Monday, August 30, 2010

Happy New Year!

Okay, not quite yet... but we are creeping closer and closer to another years end. That means a new beginning. A fresh start. Each year we all make that famous list of resolutions that will ultimately be forgotten by Feburary. What a waste of time. Why create resolutions if you don't intend to even give them a second thought? Here is a tip, when 2011 rolls in try writing your resolutions on a brightly colored piece of paper. I even write mine in a colored sharpie and decorate the paper with stickers. The point is, make it appealing to your eye. Perhaps cut up some pictures and paste them on the paper. Put things that you love on it, things that give you motivation. After your art work is complete, hang it up. I would suggest the refrigerator, your bathroom mirror, above your desk in your office... just somewhere you will see it at least once a day. Read through them each day. Ask yourself how you think you are doing. Should you make changes in your routine to better meet your resolutions? Did you think of another one you would like to add? That's just fine. I have a feeling if you try this your resolutions will be fulfilled. It can be very discouraging and disappointing to look back at your list, a year later, and realize you accomplished nothing. I urge you to try this for 2011! Go ahead and think about what your 2011 resolutions may be! It also isn't too late to revisit your 2010 resolutions and get to work on them. There are still 4 more months left! Give it your all!

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men"
Colossians 3:23

My 2010 resolutions

Happy Monday everyone! Good news.... no one seems to have caught Charlies cold! Hopefully we won't! Plus, we did our weigh in for P90x on Friday... I lost 4.5 pounds!!!!! WOO HOO!!! I guess I can't give up on it yet. I only have about 5 more pounds to go! I feel like I am starting a good week! God's grace and mercy abound! I am beyond blessed!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

New Books!

I recently turned some of my Swagbucks into Amazon gift cards. Well, I love buying books on Amazon so of course that is exactly what I bought! Two new books! I have to admit, I am not a big reader. Not at all. I was in the second grade before I finally learned to really read. I struggle terribly with comprehension still, even as an adult. I despised teachers who made you "read out loud". I stutter and slip and read very very slow. Reading out loud made me sick to my stomach. So for me to buy books is a pretty big deal. I do not read novels. I don't really care for them. What I like to read are "help" books. Books that will help me be a better Mommy, a better Wife, a better Teacher, a better follower of Christ. Those kind of books thrill me!

Taaadaaa!!! I have already read another book by Elizabeth George called "A Mom After God's Own Heart" and LOVED it. I knew I would love "A Wife After God's Own Heart" just as much! I am only on chapter 2 folks and am so in love with this book! I can't say I recommend it yet (I have to finish it first!) but I am sure I will! Just the introduction was fantastic! Now, the other book! It is more a teaching tool. I love teaching tools!It is actually a series of books. I have to say, I read the first couple of paragraphs to my husband and we were like, "wow! we must be doing this whole parenting thing right.... thats our parenting strategy word for word." No really, the introduction is great! It talks about what we are called to do as parents. Oh so good! The rest of the book is broken down into ages. It gives you verses to teach each age and songs as well. At the end are Catechisms for young children. It has places to date when the child has memorized each verse, song and catechism question. Oh, I am so in love! Right now I can remember which verses, songs and questions Lula Mae knows, but as we add to that list I am sure I will forget. Plus, what about when Jayce starts learning them too? No way could I keep track of all that! So I am glad to have a book that can guide me through teaching my kids about God. I need all the help I can get!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Letters Of Intent

Happy Friday! Click on the picture to read more great letters of intent! I am in the middle of Operation Quarantine right now. The Hubster is sick (which never happens) so I am trying desperately to keep the little ones well. Jayce is just too young to deal with respiratory issues! So sorry if this post smells like Clorox wipes!

