Anxious

Philippians 4:6I’m anxious.

Like the I-need-to-scrape-paint-on-our-front-porch-or-stuff-my-face anxious.

The kind that makes it hard to concentrate.

Makes it difficult to work.  At least I can write.

Lord willing, big changes are coming.  And I hope I can divulge them with you soon.  Just keep watching.

And in the meantime, what are you feeling anxious about?

A Disney Frozen Birthday

Check out the Disney Frozen birthday at my new home by clicking here.

My Top Homeschool Resources

This week, my sister made the comment that she is considering homeschooling my niece for Kindergarten and 1st grade.  While I am not one with the patience to do anything like that, props to her!  But it got me thinking, as she asked her “teacher friends” about resources.  Even though I don’t homeschool my kids, I subscribe to many blogs that make learning at home a lot easier.  I’m that crazy mom that makes her kids learn over the summer (don’t worry, they get more than enough play time!).  And I’m glad I do.  Over this past summer, my daughter jumped 7 reading levels.  I think I’ll take it over the summer slide.

Here are some of the recommendations I gave her, and I hope they help you too!

Teachers Pay Teachers – You don’t have to be a teacher to join this site, and you don’t always have to pay.  There are many free resources available every week.

Teachers Notebook – Similar to Teachers Pay Teachers, you don’t have to be a teacher, and there are often free resources.

Educents – This website offers deals on homeschool material all the time, sometimes even free!

These are some of the blogs I follow that offer homeschool deals:

Free Homeschool Deals – A great site with a host of free homeschool deals; I find a ton of stuff from here!

Homeschool Creations – While there’s not as much available here, I still find a lot of good resources, sometimes some additional deals and freebies.

Intoxicated on Life – Mostly scripture copywork, but also has some other good resources for homeschooling

if you are thinking of homeschooling, a homeschooling mom friend of mine suggests contacting your local homeschool association.  You can locate them on google.  No matter how you use these resources, good luck!  And let me know which ones are your favorites!

1 Year and Counting…

Wow!  What a fun (and busy!) summer we had.  Now we’re in the midst of fall and school, soccer seasons, and Wednesday night church programs, homework, and planning for the fall.  Does the busyness ever end?

I wanted to post a little over a week ago but, as usual, ran out of time!  I was excited to (internally) celebrate my one year anniversary of being a (sort of) stay at home mom!  October 1 was my first official day as an unemployed mother, and I can honestly I would never go back.  While the circumstances that surrounded my leaving my full-time job were thoroughly discouraging, I wouldn’t trade the experiences I had in the last year for anything!

I have no doubt that God was at work when he allowed me to leave full time employment.  Only two months into 2013 I had already had to grieve two loved ones and take time off to attend viewings/funerals.  There’s no way my full time job would have allowed that, as neither of the individuals who passed were immediate family.  I had the opportunity to volunteer for Kid Writing numerous times, went on field trips I never could have attended otherwise, and had the opportunity to attend other school functions.

I had a summer off!  (Well, mostly.)  We worked around my part-time work schedule, and I got to take my family to many different parks around the county, libraries, have playdates (my favorite was spa day!), color, read together, snuggle together, make crafts, and more.

I was able to start working out regularly at the gym–something I definitely wouldn’t have time for as a full-time working mom.  I’m working back toward being healthy.

And best of all, I’m able to drop Rapunzel off at the bus stop in the morning, drop off Tinkerbell at preschool three days a week, put in my hours, pick up Tinkerbell from preschool, and still get Rapunzel off the bus–something my full-time job wouldn’t budge on (we’ll just leave it at that.)  And in the meantime I get to help out my working friends who need to get their kids to and from school.

I love how God can take rotten circumstances and turn in them into something beautiful.  When has He done this for you?

It’s Funny…

You know how I’ve been talking about flexibility lately?

Well this week was another one of those weeks.  I seem to be having a lot of those.  The funny part is that I was trying to catch up on my reading for the Bible study I’m involved in at church. Starting way back at four weeks ago (because that’s how far behind I am!), the lesson was on…FLEXIBILITY!  I think Someone is trying to tell me something.

My favorite lesson was “Day 5” of the study, entitled, “Follow God’s Plans”.  The lesson begins with the readings of Acts 10:9-48 and Acts 16:6-10.  In both of these stories, God leads His people where He needs them to go–not necessarily where they planned to go.  Wherever God has made His plan evident, He succeeds.  It is our plans, as humans, that fail.

The next reading comes from Psalm 33:10-11.

10 The Lord frustrates the plans of the nations
    and thwarts all their schemes.
11 But the Lord’s plans stand firm forever;
    his intentions can never be shaken.

