Wednesday, April 28, 2010

200 Challenge: May

Can you believe that we are almost halfway through the year already? If you are like me you are begging 2010 to please slow down! We are still going strong with The 200 Challenge and are very focused on saving money this year. Well, April did not go so great with the challenge. It wasn't impulse buying, luxury items or bad planning, but we still didn't do well. Unfortunately when we run out of staple items it seems to come all at once. This past month I had to pretty much stock up on much needed items (olive oil, flour, sugar, several spices, etc.) It just seemed like half of our budget went to "stocking" instead of to "food". But, life goes on. We are going to buckle down in May and do a much better job. Also, I need to be more aware of when we are going to need to "restock" and look for coupons and sales. Even if it is time consuming, I know it is well worth it! Anyway, our grand total for the month of April was $226.73. Yuck :-( You can't expect to do well every month I guess. Still, I'm a little bit disappointing in myself for going so far over budget this month. Even though we went over, I know we still are spending much less on groceries than the average family. May is a new start! I hope this month goes well for all of you doing the challenge! I am going to stay focused and try and make up for the overage from April... not sure how low we can get it, but we are going to give it a try!

Previous Months: Feburary, March, April

Since Jayce will be here any day now, I have planned on making lots of easy meals through May. Charlie is a great cook so he will also be helping out with the cooking more and more. This is a list of my ideas for May... although I have not yet made a full menu yet... I am waiting until nap time so that I can enjoy lots of one on one time with Lula Mae! Good Luck in May everyone!

Cheesy Chicken & Rice with veggie (2)
Shepard's Pie with veggie (2)
Taco's with chips and salsa
Brinner (Pancakes and Bacon) (2)
Brinner (Biscuits and Gravy) (2)
BBQ Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and veggie
Chicken Fingers with Mac-n-cheese and veggie
Pigs in a blanket with tater tots
Tater Tot casserole
French Bread Pizza
Shrimp and Pasta Salad
Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches with Fries
Mexican Pizza
Pork Chops with Mashed Potatoes and Veggie
Baked Chicken with Baked Potatoes and Baked Beans
Crock Pot Stew over Rice
Hot Dogs with Slaw and Deviled Eggs

Thursday, April 22, 2010

From Where I'm Sitting....

From where I'm sitting I have a great view of God's grace and love. Lula Mae is sorting through her books and pulling out all of the ones about God and Jesus. She is sitting with them all lined up in front of her, taking time to look through each one and read all the words she knows. She is quietly filling herself with God... all on her own. She is learning to seek God. I can't tell you how amazing it is to see it! She is telling her giraffe and tiger about each book, trying to teach them about God too. God is going to do amazing things with her life! There is nothing better than seeing the work of God in a child!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Still My Baby

Even though Lula Mae is almost two she still looks like my little baby when she sleeps. It is amazing the changes you see in your children over the first 2 years of their lives. I am soaking up these last moments of Lula Mae as a baby because I know before I know it she will be all grown up. I am having a tough time realizing that in less than a month Lula Mae will be 2 years old. 2.... I just don't know where time has gone! She may never understand how much I love her until she has her own child.... and that's ok. I pray that she will get to experience this amazing feeling someday as a mother. Today, I call her my baby.... and I probably will tomorrow... and the day after that..... and honestly I don't know when I will stop, because in my heart I think she will always be my baby.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Jayce Update

Well, I went to the doctor today for MORE bladder pain (yuck!). Thought I would give an update on how things are looking. We are 35 weeks and 5 days (10 days away from being full term). I am 1 cm dilated (not a big deal) and 60% thinned out. So, my question to Dr. Erickson was "how long do you think Jayce will hold out?"... his answer... "Oh, it could be any day now.". So that is where we are now. Sitting... waiting... waiting... and waiting some more. I'm excited and nervous. Anxious does not describe it! I am praying non stop! Please pray for Jayce, myself, Charlie and Lula Mae. If Jayce comes soon he will be "premature", but so was Lula Mae and she was perfectly fine. I will keep you updated!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Terrible Two's?

Almost 2...

