Tuesday, January 20, 2009

May I Have Your Autograph, Please?

Last week Allen took Gabby to meet the legendary Jim Shockey. Now I realize that most of you won't know his name, it's not like he is in the news headlines everyday, but he is on TV every week. On the Sportsman's Outdoors Channel. Jim and his wife Louise, from Team SHE Safari, were in Rogers signing autograph's and Allen took Gabby as she too dreams of being an avid hunter someday. Not that Brian doesn't, it's just that he's still pretty woolly and just the thought of him standing in line politely, wore everyone out. Makensie? she's not too sure she's comfortable with the whole idea of hunting yet. So Gabby won the bid to go.



Allen and Gabby were both so impressed with how friendly both Jim and his wife were. Not that he expected them to be rude, he just didn't think we would get a chance to actually talk with them.



Here is a picture of Gabby winning over two of her favorite celebrities.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Clean Heart, Clean Home, week 3

I don't even want to ask how you all are doing as I'm already behind. But ahead of where I was is the goal right?

Here is the devotion for this week on page 20

Here is the assignment for this week.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Ebates

I wanted to tell you about Ebates, a shopping site that gives you up to 26% Cash Back every time you shop online. You can shop at over 1000 stores including Barnes & Noble.com, Gap, Target, Buy.com and Expedia. Plus you get additional savings with exclusive coupons, free shipping offers, and limited-time sales!
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Click here to sign up: http://www.ebates.com/rf.do?referrerid=F09lwgmulzkpMSvcTYmTiw%3D%3D
Happy shopping!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Coupon Addict

Have I mentioned yet my obsession with coupons? If you don't coupon, you just can't understand the thrill of the hunt and high of victory when it all comes together. It may look like a lot of work for such little savings, but if you do it right, it truely can be well worth your time.



My kids are well versed in the world of couponing. In fact, Brian asked me this week during school time if I was just having him cut so much so he'd get better at cutting so he would have to cut out my coupons? My plan has been soiled.



I don't really want to post how to coupon are a lot of sites out there that can explain it much better than I. I will just briefly tell you what I do.



I rip the coupons with a metal ruler, much faster than cutting and less crippling on the hands after hundreds.



I sort them into catagories.



I put the stacks into my coupon file.



Check the sales ads and circle in black sharpie what looks like a good deal.



Print off cheat sheets from blogs from other ladies doing the hard work of telling me what is a good deal. Like on here, here and here.



Pull and print coupons from the cheat sheets and weekly ads.



Place coupons I want to use that week for specific stores in my coupon binder (clear baseball card holders placed inside a 3 ring binder)



I hole punch my ads and put in the binder.



I make my list by order I'll be walking through the store, the coupons are in the same order. I include on the list what sale price is and what page it is on in the ad. In my binder it goes in this order: ad, list, coupons for that store.



Last week at Walgreen my subtotal was $4.15. What did I get?

(3) 25-pk boxes of Electrolsol gel packs

(4) large packages of Stayfree pads

(2) glade scented oil refills

(2) galloons of milk

(4) Garnier Fructis hair products-mouse, gel and 2 hairsprays

(1) softsoap hand soap

(4) Loreal Lip Gloss

(1) Loreal Concealor Stick

(3) Loreal Eye color sticks



Not too bad. It was a total of $183.76 worth of product.

Daily Routine

Due to a challenge over at Biblical Womanhood, I'm posting about my daily routine. When I complete the current task at hand, I then run to do dishes, laundry and housework...in that order. I'm still working on the Colossal Clutter Clean Up, fell behind this week, trying to get caught up today.

I am really liking our new routine. It is a less is more approach. I met with a friend and wise orderly balanced mom and upon her advise. Rather than me having such high expectations and trying to fit so much in. Allow more time for things, take some things off the schedule and enjoy my life and kids and save the extra stuff for Sundays or Summer. Save the major house cleaning for Saturdays. And I am so grateful. Nothing earth shattering, but just a new perspective that is really flowing well.


