Swagbucks

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Merry Christmas

I hope you all had a great Christmas!! I know I did. ;)


Alex and I were up and ready to start a lot earlier than the girls, but waited patiently for them to rise. Gracie was up first and her excitement just grew and grew as she looked around the living room. First the presents Santa brought, then the plate where cookies/milk were left, her stocking and back to the presents. She woke up Lillie who was just as excited. Both had their wishes come true!


This year we were blessed to be able to celebrate Jesus' birth at church. After a nice service, we finished our Christmas at home and head to Alex's aunts for a couple hours and dinner.


I won't keep you long, but do want to warn you that you are not safe at our house. All of us got nerf guns for Christmas. And Gracie shows NO mercy and takes no prisoners. So, if you wonder in my house unprepared, you may leave wounded. ;)


Now on to the new year.................

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Back to the Blog

I have been absent for a few weeks due to my browser not working with Blogger and needing to download Google Chrome for access. I finally broke down and did it (it was free so what did I have to lose) and now have access again. I will plan on getting back to blogging soon. Did anyone else have issues??

Monday, November 7, 2011

Little Bits

It has been a couple of weeks since I updated and not much has changed. We are still trucking along.

School is going strong and both girls are doing awesome.

We have gone on a "field trip" to the Creation Museum in Hebron Kentucky (outside Cincinnati) with a good friend and her family.

We have had family pictures taken.



And now it is November and the time we take to focus on being thankful. There are som many blessings in my life that I am not sure where to start with the list. I will post my list in the near future. For now I leave you with these lyrics:

I am grateful for the things that You have done
I am grateful for the victories we've won
I could go on and on about Your works
Because I'm grateful, grateful so grateful just to praise You Lord
Flowing from my heart are the issues of my heart, is gratefulness

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Painting Pumpkins

We painted small pumpkins Saturday. It has beeen sort of a family fall tradition around here. :)

Here are the girls posing:

Here is Gracie concentrating:

Lillie working away:

The finished pumpkins:


Now, they are just waiting until we carve a big pumpkin.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Catch-up

I really liked my meal planning the past two weeks and am going to try and implement it from here on out. I am currently getting ready to plan the next two weeks out and hopefully have good results. I don't know why I haven't really made more of an effort to stick to it in the past.

School it going pretty good. For the most part, we have great days, but every once-in-awhile a grumpy (not so good) day sneaks in. It is those days that I feel like I should just throw in the towel. However, the good out weigh the bad and I can't imagine not having them home and teaching them.

Lillie has made me stand in amazement at how much she has picked up. The other day I caught her reading the subtitles on a movie!! Which makes me smile extremely big. :) Her favorite subjects are math and history and she loves making her timeline for history.

Gracie has learned quite a few of her letters, but only a few from me. lol Lillie has sat down with her and taught her how to write and make the sounds of most the letters. Gracie loves the attention that Lillie is giving her. She loves her big sister and any time she can "play" with her makes her day.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

My Menu

Here is my menu for two weeks:

Week 1
Monday:
lunch - Nuggets/fruit/pretzels
supper - Roast/Potatoes/Carrots/French Bread

Tuesday:
lunch - Burger King (We went to IHOP and I ended up having to buy them lunch)
supper - lunchables (we went to the movies so I didn't want to fix a big dinner, so I flipped-flopped with Wed dinner. Wed is usually a busy evening)

Wednesday:
lunch - Fish Sticks/Cheez-it/fruit
supper - Beef-N-Noodles/Mashed Potatoes/Corn (the beef was from part of the roast I cooked on Monday.)

