Whoa it’s been a while…

So, I have not blogged in about a year! Do you want to know why? Do you care? Well, I’m telling you anyway. Motherhood. I do not know how moms can blog daily, take care of the house, keep their kid(s) from breaking things, cook dinner, run errands, and keep their sanity. Something had to go. For me, it has been time on the internet. It’s not like I totally abandoned the cyber world, as those of you that know me will testify. It’s just that I have not had much free time to spend rattling my thoughts out on a blog. I feel like I need to play catch up, but that’s a lot more than I’m willing to do. So, I’ll just pick up where I left off…. the daily stuff.

The kid is now 3, almost 3 and a half. He is 150% boy. He’s a walking, talking, running, messy little creature. His mouth and feet move at a steady pace ALL DAY! I kid you not. That is taxing on this mommy brain. But, he is a smart one. I tend to not brag on my kid because I refuse to be THAT mom. But, since you are reading my blog, I can do whatever I want. 🙂 I’ve very grateful for the kid’s growing imagination and wealth of knowledge. It is also a heavy burden to carry when you are your child’s first teacher. I think every parent should be their child’s first teacher. Some take that more seriously than others. For our family, we choose to make it a very high priority. Education begins at home. (No I was never a teacher and I did not get asked to say that.) Pretty much everything of importance begins at home, faith, fellowship, education, manners, discipline, communication…. If these life moments dont begin at home, someone else will surely be teaching your child. More than likely, they won’t be the influence that you would like. But now… off my soapbox.

You learn so much about yourself as a mom. Seriously, I do not care what any one says. Being a mom is the hardest and most important job you will ever have. I absolutely love it, even if it sucks a lot of the life out of me. I just figure, I am putting my all into something if it leaves me exhausted. Like exercise. But what do I know about that 😉

For anyone interested in doing home preschool with you child. This is what I do with our guy at least 2 days a week. The best resource I have found is www.abcjesuslovesme.com

I’ll be back sooner rather than later this time!!

Chicken and Veggie Skillet

Found and altered a yummy new recipe staple for my house. We are calling it Chicken and Veggie Skillet
I love cheap, easy home cooked meals. Especially with common ingredients.
Ingredients:
1lb chicken cut in 1″ pieces
1/2 large onion diced
1 can chicken broth (or 1.5 cups)
1 can cream of chicken
1 cup baby carrots halved or petites whole
1.5 cup broccoli
1.5 cups egg noodles
Serves 4

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Step 1. Warm 1tbsp oil. Add chicken and onion. Cook until tender/browned.

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Step 2. Combine remaining ingredients. Cook until boiling. Reduce heat, cover. Cook 10 minutes.

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Step 3: eat.

My One Word 2012: Joy

Joy… sounds easy enough right? When was the last time you really, honestly, truly felt full of joy? Not happiness. Joy? Don’t remember? Yeah…. me either.

The task at hand was to decide who I wanted to become at the end of 2012. What type of person was I to be, what role models did I have for this type of person? Fun. Happy. Cheerful. Blessed. Positive. Delightful. JOYFUL. Joy, that’s it. I truly desired to be something that I am not, or at least have not been in a long time. Back when things were easy and life had not gotten in the way.

Life, the very thing God grants me to live abundantly in, had striped my JOY. And it was all my fault. I’m not sure how I missed its exit, I suppose it was a slow walk in the opposite direction. In the course of the, lets say, last 10 years or so, that Joy starting its journey out of my heart, I have been blessed beyond measure. God’s grace and goodness allowed me to survive college (no seriously), meet the man of all men to be God’s arms and flesh for me on this earth, the joyful little spawn of that union I call my son, a beautiful home to call my own, family and friends that I adore…. what is there not to be joyful about?

