Another year

Wow!  2008 is almost over and what a year it turned out to be.   Challenge after challenge,  there were many times when it didn’t feel like we would make it!  But, like the saying goes, “God doesn’t give you anything you can’t handle.”  Amen to that!

I’m looking at the list of resolutions I made around this time last year.  Amazingly, I accomplished a large portion of it.

Stick to my schedule.  This is definitely an ongoing process.  However, the (free!) Blackberry I recently acquired has proven to be most helpful in this area.

The little device that keeps me together!

The little device that keeps me together!


Procrastinate less.
This bad habit has gotten a lot better.  But, I’ve been reading a book that just might have the answer to my problem!  I’m 3/4 through it and strongly recommend it!

To Do, Doing, Done ~by G. Lynne Snead & Joyce Wycoff

To Do, Doing, Done! (by G. Lynne Snead & Joyce Wycoff)

Recycle more. Check!  I used to only worry about newspaper, water bottles and cans, but I’ve added several other items to the list of recyclables – magazines, batteries, paper towel rolls, cardboard boxes (i.e., cereal, pasta, crackers), plastic bags, and the wrapping from paper towels and toilet tissue.  Also started reusing glass containers…

Soap, water, a new label and...voila!

In addition, I uploaded FREE software from GreenPrint so I only print what’s absolutely necessary, plus I get PDF conversion capabilities (BONUS!)…

Check it out!!!

Check it out!!!

Set aside time to work on creative projects. Yes indeed.  From (finally!) painting my daughter’s room to making beaded jewelry to sewing pillows and sacks to making my own Thanksgiving Day cards for the very first time…

Blessed and thankful, I was inspired and got creative!

Blessed and thankful, I was inspired and got creative!

Be more consistent. This one is a general goal and always ongoing!

Be more patient with my kids. Yes.  The Lord is helping me out with this one!

Attend church regularly. For sure!  I don’t miss a Sunday or a Bible Study.  It’s like a car and gas – I need my weekly filling to keep going!

Manage money better. Oh yes!  My honey and I took a Crown Financial Ministries class early this year and loved it!  Despite the difficulties we’ve had with income, we make better choices now as a result of what we’ve learned.

Learning to view finances Gods way...you cant go wrong!

Learning to view finances God's way...you can't go wrong!

Eat out less. This is still a little bit of a challenge, but we’re doing A LOT better in this area!

Cook at home more. Yes – my honey more than me, but we’re saving money and love spending more time at the table together as a family!

Quick, easy and yummy!

Quick, easy and yummy!

Pay bills on time. Most of the time.  It all depends on whether or not the funds are available.  But it’s awesome how God is providing!

Watch less TV. For sure!  These days I only put it on as background noise or flip through channels only to find that nothing of value is on!  We even removed the TVs in each of the kids’ rooms and are down to only 2 sets!

Read more books. Always!  Definitely much more into reading now than I’ve ever been before!

Volunteer at school more. Working on this one.  I haven’t volunteered this year as much as I did last year, but I’m still chaperoning field trips as finances permit.  I’m working on doing more within the community and think that’s where the majority of my focus will be next year…

Shoebox project for the elderly at Christmastime.

Shoebox project for the elderly at Christmastime.

All in all, it’s been a very blessed year.  I’m looking forward to an awesome 2009!!!

Today’s Daysie says…

“EVERY LIFE HAS ITS DARK AND CHEERFUL HOURS.  HAPPINESS COMES FROM CHOOSING WHICH TO REMEMBER.”

…so thankful for those choices!

Lazy Day Activity

Thanks to Hurricane Fay, schools are closed today in my part of the world.  It was announced yesterday afternoon and late last night we decided our family would have a lazy day today.  The plan was to stay in our PJ’s all day and do nothing.

So, we slept in until 9am.  In between watching the weather on TV:  dad cooked up a yummy breakfast;  the boys put away clean laundry and played in their room;  my daughter vacuumed her room;  I cleaned up a bit around the house, vacuumed, and then decided to update our family chore chart.  So much for doing nothing!!!

You see, the kids went chore chart free for most of the summer.  Oh, but they were by no means chore free – I asked them to do things on an as needed basis.  With the start of school, I think it’s important to GET ORGANIZED and so now is the time to re-establish the structure to which they were accustomed.  I know…they’re just gonna love me!!!

Initially, I was going to use the Excel chart we had before and be done with it…

But, then I got sidetracked with e-mail and somehow ended up on OrganizeItMom.com where I got an idea for a new chore chart.  I figured since I was blessed with extra time today and God was generous to me by giving me the ability to manipulate pictures and work with my computer, I should put those skills to good use and come up with something useful for my family.  If I could afford it, I would buy the chore chart they sell because it looks like it would be fun and easy to use.  However, since funds and space are limited, but time (at least today) and printer ink are plentiful, I’m creating a new chore chart using a similar format.

THEIRS…

MINE (so far)…

I spent some time looking for clipart and illustrations to go with the chores.  I used Excel to make boxes that will get cut out into cards, we’ll add velcro to the back so they stick to a board allowing us to change chores around as needed.  I think it will work for us.  I’ll report back once we’ve used it.

Today’s Daysie quote is:

“ENVY IS A WASTE OF TIME.”

I always say – DON’T COMPETE, COOPERATE!  Learn from others and share what you know so we ALL win!

Books, Camping, Buttons

What do these things have in common? Not a whole lot by themselves. But, they’re things that are happening in my life today.

BOOKS:

  1. I have several to return to the library today.
  2. I started reading the book “Five Love Languages” by Dr. Gary Chapman with my Friday night bible study group.
  3. I continue to read the Bible daily.
  4. I WON A BOOK!!! The ‘Christian Work At Home Moms’ site had a contest a couple of weeks ago and the winner or winners (I can’t recall if it was one or many that could win) would get the book titled: Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture” by Mary DeMuth. I don’t typically win anything I enter, so I’m excited about this!

