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Counting Blessings

For the month of November, a lot of my friends on Facebook have done daily posts of what they’re thankful for.  I love the idea of counting your blessings on a daily basis, not just on Thanksgiving.  I wanted to participate in the daily Facebook posts, but I procrastinated and now we find ourselves at the end of November.  So, I have decided to list all thirty days of thankfulness in one convenient post.  I am not sure that you will enjoy reading everything that I feel fortunate to have, but maybe it will remind you that we all have so much to be grateful for.

1. My Salvation: The number one thing that I feel most fortunate to have is the knowledge that my soul is saved because Jesus died on the cross and rose again.  It blows my mind that it doesn’t matter what I’ve done or even what I may do, I am 100% forgiven and I don’t have to do anything to deserve it other than accept Jesus as my Savior.

2. Tony: On almost a daily basis I marvel that I am married to such a wonderful man.  He is hard-working, caring of others, funny, attractive and has a faith that stretches my own.  I am excited that I get to spend the rest of my life with him.

3. Leila: My beautiful first-born has a special place in my heart.  I know watching her that she is not only pretty on the outside but also has a lovely spirit.  More importantly, Leila has taught me how to be gentle and sensitive to other’s needs.

4. Moriah: While she can be a handful 75% of the time, Moriah brings joy and laughter to my life.  She is intelligent, determined and marches to the beat of her own drum.  From Moriah, I have learned patience and to never quit.

5. Isabella: My darling baby girl, I can’t imagine my life without her.  She is always smiling and always has something to say, even if no one else understands anything she is saying.  I am thankful for my Isabella Boo because she has taught me to have an exuberance for life.

6. God’s Provision: Although I do not particularly enjoy living 16 hours from our family, I am thankful for the job opportunity Tony was given in Texas.  God gave him that promotion and through that we have been able to enjoy so many nice things.

7. Our Home: One of the luxuries Tony’s job has provided us with is a nice 3 bedroom house with a large yard and our own garage.  It isn’t anything super fancy and it isn’t exactly “ours”, yet I am still grateful for the comforts it gives us.

8. My Car: Having a vehicle that works properly and fits three car seats is such an enormous blessing.  I know I could manage without, but it is nice that I don’t have to.

9. Football: I don’t know what it is about this sport that I love so much, but I am appreciative that I get to watch my Denver Broncos.

10. Daisy: I haven’t always been a “cat person” per say, but I am still thankful to have Daisy as our pet.  She is annoying at times, clawing my carpet and knocking over glasses of water, but I know I would be sad if we lost her.  She is my bug hunter, killing our Texas-sized vermin, and my cuddle partner when Tony is out-of-town.

11. My Hearing: I count it as a major blessing that I have the ability to hear Moriah’s laughter, my husband’s voice as he sings in the shower or the sound of rain.

12. My Sight:  Without my sight I would not be able to see Isabella light up a room with her smiles or the majesty of a Rocky Mountain sunset, so I won’t ever take it for granted.

13. My Health: Having the energy to chase my kids around, the strength to hold Leila in my arms, not having to worry about them growing up without a Mommy.  I thank God for my good health.

14. America: Although it isn’t perfect, I love living in this country.  I realize how blessed I am to live in a country where I get to enjoy so many freedoms.

15. Our Military: I do not think I could ever truly express my gratitude for the sacrifice our servicemen and women have made to protect my freedoms.  Thank you to all of you who lay down your lives for us.

16. My Past: Although I am not proud of the choices I have made in the past, they have formed me into the person who I am today.  I know I could use my past as an excuse to hold me back from being the person God wants me to be, but I’ve realized that what decisions I’ve made can be used as a testimony to bring glory to God.  For that reason, I am very thankful for my past.

17. Education: I’m really glad I can read, because it would suck if I couldn’t.

18. A Sense of Humor: I am grateful I have, what I consider, a good sense of humor.  Without it, I would go crazy trying to raise my kids.  I think it is a positive thing that I can laugh even when my children have been busy wreaking havoc.