6:00- I make coffee, do my Devotions
Take a Shower
7:00 Start Breakfast, wake up the kids and they start their morning chores
7:30 Breakfast-table chores-brush teeth
8:00 Bible-scripture memory
8:30 Start Home school
11:30 Fix lunch, kids play outside
12:00 lunch
12:30 table chores-free time
1:00 put Wyatt to nap/read alouds-literature
1:30 every body quiet time, momma can nap
2:00 email
2:30 office work, kids free time
3:00 Snacks, wake Wyatt, Momma's chores-calls, coupons etc
4:00 house blessing-afternoon chores
4:30 Special Time one on one with kid of the day
5:00 Make Supper w/ kid
5:30
6:00 Supper - Praise the Lord Box, Narration questions from dad, question of the night
6:30 table & evening chores-sweep and trash, Sat= Feast night with awards and goals
7:00 Baths MWS -- Family Game night T, Date Night TH -- Family Movie F,
8:00 teeth/prayers/story-read alouds
9:00 lay out next days meals, make tea, finish daily list, time with Allen, read, journal




Friday, January 16, 2009

Creative Correction Deuteronomy Style

So many times I find the laws in Deuteronomy amusing. I can't believe I used to think this was a boring book. Not that most of these I'll be able to use for Child training without a little tweaking, but it would never hurt to read this to them and let them think these laws still apply.

Chapter 25-
vs 2- If the guilty man deserves to be beaten, the judge shall make him lie down and have him flogged in his presence...

Modern day Child Training:
So if there is a dispute, the guilty get punished in front of the innocent.

vs 9-10 (if an unmarried man does not want to marry his brother's widow((only if she had no sons with his brother to carry on his name)) )...
She shall go up to him in the presence of the elders, take off one of his sandals, spit in his face...The man's family line shall be known ....as The Family of the Unsandaled.

So if one of the kids will not do the right thing and take care of a sibling, they have to be shamed and go without one shoe....forever. Ok, not forever, but for a day?

vs 11 (and this is my favorite)
If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes him by his private parts, you shall cut off her hand. Show her no mercy!

They weren't fooling around. And it happened often enough that there needed to be a law for it? I have been in a couple of scraps in my less than stellar days and I don't recall trying to go that direction.
So if there is any intentional physical hurt to the private area, since I don't think I would get by with chopping off their hand, after being punished in front of the innocent, then make them wear snow mittens for everything for a couple of days.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Do You Swear To Tell The Truth, The Whole Truth, So Help You God?

As I studied Acts 5 yesterday there were 2 different topics of focus. The 2nd was the apostles being beaten in the Sanhedrin and what I grasped onto was verse 41, "The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for The Name." Wow. This is the line of thinking I need to hold onto. Most times in the heat of the beatings I forget that the war isn't against flesh, but it is spiritual warfare. I forget that if I wasn't a threat, it would be smooth sailing under the enemies radar and the evil one would have no reason to take me down. After I crash and burn it does take me a while to regain confidence to go back to the fly zone, where I'll be open to take the hits. I guess I do exactly what satan hopes. Lose my air under my wings, learn his lesson to stay low, unnoticeable, reaching no one. I need to remember to rejoice in the hurts that I've been worthy of the suffering for His Namesake.

The 1st part of Acts starts out with a reality check. In fact, I read this to the kids yesterday morning for our devotional, just to start the day with a little fear of God in their pants.

This was the story of Ananias and his wife Sapphira. If you haven't read it, you can read it here.
Short version=they sold their land, gave the money to the apostles, represented they gave the full amount but didn't, they lied, they died.

First of all, Ananias and his wife did not have to give the money. It was their land they sold. The Bible doesn't say why they decided to give the money. If they were convicted by God to give it all but didn't have the faith to let it all go, or were too greedy to let it all go. Or maybe they just wanted to appear to be super generous, to "fit in with the rich kids" kind of mentality. Whatever the reasoning that started all this, it was wrong.

Jesus and God showed kindness to the sinners who weren't fake. To the ones who professed their sins and were sickened by them. How many times did David cry out that he hated his sins yet he did them anyway? Yet David was a man referred to as a man after God's own heart. And oppositely, Jesus condemned the pharisees for their hypocrisy and deceitful lives. All our hearts are deceitful and have sin hidden in them, and if we will cry out to the Lord, "Don't let me be a Pharisees, help me be pure and true." The Holy Spirit will guide us.
When I was writing notes in my journal, I first wrote, "They didn't give the whole truth, they shed light to make themselves look better." Really? It was hard for me to even write the fact that they had lied. The word alone just seems so intentional, so ugly, so wrong. We've all heard of white lies, half truths, withholding all the facts, protecting others from the truth. I've even had to train my kids in politeness that if they don't like the food, don't be rude just say thank you. I think we are conditioned in this everything is politically correct society that the whole truth is not ok.