CAMPING:

  1. My boys went camping this week!
  2. For most of the week, our home will be boyless. Well, there’s the BIG boy, but you know what I mean! 🙂 Dad and I cannot wait to see them come home and hear about all the things they learned and experienced!!!

BUTTONS:

  1. I love to create and so I love crafts! When I received my newsletter from ‘Clean Home Journal’ and saw ‘Button Boy’, I had to share! It looks like a very simple project!
  2. Click HERE* for instructions on how to create him.

* 05.05.08:  Oh, oh!  I just realized this link is no longer active – sorry!  I’ll attempt to find that little ‘Button Boy’ wherever he’s hiding and post again.  Thanks for your patience!

* 08.29.09: I found Button Boy! But, he’s become a man! LOL  Check him out below, and click on his photo to view instructions on how to make him.

 

Button Man

Button Man

 

A nano-second away from CRAZY!

I’m exhausted. I spent hours cleaning my daughter’s room last night. Polly Pocket toys have a tendency to scatter in every nook and cranny of the room! Those of you that have only boys should be grateful! What should have taken 20 minutes took over half the night. The crib-turned-day-bed came out and made a huge difference. I’m not sure what we’ll do for a bed, but she seems to like it without one – maybe a tent or big fluffy pillow might do. Well, I’d say Spring Cleaning in her room is complete!

a-room-makeover-03-29-07.JPG

I alternated between organizing and figuring out how to remove a “widget” from my blog page! My parents are to blame for this one…I inherited my determination from them! I was sure I’d be bald when the sun came up! But, since it FINALLY WORKED, I’ll have to save CRAZY for another day! LOL

Yesterday, I got a late start, which meant dropping my husband and “the crew” off at their jobsite later than usual. This also meant that my daughter and I would be late to school. We missed the 1st activity, but we managed to:

  • play with red balls in the playground
  • have rice cakes, raisins, and red peppers for snack
  • paint rocks

Did you guess what day it was? R-Day!!!

On the way home, we stopped for gas and shared a meatball sandwich at the BP station. I was looking forward to a smooth afternoon. NOT!!! The car decided to die on us (battery was drained). Car problems don’t cease to exist these days. I’m even learning a few things along the way. For instance, I learned that a bad starter causes the alternator to malfunction making the battery loose power. At least that’s my interpretation of what my husband explained to me. I think it’s fixed NOW…whatever the problem was!

Anyway, a very nice BP employee (I should’ve gotten his name – I’ll have to go back and do that!) jump-started the car and off we went. I knew if I turned the car off I would have a slim-to-none chance of it turning back on, so I made FIVE more stops without turning the car off (there went the gas I just pumped!):

  • picked up some t-shirts
  • dropped off a couple of shirts to someone
  • picked up kids from school
  • tried to pick up personalized name plates *not ready yet*
  • stopped for ONE item at the grocery store (my GRAND Adirondack chair!!!!)

plastic adirondack chairI saw stacks of plastic adirondack chairs the last time I bought groceries and fell in love. They had several on sale in bright spring colors (coral, mint, and pink). I was waiting for the price to go down, but worried that they would run out. Bad battery and all, I was (again) determined so, I went inside and found a small stack marked down from $39 to $19. I bought one!!! My son picked out MINT. Yeah, that’s all I could afford right now. Hey, if it’s the ONLY Adirondack chair I ever own, it will be all mine!

Well, we made it home. I backed the car into the driveway and turned it off. Will you guess what happened when I tried to turn it back on? NADA…ZERO…ZILCH…ZIP! My kids looked at me in utter amazement. They probably thought: Mom said this would happen and it did! They thought it was odd that I kept leaving the car on, but they were grateful to have made it home because I used my noodle. Kids.

cake-03-28-07.JPGMy little cook made dinner for us last night. Burgers and Blueberry cupcakes cake! We were out of cupcake cups, so it became a cake.

He did an excellent job! It tasted so good that a big chunk of it was gone before I could take a picture!

While dinner was cooking, I had lots of fun making a display board. I used a large picture frame I had in the laundry room. I got my inspiration from those expensive memo boards at the stores that are now popular – the ones that have a ribbon criss-crossing throughout.

I decided to “take it up a notch”.

It was such a SIMPLE PROJECT!

Step 1: Find an old picture frame (frame only – no glass or anything else). The size of mine was 24×30, but any size will do fine.

Step 2: Clean it up. Prime if needed (I didn’t have to because mine was wood painted with a flat finish).

Step 3: Paint! My daughter and I had “together time” painting it a collage of different colors! We used regular acrylic paints.

painted-frame.JPG

Step 4: When dry, turn the frame over and hammer some nails randomly (or strategically – I’m a perfectionist) to the back, leaving half of each nail exposed. In other words, don’t nail them all the way in.

Step 5: Go ribbon crazy! Tie ribbon (I also used scrap pieces of yarn) to a nail and loop it back and forth from one nail to another in a zig-zag design. Then tie the end and repeat with a different ribbon until you’ve covered it the way you like it.

You should double-knot so the ribbon is secure on the nail.

Be sure to snip off any excess ribbon hanging off nails.

I think it turned out really nice! It will be put to good use at my desk. Check it out…

finished-frame.JPG

I HOPE YOU HAVE AS MUCH FUN MAKING YOUR OWN DISPLAY BOARD – ADD YOUR OWN CREATIVE TOUCHES! Leave me a comment & include a pic if you make one!

Today’s Daysies quote:

“LOVE IS HOMEMADE”

It certainly is! =)