Well, the nursery is done! And I was right... I was quite sad seeing Lula Mae's pink painted over. All for a good reason though... a new life! I am thrilled with how the nursery turned out! It really is better than I pictured in my mind when I dreamed it up. Lula Mae loves the fact that Jayce's name is on her wall.... not that she understands that it means he will be sharing her room, but at least she is excited about it, right? The pictures do not do it justice! Check out the new nursery!
And the work begins!
Goodbye pink walls :-(
Lula Mae's Side
Split down the middle! Joshua 1:9 is above the changing table
Like I said, the pictures just don't do the room justice! It is beautiful! Painting the frames about the kids cribs were so much harder than I expected! I am so glad they turned out as good as they did because when I first started them they looked terrible! The valance above the window I made. I went out and got some cheap white fabric and ribbon and sewed it up in about 30 minuets. I was not going to spend $20.00 on a white valance when I could make one for $5.00! It is one of my favorite pieces in the nursery I think! I also ordered those space saving hangers for the closet off of ebay for $5.00 shipped. They have really tripled the closet space! They are great! We have very small closets so any help in that area is fantastic! I can't wait to see how the room functions for 2! Jayce will be here before we know it!
I just finished reading A Mom After God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George and I feel so inspired! To all of you Moms out there, this is a must read. I actually wish I would have read it before I had Lula Mae! It would have given me a great start had I done that. This book gives you 10 ways to love your children and explains them chapter by chapter. This book helped me to truly understand my job as a mother. It helped me to see how important my heart is. If my heart is not tuned into God then I can't raise a family that is after God's own heart. This book is a very easy read with nice reviews at the end of each chapter! I loved reading the "From a Dad's Own Heart" sections at the end of every chapter too. It gave me good ideas on how to talk to Charlie about our family and its spiritual growth. I will be picking this book up regularly and reading through the reviews to keep myself focused! This book is a good guide for any Christian Mom who wants to do the best thing she can for her children... teach them to love God and to know Jesus Christ!
This book also helped me to realize that Charlie and I made the right decision when Lula Mae was born. I was only one year away from being a teacher when Lula Mae was born and as a family we were torn. Do I finish school and let a daycare raise my baby? Do I quit school this close to being finished? Do I go part time and just get is done slowly? There were a million questions going through our minds. Truly, I knew the moment I saw Lula Mae that there wasn't any way I would let someone else raise my precious little girl.... Charlie was a little more skeptical. God gave Lula Mae to Charlie and I... not to a daycare, nanny or Grandparent! I knew what I had to do. So, we are paying back my student loans... without a degree to show for them. Yes, it is tough... but it was the right choice and I wouldn't change it for the world. My daughter is enough proof of that. She is a very loving little girl who can read, knows her letters, knows her numbers, knows her shapes, knows her colors and knows about God and His love for her. She is technically at a 5-K level... before the age of 2! I am so proud of that! (Yes, I brag quite often about my little girl!) I spend ample time with my daughter, training her in the way that she should go. Had I not stayed home, Lula Mae would not be where she is today. God helped me to make that tough decision and He is helping me every step of the way! I put all my trust in Him and He is proving that in doing that we are rewarded and blessed! I am so thankful to have such a loving God! This book really tied the last few years of my life together! I am so glad that I read this book! I hope that others will enjoy this book as much as I have!
I can not wait for the warm weather to settle in! I just love flip flop weather! I am excited this year because Lula Mae will be able to play outside (last year she wasn't walking yet so there wasn't much she could do but sit, swing or ride in a stroller). She loves being outside so I know she is ready for nice warm weather too! I can't wait to draw with chalk, blow bubbles, splash in a kiddie pool and have picnics in the yard! Plus, my OCD personality is ready for some good spring cleaning :-) I hope everyone else is as ready for spring as I am! Happy Monday!
Charlie has been on vacation this week (yay!) so we have tried to make the best of it! We have been trying to take Lula Mae to lots of places and spend as much time with her as we can. The most important place we went was Moncks Corner, SC. We took Lula Mae to meet her Great Grandmother for the first time (shame on us because she is almost 2 now....). Granny is the sweetest little lady you have ever met! You can always count on her making her famous chocolate oatmeal cookies and lemonade.... and you can always count on taking them home with you! Lula Mae loved her so much! Granny was in love with Lula Mae too! Although, Lula Mae would not cooperate for a good picture :-( We hope that we will get to take more trips to see Lula Mae's Great Granny, but if not these pictures (even though they aren't perfect) will be priceless memories for us.
I have been trying so hard lately to stay focused on what God put me on this earth for, to take care of my husband and child (soon to be children). My job is very important, just as important as any job that requires fancy clothes, a new technologically savvy phone and a brief case. God has given me a HUGE job as a wife and a mother. This week has given me a chance to prove to myself that I can stay focused (I have been doubting myself lately). Charlie was sick from Sunday until Tuesday with a strange flu-ish thing that has been going around. Even knowing that it would be dangerous for me to get sick, I never neglected his needs. I took care of him (while keeping him away from Lula Mae) until he was feeling 100% again. I also took on taking care of Lula Mae 100% to keep her from catching the nasty bug. Strangely, with my new attitude, I did this joyfully. God is changing me every single day, and there are times when I just can't believe it. His is so gracious! I want so desperately not to be so self centered, and He is working in me! One day at a time my focus is getting stronger and straighter. Sure, at night after Lula Mae goes to bed I have lots more to do around the house than usual, but the precious moments I spent with her are more than worth it! Yes, I might be a little bit more tired at the end of the day because I don't get as much "down time" as I may have in the past, but I don't care one bit! My life is FULL! So full of wonderful things that I am so grateful for. I thought my life was full before, and it was... full of stress and worry. Now, it is full of joy!
