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Friday, December 31, 2010

The Year In Review

Hard to believe that today is the last day of 2010, isn't it? In just a few months, my "baby" girl will be graduating from high school!

In many years, 2010 was a very rough year. But rather than focusing on the ways it was hard, I want to look at the blessings. I know I'll miss some, but I'll hit the highlights.

After more than a year of 32 hour weeks, Tom's job returned to 40 hour weeks in April. And he was even able to get some overtime this year.

Tom had surgery on his shoulder and had a bone spur removed. It really helped with his shoulder pain which was a huge blessing.

I discovered that my ovaries had quit working and I had started menopause (I'd had a hysterectomy several years ago, but they left my ovaries). The first medicine she tried me on seems to have helped a lot.

The doctors found out that I didn't have asthma, my trachea was collapsed. Fortunately, there was a very good doctor in OKC who could help me and he did. He is truly one of the favorite doctors that I have ever had and I feel lucky to have had him help me with my breathing problems. The biggest blessing is that the surgery went well and it seems to have helped my breathing, although I think it may be a few weeks before we can tell for sure how much.

As you look back over the last year, remember to focus on your blessings!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Prayer Works

Have you ever wondered whether prayer actually works? I'm guessing we've all asked ourselves that question from time to time. Let me tell you a story of prayer in action. I had my tracheal re-section surgery on December 15th. I was intubated and in ICU. On Saturday, they took the tubes out and pretty much unhooked me from everything, then kept me overnight in ICU to observe me for one more night. On Sunday morning, they sent me straight home from ICU. All that is amazing, but (to me at least) not even the most amazing part of the story.

I was terrified about this surgery. The thought of having my neck opened and my airway worked on, well, it was scary (to say the least). The Sunday after Thanksgiving, our preacher read from Luke and the story where Jesus is born. The angels told the shepherds "Do not be afraid". When Gary read that passage, I felt chills down my spine, it was like God was telling me directly not to be afraid, it would all be fine. I continued praying about it and asked others to pray for me. Then one day, my devotional had this verse from Joshua 1:9 in it: "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” I felt those chills again. I prayed and put it in God's hands and just asked him that if this surgery was the right thing to do, then all the doors would open and it would happen. I won't lie and say I didn't feel scared anymore. Because I did. And I went through moments of freaking out. But I reminded myself of those messages, prayed about it, and forged on. I tried to concentrate on getting things ready around the household for the surgery.

The day of the surgery came, my surgery was scheduled for 1:30 and they were running way behind. I was about ready to bolt and had a tearful breakdown with Tom. But God reminded me that I was there because that was where He wanted me to be. And I didn't run away. That night after surgery, I remember waking up in the ICU where they asked me if I was in pain and if I needed morphine. It hurt, but not that bad, so I turned it down. Thursday and Friday are pretty much a blur, I remember people coming in and out, I remember responding (by nodding or shaking my head) to questions, etc. Saturday morning, they took me off the sedative, and removed the tubes. I was able to eat and most importantly, drink water! Woohoo! By Saturday night, I had the catheter out and was getting myself up and down (with supervision) to the bathroom and as I said earlier, they sent me home Sunday morning.

Now to me, the most amazing part of this story: on Thursday the 23rd, I went to get my stitches out at the doctor's office. The doctor referred to me as a "model patient". He said he had never had a tracheal re-section patient who was constantly smiling every time he saw them and had such a positive attitude. Now, that was really prayers at work. If you know me at all, you know patience or a positive attitude are not some of my stronger virtues. I've always wanted to be one of those people who were happy no matter what the circumstances. It was only through everyone's prayers that I've been able to be so positive and patient through all of this. Thank you!

Monday, December 27, 2010

2 Years and Well...a whole lot of days

I know, it's been a whole lot of days, weeks, actually since I posted. I had my first laser surgery scheduled for the day before Thanksgiving. When they got in there, they found instead of scar tissue, my trachea was the shape of an hourglass. So my options were pretty much down to: live with it, try a stint, or the tracheal re-section. The stint was a temporary measure that might or might not actually open it up. They'd go in once to put it in, then back in a few months later to take it out. If it worked, great, if not, I was back to needing the re-section anyway. It also had some pretty scary sounding possible side effects. The doctor said he usually only does the stints for people afraid of the other surgery (especially the part about having to be intubated and in ICU for several days). I was totally thrown for a loop. I prayed (and asked others to pray) for wisdom and really felt like the best option was to go ahead with the tracheal re-section. So on December 2nd when I went back for my recheck from the November 24th surgery, that's what I decided to do. They did the tracheal re-section on December 15th. So far, I can tell some difference in the breathing but he said that there would still be a lot of swelling inside. I'm doing really well, but I'm still pretty wiped out from the surgery. I plan to post again later this week to tell about how the prayers of everyone helped me through the surgery and recovery.

Friday, November 19, 2010

2 Years and 309 Days: Even more Thankfulness

It was a hard day, but yet I am going to list some things I'm thankful for:

18. Another nice day where we got to get outside.
19. It's FRIDAY! And next week is a two day work week for me. Sure I have surgery on Wednesday, but then I get to spend Thanksgiving with my family!
20. The ability and courage (which could only come from God) to speak at Victim Impact Panel's about my brother.
21. A good meal at the restaurant tonight. Chicken fried chicken, YUM!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

2 Years and 308 Days: More Thankfulness

Some more thankfulness:

#13. My back massager which has got me through the last few days with my backache
#14. A Bible believing church to attend
#15. Hugs (no matter who they're from!)
#16. Good books to read
$17. Sunny days when we can get outside and play!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

2 Years and 307 Days: More Thankfulness

Here are more things I am thankful for:

6. A lovely home to live in
7. A job that I love (most days, LOL)
8. Warm blankets on cold nights
9. Sonic drinks
10. My best friend Brenda, she always listens when I need her. And her husband Patrick for all the fun times we all have together
11. My friend Christina for her constant encouragement.
12. A comfy bed (that I'm getting ready to go crawl in).

More later...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

2 years and 306 Days: Thankfulness

Wow, Christmas is just around the corner. I haven't even put away my Halloween decorations! Yikes! But first is Thanksgiving. Let's not zip past that without stopping to consider it. What do you have to be thankful for? My friend read a blog where the writer was trying to write down 1000 things that she was thankful for. Those everyday things in life that we take for granted. So what am I thankful for? I will focus on that for the next few days.

1. Jesus Christ for giving His life for me
2. My wonderful husband Tom who shows me everyday how much he loves me.
3. My oldest daughter Serenity for being a responsible adult.
4. My son Josh for being such a caring person and being so good with kids.
5. My daughter Natasha who always helps me with the groceries or anything else that I ask.

Monday, November 15, 2010

2 Years and Days 293-305: Catching Up

Well, Tom pointed out to me that I am really neglecting the blog. He's right. I have lots of reasons (excuses, whatever you prefer). The main one being that I've been so discouraged that it's been hard to be positive and think of anything positive to write. Another is that Tom and I are not doing very well with the Dave Ramsey principles and I feel like a huge failure in that area. We are having to borrow against his 401k this week to pay to get our bathroom fixed and to help pay for my surgeries over the next few months. I had hoped to never have to borrow money again. Because we are, well I feel like a loser. We haven't had an emergency fund for months, we're blowing money in ways we shouldn't be, and well, as everyone already knows, I"m just feeling lousy. So I'm not sure where to go from here with the blog.

On a positive note, I am going to have the first of 3 laser surgeries on November 24th to clear out my trachea and hopefully help my breathing. It would be great if they could get it all in one and I am praying for that. But I am so glad that they can do it this way where i just have to take off a few days every few weeks rather than closing down for several weeks for major surgery. So pray that the laser surgery works, the other alternative is much more invasive and scary.

Thanks for all the support!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

2 Years and Days 285-292: Not Feeling Great

Sorry guys, but I am not feeling great and lately it's been all I can do to get through the day. My appointment with the specialist in OKC is next Tuesday. Hoping to find out when and what they'll be doing.

Monday, October 25, 2010

2 Years and Days 281-284: Update

Well, the bronchoscopy went well on Friday. They got my IV in only one try and I didn't have to leave (which I was threatening to do if they had to poke me more than once) and Tom didn't have to tackle me (which he was threatening to do if I tried to leave, LOL). I found out that I have a tracheal stenosis blocking about 1/2 my airway near my vocal cords. They will be sending me to a specialist in OKC, but I don't have any details on that yet. So please keep praying! It's a relief to know what's going on and a relief to know that I wasn't crazy all these years when I said the asthma medicines didn't help.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

2 Years & Days 277-280: Prayers please

Just wanted to check in with everyone before my procedure tomorrow. Please keep me in your prayers. I would really like some answers to what's going on. Thanks!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

2 Years & 276 Days: Who is loving this weather?

So who is loving this awesome weather? Cool at night and early morning, warm in the afternoons. The leaves are turning, the days are getting shorter. The kids and I are getting to spend lots of time outside, which has been great.

After I left the doctor's office on Friday, I had a moment where I just wanted to break down. I stopped and prayed before I even left and I've felt a peace over me ever since. As the week goes on, my fear my come back so I would appreciate your prayers.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

2 Years and Days 260-275: Finally Back

I am so sorry! Time has just got away from me the last couple of weeks. Here is an update on my health situations:

I am to have a bronchoscopy next Friday to check my airway for blockage or restrictions. Apparently, there is a narrowing near the top of my airway which may be causing my breathing problems. I'm not sure which way to pray so I am just putting it in God's hands. He is in control anyway.