19. Indoor Plumbing: Do I need to explain this one?

20. My Parents: God knew exactly what He was doing when He entrusted my parents with my care.  They have taught me so much and I am grateful for their generosity, forgiveness and unconditional love.  I know without them, I wouldn’t be here. (Literally)

21. My In-Laws: I am thankful for my in-laws because they did such a phenomenal job raising the man I love.  Plus, they’re pretty normal people and we get along most of the time.  I know that is a rare blessing that I am fortunate to have.

22. Our Marriage: Tony and I haven’t been married very long, but I know that our marriage is one that will last.  We’ve built our foundation on Jesus and we have been given multiple tools to maintain a healthy relationship.  Sure we have our ups and downs, but at the end of the day we love each other just as much as the day we said “I do”.

23. Food: Outside of my family, food is my favorite.  I am very, very thankful that I have the luxury of being picky about what I eat and being able to enjoy things like chicken tacos, artichoke dip and Snickers.

24. Technology: Without Skype, Facebook, and my phone I would probably go insane with homesickness.  It isn’t quite the same as being able to see my family in person, but without it I know I would be very lonely.

25.  Free Time: Alright, I only get free time when my children are either asleep or when we can afford a babysitter.  But when I have that blissful time for myself, I am so grateful that I can spend it doing the things I enjoy like reading, working on my novel, or spending time with Tony.

26. The Bible: It is God’s instruction manual for my life.  I know I would be pretty lost without it.  His word blesses me every day.

27. Free Enterprise: It is a unique blessing that we enjoy, the ability to create wealth for ourselves through our own business.  Personally, Tony and I do this through our Amway business, but I am thankful that everyone has the same opportunity.

28. Clothes: I may not have the latest fashion or name brands, but I have a closet full of clothing to keep me warm and out of jail for indecent exposure.

29. Stars: Whenever I look up at the night sky and see all of those stars, it leaves me breathless, reveling in the magnitude of my God’s awesome power.  I am thankful for that reminder, because it gives me hope.  If my God has the ability to arrange all of those heavenly bodies, then He has the ability to do something wonderful through me.

30. Morning: I love sleeping in. I really do.  But when my alarm goes off, it is a daily reminder to be thankful.  Because each day that I wake up to that blaring sound is another day that I am alive.  For that, I am so very grateful.
Now that you know what I count as a blessing, what are you thankful for?

Both riches and honor come from You, and You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; in Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. “Now therefore, our God, we thank You and praise Your glorious name.” ~ 1 Chronicles 29:12-13 ~

The Best Medicine

We’ve all heard the old adage the laughter is the best medicine.  It isn’t a lie, laughter does have multiple health benefits such as:

  • Laughter relaxes the whole body.  A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
  • Laughter boosts the immune system.  Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
  • Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals.  Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
  • Laughter protects the heart.  Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.

So, just as a caring citizen of this world I am going to improve your health today.  (Hopefully your sense of humor is similar to mine, otherwise your health will probably not improve.  Sorry.)

Here is Richard Simmons, screaming like a little girl.

Letters to God

Finally some cute babies, because honestly, who doesn’t like babies?  If you don’t like babies there is something wrong with you.  Seriously.

Learning is Fun!

I recently read an article that said girls are less likely to excel in math & science than boys, simply because girls don’t get as much exposure to those subjects.  Boys are given toys like legos and science kits which are more targeted towards math & science.  Meanwhile, girls are more likely to play with “homemaking” type toys, such as dolls and toy kitchens.  So this past week I made a concentrated effort to expose my girls to the wonderful worlds of math & science.  As I was planning what we would do, I definitely wanted my girls to learn but more importantly I wanted them to have fun.  I think learning, no matter the subject, is a whole lot easier when you’re having fun.

Ultimately, I found a bunch of fun ideas on Pinterest, which has quickly become my most visited website.  At the bottom, you’ll find a list of websites that I took our experiments from.  A lot of the websites had other great ideas, that I intend to try out in the future.  For the time being though, I settled on these “lessons”.

