Taking Care of Friendship

Today, as I attempted to catch up on the backlog of emails in my inbox, I perused through some of my favorite blogs.  As I was doing so, I happened across a few articles about friendship, the importance of developing friendships, and the like.  It got me thinking.  I don’t like to jump on the bandwagon, but when something speaks to me, I feel I need to write it.  (And by the way, you can check out what I read at incourage at The Art of Simple.)

On the radio the other day, I heard one person ask another what the difference was between her friendships 10 years ago and her friendships today.  Well, 10 years ago I was in my senior year of high school.  I can still remember all of my friends from back then, but I think I knew deep down who was real and who wasn’t.  Sure I had my “friends”, but then there are always FRIENDS–you know, real friends.  The ones who wanted me around even though I didn’t want to smoke, drink, and have sex.  The ones that would come to all the sporting events with me or just walk around the mall.

As is no surprise, I haven’t seen most of my “friends” since I graduated high school.  There’s the one I fell away from, the one I’m always talking to, and the one I wish I talked to more.

Then you go to college, make a bunch more superficial friends and a couple of keepers.  I have two of the keepers.

But then you graduate from college and you enter real life: get a job, get married, have kids…and somewhere among the diapers, the milk, the laundry, the soccer games, and the instrumental concerts, you lose touch.  Your friends are two hours away in a new place and you want to be there with her during this transition but you can’t get away long enough to even see her place.  Or she’s three hours away, and you get to see her once–maybe twice a year when you take vacation with your family.  Or she’s just about an hour away but she works full time on the night shift, and the only time you get together is with the kids–which they love (the kids and your friends!), but all you want is some real grown up time sometimes.  Even the friends you make through your kids’ friends (moms unite!) are out of reach most days–they have busy schedules too.

I miss my friends.

Take some time to read Jennie Allen and Tsh.

And then take the time to pursue meaningful friendships.  Wherever you are, whatever your circumstances, whether you feel like the frazzled mom with no friends or the laid back mom with a million, call up a friend or send her an email–whatever it takes to refresh those precious friendships.  Male or female, single or married, ten kids or no kids.  We need those friendships in our lives.  We were made for friendships.  So pursue them.  Cultivate them.  And then tell us how you did it.

And while you’re at it, pin this prayer from Elisa Pulliam.  Or print it.  Or just visit it over and over again and pray it every time you see it.  You’ll be glad you did.  And so will they.

The Prayer of a Friend

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Scrapbooking (and Smashing!) Heaven

Yesterday, I was on the hunt for lots of miscellaneous scrapbooking and smash booking STUFF.  At this point, I really don’t remember exactly what I was looking for, but I’m sure I got way off track in the process anyway.  I have a major problem with scrapbooking supplies.  And digital scrapbooking supplies.  I have yet to really get into digital scrapbooking, but I am seriously considering it.  The only down side is that I can’t paste any other additional ticket stubs or keepsakes in it.  (If you have a solution for this, please let me know!)

Anyway, I’ve found a bunch of great scrapbooking freebie sites along the way, and I am highly addicted.  I sure hope you like them as much as I do!

Miss Tiina – I found this one a while ago.  She has a ton of free printables: fonts, project life cards, etc.  Love love love!

Pixel Scrapper – This is most definitely one of my favorites not just because of the amazing designs, but because you get free credits every day–for stuff you can download for commercial AND personal use!  I’m always looking for things to use for my blogs, and now I’ve found something awesome.  If you need something along these lines, I highly recommend checking out this site.

The Lilypad – I love the wonderful designs on this site as well.  Can’t say much more about it–it really just speaks for itself.

Check them out and let me know what you think!  Who is your go-to for free or cheap digital downloads?

Sore Throats Soothers

I had every intention of writing last week, but alas, my plans were foiled once again.  I hope all of you out there in the world had a better week than I did!

My week started out with an infection, mid-way through I caught the stomach bug, and on Friday I picked up a sore throat…which I found out today is strep throat.  Which I also found out today Rapunzel has…along with pinkeye.  We are just a mess over here.  I think I will be disinfecting my house soon.

