Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Then in my devotions this morning, I was reading about Lot's wife and how she looked back on her way out of town and was turned into a pillar of salt. There was a commentary that talked about the difference in a block of salt and granulated salt. The block is fairly useless whereas the granulated salt is useful for a variety of things, including bringing out the flavor.
Then I thought about how the Bible says that we ARE the salt the light...not that we can be, or we should be, or we might be, but we ARE!
So what you might say? I need to be saltier. I need to be what the Bible says I already am. I need to bring out the flavor and aroma of Jesus. I will be thinking more about this as the new year arrives and the slate is wiped clean, ready for me to take full advantage of the time God is giving me.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
About 1 1/2 inches from an end, cut eight strips.
Monday, December 29, 2008
So since we are just coming out of the hectic season, I thought that I would make my revised "to do" list now, while I am still thinking about it and things are fresh on my mind. I will probably tweak it again after next Christmas, but here is something for me to begin with:
1. Week of 10/2 make cookie dough
2. Week of 10/9 make cookie dough and other doughs (breads, etc...)
3. Week of 10/16 decide on and find the right wrapping paper, make basic meals to freeze for the hectic days as Christmas gets closer
4. Week of 10/23 research and decide on inexpensive yet meaningful gifts for
5. Week of 10/30 SS teachers, AWANA leaders, etc...
6. Week of 11/6 Christmas cards
7. Week of 11/13 Christmas cards
8. Week of 11/20 research fun free or mostly free things for the family to do
9. Week of 11/27 decorate house, send Christmas cards day after Thanksgiving, shop after Thanksgiving sales for great deals
10. Week of 12/4 final buying of gifts, including stocking stuffers
11. Week of 12/11 put together the teacher gifts and deliver
12. Week of 12/18 wrap gifts
13. Week of 12/25 Have Fun! Then shop after Christmas sales to begin getting a jump on next year's needs.
Cookie doughs this year: gingersnap, sugar, chocolate chip, gingerbread, white chocolate macadamia nut, peanut butter
Fun free things to do this year: La Cantera Resort Cowboy Christmas, decorating gingerbread houses, making gingerbread men cookies and decorating them, driving around looking at lights, Santa's Ranch, watching all the 25 Days of Christmas movies on ABC Family, using free Redbox codes and renting movies
I shop all year around for Christmas, birthdays, unexpected needs of presents, other kids' birthdays, etc...After Thanksgiving and after Christmas are great days to gather a good amount of those things. Very inexpensive games, toys, DVDs, etc..are to be had.
I don't know if this list helps you, but I know it will help me out next year, when I have promptly forgotten the needs of this year. I'd love to hear what you do or what you see that I have missed. I can use all the input I can get!
Now that's a good deal.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
If you read the book first, then went to the movie...what an extreme disappointment! The basic story line was like the book, but the details were completely different. Why? Why take a perfectly good, dare I say, great, book and then change all the details for the movie?
Then it hit me...I've read the "book" of my life and I want my life to be the best version of the Book it can be. I don't want people to have read the Bible and then see my life to know that they are connected. I don't want the disconnect to happen in their minds when I say that I am a Christian.
Just my thought for the day.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
I am forever trying to give perspective to my kids. I want them to know that usually what they are going through is really little in comparison to others in the world. They have little to complain about, little to whine about, and everything in the world to smile and rejoice over!
So, here I was crying because of supposedly deleting all my blogs, pictures, responses from friends, etc...
The perspective hit me: Jesus lost his life for me. That's all it took to shake me out of my earthly pity party.
I ended up not losing all my stuff, but did lose a little bit and am now having a difficult time getting if figured out, but, in the end, so what? I have everything that really matters and LOTS, LOTS more!
Friday, December 26, 2008
So when I shop, I want the perfect temperature that hovers somewhere around cool to chilly. I normally am a 90 degree kind of gal, but on these two shopping days, I need the cool! The sprints, the adrenaline, the getting the cart between two women to grab what they wanted without them even knowing it is gone...takes some energy and quick thinking, let me tell you.
