Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I'm Doing IT!!!!! FINALLY!!!!

For years I've threatened to purge out the children's clothes and go down to "X" number of outfits for play and church to streamline the laundry process around here. Well, I'm done threatening and I'm actually doing it!! As I stood in my house looking at an excess of 18 LARGE baskets and totes of laundry, I just had to start somewhere. It was insanity. I'm about half way done and I've donated 6 garbage bags of usable clothing to charity thus far. That doesn't include the clothes that were too stained or worn to pass along that ended up in the garbage can.

I also donated to charity all of my bigger clothes that I can't wear anymore. Well, I could wear them but they are just too big to be any kind of flattering. So I broke down and took them all out of my closet. This serves 2 purposes. First, it makes more room in my closet because I'm not wearing them anyway. Second, it forces me to not go back into those sizes. Mentally, I needed that. So, out they go!!

I still have 9 more baskets to do. That is the project for today. After having spent 5 hours with Abigail on Monday getting my bedroom in shape, the living room and remainder of the laundry is next on the list.

Things will get more streamlined around here if it kills me!!! I have to find a groove for this growing family of mine. God has entrusted them to me so I need to do the best I can to make our home happy for all.

Purge, purge, purge, ladies!!! When is the last time you performed a solid purge at your house?!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Clever Little Inventions

Have you ever thought about the things we use around us all day and that moment where somebody came up with the idea to create it? You know what I mean, that little piece of plastic on the end of your shoelace that makes it easier to lace your shoes or the key ring. Stuff like that. Well I have a new favorite. I saw this the other day in the store and picked one up for the kids.

What kid isn't going to love eat his very own dinosaur sandwich?! Especially since they can eat the head first. Its the little things in life that keep the mundane fun. Do you have a favorite "thing" you can share with me?

Missions Conference is coming up at church. It starts this Sunday. Daniel will be singing an original song for the special that morning and I'm excited about it. He has written a couple other songs but I think this is his best so far. As soon as I get my midi cables from the store where we bought my digital piano, I'm going to arrange it and send it in to Bible Truth Music to see if we can get it published. I would love nothing more than to write and arrange music with him, be a blessing to churches and make some extra money in the process.

I'm also praying about what the Lord would have me do for the missions program out of my piano lesson money. I would like to get some more students but if that doesn't happen I would still like to give out of my piano money, I just don't know how much. I've never kept any students long term so its scary to make a financial commitment when I'm not sure if I'll have an income.

How are you doing with your decisions and goals for the new year? One of my goals was to be in closer fellowship with God and I think I'm accomplishing that. I pray more. I've seen answered prayer. I'm not doing as well in my Bible time but I'm not going to give up!! I must have fellowship and if I can't get it here, I'll get it with Him. You know, that sounds awful. Like God is second best. Hmmmmm, that is convicting. God shouldn't be our last resort when we can't find fellowship on earth. He should be whom we are seeking FIRST.

Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

So I'm seeking him but my motives are quite convicting. Maybe as I seek him, my motives will become my love and desire for Him, not the absence of fellowship below.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

You Asked For It!!!!!

So I'm getting it!!!

Everybody around the country is getting inches and feet and MORE feet of snow and I want me some snow!!! We missed the first couple of storms here in Chicagoland but our snow started last night. I call in "magic snow". Its so fine that you can't see it with a glance out the window. You must look closer and its this very fine mist of snow coming down steadily for hours upon hours. We are supposed to get 8-12 inches. Not so very much in comparison to others around the country but "enough", I guess. Abigail didn't have school today and yet I've still managed to accomplish NOTHING around the house today. Or yesterday. Lazy, lazy, lazy. Shouldn't happen that way. So as I write this, I look around my house, I hear a child pull open the refrigerator door as Curious George squeaks and grunts through the television and I know that I must start on the laundry soon.

I've lost 4 pounds in 3 days!! YEAH!!! It has been 5 months since last I was losing weight and I'm well past needing to have gotten started again. I have another 12 pounds to go to be back at where I was 5 months ago. I'm frustrated for allowing myself to gain any of the weight back. But, it has been good for me. It was so much easier to do everything having lost 61 pounds and I realized how much harder it was on my body to have that excess weight. Then I put 16 pounds of that back on and I could really tell the difference. It was eye opening. It has been impressed upon me in a new way how important it is for me, my family, and my health to get all this weight off. I need to lose another 84 pounds and I know that I can. I think that is the biggest thing in this weight loss journey - the realization that I CAN do it if I try.

But eating anything and everything you want is simply not an option - not for me, at least. I am learning to eat some things in moderation. I took the children to a pizza buffet after Abigail's doctor appointment last night and I loaded up on salad, minored on the dressing, then had a water based soup, one piece of pizza and one bread stick. I was satisfied, didn't feel like I deprived myself of anything, yet, my calorie intake was still very reasonable. I'm doing it. I'm also learning that some foods aren't worth the calories. Chocolate chip cookies - not worth the calories. Full fat Ranch dressing - not worth the calories.

