Thursday, January 31, 2013

Family Ski Trip...on the CHEAP!

Greetings! Want to know another great perk to SAHMommyhood? Well, when friends call and ask you to join them for a long weekend of skiing, you only have one person's vacation days to worry about. I love that we can pick up and go on an adventure, if the hubby can get the time off! we go in a couple of hours to beautiful Copper Mountain. We will enjoy a fabulous weekend of rest, skiing, shopping, connecting with friends, and introducing our little honey to the thrill of a snowy mountain. They say if a kid can walk, then he can ski. We shall see! Pictures and tales of the weekend shall follow on Monday :-)

Now, this post wouldn't be true to form unless I included the ways that we planned for and will do this adventure on the CHEAP! Perhaps you can use some of these ideas to plan a little snowy get-away of your own!
  • Never plan a ski trip on a holiday weekend. Lodging rates are ridiculously high, and the slopes will be so crowded that you wish you had stayed home.
  • It is usually cheaper to stay at a personally-owned condo/apartment that is rented through a property management company, rather than a hotel. Here's why...typically, there are multiple bedrooms and bathrooms to accommodate more than one family so you can split the cost. There are also full-size kitchens so that you can cook at your condo, instead of going out for three meals a day. Finally, many property owners will bargain with you if they really need to rent. Remember, an empty property over a weekend means no money for them. Try out your negotiating skills!
  • If you are going to ski more than a couple of times, buy your own equipment at a used equipment store during the off season. We bought our own skis/board, bindings, and boots five years ago. The nice thing is that they fit them to your height. Even if you gain a few mommy pounds, you can still use the same skis :-)
  • If you are only going to ski once or twice, rent your equipment ahead of time, online. They will let you try it on and make changes when you get there, but you can usually get a 10% to 20% discount if you plan ahead. Just do your homework and ask around to find the best business to work with in your ski area.
  • We all know how fast our babies grow so DON'T go out and buy the cutest snow suit with a matching hat and gloves for their current matter how tempting it is. They will wear it for one season, and then it's useless. Borrow from a friend or keep your eye out for them at the year-round consignment sales.
  • Skiing is pricey. You purchase what they call a "lift ticket" which gives you access to the ski lifts for a particular, or a few particular resorts. I know, pretty basic, but I didn't understand that when I first went skiing :-) Try to find package deals. For instance, my hubby bought a 4-day pass for $130. When most resorts charge $80+ per day, that's a deal! You need to check at the local ski shops OR even down in the grocery stores of Denver and Colorado Springs (if you're skiing in the Rockies). Sometimes you can find great deals on the resorts' web pages, but steer clear of purchasing single-day lift tickets at the actual rip-off!
  • Taking the kids? Swap babysitting! They do have child care and ski school for kiddos on the mountain, but the quality will vary greatly from place to place. Share kid duty with the other families on your trip to ensure that each couple gets a bit of alone time.
  • Here is where I get really cheap. We're taking our own food. That's right! The grocery stores in resort areas totally hike up their prices, so if it's feasible for your family, pack some bags and coolers and take your great-deals-that-you-purchased-with-coupons groceries with you to the condo! We'll go out once or twice, but let's face it, dining out with a toddler after a full-day of skiing doesn't exactly sound enjoyable.
I hope these were helpful, or at the very least entertaining. It's my job to pack the car and go pick up my hubby from work on our way up the mountain. He routinely reminds me that I don't have the "jigsaw" ability to efficiently pack a car, but we'll see. I just might have to leave his suitcase behind if all of my groceries won't fit :-) Have a fabulous weekend, mommies. Be blessed!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Mothers as God's Extended Hand

"But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God's instruments to do His work and speak out for Him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference He made for you--from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted." 1 Peter 2:9-10 (The Message)

Good morning! I pray this scripture may be a blessing to you as it was to me this morning. When Jesus ascended into heaven after His resurrection, His followers became the extended hand of God. Hundreds of years later, that fact remains. He works through us. He heals through us. He calls people to Himself through us. As followers of Christ, we are the chosen ones to do His work! This scripture really struck a chord with me as a mother. Motherhood is most definitely priestly work

Long before our children know how to recognize the voice of God, they know how to recognize the voice of their mother. We are eternally shaping our children before they can grasp who God is and how much He loves them. It is our ultimate responsibility to usher our children into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, but there is much work to be done while their little hearts and souls are being prepared for Him. What an honor!

