Thursday, September 30, 2010

Letters Of Intent


Friday already? Wow. I guess that means it's time for some fantastic letters of intent! Hop on over to Julie's blog for lots of more great letters! There really is no other way to start off your weekend!


Dear Time,

Seriously. October? Already? What are you trying to do to me? I am begging you to slow down! You are going so fast that I can't keep up. I want so desperately to sit and hold Jayce and look at his baby face forever. I am deeply missing my 2 year old needing me to feed her, carry her around everywhere and soothe her. I miss being able to feel them in my womb and knowing they were safe and sound in there. I'm not telling you to put the brakes on and come to a screeching halt. I'm simply asking you to tap the breaks a bit. Just tap them enough to make a month feel more like a month felt when you were a kid in school and less like a week. Please?

Signed,

The Lady Who Has The Wind Blown Look From How Fast You Are Moving

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Dear Self,

Do you know how silly you look to your bloggy friends and readers? Please re-read your posts before you post them! Your spelling is atrocious! Just a hint.... when that red squiggle is under a word, picking the first word on the suggestion list is not always the best... sometimes it is just throwing things out there because you spelled it so wrong it has no clue what you were looking for! Not only that, your grammatical errors are terrible too. I know people told you that " leaving out small words while writing" is a sign of being smart, but they lied. And you were gullible enough to believe them. Oh honey, just slow down! You type posts about as fast as time flies. So, why don't you re-read this and check it for errors? Your aren't going to, are you? You are just gonna push "publish post" the second you finish, huh? Well, can't blame me for trying!

Sincerely,

The Woman With Little Patience Who Did Terrible In English

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Dear House,

Can you grow a little bit? Maybe if I water you? Plus as some fertilizer? Any chance whatsoever that you may sprout another 600 squared feet? Even 300.... an extra closet? Anything? Sigh. I didn't think so. Worth a shot I guess. Don't you worry little house. We are going to get up in that attic and give you a good Fall cleaning soon. I promise. I will also go through all of your closets, cabinets, drawers, nooks and crannies. I am ready to, yet again, get rid of things we don't need and use. I am also stoked to scrub you from top to bottom so that I can almost hear you shine! Shivers. It's going to be great! You may be tiny, but you are cozy and I am glad we have you! But if you ever did decide to grow, we wouldn't mind one bit.

Love,

Your Owner Who Loves You Even Though You Seem To Be Shrinking

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

From My Devotional...


There is no one like You, and there is no God besides You, as all we have heard confirms.
- 2 Samuel 7:22

June 25

"One of the things that keeps us from getting out there and believing God is being scared half to death that He won't come through for us, won't dignify us with a yes, and ultimately won't prove faithful in the end. Or that we'll prove to be failures as having enough belief for Him to bless with a miracle.
If I'm convinced that God really loves me and has certain priorities for me that may take precedence at times, then I am "safe" to walk by faith. I am freed to know that my God is huge and my God is able and that if I don't get what I asked, if I'll cooperate, I'll get something bigger."

Exert from "Believing God: Day By Day" By Beth Moore



My friend Heather gave me this devotional book. I had mentioned that I would like to start doing a daily devotional but felt very lost in picking something out. So she picked this one out for me! I find it puzzling that many days my devotional makes me think of her, her situation, her life.... somehow it leaves me thinking of her. It makes me pray for her. Every single day. Without fail.

Right now Heather and her husband Eric, who is my cousin, are pursuing adoption. You can read their story here. Although they are wholeheartedly excited to adopt, I feel that they will still long for a biological child. Who wouldn't? Dealing with any type infertility is nothing you can even fathom, unless you are going through it. From the outside, I feel as though I know what they are struggling with. But the truth is, I don't have a clue. Being that I am very close to the two of them, it is very difficult to watch them take this ride of faith. A ride that very few dare to take.

This page says to me.... Eric and Heather, I can tell that you have fully given your family planing to God. Although it seems like God is not giving you a "yes" by blessing you with a biological child yet, take comfort in knowing that there is something amazing in store for you. You may not have gotten exactly what you asked for, but perhaps it is just around the corner! God always proves faithful! You are going to get something bigger! I am praying something big for you. Something bold. Something that may take many years to unfold, but I have faith that it will happen. By the grace of God, it will happen.

On today's page, September 29, the scripture reads "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer" - Matthew 21:22

It gave me chills.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ten Things


Today I am linking up with Emmy Mom- One Day at a Time for her Ten Things To Smile About. If you had a month worth reliving, or even if you didn't, write your list and link up!