So after I get home today, the three little munchkins want time with me and we go outside to ride scooters, trikes, and bikes. I am standing out in the middle of the street so I can yell "Car!" and hopefully watch my munchkins get out of the street quickly. (It doesn't always happen that way.) As I am standing there, I realize that I am very warm, and that the sun is shining on me. Though it had been warm all day, it had been overcast and almost dark. I stood there with the sun on my face and it was as though God was speaking to me saying, "Jesus is here. The son is here. I am shining His light on you."
Then I thought, let it shine! Let it get as warm as God wants...Jesus is here!
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
So after pondering that, I must say that I agree with the comedian!
Today, Christmas Eve, is "next"! The potential is still there for anything to be under the tree! Anything can happen tomorrow! Not that tomorrow isn't wonderful, but with tomorrow comes reality. The pony isn't there, the bb gun didn't appear...But today...it can all still happen! I have been thinking for many years now, that Christmas Eve is my favorite day of the year.
Then I thought yesterday that I should change my thinking. As I understand it, there is nothing left to happen biblically for Jesus to return. So that makes today, next! The potential is there for Him to come tomorrow! I could be living in Heaven tomorrow for eternity! He could come back and wipe every tear and I could remain in a state of eternal worship! So, I am switching my thoughts...turning over a new leaf...making a 180. Today is "next" in an earthly sense, but everyday is "next" as a believer! And I am a believer! How about you?
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Here is the boys' house.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Break open eggs in the bag, put in cut up meat, I use sandwich meat and slice it up in little pieces, pieces of cheese, and whatever else you want. Close up the bag.
Using your hands, mix the ingredients until all mixed together. Keeping bag closed.
Place bags in a pot of water on the stove. It takes about 8-10 minutes to cook. We put 4-6 bags in one pot.
When they are done, take out the bag.
Cut open the bag with scissors.
Friday, December 19, 2008
Ben and I are beginning to wrap presents tonight! We have to do this over several days as it gets completely overwhelming to do it all in one setting. We have done that in the past and, let me tell ya, at our age it is really difficult to sit on the floor for a long time since the circulation goes away rather quickly...but trying to get up is no picnic either! Back problems, again with the circulation problems, joints ache! Did you know that when the feeling goes away from your feet, the ankles, and then the lower and upper legs, you don't stand up well? You pretty much fall back into a heap as though you were Rawley's "ent"! His "ent" is his elephant that has stuffing only in the far reaches of his four extremities and I do mean only the far reaches!
That should be all for the Chronicles of the Aged and Infirmed, for now. But we also made up two batches of snickerdoodles! I love that name for a cookie...snickerdoodle. Trying to use it in a sentence with a straight face is almost impossible. If any of you are Gilmore Girls fans, and I know I am..., you can add the word "snickerdoodle" to the list of funny sayings like "oy with the poodles already!"
(Bailey I hope you are reading this and are so proud of your old ma!)
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Fast forward to today...It started out as a normal day.
To Do List:
1. get new driver's license
2. go to Wal-Mart--oil change, groceries
3. make gingerbread cookies
4. work on homeschool co-op things
5. Bible study
Pretty normal day. Not too out of the ordinary. But then life happened!
1. Got to driver's license place with all paperwork, I think. Then am told that I have to go back home and get my passport. Only added an hour to the errand.
2. Get to Wal-Mart--take car in for oil change, new windshield wipers, and tire balance and rotation. When I go to pick up car am told that I need two brand new tires because two of my tires are about to blow at any minute! Only added $240 that we hadn't planned on.
3. Didn't get home in time to make gingerbread cookies. Only broke a promise to the kids.
4. Got to where I was going to work on the homeschool co-op things late because I wrote down the directions wrong. Only added 20 minutes to the whole process.
5. Had to make quick same-day appointment for Kally because we are worried that she might be exhibiting Type 1 diabetes symptoms. Only added an extra errand and an hour to the list.
6. Got home in time to stir the soup that I had, fortunately, started in the crock pot earlier in the day. Served up the soup to the family. Got a couple of things ready to take to Bible study. Only made it so that I was running around not enjoying my kids before leaving again.
7. Did make it to Bible study with Ben and on time! Only thing on the list that went as planned!
8. Had Ben take the movies back to Redbox before the due time of 9pm and our closest Redbox was not working. Only added a wasted trip and $2 on our credit card.
