Monday, January 31, 2011

Miscellany Monday Ramblings

My  head seems rather jumbled today but I feel like writing so I am going to link up with Miscellany Monday for the first time EVER (did you like how I made that dramatic!? I'm cool like that.) and spill all my jumbled ramblings on my dear readers. I love you like that.

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

1. Is it bad that I can't remember what I did this past weekend? I didn't even have anything that would alter my mind. I never do those kinds of things. But when thinking of this weekend... blank! Maybe I'm just getting old. I mean, really, I used to think that 31 seemed sooooo old. It's all relative I guess though because now that I am here at 31 it still feels soooo young. Seriously... I was just a kid a year ago.

2. What do you do about whining kids? Jason seems to just love to whine. He is almost three. And everything is done through whining. I hate it. Haaaaate it. How do I make it stop?!

3. I had about $100 in sales last week on all the cute hats and barrettes I've been making! FUN! All I did was post some on my blog and people were all over them. :) Liza loves them too. Great first week of "business"!

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4. Have you checked out my Project 365 blog? Taking one picture a day every single day isn't really that easy. Sometimes it's 9:30 at night and I realize I haven't used my camera yet and well... at that time I'm just not going to do it. I've already missed some days and haven't even been going a month. Oops. But I'll keep going. It makes me try harder when it comes to taking pictures.

5. I FINALLY booked my flight to Florida. My sister is getting married on March 4 and I am the photographer. Kind of important that I get there. I got my ticket for $170 and I'm hoping to pack everything into a carry on. Save money is motto! (I just made that up though.) I'll be in Tampa from Feb 28 to March 5. If you live near there and want to try to meet up just let me know! Tuesday and Wednesday would probably be the only days I have much time open. Lunch anyone?

Alright. That's all. My head still feels jumbled. I think I need a good, mindless book. Chick lit probably. Any recommendations?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Great deal! It's in the timing.

Patience sometimes pays off. (Or maybe it was procrastination.)

Back in November I saw that if you blogged about Shutterfly's cards that you would get 50 free cards. I did it. I ordered 25 Christmas cards and then 25 with my butterfly pictures on them. They turned out great for the most part. Liza's shirt on the Christmas card printed kind of funny so I emailed customer service about it. Within a few days I had those 25 cards reprinted and in my mailbox. (The shirt still printed funny but I got 25 more cards free and it wasn't a big enough deal to continue complaining... they were free after all and customer service earned an A+ from me.)

Then somewhere along the way a friend saw that if you posted about your cards that you made through Shutterfly and sent them the link that you could get a code for $25 off an order of $25 or more. So I did that too.

I got sent a code and it's been sitting in my inbox for a while now.

Well I decided to use it today when I got an email from them telling me I could get free shipping on orders over $25. I wondered if I could use both codes together. I COULD!!!

I ordered some more cards and spent only 79 cents while saving $42.46!!!

Too bad I didn't realize you could pile up the codes before I put in an order this morning for ten free cards. I was sent a code for that just for ordering my Christmas cards with them. Would have been nice to get free shipping on those as well. Oh well. I did good today!

Here are the cards I made...

Rough Edge 5x7 folded card
Create personalized greeting cards and invitations by Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Sunshine Year Holiday Thank You 3x5 folded card
Create photo new year's cards with Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Rough Edge 5x7 folded card
Create personalized greeting cards and invitations by Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Rough Edge 5x7 folded card
Unique party invitations and announcements by Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

I'm posting this just because I've had a really good experience with Shutterfly. They won't become my main photo ordering place because I have a different one that has better prices... but you can't beat free and like I said... Shutterfly has really great customer service and their products are quite nice.

I don't get anything for posting this time but I couldn't help but tell you all about my amazing deal and how I paid pennies for some pretty expensive cards.

What's a great deal that you got recently? I would love to hear about it!

Friday, January 28, 2011

If God wants it to happen?

