Sunday, July 26, 2009

HEARTS AT HOME


One of the things I love about blogging is the exchange of ideas that takes place; after all, what mom can't use a new idea every now and then!

If you are interested in a blog that brings a group of mommy bloggers all to one place, stop by and visit the Hearts at Home blog.

Hearts at Home's contributing bloggers write about motherhood, each with a unique perspective, reflecting on the spiritual, emotional and downright funny aspects of motherhood. Their group of bloggers range from professional speakers to authors to stay-at-home moms, all who share a passion for the profession of motherhood.

The Hearts at Home blog covers a variety of topics, such as practical mom tips, recipes, book reviews, and advice for tackling tough mommy issues.

Take a peek at this great resource and connect with real moms sharing real stories today!

Friday, July 24, 2009

FREE WEATHER FORECASTER


These are on clearance at Walmart for $50 (not on walmart.com) and you can print a $50 rebate form here. I bought mine yesterday and I must say I am ecstatic, I love the 5-day (really the 10-day) forecast. Isabella is already excited about being our family meteorologist. This will help the younger kids learn about weather as Isabella teaches them using this TOO COOL FREEBIE!

Thank you Faithful Provisions for the tip!


Thursday, July 23, 2009

EUREKA!

Photo from freedigitalphotos.net

"Eureka (Greek "I have found it") is an exclamation used as an interjection to celebrate a discovery," says Wikipedia . Okay, so “what have I found” you ask? A theme for our homeschool year. The Lord is just cool like that, He gives us what we are looking for (or need) even when we are not looking for it (or do not know that we need it). This year I was struggling to get stuff together, but this has given me the inspiration and direction I needed.

We have never had a theme for our homeschool year, but this year we do. God has continually brought Psalm 1 to mind as a theme for us this year and reminded me that I AM A TREE PLANTED BY STREAMS OF WATER and so are my children. A picture of a palm tree is what I keep seeing. I heard a pastor say once that “a palm tree can be bent, but not broken.” I grew up in Miami, Florida – I know palm trees! I have seen palm trees (still standing) after a hurricane. The storms of life will attempt to break my kids and so will their enemy, the accuser, but as trees planted by streams of water they will not be broken as long as they stay connected to the Source.

Today at lunch I told the kids our theme for the upcoming year and Isabella said, “That was our verse yesterday at camp.” I went to the car and got their “newsletter”, published by the campers and the verse of the day was:

He is like a tree planted by water that sends out its roots by the stream and does not fear when heat comes for its leaves became green and it is not anxious in the year of drought for it does not cease to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17:8

I could teach, on that verse alone, for the entire year.

What a foundation my kids will gain from Psalm 1 as they begin to understand who God has called them to be. We will be doing the following:

• Memorizing Psalm 1
• Meditating on Psalm 1 and understanding its meaning in our lives and the lives of others around us
• Decorating with palm trees (they have some cute blow up ones from orientaltrading.com) – this is for fun…gotta have fun!
• Making trees which will bear fruit – as the kids apply what they learn and begin incorporating it into their lives they will get flowers for their trees (I will not set it up as a competition, but as encouragement to each other)
• Use the theme to incorporate all academic activities – math, science, history, art, music and language arts

I am excited about this and think it will be a fruitful year for all of us.

Psalm 1
1 Blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.
4 Not so the wicked!
They are like chaff
that the wind blows away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6 For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.

Thank you Lord for speaking truth to my heart to help me teach my kids more about you.

Teach them to your children and to their children after them. 10 Remember the day you stood before the LORD your God at Horeb, when he said to me, "Assemble the people before me to hear my words so that they may learn to revere me as long as they live in the land and may teach them to their children. Deuteronomy 4:9-10

18 Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 20 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, 21 so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that the LORD swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth. Deuteronomy 11:18-21


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

R & R

Our spontaneous trip to the Chattanooga Choo-Choo

Judah fell asleep on Isabella's lap on the Trolley ride at the hotel.

Someone offered to take a picture of all us...nice.

They're so cute!

They got the moves. Notice Kaira's feet are not even on the floor...so symbolic.

Remember the video Safety Dance...that is what Annais reminds me of.

Overlooking Chattanooga from the Incline Railway, while eating rock candy. I marvel at God's creation every time I see mountains...the word Majestic comes to mind.

Silliness at the pool.

Sometimes the noise of our lives can drown out the voice of our Father. I needed to hear Him and took a little trip to do so. I packed up the kids spur of the moment and checked in to the Chattanooga Choo-Choo in Tennessee. As you can see from the pictures we had a blast! For some reason I forgot to take pictures of us at the English Rose, which is a tea room where we had lunch. We got many stares and even more compliments on the children's behavior.

People were amazed that I was there alone with four children and I really do not understand. These are my kids and this is my calling...I have been equipped to do this whether at home or elsewhere. I actually thought I was going to get a standing ovation at the pool, it was hysterical. Isabella was a huge help! In a lot of ways it was easier there with the kids because we were all in one room and did not have a lot of stuff with us to clean up all the time. The kids spent most of the time in the pool, so they were busy having fun and making friends.