Ten Things To Smile About This Month


1. Watching the movie Fireproof with my husband (finally!)


2. Seeing my kids starting interact with each other and watching their love for each other grow.


3. The birthday bash for my Husband and Mom.... I rocked and got them both awesome gifts! That is pretty tough for me!


4. Lula Mae's first french braid pigtails.



5. Having a picnic lunch at Daddy's office.



6. Falling in love with two great shopping spots in a neighboring town! Both with super great deals!


7. Seeing Lula Mae do so well with 'school'. She knows her "big name" (Llewellyn Marie Bell) now, her right from her left, how to read the days of the week, and is reading better and better each day!

video



8. Jayce being able to sit up in the exosaucer and play. I love seeing him transform into a happy little boy!


9. Out first family beach trip with some wonderful pictures and memories.


10. Seeing God work in my family and knowing that He is not done yet.








Not-So-Chocolate Muffins

I am a chocolate lover. It really is an addiction. I can eat ANYTHING chocolate. It makes my mouth water just thinking about it.... but it is not a very healthy thing to love. I don't want my kids to grow up loving junk food the way I did. I want to give them yummy treats that are healthy at the same time. Tough to find my friends. Tough. I mean, there are plenty of healthy treats... but, I'm sorry, they are far from tasty. Not too long ago I picked up some Carob chips at a Mennonite store in a town close by. They look like chocolate chips. They taste almost like chocolate chips. They bake just like chocolate chips! So I decided to experiment with some muffins. Here is what I got....

Not-So-Chocolate Muffins



2 cups of flour (I used 1 cup of all purpose and 1 cup of whole wheat)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. flax seed meal
1 cup water
1/2 cup applesauce
2 Tbsp. oil
2 Tbsp. honey
3/4 cup carob chips

  • Pre heat oven to 350 degrees
  • Combine dry ingredients in one bowl, and the wet ingredients in another.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well.
  • Grease a muffin tin (will make 12 muffins!)
  • Scoop into tin (about 3/4 way full)
  • Cook for 18 to 20 minuets. Check them with a tooth pick or a knife to see if they are done.
  • Cool and enjoy!


They are very tasty! They don't taste exactly like chocolate chip muffin (it is hard to explain!) but they are so good! Lula Mae loves them :-) and so do I! So healthy and very filling! You can play around with the recipe too. If you don't want to add sugar, don't. Try adding a little more honey instead! I actually adapted the recipe I use for Apple Raisin Cinnamon Muffins. It is a recipe from my friend Sarah at Clay In His Hands. They are fantastic too! So, if you are looking for a sweet treat with better health benefits than chocolate, you should try these muffins!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Pictures

So here is an obscene amount of pictures for you. Well, I guess it could be worse.... I took almost 300. So you are getting of easy! Enjoy! I can't figure out why some of them look grainy... weird! I wanted to make a video of the pictures with music and everything but I haven't gotten around to it. So just imagine some wonderful music playing in the background and neat video affects! Use your imagination!






















Sunday, September 26, 2010

Our First Vacation As A Family Of Four

Our little beach trip was a very first family vacation as a family of four. So, all you Mom's out there can understand that any griping in this post is natural, right? Here we go.....

My feelings about the beach.

So don't freak out when I say this, okay? I am not a fan of the beach. (gasp!) That's right, I don't like going to the beach. I don't like the sand all over my stuff, I don't like being hot, I don't like the water that is filled with... ugh.... yuck! I just don't like the beach. Never have. Never will. My child, on the other hand, loves it.... so I have to suck it up and enjoy it as much as I can. But let me tell you folks, that is TOUGH!!!!!!!! I like sitting on the balcony and looking at the beach. Love it actually. I love walking down the beach in the evenings or early morning. Those two things are it. This trip made me realize why we don't vacation at the beach!

Lets start off with the packing.

We took a ridiculous amount of stuff. Yes folks, ridiculous! A van full! All for a 3 night trip. It really doesn't matter if you go for 3 days or 10 days, you need just as much stuff! Especially with a baby on board who is not yet sitting up. So packing alone was not so fun. Clothes for 4 people, toiletries for 4 people, diapers for 2 kids, a pack-n-play, a swing, toys, bottles, food, beach items, diaper bags, car items.... just to name a few! So off the bat vacation was not looking so "relaxing" anymore.

Then there is the trip.