This past week there have been a couple of times when I have heard people say something along the lines of "if God wants it to happen then it will happen."

Ummmmm. FALSE!

So not true. God does not force us to do anything. We are not puppets on strings.

If what God wanted to happen always happened then Adam and Eve would not have eaten the apple. We would all be living in paradise still. No one would sin. And everyone would be a Christian.

And just because something does happen doesn't always mean it is of God.

We have responsibility. It is up to us to seek out the will of God for our lives... especially concerning big decisions. James 1:5 tells us to ask God for wisdom and he will give it to us. Not every opportunity that comes our way is from God. We aren't supposed to walk through every door that appears to be open. Sometimes some of those doors need to be closed. We need to use wisdom.

I've been thinking about this all week. It started with... well a group of us got talking about vaccines and autism and all that. I don't know if vaccines cause anything to happen with autism. But I do know that it is God who led me to not get Jason his shots. (Don't bother commenting on that... you won't change my mind or make me feel bad for my decision. It's solid. I don't care if you vaccinate your kids. Your choice.) But someone commented "well if God wants someone to have autism then he is going to have it whether he gets vaccines or not."


That's absolute crazy talk! I don't know what Bible some people are reading but mine says that God comes to give life ABUNDANTLY and that it is Satan who comes to steal, kill and destroy. God gives life. God is the healer. God is GOOD! Yes bad things happen... but God isn't the only one in the picture. We have an enemy. His name is Satan. And he hates us. And we have ourselves... and we don't always make the right decisions.

Not everything that happens in our lives is what God wanted to happen. But thankfully God is there for us in the hard times. On our side.

Be smart. Seek wisdom. Make good choices. Follow God's will. Don't just assume that what is supposed to happen will.

Ok. Glad I got that out finally.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Days like this...

There are days where I wonder from the time we all wake up how we are going to make it to bedtime without killing each other. I thought today was going to be one of those days.

But somewhere along the way something changed.

The kids settled down and my heart is currently melting and oozing out my toes.

Liza and Jason have been playing together for about an hour now. I've left them alone because they are just having a really great time and I don't want to mess it up.

It started with Liza dressing up like a princess and requesting some music in Jason's room because they were going to dance. I turned the music on and went back to getting dinner in the crockpot. They closed the door and danced and sang to our favorite cd. Fee. I could hear my little people singing things like "our God reigns" and "glory to God forever." Mmmmm. Love.

Eventually they told me they were done with the music. They played a bit longer and before they had a little disagreement so I went to check on them. They were playing "sleep" and they couldn't decide which one got to sleep with the one babydoll that we have in the house. We worked that out in seconds and I walked out of the room while Liza and Jason laid on his bed with the baby in the middle. Jason sucking his thumb. More melting.

Currently... they are still in Jason's room and Liza is reading him Truckery Rhymes by John Scieszka.

I don't expect it to last all day. But as long as they are playing well I am going to leave them alone!

I love the days that they love each other well!

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Mike and I went away for the weekend. My parents kept the kids. And I absolutely love that shortly after I got back the kids sat together and let me take their pictures. Not only that though... they were even cute about it!

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Liza decided all on her own to go in for a kiss.
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Jason thought it was hilarious.
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Liza decided there needed to be more kisses and strangled Jason a bit in the process.
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He didn't seem to mind.
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Sibling love and smooshie face.

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My kids are awesome!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Things I swear by.

Girl Talk is having another Girl Talk Hop today and the topic is "Things I Swear By." We are sharing any kind of product, advice, tip or trick that has worked for us completely.

So what do I swear by?

This book was an absolute life saver. It worked for me with both kids. Worked for all my nieces and nephews. Worked for all my friends that used it. I buy it for everyone I know when they get pregnant and I tell them if you do what this book says it WILL work for you. If you want a baby that sleeps through the night (and I'm not talking just six hours at a time... I'm talking 10-12 hours straight) by three months old then read this book and do what it says.

