Tuesday, January 25, 2011

For Lack of a Catchy Title.....

I just don't have a catchy title in me today (or many days, for that matter). Both of my girls have the flu. We went back to the doctor yesterday and she decided she thinks they have a bacterial infection as well. They are now taking lots of meds and are super pitiful. I feel so badly for them. Some of the worst days have been those that no matter what I did or what medicine I have them, they just didn't get any relief. Thankfully last night brought a full nights sleep and my girls are both sleeping in this morning. That in itself is a huge relief as we haven't had a good nights rest since Thursday of last week. I seem to be having some allergy issues or something myself. I woke up with a bit of a cough yesterday and this morning I barely have a voice and I have a LOVELY headache.

As you can imagine we have gotten very little of anything done around here. The house is staying somewhat straight and yesterday was nice enough that I worked on the carport. I was organizing a pile of stuff that needs to be donated. I got it all ready and scheduled the pick up. I'll sure be glad to see that pile go. Sadly, it probably won't be long before we have another large pile. We really are trying to purge and organize this year. Our home is old and we need to do some MAJOR projects, so we need to get it cleaned and organized so we can focus on the bigger TO DO list.

Anyway, we're still hanging in here...Hopefully these girls will be well soon and life can return to normal....Whatever that is..LOL

Friday, January 21, 2011

One FLU into the Cuckoos Nest

Yep, you read that right.....one of my girls has the flu. You'd think with as much illness as we've had around here I would be feeling kind of cuckoo by now. Thankfully God has really been helping me to keep things in perspective and I've stayed mostly sane.... Don't get me wrong I'm tired of illness, but I almost feel like it's gotten to the point that I'm in battle mode. I'm so over being sick and having sick children. I am resolved that this year will be a year of healing and healthiness in my home. I am claiming that in the name of Jesus. I am praying it, I am standing against the devil and rebuking sickness and I am making physical changes (i.e. looking into better eating habits, adding supplements). Something has to give and I will believe Jesus for our healing. I know that the devil is trying to keep us from walking in God's will, he's trying to keep us from being effective in our ministry. I know that this is warfare and this Mama Bear is coming out swinging. I'm also trying hard to remember that we are made more like Christ in our suffering and the He expects us to rejoice in the midst of all of our struggles. I'm certainly not rejoicing that we are sick, but I am rejoicing that even when things are hard I still have a Heavenly Father that loves me, that cares about what I care about, that gave His Son for me and He is still worthy of all of my praise. I will not begin to tell you that it has been easy (for the record this is our 3rd illness this month), I am constantly having to remind myself where my attitude needs to be. I am constantly having to fight off the the thoughts that the enemy is trying to place in my mind. It's not easy, but God has brought me so far and I will work hard to follow Him and to trust Him. I would love if you would join me in praying for healing and healthiness over my family.

Be Blessed!

A Silhouette Giveaway

Silhouette Giveaway at The Shabby Chic Cottage.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Lots and Lots and Lots....

of things have been going on here and I have lots on my mind.

~We had a HUGE snow. We got at least 6-8 inches and it stayed around an entire week. My hubby got to be home with us for a couple of days. It would have been glorious, but we only got to play in it for one day because we were passing around the stomach virus (of course I got the worst case...). I had also just gotten over bronchitis.

~So......We are claiming and declaring that 2011 is a year of healing and healthiness for our family. We have already begun to see God's hand in that as He has healed me of my bronchitis. I had been finished with a VERY strong antibiotic for a week or two and was still having symptoms. A visiting pastor prayed over myself and one of our worship leaders for healing from bronchitis and I have definitely seen the manifestation of that. Thank you Jesus!