The hormone meds are helping me feel more like myself again emotionally. I'm not feeling like a constant basket case and I'm actually able to get stuff done again without feeling like I"m having to force myself to just go through the motions.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

2 Years & 259 Days: Coming Up

Tomorrow is my appointment with the pulmonologist about my asthma. Please pray that it goes well. Then tomorrow evening, I'm going out of town with a friend to a child care conference. So I probably won't have time to post again until Monday. Hope everyone has a good weekend and I'll check in as soon as I can!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

2 Years & 258 Days: The Weather

I took a really long walk with my kids this morning in this gorgeous weather. No wind, perfect temperature, it was awesome! Hope everyone got to get out and enjoy a little bit of this day!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

2 Years & Days 253-257: Smile!

Several weeks ago, one of my little guys asked me why my mouth was "like this" and showed me a very deep frown. I knew I'd been feeling down but didn't realize it was showing so much! I guess I don't hide things as well as I think I do. Anyway, I've been reading Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People". This is a revised 70th anniversary edition. I'd always heard of this book, but had never read it. I have to tell you, I didn't expect to like it as much as I have. Anyway, there is a whole chapter on smiling that includes this poem that a New York department store ran in their Christmas ads one year. Truth of the matter is, this is true year round!

The Value of a Smile at Christmas
It costs nothing, but creates much.

It enriches those who receive, without impoverishing those who give.

It happens in a flash and the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.

None are so rich that they can get along without it, and none so poor but are richer for its benefits.

It creates happiness in the home, fosters good will in a business, and is the countersign for friends.

It is rest to the weary, daylight to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and Nature's best antidote for trouble.

Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is no earthly good to anybody till it is given away.

And if in the last minute rush of Christmas buying some of our salespeople should be too tired to give you a smile, may we ask you to leave one of yours?

For nobody needs a smile so much as those who have none left to give.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

2 Years & 252 Days: Thankfulness

Today, I woke up feeling really cranky and with that panicky overwhelmed feeling that I get sometimes. To combat it, I've prayed and thought of things I'm thankful for.

1. A job where I get to play with kids all day.
2. A wonderful husband
3. 3 wonderful children
4. Supportive and encouraging friends and family.

Hope everyone has a great day!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

2 Years & Days 250 & 251: Checking In

Just trying to keep checking in, even though I don't have much to say lately. It's taking most of my energy to try and get myself feeling better. I feel tons better than I did this time last week, but I'm still not quite "up to par". Hope everyone is having a great week!

Monday, September 20, 2010

2 years & Days 248 & 249: Breathing Better

My breathing is getting better each day. I cannot believe what a difference the Claritin makes! My allergies and asthma are so much worse without any kind of antihistamine! Wow! I have an appointment with the pulmonologist at the end of next week, so we'll see what I find out there.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

2 Years & Days 246 & 247: Feeling Hopeful

I do not feel great physically yet, but I do at least feel hopeful. I think just having an idea of what's going on has lifted a major burden from my shoulders. There for a while, I was sure it was mental and I just needed to "snap out of it". When I couldn't, then I'd get even more down and well you know, it's a terrible cycle. Thank you all for the prayers and please keep them up.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

2 Years & Days 238-245: Finally Some Answers

Well, this week I finally have some answers (I HOPE) to how I've been feeling the last several months. I must say it is really a relief to at least KNOW what's going on. I had a hysterectomy several years ago and they left my ovaries so that I wouldn't have to take hormone replacement therapy at the time. Now I'm in menopause so the doctor has started me on some hormones. I think that explains a great deal about how I've been feeling. From what Tom and I have read, it affects everything, even allergies! Speaking of allergies, I had the allergy test on Tuesday. I'm allergic to ragweed, pigweed, mountain cedar, and red cedar. Between them, they are in the air about 9-10 months out of the year. Oh and I'm allergic to cats, but I already knew that one. LOL. The allergy doctor and the regular doctor both want me to see a pulmonologist about my asthma. I also have a decision to make about whether to take the allergy shots. So I ask you to continue to pray for me and pray that the medicines start helping and I start feeling better.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

2 Years & Day 237: Still Here and Still waiting

I'm still waiting on the blood test results from last week's doctor visit. My appointment to get my allergies tested is Tuesday. I've been giving myself breathing treatments and I have to ask myself, why wasn't I prescribed a nebulizer before? It helps (at least for a while) with the breathing. Not being able to take any allergy medicine until the appointment next week is exacerbating my other symptoms (throat and chest are aching really bad).

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

2 Years & Days 233-236: Where God wants me to be

Serenity got me a devotional book a while back. It's written as if Jesus is speaking to you. I read this at the end of last week:

Accept each day just as it comes to you. Do not waste your time and energy wishing for a different set of circumstances. Instead, trust Me enough to yield to My design and purposes. Remember that nothing can separate you from My loving presence; you are Mine.

Friday, September 3, 2010

2 Years & 232 Days: The Shepherd

Last week at Women of Faith, there was one illustration that really stood out to me. Sheila Walsh talked about Jesus as our Shepherd and told of how the Israel shepherds would take care of their sheep. They would lead them where they wanted them to go. If one of the lambs got stuck, the shepherd would go back and find the lamb, lift him on his shoulders and carry him for a while. Isn't that a beautiful image, one of Jesus carrying us on his shoulders when we get stuck?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

2 years & Days 225-231: Health Issues

Well, true confession time. I have been feeling awful for a really long time. I kept putting it off to stress, thinking it would get better. I did talk to the doctor about it when I got checked up last year, including the fact that my breathing had been terrible, it seems like I am always wheezing. So earlier this week, I went to talk to the preacher. He suggested that I go see the doctor again to rule out anything physical including getting my hormone levels checked. So I went today and the nurse immediately noticed my wheezing and commented on it. So now I have a nebulizer machine and medicine, along with a handful of other prescriptions to try and combat that. I also have an appointment to get my allergies tested (and I can't take my OTC Claritin from now until that appointment). So again, I am asking for some prayers that we can figure out what's going on and I can feel good again. Oh and I will find out how all the blood work turned out tomorrow or next Tuesday.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

2 Years & Days 223 & 224: Women of Faith Weekend

Tomorrow I'm off of work to attend Women of Faith. I'm super excited about it! Hoping that it helps revive me and help me feel better. The refrigerator isn't working right and I'm having a hard time getting someone out here to look at it. I think I'm going to go buy one of those little fridges so at least I can keep our milk, etc. cold.

Hope everyone has a good weekend. Probably won't see you until Monday!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

2 Years and 222 Days: quick check-in

Today I was able to work on my Flylady control journal, something I've put off for ages. Hopefully it will pull together and help me get more organized.

Headed out to a meeting soon, see ya tomorrow!

Monday, August 23, 2010

2 Years & Days 218-221: Allowing myself to feel

So the last few days, I've been all over myself about trying to get out of this funk. Saying things like "snap out of it", "you've gotta do something to get past this", etc. This morning I had an aha moment. There is nothing wrong with what I'm feeling. Why not just allow myself to feel it? People get down, people get in funks, and there's nothing wrong with that. Maybe if I just allow myself to feel it for a while (instead of trying to stuff the feelings down inside of me), I'll feel better in the long run. Now I'm not talking about weeks and weeks of feeling sorry for myself. I'm talking about acknowledging what I feel and allowing myself to feel it instead of trying to deny it or "happy up". I will ask for prayers as I work through it and I'll try to keep myself posting daily on the blog, even if it's only a sentence or two a day to check in. This coming weekend, I am going to Women of Faith and I am really looking forward to it. It always gives me such a spiritual lift. What's more, this is the first year that I've gone that our finances have been at a point where I was able to pay for my own tickets and motel room without getting a scholarship from the church. What a blessing! Hopefully in a few years, our finances will be at a point that we'll be able to pay for others who cannot afford to go.

When I said, "My foot is slipping," your love, O LORD, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.”- Psalm 94:18-19

Thursday, August 19, 2010

2 Years & 217 Days: School Started!

Well, school started yesterday. And my youngest daughter started her senior year. That does not seem possible! Anyway, there are still some things going on here in the daycare that I cannot really talk about, but I do need prayers. LOTS of them, please.

Tom was able to sell some vacation hours back at work so we put $200 in the baby emergency fund last week.

As you may have already guessed, I am feeling pretty down right now. I am working on updating my goals to get myself back on track. I'll be back tomorrow to post those, hopefully!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

2 years and Days 205-210: Stressful Week

Well, the baby EF is wiped out, but hopefully we'll be getting some more money back in it today. The Mitsubishi needed a new battery and some new belts. At least it waited until Tasha's summer job ended to break down. LOL! Then the little bit that was left after that, I used last night to buy a gas can to put gas in Serenity's car. We met in Perry to pick up Tasha and Serenity's car wouldn't start after. Thankfully, it turned out to just be out of gas. Her gas light had just come on so she thought she still had time to get gas. God was really watching out for her, it would have been terrible to run out on the highway or to have her new car break down already! Especially in Perry where we don't know anything about where to take it, etc.

It's been a rough week in the child care so once again I am requesting prayers for an unspoken request.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

2 Years & 204 Days: Ready for some fun!

I'm headed out of town tomorrow for a child care conference with my friends. I am super excited to get away and best of all, I don't have to drive. LOL! Hope everyone has a good weekend! See you on Monday!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

2 years and Days 199-203:HOT!

Well I don't know about anyone else, but I am already tired of August. Holy cow! It's hot! Just a couple of more weeks until school starts and this year I can actually look forward to it because I'm not starting too. LOL! Tom and I had a good time on our date the other night and then a fun time with friends on Saturday night. Serenity came home Saturday night and we got to hang out with her Sunday and play games. So a very nice weekend, all in all.

Friday, July 30, 2010

2 Years and 197 Days: Free Dinner

So Tom and I get a free dinner out tonight. We had stayed at a Choice Hotel twice in May (once for Serenity's graduation and again when we helped her move) and they were having a promotion to get a free $50 Chili's gift card. We got it yesterday and had a date planned for tonight so we're going to use it tonight. We got the rooms at a discount with our Farm Bureau membership so getting the $50 gift card was almost like getting one of the nights free!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

2 Years & Days 189-196: I'm finally back

Here I am again. Sorry it's been being so long between posts. Some updates:

We had to use the emergency fund last week on vacation when we had a flat on our way to Tulsa. The good news is that we've added money back to it so it's already up to $150.