Thursday:
lunch - Grilled Cheese/pretzels/fruit
supper - Pork Chops (hopefully grilled)/roasted potatoes/peas/biscuits

Friday:
lunch - Noodle Soup/PB crackers/Fruit
supper - Tacos/Mexican Rice

Saturday:
lunch - leftovers
supper - Breakfast for supper

Week 2
Sunday:
lunch - planning to go to Little Caesars
supper - sandwiches or leftovers (we have church so nothing fancy)

Monday:
lunch - PB&J/fruit/pretzels
supper - Stir-fry (chicken/veggies/rice)

Tuesday:
lunch - pizza rolls/pretzels/fruit
supper - Lasagna/garlic bread/green beans

Wednesday:
lunch - Nuggets/fruit/cheez-its
supper - lunchables

Thursday:
lunch - Noodle Soup/crackers/fruit
supper - Roasted Chicken/potatoes/broccoli/corn bread

Friday:
lunch - Grilled Cheese/pretzels/fruit
supper - Chicken-N-Noodles/mashed potatoes/corn

I should note, that I don't do a big lunch. It is the basics and pretty much the same sides with each meal. I keep a variety of fruit (grapes/apples/bananas/ raisins/fruit cups/applesauce) on hand for some choice. I usually offer them leftovers as well, if they don't want what I have planned.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Plan in Progress

I sat down last Friday and wrote out two weeks worth of meals (lunch and dinner). In the past, I have just planned the main course, but this time I listed out everything I needed for the WHOLE meal.

Then Saturday (the worst possible day to go)I went shopping for my groceries. I made goal of how much I wanted to spend and made myself stick to the list. I even put something back after I had it in my cart for two aisles. lol

I got to the check-out and waited for my total after-coupons and it was $32 under budget - yay!! I really didn't plan around the sales or used a ton of coupons. In fact, my savings percentage was only 19% (pretty pathetic, I know). This told me that I spend too much money on things I think I will need, but in reality don't. I am sure telling my hubby NOT to come with me helped greatly too!! hahaha

I am doing well this week with sticking to my lunch and dinner plans, I know it is only Wednesday......

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Wasted Time

I am currently doing the devotion Jesus Calling 365 Devotions For Kids by Sarah Young with my girls. I really enjoy it and would recommend it for school-aged children. Not only does it minister to my girls, but also to me.

Today's devotion talked about shaking off things that don't go the way you want them to. "With enough practice, you will discover that most of the things you worry about just aren't that important. Your energy and time won't be wasted on things that really don't matter..." (pg 275)

I don't consider myself a worrier, but there are times I let little things add up causing unnecessary frustration and wasted time. Most of the time I ask myself if it is going to matter tomorrow, 1 yr from now, or ever going to matter and if not then I let it go. This has helped me handle life's little curve balls. By shaking off the little things, I will have more strength to take on the big things.

And according to Proverbs 20:24 "The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?"

Just sit back and enjoy life and all the blessings that God has given to you.

Monday, September 19, 2011

To plan or not to plan......

How many of you do meal planning? If so, do you do a weekly or monthly plan? And how detailed to you plan?

I have tried to do a meal plan before, but fail to maintain it. We get busy and one meal gets bumped, or I realized that I am out of something (or didn't buy it) that I thought I had then scrapped the meal. This all leads to getting frustrated and stopping. :(

I really think that if I planned my meals out, not only would it help my sanity (because I wouldn't be frantic about 5 pm wondering what in the world I am going to fix) but I firmly believe it would save me money. I do plan them vaguely based on the sales, but maybe a little more detailed will work better.

I follow a blog where she does a monthly meal schedule and then goes shopping accordingly. I am thinking that I need to start with one premade (preplanned) for me and then make changes according to my family's tastes. It may be nice to plan out every meal (well, at least lunch and dinner).

Okay, I am really do want your opinion on what I should do. So please, please, please share your secrets for not having a frantic whats-for-dinner dash around my kitchen.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

8 Years



8 years and 2 beautiful girls later



Happy Anniversary, Alex!! I love you!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Microscope Giveaway

Confessions of a Homeschooler is giving away a microscope!!

Besides offering this awesome giveaway, Confessions of a Homeschooler is a great place for curriculum ideas. :)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Your Grace is Enough


Saturday I got my third tattoo. The Greek word for grace - Charis - on my left ankle. This was for my daughter, Gracie, and also a way for me to thank the Lord because the definition of this type of grace is unmerited favor or undeserved blessing.

