Monday, August 16, 2010

Motivation Monday: Inspired to Action

I've been wanting to write this post for the past week. The funny thing is, I've had to fight to find the motivation to do it!

Anyways, on to the subject at hand.

I've realized that my weekly routine is to be like the kernel of wheat that fell on the rocky soil - "a person who hears and instantly responds with enthusiasm. But there is no soil of character, and so when the emotions wear off and some difficulty arrives, there is nothing to show for it" (Matthew 13:20-21 MSG).

I will get excited about having an organized week with a clean house, dinner ready by six, happy clean children, and a happy Hot Hubby. And Monday afternoon when the kids attitudes stink and I haven't been able to get to everything on my To Do list, and all I want to do is be in Facebook land, I fall apart right along with my world around me. Plan out the window. Maybe this isn't my season for an organized life. I'll just let life happen to me. I'm unhappy.

So when in my blog stalking/hoping I came across Kat's blog, Inspired to Action, I was intrigued. And a bit nervous.

Kat has dedicated her blog to "practically helping moms develop the habits and skills they need to effectively manage their homes and raise children who are prepared to change the world."

That's me!

I downloaded her FREE! ebook, Maximize Your Mornings, and her calendars for praying for hubbies and kids. I read through the book. Made a plan. And have tried to stick to it.

The first week was easy. Up every morning at 5:30. Time for Bible study, prayer, worship, exercise and shower by 7:30. I was thinking, "This is gonna be easy!"

Week two: I don't feel good. My girls decide to wake up at six. Or be awake most of the night. (Okay. She really can't help that she's teething.) My plan wasn't working and I wanted to give up. But not really. And then I read the verse above.

What a timely word from the Lord!

My heart is starving for that time with Him. I feel more prepared for the day when I have that time. As the wife and mom I feel I sometimes get lost in the mix of the day. I get so busy taking care of everyone else I forget to properly take care of myself.

Properly meaning: something other than vegging out in front of my laptop or behind a book. Not that I don't still have time to do those things. It's just not the only time I take for myself.

I have had to come to a place where I can be at peace with my morning/day not going the way I plan. I have to do that every time something interrupts my plans, but, like I tell my kids, I'm not the only one in that family.

Well, I tell my kids they aren't the only one's in the family. I'm sure most of you understood that, though. Just had to clarify for my dad.

So, I encourage you to download the Free! ebook and read through it (you can find a link in the left hand column). I don't do everything exactly like Kat says because, well, she's not the boss of me. No. I joke. I think that everyone has to find what works best for them and their family. I'm still working on that.

As I do find thing that I like I will share them with you. It's always fun to see what works for other people because it just may be the thing you were looking for.

Find more stories of mom's Motivation Monday stories here.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Millie Made A Swear!

Nathan and I were talking after dinner tonight and in the course of conversation he said, "Tell her I said, 'Hell no!'"

Amelia whipped around to face me and, pointing her chubby finger at me, said,"Henooooo!"

All three of my kids will grow up to be pirates. I swear!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Giveaway Winner!

Last Thursday I posted about our morning circle time and a giveaway for The Jesus Storybook Bible for children. When I went to purchase the Bible at Exodus Books I found the new deluxe edition that comes with three audio CD's and liked it much better.

So I got that one instead.

I was/am surprised that only one person entered the giveaway, but am also happy for...

Jodi! You are the winner! Congratulations!

Email me at and we'll talk about getting your prize to you!

For everyone else: Check out Jodi's blog. Super cute!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Happy Labor Day, Mom! And A Royal Decree

I know what you're thinking, "She's a month off. Labor Day is next month."

But did you know that thirty years ago today was labor day for my mom? Yup. It's the day I was born.

And did you know Mt. Saint Helens also erupted that day? It's true. I've always been good with first impressions. Or causing natural disasters...

It's not why my first name is Helen, though. No. My mom named me after an 80 year old woman she knew. Then when I told her I was going to name my daughter Hazel she told me, "It sounds like an old lady name."


And did you also know that, in America, the month of August is the only month without a national holiday?

I'm just full of useful information today. It's all the wisdom I've gained in my thirty years of life.

Well, not all of it.

But pretty close.

Doesn't that picture look like my mom is choking me? She wasn't. I promise.

So. Back to the national holiday issue.

I think it's more than just a coincidence that the only month wanting a national holiday is also the month of my birth.

Something else you may not know is my Queenly situation. I am Queen. Of everything. Just ask my dad. But don't ask my sisters. They're still in De Nile. It's sad.

So, Mr. President, members of congress, and my fellow citizens, as Queen, I here by institute August 7th as Queen's Day. A national holiday. Think of it as Christmas. For me.

Not the "worshiping the Savior of the world" part. Just the presents part. And the "getting together to eat wonderful foods" part (soy and egg free of course).

(Roses from my Hot Hubby!)

It is written.

Let it be.

Thank you.


The end.

P.S. I apologize for my photography skills. Or lack thereof.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Favorite Things Friday: Eclectic Coffee Mugs

I'm starting a new trend around here. I'm going to start listing a few of my favorite things on Fridays and inviting you to join me. In doing this I hope to:
  • Give you another opportunity to learn more about me ( I know. You're excited aren't you.)
  • Learn more about you
  • Enjoy the things I've been blessed with

Today I'm sharing my coffee mugs. I love me a good coffee mug. The kind I like best are bold in color, big in size, and full of coffee. With a little sugar and cream. Please.

