About Me

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Saint Joseph, MO, United States
I'm a stay at home Mom of two children and I have the unique privilege of being able to homeschool both of them. I am a stepmother to two older daughters one who is going to college. I enjoy shopping, baking, cooking, cleaning, organizing, running, clowning, making soap, playing piano and lately painting with ASCP paint! I am learning to enjoy the little things in life and make the most of it...clinging to my Savior through the tears that life brings and enjoying his GRACE He gives us every day! Thanks for stopping by!

Blog Archive

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A bowl full of lemons.: Weekly challenge #1 - The home management binder

A bowl full of lemons.: Weekly challenge #1 - The home management binder

The Home Management Binder

As I had talked about before on my organizing challenges and my great Shaklee cleaning products all these ideas I got from the blog A Bowl Full of Lemons. She has FABULOUS ideas!

This week it is The Home Management Binder. I'm very excited about it....especially the menu planning....I've always been bad at that! So, today I bought my lovely three ring binder....soo cute!

I won't tell you how long it took me to decide...RIDICULOUS! Target had to many choices! soo right now I'm trying to download all the pages and label my dividers.

So, join the challenge...You'll be glad you did!

Rainbow Pancakes

So.....I'm going to tell you a secret...I have the worst luck in making pancakes...it seems to be something that I just CAN'T seem to do....so when I saw this idea on the Idea Room....I had to at least TRY again.

You see my husband can make the perfect, fluffy, YUMMO pancakes ever....however....I just can't seem to do it as well as he can...but I did try....

I have to say...don't they look so pretty while they are cooking?

So....success!!!! sorta, I have to work on the fluffy but my kids sure were excited and they were still YUMMO!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Warrior Princess!

Almost done reading Captivating.....

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of the dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Eph. 6:10-13

When did you catch yourself in a battle of spiritual warfare? I know it has come to you, it comes to everyone...it can come as a whisper...or a yell or it can even be a punch in the gut of real tragedy when not even the sun looks as bright as it once was. How strong in your faith are you then???

What is your wound? Do you know what lie you have believed that you have been told that you still cling to? My lie was....I will never measure up, you deserve what has happened to you, you will NEVER amount to anything.

When all was lost.....I was drowning in a sea of despair....crying out to God for help and I knew that He was there trying to pull me back into the boat....but I kept pushing Him away...not able to believe the truth He was trying to tell me. I believed the lies and came very close to walking away from my faith forever. If you don't think that can't happen that you will always choose God and not ever falter....be very careful! I believe that when God allows tragedy in our lives and unspeakable sorrow...its all to easy to fall. Even writing those words scare me.....

When I re-married I thought that all was well....I could breathe a sigh of relief....I wasn't alone...all would return to normal....I could blink and this nightmare would be gone from my head....trouble was.....you can't very well be an "etch a sketch" and forget the tragedies of your life....it just doesn't work that way.

When we look at the Bible it shows us so many women who did what we would think of as the impossible. Mary for instance...boy don't ya know what people were saying about her....and Esther....how terrifying would that be and talk about feeling inadequate to persuade him after he hadn't asked to see her for how many days??? I would for sure be eating the M&M's and carrying around the jar of peanut butter! My point is this....we as women are the weaker sex....but we are still VERY strong.

Many have said if men were the ones having babies every family would have one kid each and that's it....I do believe that but at the same time....think of all the scary things that men do for us. My point being that we as women are strong and do mighty things. WE have a way to minister to others that no one else does. We have to learn to let go of the lies that the enemy has told us. For me I have had to say out loud "Satan stop the lies, get away from me!" I've had to shout it! I know this sounds insane but the attacks of Satan are real....especially when there is something that we are getting ready to be doing for the ministry and I have really seen this happen between my husband and I...arguments that come from a misunderstanding on both parts? YOu don't think that is just something that happens do you? NO, the devil is walking about seeking whom he may devour!

I see this in our home. Recently, we have done the "negative jar". If anything it has shown us just how horrible we are to each other...NOW I have the problem of people waiting to tattle on the person who said the negative thing so that they can put a quarter in...so now should I have a second jar? Our homes, our ministry, that is where Satan is wanting to defeat us....you may think that what you do is not important as I have felt that way many times...but I have found that it must be.

I always laugh at the days that I'm to be Miss Dot. Without fail if it is an event that we are just doing balloons and face painting and visiting with the kids....nothing happens in our home before I leave. If its an event where I will be teaching a Bible story...NEVER fails that I have one or both children yelling and screaming and then here I am in "clown" trying NOT to yell at my children.....do you have that visual?