I did hear my Daddy while there and felt His presence. He refueled my Spirit. It was nice to be away from the phone (my cell phone didn't work there), computer, business, chores and homeschooling. It was a much needed breather!

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. Psalm 46:10

What a great reminder!

Monday, July 20, 2009

OH THE FUN WE HAVE!

I can't believe my little guy is eating cereal already. As you can see, he thoroughly enjoyed the experience although not much of it stayed in his mouth.

Friday, July 17, 2009

GOD KNEW...

Amanda did not know that purple is my favorite color, but God did! Amanda did not know how much I could use a bouquet of flowers today, but God did! Our hearts ache, our marriages fail, we fail, our kids disobey...BUT GOD!

Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

Delighting in Him,

Thursday, July 16, 2009

VOTE NOW!

All of the beautiful stamped projects that I have shared here have been the ideas of Amanda. I try my best whenever she has a class to attend because I know it is going to be AWESOME. When she announced a "name her blog" contest I knew I had to join in the fun.

Years ago before I was a "Tea Lady" I was a crafty lady and sold Stampin' Up and held classes in my home. I really wanted to have my own stamp store and the name I chose was "The Stamp Pad" with a frog on a lily pad (stamp pad) holding a rubber stamp. Since I am on to other things I decided to share that name with Amanda for her blog, little did I know I would be a front runner. It is exciting to see that the name chosen so many years ago may still be used for "stamping purposes".

Anyway, I am in the lead to name her blog, please vote for "Amanda's Stamp Pad" on the top of her side bar. Must vote by tomorrow, July 17th. Click here to vote

FAMILY DEVOTIONS

On the Fourth of July Isabella handed me a piece of paper with this verse on it…

I will surely bless you … because you have obeyed me. Genesis 22:17-18

This was in her Adventure Bible in a small box at the top of the page that they call “Words to Treasure”

She said she was going to memorize it. A short time later she had handwritten a verse for everyone and said this was their memory verse and we would have family devotions later that night (led by her) and we would each recite our verse followed by some worship time. Sure enough she called us together in the den, we all recited our verses (mine was “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”). She said she gave me an easy one – thanks Isabella!

After everyone said their verse she played songs from her Crocodile Dock VBS CD and we did the motions. I would highly recommend this CD for children, it has wonderful songs on it. Check out some of the videos with hand motions on Youtube (just type in Crocodile Dock). It was truly a blessing! She has been hiding God’s Word in her heart since she was little, I cannot wait to see what God has in store for her.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

NEW GROCERY BUDGET

Total cost $49.00

This was my first week actually withdrawing grocery "cash" and setting a "grocery budget" - it was $50. Everything in this picture was $49, so realistically I think I will increase it to $60 because I still have to get milk $1.99, eggs $.99 and bread (buy one get one free) at Publix $3.49 for two. I include personal items and cleaners in my budget, this week I bought Infusium Leave-In Conditioner for Isabella which ate up (ha! ha!) $5.

Some of my purchases were cherries, grapes, broccoli, and a HUGE watermelon. I bought two boxes of dishwasher tabs and toilet paper. Had to get stain remover and Clorox (I love me some Clorox). Toothpaste for Annais, band-aids for the car (let's see if I remember to take them back to the car). Free sample of Banana Boat sunscreen (perfect for the diaper bag). My best deal of the day - two packs of razors pictured here for $.50 (used a rain check from Publix for BOGO for $5.49 and had $5.00 in coupons).

Before Judah was born we were spending $150 a week buying these same kinds of things, so I have actually reduced our groceries 60%.

Many of you have emailed and said you wanted to do this too? Do you have specific questions that I could answer here? Anything you would like to see explained in more detail?

WORKS FOR ME WEDNESDAY


This is my first time participating in Works For Me Wednesday and I know today is the day because I had an AWESOME experience last night.

My baby is four months old and is sleeping between 11-13 hours a night (I know I'm blessed), but his diaper cannot handle it. He wakes up every morning with a soaked sleeper and sheets, so last night I decided to put a pantiliner in his diaper...crazy you say? Well he slept 15 hours last night and woke up with a dry sleeper and sheets! Hooray for pantiliners it Worked For Me this Wednesday! If you are thinking I should just buy overnight diapers, they do not make them in the smaller sizes and after this trick worked I may never buy an overnight again.


To read other AWESOME tips check out We Are That Family!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

FREE COFFEE

I love free stuff, but I LOVE fellowship even more, so I am using this free coffee offer from McDonald's to get together with some other moms and let my kids have some play time. Is there an old friend you would like to catch up with? Someone who could just use some company? What are some creative ways you could use this promotion to extend hospitality or fellowship with others? I'll let you know how my idea works out.

