A few Random things

Hello out there!

I did not plan to take such a long hiatus from blogging but truthfully I am exhausted and the demands of my family are great!

Usually I am running around frantically trying to gather things for Holy week so that our children can have some meat and potatoes at devotion time. I wish I could say that I’ve planned ahead and my home is decorated with symbolism of Jesus’ death and resurrection and that we have been crunching through the story of that all week but it’s not.Not that is what it’s about anyway.

In fact I have “dropped the ball” at planning anything for our usual festivities let alone decorated something. Lately the energy it takes to walk up to my attic to go get stuff stops me dead in my tracks. It’s just that season we are in. We are tired, worn and just want some peace and quiet with our curtains shut. Ever been there?

At the start of each week we all gather on the floor in the boys’ room at bedtime and pray for God to give us strength to “survive” each week. I have muddled through tears listening to my guys send up prayers that their momma would give herself grace and have enough to give. Happy tears. Those have been our weeks.

Well with us in mid Holy week what we have started on is reading Exodus 11 and 12 and discussing the symbolism in these stories of the coming Messiah. It has been wonderful to be real and intentional and be excited about it. Unplanned but purposeful.

( you can check out our previous holy week traditions here, here and here

This week we plan to create our grace garden, rest and enjoy knowing and resting in the security of Jesus’ sacrifice. Sure we have some fun things coming up too.

Our eldest child re-dedicated his life to Jesus and is over zealous about living his life before Jesus! We are ecstatic about this and are doing as much as we can to equip him and encourage him! One goal that I have for this year is to start my boys on a daily devotion time and teach them how to read, meditate and study the bible on their own-without us. I want to see them eager to know God and not riding our coat tails for their relationship with God.We are using this , along with our own ideas to help train our children in character.

Again our weeks have been hard and exhausting. I hope you all are encouraged by this video as I have been lately. Press on!

 

 

 

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Quieting My Home

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Fasting. This week I read a devotion about fasting that sparked a greater inspiration in me. because I had a post scheduled to talk about quieting my home and ridding us of distraction. Well with this I had the idea that removing distraction from my home is simply cleaning up some cluttered areas around that were eye sores and causing us dysfunction. While that may be a link to quieting my home and a key part to ridding it of distraction, we do not have stacks and piles of dysfunction so much that it pulls us away from God. That’s the key part right? Quieting my home means much more than surface cleaning it up. Because after all if I clean up the outside of my body and never touch my heart there are still some nooks and crannies that need some refining. I want quieting my home to become a habit that hits my core not a fad and I am hoping to do some deep cleaning in some areas that we struggle in.

In finding areas to “deep clean” I not only want to make room for my people to live freely in Christ. I want to make room for Christ to dwell freely in us. I’d like the habits of my home to become habits o our hearts. I no longer want my people to see Christ scrambled into my day but I want them to see him intentionally scheduled-for an appointment with me. In turn I hope that they will develop this idea of putting Christ first.

Commit your actions to the Lord and your plans will succeed. -Proverbs 16:3

I firmly believe that order is a necessary step in a mom’s life for us to bear the fruit of the spirit and see our children carry this too. My husband and I have been deeply convicted in how we manage our time. We feel that with teaching our children to be people of integrity we need to walk along side of them more than we do. We feel that it is unfair for us to expect obedience without teaching it first. So our first step is creating a family schedule so that we are predictable to our children and they know what is expected of them daily. With this we are also drawn to digging further into teaching the character qualities that we want to instill in them. We want to do this by posting the definition of said character quality each month and finding what it means to live it out together-the whole month. This is key for my husband and I in raising our family together and having a vision for our family together since how we were both raised were completely opposite of one another.

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So my first step in creating a family schedule-because this can seem so daunting with everything we do in a day, week or month and us not having the “normal family life” due to our custody schedules is to write down everything we do in a day-in a week, and then separating the “wheat from the tares”, the important from the unnecessary. With this comes learning again how to say no and protect our family times. It’s very easy to pile up more than the day holds and end up frustrated and exhausted. I am hoping to learn to say no more than I do and grow in doing life well as a family. I am learning that I just can’t do everything and to try is unwise.

I am also in the process of creating a command center that works for us-which I will post about later. It has been so hard for me to create something simple, because there are just too many options out there. So creating our schedule will help me to identify what fits us and what we are in need of.

So if you are interested in doing so, I challenge you to write down everything you do daily and pray over what is necessary and unnecessary. I will share my next step soon.

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Nursery Reveal

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I’ve been meaning to post this for a while now because I am so excited about it. What intrigues me about this space is that it compliments the style of my husband and I. My husband is creative and crafty, I cannot take credit for the workmanship. We are most like Joanna and Chip Gaines from HGTV’s Fixer Upper. Very quirky, down to earth and fun. I give the idea to my hubby and he tells me how we can best execute it the way I want it.