I love this stuff and I am just about out so I will be ordering more. Whenever my heels get dry and start to crack I just put this stuff on at night and wear a pair of socks to keep my sheets clean. After two or three days my feet look great again. It also works great on dry, cracking hands during the winter. "The possibilities to mend have no end. You can use it on elbows, lips, heels, cuticles, knuckles, tattoos, pretty much anywhere your body needs it moist!"   I've only used it for my hands and feet so I can't tell you about the other things... but it definitely works great on hands and feet!

I've wrote about him plenty of times. Yes I swear by Dave Ramsey. He saved my life when it comes to finances. He's a hero. He teaches in a way that anyone can understand and he is soooo motivating it's ridiculous. He got me budgeting which helped me pay off all debt and I now have a nice savings cushion in case something should go terribly wrong. I have had financial peace ever since I took Dave's Financial Peace University a few years ago. Everyone needs a little bit of Dave Ramsey in their life.

That's my list. What do you swear by? Head on over to Girl Talk and link up!

I like Mike.

I like Mike for lots of reasons.

He lets me be me. All the time. And he never makes me feel stupid for being who I am.

He gives me back massages almost every time I ask... which is often.

He shares in the responsibilities of the home and has never considered it all to be the "woman's job."

He changes diapers.

He makes me laugh.

He blushes easily and it's pretty cute.

He appreciates my crazy ideas and sees the potential in them.

He understands my need for time alone and never takes it personally when I say I just need to get away.

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But mostly I like him because he has stuck with me for eight years. Eight years of my craziness, two pregnancies and hormonal mood swings galore. The good, the bad and the ugly. He's stayed. I'm not really used to people staying in my life and eight years to me is a really long time.

I don't just like Mike. I love him. And I know he will stay with me for life.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I'm going to complain now.

Mike and I got to go away this weekend. We didn't do anything special... just got a hotel room in a town with a mall, movie theater and some restaurants. We like to do that once in a while because it forces us to just relax.

However... all kinds of things went a little bit wrong. Not really with our getaway... but life.

Friday morning I found out that my plans for Florida in March would need to be changed and that it wouldn't work for me to stay as long as I had hoped to. I was frustrated. I got it all sorted (in my head at least... still need to by a plane ticket) and it will sill work out ok. Just not as nicely as I had hoped.

I got a camera remote from a friend because she no longer used it. We figured it would work since we both had canons. Turns out it isn't compatible with mine and I think the only one that is has a two foot cord. ugh. Not going to work. Hopefully the remote is compatible with my sister's camera that she just bought. I will be using her camera as well as mine during her wedding. Short lens on one. Zoom on the other. It would be nice to not have only ten seconds to get myself in some shots and make sure everything looks good at the same time.

There was one restaurant that I wanted to eat at during our weekend. I was really looking forward to it. We were about to pull into the parking lot at 5:30 on Saturday evening when we realized it was closed. For good. Boo hoo.

Grandma retired and closed the Greenhouse. It's fair. It was her business and she was ready to be done. It's just that it's always been there. My whole life. It was my first job. It was the family business. And now it's still there but it's closed forever. Sad.

We ate at Friendly's the night that we were hoping to eat at the closed restaurant. The food was good but the service was lacking. It took TEN MINUTES to get some mayonnaise for my burger! TEN MINUTES! And when the server brought it out it was nasty! So I had to wait again to get good mayo. Ugh. That was frustrating. I was soooo hungry and just wanted some mayo for my burger. Mayo is NOT a difficult order! I almost cried.

Those boots I wanted? Yeah... can't get them. They are on the website. But they won't let me put them in my "shopping bag." I WANT THOSE BOOTS! I typed in all kinds of area codes to see if any stores in any area I might go to could possibly still have a pair my size in stock. No luck. No luck. That's what happens when you find a pair of boots you love on clearance. So now I have no idea what I will wear for my sister's wedding in just over a month because the outfit that was in my mind will not work without those boots. I asked her if she would mind if I showed up in jeans. I'm seriously considering it.