Until I stopped to really think about what was missing, I did not realize that it was joy. Sure I can be happy. I can laugh and have a good time. But my spirit has been a bowl full of tired and stressed with a nice big helping of worried on top. I truly believe that where worry is, joy will not be found. Have you ever met a joyful worrier? Yeah, me either. So if I want to worry less, I need more joy. It’s almost selfish to say that someone with so much to be grateful for can’t even enjoy it… But, don’t get me wrong, I’m in no ways depressed about this life I have been granted. I have just found myself in a place where it is hard to be happy because there is a to-do list sprinting through my head. I don’t know about you, but when I get exhausted, I tend to feel less healthy. And when I feel bad, I worry about my health. And when I worry about my health, I give the devil a foothold. When I give the devil a foothold, he is allowed into my mind, my already exhausted mind. That is no place I want to devil to stay very long. He could do some real damage. He knows that is my weakness, and as in Genesis 4:7, he is crouching at the door, waiting for me to get tired enough to stop and worry, where I don’t have the energy to fight back, and he attacks. But the hope of that verse is that I CAN rule over it.

1 Thessalonians 5:16 says “be joyful always.” As in ALWAYSSSSSSS. It doesn’t say, only when the kid is perfect, only when your husband reads your mind and takes you out for dinner so you don’t have to cook, only when you feel like you could run a marathon, only when all the laundry is folded, dishes are washed and you had time to shower… there are no exceptions in always. Always is defined 1.every time; on every occasion; without exception 2. all the time; continuously; uninterruptedly 3. forever 4. in any event; at any time (dictionary.com) Yeah…. so that hits pretty hard.

I chose that verse to be the one I mediate on for this year. It’s short, sweet and to the point. Be joyful always. When I worry… be joyful always… when I want to pull my hair out… be joyful always… when I want to get angry… be joyful always.

One slight problem: What is joy? How do I have real joy? I don’t mean the happy, fun-loving, side of joy… but Joy that is an expression of my heart, soul and mind? To be honest, I don’t know the last time I was full of joy. My wedding day, the day I finally met my baby boy, those are huge, joyful days. But I mean, joyful in the mundane every day life? Can you relate or am I hearing crickets?

Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

Psalm 16:11 You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

You will fill me with joy in your presence. Where do I find joy? Everyone say it with me, IN HIS PRESENCE. Where can I meet Him in His presence? In His Word, in prayer, in worship. I can be filled with joy there.

Psalm 51:12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation. The joy of His salvation. The hope of glory. The redemption for my sins. I don’t think this necessarily is referring to the “church camp high” or “mission trip high.” If you have come off of a trip that has refreshed your soul, you know what I’m talking about. Restore to me that joy. What would it be like to live like that every day? I want to know.

Ironically, no divinely, my favorite Christian author released a new book in December called Choosing Joy. My sweet husband bought the book for me for Christmas. It is a 52 week devotional about discovering true happiness. I’m on week 5 now. It is rocking my soul and showing me new things about how to find, cling, and express the joy that comes from being in His presence. Afterall, joy is a fruit of the spirit. I want the spirit to be producing fruit in me. This year, I’m choosing God to do that work through Joy.

Find out more about My One Word here

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Rejoice, the act of expressing joy (used 154 times in the Bible). Delight, to find joy in (used 105 times in the Bible). Joy the emotion of great happiness caused by something exceptionally satisfying (used 241 times in the Bible). Apparently, this topic is really important to our walk, wouldn’t you say?

Psalm 9:2 I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.

Psalm 37:4 Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 104:34 May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the LORD.

Psalm 13:5 But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.

Psalm 31:7 I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul.

John 15:11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

Romans 12:12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Couponing: A trip to Harris Teeter during Triples week

I have gotten fairly addicted to this couponing thing. I refuse to become an extreme couponer with stashes of unnecessary items in all my closets. If you’ve seen the show, you know what I’m talking about. Some of these extreme couponers have enough toilet paper to last until Jesus returns…. and they keep buying more! Personally, I think it’s wasteful and hoarding. This couponing trend has made people gluttons for a good deal. What bothers me the most is when the store runs out of items because of the extreme couponers. I just wanted one package of toilet paper to use with my one coupon. Oh, but that crazy binder lady has racked them up while she has an entire closet full at home. Although you are getting a great deal, hoarding is not good stewardship or community. It also causes people like me to sin when I have to look at the shelf you just emptied and your binder in the store. Yes, I’m not thinking good thoughts. You’re probably one of the people stealing papers to get the coupons too.