It never fails.....I have learned to have my babysitter there early to avoid these things so that I may go and do what I need to do without being attacked but it always happens one way or the other by someone or something. I have been attacked in more ways than one in this ministry wanting to quit....but then I hear God whispering..."I told you to do this...don't listen" then He sends his faithful servants that speak the same words into my ears....Why can't I just learn that Satan will not attack those who do nothing, he will only attack those that do something....which means the something I do.....must be making him pretty mad...which makes me quite happy!

In closing I wanted to share with you a prayer that Stasi put in her book written by a young lady who prays this as she gets ready each morning "putting on her armor of God"

"I now put on with thanks the armor which You have provided for me---girding myself with the belt of truth; binding up all that is vulnerable of my femininity ; first my need to be pursued and fought for. Thank you for daily pursuing me and fighting for me as well.

I also gird up my desire to be irreplaceable in a grand scheme of Yours. You have placed this desire within me and I wrap Your truth around it, in hope of what You will do. Grant me eyes to see each day in light of Your activity, to live in the big-ness of Your story.

I gird up my desire to offer life through my gifting, the beauty You haave bestowed on me. I ask You to continue to reveal and confirm what You desire to do through me and all You have given to me. I trust that You have called me by name and have given me a love, a beauty, a gift to pour out on my family, my friends, and those You bring to me. May this day be an offering of love poured out before You on the altar of my life."

WOW! So, be a warrior Princess today...don't listen to the lies....yell out loud if you have to to get him to run away.....and complete the good work that God has for you to do!

May His name be praised!

Organizing Our Movies!

I cannot tell you how long this has bugged me! We have Netflix...we really don't buy movies except the ones you can't live without.....for instance we are very much looking forward to Tangled coming out. Regardless on how we buy movies now, we still had a storage problem and being able to find the ones we need when friends come over or we just want to watch a movie. I was tired of movies out of their cases and getting scratched...but still couldn't seem to find a solution.

As you all know I follow the blog A Bowl full of Lemons. I have also discovered I Heart Organizing. If I was better at knowing how to "link" I would provide that for you but I'm new to the blogging world and well....I will just tell you that I have those buttons on my blog for you to just click on but unfortunately until I become more savvy you just have to search...sorry...I am trying!

So, I first bought these amazing containers from the container store...they are not cheap...BUT they are awesome and will last a very long time. They are about $19 bucks each

Oh! IT's sooo cute and can do sooo much! It's a miracle worker really...it can take a pile of this:

Seriously? Can you believe it! Then it can do this:

Which now fit into this...providing more storage for my husband's music in his "music" room

These is where I used to keep ALL the movies and now they just take up that little bit of space. I will buy one more and start putting my disc of photos in them...that I look forward to greatly!

I labeled the top of one of them "MOvies 2" That way they know which list to look at. I downloaded from IHeart Organizing the Movie sheets and then was able to customize them. I then put them in my handy dandy lamintor....now we are SET sister!

Now doesn't that feel good? All in all this project took me 1 hr and 25 min. I know this because I have a three year old and I put on Lion King.....she's very quick to tell me when a movie is over!

Have a groovy weekend and since the weather is keeping us in...why not organize??? It's just a beautiful thing!!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Thankful for the sunshine....and other things:)

Today was a day that I rejoiced as I got to sleep for five hours with no hacking from my daughter. Both of us awoke feeling refreshed....she wanted ginger ale....I wanted coffee...but the sun was shining and it was warm and we had slept...and all was well!

Made a quick phone call to the doctor for follow up on her continual hacking since he had seen her on Tuesday....now he believes her to have "walking pneumonia" oh fabulous I thought but graciously he called in her prescription without making me return to the office. As I went to my favorite store...we all know what that is and I picked up her medicine she of course was hacking and hacking and people were staring at me and shaking their heads...yes, I bought some juice and tissues and some jars while I was there.....and boy were they bothered! I wanted to say "Well, I guess I could have left her at home while I came and got her medicine but thought that might be a bad idea?" and then of course Trey was with me....anyway, I was anxious to be out of there! So, we finally returned home....Trey retired to his room also worn out from Ellianna keeping us awake for four straight nights and Ellianna was sniffling and hacking and wanted to watch a movie and Mommy? Well, Mommy needed to straighten up this house and finish a project and start a new one!

So, first I decided to move in a window from outside and put it here:

I have had that outside by my garage (looking cute there I might add...) but seriously...much better now!