Some guys found a post on Girl Talk that I wrote about porn. A few found it necessary to leave some not so nice comments and I also became the person to talk about and bash and call names on one of their forums. Apparently I am disgusting and have my husband chained in a cage because I think porn is unacceptable. Fun.

Then just before we were leaving from our getaway to come back to my parent's to get the kids we got a call letting us know that one of our pipes froze and broke. ugh. They said all the water ran out under the overhang and there is no water in our basement so that is good. (Our house is built on the side of a hill so half of it is on stilts.) We rent and maintenance is going to fix it... tomorrow. We planned to stay at my parent's tonight anyways so it kind of worked out.

It's just all really frustrating.

I feel better now though that I was able to dump it all here. Thanks for listening (to those who made it to the end.)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I'm about to go hunting.

A while ago I wrote a post about how girls hunt. It's all about searching out those perfect pieces that finish off an outfit.

Well, I am about to go on the hunt again.

At the beginning of March I am going to Florida. (Anyone in the Tampa area let me know!) I'm going for a wedding. I need an outfit. And not just any outfit will do.

You see... I am the bride's sister. And I am the photographer. So I want to look nice but I need something that is also practical and comfortable. I need to know that my butt crack isn't hanging out when I bend over and I also don't want to flash everyone. And I certainly don't need them seeing my stomach if when I raise my arms. Eww. Also... shoes need to be comfortable.

I have an idea in my head. I can SEE the outfit. However I don't know if all those things exist. And if they do will they really look good on me?

And so I will hunt until I find something that does work.

I'm hoping it will involve these boots...

Then again... I could end up with something completely different than what is in my head. Or maybe even just grab something that is already in my closet.

I've got a month to make the kill.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Want to hear a funny story?

Yesterday I wrote and complained about how Jason has been waking us up at night because "I don't wike it widdy dawk in here."

I've been trying and trying to convince him that dark is ok. God made the dark so the dark is good. Dark is cool. Just close your eyes and you won't know how dark it is.

Nothing worked.

So I started to use it to get what I wanted.

Sometimes Liza and Jason will keep yelling back and forth from their rooms when they are supposed to be quiet and going to bed. I started telling them that if they weren't quiet I would turn out the hallway light and they would just have to have it be really dark.

It worked. It worked well!

But Jason was still waking up in the middle of the night yelling out for some more light. Ugh.

Well... last night we had just tucked the kids in and they were talking a little so I reminded them that if they continued talking I would turn the light out and make it dark. And do you know what Jason said!?


What? Excuse me?

Just like that?! Just one night decided he's over it? Geez kid.

So last night we all slept with it "widdy dawk" and we all slept well all night long.

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#Recipe: Hamburger Soup for the crockpot

A food photographer I am not... but I am always more likely to try a recipe if I can see a picture of it so here ya go...



1 pound 90% lean ground beef (or whatever)
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
1 package (1 ounce) dry onion soup mix
1 package (1 ounce) Italian salad dressing mix
1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 cups boiling water
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 cups cooked macaroni
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1. Brown beef in large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring to break up meat. Drain. Place celery and carrots in slow cooker. Top with beef, soup mix, salad, dressing mix, seasoned salt and pepper. Add water, tomoatoes with juice, tomato sauce and soy sauce.

2. Cover; cook on LOW 6 to 8 hours.

3. Stir in macaroni and Parmesan cheese. Cover; cook in HIGH 15 to 30 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with parsley just before serving.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

We really liked this one! And if you make up some fresh bread... mmmmmm. Great meal for these cold nights!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

When it all goes wrong.

I went away last weekend by myself and came home really refreshed. Better attitude. Enjoying my family more. It was a really good decision for me.

but somewhere along the way it all starts to go wrong again and here is what I think really contributes to it...