Couponing bitterness aside, I am so glad I am finally getting the hang of this business.

If you have not started couponing or you don’t think you have the time, I strongly encourage you to look into it. You will be amazed at how much you save and the great things you get. My hold up in couponing was that I thought I was being cheap. Cheap people bother me. You can’t take it with you when you go. I have a new definition of cheap…..stingy. Couponing doesnt make you cheap. Using coupons and saving money on name brand products makes you smart. You have two options if you want to save money…. (1) Buy all store brand products or shop at Family Dollar for everything or (2) Buy name brand products for less than the store brand costs by doing a little homework and using a pair of scissors. I say go with option 2!

Here’s a wrap-up of my trip to Harris Teeter during Triples week this morning:

Original Coupon, multiplied savings/Tripled—Product and Retail Price, Cost after Vic Savings, Final cost after all savings

.55, 1.10—muellers’ pasta $1.95, vic savings $1.25, Final after coupons: $0.35

.55, 1.10—Motts juice $3.29, vic $2.99, Final: $1.34

.50, 1—Dawn (small bottle) $1.69, evic $1.16, Final: +$0.34 (yeah they paid me)

.75, 1.5 —Dawn plus $3.49, evic $2.74, Final: $0.49

.50, 1—Betty Crocker instant potato(2) $1.89, vic, $1.25, Final: $0.50 (each)

.50, 1—Popsecret(2) $3.19, vicBOGO, Final: $.85 (each)

.55, .7—Mahatma rice 48oz $3.89, vic $2.99, Final: $1.74

.75, 1.5—Green Giant steamers(2) $2.79, vicBOGO, Final: $0.27 (each)

.50, 1—Chex Mix $3.99, Final: $2.49

.75, 1.5—Ragu(2) $2.79, vic $2.54, Final: $1.17 (each)

.40, .8—Pillsbury crescent(2) $2.19, vic $2, Final $1.40 (each)

.75, 1.5—Rhodes dinner rolls $2.39, Final: $0.14

.60, 1.2—Green Giant frozen veggie (3) $2.00, vic $1.25, Final: $0.65 (each)

.50, 1—Pillsburu pancake(2) $2.35, vic $2.00, Final: $1.25 (each)

.50, 1—Reynolds foil $4.99, Final: $3.49

.30, .6—Pillsbury cinnamon rolls(2) $2.19, vic $2.00, Final: $1.55 (each)

.75, 1.5—Pillsbury Choc Chip cookie(2) $2.99, vic $2.50, Final: $1.38 (each)

.30, .6—Pillsbury Grands Biscuit(2) $1.99, vic $ $1.67, Final: $1.22 (each)

.40, .8—Campells soup (3) $2, vic $1, Final: $0.60

.75, 1.5—LandOLakes Cinnamon Butter $2.45, Final: $0.20

For all of that…. I paid $49.00 including tax. I saved $ 58.25 in coupons through triples plus $23.95 in Vic savings.

Notice everything I got is edible or useful and WAY below retail price. Seriously…. what are you waiting for??

Encouragement for my SAHM’s

Sometimes, I feel guilty for not bringing home the bacon and just cooking it… and not using my education. Sometimes, I feel like I need to be doing more at church and in my community. Sometimes, I wake up and it’s Groundhog day all over again. Sometimes, I hear the lies people say about stay at home moms rattling in my head (You have an easy job, Why don’t you put him in daycare and get a part time job, Don’t you think he needs to hang out with other kids, What are you going to do when you grow up, Kids that don’t go to daycare aren’t as socialized, Going to daycare builds up their immunity, What do you do all day?) Sometimes….

“Jim Elliot famously said, ‘He is no fool who gives up that which he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.’ Motherhood provides you with an opportunity to lay down the things that you cannot keep on behalf of the people that you cannot lose. They are eternal souls, they are your children, they are your mission field.”

Read more in this blog post: Motherhood is a Mission Field

I need to put that Jim Eliot quote up in my house somewhere to remind me that the work I do at home could be the most important thing I ever do…. in my entire life.

