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Monday, March 31, 2014

Y is for Yummy Strawberry Scones


blogging through the alphabet sm.

Click on the picture above or go to Ben and Me website HERE to get more info on how you can join in...

Y is for Yummy Strawberry Scones

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Don't these look delicious! Mmmmmm....

I've been in a baking mood lately and have made muffins and scones galore over the past couple weeks. I thought I'd share this recipe that I got from Tara's Multi Cultural Table.

This recipe yields 8 scones and takes only 15 minutes to prepare.. Yum! You will have warm scones in no time flat!
 
Ingredients that I used include:
(I adapted mine to fit how we eat)
 
2 cups of unbromated unbleached flour (We use Wheat Montana Flour)
1 tablespoon Aluminum free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons organic sugar
5 TBS cold, unsalted butter (real not margarine) Tillamook is the best
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh strawberries (organic if you can find/afford them)
1 cup organic heavy whipping cream + more for brushing

Do you want to make these yummy scones for tomorrow's breakfast or after school snack?

Click HERE for the complete recipe....which includes ingredients and instructions on how to make the glaze which we opted out on making to cut calories and sugar...

Enjoy... We truly did and hope to make these again real soon.....

X is for eXamining Our Priorities


blogging through the alphabet sm. 

 Click on the picture above or go to Ben and Me website HERE to get more info on how you can join in...

 X is for eXamining Our Priorities

This has been a very interesting month. With taking an unplugged challenge from media consumption, it's really allowed me time to put my priorities in the right place. To examine what is important and what is not.

Over the past few years after giving myself a word for the year, my first choice was Simplify and that was the beginning of my life as a simple girl. Deciding what was important and what needed to go.

Some areas that I've found that need some tweaking are:

Computer Time
After taking a month off from social media and surfing the net, I've come to realize the importance of using the computer as a tool and not an appendage. Once our fast is over on April 1st, I plan to utilize the internet more for important tasks and less on fruitless ventures. I'll be limiting my time on social media and maybe even eliminating some all together.

Family Time
The best gain after our media fast is growing closer to my children and husband. We've now established a wonderful healthy routine of actually wanting to be together. I know huh? Teenagers wanting to hang with the old folks.. wink wink... Playing games together has been a wonderful thing to do together as a family and once our area warms up more outside I can't wait to do more hiking and bike as a group.

Home Life:
It's Spring cleaning time at my house. The itch to go back through ALL the closets, nooks, crannies, drawers, and cupboards and purge more stuff. The more that's purged and the less stuff we have the easier our lives get. I feel like we can eliminate more items including video games, and movies. After we've unplugged for the month and really took into account what we were watching either by video games, movies or TV shows, we now have a better understanding of what is healthy and what is not. So with that, I need to get rid of some more stuff to bring our lives in accordance to God's Word. I've also just went through our curriculum and await a post here soon of all that I'm selling... 

Stay tuned for a five day blog hop that I'm participating in through the Schoolhouse Crew. My posts will be on 5 Days to Organizing House and School.. April 7-11

Come back. You don't want to miss it!

Faith Life:
After almost 7 years of attending a church here in town, I felt God leading me elsewhere. We took a few months away from church all together and God was tugging on my heart last month telling me to get up and get back in the saddle. We've found a church that we really like. We've been attending for the past month and love the messages that we receive each week. I look forward to returning each Sunday. Along with weekly church services, I am continuing to take my boys to their weekly youth group and I'm reading the Bible in 90 Days until the first week of June, when I'll be completing the reading plan. I would like to implement more bible study time with the family. Over the past month we've been slowing adding that to our daily talks. Even having a bible challenge the other day. One of asking a question about the Bible and then having someone see if they know the answer without looking it up. I'm so blessed to hear both my boys tell me the answers with little thought, having the Word of God placed in their hearts. We have a game called Bible Cranium. Haven't opened it yet but look forward to playing this game in our future game nights..