I did very little (actually NO) cooking on vacation last week. One of my things I get so burned out on is cooking all the time, for the kids, for the family, etc. So I usually try to take a break during vacation. It was really nice. We ate as cheaply as possible, only really splurging for Tom's birthday dinner. This week it's been back to reality and I've been cooking more (although Tom is bringing home Arby's tonight).

Please say some prayers that I get some calls to fill my full-time opening that is coming up when school starts. I know that God will provide.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

2 Years & Days 181-188: Tom's birthday

Today is my wonderful husband Tom's birthday. I am so grateful that God blessed me with Tom. This week we have been on "staycation" together. We've got to spend a lot of time alone and it's been great. Happy Birthday Tom!

To the rest of you, I survived VBS last week, and as I said, we're on vacation this week. I keep hoping I will get a new routine down with the new baby, the 6:30 a.m. child, and all these big boys where I actually post on the blog everyday, but it's not going well yet. Guess all I can do is keep trying.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

2 Years & Days 174-180: Happy Birthday

I am wishing our youngest daughter Natasha a very happy 17th birthday today!

This week I have a house full of kids everyday, then driving the bus to Vacation Bible School, helping teach the 5th & 6th grade class, and then driving the bus back home. It's only Tuesday and I am tired! But at the end of the week, we get to start "staycation"! WOOHOO!!!!

Other than that, not much news. The baby EF is up to $170 which I'm pretty excited about! Sure helps that security gland!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

2 Years & Days 169-173: An Emotional Day

Today is an emotional day for me. It would have been my brother's 42nd birthday. Instead, he is 18 years old forever.

Forever
Stuck in time, forever a teen
Never growing up,
Somehow it seems
That time has flown by,
The years have gone fast
But I remember the past.
Watching my children,
Remembering my own childhood,
Brothers and sisters
Should grow old together.
But you’re gone forever.
Stuck in time,
Forever a teen.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

2 Years & Days 163-168: Praising God

I am really praising God today. Tom's company is giving everyone raises. That is the first raise in at least a couple of years, maybe longer. We are feeling really blessed.

Sorry for neglecting things this week. I had a horrific headache Monday and a meeting to go to that night. The headache was still here Tuesday and went to a t-ball game that night. Last night, I took a muscle relaxer and just crashed for the night. It was nice. LOL.

Hope that everyone has a nice day. My plan today is to work on the budget for July as much as I can and work on getting new sets of goals established. I'll do my best, anyway!

Friday, June 25, 2010

2 Years & Day 162: Lopping Away

I did some more lopping tonight. Wow! I wore out quicker than yesterday, but still the fact that I did it two days in a row. My back hurts pretty bad, but I feel great. Still more lopping to do, but I can do it 15 minutes at a time. It's really freeing to realize that it doesn't have to be done all at once. I need to get back to looking at our debt that way again, taking small bites. It didn't become that way overnight, it's not going to get better overnight. We just have to keep working at it a little at a time.

Hope everyone has a great weekend. I'll be back on Monday, if not before!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

2 Years & Day 161: Life is Good

So the last two mornings started off with sinus headaches that thankfully went away after taking some medicine and didn't come back. That is a huge praise! This morning's headache woke me up at 4:15 a.m. UGH! Both days I took some medicine and laid back down (forgoing a walk to try and beat the headache). Today after the kids left, I had a list of stuff I wanted to work on. One of those items was getting our loppers and lopping down some trees that have sprung up uninvited behind our garage. I spent 30 minutes working on that. Towards the end I was getting super tired, but I held up really well. I guess my walks are helping! Hopefully tomorrow or Saturday I can get out there and do a bit more. I made amazing progress in that area, but still need to pull some stuff to the alley to be hauled off and lop around MaryAnn's pen and some other areas around the yard.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

2 Years & Day 160: Crazily Blessed

So tonight I'm thinking about how lucky I am. Remember when I was real low on kids in my child care? Now I'm bursting at the seams! I have 9 kids enrolled this summer (obviously they don't all come at the same time), but it's been a juggling act. Today was a full house day (most Wednesdays are) and it was crazy, but fun. My friend who works at the OSU Extension office came and did some stuff with the kids this morning. They had a good time and it was a nice change of pace. Now if I could only think of some other people to invite.

I promise I'll get back to my goals. I'm just trying to adjust to this new crazy schedule (6:30 arrivals and a new baby all day). It will all come together into a new routine.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

2 Years & Day 159: Crazy Day

Well, today was absolutely crazy and I didn't even get a chance to look at my list of goals and work on them. Tomorrow's not looking much better. With the baby here, I don't even get much computer time at naptime. Things will settle into a routine soon. That's what I keep telling myself. LOL.

Monday, June 21, 2010

2 Years & Days 156, 157, & 158: The Heat is On

Someone left the heat on! Good grief it's been hot the last few days. I know the farmers are grateful because they need it to get the rest of the wheat out but that doesn't mean I have to enjoy it, does it? LOL.

I had a nice weekend with my friend at the conference, learned a lot, and then hung out with our friends at their house when I got home Saturday night. Yesterday was Father's Day and we took Tom out for pizza after church.

Hope everyone has a great week and manages to stay cool. Coming up tomorrow, I'm going to try to work on re-setting my goals since things have been kind of off-kilter lately.

Friday, June 18, 2010

2 Years & 155 Days: Out of town

I'm going out of town tonight for a child care conference. I always really look forward to getting away with friends, but after this week, I am REALLY looking forward to it. Hope everyone has a happy and safe weekend and I'll see ya on Monday!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

2 Years & 154 Days: Really?

What is it with our family and cars???? Yesterday, Serenity had an accident. She was pulled over for an emergency vehicle and another car rear-ended another car first and then her! Thankfully, noone was hurt and Serenity's car is still driveable. But you know the hassle of dealing with all of that. It's alot! Not to mention that it really shook her up. Then Josh ran out of gas and I had to take him some. LOL.

I have something going on that I cannot talk much about, but I really need prayers about it. Thank you.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

2 years and 153 Days: Please Pray

I still have an unspoken prayer request. I would really appreciate prayers for the situation.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

2 Years & Days 150, 151, and 152: Checking In

Just checking in real quick. Busy week here. New baby started full-time yesterday, and he and his big brother have to come early most of the week so I have 3 kids extra early instead of just one. Hope everyone is safe and well. Stay dry!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

2 Years & 149 Days: 15 Years Ago Today

Fifteen years ago today, Tom started a new job at Central Machine & Tool in Enid. I cannot believe he's been there 15 years! I am so impressed with him. We are going to celebrate by going out on a date tonight.

Friday, June 11, 2010

2 Years & 148 Days and blessings abounding

With not feeling well and therefore not posting much, I have neglected to mention a couple of major blessings we have had lately.

1. Tom is getting to work overtime on Saturdays. It won't be every Saturday, but it will be very helpful to our budget. I appreciate him getting up and going in to do it. I have the best husband in the world!

2. My child care is pretty full for the summer. I have 6 full-time and 3 drop-ins starting next week when the new baby starts and his brother comes back full-time. One day this week, I had to actually turn away kids because I was full!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

2 Years & Days 141-147 and another week has passed

Wow! I did not intend to let a week pass without a post! I felt really bad all last week with the asthma. That finally lifted, but this week has been crazy and just got away from me.

It's almost time to update on my goals for this last month. Sadly, I don't have much to update. With everything going on and with not feeling well (sinuses first, then the asthma), I have been very lax in working on my goals. I am trying really hard not to be hard on myself about it and just pick back up where I left off.

True confession time. After going all of 2009 without a courtesy pay fee at the bank, I've had 3 in the last month. UGH! I am so annoyed with myself! Time to re-read some Dave Ramsey stuff, get out the budgeting forms and start telling the money where to go again.

Now that I am feeling better, I will try to get back to posting everyday, even if it's just a quick check-in.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

2 Years & Days 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, & 140

Sorry everyone. My asthma has been absolutely horrible the last few days. I've been literally gasping for breath at times. Needless to say, that is exhausting me. We did get Serenity moved to her new apartment and had a nice weekend. Tom & I got some alone time, which is always nice. Today seems to be a bit better with the breathing so I'm hopeful that this bout is almost past.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

2 Years & Days 131, 132, & 133 and quick post

Just jumping on here to post really quick. As predicted, with school out, things are crazy for me here. Crazy is good. LOL. But I am struggling with my asthma which is really wearing me down, I've been wheezing like crazy the last 2 days! This weekend, we help Serenity get moved to her new apartment. So don't be surprised if you don't hear from me for a few days.

Hope everyone's week is going well. Thanks for the prayers on the unspoken request.

Monday, May 24, 2010

2 Years & Days 129 & 130 and a new week

This week, I have an unspoken prayer request. I need some prayers about it over the next 3 weeks, but I cannot talk about what it is. Rest assured that everyone is healthy and well (that I know of, LOL).

So a big praise from today. Tom's final doctor appointment from his surgery went well. The doctor released him back to full duty and he only has to go back if he has anymore problems. So that's great news.

School is out now which means things are going to get super crazy here during the day. With my earlier mornings and crazy afternoons, I will do my best to keep up with posting, but please don't worry if I miss a day or two!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

2 Years & 128 Days and Another Year Older

So today I am 44 years old. For the most part, getting older does not bother me. At least that's what I tell myself. LOL. But it does make me stop and think. I wonder, "shouldn't my life be more in order than this?". But then I look around and realize, well, that's just life. It's not orderly or perfect, it's just life. Real life is real messy. There's up and downs, highs and lows, good days and bad days. I am grateful to be 44 years old today. I am thankful to have a wonderful husband, three wonderful children, terrific friends, and an exciting (sometimes too exciting) and fulfilling career. But most of all, I am thankful to know that Jesus loves me and that God made me who I am, warts and all. Have a wonderful day and a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Friday, May 21, 2010

2 Years & Days 126 & 127 and my brother Bill

Last night, I went to Stillwater with Tom & our friends to speak at a Victim Impact Panel meeting. The Victim Impact Panel is for people who have been arrested for driving under the influence, whether it be of drugs or alcohol. For those of you that do not know, my brother Bill was killed in a drunk driving accident on New Year's 1987. After I graduated from OU last December, I was wanting to do something different, something outside my comfort zone. I knew that years ago, my mom had spoken to panels about drinking and driving and I thought I might be able to do that. God led me to a new friend who does those talks and now I have been doing them for a couple of months. Last night was my 4th one. It is good to be able to talk about my brother. It has helped me deal with feelings that I had not been able to deal with and I hope and pray that I reach someone each time we give a talk. As I look out into the audience, it is pretty easy to see the people who are listening and are affected by what we are saying. Hopefully we plant a seed in each person's mind that next time they drink, they will make a different choice.