Then I started on a project that I've been chewing on for awhile. I have my supplies for school in myu old china hutch but I needed it to look "cuter" and be more practical...sooooooo

Don't those look sooo much stinkin cuter! Almost makes up for the glares from people today at Target doesn't it! Seriously though, I think that I need another jar for those beads...now that I see that....that's bugging me something awful! I'll have to fix that!

THEN, we decided to clean and my Ellianna just LOVES to steam mop! I was so glad that she was feeling better....health....good health....I have missed it lately!

So, all in all a very good day. Also, I did't indulge in the huge box of M&M's we have...I was a bit depressed yesterday after getting back on the scale and realizing that i have gained three pounds of the weight I lost this summer....so of course the chocolate...was....supposed to...help?????

So, there ya go! No spiritual wisdom or insight.....just a day...not a normal one but that's o.k we are on our way to healing and hopefully someday soon we will see our friends again?????

Mothers, Daughters, Sisters...this one was a WOW!

I'm enjoying looking at this pic....it shows Ellianna's true personality...she wanted me to take a pic of her and our beloved Gracie...who as you can see isn't sure about the youngest member of our family still....however...I like this pic it makes me smile....it makes me so thankful for my daughter....and how long I prayed for this wonderful gift!

Why at this late hour I'm not in bed I cannot tell you....the last three nights I have been up all night checking on Ellianna who according to the doctor has croup...which further irritates it by asthma? The problem being my doctor can't decide if she has asthma or croup or both??? Right now they are frustrated because there is no test to run to figure it out...I say...just make my daughter feel better. So, I'm blogging and listening to her hack and praying for at least five hours of uninterrupted sleep.....the thought makes me almost giddy...I'm practically giggling with the idea! However, I have news...and its good! For three days I've been chewing on this blog and hoping I would say things correctly but today....there was a huge answer to prayer. I have been praying for it for seven years....and today....it happened....the impossible in my mind....was answered! I know I'm so rude without telling you what it is but I just have to say that its good and I'm so happy...no, I'm not having a baby....so just stop that rumor right there...but I am rejoicing over what God is doing in our family...and that's as far as I will go.

So, back to my book Captivating...quite the chapter this one was. Quite the chapter because half of the chapter is underlined, starred or highlighted...a bit crazy lady I went shall we say!

She started off talking about the relationship with her Mother and how it was strained and I have to say that I could feel what she was saying there. In case you think that I'm going to go on about my Mother and her faults you are incorrect...she knows what they are and that's as far as we need to go. I will tell you that much of my life I felt like I never measured up. I was the last child, the most money was spent on me for my education...and I just didn't seem to ever "get it right!" I played piano well, did o.k. for cheerleading, stunk at ALL sports, worked my bottom off for B's in highschool as well as college and always seemed to be "behind". My relationship with my mother was strained throughout my young adult life and when my first husband passed away and I re-married I felt that it was brought even further down. As try as I might i just could never seem to "please" her. Lately, we have seemed to be at a peace with each other. I think this has a lot to do with my Mother wanting to re-connect with me through my daughter. AT first I was resentful but after reading this chapter I believe that all those feelings I had towards my mother were at some points valid but at the same time she was that way because of things that had happened to her to! That was huge for me...to look at my Mother in that way. All the bitterness melted when I changed my viewpoint of how I looked at her. Now don't get me wrong, her words can STILL wound me but I don't hold them there and hold them and hold them!

The second part of this chapter was dealing with friendships of women. I have talked to you all several times of how hard this one is for me and I have heard from many of you the fears that you have with other women also and the fear of rejections.....but at the same time how very much we need these relationships! A particular quote from her book that touched me: " Our friendships flow in the deep waters of the heart where God dwells and transformation takes place. It is here, in this holy place, that a woman can partner with God in impacting another and be impacted by another for lasting good. It is here that she can mother, nurture, encourage and call forth Life." We as women need each other...." Women friends become the face of God to one another the face of grace, of delight, of mercy." I have about three to four women that I go to in a crisis. Three of them older, one younger...they always give me great advice and sometimes I don't like what they say but I know that they will always point me in the direction that i should go...and I truly hope that I will someday be that for someone else....and I hope that I am that way now. "We mother each other when we offer our concern, our care, our comfort. We mother each other when we see a need and rise to meet it whether it be a sweater for a friend who is chilly, a meal for a struggling family, or a listening ear for a friend who is hurting." I don't know about you but I can think of women that have raised to all of those challenges for me in the past....the biggest one being when my husband was in the hospital and I was freezing and my friend texted me asking what I needed...I felt silly but knew I couldn't "wear" the hospital blankets around all day...she brought me a jacket...not only a jacket...but a warm, fuzzy, black jacket (cause she knew I was fashion conscious and wanted to match)isn't that what makes friends so awesome...they know all your weirdo ways! She also sprayed it with perfume because she knew I hated the smell of hospitals....I also had a friend who brought me lunch during his surgery.....even a soft drink! She major hooked me up! "When we enter into our world and into the lives of those we love and offer our tender and strong feminie hearts, we cannot help but mother them."