Speaking truth over our children, praying over them, reading scripture to them even though they will not grasp its meaning for years, modeling Christ-like behavior to them and others (including our husbands...), and placing God in His correct position of first and foremost in our lives is not only a good idea, but it is a scriptural command from our Father in heaven. The fruits of our labor may go unseen for years, but it doesn't mean the seeds aren't taking root. Every spiritual investment we make into the lives of our sweet babies will help to shape their spirits for their coming relationship with Christ.

I pray that these words may be an encouragement to you, and that you will not feel like the spiritual teaching you do with your children is done in vain. We are His extended hand right now.  Before they know to look to God, they will look to us. Let's be intent upon giving them a beautiful example of their heavenly Father. Be blessed, mommies!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Meekness not Weakness

Happy weekend! As a quick follow-up to my post a few days ago, Baby McNamee #2 is NOT on the way. As much as I told myself that I would be fine with either outcome, I truly was disappointed. With Caleb, we simply stopped preventing for one month (I didn't even know when I ovulated!), and God blessed us with a positive pregnancy test two weeks later. It honestly was that easy. I suppose I expected that this time would also be that easy, and so I was shocked when it didn't happen. But, I will be the first one to wholeheartedly believe and proclaim that His timing is always perfect. My husband and I vowed this morning to wait patiently for His divine plan. Moving on to today's topic...

During several of my quiet times this week, I came across verses describing and discussing meekness. I have never really thought much about the word/character trait, but my interest was piqued this week. According to, meek means:

-quiet, gentle, and easily imposed on; submissive
-gentle - mild - humble - submissive - tame - soft

In a society where so much emphasis and importance is placed on independent strength, a person who is meek hardly stands a chance. But God doesn't see it that way. Instead, God seems to encourage those who love Him to strive for a meek quality in their character. Look at these verses on meekness:

"Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth."
Matthew 5:5

"But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity."
Psalm 37:11

"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness (or meekness), and patience."
Colossians 3:12

As I did a search through my Bible app, it seemed that meekness and gentleness are used interchangeably throughout the different translations. Have you ever met someone who seems harsh, abrasive, blunt, or simply has a tell-it-like-it-is attitude? Are you that someone? Often times, we will just excuse that behavior as the manifested traits of a strong and honest personality. Why tiptoe on eggshells, when we can get to the bottom of something by using some head-on tough love? I'm the first one to admit that I can be guilty of this behavior. The "efficient" part of my personality desires to get things done in a timely manner and move on to the next, even if gentleness/meekness would be a better approach to the situation. God doesn't call us to hit someone over the head with a figurative sledge hammer, and call it our personality. Instead, He calls us to be gentle, mild, humble, submissive, tame, and soft. I felt convicted about displaying this quality of Jesus this week, especially when it came to my family--both immediate and extended. I can be harsh due to a lack of patience. But God desires that we have self-control. If I exhibit self-control, then I can take a deep breath and remember His instruction on showing meekness in my dealings with others.

Before I close, let's remember to not confuse meekness with weakness. We have the strength of the Lord running through our veins. As mothers, He has called us to be women of supernatural power! And with much power, comes much responsibility. We are called to be responsible to submission to Him and to our husbands. We are called to gentleness and softness in loving and disciplining our children. He never asks us to be showy and flashy, but mild and tame. 

Mommies, he created each of us as unique beings. Some of us have a little more firecracker in us than others :-) Let's just not let that feisty spark outshine the character traits we are called to display as daughters of Christ.

Today, and everyday, be blessed!

I added a new page to the website called "Pinteresting Projects." Check it out!

Project #2 - 
I found the original idea at:
Here is mine...
Sooooo easy! I followed her recipe exactly, and mine came out perfect! I noticed that she used a non-stick pan in her pictures, but mine worked using stainless steel. There was some sticking, but it didn't seem to alter the consistency. I'm storing ours in a leftover animal crackers container from Walmart. It has an air-tight lid, and there will be room for playdough tools. She says that it keeps for up to a year. We shall see!
Project #1 -
I found the original idea at:  
Here is mine...
Instead of keeping these precious treasures hidden away in his baby book that isn't (or may never be!) finished, why not put them on display! I bought the shadow box at Hobby Lobby for $12, after using a 40% off coupon, and I printed the photos for 25 cents at Walgreens, after using a coupon. I lined the back of the frame with light blue scrapbook paper, and mounted a few items to black scrapbook paper, and I used a glue gun and double-sided Scotch tape to arrange the pieces. I love how it turned out, and it now hangs in our master bedroom to always remind us of this special day!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Two New Tips!