Everyday I can look around and am surrounded by blessings - a husband who loves and treats me wonderfully, two beautiful girls, a house, car, food on my table, and so much more.

Charis is such a powerful word. There is not one blessing that is deserved. I am not entitled to anything but death. But God has shown me unmerited favor, it is by His amazing grace that I am saved.

"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God." Ephesians 2:8

***I would recommend D'Wan at Under the Gun if you are wanting to get a tattoo. He is a Christian and a fabulous artist. Let us bless those who bless the Lord.***

Friday, September 9, 2011

Birthday Girl

So, yesterday was my birthday and I could choose to do whatever I wanted. Well, as many of you mommas already know that the best present is seeing our kids happy and laughing, I choose to go to.......go to Monkey Joe's in Indianapolis.

But first, the girls had made cards and a bag of goodies for me (they each picked out items in their own rooms that they wanted me to have). Gracie must have said happy birthday to me a hundred times and whenever I asked her to do something she would happily oblige with, "well, it's your birthday and you are the birthday girl." If only I had a birthday everyday....well, maybe not! lol

After Monkey Joe's and a late lunch at Olive Garden in Castleton we swung by Under the Gun to schedule my tattoo appt. I have a lily for my Lillie and the next one is for Gracie. I will show pictures and talk about it in another post. Finally we had ice cream and relaxed at home for the remainder of the evening.

But my day wasn't over for during the evening both girls decided to write and perform songs for me. They were so sweet and were just reminders of just how blessed I am to have them. I wish I would have recorded them singing to share with you, but unfortunately I didn't have time to grab the camera before they begun.

My birthday is a wonderful reminder of how blessed I am!!! Thank you, Lord for another year!!!

"Our sole purpose, our basic reason for existence, is to bring maximum glory to our God-to magnify, exalt, and elevate the Lord our God." Charles Swindoll Rise and Shine

"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Let Our Light Shine

Last night I was playing with my girls outside and Lillie started talking about the death of a good friend's grandmother. She said that the family was probably sad because we were sad when Uncle Joe died. I agreed.

Lillie - it is really sad when someone dies, even a Christian.

Me - Yes, but if they were a Christian and we are Christians, we will get to see them again.

Lillie - Yeah, but if that person is not a Christian, then it is really sad because we will never get to see them again.

Me - That is right and very sad. That is why it is important to tell people about Jesus.

Lillie - Yes, because we want everyone to go to Heaven.

Wow!! What a way to spend the evening, talking to my child about the importance of our witness!!

"We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God." 2 Corinthians 5:20

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Working Away

This week of school is going well. We switched out our old desks, for "new" ones. We were using the old wooden desks, the kind I had in middle school. The new ones (seen below) are from my parents church. The newer desks have a larger surface for books and the top lifts up for the girls to store their pencils, paper and other "treasures" they think are necessary for school.

Lillie is doing really good with her subjects and most days will hammer them out by 2pm, given a long lunch break. There are days we finish before lunch as well, but really depends on her attitude at the beginning of the day. We start out with our children's devotion and Bible lesson followed by prayer.

I am following a prayer model that a friend posted about on her blog (Lessons in the Little Stuff)-ACTS: A(adoration)C(confession)T(thanksgiving)S(supplication). My girls loves it and will remind me if we forget to pray. One day this summer we forgot to pray in the morning (due to being in a hurry) and on the way to an appointment we prayed and Lillie made sure to stress that I should NOT close my eyes when I pray since I was driving. lol

Gracie is still doing the letter of the week curriculum, but I am adding BOB books to them to help her with phonics. I really am not stressing over what she does or does not learn, just trying to make it fun for her. Which it must be because she constantly asking to do school. Most of what we would cover will be recovered during next year when she starts Kindergarten.

