Monday, December 31, 2007

Blogger Friend School #12 Ready Set Goals

This time our assignment is to write out some goals for the new year. These goals can include both personal goals as well as goals for the family. We also should include some sort of reward that goes along with the goals.

Personal goals-
Walk on the treadmill- I mentioned this in my post yesterday, but I want to get off my walking break and get back to my routine. I had been doing a minimum of 5 miles a week since mid August and took a break for the holidays. The reward is that I will feel better and I will reach my goal (I have a tracker on the side of my blog that helps keep me motivated.

Do more in depth Bible study- I borrowed a book from the library by Lisa Whechel titled The Busy Mom's Guide to Bible Study. It seems to go over a lot of the same principles of Bible study that Dan learned in his Biblical Interpretation class. I am hoping it will help me sit down and actually do a Bible study and not just one of those 5 minute 'quiet time' books that so often don't use much Bible in them.

Personal Hobby- In light of the importance of taking time for oneself, I want to really develop one hobby. I have lots of things that interest me but nothing I actually spend time doing. This should help me to unwind and get refocused.

Family Goals-

Develop a better daily schedule- The kids and I have been trying to follow a loose schedule, but have gotten off track with the holidays. Having a schedule will help us to accomplish more each day.

Character training- We have been doing family devotions for the longest. I would really like to add some character training and teaching the importance of prayer. Above all the children need to learn how to apply what they learn to their lives. Its no good doing a family devotion if they don't apply what they learn.

Its hard to come up with too many resolutions when we don't know what the new year entails for us. Dan has been doing therapy for a few months now but is no where near ready to go back to work. We are still waiting to get a hearing for social security disability, and we are still pushing to get his employer to agree to do something for him. The church paid for our bills this last month and we have started cashing in Dan's small 401K to pay these next two month's bills. Someone suggested I return to work (I haven't worked in over 9 years and have no job skills to get any real job). Can anyone tell I am going through a time of being just plain weary of this?

I am sure that the goals I do have will keep us busy for the year. Lots of prayer will definitely be a part of it, that is for sure!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Charlotte Mason blog carnival #7

I am a little slow on this one, but I am sure it is good even if its almost a month old. The Charlotte Mason blog carnival was posted on Dec. 7th. If you didn't catch it the first time around, check it out here. The new one is suppose to be out next week, maybe I will be more on top of reading it this time around!

Am I back?

I had not realized that it was so long since I posted until I logged in and saw my last post date! Three weeks is quite awhile to go in between posts. The few people that read my blog probably don't bother checking it anymore.

I believe now that the holidays are over I will be getting back to posting. I haven't been here partly because of being busy and partly because of just not feeling like talking.

I am working on getting stuff reorganized and straightened up after the mess of the holidays. The kids need to get back into a regular routine. Normal schooling needs to be taken up again. I often wonder if the new year spurs so many people on to start fresh because its a new year or because it happens so closely after Christmas when we tend to get everything unorganized and out of whack getting ready for and celebrating the holidays. If you need a little boost for your organizing, check out By Sun and Candlelight to see what she is up to, she always inspires me.

I have been way off on my walking goals. I am suppose to be doing a minimum of 5 miles a week to reach my goal. If I do 13 miles this week then I will actually be where I am suppose to be. However, I really doubt that will happen. At least I can start again and catch up a little at a time.

Anyway, its late and I have lots to do tomorrow. I am going to go chase down the latest Charlotte Mason carnival and then go to bed!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Wednesday's Website #9

Are you all busy getting ready for Christmas? We are working on it. Today the older two girls both finished a couple presents they have been working so hard on. They are so excited to have finished. There is nothing like the feeling you get when you have finally finished a project that you have toiled over for so long.

To help you all in your holiday celebrations, here is a site that has all sorts of holiday poems, stories, songs, etc. There are over 250 links to different Christmas poems alone. There is enough there to keep you busy for a long time.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Journals for gifts

I am posting these for someone to see what I did last year as Christmas gifts. These are composition notebooks that I covered and decorated. Each one was themed for the person receiving it. I also put a ribbon between the back cover and the paper that covered it and used that as a bookmark. I attached beads to the end of the ribbon.

My sister loves the beach, so the shell one is hers.

My other sister's says big sister in Chinese. You can see her bookmark hanging down in front of it.

My step-mom likes precious moments so I traced these for her.

The only one I did not get a picture of was my mom's.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Thursday's Thankful Thirteen (21)

I am determined to actually get this done before dinnertime today. I did my errands early today (Thursday is errand day which is what usually keeps me from posting till later). I was actually done and home by 1.

Today is the day before Daniel's 5th birthday. I thought I would center my list around him- including a few pictures.

1) His energy
2) he is such a boy
3) His competitive nature
4) his big blue eyes
5) his curls (although we usually keep his hair too short for those
6) his smarts- he can already spell a few words, knows most of the alphabet and can do a few other things
7) he calls his sisters 'my girls'
8) his love for his family
9) he helps out around the house
10) his smile
11) his imagination
12) he is good natured
13) his tender heart

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Wednesday's Website #8

If you happened by looking for my recommended website of the day, please see this post from the other day. I wanted to get it out sooner so that any crafters looking for Christmas ideas would have more time to get presents made.

Our Decorations

I thought I would share some pictures of our house and how we decorated this year. First off I wanted to start with the tree

Next is the table where the nativity scene is set up. We wont be putting the baby Jesus in until Christmas comes.

This garland is hung on the middle of three beams we have running through the living room.

This is a close up of the Santa candle holder hanging in the middle of the garland. We don't do Santa, but I do like a few of the older more unusual Santas.

