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My Favorite Things

My Favorite Things

What a beautiful time of year! The Arctic is truly beautiful anytime of the year but right now is the best time to be outside and enjoying the beauty! It is breezy, so the massive mosquitoes aren’t too bad. It’s sunny (24 hours right now!) so my mood is good. It’s dry so muddy footprints aren’t being painted all over my floor. I really love Inuvik summers 🙂

And while I am in this good mood I thought I’d share my Favorite Things list that I have been putting together for a couple of weeks. This isn’t meant to be some sort of ad for anyone but rather just a chance for me to share things that I love so that maybe some one else can enjoy them, too. So here they are in no particular order.

favorite things post

1. My Bible

I was so hesitant to put this on my list. It can’t be compared to anything else on my list. It is not just a favorite item. It is my most needed item. It is God’s Living Word and is not merely just a good thing to own. And at the same time, it is my favorite thing I own and should be on my favorites list. And I really believe everyone who reads it can be changed.

2. Water Bottle

You need to have a nice water bottle. You just do. If you don’t you will not drink nearly as much water as if you had one. I own a pretty pink Nalgene water bottle. It shows how much water it holds so I know how much I drink in a day. 

3. Magic Bullet

5 years ago, almost exactly, Shane and I stayed up way too late. We were watching those infomercials where if you “call right now you can get the second one for free!” Guess what, we called! I thought we were crazy and actually was a little embarrassed about owning a Magic Bullet for quite some time. But over the years it has become my favorite and most used kitchen appliance. We use it to make milkshakes on occasion, and I used to use it for chicken salad all the time. Then William was born and I used it to make his baby food. I used it to make Jenn and Pepper’s baby food, too. Now I use it for my smoothies at least 4 mornings a week. That poor little thing is slowly tuckering out (which is actually very sad). Good thing we called right away and got a second one, though 😉 I alternate mornings with them so they are lasting a little longer. Several times I thought that would be its last smoothie but then they keep going. I love my Magic Bullet.

4. Guitar

This had to be an obvious one. Of course my guitar has to be one of my favorite things. Me and that guitar have been through a lot together. We have played in 3 different nursing homes, at least 4 different churches, 2 summers at camp, 2 different countries, around countless bonfires and with the most talented ladies I know. With my guitar I enter before God’s throne with His praises and before long my songs turn to prayers to Him. 

5. Weights

Like I mentioned in a different post, weights really make a workout more fun. I was on the lookout for some for a while. Because they can be expensive I was searching every yard sale. Then Shane’s dad gave me his old ones so I got them for free! The ones I have you can add discs to make it heavier as you make progress. I really suggest that kind.

6. White Vinegar

This stuff is amazing. I use it to clean my sinks, bathroom, and Kuerig. But, I use it most often with the cloth diapers. If it weren’t for that white vinegar they would always smell like wet dog, even right after being washed. And then of course a splash of white vinegar makes my sloppy joes amazing. So so many uses for white vinegar. 

7. Perfume

Not just any perfume. My sister bought me perfume and I got it days before going into labor with Pepper. It has since been my favorite perfume, EVER. Of course, because my sister got it for me makes me want to wear it. But also, because it smells amazing I wear it all the time. It is Eau So Sexy from Victoria’s Secret. I love that stuff. 

8. Sneaks

My sister is seriously awesome. All of them are. They find things they love then buy some for me. I feel so blessed. My sister bought me my first pair of amazing sneakers. They are Nike and they are pictured in this post. They look awesome and feel awesome. Like I said in the other post, having a good pair of sneaks makes you want to exercise.

9. Day Planner

I have been using a day planner since I was given one at my high school graduation. Right now I use Brownline 14 Month Planner. It is my favorite so far. I babysit so it’s important for me to keep records of that. Also it contains all my notes for this blog and all my important to do lists and phone numbers. If you are trying to get more organized, start with a good day planner.