I know that i have been blessed with great friends who have sat with me through my darkest hours and made jokes to keep me smiling....a sister who walked into the emergency room with me to see Ron one last time after he passed away to say goodbye...another sister who told some unwelcome guests at my husbands funeral to leave.....another friend who pregnant and crying stood up and fought for me when I was at my lowest...another friend who encouraged me not to give up with my second marriage...because it was too hard to keep going....more friends that sat with me in a hospital waiting room to hear about a surgery for a large mass who no one knew what it was....yes, I'm blessed....and so grateful to have such strong women around me...but oh how I pray to be the same to others...."Women friends become the face of God to one another--the face of grace, of delight, of mercy."

May His name be praised!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Bowl Full of Lemons Weekly Challenges

Many of you know the 21 Days of Organizing that I did...if you don't here's a recap:

First I organized ALL my Christmas Decorations....which consisted of a HUGE purge of decorations we haven't used in ten years. I organized by room and labeled EVERYTHING. It literally took me nine hours and I organized the decorations for our store! GLAD to have my labelmaker...which I adore!

Then I cleaned my oven which I posted pics of earlier...with my awesome Scour Off from Shaklee which did an AMAZING job...then I totally reorganized my whole entire kitchen ....which I have pics of in a previous post.

THEN, I did the mother load:

Since this pic was taken I have found containers for those things not "containerized" they look so much prettier now!

I kept waiting for a day to organize my clown supplies...but she never had one? So I had to do it myself. So I also got the laundry room, the gift bags, the EVERYTHING organized downstairs which included two pantries.

Also, not pictured: my linen closet, under my sink, my medicine cabinets, under my bathroom sink....and the toys....I got rid of a lot, also got rid of a toy "organizer" that wasn't really helping us and have new plans for her room. I'm turning Ellianna's closet into a toy cabinet and on the lookout for an aimore.

So, January was a perfect month to do this...plus watching so many people's blogs. I even came up with an adorable idea on how to store ribbon! The process is ongoing but I LOVE it and I greatly love hearing my kids and husband say thank you for making their lives easier and able to find things they are looking for....gives me a "feel good kinda YES!" little attitude!

So, I say all that to say that I encourage you all to click on the button on my blog for the weekly challenges. I'm positive you will be so GLAD you did!

More details tomorrow! Have a lovely evening!

The Loud Silence: Valentines Day Idea

The Loud Silence: Valentines Day Idea

Valentines Day Idea

I made this for our store and getting ready to make one more in red...I found the idea

for the heart wreath and then decided to make two topiary trees for the store. It's so easy its insane! Soo cute...I love Valentines Day....makes me happy in spite of the cold and the snow...the cold and the snow....the snow...and the cold! You get it!

Just use one yard of pink felt or red or white...or whatever you choose. I took a wide mouth glass for the pattern and made a perfect circle....used that as a pattern and cut LOTS of circles....folded in half...then half again...used a straight pin to secure into foam ball....

EASY! and sooo cute! Hit on the Idea Room button on my blog to go to her step by step instructions!!! LOVE her and her great ideas!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Side Note......

I have had LOTS of feedback from my Useless? article. May I just humbly say at this point that I am greatly overwhelmed and honored to be used in a way that brings comfort to you all who have suffered greatly in the same way that I have.

For so long there was no one who understood my pain....that had no idea how to grasp what I had been through. I felt that I suffered ALONE...of course that isn't true. Our Savior was always walking with me...and did I ever suffer like HE did??? Of course not...but that's how I felt at the time.

I didn't want to start this blog...I wanted to be silent....but I knew that I could not longer be quiet. My goal wasn't to paint people in a bad light and put the complete blame on others...but to show you my true heart....that I am sorry for my faults but at the same time....I suffered greatly for his sin....and still at times suffer. It's difficult to dream about a man that I used to be married to that no longer walks this earth. I still sometimes think I see him in public....just call the "crazy police". AND people will always give me the raised eyebrow when asking how long my husband Mark and I have been married and how old is Trey?