MMSM #65
Check out Hot Coupon World for ways to save money on just about everything. I found the site by way of a Facebook group post offering free Kindle books. Rarely are things actually free, so I was intrigued. What do you know...I just downloaded (for free!) a book on organic gardening and one on making money as a SAHM! You don't even need a Kindle! You can download the Kindle app directly to your smart phone or iPad. Pretty fancy! I hope you enjoy exploring this site as much as I will :-)

 Tip #50

A great way that I've found to organize purses is to hang each one around the top of a hanger in your closet. Line them up together, and they will stay clean, straight, and easily accessible!

Finally, this song is a few years old, but I absolutely love it. I hope it blesses you today! 

"Hope Now" by Addison Road

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

It's a Woman Thing

Good morning :-) I have a topic this morning that God is prompting me to write on, but my words aren't flowing with their normal ease. Forgive me :-) I'm headed to the doctor to check on some womanly aches and pains that are accompanying a probable UTI. I know, a lot of information, but I figured fellow mommies would and could share my pain. As he was getting ready for work, my husband was going on and on about his plans to mountain bike today because it is 65 degrees in a Colorado January, and I was trying to drag sympathy out of him for my current state. I know, pathetic! I then had an obvious, but sometimes remiss, revelation. He adores me, he wants the best for me, he can and does pray for me, but there is a huge chapter of being a woman that he will never, ever understand. That's not his fault. It's simply how God made him. They can sympathize to a degree, but they can't really empathize.

Let me be honest by telling you that we're in the emotional, excited, expectant, but cautious "are we pregnant, are we not pregnant" few weeks! Many signs point to yes, but some significant pain and a few others symptoms could prove no. As much as I say that I'm fine with either outcome, as mothers, we can all agree that a bigger part of us most always hopes that we are pregnant. As much as we try not to think about it, it can consume our daily thoughts. And as much as we have to do each day to keep us more than busy, every little twinge or wave of nausea can send us running to Google to begin the nursery design. Just kidding, sort of :-)

I say all of this to arrive at a point. By His design, there are emotional and physical parts of a woman that only two other beings can truly understand--other mothers and God. Our efforts to truly share these womanly anomalies with our husbands will, in my experience, usually leave us feeling less than satisfied. That's okay! I say we let our husbands meet us where they can, and we take the rest to the Lord, our mothers, and our friends. You want to whine about intense hormonal back pain? Take it to your mom. After all, she birthed you, and she would understand to a much greater degree than your sweet spouse. Having a hard time concentrating on the day ahead because you are daydreaming about the potential next baby on the way? Instead of prematurely talking baby names with your less than enthusiastic husband, let's go to His Word and experience His overwhelming peace and direction. There will be tons of time to talk "baby" with your man when all is confirmed and secured, but during this waiting time, why not try to really cling to the Lord and His plan for what's next. After all, the closer we are to Him, it's much easier to accept any type of news.

I hope my words made sense today, and that you hear my heart. Be blessed today, mommies, even when our womanly bodies try to bring us down!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Fear in the Night

Welcome back! Though I am a huge supporter of putting in some effort to dressing ourselves in the morning, especially as SAHMs, let's face it. It doesn't always happen :-) Because of that fact, I have a funny picture to share with you today...

As I mentioned in an earlier post, my son and I are spending some time with Grandma in Kansas right now. We were preparing to go out for a day of yummy lunch and shopping, and I actually uttered the words..."Mom, do you care if I just wear my yoga pants?" Here is my mom, dressing up while excitedly getting ready to take her daughter out for the day, and I can't even muster up the energy to put on jeans. In my defense, I was having a bloated day. But, still! The "yoga pants should only be worn to yoga" thing has not burned into my brain, yet :-)

During the night, something woke me up, and I laid there for nearly an hour with heavy anxiety. Tell me if this sounds like you...God gives you a promise about something, clear as day, packed with truth and faith, and you could shout it from the roof tops all day long. Then, nighttime comes. There is something about the night, the stillness, the isolation that pushes our minds and spirits spiraling toward the dreaded feelings of doubt, questioning God, and actually contemplating the truth of the words from the Evil One. Truly, I don't have much of a problem believing my God all day long. But as soon as I'm awoken from a deep sleep in the middle of the night, it's like my belief in His words and promises flies out the window. I don't think I'm crazy. Check this out...