I don't think that the moral of this story was that if you lie you die. This was not a lie to protect themselves in a moment of weakness. They both premeditated the lying. And it would appear that there was no conviction or quilt for doing so. How does one get to the point of not feeling sick over a sin? By it being familiar, a repeated offense, common. I personally feel that the sin had rooted itself in their lives and God had had enough.

What if God dealt with us today as he did the church back then? I think there would be the greatest revival in history taking place. What about us personally? Would you have been struck down by God this last month? Last week? This morning?

I imagine that the honestly and purity of the early church would put all of us to shame today. I personally find it difficult to hear only messages that our God is a loving, merciful, forgiving God. Yes He is all that. But just as a parent must discipline a child else they run a muck, God has a judgemental side to Him. He will draw the line. He was silent for 400 years before Jesus' birth. We cannot sin as a nation, as a community, as a family, as a friend, as a wife or mom without there being consequences eventually somewhere.

David prayed for protection against presumptuous sin. Has there been a time when you felt deeply convicted on something to flee yet you continued on the path of sin? It's dangerous ground to be on.

Are we living the double lives of the Pharisees? Professing that we serve God yet our time, money and talents show otherwise? Do you give the impression that you live for God, yet do not willingly give all areas to him? Serve at church, yet rebel against your husband at home? Lead women's ministries yet gossip on the phone? Put on the smile for everyone you know, yet are filled with bitterness in the dark? This day and age is the time of the hidden sins of the heart. Pornography by Internet. Abortion in a big city where no one knows your name. Cheating on taxes. Gambling online. Our lives are not on display as they used to be. Only the lives that we want others to see in the form of emails, blogs etc are.

The dying of Ananias and Sapphira had a cleansing effect on the church, there was a great revival and many came to the Lord. The church today is becoming so tolerant of everyone that it is allowing what is unclean to penetrate the heart of the church and poison the purity. When we have a pure, open heart can we accomplish great things for God. It starts in the home behind closed doors, then spreads to the ends of the earth.

Lord I want more of you in my heart so there is less room for the enemy. I want to be open and transparent in my life and in my heart with all my sins. May my life be true. Fill me today with your Holy Spirit.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Clean Heart, Clean Home, week 2

How are you ladies? Ready? I know I am, in fact, yesterday afternoon as my husband was out fishing I got started. I only made it through the downstairs bathroom and the living room, but I'm pleased. Not that the living room looks picked up this morning...

Here is the link to assignment #3 and here is #2 and here is #1 in case you haven't looked at them yet. And here is the post from last week.

The devotional for this week is here. On page 19. Week 2 - Cast your burden.

I decided to follow the 52 calendar in Amy's Clean Heart Clean Home Challenge as my guide, but my personal goal is 40 days as I think the number 40 is blessed. :)

So for a 40 day calendar, taking Sunday's off, this is my goal.

Day 1
Rest
Day 2 (today)
Pictures/kitchen
Day 3
kitchen
Day 4
pantry
Day 5
home school hutch
Day 6
craft/music room
Day 7
Living Room
Day 8
Rest
Day 9
Wyatt's room
Day 10
Wyatt's closet
Day 11
Cubby hole & bookshelf
Day 12
Our room
Day 13
Our room
Day 14
Downstairs bathroom done!)
Day 15
Rest
Day 16
Stairway
Day 17
Play room
Day 18
playroom bookshelves
Day 19
Makensie's room
Day 20
Makensie's closets
Day 21
Gabby's room
Day 22
Rest
Day 23
Gabby's closets
Day 24
Brian's room
Day 25
Brian's closet
Day 26
upstairs gift and craft room
Day 27
upstairs gift and craft room
Day 28
storage
Day 29
Rest
Day 30
laundry room
Day 31
office
Day 32
office
Day 33
office
Day 34
porch
Day 35
porch
Day 36
Rest
Day 37
Breezeway
Day 38
Breezeway
Day 39
yard
Day 40
final pictures and enjoy

Friday, January 09, 2009

The 5 senses

Yesterday was very sense filled. Maybe because the 4 day migraine finally subsided and what had been sensory overload was finally back to normal.

I'm thankful for my-

sight so that I could watch Wyatt jump on the trampoline and laugh at what the static electricity was doing to his crazy monkey hair.

hearing so that I could enjoy the kids sing on my wonderful cooking abilities because I make the best breakfast smoothie ever.

taste so that I could savor the homemade french fries and sweet potato fries that Allen made to go along with our breakfast supper last night.

touch so that I could relax in my new wonderful (non-white) bright purple and pink striped softest ever socks I got from a dear friend for Christmas.

smell so that I could appreciate that Allen was having a cigar and varnishing wood while running a diesel heater in the garage all evening, because this meant I have a husband who was home. (Not that I think smoking around combustible gases while running a flaming heater in a small garage filled with enough ammo to cater to a small army was a great idea....) But we all survived.

