Sunday, June 26, 2011

Simple Joys

We've spent the evening outside after napping this afternoon after church.

The kids have played in the sprinkler and on the swings.  We've played baseball and practiced throwing and catching the football.  They are still running around in their swim suits.  Maggie's is a a little too big on her as I didn't want to get her a size 4/5 and let it be too small on her so I bought her a 6 and it hangs on her wee little body.

Right now our kiddos are catching lightening bugs at dusk.  It is a gorgeous night.  Rod just went to get a jar to put them in.

I told Rod it's been a perfect evening and he said that it was until I pulled out the computer.

So, I better run.  Just remember that it is the simple things that your children remember and that we all cherish.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Review of Love Food and Live Well by Chantell Hobbs

I started reading this book EONS ago.  Well at least early spring.  I finished it a couple of weeks ago...  See how bad I am?  Anyway.....

I was interested to hear the author's thoughts on food loss as she has lost over 200 lbs and been able to keep it off.  So that alone gave her credibility.

The beginning of the book was VERY slow for me.  She did a lot of "setting up" why it is hard to lose weight, the difficulties our culture puts on us etc etc.  Literally at least the first 1/3 of the book was this.  In my head, I was saying "I know this.  I am experiencing this.  That is why I am reading your book."  
I was interested to hear the author's thoughts on food loss as she has lost over 200 lbs and been able to keep it off.  So that alone gave her credibility.

The beginning of the book was VERY slow for me.  She did a lot of "setting up" why it is hard to lose weight, the difficulties our culture puts on us etc etc.  Literally at least the first 1/3 of the book was this.  In my head, I was saying "I know this.  I am experiencing this.  That is why I am reading your book."  

However, her book is easy to read and I did appreciate her concepts quite a bit.  As my hubby and I have been trying to lose some weight this gave me some different ideas and I truly came to appreciate how she thinks about food.

Of course her concepts of seeing us a God's creation also makes her different than many other diet/nutrition/lifestyle authors.

Overall, I enjoyed the book - once I got into the meat of it. 

However, her book is easy to read and I did appreciate her concepts quite a bit.  As my hubby and I have been trying to lose some weight this gave me some different ideas and I truly came to appreciate how she thinks about food.

Of course her concepts of seeing us a God's creation also makes her different than many other diet/nutrition/lifestyle authors.

Overall, I enjoyed the book - once I got into the meat of it. 

I was given this book by Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for reviewing it.  I was not paid for this review.

10 Tasks in 10 days!

This summer has not been as productive as I had hoped.  I guess I am a dreamer thinking that I can get projects done while keeping the kids entertained and not fighting.  Let alone the amount of rain we've had that prevents me from working on some projects!

This week has been especially  Ummmmm...out of the norm.  Jared had church camp on Mon/Tues.  So I had to drop him off on Monday morning and pick him up Tues at 5pm.  Oh this week is also swimming lessons week for a 1/2 hour late mornings.  Oh, and then my dear hubby rolled his ankle playing basketball (I'm pretty sure that it is the 3rd time since we've been together and he had done it several time before me) so there has been lots of icing and bandaging and "Honey, could you get this for me?" type of stuff going on.  Oh, and then Mags had church "camp" for 2 hours yesterday and a parent (me) had to stay with her.  So let us just say that I've been running all over Timbuctoo and getting little accomplished.

Which leads me to the '10 tasks in 10 days" challenge.  I was so excited to see this challenge as I needed the accountability to get some things accomplished before this summer flies by and I have nothing to show for it!

Unfortunately - I have to get ready for swim lessons and I do not have time to show pics of my intended projects.  But I will show pics as I post the completed projects.

I have a list of 20.  Will I get 20 done in 10 days?  Probably not.  But man, if I can get a bunch done I will be feeling pretty good - and it will eliminate more excuses.

1.  Clean the kitchen closet.
2.  Place chalkboard in kitchen
3.  Wipe board in kitchen closet
4. Shelf in hall bath
5.  Headboard for Master bedroom
6. Clean inside of van.
7.  Craft cans for holding kids commissions
8.  Finish trunk as seen here
9.  Finish cleaning the storage area in basement.
10. Place hooks in Jared's room
11. Do gallery wall by desk
12. Poly the picnic table
13. finish sanding/painting the dresser (see link in #8)
14. Sand/Paint the $5 garage sale dresser I got the other day
15.  Paint desk chair
16.  Make skirt/pad for desk chair
17. Curtains for Living Room
18. Paint desk - ugly laminate monstrosity
19.  Make skirt for the ugly laminate monstrosity
20.  Hang flag outside.