10. Spotify

Last but not least, is spotify. It is an app I have downloaded to my iPad. I discovered it months ago and I think I use it almost every day now. It works like a radio but with very little ads and you can make your own playlists. I have a lot of playlists but my favorites are: Steve Pettit and Piano Guys. Then for the kids I have Veggie Tales, Backyardigans, and Disney theme songs. But you can find just about anything on there. The best part- it’s free 🙂 You can upgrade to a premium package to get rid of the ads but you don’t have to. It can be glitchy at times but it’s worth it considering all it offers.

Ok, so there is my favorites list. Are some of these things on your favorites list? What is on your list? Share with me! And if you haven’t voted yet, check out the Birthday Cake Battle and vote for your favorite birthday cake!

Are you hungry?

Are you hungry?

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Some days are very hectic. I wake up with William around 7:15 and we go for a run together. By the time we get back the girls are starting to wake and I am rushing around making sure everyone has something to eat. We kiss Shane goodbye and we are busy getting dressed, making beds, and doing some morning chores. By 10 I realize something…I am very hungry. I typically get too busy to eat any breakfast until I am feeling quite weak and very cranky. Have you heard the term “hangry”? That’s me at 10:00…when hunger turns to anger. I then stop everything, tell the kids to play by themselves for a bit and I make myself some breakfast. This all could have been avoided if I had just taken the time to eat breakfast earlier.

John 6:35 says, “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life:he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” 

I love noticing promises in the Bible. It’s something I always look for and mark when I see them. Here I see a wonderful promise: “he that cometh to me shall never hunger.” Why then are Christians hungering? Why do we feel malnourished in our walk with the Lord. Why do we feel like we don’t have that fullness that we once had? Has God not kept His promise? Of course, that is not the case. “HE THAT COMETH TO ME shall never hunger.” We have stopped going to Him! We need to be in His Word every day. Every day we need spiritual nourishment that only God can give.

Just like if I don’t eat my breakfast in the morning I turn into a weak, hungry, angry mom if we don’t go to the Lord each day we turn into weak, hungry, angry Christians. God’s promise is still true and God is still faithful. We need to cash in on His promise and go to Him.

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:”

Matthew 7:7

Bible Character Profile Sheet

Bible Character Profile Sheet

One of the things I love doing with my Sunday School class is a profile of the Bible character that is in our story. It’s a great reinforcement as it requires the students to think back to the story and what they learned from it. I thought I would share here the Bible Character Profile Sheet that I made for my class. Let me know if you use it and how you like it!

DOWNLOAD

profile sheet

My Week Unplugged

My Week Unplugged

This past week has been wonderful! Definitely something I am somewhat going to continue.

By Monday evening I was realizing that I needed to stay accountable with my workouts. My sisters, myself, and a good friend of ours keep each other accountable with working out through a facebook group we created almost 3 years ago. I decided that I would go on facebook just to update that group once a night for five minutes. I told Shane when I went on and told him when I got off in order to stay accountable for how long I was on. And it was always only after all the kids were in bed.

Throughout the week I realized that it wasn’t very much the kids that were getting ignored by my being on the internet, it in was more my home and husband. This week I have been able to keep up with the cleaning and laundry much better. I am not stressed about getting it done because I was just slowly working at it throughout the morning between feeding kids and wiping bums.

Then the evenings were so wonderful. Instead of me mindlessly going through pinterest while Shane watched tv or read we were having movie nights complete with popcorn and yummy raspberry tea or we would play our favorite game, Catan, together. We really enjoyed each other’s company and attention.

I also started putting together a study unit for Will’s preschool. I am basing it off of the Whole Body Listening chart I found weeks ago. It is hanging on our wall next to where we do schoolwork. I am really excited about the project and hope to have it completed in a month or so. I am only on week one right now and there will be eight weeks total when I am finished. I am preparing it in PDF so I can share it here with you all!

Then there are a couple of things I wasn’t able to do more of like I was hoping.