Monday, January 05, 2009

O Gabby

Gabby came stomping into the room obviously quite irritated. She is the child I worry will be on high blood pressure medicine at the same time as me. I asked her what was the matter and she unloaded. "It's Brian! He's a just a complete liar and annoying me!" I took a deep breathe and wondered what fight I'd now be expected to judge and bring equality to all those involved. "What did he lie about?" She tells me, "He's upstairs trying to tell us he's a Rootin Tootin cowboy and he can't even say his alphabet perfectly!"

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Clean Heart, Clean Home

I had posted that I was going to start the Clean Heart Clean Home Challenge as developed by Amy, however I just discovered her Colossal Clutter Clean Up challenge. If you are like me you'll probably want to start here too. However, if you are already organized and clutter free, then you'll want to start on the Clean Heart Clean Home to really get in there and clean. I also am struggling as to what is the best way to do this as I thought it would be encouraging for us to follow along together, however I also don't want anyone to feel defeated if they fall behind (like myself!) So here is the link to Amy's site, look it over and see where you fit in best, pray about what it is that you need to accomplish and if you want to partner with me for support that would be great.

For today: Take down any Christmas decorations still up and put them away where they belong (not at the back door or at the base of the stairs). We are also suppose to thin out any decorations that we don't truly love or have sentimental attachment to. This will be a hard one for me. I always thought the more decorations the better.
For this week:
Read pages 1-18 and 29-41 (It is a quick read) for the introduction of Colossal Clutter Clean Up, Step One to Clean Your Heart, Week One Dial G-O-D Devotional, Step Two What lists to print or follow, Step Three: Purging Thinking. I would recommend printing pages 65 (or your current schedule), 63, 18 & 42 to start with.

Yes it's a lot this 1st week, but this week we are concentrating on prepping our hearts for this life change. We will be starting on the rooms and the actual work next week. Take the time this week to pray that rather being trained in habit that we will be led by the Lord. Is a home in chaos in order with the Lord, does it align with His scripture? For those of you in Siloam that want to follow along, at the end we will be having a party in the form of a garage sale.

Friday, January 02, 2009

The Story of Us

I couldn't sleep last night...ongoing problem. But last night as I lay there tossing and turning I thought I'd share the Allen and Suzanne story and the reasons why I love this man.

11 1/2 years ago I worked in Kansas City as a professional Claims Adjuster secretary by day and a cocktail waitress by night at Dick Clarks American Bandstand. When I look back, that year at the Bandstand was one of the funnest year of my life. There was a story every night.

I was waitressing one night and Allen was at the bar. I told one of the other waitresses that I thought he kept looking at me. Sure enough, as I walked by he stopped me and asked me out and gave me his business card. Now mind you, I used to be a thinner little thing, not a heavy girl, and being friendly and cute got me asked out quite often. However, I had just ended a terrible ongoing relationship 3 days prior and was not looking for anyone again...ever. I didn't want to embarrass this handsome smiling young man in front of his friends and as with a lot of the guys that came in, the liquid courage was usually was talking. I rarely saw the same out-of-towners return, only the regulars in the club. So I took the card and he wrote down his hotel room and number and I told him I would call him the next evening and we would go out. When asked for my number I would give out the number to the movie theater listings.


I didn't call him. I also didn't work on Tuesday night. So Wednesday night when I did work, you can imagine my surpriese to see him back in the restaurant. I avoided him all night but we just kept catching eye contact. Well those of you who know Allen, know that he can be rather loud and maybe a little obnoxious. So the other servers and I coined him, "The Drunk Guy". Come to find out, he wasn't really drunk, he just acts that way all the time.


Now a young high school girl was their server than night and she kept telling me how nice he seemed, so I finally went to talk with him and apologize for standing him up and he asked me out again. I told him that I didn't work Friday that he could meet me at the restaurant at 5:00pm and we could go to supper.


So Thursday I did my research, after all, he was from out of town, what if he was married like the Car Rental guy? What if he was crazy, like the Mothership guy? What if he was mean like the X Guy? I called the number on his business card and quizzed his secretary about him. Then looked up on the Internet for any red flags for arrests and such. Then when he came to pick me up I had a friend right down his license plate.


