Sunday, July 8, 2012

Date Night and the Return of my Creativity

My husband and I got a much anticipated night with no child tonight. She went to stay with her aunt, which she has been begging to do for a while and if it wasn't done this weekend I wasn't sure when it would be because of our crazy life. And so, after church this morning, we loaded her into my sister's van, kissed her, hugged her and sent her off for a fun day with her cousins.

What did Jaime and I do with this new found freedom? Sadly nothing too terribly exciting, but we had a good time. We stopped at a friends house to pick up some books for Jaime's hobby, we went out to dinner at a little mexican fast food place that we both love (but they have nothing Alexis will eat). When we came back home we went for a walk around town, looking at houses that were for sale and daydreamed about getting to buy our first place. We talked, we laughed and we had a lot of fun.

However even the best nights must end, and Jaime has to get up and go to work in the morning. He went off to bed and I pulled out a box of fabric remnants from a home store (you know the remnants that are all glued together to show people what options they have, love those for sewing little crafty ideas together). And then my creativity sparked.

I have a few projects I need to work on immediately. I'm sure soon I'll have pictures to post of what I did, and I'll share the tutorial that I used so you can make them too. I made myself a cell phone case with a handy little strap to carry it, hold it, or hook it on something. I made a pencil pouch that I personally love.

I'm going to make my little sister (who is going to turn 19 in a week and loves music) a CD case for in her car. She has always been into animal prints and, how about that, I have a whole booklet of animal prints.

My older sister has a birthday coming up in September (a little more time but still needs thought of) and she can't drive day or night without sun glasses because even the light from headlights hurts her eyes. And so she always has her sunglasses in her car. The problem of course is that she just sets them on the dash and then they are dirty and doing her as much harm as good. So I want to make her a sunglasses case that she can stick on her dash and keep them clean. I even have awesome microfiber material that I'm going to line the case with to keep the sunglasses from getting scratched.

I also have 5 nieces and nephews who have birthdays between August 29th and October 5th. They range in age from 4 to 14. They are by far the hardest to come up with ideas for. Well the boys are. Any ideas anyone has are welcome!

I'm glad my crafty side came back, I have been out of the loop for far too long. I have missed this side of me. But now I think I'm going to crawl into bed as well, I want to get up early and get some stuff done before heading to my sister's house to pick up my pumpkin.

God bless,


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Reasonable Expectations

My daughter is 6 years old. There are times when she seems more like a teenager, blaring her music so her dad and I have to go tell her to turn it down. There are times when she seems much younger, looking at me with big eyes and asking for cuddle time. We have decided that even though she isn't a teenager by any stretch, she isn't a baby anymore either and so we need to come up with some reasonable expectations for her.

The problem comes in when we can't agree on what reasonable expectations are. My dh wants to expect her to keep her room clean with no help and no reminders, pick her dishes up, not leave food or cups out, and play quietly when he wants some quiet time.

I want to expect her to clean her room when she's told (which I think should be every night before bed), pick up her dishes, and wipe down the table after supper.

My biggest disagreements are 1) She needs gentle reminders "Alexis it's almost bedtime, pick up your room", "Did you put your dishes in the sink" while she is getting into the habit, plus she can't tell time well yet so she needs reminders of when it's getting close to bedtime. 2) We can't expect her to do things consistently if we aren't doing them consistently (putting OUR dishes in the sink when we're done eating, picking up our dirty clothes, etc)

He believes in the Do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do philosophy where I lean more towards Monkey-see-monkey-do.

So how can we find a healthy compromise. Here is what I am going to propose tomorrow, before our date night, when Alexis is at her aunt's house:

1. Get an alarm clock for in her room that has a digital display. Then write down times and things we expect to be done. Ex. 8:00 Pick up toys (with pictures to help her read)

2. Remind her at least 15 minutes before bedtime (which for the rest of this month will be 8:30 and then in August will go back to 8 which is when her bedtime is for school)

3. Daily chores: -Pick up bedroom -Wipe off table after meals -Wipe out bathtub (not clean it just run the wash cloth over it)

4. If daily chores are completed every day of the week, gets $.75

The biggest thing here is when I'm working at night he will have to remember to have her clean her room. I'm helping by giving her a way to know it's time to clean but he will still have to make sure that she does it and remind her if needed.

This is a great practice for him too. This year she will start having homework. If I am at home I will make her do it as soon as she gets home, when it is still fresh in her mind. But if I am at work then he has to remember to have her do it.

What do you think reasonable expectations are for a 6 year old, or what did you do when your child was this age? Are you a monkey see money do believer or a do as I say not as I do believer?

God bless


Friday, July 6, 2012

5 Minutes for Mom

"Mom can you help me?"
"Honey I have no socks"
"What's for dinner?"
"Mom I can't find my swim suit"
"The cat pooped on the floor"
"Can we go to the library"
"Would you pick me up today"
"What am I taking for lunch tomorrow"

There are so many things that we as moms have to get done in any given day. My list above doesn't even begin to touch what we are expected to do in any given day. I didn't talk about the disciplining of our children, the mild meltdowns when things don't go right, the sheparding of our children that we are tasked with, the run to the grocery store. It is just the standard, every day minor occurances.

If you are anything like me there are times you feel like you are meeting yourself coming and going. You feel like you need to have a couple more hands, a few more heads to answer questions, an extra brain per person in the family, and if you could have just a few more hours in the day maybe you could get not only caught up but maybe even a little bit ahead.

But there are no extras. We are just expected to be supermom. Our husbands try to help out if we're lucky but I know my husband, by about 8pm, is done. Anything after 8pm is going to be left undone. He makes up for it at other times but I am still left picking up dirty dishes, socks, and wiping up spills after he has gone to bed.

My day starts by 8 am (and that's if I had to close at work the night before), if I didn't work I'm usually up at 6. My day ends at midnight at the earliest, and that's if I didn't have to close at work that night. In between I am making meals, making snacks, watering the garden, weeding the garden, picking up after whoever is leaving a mess, laundry, helping my daughter learn and grow, and just trying to make sense of our lives. I am reading my Bible, I am checking job search boards, I am trying to come up with something of substance to blog about. I'm trying to find time to work out.

And yet when I was challenged to find 5 minutes for mom, I felt overwhelmed immediately. 5 minutes? Like in a row? Without being disturbed? And just to be quiet. To meditate on the Bible verse of the day. Are you serious?

I don't want to get up earlier. In my opinion 6 hours of sleep is adequate but I can't take any less. I don't want to stay up any later for the same reason. I don't want to take time away from my husband or my daughter. I don't want to let my housework suffer. I can imagine you are saying, it's only 5 minutes. But what I have learned is that when I take that time to meditate on a verse, 5 minutes is rarely enough. And so those 5 minutes turn into 15 to 30. Now maybe you see my issue.

I have found the perfect time. I found the time when my daughter plays the best, the house is usually at a place I can walk away without leaving things undone, I don't lose time with my husband. It's a win-win-win-win. Right after lunch, when my husband is at work, the dishes are done and usually my kitchen is clean (because this super mom cleans the kitchen as I cook) and I have already made beds and picked up around the house, I have a few minutes that are quiet.