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Spring will eventually make it's way to Montana. It's almost here but not quite yet so with warmer weather means outdoor activities and chores so I'm looking to re-evaluate the interior before the exterior (grass grows, planter boxes needing built etc) needs attention... After simplifying my life over the years, it's allowed more room to remodel our home. In 2013, we've had the opportunity to remodel our dining room, kitchen, and paint our living room and homeschool room. 

This year, I've started on the laundry room and want to complete this room along with the three bathrooms to finalize them with new flooring. Once everything else is in it's place and I've went through the house to purge more items, I can get to work on the remodel.

All in all, I've come to realize that the most important two priorities are God and family. The rest will fall into place as God sees fit..

Media Talk 101- Captivated Movie Review

Captivated Movie Review

I've had the opportunity to receive a copy of 
to watch and review from The Homeschool Review Crew.

Captivated Movie Review

Everywhere we turn, we are surrounded by technology. From TV's at stores, cell phones in our pockets and video game samples down aisles. Whether you embark on these or not, they are around us everywhere we go. In today's society, we live, and breath electronic gadgets. Is this making our lives simpler, and easier? Are we growing closer to people, relationships, and God or is media taking captive of our lives while the real world is slipping by?

This wonderful documentary "Captivated" helps put technology into perspective. From social media, video game consumption, to TV use, you will embark on an eye opening experience that will change your view of how our society uses technology in our day to day lives, and may even awaken you to a new understanding on how media plays a role in your lives.

Over an hour and half of precious insight on the pros and cons of media consumption in our lives. Starting back in 1844, technology has made a huge impact on society and relationships when the telegraph was invented. Quoting from the movie one of the speakers said, "In the past 100 years technological devices have given us an all you can eat media buffet, conditioned to pile more and more onto our plates." We have so much technological stimulation that it's extremely difficult to get away from it.

This video starts out by helping us understand how television can play a huge role in the brain development of our children and the negative impacts of television use in children under the age of 3. I was shocked in knowing that children consume on average, 53 hours of television per week. That's an astounding number. Especially when you take in account for time to sleep and school, that is a astonishing number indeed. We then wonder how television is shaping and molding our children into adults. Is it positive or negative?

One topic of discussion is about MULTITASKING. From physically trying to accomplish two tasks to mentally multitasking.

They move onto discussing the physical issues that media can play on our bodies and mind. Things associated with A.D.H.D., to eye strain to car accidents can be attributed to over use of media. Studies have shown that media is a bigger addiction than drugs. WOW! With today's cell phones that do absolutely everything for you, there isn't a wonder why American's can be addicted to it. It's available to us 24 hours a day, every day of the year. When you add social media to the mix, it gets worse. We are being trained to live on a media diet of technology and a lot of us can say, I can't live without_______.. You can easily fill in the blank of some sort of technology. I know people that couldn't live their day without their cell phones and would return home to get them if left behind even if they knew they'd be late for work. Even have them sitting next to them at all times awaiting for it to spark at new message at any given moment.

I know with my experiences with talking with friends and family, it's been difficult to have a one on one conversation with someone without being interrupted by media. With the invention of the Smartphone, people would rather have their faces downward in their tiny phone screens than up looking at the world around them and engaging in a real live conversation with someone.

I love the quote "Social networking sights should be a life enhancer for life relationships, but not a replacement."

 The best quote that I heard was "We need to take step by step measures to return technology back to its rightful place as a tool."

It continues to share the exposure to video games and how it plays a huge negative impact on our children and our society as a whole. Cartoons, video games, television shows are all aimed to desensitize us. From violence, to sexual content it's on our screens every time we flip on the channel or surf the internet, check our Facebook pages and so much more.

Captivated shares with us the challenges of today's media but also helps us understand how we can utilize it to the glory of God and to place it where it belongs. As a tool and not an appendage.

"If I could control the medium of the American motion picture, I would need nothing else to convert the entire world.... to communism." Joseph Stalin

A very powerful quote and something to really ponder when we look at our personal use of media and how it's truly shaping our worldview. Are we conforming to the ways of the world or are we truly following the Word of God?

The final sections of the documentary, draws us towards our Faith in God, the importance in placing Him first and to learn discernment. Are we captivated by all the technology around us? Does it consume us or are we using it as a tool?

