Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Thanks for Your Opinion and Pinterest Inspiration

Back in January I asked all of you for your opinion on my family photos.

Thanks to all who commented on the post and also commented on Facebook. It was pretty split between pictures 1 and 2. But one brilliant person (thanks Rachael) suggested doing a collage.

So that is exactly what I did. I ended up putting it at the end of my hallway. I ordered picture #1 for the canvas and pictures 2 and 3 for my frame. Plus I added one of just the kids.

It took me forever to hang these and I still think the bottom one is crooked. Which is driving me nuts! 


I've also been inspired by Pinterest lately. They have some great ideas and it's barely cost me anything. The first two updates only cost me a quart of chalkboard paint. 

First, I added it behind my stove. Each Sunday I update it with a new verse for the week.


Ever since we finished our kitchen 3 1/2 years ago, I've wanted to add chalkboard paint to the outside of my pantry doors. My husband told me "No." Then I saw an idea on Pinterest to paint the inside of your pantry doors. For this I got a "Yes." So one side is my "To Do" list and the other side is our family prayer list. 


My kids love to draw and love to color. They were always hanging their artwork on the fridge. It was messy and there were magnets everywhere.

After looking on Pinterest at all kinds of different ways to display your children's creations, I remembered that I had an old curtain rod in the basement with clips to hang curtains from. I have an area in the kitchen which is kind of dead space. It was the perfect place to display their colorful creations!


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Some Days I Just Want To Throw In The Towel

If you know me or if you've been coming here for any amount of time you probably know this one thing about me. Stewardship of money and time is a topic high on my list. Especially when it comes to money. I'm an avid budgeter, couponer, and sale shopper. 

But some days I've just had enough! I mean why keep going. It's seems we just keep working and working. I keep trying to cut the budget and save money in so many different ways but it doesn't seem to matter. The money just keeps flowing out. 

The garage door breaks, the car dies, the boys need a new fan for their bedroom, this kid needs to go to the Dr., this house project needs to get done, I need to buy a gift for this, the girls need more shirts (or maybe someone just needs to do laundry more often). The list never ends. It's big things, it's little things. But it just seems we can never get ahead.

Some days I just want to take that budget and chuck it in the garbage!

As I look around at others it seems everyone is driving new cars, living in big houses, buying whatever they want, eating out all the time, have the latest fashions, going on vacation....... They all seem to be happy, so why does it matter. Why are we spinning our wheels when we can be living the American dream and have all the "stuff" too.

Then after I'm done with all the drama and having my little pity-party, I come to my senses. 

I remind myself that I've never missed a meal. I never missed paying a bill. My husband has a job. I have a job. We have money in savings. We are truly blessed.

And more importantly, God CALLS me as His child to keep going. To keep living within our means. To keep trying to be a good steward of what He has entrusted us with.

Today, I was reminded that when I let the frustration of material things rule me I am not focusing on the right things. I am focusing on the earthly, not the eternal. I'm not building up treasures above, I'm building up treasures here on this earth. When I get frustrated about material possessions, I am letting them rule over me.

I was also reminded of my sin. My sins of discontentment, worry, anxiety, selfishness, and unthankfulness. Wow, that's a lot of sin! I was reminded that I am not trusting God. I may see the immediate but He sees the future and I need to trust Him in that. He has promised to take care of us and I need to rest in that.

Control. It is another issue when I get consumed with money. They are issues that I can't control and I want to. Another reminder that GOD is in control of my finances not me.

So, yes, I love budgeting. I love couponing. I love sale shopping. And yes, there are difficult days. Not every day is roses but I will continue to seek God in all of it. I'm sure there will be more days filled with frustration and worry ahead and those are days that I will once again have to get down on my knees and ask the Lord for forgiveness.

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.  But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Matthew 6:19-33

Monday, March 19, 2012

Early Signs of Spring - 1000 Gifts

My List Continues 611 ~ 619

Unseasonably warm weather.

Fresh air coming through the windows.

Early signs of Spring found in the back yard.
Listening to the kids recite scripture.

Spray paint on my hand.

Checking on the girls at night and finding them cuddled up together in the same bed and each holding the doll I gave them when they were one.

Family pictures in the mail.

Bouncing Basketballs.

That I found the pen BEFORE it made it in the dryer with the clothes!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

My 2 Year Old Niece

A couple weeks ago my sister called me and asked if I would take her daughter's 2 year pictures. I love any opportunity to photograph the children in my life, so of course I said yes. The next day was supposed to be pretty warm and because I couldn't see into the future to know that 2 weeks later we would have unseasonably warm weather and it would be better to just wait, we headed to the park.

