Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Weekly Schedule

Daily Upkeep
·        Dishes
·        Laundry
·        Make beds
·        10 minute tidy
·        Shed junk for 10 minutes

Monday                                                    Tuesday
Bathrooms                                                 Bedrooms
Litter Boxes                                               Cub Scouts
Daniel shower                                            Amanda shower                                                                         Amanda trash

Wednesday                                              Thursday
Kitchen                                                     Floors/Dusting
Soccer Practice                                          Litter Boxes
Daniel shower                                            Irish Dance
                                                                Amanda shower
                                                                Daniel trash

Friday                                                      Saturday
Meal Plan/Grocery Shop                              Yard Work
Soccer practice                                          Soccer games
Daniel AWANA                                           Daniel shower

On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work. Genesis 2:2

Amanda youth group
Amanda shower

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Saturday Soccer & Seafood Bake

Team Patriot FC

I received a text from the chef earlier in the week about having a seafood bake.

Chef and Little Chef (Ratatouille is on right now)

The elegant place setting.

This was the first time using my new napkin holders. I didn't even know how to. 
The chef created this beautiful thing. (He is a much better wife than I).

I bought them in Cooperstown for $2.99 each. Cute.

Daniel named his "live" friends Yum and Yummy.

Chef Curtis has created yet another masterpiece. Red bliss potatoes, mini corn on the cob, clams, crab legs, shrimp and of course Yum and Yummy.

Need I say more!

At 4:45, Chef realized that we were going to have an ENORMOUS amount of food.  He said call someone.  Our neighbors (Bob, Heather and Robert) were able to join us in this impromptu invitation. (We saved them from turkey burgers). And the best part is they provided my favorite part of the meal, dessert! Thanks, friends for the ice-cream.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Meal Planning Ideas to Save Money

Today's blog post was written by NiseyB. The last time she was a guest writer, she wrote this which touches upon a lot of the same things. But read both posts. She is a wise woman with her money and I am sure that we all can learn something new.

We are always looking to save money!

“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”  Luke 16:13

I will be the first to validate anyone that meal planning, food shopping, prep and clean up is one of the most tedious tasks in our homes!!!  I love cooking, but I don't find I have a lot of time to always do it so here are some things I found that help me be prepared.

First of all, I no longer feel the need to be creative with finding and introducing new recipes on a regular basis.  In fact, we probably eat the same 5 to 7 meals in some variation most of the time.  It helps with shopping and I also know my kids will eat it.  My food budget is about the same as Theresa's - $75 to $100 a week.  I have beef in my freezer though.  I often buy one package of chicken per week and try to make it into two meals.  
I too wish I could eat healthy all the time, but reality is we are on a tight budget too so we do our best but I don't feel bad when I just can't make the budget on all nonboxed foods.  

If the children take bag lunches I can share some tips for that.  I learned to send small lunches because they really don't have time to eat much.  

Stick to one or two grocery stores, running around to multiple grocery stores to save a few dollars is not worth your time or effort.  I recommend Shoprite and Aldi's.  They are the most affordable for every day prices.  Honestly I do coupon shop and it saves me money but it doesn't make or break the budget.  SALE shopping does make a difference though and being aware of what is a good price to pay for something.  Cereal is always a good price at Aldi's, etc.  Another convenient option is Wal-Mart I am not a fan of Wal-Mart for many reasons but you could shop for most of what you need - food and household and save yourself time and money.  Or if Target is your preference, open their card - it is NOT a credit card, it links directly to your account and so it's like using a check card, but using it takes 5% off your bill.  

Here are a few ideas I do on a regular basis to stretch my food:

1) Pray and ask God to provide and stretch your food.  Seriously.  We have had a 5 lb bag of rice that reminds us of the widow's oil.  We just can't seem to use it up!!  Also pray God will stretch your food money - He does - I can't explain it - but He does!!  Ask Him to help you plan and shop wisely. Yes there is some time and effort that goes into this but with His help you can be efficient and once you get into a routine.

Click here to read that Bible reference.

2) Serve from the counter.  If you know what you have is really more then your family needs to eat, serve it on to plates from the counter and then put the rest into the fridge right away for leftovers (and then use the leftovers!!).  I have a clean out the fridge night from time to time when we just have odds and ends to clean up what we have left.  

