Friday, November 29, 2013

He loves me.

God loves me.
While academically, and Biblically, I have known this for the time I've been a Christian, it really hit me yesterday.
People usually eat turkey on Thanksgiving. I prefer ham. This year, money is tight. The economy bites, and while we are by no means destitute, it's a struggle sometimes.
I went out the door yesterday, to head to the grocery store to see if between what money I did have on me and some coupons, I could possibly afford a ham.
I was about halfway to the store when a car pulled up next to me and a lady I have never seen before stuck her head out the window. Maybe she's lost, I thought.
The next thing I know, she is handing me a ham (the EXACT ham I wanted and was hoping to get) and telling me to have a blessed day.
Wait, what?
I barely had time to thank her before she drove away.
When I returned home, I handed the ham to my daughter and relayed the story to her. And then, my 7 year old said something that made me stop in my tracks
"You know, Mom, maybe she was an angel."
Later, after dinner had been eaten and dishes had been washed, I sat down to read a devotional. All about God's love.
How much He loves me.
How much He makes things happen for me.
How He provides for me.
How He answers my prayer.
How He listens.
How he sustains me.
I am His child. He is my Heavenly Father.
As a parent, I understand what it's like to love your child. I love my daughter with a fierce, protective love. I would do anything for her. I would die for that little girl.
That's how he loves us. With a fierce and protective love. He does so much for us, sometimes out of the realm of "possibility." And...He DID die for us.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Diy: Reusable Dryer Sheets

Mondays are my "days off". This, of course means that I get to catch up on everything I haven't done yet. However, today I actually managed a few free minutes. So...what to do with those free minutes?

Find something to do of course!

A few days ago, I saw a post about these on Facebook, and immediately wanted to try them.

So, this morning while everyone else slept I got all the supplies for them.

Here's what you need:

*Water (I used two cups)
*Fabric softener (also two cups.)
*An air tight container

First, cut your sponges in half.

Next, mix your water and your fabric softener in your container. Drop the sponge halves in.

For those of you who are curious as as to which fabric softener I used, here it is.

Then, slosh your water and detergent mixture around with your sponges. Note: Seal.the.lid

When you have laundry going in the dryer, take out one sponge half, and squeeze out the excess liquid.

..and toss it into the dryer with your wet clothes.

That blur isn't a ghost. It's my seven year old, ready to help me. We ran the dryer with the sponge and Laundry smelled great!

LOL it's definitely kid-approved :)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

How do you DO it all?

The question was posed to me by someone who works with my husband. She elaborated by saying, "Everytime I see you, you're always doing something. How do you get everything done?"

The answer is simple: I don't.

I mean, I do get a lot done. (My Dad passed down his work ethic to me. At least he says so). I am also the posterchild for Hurried Woman Syndrome. I'm waiting for the medical folks to come and take my picture for it.

While we may only have one living child (hopefully, that will soon change!), between the three of us, there is a whole lot to do and so we run a pretty tight ship. I'm by no means an authority on how to get things done (I'm learning more every day though), here is what I've discovered during my marriage/motherhood adventure.

One: God comes first. I try to say a prayer and read a devotional before I even get out of bed. My copy of "He is Real" stays right by my bedside. If I don't do this for whatever reason, the rest of my day feels off.

Two: Realize you have limits and you are only human. I do burn the candle at both ends a lot of the time, but I also have one crash day a month where I am useless to everyone and everything. Last night, Gabe put Ella to bed and I slept. A few months ago, I may or may not have stayed in bed most of an entire Saturday while Gabe ran errands. It happens. My body needs rest.

Three: Plan stuff. I used to laugh at Moms who had their entire life in a planner. Now, I'm one of them.

Four: Keep up with planning stuff. I'm as guilty as the next girl for not doing this. But I have tried to keep this planner organized. To avoid getting confused, I fold the pages for days already gone by. Yes, I am confused by this simple stuff. Don't judge.

Five: Motivate yourself. I just discovered the Timer technique here, and it works. I set a timer for five minutes (or ten, or fifteen) and work at a set task. When the timer sounds, I set it again and move on to something else.

Six: Enlist help. If you have children, they can help with small things. If you have older children (my daughter is 7), they can chop vegetables, do some light cleaning, and even help with the laundry.

Seven: Don't sweat the small stuff. If you have ever been in my house, you know it's not fit for Better Homes and Gardens. My kitchen is slightly messy. But you know what? I have a happy family. Some things can take a backseat.

Eight: Cook using fresh ingredients, and prep early. It's better for your family in the long run.

Nine: While you are at it, eat dinner together. As busy as things are at our house, the dinner table is a good opportunity for us to SEE each other for once and to discuss things (like husband's work schedule, Ella's latest learning discovery) and keep each other updated on life in general.

Ten: Become best friends with your slow cooker. Seriously, Mr. Crockpot and I are tight. Also, it's easier to just serve something up rather than be between the stove and the table, missing out on time with your family.

Eleven: Take time for the little things. Watch a movie with your children. Take a walk with your family. Go cuddle with your husband. The house won't fall apart if you do that.

Twelve: Give thanks for what you've got. It goes a long way.

As I said, I am by no means an authority on how to get everything done, but this is a start :)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Gratitude Tree

I saw the idea for this on a few blogs, and decided that in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I needed to give this a try. Because, besides handprint turkeys, how many Thanksgiving crafts do you get to do with your kids?

We started off with a piece of posterboard. I drew a tree on the posterboard, and then cut it out. And yes, I saved the extra pieces of posterboard. Have I mentioned yet how cheap and stingy I am? :)

We put the year on the bottom. Ella drew a long-eared owl, because, what's a tree without an owl?

We stuck the tree up on our living room wall. I had some awesome leaf cutouts that my choir director was going to throw out after a church party. I begged him not to, because I had this project in mind.

I had her write her name at the bottom of a leaf and write one thing she was thankful for. Of course, I made sure I did one too, and Gabe will do a couple tomorrow. We plan to continue this until Thanksgiving and then go through our leaves, one by one, thanking God for all He has given us.

I'll be posting more pictures of our Gratitude Tree as the weeks tick by toward Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Whew! What a Week!

Is it bad that I had to "run away" to post this? Currently, I'm sitting down having a salad NOT at home. Gabe is at home with Ella, and I am on a "Mommy Vacation," mostly because this week has wiped me OUT.

Also, Gabe started a new job this week, with more pay and better hours than his old one, so we've been busy adjusting to him having decent hours and a schedule that doesn't make me want to cry (I'm not complaining about that!). I've been working my share, as well as homeschooling and keeping the house in order. (Major fail there. I'm playing catch up tonight!)

Did I mention that Ella and I both came down with a stomach bug after putting in a full day of work/school on Tuesday? Yeah...I prayed that she would be able to go Trick or Treating in town on Thursday, and by Wednesday night, she was bouncing off the walls and generally driving me nuts, which of course was a good sign.

Thursday morning, I put on our makeup (I went as the night sky, because we all know that owls come out at night.) and we got ready to go to Healthy Halloween with my friend Amy and her darling son Nicholas.

We had tons of fun at Healthy Halloween, and after that, I sent Ella off to Grandma's house so I could run a few errands. After that, we hit the town for Treat Street.

After that, we went home and made a Halloween-themed dinner of Ghost Alfredo and Mummy Dogs.

So, in short, we are all pretty exhausted from everything. It's been a wonderful week though :) I'm already starting to think about all the wonderful things we will be doing this month, and cannot wait to see what wonderful things God has planned for us!