Lula Mae did excellent, as usual. Jayce did not so excellent, as usual. I sat on a suite case between the two car seats for most of the trip so Jayce could see me and I could comfort him. I begged my husband to drive safely because I would die if we got into a wreck. Traveling was not the best part of the trip, by any means! I am lucky to have any hair left!

So once we get to the hotel.

Things went pretty smooth. It only took about an hour and a half to unpack and organize everything. Then we went for a nice walk on the beach (it was evening so we figured just a walk to introduce the beach to Lula Mae would be best). And it was! She loved it! Jayce was happy to be out of the car and was in his baby carrier so he liked it too.

The first beach playing experience.

Lula Mae LOVED it. She loves every single thing about the beach. All of it. Jayce on the other hand does not. He hates the sand, the water, the wind, the sun.... yeah, all of it. What can I say, he really is a mini me! So after about 30 minuets I packed Jayce up and took him back to the room to nap while Daddy and Lula Mae played. How fun is that? ZERO! I may not love the beach, but I love watching my daughter and husband have the time of their lives together. They are inseparable!

The rest of the trip.

Jayce is going through a very needy stage. Lula Mae did this too around 4 or 5 months. He wants to sit up but can't.... he wants to crawl but can't..... he wants to play but really can't. So it is a tough time because he wants you to constantly occupy him. Especially on vacation where you are not in your normal environment. All in all he did okay, but he made the beach part torture. Plus we ate a some lousy resturants so the food wasn't worth it at all. How bummer-ific is that?

What I figured out.

Vacation is a LOT of work on Momma. Lots of packing, lots of unpacking, lots of keeping up with everyone's stuff. Just lots of work. (Feel free to comment that you too feel this way... don't make me feel as though I am the only one who stresses so bad about vacation!) I love vacation, I do. I enjoy seeing the world through my childrens eyes. I love seeing Lula Mae experience things for the first time. It really is great! I must say, in all honesty, I love being home so much more. I love my life. I love what God has done for me, and is doing for me. I do not live for vacation, I live for my life. I have a wonderful life that God has given me and I don't want to daydream about some other life. So yes, vacation is great, but home is so much better!


Tomorrow I will post some of our pictures! My children surprised me and took some great photos! I can't wait to share them with you!!!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Letters Of Intent

Hello bloggy friends! We are back! Just in time for Julie's Letters Of Intent! Be sure to check out her blog and read all the great letters!

Dear Fellow Vacationers,

Lets go over a few simple rules about vacation, shall we.....

1. While driving..... DRIVE.... get off the phone, quite yapping, stop fooling with the GPS and drive! I promise if you do these things exits won't sneak up on you and cause you to change lanes drastically. Just watch the road, okay?

2. When staying in a hotel.... no screaming in the hallways. I don't care how excited you are about the beach. Be excited.... quieter. My child has trouble sleeping when there are people screaming at the top of their lung.

3. When enjoying the beach.... think about your beach attire for longer than half a second. Please.


Sincerely,

Your Fellow Vacationer

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Dear followers/readers/stalkers,

I missed you! Terribly! I can't wait to get caught up with all of you! vacation was great (don't worry, there will be posts to come!). I have lots of photos to share with you! Have a great weekend!

Love,

The Blogger Who Missed Her Peeps!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

While I am Away...

I thought you may be super sad that I was on vacation so I wanted to leave you something that was sure to make you laugh. Well, it may not make you laugh. It makes us laugh though.

I miss all of you.... try not to write any monumental posts until I get back! If you do, I promise I will read them as soon as I return! Just try not to write a gazillion posts, okay?


Monday, September 20, 2010

Beach Bound!

Were hitting the road! We are on our way to the beach! Not this beach though...


because this is Miami beach with it's white sand and clear water. We will be going somewhere much closer and not quite as pristine! Packing for 2 adults, a toddler and an infant was a lot of work, but I am still excited and ready to be on vacation!


We are hoping that Jayce will look like this.....


This is Lula Mae on our 13 hour trip to Arkansas when she was 4 months old. She is a traveling girl! We are praying Jayce will look this happy on our tiny 4 hour drive to the beach today.


Lula Mae is bound to have a good time. This is what she looks like on trips...
well this is what she looks like on a trip to Disney World, roughly 8 hours. I am sure our 4 hour drive will be nothing to her.

I can't wait to take her for a walk on the beach this evening. She is going to flip out! This will be her very first beach trip! Jayce will enjoy himself since he likes being outside. Okay bloggy buddies, try to behave! I will see you soon! Try not to write a gazillion posts, alright? I am not taking my computer on vacation so I will have to catch up with all of you when I get back!