This has become my meditation time. To think about the words that God has given me this day.

No matter how much we have on our plates, no matter how many directions we are pulled, each of us can find those few minutes of quiet time. Some it may be after the house has gone to bed. If you are an early bird, maybe first thing in the morning, with your cup of coffee, is the best time. Maybe it's while your little ones are napping. No time is wrong, it's just what's right for you. I challenge you to find a daily devotional and find 5 minutes or more that you can spend reflecting on that day's verse. If I can do it, anyone can do it. It just may take more creativity.

God bless


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Pray for Rain

Today I have to reclaim my house that was overrun a little bit yesterday. As I walk from room to room I start to feel a little overwhelmed but I know that it's not more than I can handle with a good attitude.

Here in Iowa we are asking for rain, praying for rain, begging for rain. Not only as a relief from our upper 90's temps with heat indexes from 105-110, but to save the crops in our fields. A news article the other day said if we didn't get some significant rain in the next 2 weeks all of our fields would have to be turned into the insurance company because they wouldn't produce.

I know my gardens are desperate for rain. I have been watering them but there is something about a good rain that makes those plants grow so much better.

The temperatures are nearing our records, which were set back in the mid to late 1930's during the Dust Bowl. Living in town I know I don't see nearly the effect this is having as those in the country but I know we are desperate for rain.

As I was thinking of this today, Nichole Nordeman's song Gratitude starting running through my head. Talking about giving gratitude even during the bad times because even when God doesn't give us what we want and think we need, he will provide for us in some way. I love this song. If you have a few minutes you should go listen to it.

As I pray for rain, I also am praying that the rain comes from Colorado. They could use the rain just as badly, it would help with the fires that are ravaging that state. And so I pray that we all get the rain that we need.

What are you praying for today?

God bless


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th from Smalltown, USA

It has been a crazy busy day in my household.

We got up this morning and had breakfast and then walked up to the parade. After the parade we came home and it wasn't long before my sister and her 3 kids (ages 3, 5, and 7) showed up. The kids all played in the pool and inside, more inside than out due to the temperature topping out at 97 with a heat index of 105. My brother in law came over right after work and then we made pasta salad, macaroni and cheese, and baked beans to go with the hamburgers, hot dogs, and brats my husband cooked up. I had made cake balls yesterday (sadly at this point I had to really question if it was only yesterday because between working from 2-11 last night and all that went on up until this point yesterday morning seems a very long time ago to only have been yesterday morning) which were a hit with the kids (and my BIL) Then we walked up to the park to watch the fireworks which were fabulous.

I love living in my town. It has the charm (and annoyance) of a small town. When we walked to the parade we saw Jaime's brother, old teachers from when we went to schools, friends, people we have worked with. During the parade Alexis saw a few friends, I saw a few friends from church, and Jaime saw several people he knew. The busy road in town was busy most of the day, but compared to towns with interstates running through them and roads with speed limits of 45 mph and up, it is still quiet.

I love the family owned businesses in our town. We have a Ben Franklin that we have known the owners of all of my life. Their children know take most of the shifts. We have a few hair salons that are all locally owned. We have a new market open that is all fresh produce, dairy, meat, honey, wine, etc from our state, owned by a family here in town. Even across the street is a small mini mart that sells firewood, worms, drinks, candy and some of the basics that don't go bad too fast.

I love the camaraderie and help. This morning a guy stopped at the gas station as I picked up a drink and he said that after the parade was over he would come sweep the parking lot out so the gals working wouldn't have to. He doesn't work there, isn't married to someone who works there, he was just being a nice guy. Our neighbor went out of town this weekend and his dog sitter yelled over the hedges "Hey good lookin' whatcha got cookin" when my husband and I were outside and grilling.

This is Smalltown, USA. Everything I described could probably be found in any state. And this is my home. I feel so blessed that God led me here, to this town and to this house. Living in the country all my life I missed out of learning the joys of being able to walk to the library, being able to walk to a parade and fireworks, of having neighbors who know you, your family, your parents, where you work, and when you should and shouldn't be home, of having extra hands to help out when a project is too big. I'm learning to love living in town, where I thought I could never.

I hope your Independence day was blessed and you took a few minutes to relish the freedoms that we have thanks to the men and women who have protected them for us and thank God for all that He has given to us.

God bless,


Monday, July 2, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

Menu Plan Monday!!

This week I work evenings Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. So with my menu planning you'll notice my big meals I'm making at lunch, which my husband will eat for supper, and my supper plan is something quick and easy to take to work with me. Wednesday I'm also having company over so we are planning something easy to make for lots of people and pleasers for all the kids (at least 4).

Breakfast -- Eggs
Lunch -- Shepard's Pie
Dinner -- Cold meat sandwich

Breakfast -- Cereal
Lunch -- Mini Meatloaf
Dinner -- Salad with croutons (I'm going to try to make these homemade after using my bread machine to make a loaf of bread)

Breakfast -- Fireman's breakfast
Lunch -- Waffles (I have shared the recipe for our favorite waffles below)
Dinner -- Hamburgers and hot dogs

Breakfast -- Toast
Lunch -- Spaghetti
Dinner -- left overs

Breakfast -- Quiche (we'll see how this goes over)
Lunch -- Leftovers
Dinner -- Salad

Breakfast -- Cereal
Lunch -- French Toast
Dinner -- Egg Salad sandwiches\Cold meat sandwiches

Breakfast -- Donuts\muffins
Lunch -- Eating out with MIL
Dinner -- Fried chicken

I plan my leftovers into my meal plan because it is the only way that things get ate. Otherwise they get forgotten about and then we have to throw food away and this drives me crazy (but I won't get on my soap box right now).

Buttermilk Waffles

3 C. flour
1 T baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 T sugar
1\2 t salt
2 eggs beaten
3 C buttermilk
2\3 C shortening

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt in large bowl.

Mix eggs and buttermilk in small bowl and add to dry ingredients.

Add shortening by chipping in small dots at a time. Shortening will make it lumpy.

That is the whole recipe. It makes about 4 batches of 4 waffles each. They are so delicious you might want to make a double batch!!

Happy eating!

God bless,


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Perfect Trust

As I sit here I am watching my kittens. They are running around and playing. No worries, no cares. They trust that I will feed them, I will water them, I will clean their litter box. They know they are safe because they trust us. They trust us blindly, because not everyone takes care of animals as well as others, but blindly they still trust.

This is how I wish to trust God. Unfailing, complete trust. Trust that He will provide for our family. Trust that He will keep us safe from evil. Trust that His way is the best for our family. Trust that He knows best.

How often do we question Him? Do we say "But if I tithe how will I have money to feed my family?" Or "If I give my time who will make sure everything is done in my house?" Or "If I say I am unavailable to work to attend church, how will I make enough to get by?" I know I do this. And I think to myself that is wrong, and that I need to trust God.

How about when we as wives say "How can I respect my husband when he is so blatantly disrespecting me?" As mothers say "How can I follow through with loving discipline and not feel disrespected when they are disrespecting what I have told them, even if it's only because it is what He has told me?"