Here are a couple of pictures of the girls working away at their school work





....alright, they were just posing for pictures. =0)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A laboring discussion....

Friday was much better. We were just having an off day, which I know will happen every once in awhile. ;0)

Now on to a lighter conversation with Lillie.

Last night we went to outpouring service at our church (www.crosst.org) and on the way Alex and I were talking about Labor Day weekend. He said that Sony was taking volunteers to work that Monday and since we really don't have big plans that weekend, he might.

Lillie must have been listening, but not to all of it, because she got really excited and asks...."we are going to have another baby??!!"

Laughing I said, "No, why did you think that?"

Lillie, slightly disappointed, "Well, you said Labor and I thought that means a baby is coming. I also really want to be a big sister again."

I told her that there is no more babies planned in our house.

LOL - she is really in the baby zone though because she also got really excited about a baby shower today, until she realized it wasn't for the person she thought. :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

School Daze....

Well, after posting how smooth school was going, I have to share that today feels like a total flop. :(

I can't seem to get the girls to concentrate. Any little noise is a distraction and it is getting a little frustrating to say the least, so we are taking a short break to collect ourselves, eat lunch and then we will finish school. Ok, really just mom needs the break before I pull my hair out.....I hope I am not the only one with days like these.......no seriously, I need to know, do you have days like this too???

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

First Week of School

We have officially been back to school for a week. Lillie started 1st grade and Gracie pre-K. We are still going thru Christian Liberty with Lillie, but I am trying a little different approach to our days.

After reading several homeschooling blogs, I decided to start using workboxes. I bought this set of craft boxes that are well suited for our classroom use for 50% off at www.joanns.com .



There 20 drawers, 10 for each girl. They have a different subject or activity in each drawer. I use the top two for their school supplies. I love that they know when they finish their boxes, school is over. So far, I am having no, "Are we almost done??" questions. I also feel much more organized than last year.

Gracie has begun using some printables from Confessions of a Homeschooler. I really like her curriculum, but am finding that a lot of it is not hard enough for her. So it looks like I will be searching for more to add to it. She is so eager to learn and wants no "fluff" activities that I give her-lol.

Well, that is probably enough for now. :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

'Growing' up is hard to do

Lillie lost her 2nd tooth after church tonight!! This time it was because she was wiggling it and it just popped out. The tooth has been ready to come out for 2 days. It is tucked in her tooth pillow awaiting the tooth fairy's arrival.

As soon as it came out, she started crying. Today has been emotional for her, but I just didn't understand why she was crying because she said it didn't hurt.

On the way home from church, I asked her about her tears. Her reply was simple and totally understandable

"I am crying because losing a tooth means you are growing up and I'm not ready to grow up."

I smiled and told her that growing up was something everyone did, but that it also comes with new things that are fun and exciting.

But deep down I wanted to cry......................I am not ready for my little girl to grow up either :(

Thursday, July 7, 2011

First Tooth



Last night was an important night for Lillie.......she lost her first tooth!!

She was eating a snack at drama practice (popcorn) and all of a suddenly noticed the hole in her mouth. Although many searched for it, including in the chewed up parts she spit out, it could not be found. We realize that means it was swallowed, but all she thought was that it was lost adn no tooth means no tooth fairy surprise.

After about an hour of being upset, she finally believed that the tooth fairy would find it and take good care of it. We wrote a note and stuck it in her tooth pillow and when she got up this morning, there was another note from the "tooth fairy" and some money. :)

She is excited now, and is finding all sorts of things to fill that hole. She has another tooth that is loose..........

Monday, June 27, 2011

Right Now, Jesus!

Tonight Gracie got up and asked me to pray for her belly because it hurt and her throat because it felt like something was in it.

I prayed and at the end she says, "right now, Jesus! right now, Jesus!"

Then goes on to explain, "Sometimes, He waits a long time to answer, so I tell Him - right now, Jesus."