~The latter part of last week held a ministry conference at my church (a conference that was held for people that are in the ministry), hence the visiting Pastor. We ended up spending the majority of our time dealing with childcare (We are the directors over the early childhood department at our church and for this conference we were responsible for all childcare for ages birth through 10). We had WAY more children then we expected and it took a lot of coordinating. At times it was very stressful. The awesome thing, though, is that even when we weren't in the services, God was showing up. He was making Himself known to us and growing us. The name of the conference was ReVision and we really feel like we walked away ReVision=ed. He renewed somethings in us that we had let fall to the wayside. He also planted some new things in us. I can always tell it's Him when I start feeling like I'm meant to do something that is WAY outside my comfort zone. It's so neat when my husband is feeling the same things. I LOVE walking in ministry by his side! We left the conference feeling more alive, hungrier for His word and excited to walk out this next year!

~Last night I went to a couponing class. I've delved a bit into couponing, but the time investment was offputting to me. I think I figured out that I'm gonna have to be the lady with the crazy coupon binder. So, I'll be spending the next week or two working on that and then I'll get started. I'm excited to save all that money. We're really looking forward to doing some debt busting this year (BIG possibility of paying everything off except the mortgage this year), so cutting the grocery budget will help HUGE! I'll keep you posted on how it goes.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

5 soups in 1 day

As I prepare for winter weather I'm making up some homemade soup. I'm trying to be as cost and time efficient as possible. Here's my process:

1st ~ I have two pots of beans on the stove now. One smaller pot of Great Northern Beans for White Bean Chicken Chili and a large pot of Kidney Beans and Red Beans for chili and taco soup.
Those will continue to cook at a high boil while I'm shopping (Patrick will man them for me while I'm gone). This method requires that you pay attention and continually add water, but they will be done in just a few hours from start to finish . (REALLY makes me wish I had a pressure cooker.)

2nd ~ Put a whole chicken on to boil.

3rd ~ Brown ground venison.

4th ~ Cut up required veggies for all soups.

5th ~ Assemble two of the soups in crockpots (probably taco soup and chili and put all ingredients for vegetable soup in a pot on the stove. The vegetable soup will be finished first and can be set aside to cool.

6th ~ While veg soup is cooling and crockpot soups are cooking, shred chicken.

7th ~ Use shredded chicken and reserved broth to assemble white bean chicken chili and virus killing soup in pots on the stove.

Using this method. I should have 5 very large pots of soup (probably at least a gallon per soup) finished in just a few hours. Most of these are good for at least a full supper for all of us and a leftover lunch for a few of us. I will probably use the leftover chili to make frito pie. All of this would be meals that we could heat in a pot on the coleman stove if we lost power. It's cheaper to make soup from scratch and tastes better too. Also, if we don't use them for winter weather, then I've just made meals easier for myself on busy days.

Edited to add : I didn't end up getting all of this done. I forgot that I needed to pay bills, so I didn't get to head to the grocery store early enough to beat the crowds. By the time I got there it was CRAZY!!!! Then I forgot the chicken. So I got all of the beef soups cooked and ready to go in the freezer and I got the white beans ready for the chicken chili. I'll take care of the chicken soups later today.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Panic or Preparation

I live in the south and we get very little snow here. We are currently gearing up for what could be the biggest snow/ice event in over a decade. It frustrates me how Northeners tend to have such attitude at our ineptness when we get winter weather. They make fun of our driving, but when you only have the chance to drive on ice/snow once every few years, you hardly have time to learn how to do it well. They make fun of our school and business closings, but when you rarely have winter weather events, it's hardly cost effective for your local governments to stock up on winter weather equipment. They make fun of us running to the store, but in the south (I can't speak for the North) our power often goes out when we have winter weather and often our pipes freeze (The transformer in front of our house has blown several times during storms. There are only 4 houses on it and we are hardly a priority if there are mass outages. Typically, we are one of the last to get our power restored). It's just different here and very hard to be prepared for something that rarely ever occurs. I hardly call what we do at my home panic, but would definitely call it preparation. I will buy necesseties that we may need over the next several days in case I can't get to the grocery store (I live in a rural area, so it's unlikely that any of our roads will be salted or sanded). My husband will make sure that the grill, coleman camp stove and kerosene heaters are all operational (we also have a propane heater, so we should stay warm without issue). I'll make sure that we have plenty of food that doesn't need to be cooked in the microwave or oven or with water. I plan to make a few pots of homemade soup today, to put in the freezer and I'll make sure to have ceral and sandwich fixings on hand. I'm not scared of the weather, I just want to be ready in case I need to be. So, we'll all be spending our day in preparation and prayer that we will keep power and water and for safety in our areas.

