May 172012

So, another Friday has come and gone. I really need to write on time…

mile marker 19 on a desert road

School has been kept up with. In fact, the girls keep asking to work ahead. Which is fine by me. If we get done with their science and history six weeks early, so be it. I don’t have to record their days/hours yet as we aren’t old enough so it isn’t a worry if we finish six weeks ahead of schedule for this year. Just means that we can star next year a bit early and have more free time to work into the schedule.

I haven’t broken off the exercise DVD in weeks. I haven’t been too motivated. I should blow the dust off it as I do feel better when I do it. I have been careful in what I eat though so this whole healthier living thing isn’t totally a wash. My sugar consumption has been drastically reduced and I have been serving lots more fresher veggies (what is available around here can’t be classified as fresh unless I make it to the farmer’s market which is rather difficult to do since we have one car and the day they are open my husband typically needs it for work).
We were able t replace our refrigerator. So no more Food-O-Rama Kelvinator that was at least 30 years old for us. We got a nice Samsung side by side with water and ice in the door, which we paid cash for. It was on sale for 10% off when we bought it which made it a great deal (well, an “unadvertised sale.” We go to the store, say we are buying, with cash that day, and they offered the discount with free install and delivery.). They come to install it and didn’t take the doors off when they hauled it in and ended up scratching the door. So they gave us an additional 10% off. Let me tell you, this fridge is so quiet I keep checking to see if it is working! And it has been so nice to have the girls get their own drinks through the day too. Took some training on how not to overflow your cup with ice and/or water, but now they can get their water on their own.

We also paid off the majority of my student loans with our tax return. You have no idea how good it feels to have it most of the way gone. We have less than two thousand dollars to go on it and plan to get it taken care of this summer. I so can’t wait to be debt free except for the mortgage. The day that happens will be glorious and a huge cause for a celebration.

Housekeeping has been kept up. Well, until we started spending more and more time outdoors. I don’t understand how a home can get so messy when the bulk of your time is spent outside? In our time outside, we put in two 4 by 4 raised garden beds last weekend. I have four heirloom tomatoes, a cherry tomato, two sweet peppers and a bunch of hot peppers. I also learned it is possible to sunburn your plants. You see, assuming that they had been basically outside when I bought them (they were in a semi-protected area) that I wouldn’t need to harden them off. Well, I was wrong…So I had to build up sheet tents over the garden to shield the plants from the sun they were getting until they are more used to be out there. I’m praying they survive. We also got basil and oregano which I put in pots and we planted pumpkins in with the sunflower bed and I’ve started cantaloupe and watermelon too. I can’t wait for fresh salsa! Here’s hoping I don’t kill all those plants though. The joke is that I have the black thumb of death when it comes to plants.

So, how have you done this week? Feel free to write a post, leave the link in the comments to your blog, or if you don’t have a blog, leave a comment and share.

May 042012

Well, Happy Star Wars Day! (You know, it is May the Fourth today…May the Fourth Be With You…Yes, I’m married to quite the Star Wars fanatic)

Seems like I’m hitting every-other-week on this. Guess it is better than nothing…

Last week I did very well with my walking and such. I felt great and my clothes are really starting to fit better. I’ve been very mindful of what I eat too. And last Sunday I realized I wasn’t eating as much at once. I just didn’t have room or want it. Now that is a great thing! This past week, I didn’t do any of my walking video. I rolled my ankle leaving church on Sunday. Then things got hectic with getting ready for the installation of our new refrigerator. That took deep cleaning the entire kitchen. Which while it needed done, I’m glad it got done, I just hadn’t planned on doing it last week as I also had to pack to go to Wichita this weekend. HubbaHubba is preaching a funeral for the brother of a family friend this week.

The girls did all of their school this past week in two days. Talk about being diligent! That was a big help with everything going on this week.

I was able to sit down and make out a list of what all I am looking at for school next year. I’m working on the final decisions and I will get a post or two up when we’ve decided for sure what we are going to be doing. I do know it is looking like it is going to be fun!

Well, since I am in Wichita at the moment I need to be skedaddling! Much to do, little time to do it in.

Apr 142012

Well, they say you make a grander entrance if you’re late…

Ultimate Blog Party 2012

I’m just being fashionably late. Yeah, that’s it! Really, life has been super busy the last few weeks and I have had no time getting this post ready at all! Two weeks ago, we got an unexpected blessing of a trip to the Women of Faith One Day in Wichita. That was a huge blessing in and of itself, and was totally a God orchestrated event for the weekend.

Here at Created for Home, I talk about homeschooling our two daughters, the Bugs (5) and the Beans (4). They are a lot of fun and it is such a blessing to be able to customize their education to how they learn. Last week, they decided they wanted some extra time off for Sabbath week next week so they did all of their school work for the week in two days. We then spent yesterday watching new communication lines be run on the electric poles. It was great.