Jason. I love him. I him love him sooooooo much. But I wish he would just leave me alone in the middle of the night. I need my sleep so I can have fun the next day. I don't function well on little or interrupted sleep.

Liza and Jason have always slept well. And they've always slept with every light in the house off and their doors almost fully closed. Always. Since the day they came home from the hospital.

Then one day not too long ago Liza decided to be a punk and say "I don't like it really dark in here." Jason heard her and ever since he is convinced that he doesn't like it really dark either. We now have to leave the hallway light on for them when they are falling asleep. Fine. I can do that. When we go to bed we turn all the lights off. However, Jason has been waking up in the middle of the night and yelling out "I don't wike it wiwwy dawk in here!" And we have to get up and do something about it because he is stubborn and will continue to yell that until someone gets up and does something about it.

I really should just probably by him a nightlight or something.

I miss my good sleep.

I'm getting cranky again and I don't like it. I don't like waking up frustrated at my kid first thing in the morning. It's not good.

We had to have him stop sleeping with an animal recently because he would wake up yelling "I dropped my animal!" Ugh.

And last some nights it's two different things. Like last night it was also "I need a blanket!"

The kid doesn't let us put blankets on him when he is falling asleep. But he wakes up yelling because he doesn't have one on in the middle of the night. And during the summer he cried because we wouldn't let him have three heavy blankets on him.

Someone straighten this boy out haha. He's ridiculous sometimes.

But all he has to do is smile... especially that sleepy little smile... and my heart melts all over again.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

More colors

If you couldn't care less about the things I've been making you can just skip this post. It's ok. :)

Some people were wondering what other colors I have the hats in. I made one up in all five colors that I currently have. I only have one of each made but will be making others soon. You can place an order for a certain color but that will be first come first served.

Oh... and the pictures are sideways. I know. They weren't taken that way. They weren't saved that way. But when I load them they are that way. I'm frustrated. I tried about five different things. I know I could just try taking the pictures again but honestly, I'm tired of taking photos of the things I've been making today. So... just pretend they are the right way and admire the lovely colors.

Light Raspberry
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Cherry Red
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Plum Pudding
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Medium Purple
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I also took a few photos of some of the hats with different flowers on. Cute! I love them and Liza wants one in every color.

hats and flowers

I'm working on putting up a facebook page (or something) with all my stuff to make shopping and ordering easier for everyone. I'll let you know as soon as that is up and running. Until then you can contact me through my blog, my facebook page or email me at emaillaurawick[at]gmail[dot]com.

(Flowers and hats sold separately.)

Five Minute Bread?

This is one of those things that just has to be shared! I was browsing websites the other day when I came across one that said Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I have no idea what artisan means but I was going to try it!

Seriously! This bread is sooooo easy and sooooo yummy! And it really does only take five minutes of your time. Of course you have to let it rise and bake it but that isn't really taking up your time.

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Mmmmm! Doesn't that look goooood!??

All you need is water, yeast, salt and flour. And a container to keep it in. There is no kneading the dough. You simply pour the water, salt and yeast in to your container and then add the flour and mix until it is wet. Leave it sit for two hours to rise and then you can refrigerate it for up to two weeks.

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When you want to make some bread you just take out some of the dough, leave it sit for forty minutes and then bake it for a half hour.

Easy peasy people! Mike says it's easier than what he makes in the bread machine! And it's good. I kid you not! It will be great for sandwiches, with soup, as a snack. Mmmmm. Our problem with other breads is that they never wanted to slice nice. This does.

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There is a book with I'm guessing is more ways to make this bread. I have it on hold at the library and hope to be able to pick it up today... once the ice out there melts. You can click here to get a step-by-step photo tutorial on making the bread.

I'm going to make some toast!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Cute Crocheted Hat

I am super excited about my most recently completed crochet project!