Vinegar/Baking Soda Experiment:  Using balloons to contain the baking soda kept the mess to a minimum and also gave us a chance to talk about gas.  This is definitely one we will do again, because it was easy to assemble and super fun.  My only recommendation is not to skimp on supplies.  If you’re going to do this with your kids, make sure you buy a large container of baking soda and the biggest bottle of vinegar you can find.  Because they are going to want to do this experiment over and over and over.

Leila with her "safety goggles" on.

Homemade Flubber/Gooey Goo:  Not sure if this was educational or not, but it sure was fun.  It is made from Elmer’s glue, Borax (which you’ll find in the same aisle as laundry detergent), water and food coloring.  The substance is interesting in that it feels sort of like silly putty, but doesn’t quite behave the same way.  I suggest making hand imprints, cutting it with scissors and bouncing it.  You should keep it in a ziptop bag or Tupperware container so that you can play with it later.

Lego Math:  There are printable worksheets you could use, but I felt that was a bit advanced for my kids.  So we counted the dots on the legos, created patterns and then used them as a form of measurement.  For example, Isabella is 27 legos tall, Leila’s forearm is 8 legos long, and Moriah’s upper back is 11 legos wide. It was fun discovering ways to use these everyday toys to teach math but I came to realize that we have a disgusting amount of legos in our home. 

Nature Walk:  This was probably the most inexpensive activity, as it really required nothing but nice weather and a healthy curiosity.  Ours was cut a bit short as I forgot to have the kids go to the bathroom before we left the house.  However in the time we were outside we talked about the weather, what nature consists of and discovered why the sky is blue.  Next time we take a nature walk I intend to have the kids collect things like leaves, dandelions, rocks and bugs.  I can also try to incorporate some math by counting trees, cars and even clouds.  But more importantly, I’ll make sure my kids have gone potty before we even step foot outside.  

My lovely models

Baking Cookies:  Seriously, baking is all about science and math.  That’s the real reason why we made those chocolate chocolate chip cookies, I swear.  We may have discussed fractions for only thirty seconds, but I mentioned them nonetheless.  For those of you interested (all of you), there is a link to the recipe I used at the bottom.

At the end of the week, it was hard to gauge whether or not my children had learned anything.  But looking over all the photos I took for this blog, I realized it didn’t matter if my children understood ph balance, forms of measurement or light refraction.  Because in the end they had fun and we created some fantastic memories.

The pure joy of SCIENCE!!

http://www.momto2poshlildivas.com/2012/01/flubber-gak-fun.html  (Recipe for flubber.  You can also find the vinegar/baking soda experiment on this blog)

http://thesixkents.wordpress.com/2009/03/23/lego-math-worksheets/  (Lego Math Worksheets.)

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/chocolate-chocolate-chip-cookies-i/detail.aspx  (Cookie recipe)

Sensory Play

I have to admit, I was highly skeptical when I first stumbled upon sensory tubs. I saw them a lot on Pinterest, but I wondered would it be worth it to create a sensory tub for my children? It seemed to me that these containers filled with a variety of small items would be great for a child with autism or some other disability. But would it benefit my children who do not face any developmental challenges? I had no doubt that my three-year old would enjoy them, but would it capture my 5 year old’s attention? Plus, they looked expensive to make.

Then today, at our library story time, they had a “treasure chest” sensory tub. The librarian allowed each child to sift through colored sand to find a “treasure”. The kids were absolutely thrilled and had to be coerced into doing the craft portion because they were so excited about finding different treasures.

Inspired, I left the library on a mission to create a “treasure chest” sensory tub for my children. It wasn’t that hard to gather the needed supplies and at a reasonable price too. I got plastic coins, Easter eggs, decorative stones or “gems” and seashells at the dollar store.