To be upfront, I have already done a couple.  I figured I had a few more on the list than was required so it was ok to start a little early.
Ten Tasks

Better run and take my shower so that I can run around again. :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Being Fulfilled and following Gods lead

I've always struggled with being a Stay at Home Mom.  For one thing, I think that I am more than "just" a mom.  I don't know of a title that I really like:  Homemaker sounds too much like June Cleaver, Domestic Engineer sounds too much like I am trying to make up for something.  I guess I am still working on a "title".  Another thing is that I don't feel like I am using all of the talents that God has given me.  I have never felt fulfilled by changing diapers, cleaning bathrooms or running a vacuum (maybe that is why my house is a mess?!?)

But I know without a shadow of a doubt that this is where GOD has me.  But  can I be vulnerable and tell you that I really really struggle with it?  Not with being a mom but with the "stay at home" part.

When Maggie was diagnosed with cancer my role took a huge turn.  I had to become a nurse to Mags;  hooking up meds to that tube that stuck out her chest, giving her so many stinkin' shots, forcing her to take her meds, keeping track of which med to take and when, talking to the docs, making and keeping track of all too many appointments.  I got stinkin' good at it.  And for the first time in quite a while, I was fulfilled.  Maybe it was just that we were so busy with getting thru that time in as positive way as we could....I don't know.

Now Maggie is better and will start kindergarten this fall.  I'm finding normal.  And I applied for a job.  A position that fits what I trained for many years to be.  I interviewed for the job. I talked about this job.  I knew that whatever happened that it would be "ok".  God had taught me about His Faithfulness to me that I at least knew THAT much.  I knew I would be disappointed either way the outcome was:  if I didn't get it I would be disappointed, if I did get it it would be hard to transition to being a working mom.  I tried to keep it kinda quiet, but I still talked about it more than I should've.....

Because I didn't get the job.

At first I was really disappointed.  And after about 2 hours or so of disappointment.....God reminded me.

He reminded me that He has something for me to do that I keep putting off because of fear.  I talked about it here.  I used/am still using a ton of excuses as to why I haven't gotten it done.

Guess what!  Maggie will be in school every morning and I will have the house to myself.  Do you think God wants me to be without excuses or what?

So what excuses is God taking away from you so that you will do what He has asked of you?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Giveaway Winner! Drumroll Please

Using,  the winner is Comment #12 - Melissa! :)  I promise I used it - just not sure how to put it up here to show that I used it! :)

Melissa please get me your email address so that I can send it to Cha Cha and she will get you your pillow cover!  I know you will think it is so cute! grin

Thank you so much to each of you for entering and thank you to Cha Cha for the great give-away!  Please go check out her blog and her beautiful etsy shop!

Do not forget!  Cha Cha is still offering all Big Lives followers a discount on their Memory Verse Pillow cover - just use the code BIGFAITH to get 30% off their order at her Etsy shop! 

We still love our Pillow!  And it is durable! It has made the rounds with a 7 year old boy! :)  It is adorable! :)

Thanks again everyone! :)

Last chance to get in on the giveaway!

The winner will be announced this evening so get yourself entered! :)


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

My Dad is the guy that all of my friends growing up thought was cool.
My dad playing with Jared

He was the guy that would get his hockey goalie mask on at Halloween and disguise himself to look like a mannequin and then scare the begeebers out of the older kids that would come trick-or-treating to our house.  In fact, I think he just did it at our house this past year.  He loves a good practical joke as long as no one and nothing gets hurt!

He is the guy that would make the coolest swing out over a huge sand pit for all of the kids in the neighborhood to enjoy.

He is the guy I remember picking me up from school when I was sick (around age 10) and he had to stop at the corner on the way home so that I could open the door and throw up.

He is the guy that knows more Bible than anyone else I know - which is a good thing .... he's a pastor! :)

He is the guy that many people know as "Grizzly Greenhood" from our church's camp.

He is the guy that on long car trips will wear one of those glasses that has the nose and mustache attached.  JUST to surprise cars that go by and to entertain himself.  So now you know who it is!