Dear Dentist,

You are my new best friend! I am so glad you are a good dentist, because the one I had growing up was terrible! So terrible that I was even scared to come to you. You have really proven yourself and I don't think I will be afraid to come to the dentist anymore. I am very glad you felt confident that I could have my filling with no Novocaine. I am sure any other dentist would not have listened to my request like you did. It may have been the fact that I told you I could quite possibly vomit on you if you gave me those shots (yes, you can ask my other dentist about that.... he knows. Although when having 4 permanent teeth pulled you really have no other option but Novocaine!) Still, this was my very first filling and I think you did amazing. The extra high pressure of the laughing gas probably helped out. I really hope I did not say anything crazy while I was completely out of my right mind. I can't clearly remember anything after you telling me "just breathe deep through your nose the whole time...." after that it is all kinda mixed up and blurry. Here's a few things I remember.... trying to figure out what song was on the radio, praying really hard for God to get me through it without vomiting on you, wondering why I was laying on the floor (don't worry, I wasn't, it just felt like it), wondering why you had on orange colored glasses, worrying that I may have had too much gas but I couldn't form words to tell you this or even move my body to signal you, feeling like I had taken the best nap of my life, contemplating just getting laughing gas the next time I have a baby, how it sounded like there was someone drying their hair right beside me.....such strange things! Hopefully I won't be needing any more fillings, but if I do, lets just skip the Novocaine again... just dope me up on the laughing gas!


The Lady Who Hated The Dentist.... Until She Experienced Laughing Gas


Dear Lula Mae,

Thanks for coming along with me to the dentist. You are fantastic support for a 2 year old. I am glad you enjoyed watching Mommy have her teeth cleaned. You really know how to make me laugh telling me "great job Mommy!". You make every single day better! I am so proud of you for sitting in my lap and letting the dentist look at your funny tooth. I think he was surprised at how willing you were to open your mouth. I think we all were actually. I think it is great that you thought the metal pick "tickled". Whatever it takes to make you not terrified of the dentist! You are something else girl. So much braver than your Mommy!


Your Mommy Who Is Thrilled That There Was Nothing Wrong With That Tooth! Whew!


Dear Hubster,

Next time I am feeling blue, could you do me a favor? Could you please do yoga-x? It really makes my day to see you so intensely doing yoga. It could possibly be the best thing since sliced bread. I love you and your yoga doing self!


Your Wife Who Hates Doing Yoga.... But LOVES Watching You Do It!

PS. Don't breath on me, or Lula Mae, or Jayce.... try to hold your breath as much as possible... love you!


Dear Mosquito,

Why? Why in the middle of my forehead? I sure do appreciate it! NOT!


The Lady Looking Like A 3 Eyed Monster.... Who Has Pink Eye In One Eye!

Sloppy Joes

My husband and I are not huge fans of Sloppy Joes. I don't think there is much nutritional value, for one, and I hate messy food. Needless to say, we don't eat them often.....

Can you tell?

I think I need to clean out the pantry more often. I don't even remember buying this. It is name brand though, so that leads me to believe I purchased it while Charlie was on his last deployment.... 2006-ish.... Why would I think that? Well back then our debt to income ratio was quite different. I shopped at Bi-Lo (where the name does not fit!!!) and never had to worry about a "budget". Oh to be young and careless with money! Never again my friends, never again! Anyhoo, I thought you may get a kick out of the can of possible-nuclear-waste I had in my pantry! How long has it been since you cleared out your pantry? Spices and all!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Jayce! What's The Matter?

Saturday we took the kids to the zoo. We don't have a zoo in our town, so we drove to Columbia to visit the Riverbanks Zoo. Plus, it was rainy and nasty on our town and we wanted to get away! Columbia was nice and sunny! Before we went into the zoo we had a picnic lunch in the back of our van (since the zoo doesn't allow you to bring food in... because they want you to buy there $10.00 burger that is made of who knows what!). We had the back seat laid down, threw out and old comforter and enjoyed our sandwiches in the nice air conditioned van! It was nice! Lula Mae, being the animal lover that she is, had an amazing time at the zoo. She talked to all the animals, walked around like such a big girl, and listened beautifully. She rode the carousel with Daddy and thought that was fantastic. She even petted the goat. Lula Mae kept saying "it's a perfect day!". And it was.

Except the car ride.

Jayce does not mind his car seat. He just hates the car. A lot. Unless I am sitting in the back seat behind him so that he can see me. Apparently he thinks he is all alone in the van unless he can see someone. Completely understandable though, I have text books that will prove that it is a normal stage. Lula Mae, being the caring big sister that she can be from time to time, kept saying "Jayyyyyyyce, whats the matter buddy? It's ok! Don't be sad!". Unfortunatley that was not quite comforting enough for him. I sure hope he grows out of this before his 1st birthday. If not it is going to be a looooooooong trip to Orlando!