Treasures for just $4

Then I headed over to Target to find a storage tub (14x11x6) with a lid. I felt it was important to get one with a lid so that our cat didn’t mistake my kids treasure chest for her litter box. Not to blow my own horn, but I think that was super smart.

Daisy being curious

Now, here is where I messed up. I was being lazy and didn’t want to take a trip into Austin to go to Hobby Lobby, so instead I headed over to Petco to get sand for the tub. I was super excited to find a 5 pound bag of blue sand (typically used for lizards) for just three bucks. You know, I don’t think you should use that kind of sand for your children’s sensory play. It had a funky smell to it and it literally turned my children into Smurfs.  I have found a recipe for cloud dough which is said to have the same consistency of damp sand that I intend to try out.  I’ll let you know how that works out.

Smurf-tastic!

 But my children didn’t care that they looked like 80’s cartoons, because they had a blast with the “treasure chest”. Plus, as I watched them play I realized how many opportunities there were for learning. They were exploring different colors, textures, sounds and smells, as well as learning how to scoop, pour, count and sort. The beautiful thing is, this sensory tub started out as a treasure chest but it quickly transformed into a beach and then it was a kitchen. Their imaginations absolutely ran wild while playing with a tub that cost less than $25 to make.

Scooping & pouring

Sorting coins

 

My favorite part was when I asked them what the sand felt like. Leila’s response was that it was soft. Moriah (true to her unique personality) said that it felt like Rainbow Dash. Okay then.

 

~ One of the virtues of being very young is that you don’t let the facts get in the way of your imagination.  Sam Levenson ~

Love Letters Revamped

I realize that Valentine’s Day has come and gone.  While I do enjoy celebrating the holiday, (what woman doesn’t like getting chocolates packaged in heart-shaped containers?) I realize that it is an excellent idea to show your spouse that you love them throughout the year.  So I’ve decided to give my husband this belated Valentine’s gift:

I found this idea on Pinterest.

  I really like this idea because with my husband’s work schedule I don’t get to see him that much.  Some days he leaves before I wake up and doesn’t get home until after I’ve gone to bed.  I thought this is a great way for us to communicate with each other and I think it is much more personal than a text message.  It was super easy to do and actually quite inexpensive.  So basically, I purchased a picture frame and 3-D glitter heart stickers from Hobby Lobby.  I decided to go with a 5×7 because I thought it was just enough space to leave a love note without getting too wordy.   

I placed just a few hearts, because while I love anything shiny and pink, my husband not so much.  Trust me, it was hard to restrain myself.  After that using a piece of watercolor paper and my daughter’s Crayola watercolor paints, I made a “backdrop” for our love notes.  I was quite pleased with my artistic ability although I am sure any first grader could probably produce an identical product.

My masterpiece

  Once I let my artwork dry, I put it into the frame and used a dry erase marker to write a heartfelt love note to my husband.  Alright, I was at a loss for words so I used song lyrics. Here is the finished product:   

From beginning to end this project probably took me an hour to do (mostly drying time for my painting) and cost around ten dollars to make.  Which is pretty awesome considering that this is something that can be used for years to come.  If you decide to do this project, you don’t have to imitate everything I did.  I think this would be pretty neat if you used lined notebook paper or followed more closely to the original photo above.  I think the key here is to do it out of love and whatever the results, it will be perfect.

 
 
~ Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.  1 John 4:7 ~

Last night I was discussing my fashion woes with my husband and I realized there was a lot of silence coming from the other end of the phone.  “I keep going on about clothes and you don’t really care do you?”  He was honest.  “It is kind of boring.”  At that moment I realized that to him (and probably a vast majority of the male population), clothes are just clothes.  And that is fine.  But to women, our clothes are an extension of ourselves.  Women, for some unexplainable reason, emotionally tether themselves to inanimate objects.  Whether it be our house, our handbags or our clothes, we look for an outlet to express our inner selves.

