Friday, December 31, 2010

Out with the old goals, in with the new

Last year I blogged about my goals that I had set for 2010, so before I post my goals for the new year, I thought a recap was in order.  How did I do on my goals?

1. Spend daily time with God, focusing on Bible study, prayer, Bible memory and stillness before God, focusing on and listening to Him.
RESULTS:  I did better in this area this year, but it still needs work.  I'm not spending the daily time I need.  I tend to be sporadic with it - I'll do really well for a while, then let it slide.  I need more consistency.

2. Run. Pretty simple. I am still very much a newbie, but I love running, and I want to work my way up to running 5 miles a day, 3 to 4 days a week, by the end of 2010.
RESULT:  Running went by the wayside pretty quickly with my return to college.  I have been doing really well with my workouts at the gym, though, getting in a least three a week almost every week for the past several months.  I plan to try running (again) since I have the first half of the year off from college.

3. Spend more time doing things with my family.
RESULT:  Still needs lots of improvement.  I have been spending more time with them now that school is over for a while, and I'm trying to be "all there" when I'm with them.

4. Finish 5 college classes and apply to dental hygiene school.
RESULT:  DONE!!!!  I turned in my application earlier this month, and I should know something in March.

5. Have a weekly date night with my husband.
RESULT:  Ummm, not even close!  We did go out once a month most months, starting this summer.  It's so hard to find a sitter when you're hours away from family.

6. Put more time and focus into Kids BLAST, our children's ministry, which I head up.
RESULTS:  I feel like I really did well on this one.  There are still so many things I want to change and new things I want to try, but I definitely feel like we took our children's ministry up a few notches this year.

Now, on to my 2011 goals...
1. Spend daily time with God in prayer, Bible study, memorization, and listening to God.
2. Read through the Bible, and do more in-depth Bible study, focusing on Ephesians and Psalms.
3. Using my Cozi/FlyLady organizer, get my home and family organized once and for all (before the craziness of dental hygiene school starts) setting up systems and routines to keep us organized.
4. Make family time a priority, with nightly family devotions, daily one-on-one time with my boys, and weekly family nights.
5. Continue my workouts, moving them up to five or six times a week, using a combination of strength training at the gym, running, Zumba, and PraiseMoves (a yoga-style workout).

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My Dreams For 2011

I recently posted this, and it fits so perfectly with the theme of this week's writing assignments, I had to link to it...

Mama's Losin' It

I'm so excited to be linking up with Walk With Him Wednesday for the first time!  The theme this week goes hand in hand with the theme for Working Mom Wednesday, so I'm linking up to both...

This year has been challenging, to say the least.  I returned to college in January, ten years after quitting.  Juggling work, college, family, home and church events has been pretty tough.  We've had major changes at work - great, much needed changes, but even good changes can bring stress.  In addition to that, I've been dealing with a pretty terrible situation with my parents.  I haven't shared a lot about it until now, because it's just so personal and so difficult.  Their marriage has been on the rocks for quite some time, but this year it hit rock hit below rock bottom, if that's possible.  I found out that my mother had been lying to me for months, and I found out that she had become addicted to some of her prescription medications.  There are other details, too, that are just too personal to share.  It all came to light just before Thanksgiving, and needless to say, it has put a huge strain on our relationship.  Our family is still recovering from the shock of what happened, and my parents are struggling to begin picking up the pieces of their lives and marriage, hoping they can still salvage it.

Despite it's challenges, 2010 has been a good year.  I cannot express how blessed I truly am.  So what do I want in 2011?  What are my goals, my words, my themes for the year ahead?

If I'm accepted into dental hygiene school, I'll start in July, and life is really going to get interesting.  I'll be just shy of a full-time student, working just shy of full-time, and heading up our church's children's ministry, as I've done for almost four years now.  I will need God's peace!  Our family also desperately needs his peace right now.

Healing for my parents' marriage and for my relationship with my mom...we've taken the first steps, I think.  We talked, really talked, on Christmas Eve for the first time since all this blew up.  It's going to be a long, slow process, though, and it will take a lot of time to build up the trust that was lost.