Through August 3, stop by participating McDonald’s on Mondays from 7:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. for a free sample of iced or hot mocha. The sample isn’t a shot, either: It’s an 8 oz. hot mocha or a 7 oz. iced mocha. Limit one per person while supplies last.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

OUR NEW FAVORITE GAME


This card game is on the end cap at Target and sells (at my store) for $6.99 you can print a $5 coupon on coupons.com, so your out of pocket is $1.99. We have had a blast playing it! There are four games you can play, we have not moved past game #1. Would make a great party gift.

There is some more encouragement for you and your family! Makes a great addition to family game night.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

MOMMY'S JOB DESCRIPTION by KAIRA

You've got to love it when kids tell it just like it is! Actually I couldn't have said it better myself.

video


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

GIANNA IS HERE!

Here are mommy and baby looking beautiful! She was born July 7th at 1:35 a.m. Gianna is my great-niece, although I think Rachel's a pretty great niece too! She has a proud big brother named Sebastiano.


JUDAH LAUGHING

video

This video was taken on June 20th, so Judah was exactly three months old. He is laughing at Isabella throwing and catching a ball. Notice how he throws his head back everytime he laughs, what's up with that? Now that I have figured out how to do this I will have to upload Kaira's version of my job description...oh, I'm dangerous now.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

NEWEST NIECE

My youngest brother and his wife had their first baby on June 23rd. Judah and I made the trip to see them the next day. He looks so big next to her. They are three months and three days apart. Congratulations David and Kassy, we are SO HAPPY she is here!



My niece Rachel is scheduled to have her second baby, Gianna on July 7th, so we'll be adding another one to the bunch...what a blessing to have all these precious babies around!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

CHA-CHING

I do not want this to turn into a money saving blog, but part of my mission here is to encourage. Last week at the checkout at Publix I did not pay them, they paid me...how is that for couponing? I was so excited I could hardly stand it. So to encourage you...YOU CAN DO IT! Using other money saving blogs and doing what they say (remember I do not have time or desire to reinvent the wheel) I have been able to cut my weekly food budget about 66%.

Proverbs 31:13-16 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.

JUDAH 3 MONTHS


A picture of him talking to us, which is a very frequent occurrence.

Judah is three months old already! It is hard to believe how fast the time has gone. He is laughing and sitting up well propped up on something. He is incredibly strong. I do have a video of him laughing on his three month birthday as soon as I figure out how to upload it...Randel, help?

ENCOURAGEMENT & TSMSS

Encouragement comes in all forms...this came to me in the form of music in the mail. A sweet friend from church sent me this CD in the mail and wrote "Be encouraged!" on the CD and I have been time and time again. Now I want to encourage you.







For more Then Sings My Soul Saturday visit Amy at Signs, Miracles and Wonders

Friday, July 3, 2009

GREAT QUOTE

I love quotes...always have! When a friend shared this one with me a little over a month ago neither of us knew she would be moving to Texas at the beginning of July:

Having nothing in your homes that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful. William Morris

I know God has an awesome plan for my friend and her family and when I start to get sad the excitment of what God is doing takes over.

For a long time I feel as if I have been in a season where people, places and things are being "stripped away". It makes me think of this song...



Lyrics:

When the music fades
And all is stripped away
And I simply come
Longing just to bring
Something that's of worth
That will bless your heart

I'll bring You more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what You have required
You search much deeper within
Through the ways things appear
You're looking into my heart

I'm coming back to the heart of worship
And it's all about You
All about You, Jesus
I'm sorry Lord for the thing I've made it
When it's all about You
It's all about You Jesus

King of endless worth
No one could express
How much You deserve
Though I'm weak and poor
All I have is Yours
Every single breath

I'll bring You more than just a song
For a song in itself
Is not what You have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You're looking into my heart

I'm coming back to the heart of worship
And it's all about You
All about You, Jesus
I'm sorry Lord for the thing I've made it
When it's all about You
It's all about You Jesus

Its all about you
Jesus

It really is all about HIM and what He is doing in and through me...I pray I shine for Him.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

TEA PARTY BABY SHOWER

We just had shower number seven at church and the theme was a "tea room". I brought all my teacups, teapots and tea paraphernalia to the church (and so did many others), but "S" the organizer transformed the cafeteria into a warm and inviting "tea room". She plans all the showers and goes above and beyond to make the expectant mommy feel special. Her shower will be in July and the theme is an Italian restaurant.

The church is located in a very rural area with not many shopping options, so the scones I brought from Target were a hit, I heard there were even fights over them. The lemon curd I brought from Tea & Traditions was a hit too, when the scones were gone people were putting it on pound cake.

This shower was laid back, a great chance for women to catch up and share and laugh. Two of the pastors shared from their hearts about women and mothering. It was a special night.

I did not get many pictures, but here is what I have:

Here is a picture of the favors I mentioned a while back. We made 75 of these in a couple of hours. There is a single serving of tea inside. Here are directions to make it to hold a Hershey's nugget candy bar.

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