Some of you know this but I just want to share quickly some really "neat" things that are "God things". First of all my daughter Ellianna and son Trey look VERY much alike...so much so that people that know the situation tell me how they can't get over it. My Trey is tall just like his Daddy Mark.....we smile when people tell us how much he looks like Mark...they don't know and we don't correct....may I also say that my oldest stepdaughters LOVE and adore Ellianna. So much so that they ask to give her baths and if she can have a sleepover in their room....that is not because we are amazing parents...its a God thing...and we know it!

There are not to many husband that understand when you wake up and say you had a bad dream and know what that means and still hug and kiss you....it happens twice a year...around his birthday in May and his homegoing in August. Not many husbands understand when you have to make a stop at a graveyard on certain times of the year...and lets you get out and cry and really doesn't let it affect them.

For those of you who have felt my pain...I'm so sorry that you have.....but I'm so glad that you shared that story with me...little ol me....its nice to know that others understand and have come out on the other side...God is good.....ALL the time!

May His name be praised!

Starting to Organize My Paper!

As you all know I took the 21 days of Organizing on the blog I follow A bowl full of lemons. It was awesome and made January quite productive. I didn't get a chance to do ALL of the things because they are quite large projects but I keep going every week trying to complete them.

Since we homeschool paper can be quite a problem. However, for my son Trey he has nice three ring binders for all his projects such as History, Geography, Science...you get it he's taken care of.

However, for Ellianna.....there were AMAZING pics every day what to do with all of them. I first decided to have a small bulletin board but after a week...that wasn't working!

So, I saw this on A Bowl full of Lemons...and thought I should copy it...so simple! Why didn't I think of this!

Now, everything has a happy "home"....YEAH!!!!!! All I did was go to Target (of course) buy a simple three ring binder and then went to Hobby Lobby and got scrapbook paper and stickers and THERE YA GO!!!! That's all there was to it. Then after each day I three hold punch the papers that I want to save and put them in her binder! It's wonderful and all her work can now be separated year by year! I love things that are so super duper simple!

Basil Scent Diffuser from Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day

Basil Scent Diffuser from Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day

I have the toilet bowl cleaner, the plug ins and the hand soap. I also have the dishwash tabs and have just ordered the laundry detergent. In a house full of allergies and asthma we are hoping that switching to healthier cleaners will make us all "breathe" a little easier. For my main cleaners I use Basic H2 from Shaklee. I encourage you to check in to better products to keep your family healthy instead of all the chemicals we all have!

Have a great smelling day!

HomeSchooling Preschoolers...or in my case...my Ellie!

I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out what would work best for my Ellianna who will be four in May. She is the kind of child that will NOT do something and then one day...she does it all...it all clicks. This is very frustrating to me to have two children that learn and think completely differently. Trey is complete textbook....he gets things easily...is a great reader...likes math, loves science and history. Ellianna...total hands on...LOVES art! I have to do things to learn them...lectures never did much good for me. I had to DO it, see it, FEEL it! So, after buying two different complete curriculum....here is my story....I try to make myself feel better by knowing that I spent the money that I would have paid for a month of preschool and I can sell the material...still annoying!

So the first thing I did was buy Timeberdoodle books which are great. They teach her colors, shapes, cutting, and gluing...they are great worksheets and she loves how bright and colorful they are.

We then bought preschool curriculum from Rod and Staff which I liked very much...we LOVE the Bible stories! We use this still but some of the worksheets were too hard for her until now so we come back and then stop for awhile....this curriculum is like $15 and its awesome!

Seriously, she LOVES to color this and then we say her Bible verse when she is done!

Meet my new best friend! She is lovely and grey and she does amazing things....she is my laminator!

If you don't have one of these I highly recommend you purchase them because they are amazing and they are very cheap...this one was 28.75 and the pouches I bought for 50 pouches was $14 but on Amazon you can get them for as low as $10 for 50 pouches and when you buy them...you can do the following:

I downloaded this material from www.confessionsofahomeschooler.com for $10 and it is fabulous...there is a TON of things. I still haven't got it all printed out and laminated but we have several things we are enjoying as we go!

THEN we found curriculum at for FREE at www.moomootutu.blogspot.com and its adorable. I printed it out and laminated it and Ellianna LOVES it!

So my lesson learned? There are great, creative resources out there that are sometimes even free or at the very least very minimal in price that are the most effective. When your children are young and just beginning to learn buying a huge expensive curriculum is rarely ideal. I probably will not be able to use very many things that I'm using for Trey for Ellianna because their learning style is so different. I will be able to use the spelling...because it is awesome! I use All About Spelling by Marie Rippel. She is AMAZING....I will also use curriculum from Susan Wise Bauer!

So happy homeschooling!!!! Today was a very good day!!!! YEAH!!!!!