I thought I would have all the time in the world to get sewing. Nope. I found that spending time with the kids during the day and Shane in the evening was more important right now. I LOVE sewing, crocheting, beading, woodburning, etc and I hope to get going on my projects soon…but I am slowly learning that spending time with my family is more important than sewing for them. Now I understand why my mom stopped sewing for 10 years.

The other thing I was hoping to do more of is Bible Study. I did get to spend more time working on my Sunday School lesson but not really on my own personal Bible Study. I find it to be a challenge to find quiet time at any part of the day. Most days I end up reading with the kids rather than having my own time reading. So that is something I definitely NEED to work on because unlike sewing, it is more important than quality time with the family. If I cannot get close to God how can I display His love to my family?

So anyway, that’s my update. I have several posts coming up that I am very excited about so keep dropping by!

Unplug Challenge

Unplug Challenge

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“Abracadabra! Make mom’s iPad disappear!”

That’s what William said last week. Sad isn’t it? It’s not even that I am using it all day long, but I use it often enough that he feels the need to try to make it disappear. He sees it takes my attention away from him. It shouldn’t be like that.

So, I decided why not unplug for a week. Give my kids, husband, and home my undivided attention.

I found an accountability partner (my husband). I told him what I plan on doing. I thought about asking him to hide my iPad but I thought surely I can practice enough self control to just not touch it for a week.

So, here’s the challenge:

1. Choose a day to begin. I am beginning Sunday, May 24.

2.Find an accountability partner. Like I said, I asked Shane to be that for me.

3. Turn off your devices and leave them alone for a week.

I hope you choose to do this challenge with me! If you do, please comment below with the date you plan to start and who you chose as your accountability partner.

Days like today I am thankful the Lord puts a song like “I’ll Never Forsake You” in my mind.

Verse 1:
O soul, are you weary from wave upon wave
Of grief and affliction whom no man can save?
Has sickness surrounded, or unending night?
Uncertainty stolen your joy and your might?

Verse 2:
O doubting, o fearful– remember His care,
The helpless and hopeless need never despair
For from your afflictions His glory shall spring–
The deeper your sorrow, the louder you’ll sing!
Remember Your father– His promise, His love:

Chorus:
“I’ll never forsake you, this pain will not break you,
For I will remake you for unending joy;
My promise is faithful though now it is painful;
No power can trample my covenant love.”

Verse 3:
Remember your Savior– His grief and His pain,
The lonely affliction, unmerited shame.
Though you had betrayed Him, He died in your place;
The joy set before Him He offers by grace.
Remember Your father– His promise, His love:

You can listen to it here.

It’s good to remember that whatever the Lord allows in our paths it is meant to draw us closer to Him.

Dear Sunday School Teacher…

Dear Sunday School Teacher…

Sunday SchoolTEacherI have been going through the books of the New Testament with my Sunday School class. We have been doing a book a week for quite some time now. Each week we talk about the author, recipient, theme, key verse, and purpose of the book. Tomorrow morning we will be in Philemon. I have been excited about preparing this lesson for a while because of how it can so easily open the door to talk about salvation. Anyway, as I was googling and reading I came across a website that I use as a reference quite often. It is called ministry-to-children.com. I don’t agree with everyone on that site but it can be a great help to get me started in preparing my lessons. As I came across their lesson on Philemon I saw the author’s note. It was this:

Due to ministry changes at my church and lack of teachers I have a combined class of newly promoted 4th & 5th graders.  The curriculum I have been given for my class is geared for older children (Level 6 Discipleland).  This is how I adapted the lesson for my students.  I do not have an assistant so each week can feel like a success and some weeks it feels like I spent the majority of the time dealing with disciplinary issues.  This ministry is not mine it is the Lord’s.  Each week I pray for Him to equip me and enable me to teach the lesson to minister to the needs of the students He is going to bring.  He is faithful to answer prayer and even if I feel like nothing went according to what I planned in advance I rest in God’s provision and equipping power to bring forth fruit in the lives of these students. May this give you comfort and encouragement as you prepare each week not sure if you are making a difference in the lives of your students.