I think the moral of this story is that kids are so incredibly different. We all know that, but sometimes it sticks out way more in our minds. Lula Mae was such a traveler. We took her to Arkansas at 4 months old (from South Carolina) then Orlando for her first Disney trip at 7 months old, Orlando again at 12 months old for her birthday celebration at Disney world, and then Orlando again at 16 months old for yet another Disney trip (yes, we love Disney World... a lot.... we save very hard to go on lots of trips.... and someday, when we are old, we will work there!) She traveled great. She loves the car. She loves to be on the go. Seeing new things and doing fun stuff with us is a joy for her. I am very worried that Jayce will not be so joyful. He seems to be way too much like me. I don't want him to be a homebody... but it looks as though he may. I love him all the same! He is perfect just the way God made him! He may be fussier in the car than Lula Mae, but he sure naps better than she ever did at this age!!! Funny how 2 kids from the same parents can be soooooo different!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Monday Mugs

Happy Monday everyone! Boy, the weekend flew by, didn't it? Oh well, on to another week! After you check out my Monday Mugs head over to Oswald Cuties and check out more! Start this week off great!

This weeks theme: Oh! The things they get into!

Yard Statue Thievery

Her favorite reading spot

Chocolate Pudding
(and perhaps an electrical socket by looking at her hair)

Next weeks theme: The backyard

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Letters Of Intent

What a long week! So glad to see the weekend! Also, I am so glad it is Friday because that means it's time for Letters of Intent! Yes, you should be excited! Be sure to go visit Julie to read more great letters! Start your weekend off right! Happy Friday everyone!

Dear P90X,

I am convinced that Satan himself spat you out. I am certain of that. I hope after 90 days you work or I am going to be soooooooooooooooo mad at you. So mad. You are working muscles I didn't even know I had. You make me feel pretty crummy with all your fancy moves. Why did you put a man with one leg on your videos?!? Good for him and all, but do you know how pathetic I feel when he can do the moves balancing on a prosthetic and I can't do them on both my legs?!?! Ouch. You soooo better work. It's been a week now and all I have done is gained. Not looking good!


Sore, sore, sore... very, very sore.... very sore and very giggly.


Dear Body,

See what you did? You wouldn't corporate with me on the running so now I am doing P90X. Look what you did! It is all your fault. Don't you whine one bit about being sore.


The Very Giggly Lady Who Wants To Not Be So Giggly


Dear Lula Mae,

You can call Jayce "she" a million times and it will never change the fact the "he" is a boy. Sorry sweetie but God gave you a brother. Maybe if you start praying now He will give you a sister next time. You really have to stop calling him "she" though. He is going to end up with a complex if you don't! One more thing... his name is Jayce. I know you know that because you call him that often. Why then do you call him Joey? So remember, he is a boy and his name is Jayce. Got it?


The Mother Of Your Brother Jayce

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wednesday Pick Me Up

Is your week dragging by? Are you ready for the weekend so you can relax and enjoy some nice family time? Me too! I thought I would share a few things to make you smile and giggle to help get you through the rest of the week. I hope you enjoy them bloggy friends. Happy Wednesday!

First, a video.

Now, a few pictures! I love dipping oil! I really do! It is oh so yummy!

However, I do not like dipping oil with dead flies floating in it! Funny thing about oil is once they land in it... they can't get out! Even funnier thing is that I took this picture after my husband had been dipping his little heart out. Yum.

Last, but not least, a short story for you!

Let me set the scene.... I was in the kitchen, Jayce was snoozing in the swing and Lula Mae was playing in the living room. All of a sudden Lula Mae was frantically calling for my help. "Mommy, oh no! Mommy, help! My Mickey! My Mickey! Get my Mickey! MOMMY!" Well I was in the middle of cooking and really was not able to go on a Mickey hunt. I assumed she wanted her stuff Mickey that she sleeps with. I told her I put it in her pink chair and she should go and look for it. Well, she continued to panic. I washed my hands and headed to see what the problem was. Before I dried my hands I heard her say "Oh, Mommy I found him! Mickey was in my panties! Mickey tickled me!".......I stood there. Very confused. Very very confused. How did the giant stuffed Mickey fit in her panties (which is her diaper)? It tickled? What??????