We question God every day. We question where we will get the money for the bills, how we will cope with stress, what we're going to do with children, why we should have to obey when this person or that person isn't. We disobey by not believing.

If only it was as easy as it is for my kittens. If only we didn't have built into us the worries, fears and nagging doubts. If only we could block out all naysayers who say that we are wrong, that God is wrong.

But it could be easier. I know how it could be easier for myself anyway.

Shut off the TV. Don't watch the shows that make us envy those who have more than us. Don't watch the shows that don't praise the Lord. Don't listen to the music that tempts us to sin. And if I am going to listen to music, listen to music that praises Him. If I'm going to watch TV, watch shows that teach us what God wants us to learn. I have begun to rewatch old episodes of 7th Heaven. It was a great show with great values and great lessons (good grief, I used great a lot in that sentence). We don't have reruns in my area but I found a YouTube channel that has full episodes.

Pick up the Bible. What better way to grow in our faith, to trust in the Lord, to have faith in His power than to read His word.

Pick up other Christian literature. I listed my favorite books in a previous post. Check it out.

Spend time in prayer. I find myself praying while I drive, while I cook, while I clean. I pray when I go to bed. I don't pray as often as I should. I don't pray as often as I would like. But I find that when life gets crazy, even if all I can put into words is "God please help me," it brings me peace and serenity. By handing it over to God, I can let go of the stress, the frustration, the worry.

When my dd disobeys, tell her why it is disappointing and saddening to God. Not why it disappoints me, not why it upsets me, but why it upsets God. This is taking out the personal side of it, it takes me out of the equation. All I am is a steward, delivering the words of God, the message of God, as it is in the Bible.

When I wonder where the money for groceries will come from, or the money for the water bill, or the rent, I give it to God. This is not a fail safe. It may give me peace for a moment, but the worry and the stress always comes back. But if I give it God, and ask for a solution, and pray that He would lead me in the right direction, and then listen to that little niggling feeling that we all get in our heart, then I know He is leading me where I need to go.

When things don't go my way, I try to look at what I can learn from it. Going to work for a minimum wage job at a gas station when I have a college degree. I could get mad, I could rage against the universe for letting this befall me. Or I could look for a lesson, or a way it can help me grow. I've found a few. 1) I am learning humility. I am not someone special because I have a degree, and I have to learn to pay my dues, even if it's not how I thought I would be doing it. 2) I asked God to help me find new friends in town, people I could help or people who could help me. Friends with children and who were part of a couple to get my husband out of the house. He has given me one from work, and one because I have more time to look to Him. 3) I am learning how much I really had when I worked my other job. I just spent it all here and there until it was gone.

He works in mysterious ways. It is not our place to question. And the more I remind myself of this, the better off I really am. The trick is learning blind trust like the kittens, and not to doubt which is human.

Thank You Jesus for coming and dying on the cross so that my sin, the sin of doubt and fear, among so many others, could be forgiven.

God bless everyone,


Deuteronomy 6:18

Today in my 2nd grade Sunday School class (where I volunteer every other weekend) we started a new verse. It is the first part of Deuteronomy 6:18

"Do what is right and good in the Lord's sight, so it may go well with you"

As I sat talking with these 2nd graders about what this would look and sound like they came up with some interesting answers. Here are some of my favorites:

1. Try to read the Bible every day. (I love how they put the try in there)
2. Pray everyday. At least a little.
3. Obey your parents and help them out, no matter how much you would rather do something fun.
4. Don't let kids be alone at school, play with them.

They have a good idea of what is right and good in the Lord's sight, in my humble opinion. My question is do we do this every day. We as parents. Do we try our hardest to do what is right and good in the Lord's sight.

Do we read the Bible every day? Do we even try? Do we pray every day? Not just at meals or with our children or do we pray and ask God to help us when life gets hard or we get overwhelmed? Do we obey our Father and help him out? Do we follow the Bible in all that we do? Do we donate our time to the orphans and the widows? Do we help the people in our community? Do we make sure that the people in our lives, at work, when we volunteer, at church feel welcome and accepted?

That seems a lot harder than those few ideas the kids put up doesn't it?

But isn't the grace we receive for it worth more than the time we spend doing what God has told us to do? It seems so simple in that verse, but as those small children have pointed out it's so much bigger.

My resolution for this week is to purposefully try to do what is right and good in the Lord's sight. Jesus paid for our sins, for our imperfections that He knew that we had, so that when we make an honest effort to the best of our ability, He rewards us! Isn't the Lord glorious?

God bless,


Saving Money

As money has gotten increasingly tight over the last few months, Alexis has been learning the value of saving money and the importance of not wasting it on candy and donuts (her personal nickle and dimers).

She has decided she wants an American Girl doll. I knew when she said this that Mom and Dad couldn't afford to put that much money into a just because item. Plus I want her to learn the value of money and that it isn't something that is unlimited in supply.

After discussion Jaime and I have decided that for keeping her room clean and wiping out the tub (she's the only one who uses the tub, the shower is in the basement) she will earn $.50 per week. Not much in the grand scheme but it's something. I will also offer her odd jobs around the house (like drying dishes with Mommy after a big meal) for random amounts of money. Thanks to Sarah at SmallWorldI have a better plan. I'll let her tell you about her system for this.

Jaime and I have also been trying to save money. Christmas tends to come up out of nowhere and you never know when you could use a little extra. My favorite way to earn money for Christmas is Swagbucks. You earn points for searching the web, participating in polls and surveys, and having the toolbar. I have redeemed the points for Amazon gift cards but there are Itunes cards, Best buy gift cards and a multitude of other prizes. You should check it out at that link up there and sign up. It's great!

I also have been finding random things around the house that we don't need or want anymore and listing it on Craigslist. It's not much either but as long as I put it away it could add up to some fun money.

What are your favorite ways to save a little bit of money?

God bless,


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thirsty Thursday

This was always our name for Thursday when I worked at the dental clinic. After getting on my soap box Tuesday I decided to do something a little more light hearted and fun today.

Here in good ole Iowa it is a scorcher. Yesterday and today have had highs in the 90's with heat indexes in the 100's and it's just been a good idea to stick close to home and stay cool. I'm going to share some of our favorite hot weather drinks...

1. Iced\Sweet Tea -- Who doesn't love a nice cold glass of tea when the temperature boils over. I make both kinds, sweet and iced, depending on my mood.

2. Cherry Limeades -- This is a personal favorite. My husband and daughter don't seem to share my love for it though. A simple way to enjoy it when you can't down a pitcher on your own is a glass of lemon-lime soda with grenadine (also known as a Shirley Temple). Otherwise here is a link to a recipe from scratch.

3. Sno-cones -- I make my own by throwing ice into my food processor and then adding syrup. Yum!

4. Lemonade -- The classic hot weather drink!

5. Water -- when the temperatures get this dangerously high I push a lot of water on my family if we are going outside. Nothing is better!

What is your favorite hot weather drink?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Volunteering is something that has become very near and dear to my heart. I find it important not only because it helps those who are less fortunate than my family but because it helps make events possible that may not otherwise be possible.