I love this! It so perfectly sums up how I feel about my class sometimes! Even down to ministry changes and lack of workers. We need to remember that the ministries the Lord has put us in our not ours, but His. He chose us to fulfill them to His honor and glory. We need to remember that we do it for the Lord. Don’t get discouraged by a bad day. You never know how it affected your students!

When you’re so tired it’s funny

When you’re so tired it’s funny

overtired mom

A couple months ago we had our missions conference here. I was busy all week preparing meals for the missionaries during the day and being at services each evening. By the weekend I got a pretty bad cold. I was so out of it from being so tired and that awful cold on top of that. One morning I was getting Jenn her breakfast. I poured her a bowl of rice krispies and as I poured her sugar on top she gave me the weirdest look and asked what I was doing. I thought for a second and realized I was pouring salt on her rice krispies. Poor kid. I told her it’d be fine and to eat it anyway haha. Then later that afternoon Shane found our blender in the refrigerator. Which was awesome because I had been looking for it all day.

Looking back, these stories still make me laugh. I am sure there are a lot more overtired moments from other woman. So I went to the September 2014 Birth Club on Babycenter.com to ask moms to share their overtired moments with me. I realize moms aren’t the only ones who get overtired but I figured going to a board of woman who have babies Pepper’s age would have plenty of laughs for me. And they did! I got so many awesome responses. So many, that I had to weed through them twice until I had a list the size I wanted. So, here are their funny overtired stories! Share yours with me, too! I love a good laugh 🙂