This is the Mickey. Not her big stuffed one. She apparently sat on it and it got stuck in the leg of her diaper. You have no idea how odd it was for my two year old to tell me something was in her panties. It was even worse to hear her say it tickled. Oh my. Only Lula Mae folks, only Lula Mae! Mickey, stay out of her panties please!!!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Our Strong Willed Child

Lula Mae has a wonderful heart. God really gave us an amazing little girl to raise. She is so loving, caring and devoted. She is so smart, articulate and knowledgeable. She loves to help, give gifts and learn. She is also so incredibly strong willed. I say this often "Lula Mae's highs are high and her lows are low". We have more highs than lows I would say, but the lows seem to drag on because they are no fun to be in. All in all, the good outweighs the bad.

We just got out of a low. Probably her lowest. It took a lot out of me, a lot out of my husband and even more out of Lula Mae. We are all quite strong willed and the lows always make us butt heads. I love Lula Mae so much and it amazes me how I can get so irritated and frustrated with her. I don't like that feeling, but it does happen. She will annoy me, push me so close to my breaking point, drive me nuts all day long.... but at the end of the day, I am madly in love with her. Every inch of her!

I don't think many parents admit that. I think parents worry that people are going to think they are "bad parents" if they admit that. You can't tell me that every second of every day that you are so thrilled with your children that you never feel frustrated, exhausted or over whelmed by them. If you can then you are a better parent than I am I guess. I know that they are "gifts", trust me, I have been through a miscarriage so I am well aware of that. I also know that they are a huge responsibility. I want to do the best job that I can raising them for God. I do not love my children any less because I get mad, irritated or annoyed by them. I think perhaps I love them more. The frustration, exhaustion and overwhelming emotions I feel are all linked to the fact that I want my children to be the best that they can be. I refuse to let my children run their own lives. I love them too much to do that. God gave them to me to raise, not to sit back and watch raise themselves.

The past two weeks have been full of these things. Lots of tears on Lula Mae's part, lots of stern but loving discipline on our part. We know that during the terrible lows we just have to stand our ground, be consistent and press on. That is exactly what we do. Over time, she figures out that what she is doing will never work and she returns to the sweet little girl we know so well. Is it easy? Nope, not a bit. I am blessed to have a husband who is so strong. He helps me to stand firm. We help and encourage each other through each and every storm. I don't know what I would do without him.

Lula Mae is back to her old self again, for now. After each low we go through we see an even sweeter little girl emerge. One who is stronger, more confident, more understanding and more mature. Her lows are just "growing pains". She is learning how to be a person. How to work together in a community (family). How to make decisions. How to deal with consequences. I am so very proud that she can read, but I am more proud that she is learning these lessons. These lessons will take her far in life.

"That energy which makes a child hard to manage is the energy which afterwards makes him a manager of life." -Henry Ward Beecher

She is one of a kind. I look forward to seeing what God does with her life. It's going to be amazing!

Lula Mae, I pray every day for you. I pray during the good and the bad. I am so glad that you are strong willed. God made you perfect little one. Use that strong will to do something great for God. I love you.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Monday Mugs

I hope everyone had a great weekend! Ours seemed a little hectic, but a lot got done. I hope you will all head over to Oswald Cuties to check out Monday Mugs!

The theme this week is: Then and Now

Lula Mae Then

Lula Mae Now

Jayce Then

Jayce Now
I know Jayce is only 3 months old, but you can still see just how much he has changed! I take tons and tons of pictures. TONS. I am so glad I do though. I enjoy looking through them and seeing just how much my sweet babies have changed. It amazes me to see how fleeting life really is. My babies are growing up so so fast. I feel as though when I blink my kids grow. I love then and now pictures of my babies. They make me smile every single time! Happy Monday everyone!

***Lula Mae refuses to take a picture without Mickey Mouse these days. You may be seeing way more of that lovable mouse. Just so you know ;-) ***

Saturday, August 14, 2010

From My Devotional...

Rid yourselves of all wickedness, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all slander.

I Peter 2:1

"You and I want to be people whom God can entrust a spiritually powerful voice. Let's allow the Holy Spirit to alert us to some misuses of the tongue that can greatly diffuse it spiritual effectiveness: Gossip. Lying. Profanity. Perversity. Unkindness. Complaining. Disrespect. Negativism. Criticism. Breaking a confidence. Using inappropriate humor. Demeaning others. Misuse of God's name- not just taking His name in vain but using it loosely, casually. We can only imagine ho reluctant God might be to infuse our prayers with power when we use our tongues for inappropriate purposes."