And lastly, from Proverbs 19:21:

21 You can make many plans,
    but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.

Isn’t it true?  As much as we try to plan out our days, our weeks, our years, and our entire lives, it is rare that everything goes as planned.

I can’t even tell you how many times I made all of these great plans…only to be deterred.  I was going to go to a college four hours away; I ended up at a college close to home.  I decided on a major in Business Administration (I hated it!); I ended up in Professional Writing.  I planned to do whatever I wanted; I ended up with a baby.  And then a husband.  And two step daughters.  And then another baby.  And here I am.  I planned to be a lifer at my former employer; here I am seven months later, spending more time with my kids, getting more done at home, doing Gods work, and blogging on the side.  Oh, and selling Thirty-One!  (Can’t forget that!)

How different my plans were from God’s!

As much as it is frustrating to have our plans thwarted by circumstances we can’t control, try to remember that God may just have different plans than you do.  Hang on…you’re in for quite a ride!

Plans Foiled (Again!): Learning to Adjust When Life Doesn’t Go As Planned

Yesterday, my plans were foiled again.

While I was working at church, a friend stopped in to visit.  I had Tinkerbell with me, as she needed to be picked up early from preschool for a short day (they only had preschool graduation practice yesterday).  Suddenly (and when I suddenly, I mean it!)–she started crying hysterically, holding her ear and telling me that it hurt and it was “bubbling”.  Whenever she did stop crying, it wasn’t for long.  She’s had the sniffles and a cough in the morning and evening hours for about three weeks now, so I figured I ought to take her to the doctor right away.  Luckily, I was able to set up an appointment for 1:30 and went straight there from work.  Bet you can’t guess what the issue was.

Yep–ear infection.

Ordinarily, I would try to fix it myself.  Check out my link for earache remedies here.  But with end-of-year activities coming up, I hated for her to miss them.  So we went with the antibiotics right now.  While we were there they gave her some Tylenol, and finally, about half-way home, she finally calmed down.  Now, you’d never be able to tell there was a problem.

As a side note, did you ever wonder why they don’t make adult medicines taste good?  It’s just not fair.

Needless to say, we didn’t have game day yesterday, but I’m hoping we can (maybe) squeeze it in today after our dance party.  Though if we can’t, I can always tack it on to something else.

That’s the thing about making plans.  If you’re going to survive life as a Type A personality (like me!), you need to learn to be flexible–which means flip-flopping plans if necessary, squeezing it in some other time, or just agreeing to wait until a better time in the future.  If you don’t, you’ll go insane.  Believe me–I know!

So whatever your plans are this summer, I hope you relax and go with the flow, adjusting where necessary.  Happy relaxing!

When Life Doesn’t Go As Planned

I have to admit–earlier this week, I was seriously thinking about quitting the blog thing.  I’m just not happy with my numbers–no non-spam comments, small number of views, etc.  The problem with that is that I’m not in the habit of quitting things easily.  I never have been.  Well some things.  Some things I quit pretty easily–like dieting.  Exercising.  Okay scratch that, maybe I quit about half of the things in my life, but that’s not the point.

Getting something started is even more difficult than keeping it going, though.  There are always those excuses running through my head: “I can’t, because I don’t have time.  I don’t have the money.  I don’t have the energy.  I’m not smart enough, beautiful enough…”  The list could go on forever.  You get the gist.

I can’t tell you how many times I thought I should just give up Thirty-One, because I don’t have the sales I want.  Heck sometimes I want to quit parenting.  (Who doesn’t?)

At the end of the day, the best laid plans don’t always work out.  For instance, I lay out my schedule all nice and neat at the beginning of the week, but here I am on Thursday evening, and I haven’t put much work into my blog, I haven’t booked nearly enough parties or talked enough about recruiting.  I haven’t done enough work for the church, and I haven’t done my filing.  Or the ironing.  Or finishing the laundry in general.

But that’s because I have two kids with ear infections.  And one got bitten by the dog yesterday when she shut him in our teeny tiny bathroom (who wouldn’t be claustrophobic in there with the door closed???)…so one thing leads to another, and I’ve lost countless hours of time that I could have been doing “more important things”.

Instead, I was a parent.  I sat with my little girl in the Emergency Room, stroked her hair, cleaned her wounds, gave her medicine, researched earache remedies (again), took temperatures, and got up in the middle of the night to snuggle.

So I suppose at the end of the day, it’s okay that I missed out on my business opportunities, my clean house, etc.  Because I got to spend some much-needed time with my kids.  There are so many more children out there who need that.