One of the things we love to do together is thrift or antique. We are huge fans of old junk rusted stuff and things with character that tell a story. Each piece has a story of how we picked it and what it reminds us of.

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Our bedroom was small and I wasn’t exactly fond of my baby sleeping in another room; neither was my hubby. So we wanted to make this corner fit into our room without taking away from it. Essentially a room inside of our room.

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nurse6

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I am such a creature of habit. Earth tones are my friend! If I tell you how nervous I was to paint our changing table you might laugh. My heart raced at every minute with thoughts like, “what if it doesn’t come out the way I was hoping? What if we can’t fix it? What if I mess up?” Here is what it looked like when we picked it up from a thrift store. It was asking for a home.

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We had so much fun working on this little project!

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Love is…

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Love laid down his life for us knowing we didn’t deserve it.

Love saw grace and pleaded guilty in our name.

Love overcame our sin in his name.

Love is looking past our faults.

Love is..

Patient when things are chaotic

Kind when we’ve heard mommy for the umpteenth time

 not boastful or proud or rude

Put’s God first for everyone’s sake

Is not easily angered when the walls are marked with crayon

Doesn’t remind us that we yelled yesterday

Gives us grace when things aren’t homemade

Never fails or gives up on us…on them

Love is a journey of faith that we live daily as mom and babe.

When we are weary we can run to God and fill up on his love so that it overflows in all areas of our life.

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You might also like: Family Valentine’s Day Ideas

What’s in my bag?

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 This always kind of gets me. Labor and delivery experiences are so different now a days and I find even more today that hospital’s are moving further and further away from enabling us to be lazy.

From the new rooming in policy’s to laboring, delivering and postpartum all in the same place we can’t deny that the culture has changed and is ever evolving.

I scheduled this post before I went into labor but now that our baby is here and I’ve been through the transition already I thought it’d be even more helpful to a new mama who’s over packed and nervous. I think I always over packed in some way, that’s just me. I’ve unpacked this bag and packed it all over again from reading websites and experience a few times before the show really started and from the very beginning I should have kept in what I had.

I think what you will need as far as toiletries will always depend on what your hospital will provide but if you want to really feel clean, invest in some travel sized options.

Here’s what was in my bag in list form.

For Mama:

Two wash cloths; one for face and one for washing because the hospitals is thin.
Travel sized toothpaste, floss, mouth wash
Toothbrush
Travel sized bottles filled with face wash, oil for my hair and leave in conditioner spray
Moisturizer
Towel…because the hospitals may be small or thin leaving you feeling very wet and unclean
Aveeno stress relief body wash and lotion
Tums
Pomegranate tea bags
Nursing cover
Boppy or nursing pillow
Nursing bra
Socks, after a while I grew tired of the non skids and opted for my Target 1$ section fitteds
Vaseline
Copy of birth plan, we forgot this at home but our hospital had it on file.
Underwear for going home
Two plastic bags and a Ziploc for soiled clothing for baby and mom and wet cloths.
Hard candy
Flip flops, I left these home
Rice pack

For baby:
Two wash cloths
Two outfits, one for going home and one to change during stay. My hospital provided a carters gown so it was quite nice to keep on
Two onesies
Socks, Our hospital didn’t have any
hand mittens
Two cloth dipes for going home day

For the car:
Bundle me
Car seat canopy
Blanket
Car seat and base

What I wished I brought:

Breast pump, we eventually picked this up but it was so useful in helping to get my milk supply going.

Flip flops to shower in. Our tub was pretty clean but it would have been nice to have.

Hubby’s bag. He kept insisting he wouldn’t need one and if he did he would go home and get dressed…My hubby never left my side and didn’t want to. He showered in my room because our bathroom was nice and had a jet tub. It would have been nice for him to have a bag for himself especially after long laboring.

Two changes of clothing
like two pairs of sweatpants. I found that after a bunch of visitors and birthing a baby, I wanted to freshen up and at least put on something other than a hospital gown. Something that I could lounge in during the day.

My baby girl’s journal: my hubby and I recorded all the first like smile, burp, bath, tests that were done, who came in to see us, nursing schedule and the like on a sheet of paper. I found myself missing the chance to jot down prayers for my baby and things that were going on.

A book or something for leisure: I had my tablet and my phone and the TV but I grew tired of screen time quickly. During the night or day when my baby girl was awake I was wanted to read to keep myself awake or occupied. I was bored during the day and couldn’t sleep due to excitement.

So this is what was in my bag. I didn’t care about wearing makeup or looking cute. I wanted to be comfortable and I honestly didn’t miss those items. If I took any pictures I wanted that raw moment to be captured..I didn’t have time for makeup anyway.

I used my nursing cover a lot and my nursing pillow. I also used a rice pack, that I made from extra fabric and some rice, very often for cramping when my uterus was contracting. I remembered the rice balls I made most when I had my boys. I also wanted snacks other than ginger ale and graham crackers and an extra nursing bra.