Now about exercising . . . . . . . . . . . .

Monday, February 8, 2010

Monday Musings

Back on the weight loss wagon again as of this past Saturday. I had done so well. I was down 61 pounds and then I just hit a wall. Previously I was counting calories and exercising some but I got a little obsessive about the calorie counting thing. I had decided to go with a smaller plate and don't get any leftovers but that wasn't working. So I scrapped that and decided to go back to calorie counting. My clothes are getting snug and I feel heavier and I don't want that. My goal is to be at my goal weight by the end of this year so I must get started if I want to realize that.

The best thing about this is that my husband had actually started watching what he was eating before I did. He is letting me track his calories on, too. I had tried to get him to let me do that for him when I was losing weight before but he didn't want to. After lunch yesterday and seeing how many calories are in certain foods, I think his eyes are being opened a bit to how bad the food is that he was consuming. Not that my consumption was much better but it always helps to see exactly what you are putting in your body. This is just one example of comparing foods. 64 ounces of sweet tea has fewer calories than one 20 ounce bottle of Mountain Dew. So if you like both, which do you choose? Easy decision!!!!

My 2 largest weight loss obstacles are exercise and late evening eating. I can do really well all day long and then once 8 or 9 comes along, I want to eat EVERYTHING. And I think its more of a mental thing than an actual hunger thing. Plus, I just hate exercising. I really do. I have my Wii Fit Plus and my Jillian DVD for the Wii. I have Shred and a Leslie Sansone walking CD so I have no excuses whatsoever. I just hate it. So I'm going to have to get victory in those 2 areas. My metabolism is such that I'm going to HAVE to get in the habit of exercises. Besides, my goal is not to JUST lose weight. I want to healthy. I want to feel good. So exercising is a must if I want to actually get in shape.

I hope everybody has a great Monday and if you have any low calorie meals or snack suggestions, please post them for me!!

Friday, February 5, 2010

A Thought for Friday

Nothing much to say today.

I just want to mention that I love my laundry fairies.

I have 2 teen girls that take piano lessons from me in exchange for helping me around the house for 30 minutes each. It works out. While one girl is taking her lesson, the other one works and then they swap for the second girl's lesson. Most of the time I have them hang laundry for me. But today I had them matching socks. I HATE matching socks. I'm sure it wasn't fun for them either but they worked hard for a solid hour and I have a huge basket of matched socks sitting in my living room.

I just want to mention that I love my laundry fairies.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Still Can't Believe It!!

I've wanted a digital piano since I was about 14 years old. I remember walking into the studio where I took lessons and my teacher had purchased a digital piano in addition to her grand. I was hooked from that point on.

My desire for a digital piano has been enlarged by owning a computer program that allows you to hook your piano up to the computer and print out music you've played on the piano. Given my recent opportunity to arrange music and submit it to a publishing house, a digital piano was important. The way I have to do arranging now is extremely time consuming. Honestly, I just don't have time to do any arranging and haven't submitted anything to the publishing house. I don't want to miss the opportunity to try to get some of my work published and sold.

So Daniel and I had gone to Veronda's Music last night to order a new Tenor Saxophone case. Mine had been destroyed about 6-9 months ago. While ordering the case, I was perusing (that is code for "drooling") on the digital pianos when I came across one that was marked down by more than half. I mentioned it to Daniel just in passing and as a joke. To make a longer story shorter, he took the money he had planned on using for our 10th anniversary this year and bought me that digital piano. I'm so excited!!!! They are going to deliver my digital piano on Saturday morning and take away my acoustic. And not only am I getting a digital but I'm going to donate my old piano to the nursing home where my husband preaches once a month. We have been going there for more than 10 years and their piano is just horrid. Its nice to have it for the song service and we've been grateful for it all these years but my old piano is in much better condition than their piano. I've been wishing for years that I could get them a newer one.

Thank you Lord for my husband who does the best he can to take care of us and give us the things we need and want. Thank you for my new piano. Thank you for allowing us to give my old piano to the nursing home.

The picture is my piano except the one I'm getting is black.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

What Do You Do?

Laundry at my house is a nightmare. Now, there are several reasons for this.
#1. We are a household of 7 people, and short of creating our own nudist colony, clothes just must be worn by all.
#2. I really hate doing laundry so I'm not consistent about doing it every day like I should.
#3. We have to pay to do laundry and I don't always have laundry quarters.
#4. Everybody has waaaaaay too many clothes.

So, out of the above reasons, I can only do something about numbers 2 and 4. But before I can fix #2, I have to get caught up. While in the process of catching up, which I do periodically, I want to work on #4. I'm getting rid of clothes.

