Thursday, May 24, 2007

Small Town Living

I went to our local post office on Saturday to mail some packages & buy some 2 cent stamps. The postal worker there was so friendly. There are only two different workers that are ever in the office, so you start remembering and appreciate seeing the same friendly face. {I even remarked to hubby afterwards how personal it felt & how you probably wouldn't experience that in a bigger town.} She handed me the stamps and I noticed that there was an actual sized picture of the same stamps on the counter. Somehow I got so mesmerized by trying to align my stamps with the picture {yes, I'm weird or maybe it's just the pregnancy hormones} that I ended up leaving the stamps on the counter. I realized the next day that I had left the stamps there. Lo and behold, on Monday morning, the stamps were in my mailbox with a little note that I had left them at the post office. The worker must have looked up my address and took it upon herself to make sure they got to me. I don't think you'd get that kind of service in a big city. Just one thing to love about small town living!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Crystal Light on the Go

I really like Crystal Light {or the knock-off} since I'm really drinking water, but with much more flavor and without all the calories. It helps me keep my fluid intake up, which is especially important now. I've heard people rave about Crystal Light on the Go, little packets which you dump into a bottle of water to make Crystal Light {$$$}. I like this idea particularly because I could alternate flavors without having to make a full pitcher at a time. I figured out how to make my own at home. Here is what you do:

Open your container of CL meant to make a 2 qt. pitcher. Get your standard size {16.9 ounce} bottle of water. Measure out 3/8 teaspoon CL mix & dump into bottle {I usually do 1/4 teaspoon plus a half of the 1/4 teaspoon to make 3/8}. Shake vigorously, enjoy! Depending on how full your bottle of water is, you may have to drink a little off the top to get it to shake well. I just put the rest of the container on a safe shelf in the cupboard.

So there's another money-saving homemade idea to begin your week. Hope your weekend was blessed!

P.S. My favorite flavors are raspberry ice, pink lemonade, and iced tea {which I shouldn't drink too much of now}!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Reader Poll

Here's another fun reader poll, since it seemed many people chimed in on the last one:

Do you continue to patronize a restaurant/store where you have received bad service?

Many of you know I'm a serious kind of a food snob, so if the food was bad {or even only decent}, I wouldn't go back again. Recently the family ate at a corporate-owned neighborhood bar & grill type franchise. I have been to this restaurant a bazillion times. I *love* the food. I have had bad luck with the service though. Seemed really slow this time...on a rainy Tuesday night! {I'm sure the fact that I felt like I could pass out from hunger at any moment didn't help!} I have worked many customer service related jobs {restaurant server being one of them} and have really high standards when it comes to customer service.There is one Woodstock restaurant that after receiving bad service there, we have never gone back. It's a shame too, since Woodstock isn't exactly overflowing in the restaurant department. Anywho, back to my original question.....

Monday, May 14, 2007

Leaving a Legacy

Even though I am a day late, I feel somewhat obligated to do a Mother's Day post {that's what good mommy-bloggers do, right?} So here I am. When I think about Mother's Day and what others write about it and my own mom, the thought that comes back to me again and again is leaving a legacy. Mother's Day usually offers a chance for us to reflect on what our moms did for us as children, the greatest lesson they taught us, what they mean to us, etc. summed up basically in the term "legacy". One definition of the word is "anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor". It was really hard to put into words and appreciate the legacy my mom has left me, especially since she was not a Christian while we were growing up, but here are the two things that I was able to formulate:

Legacy of the Strong Woman: My mom passed down to me the idea that women are strong physically and mentally. We can do much more than we believe we can. We should not be ashamed to express our own opinions or emotions. If life hands us something difficult, we can and should keep pressing forward, never giving up.

Legacy of the Big Dreams: My parents always encouraged my brother and I to dream big. Imagine what it is you want to be and go for it! You can have it all! {I've come to realize this isn't true, but their hearts were in the right place.} Whatever we wanted to be, they would support, as long as it made us happy.

To this day, I still consider myself to be strong and am always coming up with Big Ideas. Hubby jokes that I am a one-woman think tank. And so, I am left to consider what sort of legacy I am leaving my girls {children}. Some days I wonder if they'll just remember me yelling or always asking them to pick up their toys. Each day that passes is our opportunity to work towards that legacy. I want mine to be one of prayer, passion, and purpose. {That sounds so cliche, but it's what came out while typing.} Basically, I want to leave behind that I put God first in everything, that I was passionate about life {enjoying it to the fullest} and the things of God, and that I was meaningful and had reason for the things I did. I also hope they remember how loving I am, how much fun we had, and how much they truly enjoy being part of this family. I am always telling my oldest daughter how lucky I am to be her mom and I hope one day, she feels the same about being my daughter.