You don't want to miss out on watching and educating you and your family about the positive and negative impacts media can play on your lives. "We need to take a personal inventory on how our lives, relationships, and our walk with God are impacted by the digital world." As a parent, I'm called by God to raise my children up according to His purpose and design. I need to seek His wisdom and discernment on what is right for us according to His Word. This video has really helped me awaken myself and to re-evaluate what we've allowed into our home, eyes and heart.

I know that media of all sorts played a heavy role in my families lives. I didn't realize though, how much the impact was until we decided to go on a media fast. A one month unplugged challenge for the month of March as suggested in the documentary. We started on March 1st and as of this posting will be our final day of our one month fast.

Let me tell you, we were addicted. We all had our own addictions though and they were not all created equal. Mine was social media and surfing the net. These two things consumed all my free time and left my relationships lacking. I didn't realize how much time I was using up by sitting in front of my computer screen until I started a journal and this fast. It took all my strength each and everyday to say NO.. I will NOT go onto the computer to do such and such.

For my two boys it was video games and movie watching. My daughter did a lot of reading online and texting. These all left us for an entire month. The TV got turned off and unplugged. The video games got locked up, and the movies got put away. Social media was off limits and no searching the internet, reading articles or thumbing through Pinterest.

There was a lot of resistance at the beginning, but as we implemented new ways to use our time that would of been taken up by media, we were able to bond, and grow our relationships that were lacking due to our separate worlds of technology.

A list of a few things that we did instead of media:

  • Playing  card/board games
  • Talking intimately 
  • Going to church together 
  • Talking about the Bible- with deep discussions 
  • Getting to know likes/dislikes 
  • Going on bike rides 
  • Taking each child out for a date with Mom individually
  • Taking kids to the park
  • Learning new things and practicing things we enjoy- guitar, card making, crocheting a blanket, building things
  • Having Fun Together without the need for 'entertainment'

It's so wonderful to see my family together as you can see below during our month of being unplugged. This has been the best month in a very long time. I don't miss the endless amounts of time wasted on the internet because you can't get any of it back and my kids are growing right before my eyes and before long they will all be grown and have their own families and it's my job as their parent to teach them what's important. 

What's important? Real relationships

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Being unplugged for an entire month has taught me how to utilize my time for more real one on one relationships, how to spend my free time and how to use the internet for a tool and not a crutch to fill empty space in my day. I now feel I can use the technology in our homes in moderation and to eliminate those influences we've added to our home that I now see with new eyes as unclean and not suitable for a family following the teaching of our Lord God.

I highly recommend EVERYONE to buy a copy of this wonderful documentary. Wherever you are in your journey with media, this will help you see the importance of a healthy balance..

This movie is intended for adults, but has been approved for all ages. All of my children sat and watched the entire video together, pausing along the way for discussion.

If you'd like to purchase a copy of this documentary you can on their website
Media Talk 101

As well as the 107 minute documentary on DVD, the special features includes over 2 hours of extended interviews, a word from the producer, the movie trailer, and Gospel for Asia promo. 

The 2 hours of extended interviews is a must see. It brings tremendous, valuable insight to all that was discussed in the documentary. Don't miss out.
 
The cost of this video is $16.95 and this includes free shipping. 

Their current special is:
Buy two and you receive the second for only $5.00 and both include free shipping. What a great way to get a copy for yourself and another for a friend or family member.

 If you are looking for more information about Media Talk 101 and this documentary Captivated,  you can check out other crew members reviews of this product in the banner below. Just click it and it will take you to a list of others that have had the opportunity to view this product in their homes.

Click to read Crew Reviews

Check out Media Talk 101 on their social networks below:


Crew Disclaimer

Sunday, March 30, 2014

W is for Washing Machine Detergent


 blogging through the alphabet sm.

Click on the picture above or go to Ben and Me website HERE to get more info on how you can join in...