Our society and culture ranks children as the last thing you should mark off of your bucket list.  This blog post, from the same woman I posted above, shares more. Where having kids ranks…

I don’t typically acknowledge the stay at home mom haters with a response. I like to remind myself that you “Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you would be like him yourself. If you answer a fool according to his folly, he will be wise in his own eyes. ” (Proverbs 26:4-5) But since this is probably scientifically proven somewhere,  my child gets plenty of chances to build his immunity riding in Walmart carts, I will certainly not pay for a daycare to do a trip to the store can do for free.

All in a days work…..

Warning to first time moms

There I was, we just found out we were pregnant. We were elated. And scared. Who do we tell first? How do we tell them? We want to tell the world. We set the plans to tell our families. But the ultimate question for first time moms my age….. When do we tell facebook?!

Really, it has come to that. Why? It boggles my mind and makes me laugh. Mainly at myself. I don’t know when we “told facebook.” It was somewhere around 10 weeks or so. One thing I know for certain is that first post of “we’re pregnant” spirals into A LOT of unnecessary status updates with way too much information for the general public. First you say “we are expecting.” Then comes, “Oh, I wish this baby would stop making me feel sick.” Next it’s “I’m craving beer, bologna and pickles….. of which I can only eat pickles.” Everyone knows pregnant ladies can’t have alcohol or deli meat. That’s just week one PFA (Post facebook announcement).

Pretty soon you are driving everyone crazy. NO, we don’t want to see your baby bump at 14 weeks. Honestly, if you had not announced to the facebook world (daily) that you were pregnant, you would just look like you needed to not go back for seconds.  Let me be the first to say, I can be cynical about this now. I was that girl. I justified a lot of my crazy facebook pregnancy status updates as humor, so it was ok.  However you justify in your mind, it’s not ok. Proverbs 14:12 says There is a way that seems rights to man, but in the end leads to death. Your updates seem right to you. But I assure you, someone on facebook is thinking about killing you, or is on the verge of clicking “defriend.”

Some of you may forget that you are friends with guys on facebook. Guys that may not have a wife or kids. They really don’t need to know. You do realize that first time moms are the reason facebook decided to allow you to only see news feed updates of people you interact with. All that updating you think you are doing… yeah, most people can’t even see it now. Some things need to be saved for your pregnancy journal or the baby book.

Let’s jump to the third trimester or 16 weeks PFA. For 16 weeks, people have been putting up with your antics and it’s about to get worse. First rule of facebook updates during the third trimester. DONT COMPLAIN. Yeah, everyone that has carried a baby 9 months is done with it by the last month. You are not alone friend. You’re also being a little bit selfish right? You are about to receive the biggest blessing and gift that could ever be given and you are flat out whining to the world. Ssshhhhh! Second rule of the third trimester: DO NOT update everyone on your dilation or effacement progress. Seriously. Most people that don’t have kids don’t really know what all that means, luckily. For those of us that do, I personally think that should be on a need to know basis. Your 300 or more friends on facebook do not need to know. The final rule: DO NOT update through labor and delivery.

This is a true story. Someone (lucky for them I can’t remember who it was) updated through their labor and delivery by phone almost every hour. The people that really need to know how you are doing are probably at the hospital with you. Or there are text messages you know. Then, you know what she did after the birth don’t you. Yes, you know where I’m going. Fresh outta the box pictures. GAG! I was pregnant at the time of this person’s facebook abuse. I almost had a heart attack. No one wants to see your bloody, cheesy alien. NO ONE. Now, this is worst case scenario of first time mother facebook abusers (FTMFA). I realize most people know better. For those of you that don’t, please be warned.

I’m sad that no one told me how annoying even the slightest pregnancy facebook status reference was to them and everyone else. I’m more sad that despite my pregnancy updates without warning, someone let me update as a new mom.