I currently donate clothing to the local clothing bank, donate household items and time to a group that collects items to send to the Appalachian Mountain region in Tennessee, donate time to the local 4H group and donate time to my church's Sunday School program.

However it is hitting our community right now the need for volunteers to make local events happen. Every August we have a town celebration. A normal year includes rides, games, a flea market, local dance groups performing, food vendors, a rodeo, a classic car show, a beer garden, and, of course, a parade. The festivities start Thursday night with a teen dance and end up Sunday afternoon.

This year most of the council has retired from the committee because they are getting older and want to hand it off to the younger generation, my generation. However at this time they only have a handful of people who have volunteered. A handful. And so it is moving from the local county fair grounds to main street and will only be for one day.

My husband heard about this and started complaining. Saying it wouldn't be the same, wouldn't be as good, what were they thinking, why change.

I would like to insert here that my husband, who I love very very much, doesn't volunteer at all. Even when he goes to the 4H meetings with me, he hangs out with other dads and ignores the 4H meeting.

I asked if he was going to volunteer for the committee for next year to help fix it. This is a totally reasonable question since he is so upset about it. He looked at me like I had lost my mind and said no.

Sadly this is a common response from my generation. We feel entitled to having all the things we have always had, never realizing how much work our parents went through to make it possible for us. And when we do realize, so many feel like someone else should take it over, we don't have time, we have too much else going on in our lives.

I looked up the statistics on volunteering. In 2011, 26.8% of Americans volunteered in some way. 29.3% of women volunteered and 22.9% of men. The ages showed that people aged 35-54 were the most likely to volunteer (30%) where people aged 16-24 were the least at 20.8%. Married couples voluteered more than their single counterparts, as did parents compared to people without children. *Information from Bureau of Labor Statistics

If we would all take the time to help our communities at the very least, our world could be so much better. If every one of us took the time to volunteer in some capacity within our community, the load would be less for each of us, maybe even leaving time and resources to help communities around the world.

When I think about volunteering one verse speaks louder to me than any other. I think about Acts 20:35 "In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” This is a greater reason than any other to volunteer our time, gifts, and assets. Because God has told us that we need to.

What verses speak to you about volunteering? What do you do within your community to make it a better place?

God bless


Monday, June 25, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

My menu plan for the week of June 25 (this week is a little off due to some extra things going on)

Menu Plan Monday

Breakfast: Toast
Lunch: Bologna sandwiches, chips
Dinner: Spaghetti casserole

Breakfast: Cereal
Lunch: Chicken pasta
Dinner: Chicken and rice casserole

Breakfast: Eggs
Lunch: Chicken nuggets, applesauce
Dinner: Hot dog roast (at Alexis' youth group)

Breakfast: Pancakes
Lunch: Grilled cheese and tomato soup
Dinner: Tuna Noodle casserole

Breakfast: Cereal
Lunch: corn dogs
Dinner: pizza (we are ordering in)

Breakfast: Toast
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Salad with grilled chicken

Breakfast: Donuts\Muffins
Lunch: Sandwiches
Dinner: Pork chops

A Proverbs 31 Wife

If you search this in Google you get over a million hits. Every time I read this verse I get something a little new from it. but this is my ideal. This is goal that I am striving to reach. I need to have this verse framed and hung in my kitchen, where I spend a good portion of my time.

Proverbs 31:10-31

The first thing that jumps out is that her husband trusts her. This means to me not only always being truthful with my husband when he asks me something, but giving him all the information. Being completely truthful about our finances, being completely truthful about our plans, and being upfront with him about everything.

It also strikes me that she works with willing hands. To me this is saying that regardless of how much I hate to hem pants, clean the litter box or wash blankets, I still do it, without complaining, without putting it off. Not because Jaime wants me to do it, or because it needs done, but because God wants me to do it.

I also see that the earnings should be put back into the family. It says specifically "She evaluates a field and buys it; she plants a vineyard with her earnings" (Proverbs 31:16). So she (or I) takes the money that she has for her earnings, which would be after tithing, and after the bills, and reinvests it in her family. Today this may mean literally buying plants for a garden if you have the space, or it may mean investments, stocks, or even putting it into savings where it can grow. 

She volunteers her time for the needy. This is pretty much the same today as it always has been. I personally live this by volunteering my time to the Appalachian Warehouse, donating our gently used clothes to the Harmony Clothing Closet (a local clothing bank that is free for anyone to pick up from), and taking excess canned goods to the local food pantry. I also volunteer with the local 4H group, but being Alexis takes part in this club, I don't usually count this.

The other big one that jumps out at me is that she is never idle. I have long since quoted that idle hands are the devil's playground but this also shows that it is the making of a good wife. I live this by always having something in my hands. Whether I am crocheting or embroidering, even when I am watching TV with my husband, I keep my hands busy. However I could always do more.

This is not by any means a full personal interpretation of Proverbs 31:10-31. This is just the huge things. I also read Proverbs 31 Wife Handbook.

God Bless


Sunday, June 24, 2012

1 Year

A year ago today, June 25th, I married the man of my dreams, my best friend, and so much more.

It hasn't been an easy year. We had our up and downs, just like any other married couple. But we have pulled through. Our marriage is even better now than a year ago because we have learned more about one  another.

I didn't move in with my husband until a month before the wedding. We didn't learn one another's mannerisms, quirks or daily living before we were married. Looking back, part of me wishes we could have waited until after the wedding. On the other hand trying to move and get married at the same that would have been crazy.

In the last year I've learned that my husband is not fit to be around pre-coffee in the mornings. I've learned that he needs his 8 hours of sleep. I've learned that he doesn't like shows that are faked but he prefers either reality shows like American Pickers or Hell's Kitchen or adult cartoons like American Dad or Family Guy. I've learned that he likes to read. I've learned that, although he is very laid back and generally is open to anything, if he says no he stands firm in that decision. I've learned that his family dynamic is absolutely the opposite from mine. I've learned that he is unaware of his nonverbal cues the majority of the time, and if I call him on them he 1) usually doesn't know what I am talking about and 2) very rarely do they match up to what he says. He also doesn't like when I try to 'read' him, which means he doesn't want me to pay attention to those nonverbal cues.

None of these are bad things (ok my husband pre-coffee is bad but that's not the point). They are just pieces of him that I've had to learn. I find that I love him more all the time.

A perfect example is we have found a balance in the house when it comes to housework and disciplining Alexis. I take care of the majority of the housework. The cleaning, the cooking, the laundry. Jaime does the dishes. However Alexis listens far better to Jaime than she has ever listened to me. And so he tends to take on the authority role in our family. This has required me to adjust some of my attitudes, as I've discussed before. However yesterday, when the house was clean, laundry put away, and I was volunteering, he decided to clean my car for me. Not just getting the random trash out of it, but vacuuming it out and wiping it all down. He did this because he could.

I am learning to see things that he does to SHOW me that he loves me. Yes I like to hear the words, yes I'm a romantic and my idea of showing me is with flowers, candles, dinner, but that isn't how he functions.