This year, my class celebrates our 25th high school reunion. That means that my brother's class will celebrate theirs next year. Bill will never get to go to a class reunion. He will never get to hang out with old friends and reminisce over old times. Instead of being a middle-aged man, Bill is 18 years old. Forever.

For those of you out there reading this: I'm asking you today to make wise choices. If you choose to drink or use any kind of substance, please do not drive. It does not matter if you have had one drink or several drinks, please do not drive. Call a friend. Call a family member. Call a cab. Call me. I will come pick you up. Believe me when I say that I do not want you or your family to go through what my family has gone through. That pain does not go away.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

2 Years & 125 Days and More Updated goals

To continue my post about my goals for the next month:

Spiritual: I've been getting up earlier every morning, not just to exercise, but to do my prayer time and Bible Study. I will continue doing that. I'm pretty good at doing it Monday-Friday, but since my routine is different on the weekends, I don't do as well. So I will work on that over the next month.

Social: My groups (child care associations and mother's clubs) are all taking breaks for the summer. I'm glad for the break, but will miss hanging out with my friends. Tom & I have a couple we've been hanging out with and having a wonderful time with so I want to make sure that friendship gets nurtured.

Career: My next area of improvement is my outside area. I'd like to make it more fun and interesting to the kids, especially the bigger ones. Send me some good thoughts and prayers as I try to come up with some ideas that won't bust the budget.

That's it on the goals for now. I will keep you posted!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

2 Years & 124 Days and Updated Goals

I've been trying to work on my goal list. The last few days have been crazy and hectic, but I think I'm finally done.

Financial: In our financial life, I plan to have $150 put into the baby EF by mid-June. To do so, I'll take $50 from each of Tom's May 28th & June 11th paychecks as well as $50 from drop-in clients.

Physical: I will continue doing the early morning walks and the Yoga for the Rest of Us DVD. In addition, I will check my blood sugar at least twice a day (early morning and evenings). I will also begin adding more fresh fruits and veggies to my diet. My goal to start with is to have at least 2 fruits and veggies per day.

Personal: I will get my Flylady control journal set up. For more information, visit:

Family: Tom & I will go on another date night alone by mid-June. We will also be spending Memorial Day weekend helping Serenity get moved.

Tomorrow, I will update on my goals in the area of spiritual, career, and social.

Monday, May 17, 2010

2 Years and Days 120, 121, 122, & 123 & Serenity's done

Well, Serenity is officially done with college! Her party went well and we had a fairly good turn-out, especially with everything else that is going on this time of year. Today was crazy and hectic and so I don't have much to say tonight. Let's just say I paid today for taking Friday off. LOL. I'll be back tomorrow to post some updated goals.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

2 Years & 119 Days and Busy Weekend Ahead

I will not be around much the next few days. Serenity graduates from OU and we'll be going down to help her celebrate. I am still working on updating my goals for the next month (which starts tomorrow). Hopefully sometime in the next day or so, I"ll have time to get that done and post them on the blog. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

2 Years & 118 Days and progress report

As I have been thinking about some of the goals that I set last month and prepared to update them for another month, I had a light bulb moment. I do not have to be perfect. If I do not meet the goals that I have set, that is okay. I can try again. I know this is obvious to most people, but it really has not been to me. God has worked amazing miracles in me over the last month (chiefly in my attitude) and He's not going to stop now. I just have to keep trying.

So...a progress report on my goals:
Physical: My goal was to walk or do Yoga for the Rest of Us most days. Until the last week, I'd done really well with this, doing one or the other at least 4-5 days a week. However, it was raining a couple of mornings and I felt totally lousy (sinuses) the other mornings and so I went a week without doing anything specific in the mornings (I've also been trying to do more movement with the kids). Anyway, today I walked again and I'll just keep trying!

Financial: The goal was to have $150 in the baby EF by mid-May. Well, that's not happening.

Personal: My goal was to follow the Flylady routines and work on my house. I have been doing a pretty good job of this. Again, not perfect...but progress!

Family: Tom & I went on a date night a couple of weeks ago. I also spent the day with family on Sunday even though I was feeling really lousy because of my sinuses. It was a blessing to spend the day with them and I'm glad I did.

Spiritual: My goal was to do my devotionals and read the Love Dares each day. I have been doing well with that. They have both also been pointed directly at my heart.

Social: We've made it a point to spend time with our friends.

Career: My goal was to work on and improve one area (the playroom) of my business). I've worked on that throughout the month and will choose a new area to focus on next time.

That's the progress report for today. Hope you all have a fabulous day!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

2 Years & 117 Days and adjustments

I started a new child this week. He comes at 6:30 in the morning so that is taking some adjusting on my part. I am up that early anyway, but it leaves me less computer time in the morning. Anyway, I never got a chance to get on here and post a blog today. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Monday, May 10, 2010

2 Years and Days 114, 115, & 116 and Happy Mother's Day (a day late)

How do weekends go by so fast? Oh yeah, because I seem to go non-stop on most of them! LOL. This weekend, I garage saled here in town on Saturday morning, had friends over for supper and game night on Saturday, and then Sunday was church, dinner with Tom & kids, great-niece's birthday party, and church again. Phew!

I hope that all of you moms out there had a great Mother's Day. Mine was good although I felt miserable with a sinus headache most of it.

This week will be the end of my first month working on my new goals that I set as I was reading the 48 Days to the Work You Love book. I will be updating on how things are going as well as setting a new set of goals for the next month.

Happy Monday!

Friday, May 7, 2010

2 Years & 113 Days and working for the Lord

One of my favorite Bible verses is Colossians 3:23:

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men

Thought provoking, isn't it?

I hope that everyone has a wonderful day and a great weekend. Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

2 Years and 112 Days and God's children

It's interesting how often the devotional for the day is one that strikes me right in the heart. As if God knows exactly what I need to hear. Oh yeah, guess He does. LOL. Anyway, today's devotional was about how God always has time to listen to His children. We're not an afterthought. We're His first thought. Isn't that an amazing feeling? Yesterday, I prayed and put the potential new client into His hands (where it was anyway, but I kept wanting to take it back, LOL). The client did bring by the paperwork yesterday afternoon and should start this next Monday, the 10th. Continued prayers that the family is a good fit are greatly appreciated.

No exercise this morning. I woke up feeling awful, dizzy and out of it from my sinuses, then had a terrible nosebleed later on. I'll try to do some movement with my kids today to make up for it though.

Hope everyone has a great day!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

2 Years & 111 Days and almost clean office

Well, I worked in my office area yesterday. It's not perfect, but it does look about 200% better. At least you can walk around in here and not step on something. LOL! Other than that, I met Tom for lunch yesterday on my surprise day off. I didn't walk or exercise yesterday, but I'm hoping the cleaning I did makes up for some of that. LOL. My asthma and wheezing have been out of control the last couple of days because of the wind and whatever it's blowing around (besides dust). But it's that way whether I walk or not, so I might as well take some short walks. My heel and foot are finally starting to feel better from pulling that muscle a couple of months ago. They still hurt, but it seems to be getting better.

I'm still waiting on paperwork for my client that says they want to start next week. Just keep me in prayer. I know that God has the right family or families out there for me, whether it's this one or another one.

Today's Bible verse of the day at Bible Gateway is:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”- Philippians 4:6-7

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

2 Years and 110 Days and a day off!

I got a surprise day off today! Wow! I was scheduled to have two kids during the day and one after school. One of the daytime kids is home with his family on maternity leave and the other's mom offered to keep him home. The after school child's mom was going on the older brother's field trip and said she would just pick him up after school. So I get the day off! What ever am I going to do? Sleep in a little and clean! LOL. I did some work in the "BLACK HOLE" aka my office yesterday. I plan to continue that project today. I am also going to go meet Tom for lunch. My break time is running out fast so I'll wrap this up for now. Hope everyone has a super good day!

Monday, May 3, 2010

2 Years and Days 107, 108, & 109 and May already?

I simply cannot believe it is already May. This year is already 1/3 of the way over. Summertime's going to be here before we know it. So...a check-in on some of my goals:

Physical: I've been walking or doing "Yoga for the Rest of Us" most days. It has really helped my energy level and outlook on life.

Personal: I've been doing Flylady's missions each day for the house. Last week's involved some detailed vacuuming and I'm telling you-stuff got vacuumed under that hadn't been touched in a while. LOL.

Financial: Not sure we're going to make the goal of having $150 in the baby EF by mid-May.

Career: I've continued to work on making improvements in my child care play room. This weekend, I bought a little metal tree with clips all over it (I think it's supposed to be for pictures). We're going to use it for a 'kindness tree' and the kids and I will be able to clip apples to it every time they catch someone else doing something kind. This was an idea from the Conscious Discipline class, only they used a tree cut out of felt and felt hearts. Well, if you know me, you know my cutting skills aren't that great and I couldn't figure out what or how I was going to do it. When I saw this little tree at the thrift store, I knew it was perfect!

Spiritual: Most mornings, I've been doing my Bible study and prayer time.

Family & Social: This weekend we spent time both with family and friends.

Have a great week, everyone!