We went to an Irish pub, O'Dowd's down on the plaza. We got along great and when he held my hand, my heart literally ached with pain for the chemistry I felt between us. I knew by the end of the night that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. However, as he dropped me off at the club and started his 4 hour trip back to Arkansas I realized that I would probably never see him again and wondered why I had even bothered opening myself up.


I was wrong, on Monday he called and he called everyday there after early in the morning before work and late night night after my shifts. While we lived apart, he still drove to KC to see me at least once a month. We spent hours and hundreds of dollars on phone bills, talked about every aspect of life. 8 months later I moved to North West Arkansa with him. Now this is not the ideal love story to share with kids as to where to meet your mate or the lifestyle to live, but it is our story.


4 months later he proposed at Mary Maestri's in Tonitown on the anniversary of our 1st date. He had a dozen red roses waiting on our table and everyone in the restaurant get to witness him get down on his knee.

We got married at a beautiful bed and breakfast in my hometown 3 months later. We had been planning on a wedding, however we also wanted to buy a house and choose to give everyone a days notice and get married and forego and expensive celebration. It was perfect.



This is my neice Maggie, she was my flower girl of sorts. These were the only 2 pictures I have scanned into the computer, it was pre digital camera days.





And here we are 10 years and 4 kids later. Our lives have changed greatly and I know that Allen was my night in shining armour to save me from a lifestyle that was not to be desired.



I was reading in Intimate Allies and found this quote and it really bothered me about me. "Love changes the human heart. If the person you love has not changed-that is, if the person has not grown more tender -than it is a clear indication you have not loved that person. Love changes a person-always. The status quo-life today as it was, relationship as it always has been-indicates a failure of love." Ouch. There has been change. Some of you know that a year ago, I didn't think we were going to make it at all, and life is completely different this year. He has softened immensely. But if I want him to grow and change in other areas than I have to up my game and love him deeper in a way that his love language is being met. For the reason of self gain? No. Because I know how it hurts when my love language isn't spoken and I don't want him to feel that way.


Since I give Allen a lot of grief I thought I would also bless him with some of the reasons I do love him in no specific order:

-He can fix almost anything.
-He is super human strong.
-He has the smoothly skin and softest lips.
-He is super human tough-he has yanked a 3-prong fish hook out of his thumb, did minor surgery in our kitchen on his arm, and not been to the ER more times when most people would have taken an ambulance there.
-He loves his family.
-He like sports but is not a fanatic.
-His favorite place is home. He doesn't have to go out for a guy night once a week.
-He is a mannly man, while housework isn't his thing, he does all that other stuff I don't like that requires me to get dirty or sweaty.
-He is always helpful to my parents.
-He would give the shirt off his back to anyone who needed help.
-He is very loyal to his friends.
-He is very loyal to me.
-He is very supportive of me and encourages me with all my ventures.
-He has only said intentionally hurtful things when he was angry a handful of times ever in the past 10 years.
-He brags on me to others.
-He makes me feel safe.
-While he loves being an outdoorsman, he doesn't go as often as he would like to keep the balance.
-While he will have the occasional beer, he never has too much.
-He is a lot of fun. We laugh a lot and give each other a lot of grief.
-He wrestles with the kids.
-He surprised me at Christmas with 12 card and 12 gifts for the 12 days of Christmas.
-He surprised me at Valentines with a babysitter and took me overnight to Eureka Springs.
-He takes the girls to the Daddy Daughter Dance.
-He surprised me with an orchid for Valentines Day because "they are rare and so is our love".
-He is teaching Brian how to be a manly man-hunt, fish, and follow in daddy's footsteps and work with glass.
-He cooks a great breakfast and venison.
-He is not needy or picky unless he's grumpy which is rarely. But I guess I should be thankful that he feels comfortable enough to vent on me as that means he doesn't think I'm going anywhere.
-He tells me all the time that I'm beautiful.
-He seems to think I'm capable of anything.
-He thinks I'm a great cook.
-He Makes the kids obey me and respect me when he's around.
-He rarely has opposed me in front of the kids.
-He handles my insanity quite well.
-When we saw the Titanic, the love between Jack and Rose was what we share. Intense and above understanding. It was God's perfect plan for us.
-He still makes my heart skip.
-He blessed me with a gift last night that was for Christmas, Birthday and Christmas-monetary-to use for whatever I wanted. :)
-I'm sure I could list a thousand more, but the kids are straggling in and starving to death.

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