He is the guy that is still a romantic with his wife and best friend (my mom) of almost 42 years!  He loves to kiss her in front of everyone!

He is the guy with the "tickle finger of fate" that would tickle us till our sides hurt! :)

He is the guy that when I was an adolescent and was complaining of being "BORED" when out with family shopping or whatever - would start singing Jingle Bells REALLY LOUD.  No. Matter. What. Season. It. Was.  I learned very fast not to tell him I was bored.

Life is not boring with my dad.  He taught me to make life exciting.  He taught me that a good Christian will stand up for what is right and true and defend the Bible.  No matter what others say or do.

My children's Daddy is pretty great too.  He loves to wrestle with our kiddos.  He loves to teach our son bball.  He loves to cuddle with them too.  He loves to tuck them into bed at night after reading a Bible story and saying prayers.  He loves to teach Jared how to drive the mower.
at the hospital with Maggie -right after surgery

playing in the snow this winter with the kids
So this is to the 2 best dads I know! :)

Linking up with:
Sit Relax and Read

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I'm sorry I've been so absent...

I don't really have a good excuse. Really I don't.  I mean nothing like getting my husband ready for his lifetime dream of riding the shuttle to the Space Station or our daughter having cancer or anything like that. Grins

No,  I think that I have been just re-evaluating what my blog is about.  This blog is about our family and what is happening in our home and what God is showing/teaching us. I think that I became a wee bit insecure. You see,  I've found some really great blogs out there in "Blogland" and I know that mine doesn't measure up in so many ways.  So I think that left me stalled in my tracks! smile

However, I really enjoy writing and so maybe you will still put up with me?

So to catch up.....

1.  Our trip to Indy:  I had a conversation with another Mom after our lunch break.  Her son is also a cancer survivor - he was diagnosed with a type of brain cancer 5 years ago when he was 12.  He is not the same kid as he was before he was diagnosed.  He knows it.  He is now 17 years old and he and his mom are trying to figure out how independent he can be as an adult.  He has been doing neuropsychological testing often.  He is barely able to get a diploma.  It isn't that he isn't smart - he is - but all of the treatments have left him unable to remember things.  He is on all kinds of medications.  It was humbling to realize (once again) how blessed we are.  Maggie does have long term side effects from the treatments - severe hearing loss (even with her "hearing ears" in she still can't always hear the birds sing), potential neuro psych issues and more than likely hormone issues.  But she is still our girl and isn't on any medication at this time.

2.  Our weightloss....   We are still doing Low-Carb.  Yes, that is 4 months.  I know, I think that we might be crazy just like you think.  We were both bulging out of our clothes.  So now we are both fitting nicely into at least one size down.  I think that I've probably lost about 25 lbs.  Rod has lost a lot more.  He is much more stringent with his carbs in general.  Like if we have hot dogs for supper he won't put ketchup on them b/c ketchup has carbs - so he only does mustard.  We've "cheated" but nothing I feel really guilty about.  I even made banana muffins for my kiddos and didn't have one.  I've learned a lot about eating better: more veggies, a good portion of protein.  If someone could just help me like exercise!  UGH! grimace

3. Don't forget to sign up for my giveaway.  I am really excited about this.  I think that these are just beautiful! :)  Cha Cha does such a nice job.

4.  I've applied for a job.  Yes I am in as much shock as everyone else.  I've really only shared the details with a few people.  Let's just say that no matter what the outcome there wme ill be disappointment and excitement.  I haven't been "obsessing" about this decision as much as I would have in the past.  I was supposed to find out by now if I had gotten the position but was told that a decision won't be able to be made till at least this coming Tuesday.  And you know what?  I am ok with it.  It is funny - ok more ironic or things that make you go "HMMMMMMM" - but with this journey of faith that I have been going on I KNOW without a doubt that whatever the outcome will be ok.  Maybe part of it is just that I am not 100% sure what I want.  Smile

All right the kiddos are starting to go nuts.  And my house is a pit.  I think it has taken me several days to recover from the early morning drive to Riley.  Also, I'm trying to figure out how to balance accomplishing things and keeping the kiddos entertained. 

Oh and what kid of schtuff do you like reading about on this lil ole blog?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Hello from Indy!

I am writing this from Riley - well actually one of the building near Riley Children's hospital.  Maggie and I got up way WAY before the sun (alarm went off at 4:20) so that we could get to our 8:30 apt.  It takes about 3 hours to get here - depending on traffic and weather.

