Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires...courage.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A book recommendation...

Some time before Christmas, while I was ordering gifts online, I pre-ordered a book that was to come out this month....then promptly forgot about it. When Karl told me last week that Amazon had sent him a notification that one thousand gifts was on its way, I was kind of stumped. I had to actually think about when I may have ordered a book...and we joked about how we have so much money (NOT!) that I can just order a book and forget about it. ;) Well, it arrived in the mail on Saturday and it is so good. I can't stop reading and I'm already thinking I will have to read it again to catch all that she is trying to share. And I'm not sure, if it had come before now, that I would be getting as much out of it.......God always has perfect timing, and this is no exception. I encourage you to click on the link and read the first chapter of the book. I feel sure you'll want a copy too.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Hailey's birthday festivities...

Hailey turned 11 on Thursday. She had requested pumpkin muffins for breakfast (her favorite!) so I got up and made those for her first thing. Then she unwrapped her presents. She got an Easy Bake Oven, some baking mixes to go with it, and a box of Shrinky Dinks. She also received some cards and money (as did Logan on his birthday) from some aunts, cousins, and both sets of grandparents so thanks so much for remembering her. For lunch, we went to Macaroni Grill, which is her favorite restaurant. I have to say it's at the top of my list, too. They have delicious bread, a wonderful Warm Spinach Salad that Karl and I both love, and of course their pastas are scrumptious, too! Hailey's favorite is their macaroni and cheese, which she orders every time.....her birthday was no exception. Once we were back home the kids played lots of video games (Karl, Corbin, and Logan went out and got a couple new ones this week with birthday and Christmas money they all received), read books, and played Apples to Apples Jr. I made brownies and cream cheese frosting, which is what Hailey had asked for as her dessert. After a dinner of sliders and french fries, I put 11 candles on top of the iced brownies, lit them, and we sang the birthday song. She blew them out....eventually....as I had bought the re-lighting candles that she loved and thought were so funny when everyone else had them! She still thinks they are fun....It was a good day.

Friday, January 21, 2011

A free book for large families.....and maybe some that aren't

A giveaway is going on here. Click on the link to see if you want to enter to win.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Questions and more questions

It seems like we are always waiting......anticipating......something. For months we waited to hear about the house we bid on (the third one). We had begun looking at houses again in case we didn't get it when we heard that the bank had foreclosed instead of taking our offer...not sure why. So, we decided to make yet another offer on a 4th house that truly seemed to fit our needs and wants. It needs a bit of work, but is almost $100, 000 less than the other so would be affordable to repair and fix up. However, we waited, and waited, and waited some more...a couple of weeks, rather than the 72 hours we were told it would be. Amidst all this, we talked about things....would we get it, why have we bid on four homes and still haven't gotten any, is there some bigger, better plan we don't know about yet? Plus our landlord was getting impatient to find out if we were renewing our lease, and wanted a year-long one. After waiting and not hearing, we told him last Wednesday that we will renew but he still has not brought the paperwork. Yesterday, our realtor called and said the owner of the house counter-offered but also indicated that he would probably take our offer anyway. What?! We just aren't sure what is going on. Why would that happen when we had made peace with our decision to stay in the rental? We took yesterday to talk and pray about it all, and decided that we are going to stay in the rental. There are just too many things going on right now for us to feel comfortable purchasing a home here right now...things that are unclear and have popped up quite recently. We're okay with that, but still wondering "why". We know God has great things in store for us. He always does. It's difficult to wait and see. Prayers are requested, just in general, that we can make whatever decisions are necessary regarding all the 'stuff' and that we will know His will and His plan. Thank you so much. We love each and every one of you and appreciate your efforts on our behalf. ;)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Not doing a great job with the blogging...

Funny how it sneaks up on you. You can be doing so well then let one day slip......before you know it days have gone by, a week, two weeks.....and you've stopped doing what you set out to do. That's how I feel about blogging. I love it, have always loved to write, but time just gets aways from me or we don't do anything (and I can't think of anything) blog-worthy.....so I just don't. My goal was to blog


So far....FAIL! But, I'm getting back to it. Too many days haven't gone by, but it doesn't take long. How 'bout those other goals? How are you doing with yours?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Yet another link....

A link to a touching blog post.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Change can mean success....

