Thursday, September 10, 2009

A long overdue update on the family

I know many of you think I have fallen off the face of the earth but I can honestly say that I have had one busy summer. The biggest news is that we have moved! I have updated my pictures and you can see a picture of the new house in the slide show at the top of the blog. We moved in June. We found an awesome house that fits perfectly with our family. Our house sold in 21 days! The entire situation was a total blessing and God controlled. The people that bought our house and the lady we bought our new house from were all just incredibly gracious and cooperative through the entire process.
In addition to moving, here are the other news makers of the summer:

1. Moved my daycare business. I am still very successful with my business and all of my families moved with me.

2. Logan started Kindergarten. I just can not believe he is old enough to start school. He loves it. He has a great teacher who really is passionate about her job and loves working with the kids.

3. The twins turned 3. We had a small family birthday for them at our house.

4. Mace and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary.

5. Mace's dad and step mom came to visit us.

I guess that is about all that has happened over the last two to three months.

I am really going to try and put forth a great effort to keeping our site up to date with pictures and information.

Please continually check back for more updates and pictures of the family.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Preparing for Easter

The Lord has been speaking to me these last several weeks about preparing my heart for the Easter Holiday. A couple of weeks ago, I had breakfast with two dear friends. During our meal, we got on the subject of Easter and I revealed to them that the Lord had been telling me to prepare my heart for Easter. We do all kinds of preparation for Christmas but somehow we loose the meaning of Easter and do not do nearly the preparation for this Holiday as we do for the Christmas season. I went on to tell them that Easter is just as important as Christmas. I told them that I could not figure out why it was like this. After breakfast that morning, I did my Saturday errands and stopped in at Lifeway Bookstore to look around. While I was there, I was browsing and found a book that would be an answer to my prayers. The book was called "Preparing my heart for Easter" by Ann Marie Stewart. It is devotional workbook that is an eight week course on getting your heart prepared for Easter! An amazing book!
I thought to myself, "Ok Lord I will buy this book. I get your message!" I guess it truly was meant for me to have this book as it rang up on sale! Thank you Lord! AS the next week passed and I did my study, my heart was convicted on the way that I celebrate Easter with the children. So once again I found myself asking God for help with this area. The next week Logan brought home a really cool resource for me to use. His teacher had made them "Resurrection Eggs" to teach the story of Easter in a kid friendly version. WOW! This was so cool. I am constantly amazed at how God will use anyone and anyway to help you get the message HE is trying to give you. I stand in praise today for the different ways He has used various opportunities to teach me what He wants me to do. I can honestly say that this year we will be celebrating Easter with a new perspective and a new approach. I have even passed this on to the Daycare Children I watch in my home. I have always known the meaning of Easter and celebrated it but never before I have been so consumed with the feeling to truly prepare my heart for the meaning of the season. So this year when we celebrate Easter, I do hope that we have prepared our hearts to celebrate Easter in its truest meaning! I pray that your families will too! Have a wonderful Easter and spend some time reflecting on the day and the meaning of the day. Thank You Lord for the lessons I am being taught! Praise God that I am not the same person I was last year and Praise God that I am learning more and more about you!

Frugal Living Learning

As most of you know, I have been doing a lot of research on frugal living these days. I have learned so much. I have learned so many different money saving tips and different ways of doing things to make life simple. I have learned how to make homemade laundry detergent, my own version of Cascade dishwasher detergent, my own air fresher, along with may other ways to stretch our dollars. It is amazing to me what the Lord has taught me during the process of researching. I truly feel that my relationship with the Lord has grown stronger. He has been teaching me how to be a good steward of my money as well. I think with the economy weak these days that the Lord is taking care of our family by teaching and showing me new things everyday with frugal living and simplified living. If you are wanting to learn how to save money I strongly recommend you start now and you start with internet research as there is a TON of information out there to help you get started!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Katie's New Word

Katie has a new word...night night. I was taking her to bed the other night and told her "night night" and she repeated it. It was so cute. She can now say mama, dadda, bubba, katie, night night, nana, lele (for my sister Lisa), and hi. She is growing so fast. She definitely is all girl. She loves her kitchen and play dishes and walks around trying to feed everyone! We are excited about this new milestone!
Pictures will be added soon I promise!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

More Teeth for Katie...