I decided that I absolutely needed to learn how to make hats. I was determined. I wanted something cute for Liza. This is what I ended up with...

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What is really great about this hat is that I can add my flower barrettes to it for a nice touch...

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And since the flower is just a barrette that makes it really easy to leave it on or take it off or put a different color flower on for the day!

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I see things like this all the time and have always wanted to buy one for Liza... but I never did. However, now she can have as many as she wants since I can make them. :)

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Sometimes I impress myself!

I will sell these hats for $8. I plan to have many more colors soon and you can even request a color and I will see if I can find yarn that will work.

Don't forget about the barrettes too. They are a great, versatile accessory and little girls love them!

365 days of Wix-Pix

I decided I needed to push myself some more as far as photography goes. I have some things I want to learn and some things I want to try. I have some books I want to read and some shoots I want to do. But what is going to make me actually do any of these things? Nothing really. Just me.

So I decided to do Project 365.
That's taking one photo a day for the entire year.

I tried to do this before and I got really bored about half way through the year. The only thing I was taking photos of was my kids and that just got kind of old. So this time I'm forcing myself to get away from my usual and try out new things... that would be objects and nature. There will still be photos of the kids because that is my life right now. But it won't be pictures of the kids every day.

I've started a blog to post my pictures at daily. Feel free to follow it if you are interested. If you couldn't care less that's ok too. It's something I'm doing for myself but it's always fun to have people along for the ride. And if you have a 365 blog leave a link in the comments so others can find it too.

You can find my blog here:
365 Days of Wix-Pix

Sunday, January 16, 2011


We live an hour from Pittsburgh. It's absolutely impossible to live this close to Pittsburgh and have no interest in football. Everything turns black and gold. The major news is about our beloved team and the players. Everyone is talking about the games. Businesses allow their employees to leave their work uniforms at home and wear Steelers gear instead. Schools have Steeler parties.

Black and gold.

Yesterday was the first playoff game for the Steelers. We (I say that like we are part of the team) played the Ravens. INTENSE. I can usually go through a game without caring too much but last night my heart was pounding! We were up. Then we were down. Then we were up. Then we were tied. Then we won. My chest was tight with stress. It took me a looooong time to wind down after that game. You would have thought I played!

It was exciting. I love sports and really appreciate a good game that you just can't tell what the outcome will be until the very end. Makes it fun.

We sat in our living room cheering on the Steelers. The kids were throwing balls and yelling "I pway fooootbaaaallll!" Liza was even wearing her bike helmet because... well... she needed a helmet. It was fun. It was exciting. And we get to do it all over again next weekend.


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Friday, January 14, 2011

Where do you look?

Things in my life have been stressful lately. It tends to get that way every winter. Mike roofs so he is home all winter.

Every winter I get frustrated because there are two of us at home all day every day. (Or almost anyways.) I know for some that may sound like a dream come true... and it is... for about two weeks. And then I am ready to have life back to normal again. I like my routines and it certainly doesn't take two of us to keep up the house. Not to mention there is absolutely nothing at all to do in and around our town in the winter.

So yeah... I've been stressed and tense... and that's no fun for anyone.

Finances are a little tight this month but we were able to work some things around and I am spending a few days at a cheap hotel in another town. My sanity is important and I needed to get out of the house because I found that all I could focus on was the problem.

The point of me going away for a few days was so that I could get some rest, unwind some of this tension and refocus. I needed to see more than the problem and hopefully go home with a better attitude. Not to mention that I also think it is good for me to go away once in a while long enough for my family to miss me and for me to miss them.

It's going well.

But what I love most is God's timing.

I'm participating in a Bible study at my church. We are doing Stepping Up by Beth Moore. It's about the fifteen Psalms of Ascent that were said on pilgrimages. We spend two days on each Psalm... break it down, work it out, pray it. It's been good.