See ya!




Sunday, September 19, 2010

Just The Right Words

Dear Lula Mae and Jayce,

Be strong in the Lord and,
Never give up hope,
You're going to do great things,
I already know,
God's got His hand on you so,
Don't live life in fear,
Forgive and forget,
But don't forget why you're here,
Take your time and pray,
Thank God for each day,
His love will find a way,
These are the words I would say.


Love,
Mommy



Sometimes a song expresses something perfectly.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Letters Of Intent


Hello Friday! Woo Hoo! Sorry, you have to excuse my extreme excitment. We are leaving for the beach on Monday, but technically our vacation starts tomorrow! WOO HOO! Ok, enough of my shenanigans! Please hop on over to Julie's blog and check out more great letters! Start your weekend off right!




Dear Disney,

You are killing me! Why do you have to make things so dog gone cute! I really am not one to spend money on "stuff". I enjoy a very simple life. Our home is decorated very minimally. It also helps the budget quite a bit to learn to be happy with what you have instead of always needing more. Why, why, why must you make things like this????

Do you hate me? Do you want me to spend all my money on RIDICULOUSLY CUTE THINGS LIKE THIS???? I have never wanted a candy bowl so bad in my life.... a candy bowl! $39.95. I mean I can't spend that kind of money on something so silly.... but that doesn't mean I don't want to! So Disney, if you ever want to see me and my family again you have to stop making such cute Mickey Mouse stuff. Because if I spend all my money on a candy bowl, I won't be able to save up money to come to Disney World for vacation!

Love,

The Grown Woman Who Is Addicted To Mickey Mouse And All Mickey Mouse Paraphernalia

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Dear Jayce,

My dear boy, your father and I think we finally got it! Trust me, it was tough to figure out. But once our ears stopped bleeding and our pounding headaches subsided we were able to come to the conclusion that you are not fond of car rides. We are now aware that the car is not your favorite spot. My sweet child, we are leaving for the beach on Monday and it is a 4 hour drive. Could you please, for the sake of my sanity, not scream the entire way? Maybe? Please!? You are even stressing out your sister. She keeps telling me, "Jayce is talking too loud Mommy. Way too loud!". We plan on leaving right before nap time. Do us all a favor and sleep. Please? I love you cuddle bug, but we really can't cuddle in the car.

Love,

Your Momma Who Is In Need Of Her Vacation

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Dear Children,

I would really love a picture of the two of you together on the beach. I am willing to bribe you with basically anything to make this happen. Please cooperate and take a beautiful picture for the woman who carried you for 9 months, birthed you, and has been taking such good care of you. It would really mean a lot to me. Thanks in advance!

Love,

The Lady Who Is Willing To Guilt Trip You Into Taking A Fabulous Beach Photo

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

School Update

An investment in Knowledge always pays the best interest -Benjamin Franklin

This is Lula Mae working on a matching activity. She has to name each color, read each color word, then match them with the correct color. It is one of her favorites! She LOVES matching games!



Our classroom has grown!


Then
Now

What use to be just a board is now beginning to explode! We have the days of the week and the weather that we do each morning, our daily prayers posted and our current memory verse. To the left of the window is where we post all the Bible verse we have already memorized. You can see my folder of calendar things hanging on the wall, right beside my teaching notebook. We are soon going to need a filing cabinet for our workbooks and curriculum!
Our material is getting more advanced!


The top set of books are for first grade readers. She is reading them pretty well, except for all the names in the books. The bottom set is a Leap Frog set that focuses on the vowels. She reads them great and is gaining more knowledge of phonetics. She can tell you what most of the letters of the alphabet "say" now after telling you their names.


Our attention span is growing!

I really think this is because she is in Sunday School at Church now. When she turned 2 she moved from the nursery to the 2's,3's and 4's classroom. Let's just say she loves it..... oh that could be a whole post all its own!

Our listening skills are sharpening!

Also linked to Sunday School. However we do lots of "games" and "activities" at home to strengthen this skill as well. It is a never ending process though!

Yes, school is going great! What started as just "fun" learning in the mornings has quickly changed into a very loved part of our day. Lula Mae knows after she eats breakfast that we will be getting dressed and getting ready for "school". Right after I brush her teeth she starts asking "is it time for the calendar Mommy? Ready for school now Mommy?". She loves it. I love it! It is fantastic.

