Monday, February 24, 2014

Friday, June 14, 2013

I'm Still Here!

Someone needs to get back to blogging least where she posts more regularly than once every few months.  I shall try! 

We just finished up a good, but busy week of Vacation Bible School at our first time helping with one!  I was in charge of snacks, and enjoyed it.  Josh co-taught the older children's class.  Our church used Answers in Genesis' Kingdom Chronicles this year.  It focused on the armour of God (Ephesians 6) with a medieval flair: kingdoms, knights, castles and such.  The snack book kept to the theme with a fun snack to go along with each day's lesson: Kingdom Cookies (chocolate cookie with half the top frosted with white icing, for the 'good and evil' effect), King's Cups (fruit slushies), Dragon Snacks (triangle corn chips, Bugles, and fruit gummies for dragon scales, toes and heads), Mini Pizza Shields (English muffin halves with sauce, cheese and pepperoni) and Moat Floats (root beer floats).  I love creative food! 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

January Goal Check-up

Part of our snowy backyard
Here I am posting this half-way through February.  I never wrote down a list of goals specifically for January, but this is pretty much what it would have looked like.  I am stepping out of my comfort zone in posting this, so please do not be too hard on me! January was a bit different than I/we had anticipated...Everyone except me came down with a bad cough that lasted for weeks.  Also, I got to learn to cook a little differently for hubby who switched to a strict diet for a health issue.  (Thankfully, everyone is much better now.)  Add to all that the fact that sometimes it is just so difficult to be disciplined, so easy to be lazy get the idea.  Enough excuses, here goes...

Personal Goals
Read through the Bible in a year (using the plan you can download here)
    (I was slightly behind on this at the end of the month.)
Focus on punctuality, organization and consistency in my life (Ongoing, and many failures, but I am starting to see some good fruit.)
Blog 1-2 times a week  (Missed one week, but otherwise I met this goal.)
Lose 7 pounds  (Only lost about 5 pounds.  However I am feeling more fit, so maybe I gained some muscle?? :) )
Exercise 4-5 times a week  (Exercised more like three times a week, but crossing it off anyway.)
    (Did this for about 2-1/2 weeks.  Interesting!)
Memorize basically two verses of Colossians per week)  (Started mid-month)
Read a book  (This did not happen.)
Put together a homemaking binder  (This is a work in progress, but I got it started!)
Utilize a menu plan and cleaning schedule  (I have loosely implemented a cleaning schedule; still need to do a menu plan.)
Work on strengthening my core muscles with the Tupler Technique
    (Did not do this except for incorporating one of the exercises into my work-out routine.)
Go to bed by 10:30 PM (Bombed this one.)
Try at least one new recipe each week  (Tried many new recipes this month, just not necessarily each week.)
Journal a bit about every day  (Hardly did this.)
Take a photo of our everyday life at least once a week  (Basically accomplished this.)

Marriage Goals
Go on an overnight get-away  (This was so fun!  You can read about it here.)
Have a date night  (Our overnight get-away counted as this.)
Read a marriage book together (Did not happen.)
Be better about having lunches on hand for hubby to take to work (I have been a bit better about this.)
Seek ways to bless my husband (Ongoing, and I need to do better.)

Family Goals
Cut way back on eating refined sugar and refined carbs  (Made huge strides here.)
Visit my grandparents (Maybe this month, February)  
Do preschool with our 4 year-old  (Did some, but not consistently.)
Go through Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons with our 4 year-old  (Did not start this.)
Read to our boys daily  (Did not do this daily.)
Play with the boys more (Need to be better about this.)
Spend regular one-on-one time with each of our boys (Need to be better here, too.)
Help our boys memorize Bible verses  (We just did a little review.)

Ministry/Friendship Goals                                        
Continue attending our church’s monthly Ladies Bible Study  (Bible Study was cancelled due to weather.)
Become more involved in our church  (A work in progress)
Have someone over to our home  (Had all my sisters over!)                          
Send birthday and anniversary cards to extended family  (Did this.)                           
Send a note to an elderly friend  (Oops, did not get this done.)
Hold a fun sister get-together with all my sisters   (We are planning another one for the summer!)                              
Financial Goals
Start saving for a family vehicle to replace our car (Savings started.)
Sell some big items on Craigslist (We sold one item!)