I’m married to the most amazing man ever. HubbaHubba is my tech support, reacher of tall items and the absolute love of my life. We will have been married for seven years this July and a day doesn’t go by that I am not thanking God for the gift HubbaHubba is to me.

Occasionally I post a recipe for something that I’ve come up with that we all liked. I’ve made Smile Soup for the girls for lunch, and I worked out an incredible Chicken Italiano recipe. My husband begs for the Chicken Italiano on a regular basis. And the best part is, it is so simple and easy to make!

Our word for the year this year is Discipline. I started a 52 Fridays to a More Disciplined life series. And well, laugh at the irony, but I haven’t been that disciplined in writing every Friday with it. We spent most of the month of February sick and barely functioning which just got us all off kilter. Feel free to join in with us though! My friend Annette is writing for it on her blog too. Go check her out.

I live in Joplin and I’ve written some of what we went through last year with the tornado. I’ve been shying away from the topic, because well, after you live it for so long you are just sick of it. I mean, we live with destruction on a daily basis, had to revamp our lives totally because our normal was ripped from us, and I’m tired of thinking about it so I haven’t been talking about it much. I will say this sure has been quite the learning experience for us all. And God doesn’t leave you somewhere without a reason.

For fun, and to supplement the family I do quite a few book and product reviews. We have no extra money in our budget for fun things like my reading addiction, so I do book reviews to feed it. I haven’t been taking on as many book reviews recently with spring upon us though.

I also write about whatever topic I feel like needs to be addressed or if I just have to share something. A lot of times it is about how God has been working in our life and I just have to share it. We have been blessed beyond measure. While life hasn’t been easy for us, and according to the world’s standards, we are in poverty, we are rich. We’ve never gone hungry, we have what we need and a lot of extras have been provided by our loving God. We are also rich in faith and love. I wouldn’t trade it for any amount of money.

Thank you for visiting from the Ultimate Blog Party! Feel free to poke around a bit and maybe add yourself to my Linky Followers or sign up for email updates, follow us on Facebook or Twitter or even Pinterest too.

52 Fridays Week 15

 52 Fridays  Comments Off on 52 Fridays Week 15
Apr 132012

How are you doing in this pursuit of discipline? I am thankful to say that I am doing much better this past week. Actually two now.
mile marker for 15 miles on a desert road
Last week, I had some mad money and just wandered into the clearance tent at the store. I found on clearance a two pack of Leslie Sansone Walk at Home videos for 60% off! I was ecstatic! I started them this week and I think I have finally found something I can commit to! I feel great after doing one as opposed to being shaky and in pain after other videos. During the videos, she is uplifting and kind, not yelling and being mean. The people in the videos are dressed fairly modestly (no midriffs or short shorts or bra straps, still exercise clothing, but way better than other stuff out there). I can keep up with the pace and still feel like I am accomplishing something too. There is also no need to worry about finding any strange or expensive equipment and storing it! I find myself actually wanting to do the video each day! My girls like doing them too. Although, they don’t do the whole first mile and skip for it and I have tripped over them a few times, it still counts as P.E.

I’ve been doing fairly well in controlling what I eat recently also. It is strange, after you get used to not eating certain things on a regular basis, when you do eat them, you find they don’t taste as good as they used to. I still like a good chocolate, but I’m more discerning and only let myself have some really good chocolate instead of the cheaper stuff I used to eat. I find that if it is something that is really really good, I eat less of it as I am satisfied with the taste a lot faster. I think I just kept eating something of not as good quality in the hope that it would satisfy eventually. But some very good quality cheese when I’m craving cheese satisfies a lot faster than some lesser quality cheese. I want to suggest that if there is an item you like a lot but you find yourself consuming too much of, find a very high quality of it (yes, it will probably cost you more money at first, but if you eat less at a time when you do, you’ll save yourself money in the long run, and a lot of calories) and eat just a tiny bit of it instead a lot of a lesser quality version. You may be surprised (and for the record, I’ve found the cheese at our local Aldi to be of very good quality for the price. It is a discount store and their food is cheaper, but the quality is often the same or better than other stores in the area)

I’ve been reading more than I had been recently. I’ve been working at incorporating more scripture into my day. It has helped drastically to keep my focus off of myself.

The past week has been a major cleaning binge. It felt great to get some stuff taken care of in the house. I even went so far as to vacuum the ceilings. The allergy issues a few of us had been dealing with abated somewhat after I did so. I still need to take the vacuum to our room and do a few regular things for Friday today, but I honestly am not in much of a hurry. We had a storm system start through early this morning and I’m wiped out from it. The rain cleared a lot of the tree and grass pollen out of the air and it caused my sinuses to drain out this morning for the first time in weeks and I’ve been draggy from it.