And that is where my problem lies.  Inside, I am this creative, bubbly, colorful, young woman who craves to be noticed.  At the same time, I am a stay-at-home mom, so my clothes have to be practical and affordable.  Which means my wardrobe consists mainly of t-shirts, jeans and tennis shoes.  Sorry, Michael Kors & Jimmy Choo, your stuff is fabulous but I have no desire to attempt grocery shopping with three children in high heels.  Still, jeans and t-shirts aren’t cutting it for my inner diva.

But more importantly, I have recently lost ten pounds so none of my clothes fit.  Which gives me a fantastic reason to give my closet a much-needed facelift.  Who says, mommy’s can’t look stylish while doing the dishes or running errands?  If I had my way, I would probably spend $500+ revamping my style but I am on a budget, so I had to choose a few key pieces.  Here is what I came up with and all of it under $125.

Sparkly Top from Forever 21
 
1. A sequined top is like a t-shirt’s fancy cousin who drinks with their pinky out. Of course, I need to get the most bang from my buck, so I am making this top do double-duty.  Paired with jeans, this is casual enough to go to story-time at the library.  Put it with some black leggings and killer heels, and I am ready for date night with the hubby.
 
Hot pink blazer from Charlotte Russe
 
 
2.  If I have learned anything from my marathons of watching What Not to Wear, it is that a tailored blazer is a must-have in every woman’s wardrobe.  Now, the sanguine side of me says I should get this hot pink blazer and rock it everywhere I go.  But at the same time, I am wondering if baby spit-up would look more appropriate on a plain black one?
 
  

Dressy Ballet Flats from Payless

3.  Dressy ballet flats.  Practical, yet stylish.  Need I say more?

 

Skinny Jeans from Kohl's

 4.  Jeans are a staple in my closet.  There is no escaping that.  But these dark wash skinny jeans will not only show off my awesome post baby bod, but also look freaking fantastic with my sparkly top, hot pink blazer and dressy ballet flats.  Now if only I had the right accessories…

Earrings from Charlotte Russe

 
 
 
5.  Accessories are probably the cheapest and fastest way to spruce up an old outfit.  Personally, outside of my wedding ring I don’t often wear jewelry.  But when I do, I want it to be something with character, like these pieces. 

Bracelet from Forever 21

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do you think of my choices?  Is there anything you would add?

 

 

 

~ She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. Proverbs 31:22 ~

Traveling With Children

In less than eight days, I will be flying to Colorado to spend time with my family and friends.  I am so excited.  But before I get there, I have to get my three small children onto the plane and keep them entertained for two and a half hours.  By myself.  This requires super powers.  Unfortunately, this is something God forgot to endow me with when He created me.  So for this trip, I have to do intensive preparation to survive our little journey.  This isn’t my first time flying by myself with our children, so I feel semi-pro at this.  At least I have a good idea what works and what doesn’t.  Here are some tips for those of you who might find yourselves traveling with children.

As I have already said, preparation is key and that should begin before you even pack a bag.  If your children have never flown on an airplane, I would encourage that you get them ready for what is going to happen.  There are a lot of ways to approach this, but what I did was get the book Airport by Byron Barton.  It is fantastic for children under the age of 5 and explains everything that happens between arriving at the airport and take-off on the airplane.  I felt it was a little skimpy on details about going through security but I am pretty sure that is because this book was written before 9-11.  

I definitely recommend you check out TSA’s website, prior to your trip.  Not only does it cover prohibited items, but it also explains the procedures for taking your children through security.  It has some educational videos that you could watch with your children so that they understand what may happen.   You can find a link to their website at the bottom of this post.