3) Make a meal plan and food prep all at one time.  For example if you are having sloppy joes (a.k.a Beef Barbecue) and taco's during the week, cook up 3 lbs of ground beef and then divide it out.  Make up the sloppy joe and taco meat while you're cooking it, put the rest aside to add to spaghetti sauce for spaghetti.  

Meal ideas:
  • Spaghetti and Sauce (sometimes wiht meat and sometimes with Garlic Bread if it's on sale.  I can get a box of 6 for $1.50 - and everyone gets one piece and we divide the last one).  
  • Taco's: 1) in a shell; or 2) bake a corn bread and serve the meat on top of the corn bread; or 3) with rice and mix favorite toppings into it
  • Rice and Beans: add tomatoes, peppers, onions (I know you won't add onions), corn and serve with sour cream and some mexican cheese (optional if you don't have it)
  • Homemade pizza: I will send you the recipe, I make a double batch and freeze leftovers into small portions for my kids lunches.  You can add any toppings you'd like.  I also buy tomato sauce and make my own sauce by adding a little brown sugar and seasonings - much cheaper then buying pizza sauce on a regular basis.  
  • Stove top Lasagna - ground beef and Italian dressing and water, boil broken lasagna noodles on the stove top in the mix (also add whatever you'd like - tomatoes, peppers, etc).  Serve with mozz cheese on top
  • Hamburgers with a side of veg
  • Tomato soup and grilled cheese
I will serve fresh fruit whenever I can, obviously I had the benefit of having that often from the farm this summer, but even if you get canned fruit like pineapple or peaches (Aldi's is cheap) and serve that on the side.  

Ok, I know that is a lot already, so I will stop for now.  But, getting into a routine is the easiest thing.  

What she meant to say is that once you are in a routine it will get easier.

It is still a challenge every week, but it does simplify.  My 2012 word!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Knowing God's Heart

“[Have the Attitude of Christ] Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.” Philippians 2:1-2 NLT

God knows my heart? But do I know His?

I just need to have one thought in my head towards everything I do. please my LORD.

Just be holy, Theresa. Just be holy.

Ah, if it was that easy.

Yesterday's Stress Detox from Tracie Miles is entitled "Release".

I just completed my walk and that was the word that rang through my head. I've been released!

I will no longer listen to the lies that I miss my past position. I will no longer listen to the lies that I am not missed. I will no longer listen to the lies that I will fail.

God has released me. I have moved on. That season is over because He has another plan for my life. I am 100% certain that I am where I am suppose to be.

I had another plan in June. It involved five other people. One by one, those people did not confirm "my plan". 

I am 100% certain that I am where God wants me.

Peace. Yes. I can say I am at peace.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Catch Phrases

Do you have one? Something that rings through your brain to bring you back to center, ground you or calm your stormy heart?

Mine is "Jesus is Lord".

Recently, I had a conversation with JeannieHopes. She said that she is watching her food intake with her husband. Then she said, "He said to me, you don't need to eat that pizza because you already know what it taste like."

Simple. Genius actually!

I, too, am watching my intake. Summer is when I gain. Everyone else in the world loses because they are more active. Winter clothes covers winter weight. Not me. I lose in the winter. Summer weight is all about one thing. S'mores. I don't eat s'mores in the winter. I don't eat fudge either. We also eat more grilled things like hot dogs and hamburgers in the summer.

So this phrase has been working. I was dishing out ice-cream on Monday night for the children and thought about getting some for myself. Then I thought, "No. I already know what it taste like."

That was it. Oh yes. My two wires connected inside my brain.


How about you? What works for you?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Thursday, September 6, 2012

And Daniel!

Yesterday Daniel started fifth grade. After Daniel and his buddy went in the school, I turned to his buddies mother (who is my buddy!) and said "This is the last time we will walk our boys to school on the first day." She said, STOP.

We went back to her house and talked and prayed for the children. Then we were talking about how quickly time moves. I said "you will never look back and say I wish I had worked more". Then I started to cry. She said STOP. Then I said "it was just yesterday and they were three and we were going to Bible study". Then I cried more. She said STOP. So, I pulled myself together.

This morning the boys rode their bikes to school alone at 8:40 am. They are both on the safety patrol so they will not leave school until 3:55 pm. They will come home together without a parent.

So a page has turned and a chapter closed. I have been walking to the elementary school since 2003. Oh my. It's been a lifetime and now it's over. (Waaah) are the pictures of Daniel. It was also the first year that I didn't get a picture of Amanda and Daniel together. It was dark when Amanda left. I will have to stage photos!