Exert from: Believing God: Day by Day written by Beth Moore

The date of this devotional page is May 12th. It is August now. Since May 12th I have read this page almost every single day. I have a few other pages dog eared too, but I am drawn more to this one. May 12th happens to be an important date for me. It was the day I married my amazing husband. I find it odd that this page seems to be such a biggie for me and the date correlates to a very important turning point in my life. Marring Charlie was the first step on my walk with Christ. It was the first step of about 10,000 and I am sure I have a million more ahead of me.

I struggle with all of the things listed on this page. Every last one of them. I am not saying I am a terrible liar who cusses constantly and tells everyone's secrets. What I mean is that in some way shape or form, I struggle with all of these every day of my life. Whether it is through my actions, in my conversations, through my parenting or simply the thoughts in my head, I struggle. I cannot understand why God blesses me so much knowing what a terrible sinner I am. The good thing is, I don't have to understand. I know that my God loves me and is always there for me. Even though he knows I am going to sin again tomorrow, He forgives me for today. The Pastor at the church I attend says this, and he says it often, "I am the worst sinner I know". I don't know about you, but I am in that boat. I'm in that boat and paddling my heart out.

I am trying to change. Day by day I am trying fight this battle. Will I ever be perfect? No. I can't be because of my flesh. I will, however, try my hardest to be as much like Christ as I can. I want so much for my children, but most importantly I want them to lead a life that will bring glory to God. In order for them to do that, I have to show them with my life. They need to see me living a life that glorifies God. I pray every morning that God will help me guide my children to Him. Reading this page, every morning, keeps these struggles fresh in my thoughts. It helps me to focus my day on God and doing the right thing. I don't want to give God a reason not to grant my prayers. If it happens to not be his will, then so be it. But I sure don't want to miss out because of my inappropriate tongue.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Letters Of Intent

Friday, Friday, Friday is my favorite day! Why? Because that means it's time for Letters of Intent! It really is a big highlight of my week! So, please go and visit Julie and her wonderful blog and read more great letters.

Dear Son,

I love you and I love your toothless smile. You are so incredibly cute! I am so glad you are becoming a happy little boy. Although, could you please not get so happy and smile so much when I am wiping or washing your.... ummmm.... boy parts? Please?!?! It is quite uncomfortable and oh so awkward. It would really be ok if you didn't enjoy that part of your day quite so much.


Your Kinda Freaked Out Momma


Dear Body,

I have been running for like a month now. I'm gonna need you to catch up already! I'm not asking much, just maybe 2 or 3 pounds. Just give me a boost of confidence so I don't feel like I want to give up! Kick that metabolism into gear please! We are going to the beach at the end of September and I don't want to be mistaken for a beached whale. I don't want to look like a super model, I just want to look about 7 pounds lighter and a tad bit toner. Is that too much to ask? I am begging you to WORK WITH ME HERE! Thanks in advance!


The Lady Who Refuses To Put On A Bathing Suit


Dear Eric and Heather,

Don't be mad. We know we totally beasted your scores, but that just gives you a reason to try even harder. We wouldn't want you two to get lazy! We are well aware that you will never let us Wii sit again, and that's ok. It was SO worth it! Heather, you are gonna have a tough time beating my new ski jump score. And you may want to sit down for this one, Charlie beat your score on the adds to 10 one! Yes, the man with the 1.9 GPA (sorry Babe!) beat you at a math game. Uh oh! Now, we left some of your scores. We let you have the flying chicken one... and not because we stink at it... ok yes we stink at it.... but that isn't the point! We just figured we better not wipe you two off the board all together so that perhaps you won't completely hate us. Glad you guys are home! Now, when are you gonna come over and play Monopoly Deal???? We are having withdraws!


The Folks Who Totally Kicked Your Butts While You Were Out Of The Country!

P.S.- I think it is great for you guys to visit Costa Rica (or any other country you want to do a mission trip to) but no moving, ok? I know you love it, but that would really bum me out! Don't you dare move to Costa Rica! You are only allowed to move less than 3 hours it? Love you bunches!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Giveaway You Don't Want To Miss!

If you like entering giveaways, you HAVE to enter this one! The Dalai Mama is giving away a $100 Travelocity gift card, a super cute nail polish and a beautiful box! How awesome is that? I know I could sure use it! So click here to visit her blog and enter! And don't forget that tomorrow is Friday! You know what that means... Letters of Intent! I have to say, you won't want to miss it! Happy Thursday!