When you are preparing for your trip, take into consideration how much time will be spent on the plane and make sure you bring plenty of things to keep your child entertained for that time.  Here is a list of items you could bring to keep them happy:

– Coloring books & crayons

– Stickers (Just make sure they don’t stick them to their seats or trays)

– Small, quiet toys

– Books

– Finger puppets

– Portable DVD player (Earphones are key here)

– Snacks

Now let me take a moment to discuss acceptable snacks with you.  Personally, I’d avoid anything high in sugar.  I mean let’s use common sense here people.  Is it logical to feed your 3-year-old apple juice, cookies, fruit snacks and then expect them to sit still for an extended time without getting fussy?  It isn’t going to happen.  Instead, I like easy to transport snacks that are still tasty.  For instance, goldfish, bananas and raisins are all great options.  Bring sippy cups with either milk or water in it to help your children deal with the change in cabin air pressure instead of lollipops.  The key to get them to “pop” their ears is to get them to swallow, so you don’t need candy or gum to accomplish this.  (Declare the liquids in the sippy cups before you go through TSA and you shouldn’t have any problems)

In the off-chance that I have exhausted all of their forms of entertainment and we still have time left on the flight, I suggest packing “surprises” in your carry-on.  A surprise could be a new book, toy or special snack.  These come in handy especially when your child might need some persuasion to behave.  I don’t like rewarding bad behavior, but sometimes desperate situations demand desperate measures. 

Preparing for your trip, I recommend you call your airline and check what their policy is on checking strollers and booster seats.  Most of them regard these as necessary items and so they won’t charge you for them.  Check your carseats to make sure they are approved to be used on aircraft.  Typically, you can find a sticker on the side of the carseat that will say whether or not it is appropriate.  Finally, if you’re like me and going to be traveling by yourself with your children, ask your airline if they provide gate passes.  Basically, gate passes allow a friend or relative to help you to or from your gate.  If you’re like me and have more than one child traveling with you, I highly recommend getting a gate pass.

Above everything else, just relax.  Children can pick up on our emotions and if you are stressed, fearful or frustrated they will react to that.  So take some deep breaths, ask God for strength and have confidence that you can do this. 

 

  http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/children/index.shtm

Lessons Learned

Before I had kids, silence was just silence.  Now silence means my children are doing something diabolical.  Or at the very least unrolling an entire roll of toilet paper.  When I was pregnant with my first daughter, I got my hands on pretty much every book remotely related to infants and children.  But there is no amount of literature you could consume that can truly prepare you for the battlefield that is parenthood.  Some lessons you have to learn the hard way.  Here is some knowledge I’ve gained in the past five years:

 

~ Showers are a luxury.  In fact, any bathroom activity that isn’t interrupted by tiny fists pounding on the door should be relished.

~ If you want to eat a somewhat warm meal, fix your plate last.  Better yet, invest in one of those fast food heat lamps.  Because once you give birth, you will be eating cold meals for a long time. 

~ After a baby has been fed, it is a good idea not to lift them above your head.  If you cannot resist the urge to hoist them up, at the very least keep your mouth shut.  Baby vomit on the face is no bueno, but baby vomit in your mouth is super gross.

~ In the hands of a three-year old, any regular household item can be turned into a weapon of mass destruction.  Typically, the carpets, walls and family pet are the main victims.

~ I don’t care how “cool” or “tough” you may think you are.  If a toddler hands you a ringing toy phone, you answer it.

~ Legos and bare feet are not the best of friends.

~ Be prepared for your conversations to revolve around your child’s bowel movements.  While it seems odd, this is actually socially acceptable with other parents.

 

The most important lesson I have learned from being a mother is the meaning of unconditional love.  When the doctor placed Leila into my arms for the first time I burst into tears.  In that moment I realized that I would do anything to keep her safe, even if that meant sacrificing my own life.  I also realized that no matter what she did or how she treated me, I would still love her.  My mom was in the delivery room with me and I apologized for how much pain I had caused her as a teenager.  Without a thought, she forgave me.  Because that is what unconditional love is about.  It isn’t something you earn or even deserve and it is limitless.  When I held both Moriah and Isabella for the first time, I felt my heart grow with love.  That is what is so amazing about a parent’s love, it just keeps growing and growing.

