Tuesday, December 30, 2008


res-o-lute: adj. Having a decided purpose; determined; resolved; fixed in a determination; hence, bold; firm; steady.

From which we get the word "resolution", as in the New Year's variety. Anyone make those? I really hardly do, mostly because before Memorial Day arrives I'd forgotten what it was I resolved to do. I'm guessing those sorts of resolutions wouldn't have fit the definition at all. Had I truly been determined, resolved, bold, I would not so easily abandon my purpose. These last two years, I have had the same resolution, which I have not forgotten: not to put undue burden on the family budget. I have had income from my part-part-part time job, which I tried to use for as many family wants & needs as possible.

I know many people decide to read through the Bible in a year or lose XX number of pounds, which, are noble things to purpose towards. I'm wondering though, by April are they still only half-way through Genesis and stopping at the McDonald's drive-thru for a greasy Quarter Pounder? {YUM! Haven't had me one of those in forever.....} But I digress.

So, since I believe that if you don't know what you're aiming for, you'll never hit your target, here are my "aims" or resolutions if you will, for 2009. I've narrowed it down to three, simple and practical things:

Number One: Return to my pre-pregnancy weight before the end of the year. Our sweet pea #4 is officially due August 2nd, which should leave me plenty of time on the calendar to accomplish this, especially if I can manage not to gain more than 25 pounds.

Number Two: Read 12 books. Any twelve. Some for fun. Some for personal and spiritual growth. But just keep reading. It's actually something I truly love, but had not done too much of due to my previous TV watching habits. So many things can be accomplished without cable TV.....

Number Three: Try 12 new recipes. That's really not very many. Only one new recipe per month. There are so many things that I've always wanted to try making from scratch, but just never get around to: croissants, white bean chicken chili, ravioli, lobster bisque, homemade candy, orange chicken.

Do you make New Year's Resolutions? What's slated for '09?

P.S. For a wonderful guided reflection of 2008, be sure not to miss this post at Simple Mom.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

From my blog, home & heart to yours: Merry Christmas & may it be a blessed one!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Not One

But many.

I'm glad I decided to share about my financial situation. I hesitated,
believe me, for many reasons. My prayer, now, is that my God would glorified for all the ways that He has taken care of us through the willing spirit of others. And although I had one large Christmas miracle in mind, please enjoy with me the many miracles He has graced me with:

  • My mortgage is paid for January, along with my credit card payments, thanks to the best mom ever. I was also able to perform some "creative financing" with my mortgage payment, which I had been specifically praying for.
  • My sister-in-law paid for $100 worth of groceries for us and also passed along an extra $100 to use for bills.
  • My other sister-in-law will be paying my heating bill.
  • A Christian friend at my sister-in-law's work, someone whom I only met once briefly, gave us a Wal-Mart gift card, along with the message that "this is only the beginning". I could've hardly imagined a near perfect stranger opening her heart & pocketbook to us.
  • A friend called to say that even though she has very little, as her husband is out of work as well, she will be sending us $40. You are like the widow in the Bible who gave two tiny coins, recognizing the need to hold money lightly, willingly & lovingly giving it away.
  • Many people, perhaps even some of you, have been praying for us. This means more to me than you can know. Specifically, you can pray for Hubby to get his CDL quickly and for our business to obtain more customers. Also, pray for His specific will as it relates to Hubby getting another job. We are asking Him for a second shift position which would allow our business to continue. For me, I sporadically feel well, but more often than not, I am plagued with nausea. My spirits are lifted though, knowing that I will be able to continue to live in my home, even if it will be for only another month. I have applied for several forms of government assistance, so I ask that those would come to fruition quickly.
I am blessed beyond measure this holiday season, more so by the loving hearts of the people I know, whether only in the blogosphere or in real life, than by any amount of money or help you could ever give. No amount of thanks could express my gratefulness. You are storing up treasures in Heaven. Be blessed!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Christmas Miracle

I need one.

Our business is struggling. Our sole customer can only afford to pay us a fraction of what he was paying before, leaving me feeling....well....desperate. I am not talking about trying to merely afford a certain kind of lifestyle. I am referring to literally having enough money to pay my necessary bills, like my mortgage, food, and electricity. There is nothing left in my budget to cut. No more fat to trim. I am waiting on a miracle.

It feels superficial to talk about holiday festivities or my latest craft project or my little guy's first birthday party, when all I feel like is that things are crashing down around me. I hate to be a downer in the midst of everyone else's joy, but this is just my reality right now. And I'd hate to put on a cheery face {or a cheery blog for that matter} when the truth is something altogether different. Oh, I know all the proper cliches, like God will provide or He loves you and He has a plan for you. But His provision is....non-specific. At least that's how it seems to me. God never promised us a single family home or tasty nutritious food or money for utilities. I guess you could say He would still be caring for us if we had to subsist on boxes of mac & cheese and move in with family or some sort of shelter, right?

As if this matter of money was not stressful enough, God has, er, blessed us with knowledge that we are expecting another baby! I realize {now, after much crying & thought} that although I did not plan this, God was not surprised one bit. He must think that I can handle more than I ever thought I could. I hope He doesn't think that I can handle much more!