This is a shelf that extends into the living room next to our front door. It is actually a planter, but the previous owners put a piece of plywood over the top of the planter and used it as a shelf and we have kept it that way.
That is about it. We don't have a ton of decorations, but we like what we have. I hope you enjoyed my pictures!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Holiday Open House

I am participating in the Holiday Homeschool Open House Tiany is hosting over at Less of Me More of Him. I can't really decide what one thing to post on, so I am instead going to post a couple posts on various parts of the holiday and will use this as the post that links to them all.

The first post will be on a couple of traditions we have with our holiday celebrations.

A post I did for Blogger Friends School with my favorite cookie recipe is here.

*NEW* Here are photos of the decorations we have up this year.

I will add a link here to any other Christmas posts I have as I have them.

Our Holiday Traditions

One important to us tradition that we have done the last few years (this is either our third or fourth year) is our Jesse Tree readings. The Bible prophecy stated that the savior would come from the tree of Jesse- Isaiah 11:1: "A shoot will spring forth from the stump of Jesse, and a branch out of his roots." The Jesse tree readings take you from the creation of the world to the birth of the savior and trace the path. More information can be found on the Jesse Tree by searching the internet, but one good place is here.

The Jesse Tree readings usually start the first Sunday in Advent and run till the birth story is read on Christmas day. I have also seen a reading that went two days past Christmas and talked about the flight to Egypt.

Some people make ornaments or other nice symbols to go with their readings. I hope one day to get something made but haven't yet. The first year we did have little paper symbols we glued on a big paper one each night, but haven't done anything with it yet.

Another tradition we have is one that my parents did for us as kids. I carried it through for my kids as well. At first I didn't think it was that big of a deal, but this year my second oldest asked if it was going to happen- so I guess I have to follow through! It simply is that when I put the children's stocking stuff up, I always put an orange in with it. For some reason it seems to be this special thing- even though we have oranges all the time during the winter.

One last tradition I will share is one I don't think I am going to be able to do this year as it involves my sister and she is temporarily living out of state. Life gets hectic and you never seem to be able to get all the baking done that you want to for the holidays. My sister and I started getting together and having a big cookie making day several weeks before Christmas. The first few years we did the cookies from start to finish. Last year (and what worked best) we made the dough and froze it in cookie sized balls. We got a lot more done together then we would have apart.

Great Craft Idea Site

I know Wednesdays I usually give out websites, but today I am giving one a day early. I try to make as many of my Christmas gifts as I can. One of the sites I try to go to is Craftbits. They have not only great holiday ideas, but they also have all kinds of ideas for other holidays, baby showers and more. They also have a newsletter that they can email you that highlights different crafts for the time of year. Most of the site and any contests they host do require membership to access, but membership is free. They not only have craft ideas, but they also have videos, articles and competitions. Maybe you'll find something good to make for Christmas this year!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Our little posse at Thanksgiving

Here is a picture Dan took of the clan on Thanksgiving. Now Lynn, this was one of five tries that he did. It is also the best one, even though Devorah is refusing to smile. Of course what you can't see is me standing behind Daddy picking on him so that they would look at him and smile!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Thursday's Thankful Thirteen (20)

I am way late on this this week. I didn't post on Thanksgiving because I was spending the day being thankful with the family, but this past Thursday I just plain didn't do it. I have been having such a hard time lately feeling like blogging. Either I have been busy or just have nothing I want to talk about. Anyway, giving thanks does help you realign yourself, give you a better life perspective and realize how good you've got it, so even though I am late its all good.

1) God's timing- a friend once said that God is never late or early but always on time as His time is the right time. I have many times over brought that to mind and used it as a wonderful reminder when I have gotten impatient with things in life.

2) The hard times- it is through them that we grow and mature. I am so glad that God refines us in His fires. It may not be easy, but think of how much better we come out of it in the end.

3) Blogs on the internet- I have gotten so much encouragement from other women and their blogs. God can really use them as a ministry that is for certain.

4) We have the money for our bills again this month- our wonderful church took up an offering last week and had enough collected to pay our bills for the month and maybe get the brakes done on the van (they are needed).

5) That God has given me the abilities to make things. I am making everything for Christmas from what I already have or can get on food stamps. The boys, for example (they are too young to read so I know they wont find out what I am giving them!) are getting scarves from yarn I have or got from my mom.

6) Dan has been doing water therapy on his own at a rec center pool and has felt improvement in his back. He still has a ways to go, but he is being faithful in going to do it.

7) Good friends who want to spend time with us. Two couples at church who we are friends with have both asked us to go to the adults only Christmas dinner this year on them.

8) Parents who watch the children so we can have adult time every once in a while.

9) The baby has been doing really good at going to bed and has been getting longer stretches of sleep at night. He even has managed a few 8 hour spaces between feedings (although he still wakes several times he does go right back to sleep).

10) My sweet Abigail, who turned 7 the Monday before Thanksgiving. She is a real sweetheart and I love her.

11) Our one grocery store also has a gas station. For every $50 you spend in groceries they take .10 off per gallon when you fill up. This last week Sunday we were able to fill up our tank for $1.15. That was about $25 for the tank!

12) That I am home again. We were gone all day today and I had to drive in some pouring down rain so it is good to be home and ready to retire for the night.

13) The city is coming tomorrow to remove the tree that is on our tree lawn. Over the years the electric and phone companies did not do a smart job trimming it and it is not safe in the weight distribution. I will miss the shade in the summer and all, but it is better to take it down then for it to come down on our house or fence. This past year one smaller but good sized branch fell into the middle of the street already.