As if the pregnancy wasn’t bad enough, I believe the first year of the kid’s life, FTMFA’s go nuts. The problem goes to a new level with the first update about the baby’s weight and height at their first pediatrician appointment. That’s so great that your little one is healthy. If anything changes or we can pray for you, let us know. DO NOT tell us how much they weigh daily, or weekly. You’ve heard the saying “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Well for FTMFA’s we have altered it a bit. “If you don’t have anything to say besides about your kid, don’t say anything at all.” There’s also another motto that could apply here: “Get a life.” That’s just for stage 4 extreme FTMFA’s, like my dear friend that updated through labor and delivery.

I’d now like to direct your attention to facebook picture posts or updates. If you are thinking you are not a FTMFA because you just post a picture or two. You are wrong. Let’s talk about acceptable and unacceptable pictures.

Newborn: Fresh out the box

Exhibit A: acceptable. This is an acceptable fresh out of the box picture. Baby is cleaned up, but still holds that “fresh” look.

Exhibit B:

ok. I was going to put an unacceptable, graphic picture of my kid right after birth but it grossed me out. If you can see blood, cheese, or any private areas they would fit into this category.

Babyhood: any picture in the first year of life

Exhibit A: Acceptable:  Any cute, funny, happy picture of your kid will suffice

I was going to post an unacceptable picture here, but they fall into their own category. Milestones. We know what these are, first tooth, first crawl, first taste of baby food, first hair cut, first steps. The list goes on. With any picture you post of the milestone category, you must be careful. If your child sprouts a first tooth do not go through the trouble to post that picture you got that is both out of focus and made the baby cry to get it. Stick that one in the baby book and move on. Also, if your picture falls in this category and you realize you cannot post it for fear of being labeled a FTMFA, don’t status update it instead. You are still in violation.

Exhibit B1: Unacceptable by means of how you achieve this picture

Exhibit B2: Acceptable Milestone picture. Look he’s cute and crawling

I still want to warn those of you that want to post milestone pictures. Do not do it as to boast that your kid is the most intelligent, gifted, advanced child ever to grace the earth. Yes, your kid may crawl at 5 months, but I guarantee by age 2, it won’t matter which kid crawled first and which said mama first. Wait, you haven’t met my kid. I’m pretty sure he’s the most intelligent, gifted, advanced child… sorry. (You know that’s what you were thinking. That your kid is all that and some so it couldn’t apply to you). Wrong.

If you have to take the time to make a conscious decision as to whether your facebook update or picture is in violation or puts you in jeopardy of becoming a FTMFA, just don’t do it. If you know someone who is a FTMFA and doesn’t know it, send them a link to this blog post 🙂 Make it a joke. Hey look what this crazy girl said, it’s funny, you might get a laugh. Slide the hint in that way. Don’t lose a friend over it.  I wish someone had warned me.

It’s true. I became a FTMFA. I’m happy to say I’m in recovery. I may still update about the craziness I deal with in having a kid. But I refuse to go back down that road. I have committed to not sharing TMI with my social media friends any more. Please, don’t let this happen to you or a loved one. If you read this and realize that you too are a FTMFA, there is help out there. It’s called reality and you have to find it. I’m here for any support and to make fun of you. We can laugh at ourselves together.

This also applies to twitter. Don’t think you are left out. Luckily you only have 140 characters.

“It’s a good day for Americans”

Almost 10 years ago, our world was shaken by the attacks of 9-11. I don’t need to go into detail about the fallout from those dreadful attacks. The man hunt began for Osama bin Laden soon after. Last night, we all learned of his death.

My thoughts:

I’m mad. I’m really ticked off that he was living in a mansion in a nice town instead of hidden in some dirty hole on the side of a mountain. He was eating food from a grocery store instead of bugs from the desert. I hope he enjoyed the luxury these last few years. I believe that is the last mansion he will ever see.

I’m mad he has so many devoted followers in Al Qaeda around the world. He is a coward. He was living comfortably while asking his followers to risk their lives on the battlefield. When the Navy SEALS invaded his compound, he held his wife in front of him as a shield. What kind of man does that? You’re the bad guy. Save your wife, take responsibility. Cowboy up!