Easily Excited

I am a terrible shopper... for myself at least. I am a sucker for clothes for my kids though. I try to just stay out of stores. That seems to be the best way for me not to buy stuff. I don't think kids need tons of clothes and I really try not to over do it. I have done very well since Jayce was born. He only has one drawer of clothes. Lula Mae had 4 at his age! Yes, I went overboard with her since she was my first... and she is a girl and we all know girl clothes are just way cuter! Anyhoo, JCPenny's sent out their $10 off coupon last week so I went to take a look. I got Lula Mae a new, thick jean skirt for the fall and winter. It is a staple for a little girl! One skirt can make TONS of outfits. I also found this...

...and I had to get it. I knew she had tons of summer clothes at home, but this was too cute! Plus it was marked down to $4.00! My total for the skirt and this was $4.81. I really can't feel too bad about that! It is soooooooo cute. I know she is 2 but I still love seeing her in these romper type outfits!
Oh! I just want to eat her up!!! I think I am going to take this outfit when it get cool and cut the bottom off. Then I can sew it into a shirt and she can wear it over long sleeves through the winter. Oh yes! It is going to be great! (Am I really this excited about an outfit? Man, I don't get out much anymore!) Ok, one more picture of that precious bargain of an outfit!

As you can see, Lula Mae is helping us to beast those Wii scores. Yep. We are even have our toddler in on it!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mommy, Where Do Babies Come From?

Baby grapes that is!

Well, when two grapes (married of course!) love each other very much....

you get this.....

a tiny little grape....

is it not the cutest thing you have ever seen?
It does not take much to entertain me.
Can you tell?

***On a side note, Lula Mae has never asked me where babies come from. I don't agree with lying to your children. Although that does not mean I won't try to get away with "from God" for as long as possible! ***

Monday, August 9, 2010

Love, Your Not-So-Secret Admirer

This is for you! You Fabulous Follower you! Enjoy! It's from the heart!

Monday Mugs

Happy Monday fabulous followers! I hope you had a better weekend than I did. Boy was it crazy! I am very thankful that it is Monday (because the Hubster is off!) I am in need of some help with the sweet little ones! I also need to desperately scrub the bathrooms.... I find that I can do most of my housework through the week just fine with two kids in tow. Scrubbing bathrooms is IMPOSSIBLE. Enough of my rambling and complaining! On to Oswald Cuties Monday Mugs!

The theme this week is crybabies:

This is Jayce, fresh out of the oven! His lungs worked very well! I couldn't find anymore pictures of Jayce crying. Oh, it isn't because he cries less than Lula Mae did (no no no. 20 times more actually) it is just way harder to catch those moments on camera for the second baby. Sorry Jayce. I still love you just as much as your sister, promise!

This is Lula Mae. She hated her blue dress. I don't know why! I thought it was super cute!

We think she just hates all blue dresses. Or at least that was the trend when she was about 2 months old.

When I say she hated them, I mean she hated them. She is a girly-girl and wants pink! Isn't that the cutest ugly cry face? No one looks pretty when they cry. I really do think it is the ugliest human emotion, but I guess a baby can get away with it!

Have a great week everyone! I am praying for a better week around here. My husband and I know that Lula Mae's highs are high, and her lows are low. Boy oh boy are they low! We also say quite often that we love her too much to give up on her. I have to say, I could have taken about a thousand crybaby photos over the past couple of days....oh my. What doesn't kill us will ultimately make us stronger, right? Well, if this doesn't kill us we will be ready for a tough man competition!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

200 Challenge: July

Oh my, it is August! Can you believe it? This year is just not slowing down one bit! I can safely say that The 200 Challenge has been going quite well. We are really saving money and that is a big deal! Being a one income family these days can be tough, but we are committed to making it work for us. It is not so much for my husband and I as it is for our kids (and future kids). God has led us to this place in life, and we feel as though this is our path He has laid out. We truly feel like we are doing what He wants us to do, and that feels amazing. July went well, but not as good as some of the previous months. We spent more of the budget than normal, but that is ok. We still stayed on budget. At the end of the month that is what counts. Now, onto the grocery total for July! I do not have the break down of my trips this month (opps!) but our grand total for the month was $197.51. That means we were under by $2.49. We may not have been under by much, but we were still under!