Every woman’s hospital bag looks different. As I said before, it depends on what your hospital will offer. You will more than likely over pack, it’s just how we are wired. Better to have too much and not enough.

Is there something that you couldn’t live without in your bag? Please share below to encourage and help another mama!

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Linking Up With: Titus TuesdaysLiving Proverbs 31, Joy Dare

Thanksgiving: Intentional Living

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howtotrainsuperhero.com Thanksgiving has come and gone! I’ve literally been trying to get this post out all week. With my due date also around the corner the holiday’s are about the easy and practical. Getting dinner on the table for my family this year is less about tradition and more about saving room to savor the time spent together. Which it should always be. A few weeks ago I skimmed through my little black book of pinterest recipe’s and put together a simple menu plan for Thanksgiving. While I had to talk my myself out of not doing too much plenty of times, I think I came out with the simplest menu and plans for my family. I also wanted to think of some fun things to do for us since we will be enjoying a quiet evening at home. My kids loved the minute to win it that we did for Valentine’s day last year so I was thinking I’d put together some silly games for the evening. Aside from that, Thanksgiving was very stress-less for me and my guys. The key here to me pulling this off and coming out under stressed physically was planning ahead to make ahead. My husband and I always plan to be intentional with our children when we have a day off so most of my meals options were prepped Wednesday to spare more time together. I got up early with my hubby and cooked everything that could be the day ahead and come that day, my turkey was done at 9 am. I want to add that while I was prepping my food yesterday, I could not resist licking the spoons. All these recipe’s were delicious! So here is what was on our menu. 1 Crock pot turkey breast Lightened up sweet potato casserole Pioneer Woman Mac and Cheese Pioneer Woman creamed spinach Stuffing Cranberry sauce- my recipe is a 12oz bag of cranberries, 1/2 cup of water, 1/2 cup of sugar, 2 tsp each of vanilla and orange extract. Cook down until cranberries burst. The longer you cook, the more gel like it will become. Buttermilk cornbread Pumpkin Pie

Here is what our table looked like. The kids colored their place mats while they were waiting for food to be warmed and then we played bingo while we ate.

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Before we ate we played some minute-to-win-it games which were so fun.

howtotrainasuperhero.com   I made up a few: Turkey gobbler- Dab a dot of Vaseline on your nose and move 10 cotton balls from one plate to another using only your nose. Turkey on the Run- Keep 3 balloons in the air for 1 minute without them hitting the ground. Hunting for turkey-  Practice your hunting skills by plucking as many rubber bands into a basket as you can in 1 minute Penny Pilgrim stack- Stack as many penny’s as you can in 1 minute. (we did 25 for my little guys..I won!) Turkey blow- Blow your “turkey” (balloon) across the road (room) safely through a straw in one minute

Lastly we ended our evening singing Happy Birthday to Hulk Smash. He is Five! I can’t believe it!

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How was your Thanksgiving?

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Linking Up With: Titus TuesdaysLiving Proverbs 31Joy Dare

Why I have So Many Journals: (part2) of gratitude all year Round

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It’s a conundrum of a situation really. I can’t even keep up most of the time with remembering calendar events from day-to-day. How in the world do I keep up with five journals? Well,  one will soon drop off is what I tell myself to keep it all together. Maybe not. ha.  But writing has always been an outlet for me. I’ve written books and thrown them away for fear of my tear-stained words being captured by the public, written letters to my children many times, filled pages with poetry and solicited my cries to the lord for many years. Writing is truly more than just words or my expression, it is partly my makeup. What I use to display my blemishes of life and my hearts beauty.

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This post is focusing on the journals that I keep for my children. I’ve had them since they were born. What do I keep in those dusty lined paper books?

Significant events: bringing them home, Seizure episodes, asthma occurrences, first surgeries, teeth, records of milestones like the first book read or when they tied their shoe, recognition of Jesus (accepting Christ), birthday party recaps, trips, teachers

Prayers: for future mates, heart issues I recognize, things that are special in their lives and characteristics of integrity

Funny Stuff: phrases they say, things they do

Books: I need to get for them or read for raising them (would like to do this more)

Scriptures: for their lives and that I pray

What I do not keep in these books:

Records of wrongs

My anger and frustration with them

Negative things about them

A friend recommended the book While They Were Sleeping to me a while ago. I love this book because it keeps me focused on the things I need to be praying and desiring for my children. It gives me specifics and is almost written in devotional form.

Since baby #3 hasn’t arrived yet I journal my pregnancy. This journal is filled with prayers for baby, my food aversions, month by month recaps, things that change about my body, Ideas, favorite foods, sleeping patterns. nursing plans etc.

Keeping these journals year after year is my way of savoring memories and reflecting on past times of growth and maturity. I hope that when my children are grown and married that I will be able to share these with my children, their spouses and my grandchildren.

Do you keep journals for your children? What are some things that you keep in them? 

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Linking Up With:  Playdates with God,  Titus Tuesdays, , Joy Dare