Honestly, I don't believe in "terrible two's". After taking tons of early childhood development classes I guess I just look at things with children a lot differently than most parents. Around the age of two children have a huge burst of brain development. They want more stimulation, (hints the neediness of children who before were very independent) they want more responsibility, (hints why the try so hard to help, even though it comes out much less helpful) they want different boundaries, (hints them testing the limits they were so nicely obeying before... they just want to see if they can get past them now) they just want MORE! They are not trying to be defiant (even though we parents could bet money that they are!). They are just trying to grow and change and learn. Unfortunately their little brains, although they are developing, can't express their emotions well. As parents we have to teach our children how to deal with their emotions from a very young age. I think that most parents give up when their toddler hits this very tough period and just give in to all the fits and tantrums just to make the child "happy". Well, making them "happy" means that you better be ready to make them "happy" at their every whim. Have fun with that for the next 16 years! Kids learn quick. If you give in once because they are screaming and being uncontrollable, they will know that the next time you say "no" they just have to recreate that same behavior to get what they want. "If it worked before maybe it will work now" is what is going through their brain. Sadly, the are probably right. Not me.... sorry Lula Mae. Lula Mae has just hit this phase and I tell myself every morning "I am the parent, I am stronger, I am smarter and I know what is best for my child. No means no... not maybe". I hate having to pop my little girl and I hate having to put her in time out. Honestly, I would hate for her to turn out like most kids (whiny, demanding, disobedient and rude). That's what I would hate WAY more than time outs and popping! The Bible says you are to train up a child in the way that he should go... not the way that he would go! It takes strength to deal with some of Lula Mae's mood swings, but I know we can get through it. I know that if we are consistent with our rules and discipline we will be happy with the results. Right now, its tough. I want to give in just so I don't go bald... but I can't, and I won't. That would not be fair to Lula Mae. I want the best for her, and I want her to be prepared for life. So, I may go to bed crying and with a very heavy heart because the day has been very trying, but it is worth it. "This too shall pass", right? I do a lot of praying these days, and I really think that is all that will get me through this. I turn to the Bible to give me strength. Luckily, the Bible is quite encouraging when it comes to how my husband and I parent (especially discipline)...

Discipline the child in whom you delight (Proverbs 3:21)

Discipline while there is hope (Proverbs 19:18)

Discipline diligently the child you love (Proverbs 13:24)

Discipline a child in the way he should go (Proverbs 22:6)

Discipline foolishness out of your child's heart (Proverbs 22:15)

Discipline evil out of your child's heart (Proverbs 20:30)

He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly (Proverbs 13:24)

Do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4)

These verses make me realize that it is my motherly duty to God to get through the "terrible two's". To glorify God I have to parent the way that He wants me to. I am so thankful to have a God who helps me parent by giving me wonderful advice and guidance! I hope that some of you other Mom's out there will study these verses, pray over them, and allow them to help you get through whatever "phase" you children are in. Happy Sunday everyone!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Lately I have felt very lost. Lost in the sea of lists that surround me day in and day out. List after list after list! Normally I LOVE lists, they are how I focus... but lately they have been overwhelming. I have been letting my lists wait as I soak up the last precious moments with my little girl as an only child. It is very hard for me to do this... even though I love Lula Mae with every but of my heart I still struggle with letting my house work fall behind. I feel like I will disappoint Charlie if I don't get everything done before 5:30 when he gets home. I know he wouldn't really be disappointed, but try telling my brain that! God is working hard on me and I am so glad! He is teaching me to put family first and work second. Slowly I am able to let things go. Not "go" completely... just let them go until nap time or bed time. I have plenty of time while Lula Mae is asleep to get my work done! So I am still making list after list after list. Only now I am setting them aside until my beautiful little girl is not up and about. Thank you God for helping me with this long process. Change is hard, but not with God to guide you!

Just one of the many moments I would have missed if I were wrapped up in my lists...

Life is too short to miss out on the little things. One day you may wake up and realize that all those little things were really the big things. I don't want to look back and have that feeling in my heart! Thank you God for helping me change and grow every single day!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

200 Challenge: April

Oh my, it is already April! Wow! I cannot tell you how fast time is flying these days! It is a little scary actually. Well, March went well on the 200 Challenge, but not as well as the month before. Our grand total for March was $191.23. Our main goal is $190.00 a month (so technically we went over just a bit...) but our secondary goal is to be under $200.00. I like the $10.00 wiggle room. It makes you hold an item in your hand and say "is this worth going over my top goal?". Yet, it also helps me feel like if we needed something desperately we could stand to go out and grab it. So, yes we went over this month, but it is still a HUGE improvement from what we were spending before this challenge started! I hope all of you who are doing this challenge did well this month! I can't wait to see everyone's progress! Charlie and I are going this evening to get our first 2 weeks worth of groceries for April and I can't wait to see our savings!

Previous months: Feburary, March