For those of you who are new to my blog (and this challenge) the goal is to spend less on groceries in 2010. Everyone has their own method to this madness. Sarah, who is hosting this challenge at Clay In His Hands, uses her $200 each month to buy food, paper products, hygiene products, etc. I, on the other hand, have a separate budget category for all the other items and just use my $200 on our food.

I tired shopping every week in July. I have to say, I really hated it. I do much better if I just stay out of the store. I thought I could save better doing weekly shopping, but I was oh so wrong. So I am back to making a 2 week menu plan and shopping on the 1st and 15th of every month. We are learning to waste less with this challenge. I am very grateful for that. I hope that this month we can do just was good on the challenge, but I am not so sure. I have already done our first trip and it seems like we have spent more than usual. I guess we will just have to see! If I can stay out of the store and really eat out of the pantry we should be fine. Wish me luck!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

In The Words Of Lula Mae

A two year old can think of some off the wall things to say. This morning was priceless. This is how Lula Mae's morning prayer goes "Dear God. Today, in everything I do, help me take each step with you. Help me to learn and play, and listen and obey. Thank you for loving and taking care of me. Amen". After this prayer we pray for other people. Then we thank God for things. Little things, big things, people in our lives. We try to guide her, but we do ask for her opinions and input. This morning I couldn't hold back my laughter.

In the words of Lula Mae
"....and God, thank You for Toy Story"
(said with the straightest face, hands so nicely folded and a voice so angelic)

Our child is such a goof. You gotta love her!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Letters Of Intent

FRIDAY!!!!!! I love Friday's. It's time for Letters Of Intent. Don't forget to go to Foursons to read more great letters!

Dear Acne,

I was told that I would "grow out" of you. I was under the assumption that you were just going to stick around and make my high school years miserable. I guess I should have seen this coming though. I was also told by the same woman *cough cough* MOM *cough cough* that I needed to be fat in 4th and 5th grade so I could grow taller. And I quote.... "You have to grow outward so you can grow upward!".Lies. All lies. I have not grown and inch since then and YOU are still all over my face! I have used every product out there, and you still insist on sticking around. Why? What is so great about my face? I'm sure you could find a fantastic hormonal teenage face to jump on. Do you know how much it stinks to have a two year old tell you that there are boo-boos on your face? Yeah, it stings a little. So, if you don't mind, I would like to live the rest of my life without you. Now go away before I have to cover up all the mirrors in my house!


The Lady With Boo-Boo's On Her Face


Dear Kate,

Remember when I told you it was over? Well, I have confirmation for you. I know these pictures are sideways, but I took them with my phone. Lets take a gander....

Hey what's that? Oh, it's your books. Neat.
Wait, what does that sticker say... lets get a better look, shall we?

$3.00? Yep, three whole bucks! But that's the smaller book. How much is the big one?
Oh, $3.00. That's a steal!
Yes Kate, your books are in the $3.00 bargain book bin at Big Lots. Is that enough proof for you? Please get a real job already.


The Crazy Lady In Big Lots Taking Pictures With Her Phone


Dear Eric & Heather,

We are so glad we could help you guys out while you are on your mission trip to Costa Rica. We will "Wii sit" for you anytime! It is really no trouble at all. We feel the need to tell you though that we are planing on beasting your top scores. We are gonna stay up late every night and play Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plus like it is our job and we are getting paid! Eric, just so you know, I totally tore up your soccer score last night. How about 500 points! WOO HOO! Heather, I plan on reclaiming my ski jump tonight. It's mine and you know it! We so can't wait for you two to come back. Mainly because Lula Mae is missing you terribly, but also because we can't wait to see your faces when you see all the first place spots are ours! Mmmmwwwahahahaha! Have a great time though and don't worry about a thing! Love you guys!


The New Soccer Champion! IN YOUR FACE!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I Say A Little Prayer For You