This morning I was on Psalm 123... I lift my eyes to You, the One enthroned in heaven.

And I was convicted.

Beth Moore asks: "Where are we looking? Right now in the challenge that surrounds me and all that busies me or injures me, where am I looking? Where are my intentions?"

She goes on to say... "When every natural instinct begs us to stare wide-eyed in the face of our circumstances, demands, oppressors, and false saviors, what--or who--ultimately wins our focus?... Where we look--where we genuinely fasten our gaze--amid continual life challenges has a tremendous impact on how we feel."

So where do I look? Honestly... and I hate that I am this way... almost everywhere but God. I remember him when I am desperate. :( That makes me sad. But isn't that what this time away is all about? Too look to God. To seek him and see things how he sees them. To find wisdom. To CHANGE ME. And as Moore says, "Everything else will downsize into its proper place when we look to God alone...He is enthroned over everything that troubles you."

I'm going to start lifting my eyes to God, the one enthroned in heaven.

Head-on Collision with Truth

I am currently reading The True Measure of a Woman by Lisa Bevere.

It's good. I'm only a few chapters in and have already been given a lot to think over and process.

I am going to share a page with you that I thought was great. The thoughts that Lisa shares and challenges us with need to be heard by me and so many others. We live in a world where we often make others our standard. I'm a better mom than so-and-so. I'm a better worker than so-and-so. I'm a better Christian than so-and-so. I'm a better whatever than whoever. I'm not as good as...

It's time to stop being concerned with others and focusing on what God wants from us and thinks of us. (I'm preaching to myself here just so ya know!)

We can only rightly divide truth when we have first applied it to our own hearts. For too long we have not had accurate information by which to measure ourselves. We have assessed ourselves by those around us and by our own past failures and successes. God does not measure us this way. Paul warns us:

We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. --2 Corinthians 10:12

Paul was pretty bold, and if he says he wouldn't dare to do something, then it is definitely something we also need to avoid. Yet, often we have a tendency to compare ourselves with others. Our reasoning goes something like this: Well, I do more than Sally does! She only has one child and doesn't even sing in the choir! Or, I don't gossip like Susie; that girl is never off the phone! These exchanges may temporarily ease our consciences. Though it may be true, Sally and Susie are not God's standard for our lives. God says this line of reasoning and justification is not wise.

He wants us to have a head-on collision with truth, not with someone in the choir loft. I have learned that when I am confronted with truth, it is best not to defend myself but to submit to it. Hidden in the initial pain of impact is the power to rise from my captivity.

Deception comes in when we resist truth. In a confrontation with truth, reasoning and justifying ourselves will lead straight into deception. When the truth of God's Word is applied, we can see with our eyes, hear with our ears, and know with our hearts.

What have you been reading? Learning? Getting convicted about?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Do you read?

I was reading an article called 11 Ways to be Weird in 2011 from the other day and this was what it said...

2. Bring out your inner bookworm!

According to The Literacy Company, 90% of learning is based on reading. You would think that Americans would read a lot, right? Well, about 27% of adults read no books at all in the past year. Set yourself apart from the majority by reading a few beneficial, nonfiction books this year! Here are some suggestions from Dave’s library.

90% of learning is based on reading!

27% of adults read NO books at all in the past year!

I can't imagine a year without books! What did people do before books!? I'm always reading a book... or two or three or four!

Last week I finished reading:
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
The Road Home by Tommy Tenney
Right now I am reading:
The True Measure of a Woman by Lisa Bevere
Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson
Bringing Up Girls by Dr. Dobson

I need to pick back up and finish:
Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler

Meanwhile I am in my Bible and doing a bit of reading with a Bible study that I am in.

I have a constant list to read which currently includes:
Everything by John and Lisa Bevere
Everything by John and Stasi Eldredge
Prayer by Phillip Yancey
Eat This and Live for Kids by Dr. Don Colbert
Discover Your God-Given Gifts by Don and Katie Fortune
Making Your Children Mind without Losing Yours by Kevin Leman

And that is just some of them. I have a gazillion. I don't think I'll ever stop reading and I wish I had more time in my day to read.