Friday, April 30, 2010

2 Years and 106 Days and Date with my Sweetie tonight

Tom and I are going on a date tonight! I cannot wait. We're going to try out Napoli's in Enid, maybe visit a couple of thrift stores if we have time, go by Hasting's, and mainly just enjoy each other's company. I'm excited! One of my biggest regrets from when the kids were younger is that we didn't go on more dates. Of course, finances were (and are, LOL) always an issue, but we should have made it more of a priority. Oh well, no sense dwelling on the past. The thing is, I always thought when the kids got older, we'd go out more, but that hasn't been the case. So now we're trying to make it a priority to get out alone and spend time together.

Another busy weekend is in the works. We hope to go to our great-niece's soccer game tomorrow, celebrating our friend's graduation from NOC, grocery shopping, and I have some projects around the house I'm working on. All that to say that I probably will not get a chance to post again until Monday. Hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

2 Years and 105 Days & What we Offer Others

This last weekend, I attended a Conscious Discipline training class.Conscious Discipline was developed by Dr. Becky Bailey. I've been to Conscious Discipline trainings before (even got to see Dr. Bailey live in Tulsa many years ago) but I always learn something new or remember something that I've forgotten. We got to watch some DVD footage of Dr. Bailey and I was reminded of one of my favorite quotes by her: "What you offer to others, you give to yourself". Have you ever noticed how when you are feeling mean or judgmental of others, you don't feel very good about yourself? Or when you're feeling impatient with someone else, it's often because you're feeling impatient with yourself. Dr. Bailey encourages you to attribute positive intent to other people's actions. Someone cuts you off in traffic? Perhaps they have a sick child or other emergency. Someone is rude or hateful to you? Perhaps they have some kind of personal crisis going on. Believe it or not, this kind of attitude can be really freeing. It helps set one free from taking on other people's emotions. You can feel empathetic for them without taking on their stress. Of course, it's easier said than done and it feels kind of weird at first, but it really does help. What does this have to do with my journey towards being debt free? Well, it's all about the attitude. When I'm feeling good about myself, then I have hope and feel like I can make it, even in the tough times. When I'm feeling down, well, then I feel hopeless and like there's no point. So, next time you're pointing a finger at someone else, remember the old saying "he who points his finger at another has 3 more pointing back at himself". Have a great day everyone!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

2 Years and 104 Days & God Made Us

Today both my devotional and my Love Dare were talking about God's love for us. Sometimes I tend to forget that God made me just the way I am. In the book 48 Days to the Work You Love, Dan Miller says "At judgment, God isn't likely to ask you why you weren't more like Mother Teresa, he's likely to ask you why you were not more like yourself". God made you the way you are. If you are not using the gifts that He gave you, then you should be looking for a way to use those gifts. We all have them. My gifts tend to be in the areas of organizing and leading. Where do your gifts lay? I love this passage from the Bible:

17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? I Corinthians 12: 17-19

In other words, God made us all different for a reason. If we were all the same, we wouldn't need each other. I need Tom's patience because I don't always have a lot. Tom needs my voice because he sometimes has a hard time standing up for himself. I am not saying that we should not try to improve ourselves, but I am saying that we should find a way to use the gifts that God gave us. Quit focusing on what we CANNOT do and focus on what we can.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

2 Years and 103 Days & goals and more

First of all, Tom is back at work today. The doctor released him to go back on light duty. Please pray that he does okay and does not overdo it. Secondly, I have two interviews tonight (one drop-in, one full-time) and would appreciate prayers for wisdom and discernment and for God's will to be made clear to me.

Today I want to talk about some of the goals I've set in other areas of my life. We've talked about financial, career, physical, and personal goals so far. The other areas are family, social, and spiritual. In the area of family life, I have committed to going out on at least one date alone with Tom each month. I would also like us to try to take at least 2 overnight trips alone each year. Even if we just go to a hotel with a jacuzzi and spend the night, just getting away alone is good for the relationship. Secondly, as my children are growing up, I want to make sure that I spend time with them when possible. Looking back, it seems just yesterday that Serenity was a little girl starting her first day of kindergarten and now she's graduating from college! That also goes to extended family, too. Making time to spend with them is important too. In the area of spiritual growth, I have made a commitment to myself to get up earlier each morning to make sure that I have time to do my daily devotional and pray to start the day. In the social area of my life, Tom and I have a great Christian couple that we've been hanging out with the last 3 months. It is the first time in our marriage that we've really had another couple to hang out with and it has been a lot of fun. We play games together, fix meals for each other, go out to eat together, and support each other. I thank God each day for bringing our new BFF's into our life!

Monday, April 26, 2010

2 Years and Days 100, 101, & 102 and my personal goals

Continuing the discussion of the goals that I have set for myself, today we'll talk about my personal development goals.

First of all, I am back on the Flylady bandwagon. LOL. Seriously, I am trying to follow her missions each day and make some progress on keeping my house clean. Last week's focus was in the bedroom. Tom & I did some decluttering and cleaning. It's not perfect, but it looks much better. When the bedroom comes around again next month, we can work in there some more. This week's focus in the living room. Since the living room is seen by everyone who comes to my house, it usually doesn't look too bad, but it does need some detail cleaning done to it.

Eventually, I want to go for my Master's degree. So I will start researching choices, financial aid and scholarship options over the next few months. Even if I don't ever actually do it, I'll at least have looked into it and studied the options.

Friday, April 23, 2010

2 Years and 99 Days and Career Goals

While you might think that a book called 48 Days to the Work You Love is all about changing careers or jobs, it is about so much more than that. It's about finding what you are meant to do and finding a balance in life so that all of your self-worth does not come from your career. Before I went back to college online through OU, I had a very tough year in my business. I was feeling discouraged and burned out and not sure if I could or should stay in child care. Most of my feelings of self-worth had been tied up in child care for years. Every training I did, every class I took, and my associate's degree were all related to child care. So stepping out and going for a degree that had nothing to do with child care really freed me. It helped me to feel better about myself to be successful at something that was totally unrelated to child care. It also helped me to have a goal to work towards. That's why setting these goals while reading this book really struck home with me. Goals keep you focused. Even if you do not end up accomplishing everything you want to, just working towards it really helps. So that being said, today I want to talk about my goals for my career.

As I was getting ready to graduate from OU, I had several people (especially child care parents) asking me if I was going to move on to a different career. Since working for the degree helped alleviate my burn out, I felt good about staying in child care. But of course, business has been up and down the last year or so and I've felt discouraged. Looking back however, I can see God's hand in it. For example, it would have been hard to take care of Tom after his surgery with a whole house full of kids here. But I was starting to feel discouraged and burned out again, hence the reason I was reading this book (well that and the fact I had wanted to read it since I heard about it at Financial Peace University). I was wondering if it was time to make a change. As I read about setting goals in the different areas of life, I had a light bulb moment. I go to a lot of child care trainings and read a lot of child care books and I am always finding good ideas that I want to try out (and I do try many of them). But I also have a tendency to want to change/do everything at once and then I get overwhelmed and end up doing very little. So I set a goal for myself to work on one area of change each month in my business. This month I'm working on deep-cleaning and organizing the play room area. Next I will make some changes outside. It feels good to have a plan. I am also working on and brainstorming ideas of ways to market my business in ways beyond the typical flyers around town.

Tonight I am going out of town for a child care class tomorrow. I will probably get back too late to post tomorrow but I will try to post on Sunday. Oh and I have an interview for a drop-in scheduled on Tuesday evening and would appreciate prayers for that!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

2 Years and 98 Days and the baby EF

Continuing yesterday's theme of talking about the goals I've set in the different areas of life. In the financial area, I want to get our baby emergency fund built back up. It is at 0 right now which is a very disturbing feeling. With Tom being back at 40 hours a week and having the chance at overtime after he gets off light duty (when he goes back to work he'll have a few weeks of light duty), that should help things considerably. Besides the Christmas holidays (when they got paid for both Friday holidays), Tom got his first full paycheck in 15 months last week. It was amazing! I am very grateful for him to be back to full-time hours and even more grateful that he is willing to work some Saturdays for the overtime pay. We plan to put every bit of that into the emergency fund. I'd like to come up with some other ways to earn extra $'s and plan to brainstorm on that today.

The census people have called several times wanting me to come work for them, but all of their trainings are during the daytime. When I applied, I was given the impression that the trainings would be available on evenings and weekends for people with daytime jobs. However, I have decided that it was not in God's plan for right now so I am looking for guidance and ideas for other ways to raise money. As always, your prayers in this area are appreciated.

Finally, for those of you who have prayed for Tom & I during the last 15 months while his hours were cut back, we are very thankful to you. Please continue your prayers as we continue our journey to being debt-free.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

2 Years and 97 Days and GO ME!

I have been reading this book that I borrowed from the church library: 48 Days to the Work you Love. I first heard about it during our Financial Peace University class and had wanted to read it. I was super excited when I found out our church had it. The book has you set goals in 7 different areas of your life:
Financial
Spiritual
Social
Family
Career
Personal Development
Physical

You start with 5 year goals and work your way back. I've set 5 year goals, 1 year goals, and 1 month goals. My goal is to make at least one small improvement in each area of my life every month. In the area of physical, for 6 of the last 7 days, I've got up and done some sort of exercise (walked or my Yoga for the Rest of Us dvd). I figure my asthma is bothering me most of the time anyway, I might as well be exercising a little bit. Over the next few days, I'll share about my goals in some of the other areas.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

2 years and days 88-96 and Tom is doing well

An update on Tom: He is recovering well from his surgery. He got his staples out last week and is now able to use his arm well enough to shift the car into gear so he can drive. He's quite excited about that! So am I! LOL. He goes back to the Dr. on Monday to see when he can go back to work. He'll be on light duty for a while when he does go back.

