We had a great Thanksgiving. Time with family, good food, and sale ads everywhere. :)
I tried my hand at some new recipes. Some worked, some were ok, but everyone said the food was good.
Here is a recipe for Turtle Pumpkin Pie. Everyone claimed it turned out great.
Well I better get busy on sorting through this Christmas stuff.
Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Be Blessed!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

We are busy beavers around the homestead today. Cleaning and baking. My mom is preparing the turkey and dressing and I told her I would take care of the rest.
So today I am making fruit salad, oatmeal cookies and a turtle pumpkin pie. It's a new recipe I am trying. I might pick up a pumpkin pie just to be on the safe side. :)
Tomorrow I will get up early and crockpot green beans and corn, roast carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower, and bake a sweet potato casserole.
I love to cook for the holidays.
Saturday evening we will be going to the Light Parade on the River here in our town. People decorate their boats and then float up and down the river. It's a lot of fun. Especially when the weather cooperates and it's nice and chilly. :)
One day next week Dh and I will drop the kids off at my mom's early and then we will get most of our Christmas shopping done. I was going to go online and do it all, but the prospect of a day out with my honey was more than I could fathom. So our excuse is Christmas shopping. I can't wait. Hopefully since we are going early in the month on a weekday it won't be to bad.

In just a few days we will be celebrating my mother in laws birthday here at my house. Roy's sisters are coming so it will be a fun time. I'm not sure of the menu as his sisters want to plan all that. My plan is to put up our fall decorations tomorrow evening and pull out our Christmas decorations. I will decorate through the weekend and be ready for the party next Saturday.
I think I might plan a birthday party for myself this year as well. I have been wanting to have a night of desserts and games for all of our friends. I might just do that on my birthday which falls two days after Christmas.
Our anniversary falls on December 15 and Roy and I are looking into affordable options for a fun time. I am continually amazed at how our budget is met every month and even stretched to allow some fun things. God is awesome!
Lots of fun and exciting things going on in these next two months. I love the hustle and bustle of the holidays. But I also enjoy the coziness and togetherness that this holiday season invites.
One night we will turn on the AC and have a fire in our Florida fireplace. It's tradition. LOL

Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Be Blessed!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

How our family works

For some reason I have spent much of this weekend reading anti patriarchy blogs. Yeah. I don't know why. We do believe in biblical patriarchy. Maybe not to the extent that some do, but it's part of our family vision. We believe that God orders the home. That he brings a man and a woman together to form a family. The man is the leader, protector, and provider of that home. He gives leadership (not dictatorship) through the word of God. We believe that the wife is the helpmeet to the husband, the companion, the nurturer, the keeper of the home. We believe that children are a gift from God. Blessings to be welcomed. We decided a few years ago to let God plan our family. So far He has blessed us with five children through adoption. Though we both agree that we feel that at least one more child is in our future we also understand that God is the ultimate decider. We believe that our children are given to us to raise, nurture, disciple, and shelter. Children are to be submissive to their parents, honoring and obeying them. Our family has been led to homeschool our children and to worship together as a family. We believe it's part of our mandate to shelter and disciple our children.