 W is for Washing Machine Detergent

Have you ever thought about making your own washing machine detergent? I have an easy recipe that takes a short amount of time to prepare and will get your clothes clean, smelling nice and keep the colors vibrant and the whites white. I've been making my own and using it on our clothes for several years now and have no desire to return to store bought, chemical infested detergents. 

I first used the liquid version of this recipe below but found I love the powder better. Not only is it quicker to make but I use only a Tablespoon per load and lasts a LONG time.

Detergent Recipe

 4 Bars of Fels Naptha Soap
4 Cups Washing Soda
4 Cups Borax

Instructions:

  1. Shred the bars of Fels Naptha Soap then place into a food processor to grind into powder.
  2. Mix all  ingredients together and mix well
  3. Store in any container of your choosing.

I have mine in a pretty glass jar with metal lid on top of my washing machine.

Use 1 TBS per load. Really dirty loads use 2 TBS.

A really great tip: Add 1/2 cup to a full cup of white vinegar to your fabric softener dispenser just as you turn on your washing machine to eliminate any odors that are in your clothing. Such as mildew, sweat etc..

Friday, March 28, 2014

V is for Valentine's Day


blogging through the alphabet sm.

Click on the picture above or go to Ben and Me website HERE to get more info on how you can join in...

V is for Valentine's Day


I know it's the end of March but I've saved all my Valentine's Day ideas to share on this post.

I decided to do some fun activities this year for Valentine's Day. After being married for 16 years and celebrating over 17 Valentine's together, you need to be creative and romantic for the both of us. I really enjoyed planning and preparing for this event. I had the kids go out to dinner and enjoy a couple hours at the local trampoline play place before coming home. This allowed for me to utilize the entire house without the kids getting in the way. Here below is what I did to celebrate the holiday.

I started out by arranging a little welcome home just as he walked in the door. It included HUGS, KISSES candies and some rose petals..

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A bag of HUGS candies...

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Rose petals and kisses candy path

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The card says "Now that I have HUGGED you before you walked in the door, KISSED the ground you walk on, and showered you with ROSES, Will you be mine FOREVER?"

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Once he walked through the rose petals, and kisses he was met by the door which had the poem and a bag of HUGS candy hanging on it. Just inside the door, he found his Valentine Card below..

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After he entered the house and walked through the rose petals to find his candy card, I had him play a little game that I found online at the Dating Divas where you can download and print off the cards yourself to play for a date, anniversary or next Valentine's Day.

I had the first clue at the door where I had the candy card and then it took him all over the house until the last card was read. From the door, he wound up at the sink for card two and the task he needed to perform before moving onto the next card..

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This card says "Pour & enjoy some 'bubbly' and take turns making a toast before reading the next clue"

The clue card then sent him to the stove...

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The card says "Share your most favorite memory of the two of you before reading the next clue"

The clue card then sent him to the living room by the TV where a CD was awaiting him...

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Card says "Sweep your lady into your arms and dance to an entire romantic song before reading the next clue"

I chose our wedding song.. Alan Jackson's.. I'll Try..

After our romantic slow dance he ended up in the microwave for a little sweet treat...

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This card says "MMMMM... nothing is yummier than chocolate covered strawberries! Take turns feeding each other before reading the next clue"

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The next task card read "Share your most favorite character trait about each other before reading the next clue"

After this task he ended up at the front door.

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The task card here read "After all this time you are one step away. The "love hunt" is almost over. It's Your Lucky Day! Go to the place where a washer and dryer will be.. And there your final treasure you will see!"

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Here was his final destination for THIS game.. The card read "Kiss your woman like she's never been kissed before...

I then blindfolded him and walked him across the house to our master bath. ( I didn't want him to see the decorative dinner table and the bedroom decorated) He had a hot bubble bath awaiting him to soak while I finished preparing dinner.

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I gave him a little basket of things to read while soaking...

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Some yummy strawberries and some bubbly apple cider for refreshments...

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I decorated the table with black and burgundy. Burgundy was our wedding colors.

