Friday, February 19, 2010

Company Girls 2.19- It's All About Love

Yesterday my kids and I were in the store and I found a DVD of one of my daughter's favorite DVD series. I was excited about this because it was a great deal, but I didn't show it to her. As we walked around the store, my precious little doll decided that she wanted to display some defiant behaviors that she knew absolutely didn't work for me.  In the midst of the foolishness and trying to discreetly chastise her, I kept thinking about the DVD; part of me wanted to put it back. Then I started to think about my relationship with Jesus and how He graciously blesses me, providing all my needs according to His riches in glory, and even some of my desires.  And He does these things in the midst of my sinful foolishness and His chastisement. That is one of the most challenging aspects of being a parent.  If you are a Christian,  God uses these precious little sinners to sanctify you and put you in check.

And yes, I did buy the DVD, not because she deserved it, but simply because I love her.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Delicious! Cranberry Vanilla Oatmeal

I am a sucker for a good recipe...especially if it's simple, and I have everything on hand to try it. Try this recipe from the Fairhope Foodie for Cranberry Vanilla Oatmeal. I used strawberry Polaner All Fruit in place of the raspberry jam, but I was really impressed with the flavor, and since my munchkins are in love with oatmeal, I wll be adding this to our repetoire.

Blog Shoutout: Beads, Braids, and Beyond

Today's shout out goes to Nikki over at Beads, Braids, and Beyond. Her website give hair care and styling tips for African-American and biracial children. Nikki does a great job of providing detailed instructions and photos of styles that she has created for her daughter. I visit her blog at least twice a week because I'm amazed at the styles she features, and I aspire to get that skilled with my daughter's hair. And if you have a son, don't feel left out; Nikki is beginning to feature some information for the little guys too. She also does product reviews, and promotes using natural haircare products. Nikki's site is one of the best I've seen on this subject. So if you know someone who may benefit from this information, send them over.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Making a List, Checking It Twice

Good Morning!
This weekend I was thinking that it would be great idea to begin sharing some of my frugal living tips, particularly when it comes to  preparing meals. Today we'll start with grocery shopping.

What is your shopping strategy? Do you walk down the aisles tossing items into the cart that you think you need, or do you use a list? I must admit I used to do the former, but my memory ain't what it used to be, so it's easier for me to make a list. At this point in the game, my list making has three components. Right now this is working for me, but I am the type of person who likes to streamline periodically, so next month I might refine this strategy again.
  1. The Running List: I have a small magnetic dry erase board on my refrigerator specifically for this purpose.  As I run out of something, I write it on the board. When I make my official list, I copy the items from the board.
  2. Menu Ingredients: When it's time to go shopping, I try to list some of the meals that I plan to cook and write those ingedients on the shopping list. I'm in the process of learning to menu plan so I've modified this step just a little. We'll chat about that later.
  3. Putting It Together: I like to use one of the shopping list templates from Microsoft Works because it helps you categorize your list, for example, dairy, cereals/ grains, produce, etc. It's kinda like using a map. This also cuts down on running in circles to buy milk, cheese, and butter. If they're listed together, you'll pick them up together. I also check my fridge and cabinets when I'm creating the master list to make sure I covered everything.
Aside from helping you remember what you need, making a list can help you stay focused on what you need. Focusing on what you need keeps you from blowing money. There times that I'm in the store and I realize that I still forgot something, and I will add it to the cart. However, you better believe it's not some random item that I can do without (like oreos).

Friday, February 12, 2010

Company Girls 2.12.10

Good Morning!

My daughter spent the week with my parents, and while it was a much needed break for me, my home didn't feel quite the same. I'm sure my 10 month old loved the extra attention, but I think he was a little bored without his big sister. I think I was too.

My mind is getting the hang of getting up at 5:30/6 for my devotions, although I'm ready to pass out by 8pm. Maybe I need to institute some mandatory mommy nap time during the day...