September 5 - 5th Grade

Still so agreeable to pose with Momma.

Daniel and Eric
Now he's faking a smile.

Smile nicely or I will take 15 pictures instead of one.

Thanks for the outfit Mom Mom.



This book was a very quick read. It only had twelve chapters. Lysa TerKeurst is the author, one of my very favorite authors. The reason is simple. I can relate to her. We could hang. We don't come from the same backgrounds and our current home life is not the same. (She has five children). But she is a regular girl who comes unglued by much of the same issues I have. And she wants to change!

So I highlighted some of my favorite parts that I will share. But please read it for yourself. I would recommend this to EVERY woman because you will be able to identify with something.

"What happens in between the smiling snapshots of life isn't all pretty. I'm willing to admit that. And I love my friends who are brave enough to admit the messy stuff as well. I dedicate these words to you as we set out to make some imperfect progress together." Lysa TerKeurs

Four Categories of Unglued Reactions

1. The Exploder Who Shames Herself
"People stand on one side and Satan stands on the other.When we dump hurt into one another's lives, we aren't leveling the conflict scale. We are just weighing down the people side of the scale and elevation the Satan side of the scale. Satan loves it when we do his work for him by dumping on each other". 

2. The Exploder Who Blames Others

3. The Stuffer Who Builds Barriers
"If they make the choice to walk over me rather than walk with me, I'll have to love them from afar. I can forgive and refuse to hold resentment toward them, but just because I extend my forgiveness doesn't mean I have to give them access to me." AMEN!

The Stuffer Who collects Retaliation Rock

Lysa and I both identified that we fall into all four categories!

From Chapter 7: I need a Procedure Manual

(One with a calm spirit and divine nature). I want it to be evident that I know Jesus, love Jesus, and spend time with Jesus each day.

WOW. God's divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life? Everything?

My Biblical Procedure Manual

Step 1: Remember who you are.
I'm not an unglued woman who is a slave to her circumstances, her hormones, or to other people's attitudes. Those things might affect me, but they don't rule me. I am a child of God, holy and dearly loved, whom God has set apart for a might plan. And there ain't nothing in this world worth trading all that for. Indeed, I must remember who I am.

Step 2: Redirect your focus to Jesus.
Yes, keeping my eyes and my mouth focused on Jesus is a crucial part of my unglued procedure manual.

Step 3: Recognize God's job isn't your job.
Operating in the flow of God's power is so much better than working against the flow of God's power. Seeking to obey God in the midst of whatever circumstance I'm facing is what positions me to work in the flow of God's power. I still have to navigate the realities of my situation, but I won't be doing it in my own strength. My job is to be obedient to God, to apply His Word, and to walk according to His ways - not according to the world's suggestions. 

Step 4: Recite thanks and praises to God.
Oh, how powerful it is to shift from an attitude to gratitude and to praise our God in the midst of it all. When I do this, my circumstances may not instantly change, but the way I look at those circumstances certainly does. 

Step 5: Realize reactions determine reach.
I want to train my mind to remember each step, each truth, each choice. Then I want to train my heart to have the courage to implement each one.

So, here's the short version of my predetermined biblical procedure manual all in one place:
1. Alarmed, I resolve to remember who I am.
2. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus
3. Stay in the flow - my job is obedience; God's job is results.
4. Shift from an attitude to gratitude.
5. My reactions determine my reach.

Chapter 8 - My Kid Placemat Life

Having God as an identity maker reduces Him to nothing more than a label, a lingo, and a lifestyle - I'm a Christian so I talk like one and act like one. But having God as an identity changer is much, much more. It means I am no longer the person I was before, someone who comes unglued at minor things. I am making imperfect progress. Shifting, breaking away, and being chiseled. I am a woman whose identity has been changed by coming face to face with the One who has the power to completely transform me.

When human finances, strategies, and programs fall short, God's power fills the gap. When discouragement looms close, God's power moves in closer. 

Chapter 10 - Negative Inside Chatter

I identified with this chapter the most, I believe!

Three Questions

1. Did someone actually say this or am I making assumptions about what they're thinking?
2. Am I actively immersing myself in truth?
3. Are there situations or relationships that feed my insecurities?

"I discerned that our relationship was as bothersome to her as it had become to me. We had to agree to disagree and eventually the friendship faded away. The friendship was not characterized by honor, encouragement, and love. Therefore, it wasn't good for either of us."

If honor, encouragement, and love are the characteristics of the friendships I want in my life, I need to foster these qualities in my relationships. 