John Maxwell has been speaking at our church for the last three weekends. His message on Sunday was about growth and changes, etc. One thing I had already decided to do on Sundays was get up earlier....and earlier...until I found a good time that allows us all to be ready and not rushed out the door. I wanted to get to church and drop the kids off before the service starts. I think I've found it....6:15 a.m. After hearing the message, I decided to continue getting up at that time during the week, and to make sure the kids are up earlier, so we could get a better start to our days. It is only Wednesday morning, but I already feel so much better about our week! I have not felt nearly as overwhelmed by all there is to do. I actually had both little ones fed, as well as myself, by 8 this morning. I was able to start a load of laundry and wash the dishes before calmly leaving to drop the kids off at their sports class. We didn't have any yelling to "hurry up" or stressing out because we were late. It was so nice. Who knew what just one little change could do? I encourage you to listen to the message if you have time. Maybe you need to make a change, too.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Game Day...

Tonight is a BIG football night in our house. Auburn has made it to the National Championship after a season with NO losses. They are going in as number one against the number two team in the country. It's a big deal. We're settled in, ready to see a win for our team. Lots of nerves....Go Auburn!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

To buy or not to buy...

Anyone who reads our blog knows all about our housing issues. We have been looking for a house for close to 6 months. We have made 4 offers on 4 different houses (our latest just two days go...should hear by Monday evening) and were beat out by competing offers on the first two. The third, we just found out this week was foreclosed on.....we waited from September 'til now to hear the status. It was a short sale and we knew it would take a while, so we had already started looking at other homes because our lease is up Feb. 1. We decided to make an offer on a 4th. We have to move out, renew the lease, or buy this house (our landlord has asked us if we're interested) by then. He has been calling this week, pressing us for a decision about what we're going to do. There are other things going on too....and we're just unsure at this point what it all means for us. Should we buy a house here? Do all these problems mean we aren't meant to own a home here....are we going to be presented with some other opportunity and that's why nothing has gone through? We are consumed by questions...well, I am. So, please pray for us. We need clarity and wisdom to make the right choice. We want God's best for our family, and sometimes it's hard to see what that is.

Friday, January 7, 2011

An Autumn update...

Autumn has become quite a happy baby. We were having a difficult time for quite a while with her sleeping (or NOT sleeping!) and as a result she was cranky much of the time. Even up 'til Christmas we were still trying to work out her sleeping issues...too much during the day then up too late at night. However, since returning home, we seem to have gotten her on a good schedule. Autumn is awake more during the day, is taking good naps, and has been sleeping through the night. Yay! She still seems to struggle sometimes with gas and that will cause a crying jag, but overall she is much more content. She has big grins and coos at us often. She enjoys looking at the toys hanging from her play gym and she always has a smile for anyone who talks to her. I don't know how much she currently weights but she is definitely getting longer. Her one piece outfits are getting too short and she'll be moving into the next size as soon as I can get them all sorted. Her feedings range anywhere from 4-6 ounces with the average being about 5 ounces, 5 times a day. We are getting into somewhat of a groove...have a long way to go with schooling and cleaning, etc.....but normalcy is returning. I'm so glad!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

My goals for 2011

1. Create something with my sewing machine....I want to make at least one gift this year.
2. Learn to use my new canning set that I got for Christmas, complete with labels, and make something with it...maybe some jam?
3. Begin to exercise, with a goal of 4 times per week.
4. Lose 20 pounds.
5. Write every day on each blog.
6. Begin to read aloud to my children again, outside of 'school time'.
7. Spend more time in prayer and reading God's word.
8. Teach Logan and Hailey to cook at least 5 meals each.
9. Get control of the clutter!
10. Plan more field trips with the kids.

As you can see, some of my goals are carry-overs from last year, some are new, and some did not make the list.

Did you meet your goals for 2010?

Last year I set some goals. You can read them here. I didn't meet many of mine, did you?

1. 338....that's the number of my blog posts (combined) last year. I didn't quite meet my goal of 365, or 1 per day, but I came close. It does mean I blogged more frequently, so I'm happy with that.

2. The 'last ten pounds'.....still haven't gotten there, I think we all know why. ;) I did just lose the last of my 'pregnancy' weight last week so now I can start on the pre-pregnancy, pregnancy weight...understand?

3. Did NOT exercise 4 days a week...too tired and ungainly. Planning to try to get to that in the new year.

And 4-10.....we didn't do those either. We had a crazy year, completely unexpected at the time I wrote down those goals. Life happens, often in a way that we aren't planning. God is good all the time though, and those were just my goals. His plans for our lives were different.

I am looking forward to setting and sharing some new goals for this year soon. What are some of yours?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A favorite song...

I heard this song this morning on someone else's blog...it had been quite a while since I'd heard it but it is one I love. Hope you enjoy it, too!