My Bloggy friend, LaVonne, recently posted about how she is about to embark on homeschooling her Princess for preschool. I am so excited to hear this news! I love to see parents take control of their child's learning! It is our duty to them as parents. I know that LaVonne is going to do a great job, and I am praying for her. Teaching is not easy. I have taught in schools and now I teach my daughter. Let me tell you, teaching your own child is much harder than teaching other peoples children! So please keep LaVonne in your prayers as she gets ready to take on an amazing adventure with her sweet Isabella!

After reading her post, I was very encouraged. She is right, homeschooling is a lot of work. Tons, actually. But in the end it is worth it. I wanted to give her (and anyone else out there in bloggy land who is interested!) a few tips on schooling her Princess at home. These are simply suggestions, of course, but I hope they help!

  • Set up a classroom. It doesn't have to be a "room", just a wall really. Have a board, a calendar, fun things on the wall.... just have fun creating a space that you and your child can enjoy together.
  • Be consistent. With all parenting, consistency is key. It is no different for teaching. Start your day off the same each time and keep a familiar pattern to each day.
  • Don't get upset if your child can't handle more than about 15 minuets of "school" at a time. In the beginning I wanted to do an hour each day. Well, we started school with Lula Mae before she even turned 2 so that was way too ambitions for us! Slowly she began to handle longer sessions. Now we average about 45 minuets of school in the morning. Then we take a break. Later we have about 30 to 45 more minuets of school. So start small and work towards your goal over time.
  • Don't be afraid to give them a challenge. If I was afraid to challenge Lula Mae she wouldn't be reading at a first grade level at the age of 2. One of the best parts of homeschooling is that you can teach your child to the fullest. Don't teach on an "easy" level just because they are able to answer everything just right. Change it up and teach just above their level. Help them to strive to grow and change. Now, don't go overboard obviously. Keep it appropriate, but make those wheels turn!
  • Document, document, document! Be sure you know what they have mastered. Keep records, videos, samples. Scan all their work and keep it on a file on your computer. Just be sure you feel confident that, yes, they really have it. Answering something once does not mean they know it. My rule is that Lula Mae has to be able to answer or show me an objective 3 times, and in at least 2 different ways before I consider it "mastered".
  • Review! Always remember to go over the old stuff too. Also, be sure your lessons build off of each other. That will help you review naturally in your teaching.
  • Reward! I reward for good behavior, outstanding work, and good thinking. So even though she may not have gotten something just right, if I saw her trying very hard and really thinking about something, I will reward her. Not ever day, but fairly often. We use stickers... some use candy, but Lula Mae is way more excited to get a sticker! Always verbally reward too. Even if you sound like a broken record. They need to hear "wow, that is a great job! You listened very well. Thank you.". Verbal rewards don't even cost money!
  • Be patient and know when to stop. Don't let either of you get overwhelmed. If you feel that one of you are, stop. Have some quiet time. Pray. Then try to start again. You may find that 5 days a week is just too much. That is fine. Another great thing about homeschooling is that you don't have to go 5 days a week! Do what works for you and your little one!

Wow, I think I could write a book! You can't tell one bit that I am passionate about teaching can you? I didn't think so! Well, I hope someone out there gets something out of this post! i really enjoyed writing it. Perhaps next time I should just vlog about it to save you all the reading!

Happy Tuesday everyone! Don't forget to pray for LaVonne as she enters her teaching journey!

Monday, September 13, 2010

P90X Update

I must say, when my husband and I started P90X I did not think there was anyway it would really work for me. I know my body pretty well. I know that running and cutting out junk food works well for me. But with time being very tight, running is not always possible. Charlie and I both wanted to get into a nice workout routine, for health benefits and weight loss. That is when Charlie suggested doing P90X together in the evenings after we put the kids to bed. Can I just say, if you have never worked out with your spouse, you should! We really are great motivation for each other! We both look forward to our workouts together. We have hit our first marker... Day 30. Actually we hit Day 30 on Friday the 10th... but I am a little late with my post!

I am excited to tell you that I have lost 7 pounds! When we started I was 117 pounds... then I gained 3 pounds during the first week *sigh* which was a huge bummer. So that bumped my weight up to 120 pounds. On day 30 my weight was 113 pounds! WOO HOO! I think it is a good start. I still have about 5 pounds or so to be where I would like to be, but I have 60 days to get there. No problem! I wish that I could put my Day 1 and Day 30 pictures up for you to see.... but they are just not postable! It is too horrific! Although the difference is nice to see!