Nothing surprises God.
Nothing.  He knows every detail I'll face, and He'll be there to help me.

God is faithful.
If there is one thing I've learned throughout my life, it's that God is faithful.  He's never let me go, and He's never let my family go.  He's brought us through so much already, and I know He will bring us through whatever challenges and joys lie ahead in the new year.

This weekend, I'm going to blog more about my more specific goals for the new year, and I'll do a recap of my goals for this year and how well I did in reaching them.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I'm taking the rest of the week off from blogging to enjoy Christmas with my family.  I hope that you all have a wonderful week, and I will be back on Monday, December 27

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Have less purse clutter with the SWAGG app!

I wanted to share a great new smartphone app that I discovered recently!  If you're looking for a way to get organized and downsize, this is a great place to start.  SWAGG has launched a new app that deals with the troublesome problem of how to deal with the overabundance of gift cards, loyalty & membership cards that clutter up your wallet or handbag. Basically you can load all those gift cards, loyalty points, etc into your iPhone or Android mobile device.

SWAGG allows consumers to import more than 250 brands of gift cards and rewards cards and, unlike plastic cards, SWAGG permits consumers to view available balance and reward information on most of these cards. Additionally, consumers can use their mobile device to give, get and even exchange SWAGG GIFTS from participating merchant partners such as American Apparel Inc., The Wet Seal Inc., Crocs Inc., and Arden B. Through SWAGG, consumers can access the offers that matter most to them, connecting users with more than 3,000 retailers. Retailers benefit by acquiring new customers, increasing in-store business and retaining existing customers.

Plus, as an added bonus, every download through the month of December = $1 donation from SWAGG to Stand Up 2 Cancer.  You get the app here or you can find it in the iPhone app store or the Android Market. 
* Disclaimer:  In exchange for posting a review, I will receive a $20 SWAGG gift card.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Many Alter Egos of a Wannabe Supermom - My Life in Pictures

My life is crazy, but so much are some of the highlights....

Our family with our alter egos
(Everyone says my husband looks like Mr. Incredible...I guess that automatically makes me a superhero, too?)

Helping my husband at a recent baby dedication

This is from our Easter egg hunt, our biggest event each year.

And some random fun and silliness...which happens often around our house...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The end of a long year

Normally I would post something for Tasty Tuesday, but today is a special day, so I'm going in a different direction.  Today I finish my last class of a very tough semester.  Today I begin a seven month break before dental hygiene school starts.  I am so excited that this semester, this year of taking prerequisites, is over.  I'm already making plans to catch up on all the things I didn't have enough time for during college...

1.  More family time - playing games, watching movies, going places together, geocaching, and more

2.  Time to read - Ted Dekker's latest is at the top of my list, plus I have several new authors I want to check out

3.  Time to cook and experiment with new recipes - we're all tired of the convenience food we've been living off of lately

4.  Less stress and time to unwind

5.  More sleep

I can't wait!  My microbiology final begins at 8:00 a.m., and once it's over, I'm a free woman!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Home: The Final Frontier?

It's wild, untamed, and sometimes dangerous.  The unknown lurks around every corner.  To find what you're searching for may take hours, even days.  It can be a no man's land at time.  It' house.

Let's just say that I'm...domestically challenged.  On paper, I'm very organized - off paper, not so much.  By the end of a day spent juggling family, work, school, and more, my house gets pushed to the back burner.  But all that changed last week...I've decided that I'm sick and tired of our chaotic house, so I decided it was time for a change. 

I blogged Friday about two websites that I've used on and off for years joining forces - FlyLady and Cozi.  When I saw their big announcement, and heard about how the new Cozi calendar would work with FlyLady, I knew I had found my answer.  I've tried FlyLady's system before, and it works.  It helped me when my kids were younger and I was staying at home, then somewhere along the way, I let it all slide.  Now, with everything I need on one calendar, in one place (on my Droid X thanks to the new Cozi app!), I have no excuses.

I can already tell a difference - not a huge difference, but a difference nonetheless.  I know it's going to take time.  I'm starting my family on new routines, one at a time.  Right now I'm teaching my kids to spend 15 minutes each night cleaning up - putting up clothes, gathering up their toys and school supplies from wherever they've wandered to during the day, etc.