As far as Valentine's Day goes, I'm not that into it this year. At the moment, I am perfectly content with putting the kids to bed early and enjoying a home cooked meal and a movie. Or sleep. My husband, however, is pushing for a date night tonight so we can bypass the crowds on Sunday, and because he says I'm "special". So I guess would be a crazy woman to turn that down, right?

The highlight of the week was learning that a couple in our church is going to give us a vehicle. Yes, I said GIVE! I was in an accident in August and my car was totaled. We've been trying figure out the best way to get another vehicle without getting into debt, especially because we just started Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University at our church. Anyway, my husband was sharing that need as a prayer request, and this couple said that had a vehicle that needed a good home. So there you go. WHO IS LIKE THE LORD!?

Blog Housekeeping

Apparently I had some sort of restriction switched on for receiving comments that only allowed blogger or g-mail subscribers to make comments. I changed that this week, so if you've been reading or are a new reader, will you leave me a comment just to say "hi"? I would love to know who's reading my blog. You can also e-mail me at

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

De-Log Your Eye

I had a slightly disturbing conversation the with a friend who was perfectly content to indicate that his wife was the cause of the majority of their marital “concerns”. Now, you might be appalled by this, but ladies, don’t we do it too? “Oh, if he would just __________ , everything would be fine.” All I have to say about that is walk into you bathroom, turn on the light, look in the mirror, and grab that big ol’ log that’s hanging out of your eye. Use a little prayer if you need some help. I bring mess to the table just like my spouse. I need to be honest, reflective, and prayerful about my junk before I start throwing stones at him.

Monday, February 8, 2010

So Full!

My heart is so full as I write this, I might cry. And if I do, it won't be because I'm sad; it will be that I'm a little spiritually overwhelmed by the week I've have studying God's Word. Last Wednesday I committed to getting up around 6 a.m. so that I could have my devotions before the kids woke up. This time has truly been a blessing, and everyday God has given me some sort insight, encouragement, or spiritual "spanking." I'll be sharing some of this in future posts, but I do want to leave you with this word to encourage you. I know it is challenging to be mom, wife, house keeper, career woman, Sunday school teacher, etc. If you are like me, sometimes you feel like you might absolutely lose your mind. You get tired of the little hands (and the big ones) tugging at you. You are tired of laundry, bills, and trying to figure out what to cook for dinner. Even in the midst of feeling tired, overworked, and overwhelmed, we have to remember that we cannot spin all the plates alone. God is waiting for us to sit down with Him so that He can feed us from His Word. He is the only One who has what we need to "keep on keepin' on."

"And He will be the stability of your times,
A wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge;
The fear of the LORD is his treasure. "
Isaiah 33:6

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Blog Shoutout: Rebuild the City

Today's blog shoutout goes to These Three Kings at Rebuild the City. This blogger has been a dear friend of mine for about 10 years. She, her husband, and daughter are missionaries in a urban community in Montgomery, Alabama. I think I get "body slammed" with spiritual truth every time I read that darn blog (a truly painful experience). But seriously, her blog is testimony of how important it is for us to build relationships with others for the sake of proclaiming the Word of God. It is also a testimony of how the Lord is never done molding and shaping us in His image so that He can use us to do His work for His glory.

Monday, February 1, 2010

What On Earth Are You Eating?

Do you ever people watch? I do sometimes, and one of the most interesting places to do this is the grocery store.  Actually, I think what I do could more acurately be defined as buggy watching, because I have a tendency to survey the grocery items in people's shopping carts. It amazes me to see the piles of frozen pizzas, pop tarts, cookies, and sodas. I'm not going to get on a soapbox, but in this age of childhood obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and fad diets, I would like to challenge you to think about what you and your family are eating.

Check out this Good Morning America video with author Michael Pollan. The simplest way for me to discribe Pollan is that is a food writer who has done a ton of research concerning where our food comes from, what's in it, and how it gets to our plates.