I kind of smiled about it and thought how cute, but then it stayed with me. How many times have I prayed half-heartily and then went about my day? God was there, maybe with my answer in His hands just waiting to hear if I have the faith to say (and believe) "right now, Jesus!"

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Crankiness...

Gracie came to my bed this morning around 5am and as she squirmed her way in, both Alex and I realized that she was burning up. So I took her temperature, gave her Motrin, and then we prayed for her.

Alex then went to check the air, during which I heard her praying, but couldn't understand all, just "in Jesus' name, amen".

Then she turns to me, and asked if we could get up. I told her no, it was too early. Her reply was, "well, it is okay, because I prayed that you wouldn't be cranky this morning." lol

I told her thanks, but it was still too early. She did go back to sleep after lots of cuddling, loving, and giggling. She also seems to be feeling a little better this morning with just a cough.

I guess she does listen when I tell her that if I don't get to sleep that I will be cranky in the morning. Or maybe I have been too cranky the past few days due to lack of sleep.....

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I am entering a contest to win a gift card for a new swimsuit. Here is the link to some modest mom-like suits, but still cute and fun. Check out their site

http://www.hapari.com/modest-tankinis/

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Catching Up

So, I may be a little behind, but I will give you a brief update on my family.

We had a fantastic Easter, but I forgot to take pictures of the girls in their Easter dresses.

On Easter evening Lillie fell off her chair (a whole two feet) and complained about her wrist hurting, but with no swelling or bruising, I decided to have her just "sleep it off". By the next morning there was a little swelling and I could tell it was really hurting her so before we left for Tennessee I took her to the ER.

After a quick 1 1/2 hour visit, and 3 x-rays later we left with her arm splinted and in a sling. Our family doctor actually said after taking it off the following Friday, that it was wrapped better than most casts he sees. :)



We had a nice visit to Tennessee, where we went to the Smokies,





WonderWorks, and Ripleys Aquarium.



We also were part of the biggest/strongest storm system that had hit that area. After almost 9 hours of constant tornado warnings, and some very scary times, we ended up with only some slight hail damage to our car. We are very thankful to God who protected us.

Lillie had her 6th birthday - WOW!! I can't believe she is that old already, boy does time fly!! We let her spend the day picking what we did, and she choose to go to Dairy Queen for lunch, bowl and shopped at Toys R Us. That evening we had cupcakes with the McBride children.



Lillie wanted to color her hair for her bday, so we got a few of her girlfriends and Gracie's girlfriends over one day and put highlights in. It was a lot of fun, and the girls are so cute with their teal, purple, and pink highlights.

We have had a pretty nice spring thus far, and am looking forward to an even nicer summer together. Hope you enjoy your days, because the time we have with each other is precious and a gift from God.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Letter of the Week Expansion Pack Giveaway Link

I have been following the blog Confessions of a Homeschooler for a while now. She not only homeschools, but develops her own curriculum!!! I am going to be purchasing her letter of the week series to start with Gracie this fall, but currently she is hosting a giveaway for an expansion pack for the series.

If you interested then you should check it out - http://confessionsofahomeschooler.blogspot.com/2011/04/k4-curriculum-lotw-expansion.html

Friday, April 1, 2011

Inked fo Life

Yesterday I went with a a few friends and got a new tattoo! It is of a lily and is on my left foot. I had so much fun - which I always do with these girls!

The girls who went minus one who had leave before the picture:



I had anticipated A LOT of pain (it has been just over 8 yrs since my ankle tattoo and I couldn't remember if it hurt too bad), and found that only a couple of areas on my foot was extremely bad, but the rest was pretty tolerable and was even able to carry a conversation on with all.

Working on it:



The finished tattoo:



Of course the lily is representative of my Lillie and soon I will be getting the Greek word for grace (charis-unmerited favor from God) for my Gracie. :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Who?

Today we beat Bowser on Mario Bros on DS. It was a big deal for the girls and they keep saying, "I can't believe we finally did it!" Well, for those of you who have done it, you know that the credits run afterwards. Now for the good story.