Friday, January 7, 2011

A New Do

For a while I had been considering making some drastic changes to my hair. If you look back at my hair history my trend is long, short, long, short, long....it tends to stay long more than it does short. I also like to change the color around. I started highlighting my hair in high school and never looked back. I did start graying at 24, which resulted in a not-so-nice streak of gray in my bangs, and yes I've tried growing it out, and no it's not pretty, so I'll just keep on with the coloring. For the last 2 1/2 years it has been long with blonde highlights, the more you get highlights the blonder it gets, so it was mostly blonde. I recently got some bad highlights and needed to do something about it so I decided just to change it all up, get it cut and color over the highlights. I took the below pics to the hairstylist and said that I basically wanted a combination of the two. I wanted it short in the back (to the top of my collar) and longer in the front just below my collar bone or a little longer and I wanted choppy, piecy layers. I was sort of looking for an edgy look.

The stylist really struggled with the back. Beforehand I was unable to find any pics of what I wanted the back to look like and I thought it should kind of come up to a V in the back. She had such a hard time doing that that it just started getting shorter and shorter. The end result is not what I had envisioned. I later found the below pick and wish I had found it sooner, it's exactly what I was shooting for.Anyway, I did go buy the color and come home and put it on afterward, it did for the most part turn out how I expected. Because my hair was highlighted there are lighter and darker shades of red. I like the color pretty well as does the rest of my family. I'm still not thrilled with the cut, but think I can manage with it until it grows out enough for me to get it cut again into the original style that I was hoping for. For all who are curious, here's a picture of the newest do.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Weight Loss

I took my weight loss ticker down. The fact is I gained a good bit of my weight back. Most of which was gained during the holidays. I got sick again in November and had to have a steroid shot and now I'm sick again. That's poses a threefold problem. First, steroids always make me gain weight. Secondly, when I'm sick I eat....I don't know why, but I do. Lastly, when i feel bad I tend to sleep a lot and be a couch potato. I am still down by about 5 lbs. and frankly I'll take it. I started this year lighter than last year and that is definitely a step in the right direction. That's probably the first time that has ever happened. I do plan to get back on Weight Watchers online. It works well for me and my family enjoys the way that we eat when I'm on it. I won't be starting this month. We'll do a 21 day fast (for some reason I never lose weight as a result of those) in January and with the combination of Christmas and the wedding I may not have the money to start back until February or March. I will start, after the fast, to get back on a healthier menu around here, I just may not officially start with the online program for another month or two. I don't know that I have specific number goals this year. I just want a healthier lifestyle that gradually leads to lower weight.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Contemplating a New Year

One of the things that I love about the beginning of each New Year is that our church participates in a 21 day fast. Now don't get me wrong, fasting is not fun. However, it has caused us to be much more focused on the Lord at the start of each new year. We won't officially begin until the 10th, but we are as a family currently praying over what kind of fast we will do and what things we will fast. (If you are unfamiliar with fasting I highly recommend Jentezen Franklin's book entitled Fasting).

I'm contemplating many things for this new year, as I often do. How do I improve our homeschooling, how do I become more organized and run my home more smoothly, what types of projects need to take priority and be completed, what can I do to be healthier (thanks to a steroid shot and lack of holiday self-control, I gained more of my weight back. Thankfully I still started this year lighter than I started the last one), how can I add in excercise (and make it stick?), how can we be more structured in our ministry at church, etc.......While I think those are all important thoughts, they are all about doing......We'll see where we end up with each of them.

However, my primary goal for this season of Fasting is to seek His will for our year and His vision. After all without Him I am nothing and my efforts alone are futile. If I find His vision for all of these areas of our lives and seek to allow Him to live in and through me then there is no doubt that He will be pleased with the results. So above all else this year I seek to glorify Him in all of my efforts. He is good!