Home Improvement Goals
Remove the old house from our place  (This did not work out.  Will wait until spring.)
Finish the decks  (Did not happen, and there is too much snow now.)
Finish siding the garage  (The last bit of siding Josh ordered to finish this project was all damaged when we received it, so it had to be returned.)

There you have it.  I am encouraged by the progress.  It is disheartening to see all the areas I did not do well in, but I will press on!  Philippians 4:13, I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. 

Did you make head-way in your goals for the year?  I would love to hear about it!  

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentines Day!

Reads, 'To my Valentine, I think you're the cat's meow'
I hope you are having a lovely day with your loved ones!

I enjoy vintage valentines, even though their sentiments can be a bit corny. :)  I found some on  this free clip-art site to share with you here.
Says, 'Maybe I'm just "small fry" but I'm a "good egg" with a "heart of gold" Be my Valentine'
We are excited to have a fun, special evening at home tonight as a family, and after the boys go to bed, as a couple. :)  I have been decorating and am planning a rather fancy dinner.  Salmon patties, sweet potato fries, veggie salad and little cheesecakes are on the menu!

Reads, 'I yam crazy about you My Valentine!'
 I am so thankful for my sweetheart and for our dear little boys.  They have enriched my life so much.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Missouri Wedding

Last weekend we made a quick trip down to southern Missouri for my cousin Mary's wedding!  It was so fun to be a part of their special day.  They had waited on God for one another for so long, and through a miraculous series of events, they met each other last August...and the rest is now history!  Their joy in one another just sparkles!  They had a huge lovely wedding; she likes pink and pearls just like I do. :)  I was one of the punch servers.  It was a gorgeous sunny day; in the 40s-50s compared to the -26 we left in Minnesota. (I am excited for spring when we will get temps like that!) 

Me and Grandma with the newlyweds!
Wedding ceremony
We enjoyed getting to see many family members, friends and acquaintances.  We cousins present  took our customary group picture with the new bride and groom. (A couple cousins and their families who were at the wedding had to leave before the picture.)  We are quite the bunch, and this isn't even nearly all of us!

Our cousin wedding tradition
Send off!
Best wishes, Ben and Mary!  May the Lord richly bless you in your new life together!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

R & R

October 2007
A couple weeks ago, Josh took me back to 'our' honeymoon cabin at a nearby Bed and Breakfast to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary (which was back in October, but things were a bit busy then!).  My mother-in-law watched our two oldest, and our youngest got to tag along with us.  Very little of the cabin had changed, and it still looks like the picture I took five years ago (above), only this time it was snowy outside and of course, nothing was growing.  We went out for lunch and supper, and breakfast was delivered in the morning.  Our time together there was so relaxing and rejuvenating!  And it was extra special going back to where we spent the first couple days of our married life. :)

Cold and Snow

Well, we survived the sub-zero temperatures we saw last week!  Some days were bitterly cold. Especially when there was wind.  And the water pipes survived, too, though they did freeze numerous times.  My hair-dryer came in handy for thawing them out again.

We are definitely back in Minnesota!  I recently overheard a few older ladies in a quilt shop discussing the weather (it was a blustery cold day), and their conversation went something like this:

Quilt Shop Worker- You were brave to come out in weather like this!
Lady Shopper- Well, this kind of weather just begs for us to go out in it, you know, to see if we can master it!
Other Lady Shopper- Yeah, we are hardy Minnesotans!

I chuckled and quietly commented to Josh, You never would have heard that in North Carolina!  There it takes just a few flurries for the stores to be cleared out of milk and bread and for schools to be closed in anticipation of a 'blizzard'!  Gotta love those cultural differences. :) 

We are back to nice winter temps this I'm typing it is 23 degrees.  And last night we got around 10 inches of fluffy snow.  It is so beautiful.  The two oldest boys were playing outside this morning and using dustpans to shovel snow!  I wish I would have thought to snap a picture of them.

Snow accumulation on our back deck
The almost-completely-sided garage with a new blanket of snow
 Hope you all are staying warm!