Monday, December 22, 2008

My own 12 days countdown...

Packed into the last few days -

12 unwrapped presents
11 (or more) desperate prayers
10 cups of coffee
9 hours of sleep (in 2 nights)
8 hours of elmo, barney, and other mindless drivel
7 fun activites cancelled
6 unused cookie recipes
5 broken commitments
4 mounds of unwashed laundry
3 puking kids
2 tired parents
1 fevering sick husband (or 1 van transmission problem)

Bright side - all this is temporary and the kids are already doing better. No puking since Monday early morning. Hubby has seen the doctor and has a diagnosis and meds. We are together! This is one Christmas I am sure we will remember.....


My copy of Ellie Kay's "Living Rich for Less" goes to Carrie! Congratulations!

I'll have another soon! Keep coming back!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Six years ago.....

Happy birthday to the boy! He makes me laugh and is so kind to others. God blessed us with this kid! He puts up with a lot of females in this house on a daily basis and most of the time does it with a good attitude. We have had to postpone his birthday party because his sister woke up puking this morning and I anticipated lots of weeping and gnashing of teeth. But he was more concerned about his sister than his party. I was so touched by his sensitivity! I don't think I would have been able to handle it as well at 6!

He was also the tallest sheep in the Christmas pageant this last Sunday! It was great how he "snuck" up to the microphone (loudly) only on the words of "Away in a Manger" that he could remember!

He brings joy to our lives daily! May God bless you and keep you and make his light shine upon (and thru) you! We love you!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Short and Sweet....

This will be short since it is 10:30 and I still have to finish a video for Sunday tonight (with hubby's help), make hubby a snack to take to office snack day tomorrow, put a load of laundry in the dryer and such before I can even think about going to bed.

My adorable children went out in the snow today to make snowmen after school (before the thunderstorm). I'll tell you. Snow on the ground and thunder - that's just weird! Anyway off subject. NiNi's snowman wouldn't stay together and the boy is just not patient enough to do his own, so he conned ShaSha into letting him help with hers. But that caused another problem. They both wanted different faces. So voila - a two-faced snowman.

Must be a mom - eyes in the back of the head!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Living Rich For Less

This is the time of year that people start to look for something to craft into a New Year's resolution. I myself don't "DO" resolutions. I prefer goals that are re-evaluated at different increments. Either way, Ellie Kay's, "Living Rich for Less" is an excellent way to help guide those who want to create financial goals for themselves or are just unhappy with where they are.

After reading this book I have dog-eared so many pages that I might as well have dog-eared all of them!

The basis of this book is the 10/10/80 rule. Giving 10 %, Saving 10%, and Spending Wisely the remaining 80%. This book is chocked full of tips on giving, including maximizing your giving dollar, tax benefits, and researching charities among them. Ways to give of yourself and your current possessions are also included in the giving section.

The saving portion reminds us to live in our means, pay off our debt and keep savings in the bank. The spending has so many tips that include information on insurance, budgeting, and even how to make your own baby wipes!

Her Cha Ching Factor tips sprinkled throughout the book offer ideas of ways to save big!

Ellie Kay is the best-selling author of Half-Priced Living and eleven other titles, including A Tip a Day with Ellie Kay and The Debt Diet, with more than 350,000 books sold. She's a regular television guest on CNBC's Power Lunch, Fox News, and CNN; and has been the featured family finance expert in numerous magazines and newspapers, including Family Circle, Women's World, and USA Today. Her financial help columns appear in a dozen periodicals and online, inucluding a popular speaker, she's Wal-Mart's official financial help expert, and has served as a consumer education and official spokesperson for Proctor & GAmble, Visa Providian, MasterCard, and more. Ellie and her husband, Bob are parents of seven children and live in Palmdale, CA.

Leave a comment by Sunday, December 21 and I'll select a winner to receive a FREE copy! (A NEW copy, not my dog-eared one!)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas musings......

Let's face it. This time of year can either be a joyous celebration or a horrible chore. I often find myself too worried about making it a Martha kind of Christmas and not a "Mary" Christmas. (By Martha I do not mean Martha Stewart, either - think biblical). Some comments made by a very wise Christian woman a couple of weeks ago made me realize that we get so wrapped up in the Christmas parties, shopping, Christmas pageant rehearsals, and details that we often lose sight of the things that make this such a wonderful time of year.

these are the things I am trying to focus on this year -

! - A true celebration of the greatest gift ever - a savior!
2 - It is more blessed to give than to receive.
3 - Being thankful for my many blessings!
4 - Enjoying a laid back time with friends and family. (even if it means making prepared sugar cookies from Pillsbury instead of making them from scratch!)

Kind of along the same lines - if you have a chance check this out. I saw this video last night and was amazed!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A way to manage expenses

Just a tip - Purchase gift cards for your own use in advance to prevent overspending. We buy for our favorite restaurants and when they are gone, we don't eat out. We are even able to get them through a fundraising clearing house and donate money to the children's school at the same time. (Not to mention cutting out the running from store to store to buy them!)

(Limited) Success!

I'll spare you the pictures, and I know I am probably speaking WAY too soon, but Gigi pooped in the potty last night! Yea!!!!

I guess I need to get busy and actually work with her. I've never had a child do this first and not pee......

But of course, every time you think you have something figured out, a child surprises you! That's the life of a parent!

Monday, December 8, 2008

When the Soul Mends

This third book in the Sisters of the Quilt series brings resolution to Hannah. After three books and two years, Cindy Woodsmall brings Hannah back to the Amish community that turned their back on her years earlier. Hannah returns to get help for her sister. Hannah struggles with feelings between her new connections and love in the outside world and her former Mennonite boyfriend and forgiving those who hurt her years ago.

Without spoiling the book for you, Hannah does find her happy ending!

Cindy Woodsmall is the author of When the Heart Cries and When the Morning Comes, the first two novels in the best-selling Sisters of the Quilt series. Her ability to authentically capture the heart of her characters comes from her real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Living in the Dark

Please tell me - am I anal about details? Probably. Okay, honestly, Yes!

But how can you live in the dark - without the details?

For example, tonight hubby took the boy to his first basketball practice. When hubby returned I proceeded to ask the standard questions.

Here is our conversation in summary -

What do you think of the coach? Seems like a good guy.
Did you find out anything about a game schedule? Nope.
How many kids are on the team? I don't know. Maybe 8?
How many Kindergarten teams are there? I don't know?


About this time I realize I am not getting any info.....

If you want something done right - I guess you have to do it yourself...

By the way I also asked him to help remind me of all the questions that I quizzed him with while I typed this post...

Hey, I said I wanted to KNOW the details, I never claimed to REMEMBER them!