Lillie - what were all those words at the end of the game?

Mom - the names of the people who made the game - they all appeared to be Chinese or Japanese names.

Lillie (a bit confused)- I thought Santa made the game?!?

Mom (trying to recover) - well, then I guess they must have been elf names.

Lillie - that is what I thought.

Whew, just about blew that one since we still believe. :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

All Grown-up

This morning during school time Lillie and I were reminiscing about her preschool days. Here was our conversation:

Lillie - Mom, do you remember that one day when one of the other kids said that their favorite color was blue or something like that? And I got upset because that was my favorite color and they couldn't have that as theirs.

Mom - I don't remember that day, but it was probably a fun day talking about our favorite colors.

Lillie - Yeah, it was. Of course, now that I am all grown-up, I know that more than one person can have the same favorite color.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Picky Promise

It has been awhile since I posted. I will say I will do better, but time will only tell.... :)

Last night I decided to lay down with Gracie who had woke herself up coughing about hour after going to sleep. She was wide awake and very happy to have me, since it had a been a long time since I laid with her. Here was our conversation (which was very random):

Gracie: Mom, I promise I am not going to pick my nose anymore!

Mom: Really, that is good.

Gracie (giggling): Well, maybe not, but there is always soap and water. We do still have soap, don't we?

Mom: Yes, we always have soap.

Gracie: Okay, well goodnight.

There was other conversations, but that was the most interesting one.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Hmmm......really?

Here is a couple of conversations that I have had with my girls over age.

Friday Morning
Lillie: Mom, why did you go up to get prayed for last night?

Mom: Because they asked all the young adults to go up. (interrupted)

Lillie: But you're not young.

Mom: Yes, I am!

Lillie: Well, I guess you not as old as God.

Mom: Gee, thanks.


Later Friday afternoon

Gracie: How old is Grandma?

Mom: 60

Gracie: WHOA!

Lillie: Gracie that isn't old, 60 is pretty close to 20.

Gracie: Oh.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Devotions by Lillie

Lillie was going over Bible Truths with Gracie this morning. Here is her list and a little explanation:

Thou shall not say God's name in vain. (then gave an example of how not to say it)

Thou shall not eat people.

Thou shall not tell people I hate you or don't like you. (Gracie told her that she didn't like her which is brought about this lesson from Lillie)

Thou shall not steal.

Thou shall not bow before any idols.

Thou shall not call people stupid.

Thou shall not tell lies.

"These are notes from the Bible, Gracie,and we need to know these. One time the people didn't follow them and made a golden cow. When Moses came down the mountain he had to melt it and make the people drink the gold water."

I enjoy that she spoke them in King James speach. :)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Count Your Blessings

Last night Alex went in to check on Lillie. She told him she just couldn't fall asleep,so he suggested thinking of all the good things we've beeen blessed with.

Then rattled off - a warm house, food for our bellies, clothes.....

Lillie then intererruped with, "not to be in Hades." Then she giggled.

She cracks me up, but in all seriousness - we are thankful "not to be in Hades". :)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Available

Happy New Year to you and your family.

"God never asks about our ability or our inability - just our availability." God's Little instruction Book for Women

I thought I would start the new year off talking about being available. How many times have I prayed, "Lord, use me" but when that opportunity comes up, I am "too busy". I am sure there have been more opportunities than I can count that I have missed out on because it isn't in my plan. Hmmm, maybe Isaiah 55:8 will help me out: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord." :)

Sometimes being available means messing up your normal routine. Recently we took the girls to McDonalds, and although we normally just wait in the drive-thru, I decided to run inside. While in there I got the opportunity to share what the Bible had to say on a certain subject. I don't know if I had any impact, but I do believe God put me there for a reason. Had I just did my normal routine, I would have missed a chance to plant a seed.

My prayer for the new year is that God messes up my schedule so that I can shine for Him. I am going to make myself available for His use - how about you?

"I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me." Isaiah 6:8