He wakes me every morning before he leaves for work with a kiss and I love you. He kisses me good night every night and tells me he loves me. I may say it first, but he always says it back when I do.

He shows that he loves me by cleaning out my car (he knows I would rather clean the house top to bottom than clean my little car.)

He shows that he loves me by going to the store to buy my soda in the morning when I'm not functioning yet.

He shows me that he loves me by letting me sleep when I'm exhausted.

He shows me that he loves me by agreeing to Italian food when he's more of a meat and potatoes kind of guy.

He shows me that he loves me by setting up my sewing area when I mentioned that I wished I had somewhere that was permanent.

He shows me that he loves me by coming to Christmas Eve service because I find it very important that we are together that day. (And has been going with me every Sunday ever since)

He shows me that he loves me by bringing me my dinner at work when I forgot it at home.

All these little things that could easily be overlooked. Overlooked while wishing for a candlelit dinner, or a sappy card, or a bouquet of my favorite flowers. But when I listen to him, and pay attention, I realize that I don't need those things. My husband loves me very much, and he shows me and tells me in his way.

It's been a year, it feels like we've been together a lifetime. In a way we have, our paths crossing but neither of us realizing what was to come. But that's a story for another day.

God Bless


Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Family Saturday

I somehow got lucky and got the day off. It is wonderful and I feel blessed for the time that I got to spend with my family today.

I started off the day going to the warehouse with my best friend, who is also my daughter's aunt, and my nephew. *For simplicity I just claim them as my own, also I have been in their lives since they were babies and they have called me Aunt Ash as long as they could talk. Telling them, or me, that we aren't family doesn't usually bode well for the speaker* We sorted through the clothes that were brought and ooohed and aahhed over the various things.

The warehouse is what we call it. The actual name is The Appalachian Warehouse. We accept donations of clothing, appliances, furniture, housewares and toys to send to the Appalachian Mountain region for the communities there. Once or twice a year the church that her dad attends will take semi truck loads down and distribute it. They will usually also do some manual labor, like house repairs, while they are there. It is a great cause and I love to volunteer my time, even if my church isn't the one who sponsors the cause.

After that we came home. My daughter managed to harangue her aunt into taking her home, mainly because Jaime and I were already planning on going out later on. Jaime and I ate our lunch together in the peace and quiet and then headed out to their house.

The great thing is that we are friends with the respective parts of the married couple. We had cauliflower and cheddar soup (which was delicious and a recipe is included in this post at the end) and chicken breast. Her husband had all of his top teeth pulled on Thursday and so he needed to have nice soft foods. Then we played a board game.

It's called Anybody's Guess. It is from 1990, and although parts of it are outdated, it is a great game. You can find it here if you want to try it next time you and your married friends get together.

We also decided we wanted to play The Newlywed Game. It sounds like it would be a lot of fun. We get together at least once a month and so some new games sound like a good idea. The other game we want to try out is Cranium.

Without further ado, here is that recipe I promised:

Cauliflower Cheddar Soup (from Fine Cooking)

Kosher salt
1/2 head cauliflower (about 1 lb.), cored and cut into 1-1/2-inch florets
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, small diced
1 medium clove garlic, minced
2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. packed, freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp. cayenne
2 cups lower-salt chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 sprigs fresh thyme
4 cups grated sharp or extra-sharp white Cheddar (about 14 oz.)
Freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the cauliflower until tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly. Trim the stems from 18 of the cauliflower pieces and cut the crowns into mini florets about 1/2 inch wide; set aside. Reserve the trimmed stems with the remaining larger pieces.
Melt the butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and 1/4 tsp. salt and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, 10 to 12 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook until the aroma subsides, 2 to 3 minutes. Increase the heat to medium, add the flour, nutmeg, and cayenne and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Whisk in the broth, cream, and 2 cups water. Add the thyme and bring to a simmer. Stir in the cheese until melted and simmer for 5 minutes to develop the flavors.
Remove and discard the thyme stems and stir in the larger cauliflower pieces and reserved stems. Working in batches, purée the soup in a blender. Return the soup to the pot, season with salt and black pepper to taste. Add the mini cauliflower florets and reheat gently before serving.

***We didn't add mini florets at the end. It was also soupier than we wanted so we added mashed potato flakes to thicken it up. Jaime and I want to try making the soup with some bacon and sausage like potato soup.

What are your favorite games to play when you get together with friends?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Books I Love

I'm a reader. When I have downtime I love to read. Whether it's blogs or books, it helps me to relax so here are my top

1. Bible -- Of course you should know that this is going to be at the top of my list. I am currently on day 10 of The Bible in 90 Days plan. I may not always get to read the Bible every day but that is my goal. There are several places where you can get reading plans but I use YouVersion. I like the catch me up feature on the plans and I love the variety of plans that are available.

2. The Resolution for Women by Priscilla Shirer -- This book is full of hope and thought provoking ideas. It has questions at the end of every section and the end of every chapter, plus a resolution for us as women to make. It is similar to the The Resolution for Men which comes from the movie Courageous (which I also love). This is a book I foresee myself reading repeatedly.


3. Rid of My Disgrace by Justin S. Holcomb and Lindsey A. Holcomb -- This book is a book of hope and healing for victims of sexual assault. This book was recommended to me by my older sister. A fact that few people know about me is that I was molested as a young child (about 3). This is a fact that made relationships for me for a long time. I don't remember much about it, but I still had anxiety at times that once I was told about it made a lot more sense. This book gave me the hope that was promised, and I'm learning to heal.

4. Shared Encouragement from Circle of Friends Ministries -- This book is a daily devotional. I start my day with this book and find encouragement, hope and love in this book for women.


5. Sheparding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp -- This book is full of thoughts about raising a child. We read this in the parent equipping class we had during Wednesday night youth group. This book is honest. It made me laugh, it made me squirm. I still look back to it and refer to it when I'm not sure how to handle an issue as a mother.

6. Delivered with Love by Sherry Kyle -- This is a fiction story but it is heartwarming just the same. I cried with this book, I laughed. It was a good book to curl up in a blanket and read as a storm raged outside earlier this week.

Share your favorite books, fiction or nonfiction, with me. I'm looking for more to add to my ever expanding collection.

God Bless


Turning My Perspective Around

Yesterday I had a turning point.

I was putting away a basket of laundry my husband had brought upstairs the night before while I was at work. As I was putting it away I realized all that was in this basket was my clothes. He had put his away, given Alexis' hers and left mine.

At first I was frustrated. Really, I put his clothes away all the time, never ask him to put them away himself, just do it and do them all. Is it really so hard to take 5 extra minutes and put my clothes away too?

Then I stopped and re-evaluated. Even when we are working all of the time and he is trying to help me, the laundry is something that is mine. Granted it's mine because he takes the clothes out of the dryer and things may still be damp and he just puts them away, folded or hung up, but he tries. So he went out of his way to help me do something.

He didn't have to put away his clothes. He didn't have to give Alexis her clothes and have her put them away. He could have left all of it for me to do. Then, instead of 5 minutes, it would have taken closer to 15. And so I should be grateful for his help, instead of criticizing what he didn't do, or feeling like he didn't do enough.