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Ephesians 6:12 (emphasis added)

Satan loves to attack our peace, especially at night. He loves to prowl around in the darkness, both figuratively as in spiritual darkness, and literally as in be-on-your-guard at night darkness. Because we are children of God, we have the spiritual authority to send him fleeing in the name of Jesus Christ. We are given this power over ourselves and and our children. I also believe that while your husband is the spiritual leader of the home, we are called to pray for protection for his physical and spiritual life, as well.

All of this sounds well and good until you're shivering with fear under your covers at two in the morning. Last night, I finally quit allowing my mind to continue its ride on the roller coaster of doom, and I opened the Bible app on my phone. I looked at the scripture of the day, and He gave me a loving word from heaven that was totally applicable to my current freak out. I think my lesson of the day is that we have to remember where to go immediately when we are feeling anxious. I want to leave you with this passage below. I pray that it washes over your souls, and those of your family, with love and gentleness. Be blessed, mommies!

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that He may life you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith..." 2 Peter 5:6-9

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Hard Conversations

Greetings from Kansas! Caleb and I made an impromptu visit to my childhood home in order to spend some time with my mother. My traveling toddler did quite well, again, but it probably was highly entertaining to see me venture through Denver security by myself with a 1-year-old. You know those moms who have dinosaur/monkey/bear leashes attached to their kids? I'll never judge again...

I have a quick post today, but I hope it's encouraging to you. Have you ever dreaded a conversation or a confrontation that may be looming? Maybe with a friend, a boss, a parent, or an older child? I have been worrying over a situation that will come to a head soon, and the Father gently led me to Matthew 10 this morning. I pray that these words may help you with any difficult or anxiety-causing talks that may be coming your way, as a woman, a wife, and a mother.

"...At that time, you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you." Matthew 10:19-20

He always goes before us, and He always prepares the way for us. No matter what difficult situation you may encounter, pray that His words will take the place of yours. Today, and everyday, be blessed!

MMSM #64 
Kroger has introduced a new line of organic products that receive my MMSM seal of approval! The products are tasty, there are lots of different options (dairy, spaghetti sauce, noodles, meats, etc.), and the prices are excellent compared to other brands offering organic options. Here is a picture of the logo. Happy healthy eating for you and your family!

Tip #49

Tooth-brushing is one of those necessary, yet difficult, tasks to complete with toddlers! Right before bedtime wasn't working for us, as Caleb was tired, winding down, and just wanting to sleep. Shoving a toothbrush in his mouth didn't really jive with our calm atmosphere. So, I switched it up. I now keep his toothbrush and paste in the kitchen, and he brushes after breakfast and dinner. He gets to do it while I clean up his tray, then I finish for him. It's become part of our routine, and he isn't fighting me as much lately! If he does have a snack or milk before bedtime (rarely), I figure that his teeth probably won't fall out of his head...well actually, those baby teeth will eventually fall out of his head :-)

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Beatitudes, minus "Bible-talk"

Ever read a bit of scripture that you are completely familiar with, and then God reveals something fresh and exciting to you? This morning, I was reading Matthew 5 in The Message. I've read this chapter many times, but this was one of my first times reading it in this version.

On a sidenote, this translation of scripture was written by a man named Eugene Peterson. In church last Sunday, our pastor shared a bit of history about this particular version of the Bible. Eugene Peterson is a scholar who reads, writes, and speaks Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, and English. He took his God-given talents and paraphrased the entire Bible, old and new testament, in order to word it in a way which would speak to people unfamiliar with "Bible-talk," specifically drug addicts. I didn't know the history of The Message, but I do know that Eugene's powerful gift has helped me to better understand passages of the Bible which I previously skipped over in confusion. If there is a verse you are having a hard time grasping, Google the same verse in The Message translation. You may really be blessed by what you find!

So this morning, I came across the Beatitudes in Matthew 5. The Message portrays the words of Jesus in a clear and beautiful way. Be encouraged by this today, mommies...

