Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Consistency: A Word for 2014



More than anything in my life right now I need Consistency.

I need Consistency in my weight loss journey.

I need Consistency in our homeschool.

I need Consistency in my day-to-day activities.

I need Consistency in prayer life. 

I need Consistency in my thrift store excursions. Okay. Maybe I'm pretty consistent with that one. I'm Consistently at the thrift store.

Consistency has always been a bit of an issue with me. I'm fairly persistence (some have described me as having some pluck). I am, however, a bit of a free spirit. It's not a good day unless there is at least one spontaneous event. Which can be a problem when the goal is to stick to The Plan. The victory is found by being diligent...not expecting a quick fix or easy answer. I'm often impatient and will change direction mid-stream if I don't see easy results.

I love the following quote.




My goal this year is to be Consistent in whatever I do. How about you? What is your word for 2014? 

I'm linking up my Word for 2014 to the Schoolhouse Review Crew Blog Hop.




Word for 2014

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Randon Thoughts: Beke And the Messy Room

So. Like most of you I have been up to my glittery eyeshadow in Christmas preparations. I'll let you know how it all turns out, but for now...I'm a bit streesssed. I have only myself to blame.

It's been a while since I've shared a few Random Thoughts with you. In honor of my busy, crazy existence I am going to do just that.

1. I am currently failing miserably with my healthy eating plan. It's not that I'm completely piggin' out. Let's just say that I am not being as careful as I need to be. The pound of candy I've ingested isn't helping the waist line (or my blood sugar). I'm almost ready for the New Year...just so I won't be inundated with all the unhealthy goodies. I just can't handle it at this point. Boo.

 2. Instead of cutting up my veggies and making smoothies I am spending time on things like this.

Yes. That is a flower made from my trash. In particular a Peanut Butter Captain Crunch Cereal Box. In my defense, I normally don't fill the house with sugary cereals (for one, they are too tempting for my afternoon snack)...Some days, Mama just has to do what Mama has to do.

I can't remember where I got the tutorial from, but I also created this one.



This one is made from my Mom's discarded watercolor projects. You know what they say...."Another man's trash (or mama's)...." I am putting them on packages. I apologize right now to all those family members who received their packages unadorned. I was inspired by this project after I delivered your presents. You know who you are. I owe you a trash flower. Maybe next year.

3. I have been known to stitch up an apron or 40. This year my apron business wasn't quite as busy. I made 40 million satin flowers instead. However, there were a few of my repeat customers who wanted to bless someone with one of my Scrappy Aprons this year.

  

 I can't begin to tell you the unpleasantness that went on with my sewing machine this year. At one point I had both my sewing machine and my mother's sewing machine out on my table The Study Muffin is a patient, patient man. I have fabric bits and pieces strung all over the house...not to mention the stray straight pin. Next year I'm investing in some fabric glue. 

4. Below is a picture of the puzzle that will never end.

 
The pic in the middle is actually just the illustration for the puzzlers to follow. We just have the outside edges done and The Muffin did most of it himself. This puzzle has 1000 pieces. Why did I think this would be a good idea? You can see that we are just using it as an extension of our coffee table. Josiah's feet, a couple of remotes and a stray pattern piece all have found their way to the puzzle board. I'm just not bright enough for this.

5. Holiday shoppers are craaazzy! The first weekend in December we were blessed. The Ozarks had a snowstorm. My Indiana boy was unfazed. We loaded into the car and went to the mall with the other 20  people who thought it sounded like fun. The mall was great. We ate at the food court (yuck), shopped (or did our best impression of it) and had a little bit of ice cream (which could be why my diet isn't doing so great). There were no massive crowds of people to herd me around. To be honest I get a bit twitchy is crowds. Today I went to Walmart and I had to take a minute in the car just to decompress before I left. All I needed to do was pick up a prescription. It was like the entirety of Southwest Missouri came to my Walmart to stock up for the winter. At 10:00 this morning. You know what I'm talking about. I've still got this tic in my left eye.

6. So we've had some change of plans for our Christmas holiday. This change of plans involve family coming to my house. Don't get me wrong. I love company. I miss having people in and out of my house. Looking around, however, I noticed that I really need to clean my room. I'm about to reveal one of my deepest, darkest secrets. I have always had a messy room. Well. I can't say always. But, for the most part my bedroom is always the last room in my house to get clean. It was messy when I was 2. It will be messy when I'm 42. Now that I think about it....I think I should make having a peaceful, clean room one of my New Year's Resolutions. I told you. The Muffin is a patient, patient man.

Night All! 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Putting On the Spirit: Ten-Minute Devotions for Busy Moms




http://paradisepraises.com/putting-on-the-spirit/


As I type this I am thinking long and hard about handing in my SuperMom Cape. No. Really. I’m bone tired. My laundry is procreating. My son is eating instant mashed potatoes for an afternoon snack. 


And I’m busy. Way too busy. I’m so busy that I have to make appointments with myself to get anything done. 