Nope, since I did not have that knowledge, we headed to the park on a somewhat warm day but it was extremely windy. We found one little spot that was blocked by the wind but my niece had no intentions of smiling.

Finally we gave up, headed back to my sister's house and decided to just use the natural light pouring in the windows and try to get some good shots.

After learning that she could have a candy if she smiled, we got some smiles. But even at the young age of 2, she knew just the right amount of smiles to give so that she would get offered another candy and then the smiles came back again.

I've also been having a lot of fun with my editing program. I'm learning the different things it does, so it's nice to have some new photographs to practice with.


My aunt made this sweater and the rocking chair was my grandma's.

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Friday, March 9, 2012

100 Days of School

Alex, Amanda, and Joshua had their 100th day of school........


a very very long time ago!

It took me a couple weeks to take a picture of them with their 100 hats on.

I'm not sure why. I mean, c'mon, take a look at them. They are so photogenic.


And now it's taken me a couple more weeks to post these beautiful pictures.

They also each made a 100 book. Here are a few things from each of them:

Alex wishes she had 100 sisters. She wouldn't want 100 bugs. She can eat 100 Smarties but could never eat 100 donuts. She thinks that having 100 puppies could really be a problem. (I agree!) 

Amanda wouldn't want 100 puppies. She can eat 100 foods.  She could never eat 100 bugs. She thinks that having 100 rats could really be a problem. (Yuck!) If she had $100 she would buy toys and a fish.

Joshua wishes he had 100 Lego sets. He wouldn't want 100 worms. He can eat 100 candies but could never eat 100 bugs. He thinks that having 100 sisters could really be a problem.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

It's Hard to Say Goodbye

Actually.........it wasn't that hard.

We knew this day was coming.

Last spring we got a bad diagnosis on our van and we knew it was just a matter of time. 

But last week she just wasn't running quite right. I brought her to the mechanic and we got the bad news that she needed a new transmission. Between that and the fact that the engine could blow at anytime, we figured it wasn't worth fixing.

Thankfully we were able to drive her over to the junkyard. 

This is the only vehicle that my kids have ever know. We bought it less than a week after Alex, Amanda, and Joshua were born. 

Now it is time to look for her replacement. Hopefully the next one will be as good to us as this one was.

Monday, March 5, 2012

1000 Gifts 598 ~ 610

Continuing to be thankful for the things around me:

chore charts
kids that like to do their chores
a day of service with a bunch of woman with hearts for the Lord and hearts for others
kids who find creative things to do

being called 'mommy'
wiping noses
boys that come snuggle with me at night when they don't feel good
fun night with our small group discussing generosity and playing games
Alex's giggle
a sunday afternoon lying on the couch
help with the dishes
big snowflakes
medicine for ear infections

Thursday, March 1, 2012

More Bits and Pieces......

Here are some of the things that have been going on the last couple weeks.

1. The 'i' on my keyboard keeps sticking. A little annoying to keep seeing words without the 'i' and then I have to go back and fix it.

2. In all of my organizing I found an old cassette tape. I had it sitting in the kitchen and Amanda asked me what it was. Our conversation went like this:
Amanda: "What's this?"
Me: "A cassette tape."
Amanda: "Can I watch it?"
Me: "No, it plays music like a CD."
Amanda gives me a puzzled look: "But can I watch it?"

3. Started exercising last week. I also started that same day with 2 donuts and ended it with 2 cupcakes.

4. The kids also started chore charts last week. They are definitely my children. Just being able to cross something off their list is motivation enough.

5. A couple weeks ago I was in the grocery store with all my kids and there was a table set up to enter to win a $100 gift card. I filled out the entry form and Isaac asked what I was doing. I told him that I was trying to win Free groceries. He says, "Or a DS."  To which I replied, "They don't sell them here." As we were walking away the kid (by kid I mean teenager) working there told me he had a DS in his car that he doesn't play anymore and we could have it if we wanted. It was pink. No one seemed to care. There wasn't a charger, so after spending $10 for a charger my kids now have a DS. Just so you know, my boys cry if they have to sit on a pink booster seat in the car but for some reason the color of the DS is not bothering them. They are happy to have it!

6. Do you ever have it that you hear one of your kids in bed coughing like crazy but as soon as you walk close to the bedroom to see who it is, it stops. Stand for a while waiting. Nope. All done. Walk away. Coughing starts again. Repeat.

7. My week has consisted of sick kids, my garage door breaking, and my van needing repairs beyond its worth. We will be bringing it to the junk yard this Saturday. She has been good to us for 7 1/2 years but it is time to say goodbye. We will be starting the search for a new vehicle. I'm not sure whether I'm happy or sad about this.