Maggie is being seen by a Neuropsychologist.  Why?  Stupid cancer.  I'd heard thru an email list that I am on for neuronblastoma kids that many kids are showing signs of some sort of impairment years down the road from the effects of the chemo etc.  No one really thinks about these types of things.  You just want to hear the words "No evidence of Disease" or cancer-free.  We don't realize what potentially lies down the road. :)

 I am not expecting to "find" anything.  This is more to get a baseline so that if something "pops up" in a couple of years we'll know what her abilities were at age 5.

I am sitting in a hallway that they call a waiting area.  There is about 8 chairs sitting along a wall outside the Neuropsych area - which is also right in front of 2 elevators.  I get to sit out here for about 3 hours waiting for Mags.  Then we do lunch and then I start the waiting game all over again.  I should've brought Maggie's pillow pet in and maybe I could have napped.

I'm not thrilled that I cannot see Maggie thru a window or anything but the setup here is not conducive to that.  This office is in one of the older buildings and it seems rather congested.

We thought about coming down as a family last night but that would've meant that Rod and Jared would have to find something to do here to entertain themselves.  It wouldn't have been hard HOWEVER - how fair is it to Maggie that she sit in a room answering questions for over 1/2 a day while Jared is doing something fun.  So he and daddy stayed home to do fun stuff.  He thinks every time Maggie comes to Riley she has fun b/c all he remembers is the play rooms.  So Maggie and I will try to hit a couple of stores on the way home and do a little bit of fun and Jared and Daddy will do fun stuff at home.  No one feels extremely left out that way.

I'm tired.  Did I mentioned that I was awake from about 3am on?  Did I mention that Maggie got in bed with us at about 3:40am because she was cold?  Yeah.  I am tired.  :)   

Feels like old times.......   ;)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Bible Memory Verse Pillows and a Giveaway! :)

Oh, you all!  I am so excited! :)

Somehow since I started blogging, I did the blog hopping thing and ran across some really creative women that put me in awe.  There are some that love to write about their relationship with Jesus.  The ones that I really love to "blog stalk" are the ones that combine the two.

I first ran into Cha Cha's blog when she posted about her homeschooling desk that I fell in love with!

I would love to do a desk like this in our house and get rid of this hideous monstrosity that I am working from at this very moment.  But I digress!

When Cha Cha showed these on her blog I immediately LOVED them:

These beautiful pillows are Bible Memory Verse Pillows and aren't they gorgeous?

She came up with this idea as she would write our verses for her girls on index cards.... but then where do you keep the cards?  So she created these pillow covers  with pockets so that the kids can work on their verses while leaning back on these adorable pillows.

Well, Cha Cha asked for people to review these gorgeous pillow covers and I jumped at the chance offered to review it and she sent me one.  I got to pick which one I wanted!  I decided to pick one for Jared.  He is my great reader and bible verse memorizer and he has often felt left out in our family b/c of life situations.  

This is how it came.  See, she even put a cute little ribbon on it! :)  I chose one that is a map.

Here is Jared with his new pillow.

She also includes 3 Memory Verse cards in them as well!   He told me when we were doing our "photo shoot" that he read his verses before he got out of bed! GRIN!

So here is the exciting news!  Cha Cha is going to give one Bible Memory Verse Pillow Cover to one follower of Big Lives! :)

Plus, all Big Lives followers can use the code BIGFAITH to get 30% off their order at her Etsy shop!  So even if you don't win the Giveaway, you can still get the pillow covers for your kids! 

So go check out Cha Cha at her blog:  Sit Relax and Read

Here is how to enter:  FIRST you must be a Big Lives Follower.

Then there are 6 ways to enter.  Comment HERE when you have done one of the six (or each one of the six) on the list!

1. Comment on favorite design
2. Follow her blog Sit Relax and Read
3. Follow Sit Relax and Read on Twitter
4. Like Sit Relax and Read on Facebook
5. Favorite my Etsy shop Cha Cha's Treasure 
6. Blog about giveaway
7. Tweet about giveaway

The winner will be randomly chosen on June 21st!

Good luck!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

When He Says Nothing At All......

I am sitting here at the computer trying to write this post and no words come.

How do I put into words what you mean to me?  How do I begin to describe what we've been through with each other?

You are my encourager - believing that I can do (with God's great guidance and help) whatever the task is that is in front of me.