  • Mommyandthree15: I put my son’s shorts on backwards and didn’t realize it until almost the end of the day.
  • MommyLangley: I woke up with my husband asking me what I needed as I was patting his arm in the middle of the night. I was like, “what are you talking about?” I could have sworn I was patting my baby’s bottom, but she sleeps in the next room and wasn’t even crying…
  • Heath15: In the past 24 hours I have gotten my heel stuck in a heating grate which took two people to get it out and poured my coffee on my pancakes and bacon instead of syrup. Also, last week my husband changed our daughter’s diaper in the middle of the night.  She woke up screaming an hour later.  He was so tired he forgot to put a new diaper on her.  She was covered in pee at 3am.
  • xoMrsHouston: I was changing my baby’s diaper in the middle of the night in my bed and I was so tired that I fell asleep sitting up with his diaper open and woke up to him peeing on my face! I need some sleep.
  • MommaMac914: One early morning I made coffee for myself and my husband. We premix baby’s formula in a pitcher and leave it in fridge. Instead of using creamer I used the formula in our coffee because I was so used to grabbing the pitcher. He kept saying that the coffee tasted weird and couldn’t figure out why until he looked in the fridge and the creamer was still sealed. Oops… I was too tired to care.
  • Snowflakes9: I put my slippers on instead of my sneakers and baby and I headed out the door to go to work. Once we got in the car I realized I was wearing slippers and back into the house we went.
  • BigTootersMomma: I put liquid soap on my toothbrush, lucky I didn’t put it in my mouth.
  • Elishasrq: I was so proud of myself that I got dressed and to the appointment on time with a  2 year old and 2 week old. Then as I’m sitting in the waiting room I realized I was wearing my slippers. Nice!
  • Littlelovebugonboard: There was the time I cut up a pineapple. I went looking in the fridge to eat some and couldn’t find it anywhere. I thought I was going crazy. Later that night I found it in the Pyrex container in the cupboard where I kept all my pyrex dishes. Oh, and the other night, in the middle of the night, I spent far longer than I’d like to admit trying to shove baby’s binky into his ear thinking it was his mouth…
  • Marx0038: I got in my car and went to buckle my seat belt.  I tried for at least an entire minute to get my belt into the buckle and I had no idea what was making it so hard.  I look down and realize that I’m trying to buckle my keys….
  • Steppingonlegos: I made some instant Mac n cheese (don’t judge me) and meant to get some milk to add to it to make it creamier. I started eating it and thought it tasted really weird but couldn’t put my finger on what I was tasting….turns out I had used thin mint flavored coffee creamer….that was a strange combo. I still finished it though because fat.Also I can’t tell you how many times I’ve started the keurig without putting a cup under it.
  • JordynArabellasMommy: Deoderant on my toothbrush. Trying to get ready super-fast while overly sleep derived. Fail.
  • Ennie2010: Baby was sitting in his highchair waiting for his teething biscuit and the dog was sitting underneath.  I accidently tossed the teething biscuit to the dog and popped a Snausage into baby’s mouth.
  • MomRn4: When I get really tired or stressed, I sleep walk. About a week or 2 ago I woke up and found my pillow in the car seat.Partially funny, partially scary.
  • Unicorn36: When I was in high school I actually left the house without shoes on and boarded the bus as well. When I got to school I was just in socks.
  • LaurenCarey: In the very early weeks, when I still kept a log of the time my daughter nursed, for how long and from what side, I was barely sleeping, like all new moms. I was so out of it one night that I thought I was nursing my daughter. I wasn’t. I was cradling a pillow to my chest. I really thought it was my baby. The worst part was that I wrote down the time and length of the ‘nursing session’.
  • Tiffycarter1984: I picked up my baby’s binkie to wash it off, walked over to put it in my baby’s mouth and realized it was my 10 year old son who was sitting at the dinner table (baby was in high chair). He gave me the weirdest look and pulled away. What are you doing mom!? Hahaha!
  • Sfildes85: I couldn’t find my phone anywhere and hubby and I tore the house apart looking for it. We kept calling it and followed the sound right to the pop tart box. Apparently, when I got a pop tart to take to work with me I put my phone in the pop tart box.
  • ReneeAnnK: last week it was my partner’s turn to wake up with the baby. I woke up to him sitting in the bed. I was like babe what are you doing? He said sorry, Can I put the baby back to bed yet? He had already fed, changed and put baby back to bed about ten minutes before. Poor guy.
  • Gisellemomsep: I was doing baby’s 7 month pics & wrote her name on a chalkboard for the pics. I spelled her name wrong
  • Ncmommaof2: I got really sick when little one was a couple months old and we had to supplement a couple nights. One night, I woke my husband to get me a bottle not once but twice. Never got that bottle. But this is what I found the next morning:
  • overtired
Safely Exercising with Kids

Safely Exercising with Kids

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I recently joined Instagram. Well, I think I may have joined it years ago but I never touched it. I decided to download the app again and see how it is. I just started clicking and eventually found myself on the profile of what seemed to be a new mom. She had several photos of her breastfeeding her little one who seemed to be about 3-4 months old. One photo bothered me. It was her on her ELLIPTICAL breastfeeding her baby. The caption said how her baby needed to eat but she didn’t want to skip out on her time of working out so she was just going to breastfeed while using the elliptical.

I am all for breastfeeding. I breastfed my two kids and am currently breastfeeding my third. I am all for multitasking (although Shane wishes I would stop multitasking while cooking supper lol). But that was a very dangerous situation that woman was putting herself and her baby in. And I could add here, for every 1 oz of breast milk I produce I burn 20 calories. So JUST by breastfeeding I can burn at least 500 calories in a day. Anyway, all that to say that I have put together a little list of ways I exercise and get active SAFELY with my kids.

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1. GO FOR A WALK. Isn’t that clever? Seriously though, it’s our favorite way to get active. Sometimes I pile all the kids in my stroller. I have a sit and stand stroller so I can fit three kids in it. Sometimes I wear Pepper and let the older ones run all over. Sometimes we have a destination in mind like the park, library, cafe, or church. Sometimes we just walk until we are ready to find a road that leads home (one of the reasons I love Inuvik).

2. DANCE. I put on some classical music or maybe some Pride and Prejudice and we dance our hearts out. I have done this with William since he was a tiny guy. We still love it. This is a great way to get your heart rate up. The kids take turns being held and swung around by me. It’s a lot of fun.