Prayer is a big thing for me and I want it to be a part of my kids lives. I want them to never remember not praying. Lula Mae is slowly getting it. We say the same prayer every morning and another prayer every night. Plus, we pray for ever meal and snack. Sometimes it goes smooth. Other times there are a few pops and tears before prayer is over and done with. I know it seems like a contradiction, but I think that Lula Mae needs to obey. If she does not learn to obey Charlie and I, how will she obey God and His commandments? Luckily, she is getting better and better. She knows the prayers we say pretty well now and says them along with us. This thrills me to no end! Getting to this point has been tough, but all the work was worth it. The other night she got very involved and I was so pleased. She began to come up with people she wanted to pray for. We would say "amen" and she would go "Oh and Baby Jayce Mommy". She would put her hands together and say her prayer. It melted my heart. Well, it melted my heart until she said "Uhhhhhh how about....ok Mommy, I pray for the kitchen". Now you are just stalling and trying to keep from going to bed. Prayer is great. But not so great that I want to sit in her room all night and pray for things like the kitchen. I love you Lula Mae and I am glad you are learning to pray, but I have to draw the line somewhere. I'm drawing it at the kitchen. Silly girl!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Monday Hodgepodge

Go ahead. Spell check it.... hodgepodge is a word! Anyhoo, today I need to just post some random stuff that I have been thinking about. It's just one of those days! I can't focus to actually write a good post, so instead I will just combine all my thoughts into a hodgepodge. Oh it will be a mess I'm sure. So sit back, relax and get ready to be confused!

1) Today I am praying for the New Covenant Costa Rica Mission Trip. I am praying for their safety, unity of the team, their health and their hearts to be open. I know they will do a great job and have a great time. I can't wait to hear the stories when they get back.

2) Last week was an amazing one for Lula Mae's school. We have a little bit of a different routine these days and it seemed to give Lula Mae a boost. She mastered reading these new words: beach, ocean, waves, water, fun, sun, sand, swim, sand, hot, play, crab, octopus, shark. Ok, some of them were review for her, but for the most part they are new. It took her about 3 days to master them. She rocks. We also worked a lot on the weather. She has learned what sunny looks like outside, as well as, cloudy, rainy and partly cloudy. She also became very familiar with the days of the week. She knows most of them reading wise, but can't remember them in order yet. Like I said, it was a pretty big week! She is very enthusiastic about school! I'm very proud!

3) Jayce has started sleeping 11.5 hours at night. Yes, be excited! This is so nice! He is also a very happy boy when he wakes up. He is just like his Mommy. We are both morning people. His reflux seems to have its good days and bad. We have noticed lately that he has some pretty bad eczema though. We are trying to get it under control. I know it has to itch him! He is really getting big quick. In two days he will be 3 months old. But that is a whole other post!

4) I am struggling with a lot of things right now. Guilt, anxiety, exhaustion. Lots of stuff. Luckily our pastor is doing a series right now about fer, anxiety and depression. It has helped a lot. Still, things get tough. I am learning to trust God fully. I want to be a better person, mother, wife, friend, daughter and sister. The only way is to trust HIM. Believe HIM. Use my life to honor HIM. Nothing is too big or crazy for HIM.

5) There are sooooo many projects I want to do around the house. So many things I want to organize or reorganize. So many things I want to go through and donate. So many things I want to clean. Sometimes I get caught up in these things. I am trying to stop. Slowly I am realizing that everything can't get don't right now. Everything doesn't need to get done right now. It may drive me nuts from time to time thinking about all these things, but when I go to bed at night I feel complete. Complete because my day was filled with my children. Filled with memories of my sweet babies that will not stay babies for ever. Yes, the attic is a disaster, the bathrooms are not to my standard of clean, the closet is only half organized.... but my kids got cuddled, kissed, played with, tickled and read to. My relationship with my kids means more to me than a bathroom floor you could eat off of, an attic you could live in or a closet organized to the T. God is working hard on my OCD, and I am thankful. Humbled. My OCD is a part of me and I never pray that God takes it away from me. I only pray that He uses it to make me a better person. A stronger person who needs Him every moment of every day.

6) Today Charlie told me that Sesame Place is an Anheuser-Busch affiliate. You know what that means right? They let military families in for FREE!!!!!! That is my favorite price! We have been to Sea World for free already. We haven't hit Busch Gardens yet, but I'm sure we will at some point. Lula Mae is IN LOVE with Sesame Street though. It's a highlight of her day. She isn't allowed to watch much TV so she really enjoys it. We may be planing a trip!

Well I hope my rambling wasn't too terrible. I know it can be. I mean, I'm confused just writing it all out! What does that tell you? Well, I must go. Nap time seems to fly by these days. I still have a menu to plan, lists to make and a Bible to read! Have a great Monday blogger friends!

I feel as though I must leave you with something positive. So why not a few pictures of my sweet little ones!

Channel surfing

Saying a prayer after school