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I made a cute little menu which said:

DRINKS:
Bubbly Goodness

ENTREE:
Melt in Your Mouth Pasta (Aka.. Lasagna)

SIDE DISH:
Pear and Blue Cheese Salad (Yum(

DESSERT:
Heart attack on a Plate (aka.. yummy cake)

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The yummy Heart Attack on a Plate Cake.. mmmmm

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The night wasn't over. Since the kids were heading home, I made sure we continued our date in our room so we wouldn't have to cut it short for the evening.

I set aside some fun games to play. I found a cute card game at Big Lots in their Valentine's section. The cards are called Conversation Starters. You read a question and then we answer it to get a conversation started that has to do with our relationship and intimate questions to help strengthen your marriage.

I got the Deal or No Deal Game idea  at The Dating Divas. 

We then played a fun game of Scrabble but the words had to do with love and marriage so it made it fun and interesting...

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This was definitely not a day to worry about calorie consumption. With the candies when he first walked in, to the chocolate covered strawberries, the cake at dessert and now after hours of playing games we had heart shaped sponge cake with cut up strawberries drizzled in white chocolate. What a great way to end a wonderful night celebrating with my awesome husband. 

He was well worth all the time/prep it took to pull this day off. He's still talking about it even over a month later. So I'm happy because he's happy..

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Son's 15th Birthday Party

My middle child, 1st born son, turned 15 on the 14th. We waited until my hubby came back from Arizona to celebrate his special day. DS15 invited a friend from school over for a sleepover and we all went bowling. The kids had a blast bowling for two hours and then we returned to enjoy some yummy cake..

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I made my son a lemon cake with lemon frosting since his favorite color is yellow. It's a simple double layer cake but he loved it and it tasted delicious!

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I can't get over how grown up my son looks. It seems like overnight he aged and I can now see him as an adult which is fast approaching. Three more years to be exact.. YIKES! He's officially taller than me, has a size 10 foot and now we purchase all his clothes in the men's department. Time sure does fly doesn't it!

All and all, he had a great day, twice really since we took him out to dinner on his actual birthday and gave him all his gifts and then the party with his friend. I'm looking forward now to a few months off from birthdays with mine coming up in August.. The big... 4...0... ooohhh!!!

New Haircut

After spending most of my days with my hair pulled up in a ponytail, I didn't really realize how long my hair has grown. I tried to style it down but to no avail. My ponytail I wore while running was too long and started to annoy me so it was time for a haircut.

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Here I am before with my long hair and my curl gone.. So sad when it's this long...

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After. Shorter with my curl back.. YEAH!

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Before.. Pretty long huh!

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After... A much more manageable length and my curl has returned so I'm one happy camper..



Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Maybelle in Stitches by Joyca Magnin Review

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Maybelle In Stitches
Abingdon Press (March 18, 2014)
by
Joyce Magnin



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A word from the Author:

I am the author of seven novels. Five adult novels and two middle grade readers. I never wanted to do anything else but write and every day I wake up astonished that I get to do what I always dreamed about. My days are filled with words and images along with the usual family stuff. I have three children, Rebekah who is married to Joshua. They have three of the most adorable boys on the planet, Lemuel, Cedar and Soren. My daughter Emily Kate is a lovely young woman anthropologist and my son Adam is fourteen and a student--he's a genius who loves frogs and lizards and fish and plants. He amazes me.

I have never eaten a scallop. I love cream soda. Drink way too much coffee. I do not like elevators but I do enjoy needle arts and of course books. I prefer jazz over country (no offense), milk chocolate over dark, but not roller coasters although my life has often resembled a roller coaster ride.


One of my life's desires is to meet Amy Grant so I can tell her she saved my life.

My Thoughts on This Book:
I really enjoyed reading this installment of the Quilts of Love Series. This story was a little different from the others I've read in regards to the 'love' part of the title. This starts you out with the main character Maybelle as already married to the love of her life Holden. Taking place during World War II, Holden is sent off to the war, while Maybelle stays behind and helps with the war effort by working in the local factory helping to weld ships for the war. 