I’m mad at everyone assuming that people are rejoicing in the death of a human. No matter what the event, someone, some people, always have to play devil’s advocate. That really burns me. Bin Laden does not need your sympathy. He was an evil man set out to destruct the good in this world. As a Christian, we know from the Bible, we do not rejoice in death, but we do have hope in justice. The righteous will have peace. Outside of a christian perspective,our moral compasses, as humans, know right from wrong. We also understand justice, not revenge. We do not know, at this point, whether he was killed out of self defense of our military or if the mission was death. I presume they were told capture if possible, kill if necessary-that is what dead or alive means. I also presume he went down with a fight. He could have thrown his arms in the air to surrender. He could have costs our military more money and manpower in keeping him safe while in custody. That’s honestly what I expect he would have done had he known we were coming. What about the military trial? What about all the implications of capturing him? I’m thankful he saved us all the trouble.

I’m not sad he died. I’m sad THOUSANDS of people died because of every attack Bin Laden administered and every soldier and casualty that have died because of the war he started. Bin Laden got his glory here on earth. That was exactly what he wanted. Death, destruction, and the western world’s economy hanging by threads. Bin Laden, you may have won a battle or two, but we will win the war.

I don’t hate Bin Laden. I wish he had used those passions and intelligence gifts he possessed toward good. Had he known Jesus, what a different world this would be. I hate war. Is it necessary, yes. In this fallen world full of sinners. It is absolutely necessary.

Where do we go from here? Al Qaeda will plan attacks in defense of their leader. The war on terror is not over until there is not another terrorist. It’s gonna be a while…..I pray for all of our safety and for the intelligence forces around the world.

I cannot imagine what is and was going through the minds of those Navy SEALS. I imagine them sitting in a tent somewhere in the middle east having a beer right about now. But really, what courage and honor. The coolest part…. they wont get credit for years. Their personal security is at such a high risk from retaliation, we may never know who their names. They don’t do it for the glory.

If you don’t know me and my political views, I’m not Obama’s biggest fan.  Despite any party or political affiliation, I’m giving credit where credit is due. Mr. President, good call on this one. Thank you!

Something really awesome…. as a side note…. social media. I am extremely fascinated by the people in Pakistan, unknowingly, tweeting through the raid on Bin Laden’s compound. There’s a story for the grandkids. “Hey little Betty, one night after midnight I was sitting in bed hearing these helicopters…. turns out the US killed bin Laden right down the street.” “Grandpa, why did you live so close to the bad guy.”

A message to those anti-war folks…. nevermind. If you can’t say anything nice, dont say anything at all. 🙂

I pray for everyone affected by this event. I pray for economies around the world. I thank God for justice and peace.

Friday, a prince married his princess, a groom-his bride. On Sunday a tyrant’s rule ended. Some call it a fairy tale. I call it how God works! I could get into the biblical analogies, but I think you all get it.

Reading through Proverbs today….

Proverbs 3: 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD and shun evil.

Proverbs 6: 16 There are six things the LORD hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
17 haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood
18 a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,
19 a false witness who pours out lies
and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.

Proverbs 8: 35 For those who find me find life
and receive favor from the LORD.
36 But those who fail to find me harm themselves;
all who hate me love death.”

Proverbs 11: 10 When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices;
when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy.

19 Truly the righteous attain life,
but whoever pursues evil finds death.

Proverbs 12: 7 The wicked are overthrown and are no more,
but the house of the righteous stands firm.

20 Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil,
but those who promote peace have joy.

Proverbs 21:  15 When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous
but terror to evildoers.

Proverbs 24:  17 Do not gloat when your enemy falls;
when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice,

In a nutshell

These last two weeks have been nuts. Ok, maybe its three. I am completely losing track of time.