I hope the next 30 days are just as successful! Just so you know P90X is a beast of a workout! I mean hard is not a good enough word to describe it. If yo are looking for a super tough workout, it is the one! It may be tough, but we like it!

Happy Monday!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Who Loves A Good Deal?

I love a good deal! It makes me happy to even save .10! No joke! If I can save a few cents here, a few cents there I am thrilled! Lots of people look at how I save money and say, "well for that small of a savings it seems like too much work. It can't really be worth it.". To each his own I guess. My thought process on it is that if I take all those ways to save a little bit of money, then they will add up to be a big savings! So all my "little" things turn into a HUGE savings at the end of the month! Plus, my husband works very, very hard so that I am able to stay home and take care of our children. It is my duty to make his money go as far as it possibly can.

My friend Heather and I had been wanting to go check out this place called "Dented Deals" in a town close to ours. So on Friday we set off on a money saving adventure! I will say, we had to check some expiration dates, but other than that it was great. I don't mind one bit if the package is crunched or ripped or dirty! I will buy it just the same... only WAY cheaper! Here is what I got....

St. Ives face wash $1.85 / covered in soap
Pull Ups $5.99 / package was taped up but none missing
Overnight Diapers $6.35 / package was taped up but none missing

All of these prices are much cheaper than what I would have paid at Wal-Mart. Even with coupons! I was pretty happy!


Rice $2.99 / dented
Dukes $2.39 / label was torn (notice that it is a GIANT jar!!!)
Granola Bars $1.25 / dented
Peaches $.99 / packaging taped up
Applesauce $.85 / packaging taped up
Ritz Crackers $.50 / one month past date


Salad Dressing $.50

This was the deal of all deals! Biltmore salad dressing for less than $1.00!!!! That is CRAZY!!!! If you don't know what Biltmore is.... shame on you!!! Get to Googling!!!!


Well Heather also wanted to take me to a neat little place run by Mennonites called The Pantry. Folks, I am in love. Deep, deep love! The atmosphere was great, for one thing. It was so nice and tidy. So peaceful and quiet (other than my daughter who talks non stop). The have homemade anything! Organic and natural galore! It really was neat and I will be shopping there once a month for a few things! I have to say, the prices are what I loved the best! Look at what I got...


Spinach Pasta $2.21
Italian Seasoning $.82
Whole Wheat Flour $2.53 (3.95 lbs.)
Carob Drops $2.80 (1.3 lbs.)
Flax Seed Meal $1.92 (1 lb.)
Fresh Sour Dough Bread $2.75

The bread was to die for folks. Really, some of the best bread I have ever had. The spices are so cheap you jaw would drop! And I can't wait to make some healthier muffins and pancakes with my flax seed and whole wheat flour! I am telling you, I could live back in the old days no problem!

I encourage you to search for local shops like these in your area. Find out where you can get local, homemade products. Find out where you can get grass feed beef, organic eggs and milk. Not only is it better for you, but it supports local business. It is also lots more fun than shopping at Wal-Mart. You will find some really neat things at shops like this. Stuff you would never see in any Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Target or Bi-Lo. I promise!

Friday, September 10, 2010

My Mistake

I make lots of Mistakes. Every single day. If I didn't, then what would have been the point of Jesus dieing on the cross? Some mistakes are big, and some are small. Some only I know about, some are obvious to others, yet all are seen by God. I cannot hide an action, thought or sigh from Him. Sure, I can hide them from my children, my husband and friends, but that isn't what matters. What matters is what God sees. When I confess these mistakes to God I am forgiven. Forgiven by Him, but not by the person whom I have wronged.

Yesterday Lula Mae had a great day. She woke up singing, used her manners beautifully, obeyed diligently, helped out when she was asked and loved with all of her heart. She did amazing with her school work, read to Jayce, gave him his paci when he cried, shared with me and ate every meal without complaining. It was a great day for us all. Then, about 10 minuets before bed it all came tumbling down. The servants heart that she had all day turned into a bitter one. She refused to have her night time diaper put on (spanking #1), she whined about brushing her teeth (spanking #2), she cried about giving her book to Daddy to be put away (spanking #3), She refused to pray with us (spankings #4,5,6,7,8,9,10, and possibly 11). After about 15 minuets of spanking, trying to talk calmly and whispering reminders of making God happy when we pray, she yelled in my face (something she has never ever done before). I forcefully grabbed her, put her in her crib, we left the room and slammed the door. I left her screaming and crying because, at that moment, I was afraid of what I might do. Not hurt her physically, but quite possibly emotionally. I just need to get out. I needed to get away from the moment. I felt horrible. I don't like making prayer time a battle field, but sometimes we do have to force her to pray. Do we like to? No. But we are determined to teach her that prayer is important, as well as listening and obeying. I feel as though the nights when prayer is a battle that it is really just Satan trying to defeat me. He is using my sweet little gift from God against me, trying to break my spirit and cause me to give up.

