Monday, January 31, 2011

EMM: Get Tested

Out of modesty and my privacy, I won't go into details about this one. But if you've never been tested, you probably should be. You can go to the Every Monday Matters website and get more information about this week's activity.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Persevering Kindness

"Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them." Lady Bird Johnson

The story today was about the early years of Anne Sullivan (of Helen Keller fame). The idea that I got from the reading was that we should never give up a child. No matter what they deserve our kindness...we just never know when our small act may be exactly what they need. The quote above really hit home. There is so much we are responsible for as parents and I just hope my children always know how much I love them and that I believe in them.

"As he thinketh in his heart, so is he." Proverbs 23:7

Friday, January 14, 2011

Family Vacation?

"Parenthood: that state of being better chaperoned than you were before marriage." Marcelene Cox

Having spent 4 days with both kids cooped up last week because of the ice and snow, I understood where the family in today's story was coming from. After spending their family vacation in the mountains, the parents needed a vacation without the kids. The kids enjoyed the time in the mountains, but the "vacation" was more work for the parents than if they had just stayed home. At this point I can't even imagine having a vacation from the kids. It was really hard to be away from Sophie for 2 weeks when we went to China. But, maybe a night or 2, with room service. Now that I could handle!

"The joy of the Lord is your strength and stronghold." Nehemiah 8:10

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Steadfast Faith

"The highest pinnacle of the spiritual life is not joy in unbroken sunshine but absolute and undoubting trust in the love of God." A. W. Thorgold

This devotion was about the woman who wrote the hymn "Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus" Louisa Stead. She wrote those words after watching her husband drown trying to save a boy. It also talked about Abraham's wife Sarah and how she didn't trust God to keep his promises. I struggle myself when having to wait. The wait for Logan was so long and not at all what we expected when we started the process. Obviously, I wouldn't change the timeline at all because without the wait, we wouldn't have Sophie or Logan for that matter. Thankfully, I had a wonderful prayer partner doing that wait who helped me to keep my faith in God.

"Whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory has overcome the world-our faith." 1 John 5:4

Monday, January 10, 2011

EMM: Learn CPR

I have to be CPR certified for my job. So for the past 6+ years I have been through the training several times. Thankfully, I have never had to actually use that training. One of the things I remember from the first training was someone making the comment about how they were worried that they wouldn't remember what to do in case of an emergency. The instructor told us that what was really important wasn't that we did the correct number of contractions or breathed for the right amount of time. What was important was that we breathed for the person and pumped their heart...basically just do something until the professionals could step in. Knowing that actually helps me feel more confident in my abilities.

If you are interested in learning CPR, there's a new program called Family & Friends CPR that makes it so simple to learn the basics. Check it out here.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Daily Devotions 2011

One of my goals for last year was to spend time each day with a devotion. I didn't complete my goal last year (although I started often). So now I'm trying it again, but this time using this blog to help keep me accountable. My mom gave me a book called God's Devotional Book for Mothers. It has a 2-page devotion that can be read within a matter of minutes. No really, the first page is your typical devotion story, with a quote and scripture verse, and the second page varies. Sometimes it's a top ten list, others a small poem, book recommendations, or just a great quote. So definitely something that can be done when you just have a few minutes in between the craziness of motherhood moments. We'll start tomorrow.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

EMM: Choose Canvas Bags

I have been trying to use reusable bags whenever I go shopping. Sometimes I remember and sometimes I either forget to bring them with me or leave them in the car. Duh! I have noticed that there are some grocery stores that are giving discounts for bringing your own bags (now that has helped with the motivation). Since I typically carry a big bag (combo purse and diaper bag), there are times I just tell them I don't need a bag and put it in my purse.

I do still get plastic bags occasionally but I try to at least re-purpose them, so that they do double duty.

I know reusable bags are becoming the norm. At our staff Christmas party, one of the teachers brought these really cute bags and plastic (reusable) cups. Now a day, going green can look good too.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

65 in 365 Final Update

This is the list of 65 things I tried to accomplish in the past 365 days. (No, I didn't come up with this idea myself, I borrowed it from this Foster Mama, along with some of her items. Completed items are in italics. Those items I didn’t complete, I’ve tried to justify in parenthesis after.