Katie woke up this morning with two more teeth breaking through. This will be four on the top and two on the bottom! She has been a little cranky these last few days and now we know why :)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Homemade Laundry Detergent

As most of you know, I have been on a mission to find frugal living techniques that are easy to apply to your life and really do save you money. Well this weekend, I attempted to make homemade laundry detergent. I did the math and it really will save our family money especially since I do an average of three loads of laundry per day. This attempt was a complete success. I can not believe that I actually made laundry detergent and it smells good, works well, and saves me a ton of money! I am so excited about this new tip. If you would like to know how to make it or would like more information, feel free to email me. You could also research it on the internet (like I did) there is a TON of websites, recipes, and helpful hints out there. I am so excited that I just had to share with all of you (my three or four family members who actually check this site often for updates...hahaha...LOL).

Simpleness = Happiness

Since the beginning of this summer, I have been given a “mission” from the Lord. This mission was to simplify my life. I prayed a lot over the course of this year for my number one goal, to find balance.

This summer the Lord answered my request by speaking to directly and clearly to me. He told me that in order to find balance I needed to simplify my life in ALL aspects. As I began my mission, I worked on areas of my life that I thought needed simplifying. I started out with simplifying my house. I cleaned out every closet, every drawer, every cabinet, every box, every file, every shelf, and everything. I thought that this was it. However, when I completed this task I felt good, I felt organized, I felt simplified but it did not last long. A few short weeks later, I felt the Lord saying simplify does not mean just one area; I meant every area of your life!

Next, I proceeded to simplify my finances. I would love to say that this area is complete but I am working on it diligently every day. I have come along way in this area though. The first place I started was the area of the finances that were solely my responsibility and that I had complete control over…the grocery/household budget. I signed up for a very popular coupon deal and savings website. I started following their published advice, subscribed to the Sunday newspaper for the coupon inserts, clipped coupons, used the coupons, made meal plans, and shopped by a grocery list. I cut out some of the luxury items and reduced the frequency of other luxuries. I started becoming “FRUGAL”.

There is so much I could write on the frugal topic but I will say that after researching frugal living, it became apparent that this was part of the Lord’s message to me. Most, if not all, frugal living websites will tell you that frugal living equals simple living. I conducted A LOT of research on this topic and applied frugal living tips which would help me to simply my life and save money. Frugal living research helped me to simplify my meals. Simple meals equaled simple dinners which created peaceful dinnertimes where I could relax and enjoy a meal with my family. My favorite way to save time and money at dinner time was to stock the freezer and pantry. I always buy meat in bulk at the lowest sale price. After my shopping trips, I cook and season the meat, freeze the meat in freezer containers and use it whenever I need it. Since it is precooked and pre-seasoned, it saves me a ton of time in the evenings!

My journey did not stop at the grocery store. I was lead to simplify the management of my household. I made a family planner (some may call this a family notebook). This really helped me to get things organized. I also created many dividers for every aspect: school, recipes, documents, travel, pantry and freezer inventory, calendars, address and phone numbers, and many other family specific needs.

Once the notebook was complete, I looked over my work with satisfaction until I looked at the calendar section. WOW. Our calendar was full of all kinds of activities, events, and places to be. It was an eye opening revelation. I could not find a few hours to spend as a family. Boy, I needed to simplify our family and my personal calendar. Hence, my mission was not complete. I continued to work towards simplification.

After I had completed these areas which needed simplifying, I thought for sure I would feel peace and a sense of accomplishment. No, I did not. I ask the Lord, “Lord what else is there to simplify?” I did not get a quick response.

One afternoon, I was watching a Beth Moore study on television and she was teaching on “how to love difficult people.” She explained the whys and the hows on this topic and then as I reviewed my notes on her teachings, I realized that the Lord was speaking to me again about simplification. This was the area I had ignored…simplifying my relationships. I took an inventory of my relationships and started making changes in this area. I got started and it was tough. It is tough to realize that some of the relationships I was involved with were nothing short of a negative complicate blah that was holding me back and weighing me down. I really had to make some tough decisions with the Lord’s help and guidance. This caused me to pull back from relationships with people who I needed to love from a far because I needed to love these people the way they needed to be loved and not the way they wanted to be loved. I could not love them in this way without pulling back. I did and it felt GREAT! I could see a change in our relationship and it made me happier.

I felt that there was still a piece of the pie missing. There was something that needed more work…it was my relationship with the Lord. I had worked so hard on everything and made great accomplishments or so I thought. The Lord wants us to be free from bondage, complicated messes, and negative energy draining situations. There is a time to be in the middle of these things so that you can show others the light of the Lord and give testimonies and to be a witness of God’s glory. However, God is not complicated. He is a simple God, His commandments are simple and so should our lives. I started doing things with HIS simple commands in mind. Yes I am still working on this area but WOW what a relief I have knowing that my house, my calendar, my family’s lives, my life, and my relationships are simple and happy. I am happier, healthier, and richer because of this God given mission for my life. So I guess simpleness does equal Happiness!!!!!!!