I have entered the world of blogging! My purpose? To stay connected to friends and family and invite you into my world. A world filled with fun, tears, laughter, excitement, elation, disappointment and all the blessings of being a mother and wife.

Monday, February 28, 2011

What's for dinner?

Just for fun I thought I would share my menu plan for this week:

Monday: Enchiladas and beans (trying a recipe from one of my new followers Shabby Soul

Tuesday: Salmon patties with hollandaise sauce, red potatoes and green beans

Wednesday: Sausages with caramelized onions and coleslaw

Thursday: Split pea soup with homemade bread

Friday: Spaghetti, salad and garlic bread

Saturday: Frozen pizza (I will be gone for dinner, that's simple for daddy to do!)

Sunday: Breakfast (I keep Sunday dinner simple, it is a day of rest)

I blogged once before about my weekly menu calendar ($1 at JoAnn's) I LOVE it but ran out of pages! JoAnn's doesn't seem to be carrying it so I decided to create my own (I'm too cheap to pay more than a $1 for a new one!) ;-) If you would like a copy of it feel free to download one HERE.

Just a couple tips: Plan ahead, for example I'm baking the bread for Thursday's dinner, so I wrote on Wednesday to bake the bread. Look at your whole week and take note of when you might be gone (plan something simple for the family) or having dinner outside the home. On the "To Do" line I give myself a little reminder, such as pray, have patience, be joyful, count my blessings and so on. I'm visual and these little reminders help throughout the day.

Happy eating! :-)

Friday, February 25, 2011

I haven't blog hopped in awhile!

Hi there! It's Friday and I haven't blog hopped in a really long time! I thought I would find some new friends today. :-)

The Girl Creative

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I've been swapping again!

After making 25 little matchboxes I told myself to take a break from swapping BUT then A Swap For All Seasons announced the next swap and I just had to participate! This time around we needed to create one fabric collage approximately 5x7. I had a ton of fun making mine for my swap partner!! So much fun that while I was making it, I wondered "hmm, would someone like this as a gift, cause I want to make everyone one!"

My swap partner Darlene from Blanche's Daughter created for me a fabric collage using some of my favorites, red buttons and a vintage photograph. Thank you Darlene, I love it! :-)

In return, I created for Darlene a collage using lots of blue and white/cream (her favorite colors) and attempted to make it look like altered art (something she enjoys making).

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A field trip in our own backyard...

Today the SUN (a long lost friend) is here for a visit! Jilian and I bundled up and went outside. We discovered some things are coming to life. Spring, please come, quickly!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Thankful for our freedom

I wanted to share about a new blog that has just started up, Thanks For Our Freedom. Korri, a proud wife of a US Marine and mother of two beautiful girls, has started the blog to help raise funds and awareness to support our soldiers. Although I have never met Korri and her family in person, her and her family are dear to ours. We had the privilege of meeting them via email and letters, through Aunt Nancy USA at Christmas time when we were blessed by the opportunity to serve them and show our appreciation.

I know politics and war are very touchy subjects, however it is my belief that regardless of how we feel about those things, our soldiers (and their families) sacrifice SO much for us. It is the least we can do to support and encourage them. If you are able, Korri, is hosting her first care package campaign. Her goal is to send 25 care packages to soldiers overseas. Many of them do not have families that send them things and they are without access to stores where they can buy the items they need. Please check out her blog for all the information. You can either sponsor a package or mail her items to go in a package. She's even in need of cards. If you're crafty and want to send a hand made card of appreciation, that would be awesome too! Like I said, it is the least we can do, for ALL they do for us.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Heart-Shaped Crayons

A few months ago Jilian and I made our first batch of homemade crayons. With Valentine's Day approaching I thought what better time to share, since we made them heart-shaped!

It was a very simple process and easy enough for Jilian to help out. It even provided an opportunity for Jilian to practice her colors and sorting skills. :-)

Preheat your oven to 250

Unwrap your crayons, broken pieces are the best

Sort the crayons by color or mix to make rainbow crayons

Place into muffin tins. I used a heart shaped silicone muffin tin. If you are using metal, spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes.

Let cool and pop out your new crayons.

I just read a great idea online! Melt the old crayons, in a glass dish, either in the microwave or oven then pour into candy molds. There are so many fun candy molds out there, just think of the fun crayons you can make!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A work in me

It appears I took a month off from blogging! It wasn't my intention but it was needed. I kind of burnt myself out with Christmas and needed a break from everything. As I said in my last (and only post of January) the Lord has been showing me what I need to let go. Not just in my commitments inside and outside of the home but with my things. He has been shedding light on my deeply rooted need to be comfortable...my attachment to my things, even my home, my car etc. Ouch! It is hard to learn these things about yourself.

It all started a few months back when Grace came home with this memory verse from school:

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matt. 6:19-21

In helping Grace learn this scripture it helped open my eyes! I now see the treasures I have stored here on Earth. The value I have place on things. I've also come to realize that with things often comes stress and feelings of being overwhelmed. It clouds our focus. Instead of focusing our minds and essentially our hearts on Christ we are focused on keeping our things, getting new things, organizing our things, cleaning our things and on and on... If we learn to live with less, we have less things to preoccupy our time, our minds, our hearts. If we have less clothes for example, there are less clothes to get dirty and less laundry to do which leads to more time to spend with Christ and our families. If we learn to live with less, we spend less and it helps provide the opportunity to give more.

Just an example: These are just my clothes that are on their way to Goodwill!

So what am I doing about all that I have learned? Well, it is a s-l-o-w process! :-) It takes time to weed through the things of life (especially with little ones along for the ride). I am working my way through our home and donating or trashing as much as I can. I am training myself not to replace the old things with new things. Together my girls and I are learning that we do not need the newest thing to be fulfilled. We also don't have to keep every hand-me-down or gift and when it is out grown, get rid of it! AND we don't need to buy it even if it is a good deal! I am noticing that the things that once brought me joy no longer do, such as a latte in the morning or a new shirt. Instead I'm saving the extra money or giving it to others. I'm allowing God to teach me more and show me more of what I need to change.

Jeremy and I have talked and eventually, when the time is right, we will be down sizing to a smaller home. Either fulfilling our dream of building a home and renovating an old one. I love the home we are in now, it is a home that I have dreamed of. However, I now see, that with the more space you have, the more stuff you fill it with and the more time you need to keep up with it. The higher your standard of living, the more consumed you are with keeping it and maintaining it. Again, if we live simply and below our means, then we are less likely to be stressed by the things of this world and can focus our attention to heavenly things. Being less stressed makes me a better person, wife and mother.

In addition to learning about my stuff issues :-) the Lord has been enlightening me with the little things. That even though a little commitment "isn't that time consuming" a lot of little things becomes very time consuming. I've asked Him to reveal to me what I should part with and to my surprise He has shown me that I need to let go of most of my (outside the home) commitments! I was shocked. Everything is worthwhile and often fun but if it takes you away from your family frequently or distracts you from your family or makes you grouchy then it is a commitment that needs to be let go.

So, that is where I am these days. Still trying to make sense of all if it! :-) I hope you don't mind, but I might take you along for the ride, sharing from time to time where I am in this transition.