How a woman thinks is often how she lives. May we think on and live out truth, and only truth, today.

Chapter 11 - My Soul Needs to Exhale

Talking about her husband and how he treats his customers:

And he never qualifies his kindness. The grumpy customer gets the same kindness as the happy one.

We get into trouble when, instead of parking our minds on truth, we let them idle in perception. 

Chapter 12 - It Isn't All Bad

Lies flee in the presence of truth. But just as we have to flip on a light switch to erase the darkness, we have to activate truth to erase the lies. We have to capture our thoughts, hold them up to the truth, and make them line up with Scripture before we entertain those thoughts. 

Lysa references these three scriptures.

2 Corinthians 10:5
Philippians 4:8
Colossians 3:1-2

I've learned that anytime I started hearing lies speaking louder than truth, it's an indication my soul is starving for God's Word.

I must remember that external expressions are internal indications. 

Oh, let it be so noted about my life! That my words, my love for those who love me - and even more, my love for those who don't love me - reveal that, yes, I have been with Jesus.

When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. Acts 4:13


Epilogue: Accepting the Invitation to Imperfect Progress

Brokenness to redemption, where mercy and grace kiss both sides of our face. 

So, if by chance you see me in the aisle at Target forgetting truth and coming a little unglued, just whisper the gentle, hope-filled reminder, "It's a choice. Choose imperfect progress, sweet friend," and smile.

I'm always sad when I finish a good book. But I already have a new one. It's called Choosing Forgiveness.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

September 2009
September 2012

New Hairstyle

New Boots!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Last Day of Summer

And I am emotional already. I think I am hormonal on top of that. So not fair.

What to do on the last day of summer? Well Amanda will be getting a new hair style for a new school. She is  starting high school tomorrow. And this is the style she likes (click here).

The back packs are ready. I will gather lunch supplies later. The clothes are all laid out. What to do? What to do?

While I am waiting for the Princess to get out of the shower (it could be a while), I am checking FB. Currently Amanda is singing the Star Spangled Banner. She was asked to sing it in October at a football game. We don't have any details yet but she has been practicing since she found out yesterday.

OK, so getting back to FB. Everyone is posting pictures of their children starting school. Some have started last week. Some have started today. It was a picture of "Joey" that sent me over the edge. The comment was simple: 1st Day of First Grade.  I cried. A lot. Until the tears ran down my face. When did he get so big? It was yesterday that he was in my sister's two year old class.

Time marches on. It slows for no one. I read on someone's page that the days go slowly but the years go fast. So true.

So today I want to just enjoy the moments with Amanda and Daniel.

I have trim to paint in Amanda's room. It can wait.
I have laundry to fold. It can wait.
I have bills to pay. It can wait.

Tomorrow I will be here by myself (with the cats). I can do it tomorrow. Why do it today when I can put if off until tomorrow. Right?

Sunday, September 2, 2012

For Today...

Thanks Tina for this post idea.
FOR TODAY September 2, 2012
Outside my window…humid, dark, 9:10 pm.
I am thinking…of going to bed shortly.
I am thankful… that God allowed Pastor Joe to say the right words and use the right scriptures to heal my wounded heart.
In the kitchen… well not much is going on there. Everything is cleaned up and since we used paper plates, the dishwasher isn't full enough to run.
I am wearing… pajama bottoms and Curtis' "All-Stars" Blue Little League shirt.
I am creating… a relaxing bedroom for Amanda to start her high school journey in.
I am going… to Women of Faith with my sister on Friday!
I am wondering… how God continues to pour out His grace and mercy on this unglued girl.
I am reading… Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst.
I am hoping… that hearts soften and forgiveness is extended.
I am looking forward to… tomorrow morning. The house will be quiet. I will go for a 2 mile morning walk.
I am hearing…laughter from the living room from my Love and my little man. They are watching Lemony Snickets. LOVE.
Around the house… sat many boxes of clothes that have been washed and recently returned. It's been a week long clothes ministry.
I am pondering… well, not much at this moment.
One of my favorite things… laying in bed listening to the train in the distance. Recently, I am tickled when I get up in the middle of the night and the kitten comes and meets me in the bathroom, flopping at my feet.
A few plans for the rest of the week… Labor Day, I am sure we will have burgers. Wednesday is the first day of school. I also would like to finish painting Amanda's bedroom.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Nursing a wounded heart

"whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away." James 4:14