Next week is Sabbath week for school. I told the girls on Monday that next week is and they started begging for extra time off (they learned of the local public schools’ spring break two weeks ago and were dismayed to have to do school when their friends were out for a week). So I told them they could have any extra days off they wanted, provided they did all their school for the week first. That lit a fire under them like you wouldn’t believe and they wouldn’t let me quit doing their history until I had read out loud all of it for the week. We finished off Bible too and worked on the phonics and math. Phonics got done for the week on Tuesday. They’ve enjoyed the days off. They’ve played a lot of playdough, dollies, house, done tons of free art. I’ve gotten a ton of extra house work done and am looking forward to next week for the official Sabbath week and getting a lot more accomplished in the house and hopefully start planning for a garage sale.

How are you doing in your pursuit for a more disciplined life? Are you finding you are able to get more accomplished? Have you reached any goals? Feel free to share so we can cheer you on and encourage you in your pursuit in a more disciplined life. If you want to write a post yourself, feel free to leave the link to it in the comments (it will probably be held for moderation but I promise I will get it approved as soon as it comes through) or just share in the comments if you don’t have a blog. We’re all in this life together. Let us encourage each other through this life!

52 Fridays Week 14…

 52 Fridays, Crazy Life, Faith, family, finances, Growth  Comments Off on 52 Fridays Week 14…
Mar 302012

Sometimes the journey seems to stretch forever into the desert like the picture above. It feels like the road will never end while you are driving through a desert with mountains (as attested on our trip to California and back last summer, when this pic was taken.)

Yes, I’ve been AWOL…Way too often. And for that, I apologize. I have no good reason as to why I haven’t been writing on 52 Fridays. Aside from the fact that I hate admitting defeat, which well, I have spent the last two months feeling defeated in nearly everything I have tried. I believe I’m coming out of the slump now finally (it is quite cyclical with me) and life is coming back on a more even keel.

I have been getting snatches of scripture through the day. Not like a real good sit down and dig into the Word time, but a verse or two here or there which is typically something that causes me to think on it for awhile.

I have been making better food choices. In fact, I no longer even crave chocolate or sweets at all. For two months we had a salad with nearly every meal, until I got burned out on lettuce salads. I’ve been making fish once or twice a week and a lot of chicken, much to the chagrin of HubbaHubba who loves his beef and pork. I do work that in once or twice a week too.

I haven’t been doing the 30 Day Shred at all. I’ve checked out Leslie Sansone’s Walk Away the Pounds twice now from the library but each time it has come home with me, someone gets sick and I don’t have the time to do it. I will get this whole exercise thing straightened out someday… And find something I like to do in the process.

I did read Reshaping It All by Candace Cameron Bure and Darlene Shachat. It was a nice cheerleading book on making those changes and even changing your mindset and thought patterns in your quest for better health. You do have to change the way you think in order to change your body and your life. You can’t live a life of defeat and expect to be successful in anything. Your attitude does play a larger role in your life than you think it does.

HubbaHubba and I are taking Financial Peace University through our church. This week was week 4. It will totally transform the way you think of money. For the last several years, I have felt so confined by living on so little (let’s just say even the government thinks we are poor). While the only debt aside from our mortgage is the last half of my student loans, and we were doing decent, we will be doing well before too long. This class has given us hope for the future even if we never make above the official poverty line. While this class has also opened up some issues for me in regards to having mad money of my own and being able to spend it on whatever I want (a whole ‘nother story) it has been good for us. I am having to deal with stuff from the past, my husband and I are on the same page (we typically were, just it was never totally written down) and we are so excited for the future. If you have the opportunity to take this class do so, no matter what your financial standing is. If you are debt free, living paycheck to paycheck, in debt up to your eyeballs, it doesn’t matter. Take this class. It has given us hope and excitement for what is possible, even while living on a thread bare shoe string budget. In fact, we are looking at getting the Financial Peace Junior kit for our homeschool with the girls. I want them to learn what I was never taught growing up and to not be shackled the way I was in regards to money.
Another thing, the house has been picked up more since Christmas. The dishes are washed, you can normally see that I do have a living room floor, I’ve been vacuuming more and I typically have the laundry put away. This last week with some things going on, I did get the laundry washed, it was just wasn’t totally put away. I intend on getting that caught up shortly.

Well, I have several things to be working on so I suppose this update needs to close. How are you doing on your goals for this year? Stalled out? There is hope and you can start working on them again. Are you going well towards your prize? Let us know so we can cheer you on and encourage you.