I'm working very hard at adjusting my perspective. As I was growing up my dad wanted things done completely immediately. This perspective rubbed off on me. However I am trying to adjust this to being appreciative for the help that I receive. It isn't his responsibility to keep the house or help with laundry. It is mine. So anything he does is that much less that I have to do.

I know my husband is trying to adjust to our new dynamic. I have always been home in the evening. I have always been the one to make supper. Now I have nights that I'm working from 4 to 11 and he has to do bedtime and dinner on his own. Wednesday night, while Alexis was at All-Stars, he even brought me supper because what I took wasn't enough to fill me. He is considerate of my needs, especially when I am clear about what those needs are.

As a Christian wife it is important to show that I respect my husband. I can't tear him down because I feel he hasn't done enough. I have to build him up for what he does. In Ephesians 5:33 the Bible says "To sum up, each one of you is to love his wife as himself, and the wife is to respect her husband." (HCSB) God says to respect our husbands and so we must, not based on what he does or doesn't do, not based on if we feel he has or hasn't earned it. It's not my job to judge my husband, it's my responsibility to follow God's commands. And so I need to show this respect by thanking him for what he did do, not criticizing him for what he didn't do.

Have you had a problem with appreciating what is done for you, even if it wasn't ALL done for you? Won't you share with me?

God bless


Thursday, June 21, 2012

My Testimony and more

First of all, I would like to share with you my testimony that is currently featured on Blessed Beyond Measure.

Now I would like to apologize for being missing from cyberspace for so long. Life got crazy busy and I was falling into bed at night with no down time.

I volunteered at my church in the 2nd grade classroom for the first time this past Sunday. They are so sweet and so smart. I'm very glad that this will be a summer thing and not just once or twice. In fact I may work through other classrooms through out the next couple of years. I really feel like God is calling me to help these children and at the same grow through their simple, unwavering trust.

That afternoon, Sunday, Father's Day, we all went out to my parents. Jaime's dad hasn't been around for the last 2 years, didn't come to the wedding or let us know when he moved across the country. So my whole family, from my grandpa down to my nephew, gathered at my parents house. It always makes me smile to have all 4 generations gathered together.

Alexis and I surprised Jaime with an air compressor (or the promise of one anyway). He had been wanting one and so, with the fantastic sale at Lowe's, he finally got one.

Beyond that I have been working, and trying to find permanent, full time work. I love my current part time job, made even better by the fact that it is right across the street and the people are great to work with. But it's not the same as full time work.

I'll try to post again later, in the power of day dreaming and daily bible reading, however I make no promises because I work again tonight and the housekeeping has to be done sometime.

God bless


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Learning to Live

Yesterday I rejoined the workforce part time. Today I am learning to once again learn to juggle work and home life.

Dishes still need done, laundry is still dirty, meals need made, floors need swept or vacuumed. No magical fairy came in last night after I crawled into bed at 11:30 after my shift and took care of this for me.

However all day it has been all I can do to take care of basic necessities like making cereal for breakfast, driving to swimming lessons, and watching my daughter play. It's like I'm having to learn to live again.

On the plus side these late nights will only occur a couple of times a week. However I'm still pursuing a full time job as well. And my personal opinion is if I can take care of my duties as a mother and a wife while I am working both jobs, great. It will help us get our savings together to have a down payment to buy a house. However my first priority has changed over the last 6 months.

6 months ago I would have said my priority was having money in the savings account and buying a house. My husband could keep house as well as I could. He could make meals, dress our daughter, put her to bed, whatever needed done if I was working. 6 months ago I would have said it doesn't make a difference if I'm keeping house or if he is.

Today my tune is a little different. My first priority is to my husband and daughter. I still believe that my husband can keep house as well as I can. I still believe that to make a house function the best it takes teamwork when both spouses are working. However ultimately the housework is my responsibility. In Proverbs 31:27 it says "She watches over the activities of her household and is never idle" This means it is MY responsibility.

And so I am learning to live and thrive again. This is my verse for today.

How do you juggle all of your responsibilities?

God Bless


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Visiting Grandparents

Last night Jaime, Alexis, my mother-in-law, her boyfriend and I went to visit Jaime's grandparents. They live about 30 minutes away and yet this is the first time I have ever been to their house.

Alexis felt right at home. Whether this was because we told them this was her great-grandparents or because they are so easy to get along with I'm not sure but she immediately started playing with the toys, cuddling with Aunt Shelly, and helping Grandma make supper. I had to smile at how easy she found it to fit right into the family.

Jaime showed me around the property, the gazebo that he helped build, the bushes that he and his cousins ran over that managed to survive (after his grandpa had told me the story of finding the others beat down), the wood shop, the scrape on the house where he ran into it with the lawn mower after running over his grandpa, the 'stream' that was the favorite play spot in summer for all the neighborhood kids. It was fun listening to these stories of his childhood.

We live in his childhood home but I heard more stories last night in a 3 hour visit than I have the last year that we've lived in this house.

We had spaghetti and meatballs with garlic cheese bread for supper. The table wasn't big enough for all of us to sit at so they had a table for Alexis and his grandma and aunt both offered to sit with her. After supper Alexis crawled up onto Grandma's lap and nearly fell asleep until it was time for ice cream sundaes.

Before long it was closing in on bedtime and everyone was ready to go home. And so, home we went, with fond memories made and promises to be back soon.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Managing a Home

How do you manage your home? Your calendar, your budget, your wishlist items? There are so many things that we as moms are expected to do and be able to say at the drop of a hat that I have gotten overwhelmed.

I have tried to use an old fashioned wall calendar to keep my schedule straight but it never fails that I get asked questions when I'm not at home and can't see my calendar. Scheduling 4H meetings, events with friends, interviews, all these things that I need to be able to see my calendar. So I use Google calendar.

In all honesty I use Google for several things. My email, my blog reader, my calendar, even my documents. All from Google. I use Google Documents for my gift list ideas, my household chore chart, my to do lists, my baby sitter info sheet. It's a great central location, I can print them off, I can even share them with any Google user.

I also have my calendar synced to my smartphone. This allows me to look at my schedule, add things to my schedule and just remember what I have going on no matter where I am at.

My budget I use Budget Simple. This is again an online tool. I have found that online (AKA non paper) tools are the easiest for me to use. This allows you to input your scheduled income and budget your outgo. It does have you set your budget to come out at $0 but you can put whatever excess you have into savings.

I also use Pinterest for birthday party or gift ideas. I love the idea of an online bulletin board. I use this for craft ideas, gift ideas, recipes, home decor that I love. If you haven't joined yet you do need an invitation. Leave me a comment with your email and I'll send you an invite!

I'm not perfect and I'm still learning the best ways to keep my family organized but so far, these are my favorite places. How do you do it all, Super Mom?

God Bless


Busy Life

It has been a busy few days, with today being no exception.

We had dance recital all weekend that kept me super busy. Alexis performed in both shows so I volunteered at the second show to help out so other parents could enjoy the show. Alexis was happy and excited.