9. Had to continually tell Rawley to get to sleep and then realized that, once again, he had taken his pjs off and had to find them and put them back on. Only added frustration to my day.
10. Tried to start this blog twice and the computer kept wanting to shut off. Only added more frustration and whining on my part.
So as I get to the very end of this day, I realize that my plan was way too neat and tidy! God has already given me the day, recently, where everything went my way. It was time for life to interrupt my agenda. So $242 extra dollars, several hours added to my plan, and a broken promise later --- how did I do? How did I handle it? Did God smile because of the strength of my character or weep because of my childlike whining and groaning? I must say that I handled it better than I have in the past, and still not as well as I'd like. Growth and yet so far to go! How did you do?
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Little Guy: Hey, Rainey! I am not going to call anyone "stupid" today.
Big Bro: That's good. You really want to make sure you don't call God that because it will make Him sad.
Little Guy: You mean if I call God "stupid", then I can't go to live in Heaven?
Big Bro: No. To live in Heaven you only have to believe that Jesus was born, died, and rose on the third day in the tomb. You don't HAVE to be nice or anything.
Did I just hear what I thought I heard? My Big Guy just shared the Gospel with Little Guy! How thrilling is that for a mom to hear? Of course, though Big Guy was right about being nice not being part of the Gospel, it certainly is one way that we live out our faith, so I will continue to teach Two Boys that part as well. It's cool...and sad...that Two Boys understand the very essence of the Gospel message and there are "grown ups", "knowledgeable" people who never seem to be able to grasp the simplicity of Jesus' message.
At this point, I am more concerned with my own area of ministry..my children.,.and am thrilled that they get it!
Monday, December 15, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
I have been trying since our move to become more and more frugal. It's not been easy and I am not super great at it...yet! My friends Amy and Ellen have challenged me to be better all the time. At first it was frustrating because I was only seeing a few dollars of savings. But then I thought, Hey, I wouldn't roll down the car window and throw out that money, would I? So, I began to feel better about even a few dollars. I have had some real deals over the months, but today was probably the best so far for the amount I bought! (Amy and Ellen, if you read this, don't laugh at my pathetic attempt!)
There are sites out there that describe how to feed your family for $40 a week. I am not that good yet, but thought that for a family of 7, I would like to try going for $100 a week. We have been averaging between $150-$190 a week, so $100 would be quite a feat for me!
The picture above is most of what I bought today. You don't see the 13 lb. turkey, or the whole chickens, the Capri Suns, or the cans of soup. I find that meat is pretty expensive for our family so I try to save money there, but it's very hard. The meat in today's purchase included turkey, chickens, deli ham, ground beef.
So here were my best deals of the day:
*frozen 13lb. turkey $9.71 then had a $1 off coupon total...$8.71 (this will be several meals for our family!)
*three bags of Green Valley Steamers broccoli $3.00 then had 2 $1 off coupons and a $.50 coupon total...$.50 (for THREE bags!)
*eight bags of different flavors of LifeSavers hard candy $10.64 then had 8 $1 off coupons total...$2.64
*3 boxes of Reynold's aluminum foil $4.26 then had 3 $1 off coupons total...$1.26
*4 boxes of Stove Top stuffing on clearance for $.84 each
These were some of the best deals, but I did really well overall. The original total came to $128 and then I used $23 worth of coupons and it came to a grand total of $105! Most everything I bought was either on sale, or I used a coupon, or in some cases, a combination of both.
So, overall I think I accomplished my goal! I am quite proud of myself and next week, will see if I can do even a few dollars better...these days I think a lot about those "few dollars"
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Today I was driving to a doctor's appt. for Rawley to get his flu shot...I know..a bit late. But the old adage "Better late than never" is actually in my vocabulary, so...
Anyway, I pull up to the stoplight going out of our neighborhood and wait at the red light. My attention is drawn behind the signal light to a large American flag (next to an equally large Texas flag, I must add). The wind is really howling and the flag is really waving...a picture perfect moment IF I had my camera with me, and IF I weren't the one driving the van...