Well in the meantime I was searching some good remedies for sore throats.  The most popular remedies for sore throat pain:

  • Vinegar (you’ll most often find apple cider vinegar)
  • Lemon Juice
  • Cinnamon
  • Honey
  • Lozenges or Lollipops

You’ll even find one remedy that calls for 2 tsp. of vinegar, 2 tsp. of lemon juice, 2 tsp. of honey, and a dash of cinnamon in a cup of hot water.  Let me just say–you have to do this only if you are desperate!  It worked after about an hour or so and lasted another hour or so, but this combination pushed me very close to the edge of throwing up.  I’d almost rather drink them all separately.

Lozenges and lollipops work, because they cause your mouth to create more saliva, coating the throat.  I found gum helps me as well.

If you’re congested too:

Humidifiers are often recommended to release some congestion.  Strangely enough, I’ve heard that rubbing Vicks on your feet alleviates congestion, though most often we will rub it on our chest.

If you’re dealing with a sore throat right now, I hope some of these tips will help ease your pain!  Feel to comment some of your tried and true remedies!

Cabin Fever – A Bucket List

Well, it’s started…

The big snow has begun, and we’re waiting for anywhere from 6 to 12 inches of snow.  School is cancelled already for tomorrow, and we are anticipating yet another snow day–trapped inside, away from the bitter cold.  I’ve lost track of the number of snow days we’ve had already–enough to take away almost all of the school’s remaining days off and bordering adding time to the school day or going until the end of June.  I anxiously await the picking at each other and the inevitable…”I’M BORED!”

So in anticipation of yet another snow day, I put together a Snow Day Bucket List.  Let’s try to make the most of being stuck inside with each other…again.

What about where you are?  Are you snowed in?  What’s on your bucket list?

Snow Day Bucket list | Making the Most

Feel free to use this as a printable image but only for personal use.  Thanks!

Linking up this week on Gingersnap Crafts:

Gingersnap Crafts Wow Me Wednesday Linkup

Cheesy Potato Soup

Cheesy Potato Soup | Making the Most

This recipe has moved to my new home!  Check it out here: http://www.makingthemostblog.com/#!Cheesy-Potato-Soup/cqkw/54e6422d0cf23137e88b9c50.

Link Part Palooza

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!

In Keeping with Goal-Setting (FREE PRINTABLE!)

Thanks for visiting!  Please visit me on my new site.  You can find your free printables here.

Intentional

Well, folks, I’m back for the new year!  I can’t promise I’ll remember to post regularly, but I’ll try to post when I can.  I wanted so badly to post many of the projects and recipes we made last year but never got around to it.  Life happened.  I’m sure many of you other moms out there can identify.

I’m sure many of you are reading now about making new years goals and resolutions.  I’m not one to try to jump on the bandwagon, but I’ve been making resolutions since before I was a teenager, and though I fail many years at accomplishing many of them, I’m going to continue to try again anyway; though this year, I’m looking at my resolutions more as goals.  And I’m continuously working to establish the steps needed to accomplish them.

Here are my goals for this year:

For My Family:
 Spend 2 hours per month with each child
– Make devotions with Prince Charming a habit
– Make devotions with Rapunzel and Tinkerbell a habit

For My Health:
– Lose 52 pounds (I have a lot more to lose, but I figured if I shoot low then I’ll be more likely to achieve it…and if I lose more I’ll be thrilled!)

For My Career:
– Direct Sales: 12 parties per month, 5 guests per party, 1 recruit per year
– Church: Complete SEO on the website

For Myself:
– Read 2 Books
– Make devotions a daily habit

I have yet to make goals for my home, though I suppose this year, I’d like to finish scraping the paint off of our stairway railing and the porch.

I loved this free printable I used to record these goals!  Unfortunately, I couldn’t seem to find the link from which it came.  If you know who created it, please let me know so I can give them credit!