1. Update the 65 in 365 once a month
2. Come up with 65 goals for the year
3. Complete Sophie's baby album (I’m close, really close. All I have left are just a few of the monthly pages. I do those as I complete the month in our annual album.)
4. Complete 2009 annual album (All I have left is the month of December. I probably would have finished that had we not ended up traveling.)
5. Attend average of 5 StrollerStrides classes a month (After preschool started again in September, I found it harder to attend. I hated to have to wake Sophie up on non-work days just to get to class on-time. I am proud of how long I did do this and I have found that I enjoy walking enough that I will continue to do it on my own.)
6. Girls Night Out (or Mom's Night Out) at least 4 times
7. Go to the movies at least 6 times
8. Finish reading 2 non-fiction books (I actually read 4.)
9. Read 4 fiction books (Thanks to a trip to China, I was able to complete this.)
10. Payoff law school loan
11. Try 26 new recipes
12. Make our wills (I have the template, just need to add our specific information, print, and give a copy to our attorney.)
13. Participate in a fun run with Paul and Sophie (I thought this might be fun to do as a family, but it just never happened, maybe in 2011.)
14. Get at least 8 hours of sleep each night; complete after 30 days
15. Have at least one fresh fruit each day; complete after 30 days (This one took all year to complete and was helped by the fact that we spent 2 weeks in China eating hotel breakfast buffet every morning.)
16. Take at least one picture of Sophie every other day; complete after 60 days
17. Get back to pre-pregnancy weight
18. Come up with a system for backing up digital photos
19. Cooking lessons
20. Make bed everyday; complete after 30 days
21. Have date night once a month (We didn’t quite get this one done, probably about 8 for the year. Now with 2 kids, it will probably be even harder. We may have to get creative and be flexible about what we consider Date Night. We may have to stay in and have a date after the kids go to bed.)
22. Build a snowman
23. Join a moms group
24. Set up a cleaning schedule and follow it; complete after 3 months
25. Have lawn guys come on a regular basis (And there are already set to start back up in March.)
26. Take Wrangler to Kady the groomer 4 times
27. Purchase a jogging stroller for Paul to use
28. Put items in JBF Consignment sales, 2 sales each sales season (I only managed 3 for the year. One of the sales just didn’t work out with my schedule.)
29. Make and stick to a weekly menu and grocery list; complete after 5 weeks
30. Decorate the tabletop tree for each holiday or season
31. Update a blog everyday or at least average one new post each day (So if you go and count my posts right now it’s about 332, but I have some in the works that will dated in 2010. It may not be exactly 365, but close.)
32. Go on a scrapbooking retreat
33. Attend a scrapbooking crop every other month (Not quite every other month but I attended 8 crops)
34. Complete 150 scrapbook pages (It’s actually more, I just quit counting at 150)
35. Sign Sophie up for swim lessons
36. Attend one playgroup event each month ( Although we didn’t get one in each month we attended over 15 events.)
37. Take Sophie to a library storytime/event each month (This is the one that disappoints me most. Part of the problem was our city library doesn’t do storytime consistently, in fact hasn’t had one since the summer. There’s other libraries in the area but only one that doesn’t conflict with our regular schedule. I think storytime will be very helpful for Logan so I will definitely continue to work it into our schedule.)
38. Attend a local Chinese New Year event
39. Have teeth cleaned twice a year (Only got this done once, I know I need to go twice a year, but once is more than before, so I’m making progress.)
40. Have Sophie’s picture taken with the Easter Bunny
41. Take Sophie to see a fireworks display
42. Update the framed photos of extended family members (Started this, but not exactly sure how to do it. I have lots of pictures of some families and almost none of others. We’ll see, I may end up just replacing everyone else’s photos with just my kids. Ha!)
43. Attend Living Last Supper at church
44. Plan Sophie’s first birthday party
45. Take Sophie to visit another state ( I added this one because my friend Jill got pregnant and I figured I go to Arkansas to visit after the baby came. Surprise, surprise, she decides to move to Texas, so no road trip for Sophie.)
46. Take Sophie trick-or-treating in the neighborhood
47. Decorate outside for Christmas (With the trip to China, I was just glad to get a tree up. Next year we’ll haul out all the decorations.)
48. Create our own family Thanksgiving tradition (We had Grandpa come over the day after to help with Christmas decorations.)
49. Take Sophie to the zoo
50. Establish Family Night/Day twice a month (not including MIC Meals); complete after 4 months (We easily accomplished this one. We may even be able to have a Family Day/Night once a week. But I won’t commit to anything just yet.)
51. Frame and hang Sophie’s first year photos
52. Furniture for China child
53. Update Sophie’s wedding dress photo
54. Get a family portrait done (We just did this in October and now we need a new again!)
55. Daily devotional, complete after 30 days (Not even close. And I have no excuses!)
56. Create a list of happy things, one for each day (over 1000) we’ve been waiting for MIC (This is one of the posts that I haven’t quite finished, but it is done.)
57. Complete new adoption visa paperwork
58. Open a savings account for Sophie (Now I need to open one for Logan.)
59. Clean out and organize pantry
60. Attend at least 3 plays and/or musicals (I saw 2, and that was probably ambitious so 3 would have been impossible.)
61. Purchase fire extinguishers for the house
62. Get personalized tags for the pets (Okay 3 of them have tags. Really, I’m probably doing good just to keep their vet tags and collars on at all times. But I’d still like to get the last 3 done.)
63. Clean out flowerbed in backyard
64. Buy new couches
65. Make a new list of 65 (Although I enjoyed seeing my progress each month as I did my update, it was tough to come up with 65 things, and took me a few months just to do that. I think I may do something similar but it may be more like 6.5 in the next 365. Ha!)