As she waits for Holden's return she finds a crazy quilt in her mother's closet and her friends want her to finish it so she can have it when her husband returns. Maybelle, knowing she can't sew at all, finds herself helping with the quilt and using this time to not think of her husband so far away and potentially gone. This will pull at your heartstrings while the time period helps you remember the sacrifices America make during the second world war. A great read.. Loved it!


ABOUT THE BOOK

Maybelle can’t sew. But when she finds an unfinished quilt in the attic of her mother’s house, she gets the crazy idea to complete it. At first, it’s just a way to fill the lonely nights while her husband, staff sergeant Holden Kanzinzki, is away fighting in World War II.

Yet when Maybelle discovers that the quilt is made from scraps of material that can be traced back through her family heritage, the project is suddenly much more important. Then word comes that Holden is missing in action, and with little else to do, Maybelle clings to the quilt as much as to the hope that her husband is still alive. As neighborhood friends gather around Maybelle to help her through the unknown days and nights ahead, it is the quilt that becomes a symbol of her unflagging belief that Holden will return—to her, to their home, and to their quilt-covered bed.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Maybelle In Stitches, go HERE.

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given.

One Thousand Gifts 232-253

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 Blogging my One Thousand Gifts.. One Gift at a Time...

232. Watching my boys bowl for my son's 15th birthday party
233. Seeing my son's face when he brought home a 100% on his math test
234. The school teachers desire to help my son improve on his grades by tutoring him after school
235. Reading the Bible each day to discover new things about God's desire for our lives
236. Seeing the stories in the Old Testament come to life and being able to understand them
237. Reading the Bible90Days w/ a friend and having a day each week to discuss what we read
238. 3 Weeks w/out TV, movies and social media and not missing any of it
239. Having time to tackle the small projects that tend to get left undone
240. Listening to all the birds outside reminding me Spring is here
241. Having a clean/organized home
242. Running outside on a sunny day
243. Curriculum for my youngest arrives in the mail ready for the Fall Semester
244. Running & then hubby drives by. He stops, gets out and starts running w/ me
245. Making yummy chocolate chip banana muffins
246. Making yummy strawberry muffins
247. Listening to my son recite his speech to us before he presents it at school
248. Having my son come up to me and tell me I'm beautiful
249. Listening to my children get along
250. My son asking me the meaning of trust
251. Having my youngest tell me he doesn't miss TV and video games
252. Getting a typewriter at the thrift store and watching my son enjoy typing on it each day
253. Being caught up on homeschool papers. All graded including lesson plans done for the rest of year.

Return next Wednesday for my next installment of One Thousand Gifts....
You can join in on the 1000 Gifts Journey by visiting A Holy Experience HERE

Friday, March 21, 2014

Random Five on Friday- March 21st

The Pebble Pond 

 Joining in with The Pebble Pond and her weekly meme "Random 5 on Friday" Five random things so here goes...

1. Winter is not done here in Montana. Even though the calendar says it started yesterday, it didn't here. It's been snowing off and on since late last night and tomorrow it looks to be the same but colder in the mid 20's. This weekend definitely is NOT Spring....

2. My DS15 is having a friend over tonight to celebrate his birthday now that hubby is home from Arizona. We will be bowling tomorrow morning since that is what he wanted to do this year for a party.

3. Hubby came home safely from his two week trip to Yuma, Arizona. It's so wonderful to have him home..

4. Making a birthday cake for my son's party tonight. Since his favorite color is yellow, I've decided to make him a lemon cake with lemon frosting. He seems to think that is an awesome idea so two points for mom!!

5. Unplugged Challenge is going so well. I'm to the point where social media such as Pinterest, and Facebook is something I'm not interested in getting on and looking at. I didn't realize how much time I was wasting each day surfing those sites. I know Pinterest can come in handy and I do plan to keep on using that once the challenge month is over but only to find certain things and not to scroll forever just seeing what's on there. I've really recognized the areas of my life that seem to be wasted and needing improvements and I'm so happy to have done this challenge..  A real eye opener for me and my kids. I feel like throwing out all our video game systems because my children are so much more pleasant to be around and easier to talk to now that video games don't consume them. Their attitudes were affected by the games they played and how they lost or won.. I don't want to go back to that lifestyle.. I love the way my family is now!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

One Thousand Gifts 211-231

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Blogging my One Thousand Gifts.. One Gift at a Time...