Monday, April 12, 2010

2 years and days 78-88 and sorry

I apologize for not posting for over a week. It's been hard work taking care of Tom after his surgery and doing my job! I have been even more worn out than usual. Tom is doing pretty well from his surgery. He still has pain, but it seems to be getting better everyday. Tomorrow, he goes back to the doctor and gets rechecked and we hope that he gets his staples out.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

2 Years & 77 Days and April Fool's!

Wish I had a really good joke to play on you, but I don't. LOL. The next few days are going to be really busy so don't be surprised if you don't hear or see from me. Saturday is the egg hunt, Sunday is Easter, and then Monday is Tom's surgery. Hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed Easter weekend!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

2 years & Days 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, & 76 and so tired!

I have been so tired lately! It started around when the time changed and I lost an hour and I wasn't sleeping well. I'm still not sleeping well and just cannot seem to get caught up. I've been in bed before 10:00 every night the last few nights. Anyway, I'm hoping that since I'm off this Friday and can sleep in this coming Saturday, maybe I'll be able to get a little bit caught up!

Tom has surgery on his shoulder next Monday. Please keep him in your prayers. It is the surgery we were hoping for (the one with less recovery time), but any surgery is a bit scary.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

2 years & 70 Days and a huge PRAISE!

Tom found out yesterday that he goes back to 40 hours a week next Friday, April 2nd. He'll get to work this Friday on the cleaning crew. He will also have the chance to work some Saturdays doing cleaning to get overtime. Possibly the best thing is that if/when he has surgery, he'll get paid for 40 hours a week instead of just 32. That will be a huge blessing. We are praising God!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

2 Years & Days 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, & 69 and LAME!

I know! I've gone almost a week without posting! I'm sorry! Here are some updates:
We got our tax refund deposited last Friday. We were able to pay our dentist bill, our Napa bill, our property taxes, get caught up on our phone bills, gas bill, and electric bill, and pay Serenity back (both for the remainder of the car repair money she had loaned us and for Tasha's prom dress which they bought when Tasha was visiting her last week). It is a huge relief to be caught up on all of our bills and I am praying that we can stay caught up.

In other news, I had an interview scheduled for Monday night at 6:00 p.m. This is a person that I knew owed another provider money, but I figured everyone deserves a second chance. I had prayed about it and asked for God's will to be made clear to me, as well as for wisdom and discernment about whether to take the child or not. I called at 5:00 to confirm the appointment and was told they would be here. 6:00 came and went and they never showed. LOL. Guess that made God's will pretty clear, right? I was annoyed, but also relieved. I figure that God helped me dodge a bullet!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

2 years and 63 Days and my diploma!


Guess what came in the mail today? MY DIPLOMA! It looks so official! I guess I really am a college graduate! LOL!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

2 Years & 62 Days and the time change!

This time change is kicking my tail. I can't get to sleep at night, then I can't wake up in the mornings. Yikes! Anyway, I guess I'll adjust in a few days. I really do wish "they" would just leave the time alone, but "they" never have asked me what I think. LOL.

Today's positive: Tonight I'm driving to Norman to pick up Natasha. She spent a few days there with Serenity. I've missed her and I am looking forward to seeing her and Serenity.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

2 Years & Days 58, 59, 60, & 61 and annoyed with myself

Do you ever just get annoyed with yourself? I sure do, especially when I'm feeling so whiny and cranky! That's how I've felt lately and I don't like it. I know that my feelings are valid, but I have so much to be thankful FOR that I need to quit thinking so much about what is wrong.

Positive: the tax refund is showing as pending on our bank account so it should be there by Friday. We can get all of our bills caught up, which will be a huge, HUGE, did I mention H-U-G-E blessing!!!!! We can also hopefully get some put back into our Emergency Fund. In addition, I am due for my semi-annual REWARD check some time by the end of the month which will also help us out a great deal.

Have a happy week!

Friday, March 12, 2010

2 Years & 57 Days and Fighting Discouragement

I have been really fighting being discouraged the last few days. Oh who am I kidding? I've been fighting it for months. Don't get me wrong, I"m well aware of how blessed I am. I have a husband who loves me, fantastic children (who are growing into fantastic young adults), wonderful friends, and a job that I love. But it just seems like things keep going wrong for us. We barely get over the reeling of one financial crisis before another one sends us reeling. I am worried about Tom and his shoulder and just really want him to feel good again. So I humbly ask you to continue your prayers for us, especially for Tom.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

2 Years & Days 54, 55, & 56 and a busy week

No, I did not fall off the face of the earth, but I have had a busy week. Besides having stuff to do Monday, Tuesday, and tonight, I have also worked on taxes so I could get them submitted. I was praying that we would get a good refund. I had put off doing them because last year we only got $130something dollars back and so I was not looking forward. But thanks to some new stuff and our lower income last year, we are getting a great refund. That is a huge blessing. That will allow us to get several things caught up AND hopefully get our emergency fund refilled. Keeping my fingers crossed that the refund gets deposited next week!

Monday, March 8, 2010

2 Years and Days 50, 51, 52, & 53 and Psalm 46

1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.

2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,

3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
Selah

4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.

5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.

6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

7 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Selah

8 Come and see the works of the LORD,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.

9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear,
he burns the shields [b] with fire.

10 "Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."

11 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Selah

Thursday, March 4, 2010

2 Years & 49 Days and LOVING this weather!

Wow, I am loving this weather. Nothing can lift your spirits like spending lots of time in the sunshine. I've felt the prayers lifted up for us over the last day or so. I am still worried about Tom, but feeling much more peaceful.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

2 Years & 48 Days, the car is back, but now...

Tom's shoulder has been bothering him for months now. The doctor sent him to an orthopedic doctor and that doctor is sending him for an MRI. If it's what the doctor thinks it is, surgery is the only way to relieve the pain. Please say some prayers. we'd really appreciate it.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

2 Years & 47 Days and Pity Party Over

Well, I feel somewhat better this morning. Ever notice how sometimes you just have to have a good cry and then you feel better? I guess that's what I needed yesterday. Things had been piling up for a while and I guess I just needed to let it all out. I haven't forgotten how incredibly blessed I am, I just took a detour. So we've been doing really, really well about eating at home. Last night, I broke and had Tom bring home $5 foot longs from Subway. It was YUMMY! It's weird how much better food out tastes when you're not eating it near as often. Anyway, here's wishing everyone a blessed and wonderful week.

Monday, March 1, 2010

2 Years & Days 44, 45, &46 and still no car

The car is still not done. I am incredibly frustrated and busy having a pity party (LOL), so I'll have to post tomorrow.

Friday, February 26, 2010

2 years & 43 Days and the car

Well, I spoke to the body shop yesterday and the car might be done today, but it might also be early next week. They had ordered a part and were sent the wrong part so now they're waiting on the right part to come in. Anyway, Serenity is loaning us the rest of the money so we can get it fixed so our goal will now be to get her paid off as quick as possible. I was really hoping to avoid having to do that (borrow money from Serenity). I find it deeply disturbing that I'm having to borrow money from my 21 year old daughter. Sigh...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

2 years & 42 Days and making progress

Well, we're making progress towards having the money for the car. We were up to $140 yesterday, then cleaned a friend's work truck out and she paid us $100! Still cannot believe that! Anyway, that put us up to $240. Almost halfway there. We're still looking for ways to earn some money if anyone has any ideas, please share them. No word on the car yet, it's supposed to be done at the end of this week, or early next week.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

2 Years & 41 Days and life

This is just a reminder to all of my friends and family out there. Life is short. Remember to tell those you love that you love them. Don't be kind just to strangers. Be kind to your family. Hug each other everyday. Pray for each other everyday.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4
3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

2 Years & 40 days and goals

Well, with all of the computer problems last week, I obviously did not get taxes done. I did get Tasha's done Sunday evening after we got the computer back up and running. They have been filed and the refund wait has begun. So, I need to work on mine & Tom's taxes. AND I need to get with Serenity and get hers done (Josh's were done before all of this). So I'm making progress. My goal is to work the next couple of evenings on getting things organized to get mine & Tom's done.

Why does it seem that money stress never ends? The prom is fast approaching and Tasha hasn't been able to look for a dress yet because I haven't been able to put any money back for her to go look. We've got to get the money for the car and we've also got to get money in the emergency fund, and we've got to get money to buy Tasha a prom dress. I'm not sure how our taxes will turn out, maybe that will help at least a little bit with some of this. I can dream anyway.

Monday, February 22, 2010

2 years & 39 Days and is that a light?

Is that a light at the end of the tunnel? Tom starts working with the cleaning crew this coming Friday. Praise God! Keep up those prayers! I'm almost afraid to get my hopes up in case they get smashed. I got called by the Census Bureau today to work, BUT, the training is March 1st-5th during the daytime. When I applied, I told them I was available evenings and weekends and we were told they would be having training then. But apparently not (unless they have one later). Oh well, it was worth a try, I guess.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

2 Years and Days 35, 36, 37, & 38 and frustrations

As you may have already guessed, I am feeling super frustrated right now. The computer is back up and running, Tom was able to switch out a CD ROM drive from another computer so I could get stuff reinstalled. That was a relief. That didn't end up costing us any $'s, but sure cost us time, energy, and frustration. The recovery we did wasn't supposed to lose any data, but it seems to have anyway. But, that's life! Our main concern right now is coming up with the $500 to get the Mitsubishi back from the body shop when it's done. We've managed to come up with $110 so far. It may be done by the end of this week...so we are on a schedule. I tried offering date night child care Friday night (and I"m offering it again next Friday night), I only had one child though. Then we were supposed to clean a friend's truck yesterday, but the weather put a damper (literally, LOL!) on that. I tried listing some stuff to sell, haven't sold anything. You know, sometimes I just wish things would go easy for us. Wait, I'm sounding whiny. I hate it when I sound whiny.

Bottom line...we need prayers more than anything.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

2 years and Days 32, 33, & 34 and Limping Along

Well, we got our regular computer back up and running. But now the CD drive won't work so I can't reinstall any of our hardware (like the printer, etc) or any software like our tax program or my Microsoft Office program. AND I lost all of my favorites, etc. Since I can't install Office, I don't know what my e-mail looks like, but I'm guessing I lost all of my contacts and my saved e-mails, too.