So while others are decking the halls, making their last minute Christmas purchases, and spreading holiday cheer, I am battling near constant nausea and wondering how long I can make the five boxes of noodles on my pantry shelf last. During this season of contemplating Christ's humble birth, I am trying not to let my stressful circumstances rob me of my joy. I am thankful that my God is incorruptible, that He is faithful to His promises, and loves His very own children more than the lilies of the field and the birds of the air.

Oh, how I need a miracle these days. I guess it's a good thing that I am clinging to the One in the Miracle Making Business.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Flashback Friday

Since I've got nothing else interesting to say {at the moment}, I figured I'd join some of Flashback fun. This picture was taken exactly one year ago today.

You can see here what a difference a year makes.

One year ago, I had a 6 year old, a 2 year old, and one week old.

One year ago, my husband had a great full-time job with excellent benefits.

One year ago, the weariness and amazement of having a newborn shadowed the worry over choosing the perfect gift.

One year ago, we did not travel to a single place for the holidays ~ everyone came to us.

One year ago, I was only 29. Now I'm 29 plus shipping & handling.

For more Flashback Fridays, visit Courtney at Storing Up Treasures in Heaven.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Christmas in Progress

Well, seeing as Christmas is only about, oh 19 16 days away, I figured I better start checking things off of my to-do list. It's been kind of difficult because Thanksgiving was my focus for so long & now Sebastian's first birthday party is looming. I figure if I can at least do a few things this week, it will make my life {a little} easier later on. Here's a sneak peak of a project that will, I believe, end up being a gift for many family members this year. I'll probably tweak a few of the photos based on who the recipient is.

It is a CD case calendar, made using a kit I purchased here. The templates are all so beautiful, I had a hard time deciding which one to use. Since nearly everyone has a desk, I figured the CD case idea would work out for many folks.

The tree is up! The plethora of Christmas knick-knacks are waiting on the mantel to be placed in there rightful spots. I guess I'll be working on that today.

I purchased a few more gifts the other day, have many things on the way from amazon & updated my Christmas list so I can start buying more gifts. The pathetic part is that I have the money set aside for gifts, I just haven't had the time & energy to go shopping at multiple stores. I think my indecisiveness might be a problem too. What I find something even better at the next store? I want to be diligent in using God's money well, which is why I put so much thought into the things I buy.

The girls have a Christmas program next Sunday at church, so I plan to snap some pictures of them {and the little fella} to make into a holiday card. I'm thinking of using this set here. Perhaps I can pre-address all the envelopes so that all I have to do is have the photos printed, insert & send! Yes, good idea. I think I'll do that.

The actual "getting together" part of the holidays is pretty much decided. Planning when and where we will be going has been a dramatic process {to put it lightly}, but not because it was our desire to have it that way. I am wishing we could just NOT GO ANYWHERE {did I say that? I guess I was just thinking out loud...} and hunker down in our jammies all day in front of a fire & eat homemade food & enjoy each other's company. Maybe I will have to plan a specific day for just that purpose......

Enough about me. How's your holiday "stuff" coming along? All ready?

Thursday, December 04, 2008

525, 600 Minutes

Otherwise known as a year in the life. A year in our life since the day that Sebastian Judah joined our family as our third-born child and first-born son. I think this has been the shortest first year of any child thus far.

:: just a few weeks old ::

Maybe it's because our lives are so different now, what with homeschooling and a work-at-home husband. Maybe it's because he was born during the chaos of a holiday season, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, upon the brink of my second daughter's 3rd birthday and my 30th birthday, causing those first few months to just fly by all too quickly. Maybe it's because my first-born is older now and such a big help and little mommy to my baby. Maybe it's simply because I now realize how fleeting and precious these childhood days are and the tighter I hold on to them, the quicker they slip through my fingers.

:: five months old & going for his first walk outside ::

Sebastian is still clingy, although no longer requires being in my arms to fall asleep. He loves his "chupy", although that too is not quite as necessary as it once was. He can feed himself, entertain himself, and is quite the opportunist when it comes to getting into things he's not supposed to. He has yet to take his first steps, being quite content with crawling. He seems to have a good sense of humor {a prerequisite in
this family} and loves tickles under his chin. Nothing can get me smiling quite like that huge goofy grin of his, showing off his eight big teeth.

:: nine months old & looking like a little fella ::

His first birthday is bittersweet. Happy for all the growing he's done, sad that the "tiny" baby I held has gotten bigger, excited for all the new experiences in the coming year. First steps, first words, first discoveries are all waiting for their perfect moment.

:: today ::

Happy first birthday Spuddy! Mommy loves you more than words can say.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Recap in Photos

:: gratitude quotes around the glasses ::

:: kids' gift baggies filled with goodies like zoopals utensils & homemade pumpkin play-do ::

:: painted Pilgrims ::

:: cook takes a break to love on her bro ::

:: Betty* cooks green beans {*names have been changed to protect the guilty innocent} ::

:: table is ready for 20-something guests ::

:: flowers look pretty & make me happy ::

:: Say, "We're famous now! Cheese!" Love you guys! ::

:: relaxin' after the big meal ::

:: gobble, gobble! These party favors were a big hit! ::

:: the morning after ::