Because I like so many different styles and colors and I couldn't just pick one, I decided to pick 'em all! Not really. But kind of. And because my SIL works at Starbucks I get to whine and make sad eyes at her while pointing to cute mugs until she gets the hint and picks them up for me.

Yay for SIL's who work at Starbucks and are easily manipulated!!!

Anyways, back to the mugs.

One of my very favorite things about my mugs is watching my friends and family choose a mug to drink from. (I'm real hostess-with-the-mostest. I let/make people get their own coffee.)

Those who frequent my coffee cupboard frequently have their favorites. The newcomers ooh and ah over the different designs.

I'm not sure I have one favorite. I think it would hurt their feelings if I did. We're close like that.

Want to share a favorite thing? Leave a comment or, if you blog, write about it and link to this page. Don't forget to come back and link up with Mr. Linky!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Circle Time and a Giveaway!

In an attempt to expose our kids to regular Bible study and prayer time we've been having Circle Time together. It's an idea I learned while reading through some Montessori information.

With my personal twist added in there.

My MIL got this children's devotional for us:

The kids love it. They are learning about Jesus by looking at nature. The lessons are short and sweet and there are questions that help them think about what they've just learned. We try to read a lesson every time we have circle time.

We make time to sing a few songs. The kids love ring-around-the-rosy. Very spiritual. I know. And Father Abraham. Yay! for me. Or not. Because I think my kids are the cutest I recorded them singing Father Abraham. Just for you. Because I'm giving like that.

We also take time to pray together. Being as the kids are 7, almost 3, and one-and-a-half there is usually lots of giggling and silliness. I still feel like they are learning an important discipline.

One thing we've not done, that I plan to soon incorporate, is a time for silence. Listening. Being still.

This will be interesting because of the age thing. I figure we'll start with a few minutes every time and work our way up. We'll see how it goes!

I've never really liked children's Bibles. Call me a terrible parent (and a 12 year old) but I would rather read Captain Underpants all day then sit through the stories in the children's Bibles. I've always felt that they were missing something. Watered down. Simplified. They lack the spark that ignites a passion for the Word of God.

So when my MIL gave this one to our kids for Christmas a few years ago I thought, "Another book to add to the Goodwill pile in a few months."

And then we read it.

Oh my granny, I love this Bible! Every story that's told comes back to the point that the Bible is a story about Jesus and His love for His Bride. How exciting!

I love that the stories from the Old Testament come alive through the parallels being drawn. For me! I love that when my kids are old enough to read a Bible by themselves they will already have this idea firmly planted in their little hearts and the stories won't seem obsolete. They will have a better understanding of what they are reading. I can't recommend this version enough. Perfect for children and adults!

And since I love it so much I'm giving one away to one of you! Here's what you do:

Leave a comment here on this blog post and you'll be entered to win. To earn four more entries you can:
  • Facebook about this giveaway
  • Twitter about this giveaway
  • Blog about this giveaway
  • Follow my blog
Make sure you come back here and let me know when you've done any of these. Remember to leave a separate comment for each! The giveaway will end Sunday night at 7pm, PST. So get your comments in by then.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I Should Have Made It Spicy

Maybe then I wouldn't have eating the whole bowl.

You see, I made a bowl of pico de gallo. And then I had to taste test it. And it was good. Very good.

And since I hadn't had any lunch, I ate it. But my in-laws were coming for dinner. And I promised homemade pico de gallo.

So I made more. Gladly.

Homemade Pico de Gallo:

Equal parts:

onion, tomato, and cilantro diced small and mixed together with 1 or 2 diced jalapeno peppers.

Removing the seeds from the jalapenos keeps your pico de gallo on the mild side. Which was my mistake. I think. I can't decide. It was awfully good.

Add the juice from half a lime and salt to taste. And taste you will.

(My mom just informed me that she adds crushed garlic which sounds divinity! I'm gonna try it next time.)

Serve with chips or on your favorite Mexican dish. Mmmmmm. I think I need to go make a fresh batch.

Monday, August 2, 2010

A Course In Justification: Session 2

I know that we still have about a month before school starts, but I assure you that this is one class you'll want to take year round.

I recently found out that I am allergic to soy and eggs. This has caused some major changes in my shopping and cooking. But the biggest (and saddest) change has been the lack of chocolate around the PnP Castle. Because SOY IS IN EVERYTHING! It's been so long since I've had chocolate that I'm convinced my body is shutting down.

So, for health purposes only, I decided to make a batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

How do you make oatmeal chocolate chip cookies without soy and eggs you ask?

Well, I purchased these soy free chocolate chips, which taste exactly like regular chocolate chips. They are a little on the spend-y side, but a momma's gotta do what a momma's gotta do. Which means making these babies last!

To replace eggs in baking there are a few options: egg replacers, or 1/4 cup veggie oil or applesauce per egg. I chose applesauce. Because I'm healthy like that.

So, I made up my favorite recipe. And then I had an epiphany.

No eggs = no salmonella poisoning=eating all the cookie dough!

I think my body is on the mend. I know for sure when I finish of this plate of cookies.


Mix together: 1/2 cup softened butter, 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup sugar.

Add: 2 eggs or egg substitute, 1 tsp vanilla

In a separate bowl mix together: 1&1/2 cups flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt.
Add to creamed mixture.

Mix in 3 cups oatmeal.

Mix in 1 cup chocolate chips.

Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.