3. PLAY TAG. I guess you have to have at least one older child to enjoy this, but the kids can’t get enough of it. I usually carry Pepper so she can get in on the fun. But sometimes I let her watch while I chase the kids all over the house. It’s a lot of fun to act like a kid again!

4. PUSHUPS. Pep LOVES this. I lay her below me and everytime I go down I give her a kiss on a different part of her face.

5. SQUATS. Just hold baby in your arms as you go up and down. Better than weights!

6. LUNGES. Same as squats!

7. PLANK. Basically the same as pushups. Just lay baby beneath you and talk to her/him. It helps the time to go by faster,too.

8. CRUNCHES. This depends on the age of your baby. But I lay Pep on my legs so every time I come up I give her a funny face. But once baby is a little more mobile this wouldn’t be as safe.

9. RUSSIAN TWISTS. This one is sort of confusing to explain, but I will try. Get in the position like you are going to do sit ups. Bring your upper body 3/4 of the way up and hold there for the duration of the exercise. Now hold baby and move her from one side of your body, up, then to the other side of the body.

10. MARCHING IN PLACE. Easy enough. Just hold baby while you march in place.

I LOVE working out with my kids. They always like getting their “workout clothes” and sneakers on when they see me getting ready. Jenn even has a shirt that she only wears when she does push ups haha. I have never required my kids to workout but I do require them to be active. I am trying to teach them that being active is fun. Try this list, and let me know if you have more ideas to add to it!

My Body, My Rules

My Body, My Rules

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I recently came across this photo on Facebook. Maybe some of you have seen it. I normally just pass right over this kind of stuff but when I saw that a couple of people I knew had commented on it I was interested to see what the comments were like. I should have never opened that up. I could not believe what “CHRISTIAN” woman were saying about this photo. Things like, “I was raised with the Bible and taught that sex before marriage was wrong. But when I was a teenager I decided I wanted to so I did. It was my choice to do it.” And also, “My daughter is only 5 but if she wants to have sex as a teenager that is fine with me. It is her choice.”

What does God think about this mentality?

” Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”   (I Corinthians 6:15-20).

It is not my body! God gave me this temple to use to honor Him. That is why I chose not to have sex before marriage. That is why I choose not to have tattoos. That is why I choose to dress modestly. That is why I exercise and eat right. My body is to glorify God. Yes, we have this choice. God allows us to choose between right and wrong. But that does not mean that choosing wrong is without consequences. Sin has consequences. Sin hurts. We need to be teaching our daughters AND sons that their bodies are to be used for the Lord. We need to be teaching them that sex outside of marriage is wrong and is not without consequence. We need to teach them that Christ paid the ultimate sacrifice for us.

Many comments on that photo were about not making rules for our teenagers but rather just equipping them with good decision-making abilities. I agree we need to teach our children how to make good decisions. BUT I also believe we can keep them from a lot of hurt by placing rules and restrictions in their lives until they are able to make those good decisions.

For example, before William could walk he slept in a crib. I did this to protect him. As he got older he was able to get in and out of a bed without falling so he no longer needed the protection of a crib. Then he was walking around and I needed to put up a baby gate by the stairs. I did this not to hinder his decision-making abilities, but to protect him from falling down the stairs. As he got older he was able to take the stairs successfully so the gate was removed. Now he likes to play outside. He is allowed to play outside but only in our yard. He is not allowed to go down the street by himself. This, again, is not to hinder his decision-making abilities but rather to protect him from being hurt. As he gets older he will be able to go down to the park by himself. Parents need to place restrictions in a child or teenager’s life to protect them.

Ultimately, however, we need to teach our children we do this because God said so. Whenever I correct my kids I say, “God does not like that.” “God hates that.” “God says that will hurt us.” And then I tell them what God does like. And it is important to use Scripture when doing this. It is NOT our bodies, our rules. For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.