After leaving her room, I washed the dishes in a very vigorous manner. I got out all the frustration, anxiety and nervousness I had. I prayed. I prayed hard. After a few moments of listening to God, I knew what needed to be done. Lula Mae was almost fast asleep, her room was quiet except for her music playing. We went back in and picked her up out of her bed. We hugged her tightly and kissed her. We quietly told her that we loved her very much and that we were sorry. We placed her back in her bed and covered her up. I stood there, looking at her sweet face, and told her that I loved her, and that God loved her. She looked back at me and smiled,"I love you too Mommy." Instantly I felt better.

How can I be so terrible to her? She loves me unconditionally and I take advantage of that. How am I worthy of these blessings? I left her in there alone, scared and confused. I broke her sweet innocent spirit. It was so very wrong of me. I know I make mistakes, but I am learning how to correct them. I am learning to ask forgiveness. I am learning to be a better Mom, Wife and child of God. I can tell you, I have a long way to go.

Never go to bed angry, especially at your children. Never should they go to bed with even a shadow of a doubt about how much you love them and care for them. My children are my "reward" from God and I need to treat them as such.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Letters Of Intent

Well, it is Friday. Yes, I know I bragged about the Hubster having a 5 day weekend last Friday, but just so you know this weekend is drill weekend. Meaning this weekend won't really be a weekend for us. So even though it is Friday it kinda feels like Wednesday. You take the good with the bad, right? 5 days off.... 10 days on. So don't be too jealous of his 5 day weekend, okay? ;-) Now, on to the good stuff! Please be sure to visit Julie and her blog-sweet-blog for more great letters!



Dear Weather,

Please, please, please don't create a hurricane or any other nasty weather on September 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, or 24th. We are finally going on vacation and I really need it to not be a let down. I really want to play on the beach with Lula Mae and Jayce... not sit in a hotel room and hope we don't get blown away. I can't wait to see her face when she sees the beach for the first time! I am begging you to be nice! Don't break my kids heart. Please, please, please! We didn't get to go to Disney World this year, isn't that enough torture???? Trust me, it is! So, if you feel the need to be disastrous, could you wait until we leave? That would be great!


Thanks in advance!

The Lady In Need Of A Sunny Vacation!

*****************************************************************

Dear PBS,

Thank you. I love you. I love that you don't play shows that feel the need to say words like butt, shut up, stupid and idiot. They make me cringe. I love that you don't play commercials that advertise toys that my child just "has to have". I adore that you don't play a certain show about a square sponge who lives in a pineapple under the sea. Really, I do. I am obsessed with the fact that your shows are educational. I appreciate you plugging in little tidbits of information about eating healthy and staying active. Could I just suggest one thing... could you create a channel that plays nothing but Sesame Street? That would really be great! We only allow Lula Mae to watch 2 shows per day, one of which is always Sesame Street, but if they could both be Sesame Street..... oh I think we would all be quite happy! No worries though if an all Sesame Street channel is out of the question, she is in love with Word World too! Oh, you can cancel Barney at anytime by the way. Luckily it comes on during nap time so my kids will never see it (thank goodness!!!!), but I am pretty sure most parents can't stand it. The Wiggles too. Other than that.... you rock my over protective parenting world!


Your Biggest Fan,

The Momma Who Has Banned Nick Jr, Nickelodeon, Teen Nick Or Anything Related To Them Because What Goes In Your Kids Will Come Out!


PS- If your kids watch those stations that is totally fine! To each his own! Please don't be offended, okay? I will be watching to see who un-follows me. Ahem.

***************************************************************

Dear Healthy Foods,

Why must you cost so much more money than junk food? I am finally getting to the point of enjoying you, but you are killing my budget. I really have tried hard to stick to The 200 Challenge, but it is getting harder and harder. I can buy junky type food for about $160 a month.... I can buy healthy food for roughly $220 a month. It is a huge difference! HUGE! I need to watch my budget, but I need to watch the health of my family even more. This tug of war is not fun! Being pulled in one direction because things are cheap and in the other direction because things are healthy is wearing me out! My brain hurts by the time I leave the store! All I am asking is that the natural, organic, fresh, healthy options cost the same as the options that have ingredients in them you can't pronounce! Is that really too much to ask?