To all the moms I know, Happy Mother's Day! I pray the legacy you leave will span the generations, so make it a good one!

Friday, May 11, 2007

I just don't get it

I really don't. I came across this story of a 7 year-old Colorado boy who died from cardiac arrest due to undernourishment. The article claims he weighed 30 pounds. That is about the weight of my 2 year-old. What is going through your mind when you are starving a child, any child, let alone your own? What words do people use to justify that to themselves. I just don't get it. I also read the story of a Texas mom who sold her 15 year-old daughter to a sexual predator for $3000. Some of us recently had a discussion about internet/real-world safety regarding our children. Can you imagine literally feeding your child to one of these predators? I wonder if when these babies were born, their mothers cried for joy or held them tenderly or were amazed at their creation. I wonder if they ever felt unworthy to be blessed with the miracle of a child. If so, how did they get to the point of doing something so unthinkable? My heart is just wounded for these children and thousands of others who are abandoned in some way by their parents. Can you fathom living the rest of your life knowing that your mom tried to sell you or kill you? I pray for these families today. I pray that they would find healing in the One who loves them unconditionally and will never forsake them. And it leaves me wondering how many kids I have come across or who live in my neighborhood or in our county who are hungry or scared or abused.......

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Frugal Inspiration

Need some fresh inspiration for your frugal lifestyle? Here are some blogs I have come across recently that I really enjoy:

The Family CEO
- seems like she hasn't posted in awhile, but when she does, it's good. Lots of links to other frugal blogs as well.

Like Merchant Ships

the Abundant Life

No Limits Ladies - ok, not so much a frugal blog, but a blog about money sense. I *really* am liking this one.

I have enjoyed all the conversations regarding frugality that I have come across as well, like this one. I came to realize that frugality is not about paying less, it's about living with less. Sometimes I think I am being frugal, when in reality I am just buying cheap stuff that I really don't need. I want to live a simpler life. {I think this is why I enjoy doing some things the "old-fashioned" way.} I want to have control over my "stuff", not the other way around. If you have any frugal inspiration or thoughts, please share with the group!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Reaching Out

One of the down sides to being a Christian stay at home parent can be, unless we are purposeful about it, the lack of unbelievers who cross our paths on a daily basis. My spouse, working in a secular marketplace, undoubtedly has many more opportunities to build relationships with those who need Christ than I do, which is why I have to be more diligent about creating those opportunities for myself. I think sometimes it can be a tendency of us young moms {do I still qualify for this category??} to surround ourselves with Christian friends, while at the same time neglecting those who need to hear the Good News. After all, "it is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick." {Mark 2:17} Here are some opportunities that you can create for yourself to try and reach out in love to those around you:

  • Meet your neighbors! How many do you know? Make it a goal to meet one new neighbor a month {or every 6 months}.
  • Talk to other parents at your child's sports practice/dance class/library story time.
  • Myspace. It's there, let's use it. I've noticed quite a few of you joining lately. I purposely downloaded Myspace IM in hopes that I would reconnect with one of "my friends" who I know could really use a Godly influence in her life. Maybe after enough IMing I could invite her to a playdate or out to lunch. Use it for His Kingdom, instead of just for socializing.
  • Connect with the parents of your child's school friends! Invite a couple kids & moms over for a playdate. I would totally be doing this if I had children in a public school. At dd's preschool I enjoyed talking with the moms & I think there would be a much bigger chance for relationship building when your child is attending with the same kids year after year. Seems like there is big opportunity here.
These are just a couple things that I have personally tried that I know God has blessed and are geared toward building relationships. Of course there are countless opportunities to reach out in love through random acts of kindness, but I was thinking more about long-term opportunities. Are you actively building relationships with those who need Him? Any other great ideas for creating opportunities for His glory?

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Biding my Time

I have been biding my time, trying to think of anything I can blog about, other than the inevitable. Groceries. Warm weather. House-wifery. Anything. I guess I thought that if I went public, somehow things would be more real than they are now. For weeks now, I've been trying to pretend that everything is normal, ignoring the proverbial white elephant in my living room. My hand is being forced though. My cousin tells me that if I don't make an announcement soon, she will out me. Nice. I am still adjusting to my new version of life. I am trying to make sense of how one little line can alter my future. Forever. It just seems so inconsequential, that one little line. And then there are the three words that necessarily follow. The three words that are so exciting, joyful, nerve-wracking & exciting all at the same time. Do you know the three words I am talking about? Here they are:




So now you know.