2014 Goals and Resolutions Printable

Along with these goals, I’ve adopted the concept of a word for the year, like many of the bloggers I follow.  If you don’t know what that is, check out this website: http://oneword365.com/

I know I’m behind the times on this word, but this word feels right to me this year: INTENTIONAL

I want whatever I do this year to be intentional, thought out, purposeful.  I don’t want to do life haphazardly anymore.  I want to intentionally spend time with my kids, intentionally develop a better relationship with Christ, intentionally build a better marriage, and intentionally become a healthier woman.  Please help me with this goal; if I seem to be falling off the wagon, feel free to remind me about what I’m saying now.  I’ll need all the help I get!

What are your goals for this year?  Have you picked a word?

I Forgot My Sneakers (at the Gym)

I Forgot My Sneakers - Making the Most Blog

Nope.  I’m not kidding.  I got myself all the way down to the gym, opened my gym bag, and realized it.  I forgot my sneakers!

And my sports bra.

And my headphones.

And I had gone out of my way in the morning to make sure I remembered a change of clothes and a pair of socks ready for the gym.

I couldn’t believe myself.

But I couldn’t leave!  The front desk had seen me come in, and they know my face; they know my schedule.  So which would be more embarrassing–leaving right after I came in?  Or working out in what I had?

I decided the lesser of the two evils was just to work out in what I had.

I was sure that everyone was looking at me and inwardly laughing.  But I kept trying to tell myself that I don’t really pay attention to what everyone else is wearing, so maybe I would be lucky and no one would notice…that I was wearing my socks with my flats.  Yep.  Socks and flats.

I have to say, it’s not very easy to take a walk in flats.  Thankfully I didn’t have much time to work with anyway, so I just took a 15-minute walk.  I quickly changed into my flip flops before leaving the building so no one else could see what I worked out in.

This awkward situation reminded me of how unprepared for life we often are.

When I was pregnant with Rapunzel, I had planned to give her up for adoption.  I was 19, unmarried, and was no longer in a relationship with her father (long story).  I was in college and working in retail; I knew I couldn’t provide for her like I wanted, and, having been a child of divorced parents, I wanted her to be a child of a two-parent home.

But everything changed in the hospital after her birth.  Her father arrived for delivery and, the following day, announced that he would not sign the paperwork for her adoption.  My options were slim: I could sign away my rights to the new family I had chosen with the chance her father would fight it and win; then he would raise her (and if you knew his history, you wouldn’t want that either).  Not only that, but then the family would be heart-broken anyway and my daughter would have to try to bond with someone else during a time when she had already developed an attachment to another.  So I made the only choice I felt I had: the adoption was off.

And I cried.

our first night at home - I Forgot My Sneakers - Making the Most Blog

Here I was, 19 years old, without my four-year degree, working in retail, living at home, and single.  With a new baby.  This was not the life I had planned for my daughter.  Or myself for that matter.  I had no crib.  No car seat.  No diapers.  No clothes.  Nothing.  I was so afraid.  And unprepared.

But God gave me the gifts I needed for that time in my life in order to survive.

Friends, family, church members–they came out of the woodwork to support me.  My stepmom picked up a car seat, the family I babysat for gave me a crib and a mattress, and my friends and church sent diapers, wipes, blankets, and clothes–more than I could have ever asked for.

And their support was tremendous.  The first time I took her to church, everyone wanted to hold her.  During her first year, they fed her, rocked her, held her, and loved her.  And they loved me for me–a young, single mother.

WIth their help, and with my own instinct, the Word, and the help of Kevin Leman and Dr. James Dobson, I survived.  And with the help of friends and family, I worked hard to earn my associates degree and provide for my daughter.

God provided what I needed to get me through that difficult time.  And in time, he provided what I wanted the most for my daughter–a father.

That first year, I felt like I did at the gym: in my socks and flats, unprepared, clueless.  But nobody judged me for my preparedness, I worked with what I had, and we got through it.

Are you feeling unprepared today?  How have you been able to work with what you have to get by?

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?