Sincerely,

Price Check On Healthy Please!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Saving On Shaving!

I must admit, I have been keeping something from you. It's a biggie too. I am so sorry that I have neglected to tell you about my fantastic money saving product. I have to say, I am a pretty big skeptic. I never believe all the "as seen on TV" stuff. I think it is all junk and just somebody trying to get rich. I mean come on, Mighty Putty? Really? (sorry to anyone who bought Mighty Putty!!!!) Well, after Christmas Charlie and I were walking around Walgreens and saw the "as seen on TV" section so we stopped by to laugh at all the over priced junk. And then, it happened.

There is was.

Staring us in the face with a discounted price we couldn't resist.

Should we try it?

Would we really use it?

Could it really work?

Well since we had some extra Christmas money we decided to buy it.

Yep we bought...................



Yes folks, we are the proud owners of the Save A Blade. My hubby is a military man so he shaves at least 5 days a week.... on drill weekend it jumps up to 7. Needless to say, we go through a lot of blades! Plus, although not very often, I shave too. So that is 2 adults buying razor blades. We both can't use cheap disposables so we have to spend a little more on nicer cartridges.

So, want to know how long I used one blade? 6 months! Yep! Half of a year on one blade! It really was amazing! That is savings folks! On average I would spend about $170 on blades (just for me!) a year. Now I spend roughly $14.00! I can last an entire year on one box of refills! WOW!

But here is the thing.... It didn't work so great for Charlie. I am not sure sure it is a great buy for men since they are shaving their face. The skin on my legs is much tougher than the skin on a mans face, I am sure of that! But Charlie can sharpen his blade once with the Save A Blade and get at least 3 more shaves out of a razor. So I guess It cuts down a little bit on his part.

Overall, I say this product works.... for us. I can't say it will be great for you, but it may be worth a shot! We save A LOT with it! Lots of people say it is junk and it doesn't work at all. I think it depends on your skin, really. If you have a few extra bucks in your budget, you may want to invest in a Save A Blade, just to give it a shot! You never know until you try, right? Plus if you don't like it you can always sell it on ebay :-) If you put "free shipping" somebody will buy it, I promise!

One more tip for saving on shaving.... look around at different stores for "off brand" razors and refills. I just bought Charlie a razor from Food Lion (Healthy Choice brand) that is the same thing as a Gillette Fusion razor. The only difference is that the refills are only $5.99 for 4, instead of $14.99 for 4. It makes a big difference in our budget! The only thing Charlie doesn't like about the new razor is that it doesn't have a "trimming blade" on the end of it. You know, the fancy blade on the back of the razor that they use to get up close to their nose and stuff? So, he misses that, but that is his only complaint so far! So go shop around for a cheaper solution that will work for you and your hubby!

Happy Wednesday everyone!



******I was not paid by anyone to review Save A Blade. I really did try it! My results are only my results, I have no idea how it works for anyone else! Just so you know! ******

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Monday Mugs

I hope you are all having a great Labor Day weekend! I know we are! We are really loving having Daddy home :-) Today I am linking up with Oswald Cuties for Monday Mugs! If you are looking for a mindless Monday post, you should too!

This weeks theme is: Summer Recap


Are you ready for this one... it's a long one!




WARNING!!!!! BARE BELLY PICTURE AHEAD
!!!!! SOME PEOPLE DON'T LIKE SEEING BIG HUGE BARE BELLY PICTURES SO THIS IS YOUR WARNING!!!!!




At the beginning of summer I was pretty large.... ready to deliver our second baby! 36 weeks!

And on May 4th Jayce Moreland Bell joined our family! You can read about his birth here.

As he settled in, we learned he really likes to have control over the remote control.

Lula Mae learned that playing in the dirt is pretty fantastic.


I killed my hydrangea... for the second year in a row...

Lula Mae celebrated her second birthday.

She also realized how much she loved playing in her pool.

We took Lula Mae to the Children Museum and she found her "calling".... med school anyone???

My children cooperated so that I could take some amazing pictures.

Like this....

... and this...
Jayce is now 4 months old! And look at that face!!!!


As you can see we had a pretty full summer! It has gone by in a blink of an eye! I have to say, summer is fun, but I am a big sucker for Fall. I just can't wait for cooler weather, beautiful leaves changing.... oh the list could go on and on! Happy Monday again everyone!