1 - You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and His rule.
 2 - You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
3 - You're blessed when you're content with just who you are--no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought.
4 - You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God. He's food and drink in the best meal you'll ever eat.
5 - You're blessed when you care. At the moment of being 'care-full,' you find yourselves cared for.
6 - You're blessed when you get your inside world--your mind and heart--put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
7 - You're blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That's when you discover who you really are, and your place in God's family.
8 - You're blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God's kingdom.
Matthew 5:3-10

I thought #7 was beautifully fitting for the life of a mother with multiple children. Isn't it true that we are to show our children how to cooperate and love one another, by modeling and teaching? Right now, motherhood is our role in God's family. We have many others, many hats that we wear, but when God blesses us with a child, He is asking for our whole hearts and minds to be lovingly focused on preparing that child for their role in God's kingdom. Through the great days and the not-so-great days.

Finally, when thinking about the many ways in which God has blessed us, let's not forget how we are blessed in the less than perfect packages...namely the ways listed above. Sometimes, He blesses us through trials. I look back over 2012 and can now consider my health difficulties and scares a tremendous blessing, although it sure was hard to see it in the midst of the situation. I can't think of one single year of my 30 years on this planet when He drew me closer to Him than this past year. It was scary, it was frustrating, it was exhausting, but it forced me to lean on Him and His plan for my health and my life. For that, I am blessed.

Today, and everyday, be blessed!

BTW, I updated the GTWTHot Deals page today with a blurb about our local Target this is closing. Check it out, CS mommies!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Apps Galore!

Good morning! Today's post is one massive organizational tip and MMSM, and it's not terribly spiritual. But, it's pretty cool! I'm probably behind the times, but I want to share about my iPhone apps that I love (free, of course!), and some iPad apps that kept Caleb's attention on the airplane.

iPhone apps (all are free!)
  • Q102.7 KBIQ - Colorado Springs' local contemporary Christian music station that you can access from anywhere in the world.
  • Bible - this app has reading plans, a variety of translations, and daily verses that you can share via text, email, or Facebook.
  • Coupons App - check my MMSM page for a detailed explanation of this's great!
  • Instagram - check my OT page for a detailed explanation of this app. This one was super fun during December for Christmas pictures.
  • My Days - OMG...amazing! This will track your periods, ovulation, when you were intimate, whether or not you take your pill (if you need that option), your temperature, your weight, your mood, a "notes" option to track a variety of P.M.S. symptoms, and it will track a pregnancy (if needed).
  • Pandora - be still my heart! I know this has been around for years, but I have just recently discovered the coolness of this app. Yes, there are periodic commercials unless you want to pay $3.99 per month, but we are cheap-os :-) Some of my favorite stations include: Easy Listening Radio, Pop and Hip Hop Power Workout, Christian Contemporary Holiday, Christmas Radio, and Solo Piano Radio. You can also check out this link: Pandora Workout Stations for a list of awesome stations to help you through a work out. Why pay for music when you can have this option wherever you go?!
  • Pinterest - well, you know my love affair with this app.
  • Shazam - super cool! Whenever you hear a song on the radio, in a restaurant, at a friend's house, at church, you can press "shazam," and it will tag the song to your phone to buy at a later date.
  • Allrecipes - a great recipe app.
  • Amazon - an easy way to scan bar codes in stores, price match items, and update your diaper orders on the go!
  • Craigslist - just like the website only easier to manage on a phone.
  • Ebay - this works like the website, but an amazingly cool feature is that you can set up a search for a specific item (i.e. Mackenzie-Childs courtly check kitchenware), and every time someone lists an item in that category, it sends a notification to your phone. Fun way to shop!
  • Flashlight - super handy when you are searching for the elusive Thomas Train under the couch!
  • Healthy Steps - this app will track your distance traveled and calories burned on a walk/hike by GPS. Very cool!
  • - house-hunting? This app has a neat feature that allows you to search for listed homes near your the exact location of your phone. Find a neighborhood that you like? See everything for sale within a few mile radius.
  • Wallpapers - TONS of cute graphics for your home and lock screen.
  • Cinemark - check local movie listings super fast.
  • iHeartRadio - this is similiar to Pandora, but you can find actual radio stations from all around the country.
  • Redbox - search for and reserve movies at your nearest Redbox (and don't forget to use the coupon codes listed on my MMSM page!).
  • Red Stamp - use this digital card app to send sweet cards to your hubby, your kiddos, or whoever!
  • ShopSavvy - a bar code scanner which allows you to price match items you find in stores on the internet.
  • Zillow - this is a similar app to, but it actually lets you see sale history and current value of practically any home you drive by. Kinda cool in a stalker sort of way :-)
iPad apps