First, we decide to move the little guy into a toddler bed. He was becoming a hazard to himself in the crib. We live very close to the beach, so I’m hoping this transition will make it easier for him to nap under the umbrella so we can enjoy full beach days this year. We also plan to take the paci away at bedtime and possibly start potty-training, if he’s ready in a few months (planning and possibly being the key words). That being said, we thought it was the right time. Week 1 was fairly easy…. for about 2 days. Then nap times were a nightmare for a week straight. No nap for a solid week makes momma and baby NUTS! In the midst of the crazy bad week, wonderful husband/father was gone. Finally, midweek of week 2, he fell asleep in nothing but a diaper at his bedroom door. Glorious silence! From there it has been pretty wonderful despite the occasional having to go upstairs and put him back in bed because he gets up and falls back asleep on the floor. We can now say by 18 months (which is coming up on Tuesday) the kiddo is toddler bed functional 🙂

During wild week two, I came across this wonderful opportunity for Hopscout. Most of you have probably heard from me about this already and voted I’m sure 😉 They are offering 5 editor positions to wonderfully deserving stay-at-home parents. I of course applied– being the reason I have stalked you all recently! The 2 evenings hubby was home on week 2, we got to work on the video. I chose to do something simple, classic, and just peek into our lives. As this was being posted on facebook, I chose not to bring everyone into my entire home. I also didn’t want to rattle off a list of how awesome I am or all the criteria of a good stay-at-home parent. I feel that anyone that stays at home with their kids have to possess these qualities. What I would be interested in would be why you are different. I stuck with a simple little script, with a line or two of mommy humor, and a sweet video of my kiddo. I’m not sure how we got it done so quickly. I really wanted to get my application in as soon as possible to acquire votes over the course of the next week. They also say “the early bird catches the worm.” This is one worm I REALLY would like to catch.

Let me not forget to mention that week 1 and week 2 brought the kiddo with a tummy bug of some sort and tooth #16.

Week 3 has been a whirlwind. I have been engrossed in the fierce competition going on over at Hopscout‘s facebook page. I’ve met-for lack of a better word- some really great moms and bloggers. If nothing else, I hope this competition opened some doors for new friends and new resources. I think we could all use all the help we can get.

Meanwhile, I have been soliciting votes from friends and family (you included, but click here if you have avoided me up to this point). These moms and dads have made some great videos. Loads of people have uploaded them showing their own style. There are also a lot of them that did what I didnt want to do…. list off what I think is the standard of a stay at home mom (patient, inventive, multitasking, etc). I also understood the position to be more than a toy reviewer, but to actually write about products and life. So, I didn’t focus on the toy aspect–to each his own. Something else, while I’m almost venting, a lot of people did slideshows. I understand that’s a video when you put it in video format. I’m also pretty sure they said video. I rock out some slideshows, but they didn’s ask for pictures. Some of the slideshows were great, I’ll give them that though. Ok, done. I have seriously put a lot of time and effort into this contest this week. I’m exhausted and anxious. There have been rumors of excessive cheating. They have had technical problems with the site causing the contest to run over the weekend. On top of everything else I have to get done in a week with a grumpy teething toddler. Many of the moms that have stayed in the competition throughout have decided to give it a rest since the extension. I agree. I’m also glad Kristin from Our Ordinary Life pulled the first move on that. It made it easier for the rest of us to say that it was alright to relax. So thank you Kristin. (side note–check out her blog at the link above)

If you have known me for any length of time, you know how much I put into parenting my child. You also know that I consider writing to be my gift. Putting the two into action together is a dream come true. While I’m still slowly doing foundational work for my book, the opportunity is something that a lot of stay at home parents would love. I suppose that is the reason the competition has gone crazy and left us all feeling a little nuts.

I apologize for being absent from posting on this blog as of late. I’m sure you knew I was still alive from hounding you for votes 🙂

For the rest of our weekend, our family is running in separate circles for Easter festivities. The husband is playing in the band at church for all 6 Easter services (2 tonight and 4 tomorrow). His family is in town tonight. We have an Easter egg hunt tomorrow at my parents church. Going to visit more family. Then hopefully finishing my flower garden tomorrow afternoon. That last one depends on my level of exhaustion. I will probably come back up for air on Monday hoping that I’m still hanging around in the top of the Hopscout contest.

That’s my last three weeks…. in a nutshell.

Everyone have a fabulous Easter with your families! It’s a beautiful and hot weekend here. If only I had time to get some sun on my legs before I bust out in a dress tomorrow 🙂

Happy Egg Hunting!!

Millionaire Mom!