I k now that those against the Partiarchy movement will in no way believe what I am about to say. From everything I have read from them, because their lives were so awful, they will think I am brainwashed. It's ok. But here's the truth. I am not abused or oppressed. My kids are happy, healthy, and showing great love for Jesus.
I don't claim to always be submissive, to always rejoice in the work God has given me for this season, or to have perfectly behaved kids. I can't. I'm imperfect. My husband is imperfect. My kids are most assuredly imperfect. But I can't argue with the Bible. It says I'm to submit so I do so as best I can. When I fail I pick up and start over. It says to keep my home so I do. I really fail here. LOL But if we don't fail sometimes how can we ever experience God's grace? The Bible says I am to train up my children. I try. I fail. God grants mercy.
I know I am blessed with a husband who lives with my failures. Who loves and encourages me anyway. If any word these women have written about their husbands is true then I can see the aversion to submission. The fact more than a few of these poor women has left the faith answers a few questions for me. Works salvation really can't work. When we get to a point where our works don't measure up or fail our salvation falls apart. Bitterness and discouragement will always seep in. They were never good enough. Not for themselves, not for their husbands, not for their kids. My heart breaks for them. I am so happy that I don't have to be good enough. Not for myself, not for my husband, not for my kids.
We are a family with a multigenerational vision. We have not whittled it down to specifics, but our vision is that ...."the number of descendants we have in heaven will equal the number we have on earth." We have a vision of every one of our children, grandchildren, greatgrandchildren, and however many more will join us in heaven one day. DH heard a pastor say once that you should judge your parenting based on your grandchildren. We often talk to our children about their future spouses and children. We pray for their husbands and wives. For their future families. We aren't always as consistent with this as we should be. We aren't always as consistent with our family devotions as we should be. We realize the importance of all of this. We are becoming more disciplined in this area.
I say all that to say this; we are raising our family the way we believe the Bible tells us we should. We are "weird" and I'm ok with that. My husband leads our home and God is always the center. We are building our family on purpose. I will never be convinced that it is wrong.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Fall Tour

Well, in the spirit of the season I have some fall decorations to share. I put all of this together Friday for our Ladies Night Out Thanksgiving Potluck that evening. It was worth every second. The ladies enjoyed themselves and we had some wonderful food!
So enjoy the colors of fall!

A cute story about that tablecloth. I have been wanting it ever since I first laid eyes on it. Imagine an orange plaid tablecloth! All of my favorite things. Well, I could never find one to fit my table. I have two folding tables put together making one LARGE table. I found this in the clearance isle on Friday and called DH to make sure it would fit. He advised me to get two but I could only find the one. So I resigned myself to picking up the two orange solid color table cloths. As I trekked back through the store my eye fell on a second orange plaid tablecloth. Could it be the right size?? I rushed over to check and IT WAS! I was so happy. I ran to the check out with my purchases forgetting to remove the solid colored tablecloths. Thankfully they were on sale as well.
I love fall!
Be Blessed!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bitter or Better?

As I have pondered over this last year I have had some thoughts about the trials and tribulations I have seen. As I told you before, there have been a few times I have just closed my Bible and walked away. But coming back has always been so refreshing. Repenting and basking in the mercy and grace of Jesus has been amazing. I realize that I am so much closer to God right now than I have ever been. I am trusting in Him so much more!
These trials and tribulations might have been for that very reason. They were probably put there to grow my faith. To make me a better Christian. I asked Jesus to help me understand grace more, and now I do.
The thing is though, I know a lot of people who have gone through a difficult year this year. Some worse than I have. I have seen people grow and I have seen them just give up.
The trials and tribulations we face in life bring us to a crossroads. We can choose to be better or bitter. Will we continue to follow Christ even though each step seems mired in mud and we can't see where we are going anymore? Or will we give up and decide that God does not care about us, if he even exists?

I watched last Sunday as a woman stood before our church repentant and broken. It was a true miracle. She was one of my hardships this year. Her marriage falling apart broke my heart. Her walking away and acting like she'd done nothing wrong made me insane. But God is faithful. He heard our cries for her and she stood up Sunday morning and asked for our forgiveness. She wept before us and warned us about the dangers or sin.
She was on the bitter path but then she detoured for the better path and I am so delighted.
I am on the better path. I admit to a time or two putting a foot onto the bitter path, but there was no joy there. It felt good for a season, but that's all sin will feel good for. A season. Then the consequences begin to pour in on top of you. God begins to pull you back towards him and it's a hard and desperate road.
Choose to be better through your trials and tribulations. Choose to trust in God and allow Him to grow you. In the end it will all be worth it!
Be Blessed!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Announcing a New Blog

My wonderful, smart husband has started his very own blog. You have to check it out. He is very grounded in his beliefs and I have been trying to get him to share some of his insights.
Here is it boys and girls.

Living In the End Times.