Monday and Tuesday were filled with swimming lessons, reclaiming the house, and trying to fit in a little bit of summer schoolwork. Alexis is doing well with reading daily and the math website the school provides is wonderful.

Today is interviews (Thank You God for hearing my prayers to find me a job) and then visiting Jaime's grandparents for supper.

I'm working hard to make time for gratitude, meditation, and growing as a mother and wife. Hopefully tomorrow will be slower to make time for a longer post.

God Bless


Thursday, May 31, 2012

Modest Dress

My sister and I got into a discussion today.

We are both growing as Christian mothers, wives and women. And I have been led towards looking at my clothing choices since I haven't been working. While I was working I was wearing scrubs and those are pretty modest. However since then I have noticed that my shorts seem a little short, my shirts a little low or have key hole necklines.

This is not how I want to be perceived. I don't want to dress in such a way that it encourages other husbands to look at me. And so I started discussing this with my sister.

Her response startled me a little. I was always the less modest of the two of us and more likely to blame it on the day and age we live in. She told me that she doesn't show much for cleavage but she does live in the 21st century.

This took me back a little bit. And it gave me a challege. Could I find, in the stores that I shop on a regular basis, skirts, shirts and dresses that were modest without looking outdated or frumpy? And, to take it one step further, could I find a cute, short sleeve cardigan that could be worn over some of the dresses with smaller straps.

My answer, yes, yes I can. Here are a few of my favorites with where I found them:
Pinned Image
This dress is from Maurices! I love the color and even though you can't see it on this picture it has an amazing button up back that is gorgeous.

This dress is so fun!
This dress from JCPenney's is a great fun dress. I love the polka dots!
This dress makes me think of taking kids to a park or other times when a longer skirt is necessary
This is another dress from JCPenney's. I love this dress for taking the kids places.
This is a great cardigan for over some of the dresses and tops that aren't as modest as we would prefer. From Banana Republic

This skirt from Old Navy would be adorable for 4th of July.
This one is from Old Navy. I love the chevron stripes and I think it would be a great skirt to wear to a picnic for the 4th of July.

The Webster at Target® Drawstring Tee - Green
I love the green of this top from Target.

ASSETS® by Sara Blakely® Women's Halter Swim Dress - Black
I thought I would add a swimsuit. This is very similar to what mine looks like, from Target, and I'm going to get a cover up similar to the one below, from Younkers.
Jessica Simpson Delhi Print Poncho Swim Coverup
While I wouldn't approve of this as a dress I think we all agree that at the pool this covers much more than most.

I hope this has given you hope if you felt the same as my sister! Where do you love to shop for your modest clothing? What is your must have item to make any outfit modest? What is your opinion on swimwear.

God bless


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Finding my niche

I'll readily admit that I'm not good at this whole stay at home parent job. I have always had the ultimate respect for those parents (because let's face it, it's men and women nowadays) who could stay at home. I know there is more to it than sitting on the couch, watching TV and snacking all day.

It's not the housecleaning, the working on school things with Alexis, it's not even being home all day.

It's the lack of adult face-to-face socialization. It's the fact that there are times I'm finding busy work just to keep my hands busy. It's the constant need to be doing more.

When I worked full time I also kept my house. I worked on school things with Alexis. I have so much more time to do this all now that I keep upping my standards of what is acceptable.

Before as long as dishes were done before dinner, I was content. Now I want dishes done after every meal. And when dishes are done not only should all the counters and table be wiped down, but then I need to sweep.

Before as long as I vacuumed twice a week, I was happy. Now I want the living room vacuumed every day and the hall and bedrooms done every other day.

Before as long as the laundry was done on Sunday, I was satisfied. Now I don't want a full basket of laundry waiting on me.

Before if my flat surfaces were mostly clear during the week, I could look over the rest. Now I am constantly walking in circles as I find things on counters that need to be picked up, put away, thrown away.

And even this isn't keeping me busy all day.

It's summer vacation and Alexis still reads a book everyday, writes a paragraph, and does 15 minutes of math. I am planning day trips to places like Reiman gardens to learn about the necessities of plants, the farmer's market to learn about different types of fruits and vegetables.

I have high goals set for myself. The thing is if I set my mind to it, I can accomplish them. And if I set my goals lower, than I'll accept lower. I want to show my husband that I'm not just laying around doing nothing. And what constantly runs through my head is:

"Idle hands are the Devil's playground"

I don't know if God's plan is for me to become a stay at home parent, to be home for this summer with my daughter, or to get me into a healthier work environment than I was. I'm trusting God to lead me where He wants me to be. I pray every day that He will lead us in the right direction and if I am to be a stay at home parent, to lead me to a way to bring in the necessary income for our family to survive and thrive. I pray that if He wants me to rejoin the workforce that He will help lead me to the type of job where I can do what He wants me to do. I have faith that the Lord will lead me where I am suppose to be and that He will bring peace and acceptance to my husband and I for whatever He believes I should be doing.

In God's wisdom, as I was rereading this post I realized that there is a song that fits this moment perfectly for me. Check it out, it's called He Said by Group 1 Crew.

Please keep me in your prayers. And if you have any suggestions for things to teach my soon-to-be first grader over the summer or projects that you know you forget about unless reminded, please comment.

God bless


Tuesday, May 29, 2012


It was a great weekend, and I hope everyone had as much fun as I did.

We got out to our 'camp site' Saturday morning. The great thing about our camp site was, it was in our best friend's back yard, so we had modern plumbing, air conditioning for the heat sensitive (me) to retreat to, and a place to run when the tent became a lake.

We set up the pool for the kids, and adults, which turned into a God send by late afternoon when even sitting in the shade around the fire pit (that didn't have a fire yet) was horribly hot. The adults took turns dipping their heads in the pool, and hoping that TJ didn't shove us into the pool head first.

We grilled every meal we ate that required cooking. We even cooked our pancakes on the grill with a huge cast iron skillet. We roast marshmallows both nights. We had a huge fire.

I definitely thanked God for good friends that we could unwind with and happy children that were enjoying each other's company. Here are the pictures that we had uploaded, there are a million more on a camera but this will suffice...

Have a great week everyone.

God Bless


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Humane War...On Rabbits

My dh went out this morning to check on our vegetable garden. This is our first garden and we are very proud and enthusiastic about it. This one is meant just to have fresh produce to eat from, my parents and my sister have massive gardens that we will use to can from. However 2 of my 3 broccoli plants have been ate clear down and one has completely disappeared.

Apparently they like broccoli plants better than hostas, which is what they ate LAST year.

I don't want the rabbits eating my garden, however I also don't want to kill the rabbits. I have issues with using poisons, insecticides, herbicides, especially close to plants I intend to eat from. It has drove my dh crazy for the last year as I have insisted that he didn't use them.

Plus I do believe that rabbits are God's creatures the same as any other creature. If he were to shoot them, I would feel like we needed to eat them and I'm not overly fond of rabbit. It is very...gamey.

And so I have been looking for natural rabbit repellents. I will let you know what works and what doesn't as I figure it out myself.