I can’t be the only one who has ever been there. It is times like these that I also recognize I sadly neglect my spiritual life. So what do I need (besides an intervention and a live-in maid)? I need encouragement. I need to make the time I have count. 



Recently, I was blessed to be able to review Putting On the Spirit: Ten-Minute Devotions for Busy Moms. It was written by woman who knows all about being a busy mom, Katie Hornor. 


Katie wrote Putting On the Spirit using the Fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23. All I can say is OUCH. Anytime I hear a sermon or read a devotion on the Fruits of the Spirit I am immediately convicted. Let’s just say that some of my “fruits” haven’t been as juicy as others. 
 


The study is only 28 days long. Katie spends 2-3 days on each Fruit. One thing I really like about this study is that it’s something I can pick up again and again. It is available on Kindle, so it was really handy to tote around with me. It is a convenient read during Josiah’s swim team practice! 


I want to share with you one of my favorite devotions. I have to say that this book review has been so timely for me. It had to be a God thing. This devotion was Day 6 and dealt with Joy. Ugh. Sigh. Do I have to? Some of the main points included that there is joy is sharing. There is joy in loving others. There is joy is weakness. What? How could that be? I love what Katie has to say.


The answer to the above question is: when I choose to maintain a right attitude and to recognize God as the strength-giving God of this circumstance, and when I recognize that he lovingly arranged this circumstance just so that he can walk with me through it – that realization brings joy.”





Katie then gives us an assignment. What has God given you that you can share today? Choose one person to whom you will show God’s love in action. Write out their name and what you plan to do. What situation in your life today has God lovingly arranged, so that you can have joy because he is walking you through it?



It really helped me nix my “negative nelly” attitude and focus on choosing joy. 

Here is another great quote. Ouch! I told you!


And another. Sigh. I really needed this.





The daily readings are very manageable and there is available notebook to download for FREE to use along with the devotion. You can also use a notebook of your own. I have a darling little notebook I have in my Bible Stack (doesn’t everyone have a Bible Stack) that I used. Katie is great at giving us practical tips and assignments.





 This is absolutely a wonderful devotional for moms.  I appreciated the encouragement. Sometimes I just need to be told that I don’t need that SuperMom cape. Sometimes I need that correction. I need to be reminded of what God says. Jesus is my source. My dependence on myself is just plain sin.

Here is a little bit more about Katie.



Katie and her husband Tap have been missionaries in Mexico since 2007. They homeschool their four children and minister through church planting, Bible training, bookstore ministry, and homeschool curriculum development.

Katie is a teacher at heart, and by trade, and loves to encourage women in their God-given roles through speaking, writing and blogging. She is the author of this and two other ebooks (at the date of this printing) as well as the Lemonhass homeschool curricu-lum for Spanish Speaking families. 


Katie blogs about marriage, motherhood, and ministry at ParadisePraises.com  and she blogs about home education (in Spanish) at EducandoEnElHogar.com. 


Other notes of interest: Katie’s four favorite things are elephants, dark chocolate, the color purple and the mayan hammock in her living room. Oh and she’s due with baby #5 in early Feb. 2014.


You can read more here.


Putting on the Spirit is available today and tomorrow for .99! That’s a deal. I recommend everyone scoot on over there and grab your copy. After December 13 the price will go up to $4.99 (which is still a great deal in my opinion!). And I can’t forget to mention this. It is also available in Spanish! 






Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Our Favorite Christmas Reads (A List)




When I was a little girl  I was snuggle up every night in the weeks preceding Christmas in my beloved canopy bed with my itty bitty sister. I would read from from a huge book filled with Christmas stories.  I can’t begin to tell you what the name of that book was. It was probably older, considering the fondness my mother has for the classics. And for thrift stores. I bet my "bippy" (don't ask) that my itty bitty sister still has the book in her possession. Since she was the last one to leave home she seemed to "inherit" all of our favorites. I'm not bitter.

One of my favorite traditions to continue with my son is to read through several Christmas books a year. We often incorporate them into our homeschool as well as our traditions. There is nothing better than snuggling together with a cup of hot chocolate (complete with a marshmallow and a candy cane for stirring) and a good Christmas book.

Below are a few of our favorites. I say “a few.” When I say “a few” I am actually telling you a whopper. It was soo hard for me to narrow it down to a few.  I do tend to like the classics. I also like books that are ‘purty.’ I didn’t include the Bible. Which is obviously The Authority on all things true (and our go-to resource on the actual Christmas story).  That resource is The resource in our house.

1.       The Crippled Lamb
4.       The Night Before Christmas Pop-up by Robert Sabuda.
5.       Winter’s Tale by Robert Sabuda..
6.       It’s Christmas, David!
7.        The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
8.       The Little Drummer Boy
9.       Room for A Little One
10.   A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
12.   How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Suess
14.   Christmas Day in the  Morning by Pearl S. Buck

I'm linking my list up to the Schoolhouse Review Crew's Christmas Books Round Up!


 
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