You are my best friend and confidant.

You are the one that I would come home from staying at the hospital with Maggie and just weep with.

You are the one that understands how truly funny our children are and loves to hear the goofy stories about their daily antics.

You are the one that I can look at and we know what the other is thinking.

You are the one who likes to stand in the middle of my kitchen - right in the way of everything -  so that I can't do anything.

You are the one that drives me batty.

You are the one that can make me so mad and yet at the end of the day I want to cuddle up with.

You are the one that challenges me to look at things from a different perspective - usually one that I don't want to look at (but know I need to).

You are the one that I love to make laugh and to laugh with.

You have a twinkle in your eye that I absolutely love to see.  Usually it comes out when you are being a little mischievous.

Your arms are the ones I want around me all of the time.

God totally knew what He was doing - I shouldn't be amazed, but I am.  I am in awe how we fit together.  We are opposites in many ways and yet in others we are the same.  We balance each other.

Happy 12 years married!  I love you!  I still choose YOU!

Thank you for who you are to me and what you give to me!

Linking up with:

Sit Relax and Read

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Books for Kids that I love

"Princess With a Purpose" (hardcover book): by Kelly Chapman and Tammie Lyon"A Warrior Prince for God" (hardcover book): by Kelly Chapman and Jeff Ebbeler

I found these 2 books a little over a year ago - I think.  It was bought during a time that is all a blur and no I was NOT using drugs - altho some did suggest the idea.

Anyway, I absolutely love these books.  It totally gives a different perspective on what it means to be a "princess" and what it means to be a "warrior".  Almost every girl loves princesses and almost every boy loves "fighting".  These books also lay out the gospel message for our children to hear in an unique way.

Maggie absolutely loves Princesses and while she was in treatment for cancer I would tell people that she can like Princesses but I refused to let her act like one.  This is still a battle that we are slowly conquering.  Maggie enjoyed being waited on and getting almost everything that she wanted (what we typically think of as Princess attitude) and that was fine when she was miserable.  But now she is definitely not miserable and to have something concrete that teaches little girls how to be GOD's Princess is something I love.

Jared LOVES to fight with his guns and light sabers etc - all normal boy behaviors.  But I love how this book takes that normal boy behavior and shows him how to fight Satan's ploys and temptations.

What makes it better is that the kids love them as well.

Here is a link to their website:  They even have a whole week long camp/vbs type thing that looks super cool!

This is the Bible that I read from at Maggie's Party.  We were given this book as a gift during Maggie's treatment.  God's "Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love" is discussed in each chapter.  It also discusses how it is all a build up to Jesus' birth, death and resurrection.  I love reading it to my children because it speaks to me and often I am in tears as I read it to them.

Last but not least..... Financial Peace Jr.
 Financial Peace Jr. for Kids (Ages 3-12) - <strong>ON SALE!</strong>
We purchased this a couple of months ago and have just gotten around to implementing it.  Yeah.  I'll explain more in a sec.  Ok, 4 years ago or so Rod and I went thru Financial Peace.  We have always been cheap frugal people and this gave us more information and more of a formula to use.  We really got a lot out of it - even us tightwads frugal people. :)

We kept thinking of getting this program for our kids.  Our kids help me cut out coupons, they know they don't get everything that they want, they know that things cost money, they even helped out around the house.
Now, after implementing this program they are excited to save their money to purchase something that they want, they understand that if they don't complete their job or don't do it satisfactory they don't get paid and they get fines for behaviors that we are trying to help them prune from their lives.  It is gonna be more work for me (I mean us) in keeping track of it all.  Marking each job they do or every fine they get means that I have to stay on the ball. :)  Hmmmm.....yeah.  But they are excited and it is teaching them about money and how to use it properly!  LOVE THAT!  Jared wants to save up for a Nintendo DS.  We talked about how long he'd have to save for a new one and that it would take awhile.  So then I mentioned that maybe we could find a used one.  So, if anyone has a used one they'd be interested in selling.......   ;)

I wanted to add - there are some things that the kids do that they do not get paid for.  It is our thought that there are things you do because you are a part of the family: like putting your laundry away....

Now, I was not paid or reimbursed for these reviews - these are my own thoughts/feelings/words.  So, if you are on the look out for kids items with a meaning.....  :)  Hope this helps! :)

Linking at
Thrifty Decorating