As to the weekend, I am going 'camping' at my best friend's house. It works well that they have kids that Alexis likes to play with, and Jaime is friends with the husband. We all will have people to hang out with.

I'm going to talk to Alexis on Monday about why we celebrate Memorial Day. She doesn't need to lose sight of the reason, or think that it's National BBQ and Camp day. If you have any resources I can use, I would greatly appreciate them.

Have a fun and safe Memorial Day everyone.

God bless


Friday, May 25, 2012

Clean Comedy?

Does this even exist anymore?

My dh was watching an adult cartoon, that I won't name because I don't want to end up with a lawsuit and in today's day and age who knows what can cause someone to sue you, and it had a running joke, throughout the entire 30 minutes, about bulimia. Although I have never had this eating disorder, nor have I known anyone with it, this was deeply offensive to me. It is not humorous to take a serious, and potentially deadly, disease and crack jokes about it. While this cartoon is marketed to adults, it is ran during regular daylight hours, it was only 5 or 5:30 when we were watching it, which means teenagers watch it.

I know I am running into a potential debate here. Censoring television, movies, music, etc vs parents instilling values into their children so they know it is wrong. There is also the fact that my husband was watching this show. So allow me to state a few of my personal views here...

1. I do believe parents are ultimately responsible for what their children watch, read, hear, etc.
2. I believe that parents instill the values into their children about what is right and wrong. (A killing game or movie should not be held accountable because a teenager goes out and shoots a bunch of people. Nor are his or her parents necessarily wrong. Children chose whether or not to follow what is right and wrong)
3. I believe that as adults we can better understand what is and isn't meant to be taken seriously.

However I also feel that some things go outside the realm of what is funny. Just like making jokes about mentally handicapped people have become taboo, this to me should be. Saying that bulimia is hard on the internal organs but makes a person look great IS NOT FUNNY. I can't believe that anyone finds it funny, but they apparently do.

Eating disorders are a serious epidemic in this country. The self esteem of our young people have been demolished by unrealistic expectations. Watch 1 hour of TV, on almost any channel that isn't cartoons, and you will see diet commercials, weight loss commercials. Look at the magazines in the rack next time you check out at the grocery store. If the covers don't have a stick thin model on them, they have a celebrity with contemplation about "Is she pregnant or just putting on weight." Our younger generation is surrounded by an unhealthy ideal.

And so lets add in sick jokes on TV. While we may not let OUR children watch these shows, what about the kid who does and then goes to school and repeats it, maybe not even understanding what a hideous comment it is.

I want to be able to watch a comedian or a comedy that has CLEAN humor. That if my daughter were to walk into the room while it was on, I wouldn't be scrambling for the remote or the off switch. That my daughter could even curl up with me and watch it with me. Is that so much to ask?

God bless,


A heaping helping of humble pie

I recently lost my job. This is a shock for my system as I have been home for the last month, desperately seeking employment. I haven't been not working or going to school in years. I don't know how to stay home and be content.

Let me tell you I'm eating a huge portion of humble pie, and I believe that is why the Lord has led me to this point.

I have been an independent woman who believed that she didn't need to submit to any man. That's how my dad raised me. I didn't need a man and I surely wasn't going to let any man tell me how to live my life. Especially when I was bringing in an equal amount of money as my husband, why should he get to tell me how to live my life.

Since attending church and a few women's retreats I have been asking God to help me learn how to be a biblical wife, to submit to my husband in all things. I never dreamed that he would chose this way to answer my prayers, but answer my prayers he did.

Since I'm not bringing in any money now, I have had to pare down, discuss purchases (beyond the daily bills and necessary food expenses) with my husband because WE would have to deal with the outcome and HE is the one bringing in the money and in charge of making sure our family is provided for. I have learned that my husband is my leader, whether I agree with his choices or not. If his choices aren't going to harm our family, I obey him in all things.

The other part of this humble pie I'm having to swallow is that I am in charge of keeping house. Of making meals for us all. For keeping laundry done. For keeping the house clean. When Jaime comes home, after working 8 hours of hard work in a factory, he should not have to pick up after our child, he should not have to do the dishes, he should be able to do things that bring him peace. And so I am learning to take on the sole role of homemaker. He helps, especially on the weekend, but I don't expect it.

I'm also learning to swallow my irritation when I don't feel like he is appreciating what I am doing. It's not that he doesn't appreciate it, it's that it the status quo, what he believes I should be doing. And so he notices that it's done but just like his boss doesn't tell him "good job" every time he does what he's suppose to be doing, he doesn't tell me. And in the end, while I am doing it for my husband and daughter, I'm ultimately doing it because God said I was to be the homemaker, the helper of my husband. And God sees what I do, and I will ultimately get the eternal rewards for it.

God led me to another blog that helped me this morning when I was feeling used and abused, and this helped me put things in perspective, more than I already had. Humbling the Grumbling by Cross Moms is a great article, and I want to thank them again for helping me find my perspective, and thank You Lord for leading me to that blog post that I needed today.

God bless you all, and have a safe weekend


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Hope for me

Today was not an easy day. Well that's not completely true.

I didn't sleep last night worth a hoot, so I went back to bed after taking dd to school. I took Gpa shopping and he took me out to lunch. I made dinner. I cleaned. It was a typical day.

However I have been thinking this evening.

Alexis (who will be 6 years old on Saturday) is such a special little girl. She is so thoughtful and considerate. Not 100% of the time, did you miss the part where I said she was turning 6? But a good part of the time. A few months ago I bought her a Big Time Rush tshirt that she had been asking for. Her response? "Mom, can we get Araya (her cousin) one too, cause she really likes Big Time Rush too and she's going to be sad that she doesn't have one." She had been asking me for one for a few weeks at this point. And her first thought (after thank you) was for her cousin who she didn't want to be sad.

This past week the teacher asked us to send sunscreen to school with our kids because they were going to be walking to the park and playing games for about an hour at lunchtime. Alexis, after reminding me that she needed it and not to forget, told me that she needed to share with her friend. I said ok because I'm sure in this full, never been open bottle of sunscreen that there was enough for her friend too. She looks at me and says "He's kind of like poor and so we should share with him. He doesn't have much money and that's not his fault" I just wanted to hug her close. What does an almost 6 year old know about being poor?

I am so grateful that she has seen me doing what I can to help those less fortunate, that she has heard me when I say to think of others, that she is kind and considerate. But it also makes my heart ache for her.

We all know that kids can be cruel. We all know the days when the only way to be friends with the 'cool' kids is to be mean, to put others down. And I am so scared that my little girl, who so wants to be friends with every one and wants to make every one happy, will end up caught up in this turmoil.

I remember all too well what the teasing was like. I was on the recieving end of it for years. And she is so sweet and so soft hearted that if she was teased like that it would break her heart, and in turn mine.

All I can do is turn to God and trust that He will help her through these days ahead. That He will protect her heart and He will give me the right words to help her on the right path.

This post from MOD Squad was posted at a time I needed to know someone else out there was going through these same problems. It gave me the hope that I can't always see. And she pointed me back to Him, to God who can always be counted on. He gave me hope when He knew I needed it.

God Bless