Can I just say BAH HUMBUG!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

2 Years and days 30 & 31: When it Rains, it Pours

Welcome to our life. Tasha and her friends were in Enid Friday night and had an accident in the Mitsubishi Lancer. They are all fine, but the car is not driveable. We're not sure yet what the extent of the damage is. I plan to call the insurance tomorrow and get it taken to a body shop to find out. So, we are back down to one car and it was her fault. We do have full coverage on that car so it's 'just' the $500 deductible that we have to worry about. But there's not any money in the emergency fund, so that's a problem. Then our main computer got attacked by a virus and our McAfee virus scan was not finding it. So now Tom's having to take it in to get it worked on.

Friday, February 12, 2010

2 Years & 29 Days and the Constant Battle

I remember when I was in my 20's (and still married to my first husband) watching an older couple that we knew struggle financially and hoping that I had my financial life in order by the time I got their age. Guess what? I am about their age. And I don't.I remember when I was in my early 30's, thinking that I should have my financial life in order by now. But I didn't. It's a little bit distressing, but we just keep trying. I dream of the day that finances won't be a constant battle for us. I wonder if that day will ever come.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

2 years & 28 Days and steak tips recipe

Thanks goes to Mandy who sent me this recipe. I made it last week. It is easy and very yummy. Even Tasha liked it! LOL!

Easy beef tips
2 lbs beef tips (I just cut a sirloin steak into small pieces and browned it in a skillet on the stovetop a bit before mixing everything)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of celery soup ( I used cream of mushroom)
½ c water
1 package dry onion soup mix

Mix all ingredients, Cook in crockpot on low for 8-12 hrs. My crockpot cooks super fast so you'll have to watch yours and see. Mine did not take nearly that long. We served it with mashed potatoes. Mandy also suggested rice and I was thinking egg noodles might be good.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

2 Years & 27 Days and looking for ways to earn extra money

So, Tom & I are searching for ways to earn some extra money. He's still off on Fridays and I still do not have my openings filled. We are taking the test this Saturday to work for the Census, but that does not sound like it will be an immediate thing. So we are looking for ideas of ways to earn extra money. We really need to get our Emergency Fund built back up and get and stay caught up on all of our bills.

As always, prayers are greatly appreciated!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

2 Years & 26 days and Tom's lunches

Since Tom started at his current job (almost 15 years ago!), he has taken his lunch. Before we knew that they had a microwave, he took sandwiches for months. Once we knew that they had a microwave, that opened up lots of new possibilities. Recently, I decided to get more organized with his lunches and posted a note on the freezer. On the list, I put whatever there is in the freezer for lunches and it gets marked off when he takes it. That way, he knows what's up there and I know if I need to add more. Since I've only got 2-3 kids for lunch most days right now, when I fix something for the kids that I think Tom will like, I fix him a plate and stick it in the freezer. When we have a supper with leftovers, I do the same thing. So far it's been working great and is saving us time and $'s! Always a great combination.

Monday, February 8, 2010

2 Years & Days 23, 24, and 25 and busy weekend

Phew, what a weekend! Saturday, I worked providing child care at the women's retreat here in town (had 7 kids), then we spent the evening at some friend's house having supper and playing Wii. Yesterday was church, long nap, and church again. LOL. I am still fighting with the asthma and a cough. I just keep hoping it does not develop into bronchitis. I have neither the time nor the money to go to the doctor.

Once again, I did not accomplish my goals for last week, so here we go again.
Today, I am going to try to get Josh's and Tasha's taxes done. I'll get Serenity's done when I get her information.

Valentine's Day is coming up next weekend. Tom & I were going to go to the dinner at church on Saturday night, but we decided to stay home alone and watch movies instead. I have a coupon for buy one enchilada dinner, get one free at El Chico's so we could get supper from there for less than $10 and bring it home. Tasha will be gone to BB games so we'll have the house to ourselves.

Have a super week, everyone!

Friday, February 5, 2010

2 Years and 22 Days and wishing my parents a happy anniversary

My parents have been married for 45 years today. Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad. Even though you don't have any power and can't get online to read this.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

2 Years & 21 Days and Miracles

Sometimes when you need one the most, God provides a miracle. Tom gets paid on Friday and we need to make our house payment. Next week, our car insurance and house insurance are both due on the 10th. Because Tasha is on the car insurance now and they didn't get her added in time for the January statement, we've got 2 months of that to pay on this statement. No matter how I did the math, I could not figure out how we were going to pay both of those (they are automatically deducted from our account) AND buy groceries this weekend. Yesterday, a lady called me and asked me if I would be willing to be in charge of child care this Saturday for a women's retreat at their church. They were willing to pay me and it was enough to make the difference and put us over the hump and have enough to pay all of the bills and buy groceries. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, my friends for your prayers. Please keep them coming.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

2 Years and 20 days and beef stew recipe

Tom found this beef stew recipe that I made for supper tonight. It was really good. The prep work was a little more than I like, but well worth it.

INGREDIENTS
5 Red Potatoes ( 1" Cubes)

1 Minced small Yellow Onion


3 Sliced Carrots


1 Minced Garlic Clove


1 1/2 Lbs. Cubes Stew Beef


2 Stalks Celery, Chopped


2 tsp Salt


1 tsp Black Pepper


2 C Beef Broth


1/4 C Flour


1 Bay Leaf


1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup




COOKWARE

1 Large Frying Pan


Food Processor or Anything that will Mince


Ladle


Dry measuring cups & spoons


Liquid measuring cup


Crock Pot or Slow Cooker





Preparing for my Beef Stew Recipe.



1. Slice 3 carrots.

2. Mince garlic and onions.

3. Chop 2 stalks of celery.

4. Mix 1/4 c flour and 2 tsp salt in a bowl.

5. Mix the can of cream of mushroom soup and 2 cups of beef broth in a bowl and set aside.

6. Cube potatoes and beef into 1" cubes. Set aside in separate bowls.




Cooking the Crock Pot Beef Stew Recipe

Mix the beef chunks in the flour and brown them in a frying pan.

Place the carrots and potatoes in the bottom of the crockpot and around the edges of the crock pot.

Put the browned chunks of beef in the middle and place the onions, garlic and celery on top.

Now pour the cream of mushroom soup and the beef broth over everything until its 2/3's full of liquid.

Cover the crock pot and turn it on high for 1 hour, after one hour turn it on low for 8 hours. DO NOT STIR it until the end. When there is one hour left add the bay leaf and 1 or 2 tsp salt and 1 teaspoon pepper.

When the crock pot beef stew recipe is finished remove the bay leaf, stir and serve.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

2 Years and 19 days & What if there's no hope?

What do you do if there is no hope? 13 months of Tom working 32 hour weeks, with still no end in sight. Nothing has come of the Friday cleaning yet. They might be "having a meeting soon". I have openings that I cannot seem to get filled. I have interviews and things don't seem to work out. I had a couple of drop-ins that were supposed to start last Tu/Th, they never showed. At times like this, I have to look to the Lord for support and hope. Sometimes I forget to look to Him and I go a little crazy. So my prayer for today is from Romans 15:13:

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Monday, February 1, 2010

2 Years and 18 days & please keep praying

Please keep praying for us. For Tom's job to get back to 40 hours a week. For my openings to get filled. For us to be encouraged instead of discouraged. Thank you.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

2 Years and 17 Days & Cabin Fever

Well, I had cabin fever bad after being cooped up for the last few days and couldn't wait for church this morning. Unfortunately, I got started coughing and coughed all through church. UGH! Anyway, I cannot believe we are all the way through the first month of 2010 already! This week, my goals are to:

1. Hopefully finally get those books in our bedroom gone through.
2. Get the kids taxes done.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

2 Years and Days 15 & 16 and hibernation

We finally got the promised snow, but never did get the ice (thank goodness for that). Last I knew my parents, grandparents, sister, were all without electricity, the ice really hit them hard.

I ended up with no kids on Friday and I spent the day just hibernating, napping, watching TV, and eating. It was wonderful. Today was another relaxing day, it's nice to just be snowed in and get to relax.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

2 Years & 14 Days and Wintry Weather

Well, I waited and watched all day for the huge winter storm we're supposed to be getting. It has finally snowed some tonight, but that's it. Not that I"m complaining, mind you. Being cooped up inside with these kids is not a lot of fun. LOL.

Anyway, I grabbed frozen pizzas at the store for supper last night, but was feeling well enough to actually cook tonight. So hopefully my asthma situation will continue to improve.

Stay warm and safe!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

2 Years & 13 days and slipped last night

My asthma has been bothering me really bad for the last few days and I was feeling especially bad last night. Tom didn't get home until late (he had band practice) so I wasn't going to be cooking supper until after 8:00. By the time Tom called, I couldn't even motivate myself off the couch, so I asked him to bring home supper. The good news is that we ordered off McDonald's value menu so it wasn't too expensive and we skipped drinks all together.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

2 Years & 12 days and life is short

Life is short. How many times have you heard that cliched remark? The thing is, it's not a cliche. That has been proven repeatedly to me most of my life. I've seen parents lose a child and children lose a parent. I've seen siblings lose siblings and friends mourning the loss of friends. Each time I am reminded of how fleeting life is. Just remember that God is there for you, ALWAYS. Remember to be there for your friends and family when they need you. You don't know the right words to say? Don't say anything, just be there. Give them a hug. Hold their hand. Pray for them. That's what they're going to remember anyway. After my brother died, I cannot remember most of what people said, but I can remember the people that came and hugged me and were just there.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4:

3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

Monday, January 25, 2010

2 Years and 11 Days and ever feel like giving up?

My devotional on Saturday was about Elijah wanting to give up, even after God had used Elijah to show Israel how powerful He was (1 Kings 18-19). That got me to thinking about how many times I've wanted to give up, even after God showed me how powerful He is. Elijah felt alone. I often feel alone. But Elijah was not, and neither am I. Then Sunday's sermon at church was what to do if your prayers were never answered. What if our prayers aren't answered about Tom's job? What if my openings aren't filled? What's the answer? From Habakkuk 3:

17 Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,

18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.