211. Hubby comes home today after being gone to Arizona for work since the 5th
212. Lost 3 pounds since hubby left
213. Been enjoying the services at church for the past three weeks. We may have found a new church family
214. Ran my first race for 2014 on Saturday. 5K St Patty's Day Dash
215. DS15 is working harder now on his school work
216. DS15 is being more diligent with his time and knowing what is important and what needs to get done
217. The attitudes in the house have improved this month
218. We are over half way through our Unplugged Challenge for the month of March
219. I realized I don't miss Facebook
220. I realized I don't miss TV
221. I love not spending a large amount of time on the computer and now do more productive things
222. Working on three blankets to crochet for my kiddos
223. Planning a 15th birthday party for this weekend
224. My conceal carry permit is in, just waiting for it to arrive in the mail...
225. The feeling of warmth from the sun while running outside
226. Being able to use the gym when the wind/cold is too much
227. Being able to talk to my hubby every evening before bed while he was in Arizona to stay connected
228. Taking photos of my curriculum to sell to get money for new curriculum
229. Purchasing one child's curriculum for 2014-15 and being able to pay cash!
230. Looking to take my son out of public school for 2014-15 school year...
231. Hill climb training to strengthen my legs and to breath easier on my runs..

Return next Wednesday for my next installment of One Thousand Gifts....
You can join in on the 1000 Gifts Journey by visiting A Holy Experience HERE

Saturday, March 15, 2014

St Patty's Day Dash 5K

Got up this morning to run the St Patty's Day Dash 5K. First race of 2014. I've been running this for four years now and love it. It was weird though not having hubby with me as this is the only one he'll run. He's still in Arizona until Wednesday. I did get the kiddos up and they came along. We had snow overnight but once the race started it was pretty much all melted which was nice.

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Posing before the race starts.. My boys wanted to be with me as well even though they weren't running...



My son took a short video of the start. You'll see me shoot across the foreground and wave..

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This year the course was different. Since they had a sponsor this year, Browser Brewery, we started at the University of Great Falls campus, looped it twice and ended at the brewery a couple blocks up. I passed by the kids 4 times before they drove up to the brewery to meet me at the finish line.

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Wasn't my best time but since I haven't ran a race in a year, I'll take it.. 38:40 which puts it at a 12:28 pace. This was a tougher course than years passed. At the very beginning we are climbing up a hill then looping around to another hill. We then came back the same route which was nice because it was downhill but then looped the parking lot we started at and then BACK up the same initial hill to turn to go downhill to the brewery.. The hills did me in this time around so that slowed me down. 

You know what this means? More hill training is in my future.. Fun times....

I do have my sites on the April's Ice Breaker event. I said I was going to do that last year but didn't run another race in 2013. I do have plans to run it this year since I REALLY want to run my half marathon before I turn 40 which will be in August.. I just want to run it, finish and not worry about what my time is.. Just want to accomplish this distance! 

I have my eyes on the May Buffalo Jump Run for my half. I did this race two years ago for my first ever 10K so I thought it fitting to do the half marathon portion of the race from the same race as my 10K. They're two courses. One for the 10K and another for the half. We start out together and when the road T's, 10K's go to the left and Half's go to the right.. We'll see where I am at the end of April in my running distances and then I'll decide if I'm ready..

Until then, I'm going to smile that I've finished my first race for 2014 today!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Happy 15th Birthday!


Happy 15th Birthday to my son. Today is the big day. Nothing fancy going on for him today. We will take him out to dinner, he's received his gifts from us and will be having a party next weekend when hubby comes home from Arizona. I'm just in awe at how much taller he is to me this year. I take a picture every year with the kids on their special day and last year we was the same height, now look at him. Outgrown is mama!

I'm so proud of who he has become and look forward to seeing what God has in store for his future. It's been such a blessing to be his mom these past 15 years. Happy Birthday Bubba Boo Bear!! We love you!