Goals for the Week of February 17

I skipped my goals for last week, so we’re going to try again this week.  Here are my goals for this week.  Wish me luck!

Spiritual

  • Devotions each day
  • Devotions with Prince Charming each day
  • Help kids memorize their verse for Wednesday
  • Daily prayers

Family

  • Call Grandpa
  • Call Grammie
  • Spend time with the kids
  • Schoolwork with Rapunzel each day
  • Remember Spring pictures on Thursday for Rapunzel

Business

  • Send invites for 3/24 party
  • Follow-up with invitees for recruiting party
  • Training video
  • Complete at least one additional hour of training
  • Book two more parties for March
  • Close party
  • Follow up with previous customers
  • Process return
  • Move inventory
  • Meeting on Thursday

Personal

  • Budget
  • Balance checkbook
  • Filing
  • Taxes (YUCK)
  • Scan pictures

Physical

  • Exercise 3 times
  • Drink 8 glasses of water per day

Cleaning

  • Kitchen
  • Floors
  • Downstairs bathroom
  • Upstairs bathroom
  • Ironing (my favorite)

Why We Celebrate Lent

To put it simply, Lent, according to History.com, is the forty-day period leading up to Easter (it’s actually more than forty days, but it doesn’t include Sundays).  Lent is supposed to be, for Christians, a time period where we reflect on the past year and confess our sins.

Why forty days?

This forty-day period represents the forty days that Jesus spent in the desert before beginning his ministry–a time in which he was tried, tempted, and tested by Satan.  Typically, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday.  The day before, “Fat Tuesday,” is the day when everybody consumes the fat remaining in the house in order to cleanse during the next forty days.  Where I’m from, we eat Fastnachts.  I’m not a big Fastnacht fan, so I eat donuts (because they’re so much better for me–HA!)

Many Christians don’t even celebrate Lent.  For instance, Prince Charming doesn’t celebrate Lent.  He can’t make it forty days.  Some people don’t see the point.  My parents never celebrated Lent.  As far as I know, my extended family doesn’t either.  But my church does, and I find it to be a good time to reflect, as we are supposed to, on the past year, identify the places where I struggle, and work to right these wrongs.

I have celebrated Lent for about eight years now.  One year, I gave up secular music (this was really hard!), one year chocolate (even more difficult!), caffeine (that didn’t really work out so well), soda…this year I’m thinking about either ice cream or soda again.

Why do I celebrate Lent?

Jesus gave up His life for me.  Can I sacrifice forty days out of my life to give up something in His name?  To better myself?  Prince Charming may not celebrate Lent, but I hope to instill in my childrens’ lives the same value–of reflection, self-improvement, and sacrifice: a tiny sacrifice compared to the sacrifice given for me.

Goals: Week of February 3, 2013

I’m scrambling to write these down, as I spent so much time working with the kids on Valentines and going through my email that now I’m chomping at the bit to get some other things done.

Anyway, I haven’t posted goals since I closed my last blog, but seeing as I just posted yesterday on goals…I should start sharing them.  So here goes the goals for this week:

Spiritual:

  • Complete personal devotions every day
  • Complete devotions with Prince Charming every day

Family/Kids:

  • Spend 3 hours this week with each child (this is a lot for me, sadly enough)
  • Do something nice for Prince Charming
  • Call Mom
  • Remember to help Rapunzel with homework every day this week (yes, sometimes I forget)
  • Parent-Teacher Conferences on Wednesday (woohoo)
  • Maybe shopping with Christmas gift cards on Saturday with the girls?  (yes, we are behind on this…)
  • Finish Valentines with Tinkerbell and Rapunzel

Physical:

  • Drink 8 glasses of water each day
  • Exercise 3 times this week
  • Eat healthy 6 days this week

Personal:

  • Read 1 chapter of Bringing Up Girls
  • Read 1 chapter of The Smart Stepmom
  • Budget
  • Balance Checkbook

Business:

  • Blog every day
  • Book 2 more parties for the month of February (any takers?)
  • Homework
  • Complete 1.5 hours of training

Cleaning:

  • Laundry
  • Kitchen
  • Bathrooms
  • Floors
  • Filing
  • Ironing

Now before you think I’ve gone off the deep end, some of these chores I will outsource (a.k.a. put the kids to work).  Some really don’t take that long but should be done on a regular basis so I don’t have to spend a large chunk of time on them later (i.e. checkbook, ironing, filing).  And with some of them I can multitask–like drinking water or eating healthy. I mean, I’d eat dinner anyway, right?

So bring it on, first week of February.  I’m ready for you.