Instantly, and without warning, I get a bit choked up and emotional. (I'd love to tell you that that is really abnormal for me, but alas...I can't). But this was different...I hadn't just heard a great song on Christian radio that made me glad to know Jesus and I hadn't been thinking about what I will do when my children start leaving the nest. I had only been looking at the beautiful, large, billowing flag. Seven red stripes, six white stripes. Fifty stars. Red, white, and blue.
And it hit me...I love this country.
I love the fact that, though I didn't vote for Obama, there will be a peaceful transfer of power in one month.
I love that we are so diverse, yet one people.
I love that I can drive down the road and see so many churches.
I love the fact that, though I am not Mormon, the two who were in my neighborhood going door-to-door yesterday can go door-to-door.
I love that I can wear a shirt with the word JESUS on it and know that I have the freedom to do that.
I love the variety of cultures, food, languages, and customs we have. (Not that I also wouldn't love having a national language!)
Though I hate that cashiers must say Happy Holidays, I love that I can respond Merry Christmas!
All of these feelings and thoughts came rushing to me in the few seconds I had at that light...it is the quickest light I have ever seen! :) Within seconds, I was off turning onto the road that takes me to the pediatrician for Rawley's visit. I was thinking of other things, having other conversations, and busy with Little Guy. But for a little bit, I was in love all over again, as happens periodically.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
Two boys after their "manly" haircut from Ben! They are really looking like boys now...Rawley was dangerously close to having "girl hair", similar to his "girl nails" he gets periodically. They are quite handsome, if I do say so...and that's not showing any bias on my part...truth is truth!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
I haven't either! :)...
Just kidding...today is close to being one of those days for me. I actually did do a bit of school with the girls, which was icing on the cake. But I was certainly Li'l Miss Suzie Homemaker today! The girls and I baked about 8 dozen ginger snaps, made the Pioneer Woman's yogurt marmalade cake, and made white chocolate covered (with sprinkles) pretzel sticks! In between, I cleaned up all my mess, washed the dishes, and delivered warm cookies and milk to Ben for a snack break from work. Now is that being a great wife or what?
I am teaching the Bible study tonight, so I certainly made time to bone up on the lesson. Some of you will remember my excitement at Jewish weddings, and that is what is being spoken about tonight. You can imagine my anticipation!
I will fall into bed tonight feeling like I accomplished much. Shared the love of Jesus with my family. Remained patient and loving the whole day. Didn't raise my voice at all. Didn't have to do too much disciplining. The only other better end of the day I can think of would be if Jesus came back!
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Rawley was acting inappropriately and needed disciplining...a spanking to tell you the truth. Bailey had to administer this since I was busy elsewhere. She sent him to his room and he was really crying. When I was able to complete my task, I called Rawley into my room to talk to him about what was wrong. He said, "Bailey spanked me." I said, "Did you do anything to need a spanking?" He said, "No! Can you talk to Bailey, she was being a bully to me!"
Remember that Rawley is only two!
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Ben and I closed ourselves up in my closet the other day to divide out the gifts purchased to see if there are any obvious gaps for anyone. I was loving the whole thing! Remembering the gifts purchased months ago in preparation and thinking how much my kids are going to love everything.
One of my favorite things is having nativity sets all over the house. Over the years, I have purchased plastic, or kid-friendly sets for all my kids so that they can play all they want with them. It has always seemed wrong to me to yell at kids to not play with the baby Jesus! Does anyone else see the irony of that? Everyday I get out one of the sets and we go through the Christmas story. By the time Christmas day rolls around, my family is well-versed in the meaning of the day and then we can have fun with the presents they have under the tree.
Last night we did another one of our favorite pasttimes for this time of year. On ABC Family, they do the 25 days of Christmas, showing different movies. We snuggled all together to watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas (even though we own it, they get a kick out of watching it on TV, go figure!). We made popcorn, had our blankets, water, other candies, and we were set! I could only smile watching all seven of us all together watching a fun movie.
We have set the tone for Christmas this year and I couldn't be happier! Tomorrow I will tell you about what we are starting tonight...another great tradition to help our family get the real meaning of Christmas. Tune in tomorrow!