The folks over at HopScout, formerly Lilluxe (a daily deal site featuring children’s items) are hiring!

And yours truly is applying…. and I’m going to need your help! When my videographer (uh huhm husband) gets a free evening/day we are going to upload the video to begin the process. What I will need from you? When I upload the video onto their facebook site, I will let you know. Go to the page and like Lilluxe (HopScout). Then, go to the Millionaire Mom tab on the left. Find my video under my name. “Like” the video. Then, share the link on my facebook page or twitter with your friends. Help me get this gig!

If you read my blog now, you know I have my humorous moments, and I try to keep this mom journey “real.” They are hiring someone to review products for them and blog about parenting. My little inspiration (aka Jameson) gives me plenty of blogging topics.  He will also be a fabulous tester of products (aka I will find out within 5 minutes if it’s breakable).

I hope you will help me help you. Not only will I score an awesome gig, but you will be the first to know what is going on with these products and company.

I can’t wait to work on my video….. Stay tuned friends.

Why do bad things happen?

Horrific. devastating. Heartbreaking. Catastrophic.

Pictures of Japan’s aftermath

The earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in the last 24 hours is unimaginable. That is unless you were in south Asia a few years ago or in Louisiana when Katrina hit. I think only those people can truly understand the possible magnitude of this event. I’ve been through my share of hurricanes on the east coast, but it does not even compare.

I stopped to think, as a lot of people probably have today, why God? Why do bad things happen to good, innocent people? Why does God allow them? He could certainly stop the earth from shaking in an instant. He could halt the raging waters without flinching. But he doesn’t.  Maybe, just maybe, we are the answer to those questions. God uses everything to bring glory to Himself. I think that we are such a self-absorbed, selfish people that it takes something this bad to wake us up. When my mind drifts to places like this, I bring it back to the truth. The truth is…. God is love. God loves us. We are to be like God. We are to be love.

I find it amazing, refreshing, and such a show of who God is in the aftermath of disasters big and small. In the minutes and hours since the devastation in Japan, people everywhere have been praying. Thousands have been posting facebook statuses and tweeting about praying for and sending aid to Japan. The world, the human race, unites in love when struck with pain. I think that’s that answer. Maybe it takes something so bad to wake us up to the call that has been placed in all of our hearts (whether we know it or not). We are to show the world the love of Christ. We were created to this way, otherwise it would not come so natural after an event like this.

Today, as people around the world pray, as the president and news media say they are sending their prayers to the people of Japan, as students in classrooms pray for Japan, it brings such joy to my heart to know that God is still here in America. The ACLU isn’t trying to sue the president for praying for Japan or teachers that allow their students to pray. I can’t imagine the joy it must bring God. I know God does not cause bad to happen on this earth. I also know that He is glorified when we talk to Him, when we reach out to those that are suffering, when we show His love to the world, and when we bear one another’s burdens.  I love that even our celebrities are praying.

I’m not just talking about the disaster in Japan either. Think about it for a moment. The struggles in Libya. People have been praying…. mostly for it to end so gas prices come back down, but it’s still prayer, right. The revolution in Egypt. The flooding in Australia. All recent human strife. People have been compassionately loving on those affected. What about when Congresswoman Giffords was shot. The horrific day that changed the lives of so many. The President, government officials, and news media sent out love and prayers to all those affected by that tragedy. No one complains. No one says you can’t pray for those people. No one sues them for it. No one even has to state that it’s their 1st amendment right to say it. Everyone knows that is what we do, as people. We show compassion and love because our God made us to do so.

I want to think about this a little closer to home. Maybe we have never been faced with a natural disaster, but we have all faced some sort of pain. It’s part of the human life. When our local community, neighbors, coworkers, friends and family have a small catastrophe show up at their door, the love of God shows up too.  The best of people comes out after tragedy. Our compassion, love and giving hearts help us to become what God intended. If you stop and think for a moment, I am positive you can think of a handful of incidents within your community where the people of God joined together in love.

I still don’t know why bad things happen to good people. I don’t know why bad things happen at all. I just rely on the fact that God knows exactly what He’s doing.