"This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24
Last night was a tough one. I guess yesterday I overdid it with my housework, and boy am I paying for it now. When I was pregnant with Lula Mae I didn't have this problem. I could do what I needed to do, no problem. This time around it is so very different. I guess the added work of caring for Lula Mae is making this pregnancy a little tougher. The only problem is I am too OCD to just let the housework get behind. I am in such a physical and emotional battle with myself everyday! Well last night made me realize that for the next 6 to 10 weeks, whatever the case my be, I am going to have to let go of a lot of things. As I lay in bed last night in terrible pain, I started to feel so guilty. Jayce deserves the best, and me working too hard is possibly putting him in danger of being born too early. How selfish of me to want to have a spotless house while I am doing a much more important job with God! He wants me to take care of this life He blessed us with (both Lula Mae and Jayce! They should be my focus ALWAYS!). After 3 hours of terrible pain I finally called the hospital for some advice. Luckily, about 30 minuets before the "we need to go get monitored" mark, the contractions started letting up and the bladder pain eased off. So at around 4:00 am I was able to drift off... only to have to hear Charlie's alarm clock at 5:00 am.... So today, I am tired, but I am focused. Focused on my family and the true blessing that they are. Focused on spending all my time glorifying God. Focused on teaching my daughter to love God with all of her heart, mind and soul. All in all, just focused. God speaks to us in so many ways, and it is up to us to listen. I am learning to listen. I will ALWAYS be learning!
My late night thinking also made me realize how blessed I am to have my husband. Willing to jump up and get exactly what I need at 2:00 am even though he had to be up at 5:00 am. Willing to go back out to the store because he had forgotten (in a sleepy fog) half of what I needed him to get. Willing to do all of this without so much as a grumble, frown, roll of the eyes or talking under his breath. The support I have from him is more than I could ask for! I thank God every single day for my wonderful husband! I love you Charlie! Thanks for all that you do!
Now, this is not a serious video by any means, but I am sure you will get a good laugh! We wanted to get a video of Lula Mae's progress with her Catechisms.... but we picked the wrong time... and the wrong camera angle.... :-) For Lula Mae, the camera has to either be hidden or on a tripod! If it is in your hands she is obsessed with seeing what is "in" the camera. It is quite funny to see her with the video camera these days! I promise I will post a better video soon, but for now this will just have to do :-) Lula Mae did answer some of the questions, but she didn't do nearly as good as she has been! She was quite distracted by herself in the camera screen! Also, she felt the need to tell us about her potty situation... oh Lula Mae, what will we do with you!
It is amazing how fast this year is going by! March is here! Wow! Well, Feburary was the first month of The 200 Challenge and it went really well! It was lots of fun and very motivating! My goal is $190.00 a month. Ready for the grand total? We spent $138.45! It sounds impressive, even to me, until I think about the fact that the other folks in this challenge are using this budget to buy paper towels, dish soap, diapers, wipes, shampoo, etc.!!! So when I look at it that way I don't think we did that great considering out grocery budget it just food. We are still proud and happy about our savings though. Before this challenge we were spending roughly $225.00 on groceries a month. I feel like we were being so frivolous before! I also feel like we took A LOT for granted. This challenge has really opened my eyes to how wasteful and ungrateful we were.
I hope to do just as well with the challenge this month. We have already done our first two week trip and came in under budget, so it is looking good so far! We are learning how to make things last, and how to be creative with our meals (and not so picky!). I think this is a great thing for Charlie and myself. Plus, it is a good example for us to set as parents.
1: Baked Potato Soup with rolls (didn't get to make it last week) 2: Chicken fingers, mac-n-cheese, veggie 3: Left overs 4: Hot dogs with curly fries 5: Tacos 6: Shepard's pie, veggie 7: Salmon, rice, veggie 8: Left overs 9: Alfredo, garlic bread 10: Homemade pizza 11: Brinner (pancakes with sausage) 12: BBQ Chicken, mashed potatoes, veggie 13: Lasagna, garlic bread, veggie 14: Garlic breaded chicken, cornbread casserole, veggie 15: Left overs 16: Pigs in a blanket, curly fries, fruit 17: Cheesy chicken and rice, veggie 18: Chicken salad sandwiches, baked potatoes 19: Left overs 20: Burritos, chips and salsa 21: Brinner (French toast with bacon) 22: Chili with cornbread muffins 23: Herb rubbed chicken, mac-n-cheese, veggie 24: Left overs 25: Shepard's pie, veggie 26: Cube steak, rice and gravy, veggie 27: Homemade pizza pockets 28: Left overs 29: Brinner (biscuits and gravy) 30: Shrimp and pasta salad 31: Out To Eat :-)
Not the most creative menu this month, but it is all stuff we really enjoy. We are having a few things twice, but that's ok. We may not want those things next month, but I am sure we will be fine for now :-) I hope everyone else enjoyed the challenge as much as I did! It has inspired me to cut others areas of our budget too! I will post more on that later :-) Good luck to all of you in March!