You know how it works, everybody wears their favorite out fit then its dirty. So they move on to their second choice. Then its dirty. Then they move on to their 3rd, 4th, 5th choices and on down the line until eventually people are wearing clothes they don't really care for because the clothes they really love aren't clean. Sooooooo, I'm going to get rid of the 3rd choice on down and only keep the clothes everybody loves. This will force me to keep up on the laundry and will eliminate the excessive clothing situation. I'm considering 4 church outfits and 10 casual outfits for each child. Do you think this sounds reasonable? How do you do things at your house?

Monday, February 1, 2010

If You Want Some Photos Edited, Restored, Placed Into a Collage . . . . . . . .

Please contact my friend!!!

I had taken some snapshots around Christmas time of my children's great grandparents. I have a friend I met on cafemom who is a professional photographer and I asked her if she would take my snapshots and arrange them into some sort of collage type "thing" so that I could print it out, frame it and give it to the great grandparents as a gift. I think she did an excellent job. As an enhancement to her local professional studio, she has added an e-business division. I highly recommend her. Below is a little bit of what she has to offer. You don't have to live close to her in proximity. Everything can be done via e-mail and I was extremely pleased with the results of my e-consultation and the end result.

Many people love to get behind the camera these days... who doesn't? You can hire a photographer, sure, but it's not always conducive. Well, I wanted to meet the needs of those who want to use their images and spruce them up with a collage or photo template! SERVICE ONLY SYNOPSIS You supply your photo, we discuss your needs and I will photo-process it for you (professional photo-editing of your image) and place into a template of your choice. The other option is SERVICE AND PRINT Here we do the same things I outlined in services only, but with service and print, you can opt to place an order of high quality prints in the sizes of 4x6, 5x7, or 8x10... or you may be interested in front and back prints on beautiful card stock, sized 4x5.5 with envelopes to send to friends and family! Check out my, under the new tab, e-Willow for more details!

Here are the snapshots I sent.

Finished product. I had it printed in an 8X10 and it was even more beautiful than this preview.

Monday Musings

I have so much I want to talk about today!!!

First things first. We sold the car!!! Yipppeeeee!!! I had listed it at $500 in hopes of getting $300 and that is exactly what the guy offered. He showed up in his own tow truck so I'm fairly certain he was in the business of buying cars and fixing them up for resale. Good for him! One less thing I have to worry about!

And . . . . . . . . . we bought a used Honda Accord! For the first time in 2 years, I now have a vehicle. I've never been so grateful for transportation and every time I want to complain about having to do "something" I'll remind myself of what it was like when I COULDN'T go do anything. The car is so much nicer than anything we thought we would be able to get. I'm happy for Daniel that he now has a decent work vehicle and I'm thankful to God for answering our prayers in such a very specific fashion. Maybe some day I'll post how we came to purchase this specific car. Daniel and I are confident that this is the exact car the Lord wanted us to have.

Now, about this Tebow "pro-life" advertisement scheduled to air during the Super Bowl . . . . . it is a sad day in our country when anyone would object to the endorsement of life. It isn't an "anti-abortion" advertisement. It is an advocacy of the preservation of life. We see those types of advertisements all the time in regards to children in other countries. You know the commercials. The ones with the filthy children with swollen bellies and the extra clean, white man holding them and talking to the camera about how they don't have food or an opportunity for education. Then he is begging for money to preserve their LIVES. How about the commercials to preserve the lives of animals? We're inundated with those. There is one out right now with a Willy Nelson song in the background flashing visual images of pitiful dogs with huge brown eyes suffering in abusive situations. Again, you are supposed to send money to preserve the lives of those poor animals. The preservation of life. Yet, we have an organization spending thousands, possibly millions of dollars to get out the message of preserving the lives of those who are unborn and there is outrage! They aren't even asking for your money!!! Outrage. Over preserving life. Seriously.

Supposedly this abortion argument is about the issue of "choice". "Its my body - its my choice." So why is it offensive that one would CHOOSE to preserve the life instead of snuffing it out as if it had no more worth than the kitchen garbage? Its about "choice", isn't it? If one truly supported "choice", an advertisement advocating the preservation of LIFE wouldn't be offensive. Those on the "pro-choice" side would be celebrating the fact that a woman had a choice many years ago to preserve the life of a little one who would eventually entertain millions by his ability to throw a football better than most. The fact that there is so much outrage over a commercial advocating LIFE tells the nation exactly how sinister the agenda is on the "pro-choice" side. It isn't about choice.

And in celebration of life, this is what I saw when I walked into my children's bedroom to wake my oldest for school. They've always been great buddies but I thought this was especially sweet. Evidently Elijah needed some comfort at some point in time during the night. But I loved how they were lying in the same position.

I'm thankful for the children the Lord has entrusted to my care. I feel so lucky that He chose to give to me, my husband and I, these beautiful, wonderful little people. I hardly think that when He chose to give life to my womb, that He intended that I would over ride His judgment and take their lives before they had a chance to begin.

Our nation has thrown away the wonder and sanctity of life. It is sad.