When my dad upgraded his iPad, his older model had no home. Luckily, it found one with us! Truthfully, I probably use 1% of it's capability, but it's a fun gadget. Without further ado, here are apps that I use on the iPad:
  • Kroger Co. - this will really help keep couponing and grocery lists organized if you shop at a Kroger store. It also gives an alphabetized list of their sale items for each week.
  • Netflix - you can get this on your phone, but I like using the bigger screen of the iPad for Caleb to watch some of his shows.
  • Flash Cards - awesome baby app for learning foods, animals, letters, transportation, numbers, and colors.
  • Laugh & Learn 123 by Fisher-Price - this teachers numbers with animals and is interactive. Cute!
You may ask how this post has anything to do with staying at home and making it work. Well, these apps don't cost a thing, they each add organization or fun to our lives, and some allow us to do things I would already be doing in a much more efficient way!

If any of you have great apps that you would like to share about, especially those appealing to kids, please comment below! Be blessed, mommies!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Family Time, Family Goals

Welcome back! As a follow up to yesterday's post, I wanted to share the goals we have set for 2013 as a family. Individual goals are great, but it's so important to work with my husband towards common desires in order to set a good example of working together for our son. Speaking of husbands and daddies, let me digress to give them a shout out with this hilarious video I stumbled across this evening!

And I thought we were tired! Two boys and triplets is no joke! I hope you enjoyed :-) Back to family goals!

1. Stick to our budget and save every month
  • We pride ourselves on being ultra cheap-os, but accounting for every dollar each month sometimes slips through the cracks. We want to do a better job of holding ourselves accountable and of not wasting money that could be saved or used in a better way. After all, just because something is a great deal doesn't negate the fact that it still costs money!
2. Sell, or rent, our current home and purchase a home that is smaller and less expensive, but still meets our needs
  • This is a big one! We are currently hunting for the perfect home that would be the perfect downsize. It may seem odd when we are planning to grow our family, God-willing, but we have come to the realization that we could live in a much smaller space and have a much lower mortgage. We have worked hard to ensure that the only debt we have is in our house, but why not lower that number as well!
3. Strive for a whole foods/real foods eating plan as a family
  • My hubby and I started this year with a 3-day fruit and veggie fast. We had several reasons...we ate way too much junk on our vacation, we wanted to detox, and we wanted to have a time of deprivation to better hear God's plans for our year. It was difficult, but it was incredibly helpful. We ended up at a book store searching through the health and fitness section for an eating plan that would be doable and sustainable for our. This is brand new for us, so I don't have any great tips yet :-) This week, we're focusing on eating things that naturally occur in nature...fruits, veggies, meat, and some cheeses and whole-grain bread. I've done lots of diets and eating plans in the past, but it sure does help having my honey alongside me this time!
4. No TV Saturdays!
  • Let's face it, most of the time, TV is a waste of time. We have decided to dedicate a whole day to other activities besides vegging in front of the flat screen. As we are sitting here, I just suggested that we have a no electronics evening once per week (no TV, no computer, no iPad, no phones, but maybe some music). The hubby didn't respond very well to that just now. I'll keep you posted :-)
5. Finally, I suppose my goal #1 is actually a couples activity. I can't very well do that alone! Haha!

One last thing before I wrap up my New Year's posts. I picked out a new devotional book for Christmas, and I am absolutely loving it. They are quick, very applicable to women, and incredibly insightful. Check out:

Today, and everyday, be blessed!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Happy 2013!

Welcome to a new year! I love this time in January...fresh starts, new outlooks, intentional time spent with our Lord to provide direction for the year ahead. If you read our family Christmas letter, you know that 2012 was a challenging year for the McNamee family. We are truly looking forward to all that God has in store for us this year, whatever that may be :-)

Last year, we started a tradition. After the fabulous festivities of Christmas, New Year's, and our wedding anniversary passed (thank God for five incredible years!), my husband and I sit down and write our goals for the upcoming months. We pray over them together, type them up, and then post them on Facebook and our refrigerator as a reminder to ourselves and for accountability from our friends. We didn't meet all of our goals last year, but it was so neat to see how God kept them in the forefront of our minds, and to see how He allowed many of them to come to fruition.