Random Five on Friday- March 14th

The Pebble Pond 

 Joining in with The Pebble Pond and her weekly meme "Random 5 on Friday" Five random things so here goes...

1. Today is my son's 15th Birthday. Which is also Albert Einstein's birthday which he thinks is totally cool... We plan to take him to dinner this evening wherever he wants to go and then we'll have a party with a couple of his friends next Saturday when my hubby is home from his work trip.. Happy 15th Birthday, officially my now DS15 yr old..

2. Signed up for my first 2014 race which will be tomorrow. A 5K. This race symbolizes my running start. I started running in January of 2010 and this was the very first race I entered. Did horrible in it, but I finished. I've always ran this one with my hubby but he's not here this time so it's just me. We'll see how I do. The good news is they have a start time of 10am this year instead of 9am. It was 15 degrees last year at the starting time and WOW, did that affect my run. Tomorrow it's supposed to be a high of almost 50 so it's going to be a great day to run!!

3. Hubby has been gone since the 5th to Yuma, AZ. He'll be heading home on Wednesday the 19th. Things have been running smoothly though while he's away so that makes the time go by quickly, plus talking to him each evening helps a lot too.. Counting down the days..

4. It's been 14 days now since we started the Unplugged Challenge. Outside doing my reviews and my blog, I've cut out all social media, watching movies, TV and surfing the net. The kids cut out all that plus video games. It's been going well, finding time to spend together, taking the kids out on a little date each with me. I've gone with DD19 yesterday and DS15 last weekend, so I'll be going out with DS12 either tomorrow sometime after the race or Sunday after church.

5. I'm making a blanket for my son's birthday. Was hoping to have it done by today but it's not. I chose a yarn that only Walmart carried and when I went to get more they were out.. for over a week... I then decided it's taking to long and the order they said was coming was only 3 anyway and I can't guarantee they will be there when I get there so I ordered them online, site to store and they have arrived today so I'll be a busy crocheter this week to get it done before his party on the 22nd.. I hope after this is all done, I'll be able to feel my fingers.. hee hee!

A March Bride by Rachel Hauck Book Review

 

About This Book:

 Susanna has found her true prince, and their happily ever after is just around the corner. But when Nate asks her to give up something precious to her, Susanna can't help but wonder if it's a sign that their love is not meant to be. Susanna Truitt (Once Upon A Prince) is three weeks from royalty. She'll soon marry King Nathaniel II of Brighton Kingdom. But when the government insists she renounce her American citizenship before the wedding, coupled with the lack of involvement by family and friends, Susanna's heart begins to doubt whether this marriage is God's plan for her. Nathaniel would do anything for his bride-to-be. But he knows his position requires that she give up a lot to be with him. Her life will never be her own---right down to her very identity. When she travels home to St. Simon's Island, Georgia, right before the wedding, Nathaniel fears she won't return. Gathering his courage, he devises a plan to win his bride all over again, and together they seek out a kingdom to treasure above all.

My Thoughts on This Book:

Looking for a new twist on the Year of Weddings Series? This one starts out with a bride already ready for the alter. Not just any bride though... A Princess to be, marrying a King from Brighton. This story takes you on a love affair and also an adventure. Susanna lives in Georgia with her mother and father until a King from Brighton shows up for a Summer vacation. They fall in love and prepare for the wedding of the century. The question is though, will Susanna be able to continue to stay an American, knowing she's moving across the open seas to be with her King? Will love hold out for this fairy tale couple? A very touching story of love and romance. You won't want to miss this month's installment of the Year of Weddings Series.

 Rachel Hauck

About The Author: 

 RITA finalist and award winning author Rachel Hauck writes from sunny central Florida. With strong southern stories, she infuses faith and real life into the lives of her fictional characters.Rachel loves to encourage new writers and is the book therapist for My Book Therapy and writing community founded by
Susan May Warren. Rachel graduated from Ohio State University with a BA in Journalism. She's and avid OSU football fan.Visit her web site to find out more and click on the icons to follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
www.rachelhauck.com

I received this book as a download free in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given.