Do you read? What books are you currently reading? What's on your list?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My Princess

I'm pretty sure that Liza thinks she truly is a princess... and that's ok with me!

She loves Princes Gigi... God's Little Princess. A lot of people haven't heard of her and that's sad. Gigi is a princess because God is her father. There are books, videos, Bibles and devotionals to go with this character.

For Christmas Liza got Gigi's pink boa and princess wand and they were her two favorite gifts. She uses them daily. She can't wait to take off her clothes and put on her dressup ones. And she always has a crown or bow in her hair. Oh... and white gloves on. And pretty shoes. And most times a tutu.

I love it.

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She's beautiful. And she IS a princess!

Meal Planning

I recently clicked over to Rebekah's blog... Life with the Edwards. I think a bunch of my other blog friends read her and I see her in all the comments of friends blogs so I figured I would check her out. And I am sooo glad I did because the other day she had a post with a photo she took of her meal planning sheet. After looking closer I saw there was a website on the bottom of her printout and I just had to find it. Rebekah was kind and emailed the link to the download.

You want to check this out!

It has a space for you to write your meals out. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Every day of the week.

Then below that you can write out your grocery list and it has columns for meat, dairy, produce, etc. so even your grocery list is organized and I found that really helpful in the store since I am usually getting to the front of the store and realizing I forgot something way at the back of the store. Yeah. That's annoying.

The great part is that you can just tear off your grocery list and take it to the store with you and then hang your menu on the fridge. We used to just keep a notebook on the counter and use that for planning meals and keeping grocery lists. I am so glad that I can get rid of that notebook now because to me it always looked like clutter and I just hate clutter. And I have a very small counter to work with and it was always in the way.

Goodbye notebook! Hellloooo menu planner!

You want to head on over to The Project Girl and check it out. There are all kinds of great organizational labels and things for the organizational freaks out there.

Menu Planning Form

Oooh... and all you New Year's Resers may also want to go directly to the Goal Chart.

Ok. Go organize. :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I always feel like somebody's watching me

Are you singing it? Some song haha.


On Sunday I wrote about our whole ordeal with getting to church late (so not my fault!) and then coming home and finding we couldn't get in our house because the doorknob was broke and it was only 27 degrees outside and we didn't have a cell phone or the landlords phone number.

Yeah. Tons of fun. Tons of frustration.

But the entire time I couldn't get the thought out of my head that "my kids are watching me. They are watching to see how I respond to situations that aren't great. They will learn from me how to respond to their own situations in the future."

Oh man.

So I think I passed on Sunday. I think I handled it pretty well. I didn't go crazy. I didn't yell at anyone. It wasn't like it was anyone's fault anyway. I did what I could to make it fun for the kids while we waited (and I crossed my fingers and hoped real hard that Liza wouldn't have to go pee or she would have been making some yellow snow and had a very cold bum.)

But they are always watching.

I can't say I have passed on other days and other situations.

But they are watching. They are learning. I am teaching them about life.

Who is watching you?

Inspirational Quotes

It's Girl Talk Hop day over at Girl Talk!!

Today we are sharing our favorite inspirational quotes, messages, proverbs, etc. If it's inspired you it's sharable today.

My most favorite quote that has stuck with me since the day I read it is

I wrote about that before though so if you want to know my thoughts to go with that one you can just read that post.

Another one I like...

In my distress I cried unto the Lord, and he heard me.  Psalm 120:1

Ok... so maybe that is more comforting than inspirational. Who knows. But I like it and it's been a good one for me lately. It is so good to know that my God hears me. The He listens to me. That he knows my heart. And he cares.

I am never alone.

Share your quotes and link up over at Girl Talk!

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