19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to go on the heights.
For the director of music. On my stringed instruments.

In other words, rejoice in the Lord and look to Him for my answers.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

2 Years and Days 9 & 10 and very sad

I had a post in mind to write today, but just learned that the mother of one of my daughter's friends passed away. Please keep the family in your prayers.

Friday, January 22, 2010

2 Years and 8 Days and Tom's job

Well, here we are almost a month into 2010 and Tom is still working 32 hours a week. So far nothing has come of the Friday clean-up gig. Tom was told this week that they "might" be ready to start "one" group on February 5th. I have to confess to getting really discouraged. We've been praying for over a year that he would get back to 40 hours a week and still nothing. But then I think of all the people who do not have jobs at all or even worse, the people in Haiti and I realize how truly lucky and blessed we are. So I'll keep praying but I'll also keep in mind our blessings.

This weekend is a fairly busy one. Tonight I'm going to a friend's party to celebrate her promotion. Tomorrow is grocery shopping and a couples date! I am super excited about that! I'm also hoping we can get some of the books gone through that we didn't get done last week and I can get some more bookwork caught up to get ready for taxes.

From one of my favorite hymns:

Count your blessings, name them one by one.
Count your many blessing, see what God has done.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

2 Years and 7 Days and I am so excited!

The computer is working great, Tom's friend added some more RAM and cleared some stuff out so it is running much better.

Tom & I are going on a date tonight. We haven't been out alone in 3 weeks and we both need a break.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

2 Years and 6 Days and got computer back

Thankfully, the problem with our computer was fairly easily fixable and we already have it back. It doesn't appear that we lost anything. It was the video card on the mother board or something. Anyway, I've spent most of tonight trying to get anti-virus protection installed.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

2 Years & 5 Days and "Thou Shalt Not Procrastinate"

I am beginning to think that "Thou shalt not procrastinate" should be the 11th commandment. UGH! I spent a good portion of my day off yesterday sitting on the floor sifting through a whole year's worth of receipts and bills trying to get them to the point that I can do taxes. Then this afternoon during nap and this evening, I've been going through figuring up other things. In 2008, I did a great job of keeping up with all that. In 2009...not so much. So today's lesson: DO NOT PROCRASTINATE!

Monday, January 18, 2010

2 Years & Days 3 and 4: I love binder clips

Last month, I washed our shower curtain liner. Apparently, the dirt and grime were the only things holding it together and it fell apart in the washer. LOL. So I had Tom stop at Dollar General and get another one. Within days, one of the holes had ripped out, and pretty soon the next one too. I was annoyed. I didn't want to have to buy another shower curtain liner so soon, but at the rate they were ripping out, I didn't think this one was going to last. Then Tom came up with the idea to use a bobby pin to hold it together. That wasn't strong enough to hold, BUT it gave me the idea to try binder clips. I love binder clips, they're so multi-functional-not just for clipping paper. LOL. Anyway, they seem to be working very well so far. So we get to use our new shower curtain liner for a while longer. YEAH!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

2 Years & 2 days and computer problems

BOO! Our computer decided to quit working this afternoon. Luckily we had an extra one here that Tom's dad had given Josh and Josh wasn't using right now so we hooked it up. I just kept thanking God that it didn't happen WHILE I was still taking college classes. I'd have been in absolute panic mode. Anyway, despite that, I've managed to get the parent totals done for 2009, now I just need to get the forms ready for the parents. Because of the computer problems, we didn't go through any books yet today. Don't know if we will or not. But having a computer takes priority! LOL!

Friday, January 15, 2010

2 years & 1 day and the journey continues

Well, first a praise on us! We have done really well with eating at home in the last week. I cannot get over how easy it is to fall back into the bad habit of eating out so frequently. I don't think we were doing it as frequently as before, but we had been doing it too much. Why are bad habits so hard to break and good habits so hard to do?

Di mentioned in a reply to yesterday's post that she knew I had wanted to give up in the last year. And here I thought I'd hidden that really well. HA! Sometimes I wish I wasn't such a transparent person. LOL. Anyway, she's right. Tom had asked me the other day if I'd lost interest in the blog. No, I haven't, but I've been so discouraged that it's been hard to write. People don't want to come here everyday and read my whining. I don't even want to write my whining. A little whining is okay, but I'd been feeling whiny most of the time. So it had been really hard for me to write consistently. Now that we're making an effort to rededicate ourselves to these principles and get back in the groove, I'm hoping I will find hope again and be able to write better.

Last, I need to work on some bookwork this weekend and Tom & I have some other projects we want to work on around the house. My goals for the weekend are:
1. Go through our books.
2. Do parent totals for 2009 to give out for parent's tax information
Those are the main two. In addition, I hope to get some work done in the office and get it looking halfway presentable again. Hope everyone has a super weekend. I'll try to remember to check in and post, but if I don't, hopefully it's because I'm actually getting something accomplished.

Oh, and P.S.: Rather than try to figure out where I goofed up on counting my days, I decided to go from yesterday's 2 year blogiversary and count 2 years + x days. Then next year, I can do 3 years, etc.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Two years ago today...

Today is my two year "blogiversary". I began in an attempt to help us with our attempt to pay off debt. The first year went really well, we paid off over $11,000. The second year, not as good. I haven't done a total yet, but I know it's not near as high. But we just keep plugging along. While the progress might be slow, we're a lot farther along that we'd be if we'd never started this journey. I'd like to ask for everyone's continued prayers for us. Thank you.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Chicken Taco Recipe

In our quest to avoid eating out, I've been looking for some new recipes and resurrecting some old ones. One that I hadn't made in years was this super simple chicken taco recipe:

1 pound boneless, skinless, chicken breast
1 cup chicken broth (I just dissolved a chicken bouillon cube in 1 cup of hot water)
1 package taco seasoning

Place the chicken in the bottom of the slow cooker. Dissolve the taco seasoning in the chicken broth and pour over the chicken. Cook until chicken is fork tender, then shred with a fork. You can use hard or soft taco shells, or in salads. I'm thinking they would also be good used in chicken enchiladas.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

2010 goals: Back to Basics

I have been thinking about how to meet our goal in 2010 of continuing to pay off our debt and I think we have to get back to basics. If you've followed me from the beginning, you may recall the 7 Baby Steps by Dave Ramsey. We are going to concentrate on the first two to begin with:

1: $1000 in an emergency fund
2: Debt snowball

We need to get our emergency fund rebuilt. Then we need to get going on our debt snowball again. This month we are focused mainly on getting caught up from December (the income that I lost from some DHS kids that weren't attending regularly and then from being closed at Christmas). So that is my first goal: getting our "four walls" current. The four walls are: home/shelter (house payment, utilities, etc), cars (we don't have car payments, but we do have insurance and vehicle maintenance), clothes, and food. So mainly we need to get all of our utilities and other similar bills up-to-date.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Ugh...frozen pipes

Well, our washing machine pipes froze up sometime in the last day or so. I'm just praying that when they thaw out that they are not busted.

My main goal for this year is obviously to continue on our debt repayment journey. To be honest, I've become really discouraged over the last several months. It seems like it has been 2 steps forward and 3 steps back. But I guess we wouldn't be anywhere now if we hadn't started and we have made progress, however small. Giving up is not an option!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Tired tonight

Well, this was an extremely long week being cooped up inside with all the kiddos. Tonight as soon as everyone left, I went to Enid to get groceries, picked up pizza from Pizza Hut using a gift card we got for Christmas (thanks Di & Dan!) and came home and vegged on the couch. This weekend I will start discussing my goals for this year.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Somewhere along the line...

Somewhere along the line, I got off on my counting days. LOL. I have found one mistake, but I know there are more. I'll try to get it fixed, but at any rate, my 2 year "blogiversary" is coming up in a few days.

Anyway, a recap of 2009. It was a tough year. It started out with Tom's job cutting everyone back to 32 hours a week. It was supposed to only be for a couple of months, but now it's been over a year. In May, Serenity totaled her car. Thankfully, she was okay and that was all that really mattered. At the end of August, the van died, never to be revived again. We were saving up to buy another vehicle and had borrowed a car to use in the meantime when Tom totaled his car in October by hitting a deer. Thankfully, again, Tom was safe and that was all that mattered. We ended up getting enough money to purchase two new to us vehicles which was a blessing. Things were not all bad though. I finished my college credits and graduated in December. I'm really hoping this year is much better.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Day 735 and confessions

Well it's been a while since I've done any true confessions, so it's time. After going all of 2009 without any "courtesy pay fees" from the bank, we got two already this year, for a total of $45 and it was just stupidity on my part. Not really a great start to the year. We've also been eating out too much again, I have a tendency to not want to cook when I"m not working. So anyway, we are getting back on the straight and narrow and plugging along again. I've been planning and cooking meals the last few days. Thanks to some generous friends from church and a great sale on chicken last month, we should be set on meat for a while so that will help the grocery bill.

Coming up next, I will post a recap of 2009 and start establishing my goals for 2010.

STAY WARM!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Day 731, 732, 733, 734, and really trying to get back on track

I swear I really am trying to get back on track. I've had the hardest time getting myself into a routine since I finished my college classes. I don't have to be on the computer as much, so I'm not.

So...I filled one of my openings. BUT...one of my drop-in's grandma lost her job so I won't be having him anymore for a while. UGH! Sooo frustrating. No news on when/if the Friday cleanings will start at Tom's job, so please keep praying for that and for me to fill my other opening.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Days 727, 728, 729, & 730 and the New Year

I just love New Years, don't you? It's such a wonderful day, a fresh start, a chance to get it right this time. I hope you all had wonderful and safe celebrations and I'll be back tomorrow to start sharing my goals for the New Year.