I want to share my 2013 personal and family goals with all of you. Maybe my list can spark some ideas for your family. I imagine that older children would really enjoy sharing what they want to do over the course of the next year, and it is a great way for us, as mommies, to sweetly guide our children towards achievable goals and discuss what needs to be done in order for their dreams to be fulfilled.

Let me be honest by saying that I'm not sure how several of these will actually pan out. But, they have been on my heart for the last week, I've committed to praying about each one of these desires, and I've asked God to direct my steps. Speaking of His guidance, let this verse be our mantra for all of our plans in 2013:

"In her heart a woman plans her course, but the Lord determines her steps." Proverbs 16:9

Kindra's 2013 Goals

1. Become pregnant with baby #2
  • We know this is ultimately up to God. But, God has promised us another child. We're sure of this. I don't know when this child will appear, but I feel emotionally, mentally, and physically ready to do the baby whirlwind again! Stay tuned!
2. Become active in ministry leadership with Patrick, my husband
  • Last year, I became very active in our church. Patrick traveled much of the time, so it was crucial for me to have a support system of Godly women as I learned, and continue to learn, how to be a mother. This year, I would love for Patrick and I to minister together. I'm not sure what this will look like, but we're open to whatever He asks us to do!
3. Keep a daily prayer journal, making note of answered prayers
  • Need a reminder of our Father's faithfulness and love? Simply keep a list of situations that are on your heart, pray over them daily, and watch Him work. I imagine that looking at this list in December 2013 will give me a huge dose of encouragement from Him!
4. Volunteer with Caleb
  • I want our children to learn the importance of serving in God's kingdom. Honestly, I'm not very good at actively pursuing volunteer opportunities, so it's on my list this year as a priority, for myself and to set an example for Caleb.
5. Learn about and receive blog sponsorship
  • I never started this blog as a way to make money. Obviously, I haven't made a dime! But, my husband brought up an interesting point when he commented on the free advertising I give for stores and products on my MMSM and OT pages. My knowledge of the blog world is extremely limited, so we'll see how this goes. But, it's worth a shot!
6. Begin to write a devotional book
  • Ultimately, I feel led to take many of my writings from this blog and turn them into a practical, entertaining, relate-able, spiritually encouraging devotional book for mothers. I envision a book containing 365 devotionals, scriptures, and prayers specially geared towards the unique circumstances of the SAHM. I imagine naming it "Pillars of the Palace," after Psalm 144:12. This is a huge goal, but I'm excited to watch it unfold!
7. Work out 3x per week
  • Not very exciting, but it needs to be on the list!
8. Do one craft/Pinterest project per week
  • Creativity feeds my soul. But, I have to make the time to do it! And, I need to make a dent in the hundreds of pins I have accumulated on Pinterest. I would also love for Caleb to develop a love for the arts, so my hope is that we can create a variety of projects together.
9. Start making wine
  • No judgement, please! Patrick started brewing his own beer last year, and it has turned into a really fun activity that he does with friends. It's a great gift for any occasion, and it's a fun hobby to watch him explore. I have no shame in admitting my enjoyment of a good glass of Cabernet. But, wine is expensive! We found a great local shop where you can take free classes on wine-making, buy all of your supplies, and even participate in tasting contests after your batches are complete! This is just something fun to do, although it will impede my tasting abilities if goal #1 is accomplished!
10. Do whatever God asks me to do
  • No, I didn't need a filler goal for #10. This is actually my most important goal for the year. As I was sitting on the beach in Cabo San Lucas on December 31, waiting for the New Year's fireworks to light up the sky, God spoke to me. I had been asking him throughout the previous days what He wanted me to focus on in 2013. That night, I clearly heard him say, "Kindra, this year, you need to do whatever I ask you to do, even if you don't understand it." Though I knew it was my heavenly Father speaking to my heart, it kind of made me nervous! I am simply praying for the courage to follow Him and His direction this year, wherever it may lead.

I pray these goals may be inspiring to you and your family. Tomorrow, I'll share our family goals with you. While Mexico was fantastic, it's great to be home and back to normal life. Speaking of, I hear a little someone stirring upstairs. Be blessed, mommies!