Mommy's Girls

 

~ Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Psalm 127:3 ~

Realizing my Potential

I had an epiphany this morning.  Or in the famous words of Captain Hook, a lightening bolt just struck my brain.  Following my New Year’s resolution to read the New Testament, I was reading the gospel of Matthew this morning.  And I came to Matthew 20:26 which says “Whoever wants to be great must become a servant”.  I can’t even count how many sermons I’ve heard on this verse or how many times I’ve read it.  Yet, this morning it suddenly clicked for me. 

I’ve been searching and searching for my God-given calling, trying to determine why God put me on this earth.  I always thought that in order to be important in the kingdom of God, that I needed to be a servant to many people.  That I needed to touch the lives of hundreds in order to be great in God’s eyes.  But this morning I realized that God didn’t call everyone to be a TV evangelist, a Christian music artist or a best-selling author.  He wants some people to be Sunday School teachers, some people to be professional athletes (this is my shameless shout out to Tim Tebow) and others to be entrepreneurs.  I realized God has called me to be a stay-at-home mom.  Because, when you think about it, a housewife is the epitome of servanthood.

When I cook dinner for my husband, I am ministering to him.  When I give my kids a bath, it is an act of service to them.  Even when I wash dirty laundry, I am serving my family by giving them clean clothes to wear.  Realizing the multiple opportunities I have to bless my family in a single day is both motivating and invigorating.  Not only that, but every time I serve my family I am also honoring God.  If I approach everyday tasks with this mentality, it changes the mundane things I do into a way to glorify the Lord.  That certainly sheds a whole new light on that sink of dirty dishes, doesn’t it?

I don’t have to worry about personally changing the lives of hundreds.  I can just be the catalyst, like in the movie Pay It Forward.  The idea in the movie is that if you do a kind thing for three people and they each do a kind thing for three people, then eventually you’re making a huge impact on a bunch of people.  If I am a positive influence in my husband’s life, then when he goes to work he can pass it on to the people he encounters.  Who knows where it could go from there.  If I can show my children what it means to be a great servant and they take that lesson into their adult lives, imagine the work they could do for the kingdom of God!

Now, I am certainly not going to limit myself to serving just these four people.  I fully expect God to bring other people into my life to expose His love to.  Eventually, my role as a stay-at-home mom will change and God might have a new job for me to do.  When that day comes I’ll be ready to give my all.  But until then, I am content to love & serve my family wholeheartedly.

My beautiful family

  

~ Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.  Colossians 3:24 ~

 

12 Resolutions of 2012

2011 has come and gone.  It sounds so clichéd but time really does fly by.  Looking back on 2011, there are some amazing highlights.  We moved to Texas which was huge, considering I’ve never lived anywhere but Colorado and I certainly have never lived more than 45 minutes from my family.  It has definitely opened my eyes to how important family is to me and how I took them for granted when we lived in Colorado.  Another major milestone, we added our third daughter, Isabella, to our family.  I thought adding another child might be difficult, especially without family nearby to help.  Surprisingly, the transition has been smooth.  

However, outside of helping to make a child, I feel like I didn’t accomplish much in 2011.  I’d like to be able to look back on 2012 and say “Wow, look at everything I did.  What a great year.”  Which is why I have compiled a list of New Year’s Resolutions.  Twelve to be exact.  Now, let me just say that composing a list of this magnitude was rather difficult.  I wanted the goals to be attainable but also meaningful.  I obviously wanted to feel like I did something important with another year of my life.  Several of my resolutions have been taken from my bucket list, because quite honestly, I was running out of ideas.    

 

My 12 resolutions of 2012:

 

1. Read the New Testament

2. Start homeschooling

3. Become more patient with my children

4. Blog at least once a week

5. Exercise 30 minutes everyday

6. Follow a daily routine

7. Pray more

8. Do more volunteer work  

9. Learn to ballroom dance

10. Become a better wife 

11. Make more friends in Texas

12. Learn American Sign Language 

 

Perhaps twelve is a bit ambitious, but when has anyone ever regretted being ambitious?  And that really is my biggest New Year’s resolution for 2012.  A year of few regrets.

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