From what other students have told me, I don't know what stress is until I've actually started the dental hygiene program, so I want my house organized and my routines in place before I (hopefully) start in July.  I'll be blogging every month or so about my progress.  I can't wait to see the results start adding up!

Friday, December 10, 2010

A busy mom's best friends join forces!

I am so excited that two of my very favorite resources for busy moms have joined forces!  I have used both in the past, but now I am dependant on both of them every day.  In fact, on Monday I'm going to start sharing how I'm using these tools to finally get my home and family organized.

Cozi, an online calendar system, and FlyLady have combined efforts to create an amazing, FREE online calendar system that keeps your family and your home on track.  As if that wasn't good enough, Cozi also has an app available for iPhone and Android phones.  I bought it (only$ 1.99!) for my Droid X and I love it.

You can read more about Cozi and FlyLady here, and you can sign up for your free calendar.  It is fantastic! discount code!

Are you still working on your holiday shopping?  Have I got a deal for you!  I love shopping online, although there are only a handful of websites that I use.  One of them is  They have great deals on products, and their shipping is only $2.95 no matter what you order.

If you've never shopped at Overstock, you might be wondering what you can find there...the answer is, just about anything!  You can find handmade jewelry, the perfect blue jeans, or an awesome pair of sunglasses.  you can also find furniture, home decor, books, electronics, and more.  If you're looking for the right gifts for the people on your list, Overstock is a great place to look.

Plus, you can get 10% off your purchase with this discount code: 121728 

Happy shopping!

Disclaimer: All the ideas and opinions expressed are my own. No monetary compensation was received for doing this post, however, I was provided with a discount code.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Stepping Out In Bold Faith

It was a dream I'd had for years...since childhood, really.  I had a shot at it once, but gave it up to pursue another dream.  I didn't regret it, but I knew that one day I wanted to go back and see the dream become a reality.  But when the chance came, I was terrified.  It was a bold move, and of the scariest moves of my life.  It was my decision to return to college to finish my degree.

I started college fresh out of high school, on a scholarship - the only way my family could afford to send me.  I went blazing in, making a 4.0 GPA but without a clue as to what I wanted from a career.  I plugged away for two years, first as an elementary education major (that lasted one semester), then psychology, then English...because it was my favorite subject.  The pressure of keeping my grades high enough to keep my scholarship began to wear on me after the first few months.  I became more and more exhausted and discouraged.

Then in May 1999, I met Robby.  I had no idea at that first meeting that he would change my life.  I spent a year getting to know him as a friend, then in May 2000 he asked me for our first date.  A month later, he asked me to marry him, and I said yes.  I made the decision to marry the man of my dreams, become a pastor's wife, and quit college.

Life marched on.  Robby and I married in September 2000.  I worked for a while, then quit my job to become a stay at home mom.  We moved several times, and I finally returned to work.  Although I loved my job (still do!) I dreamed of returning to being a stay at home mom until reality set in - it was a thing of the past.  That's when I started thinking about college.

I decided that if I had to work (and I do) then I wanted to make good money at it.  I started doing some research and found that working in a dentist's office really interested me.  More research led to a college just 30 minutes away that offered a dental hygiene program.  I thought about it.  I prayed about it.  Robby and I talked about it.  The thought of returning to school as a 30 year old, married, working mom of two terrified me.  I talked  myself out of it and back into it several times.  Then, last December, I made the leap - I registered for classes, bought my books, and paid my tuition.  There was no backing out.

Now, a year later, I've survived some of the hardest classes I've ever taken...and made really good grades in them, much to my surprise.  I've finished my prerequesites and turned in my application to the dental hygiene program.  I'm still terrified, but I'm glad I did it.  I'm thankful for my family and friends who continue to support me.  I'm thankful for my husband, my biggest fan and cheerleader.  And I'm thankful I took the very bold, very scary leap of faith to return to college and to chase my dream until it becomes a reality.

Mama's Losin' It

What I love about Christmas

1.  Putting up our Christmas trees

2.  Seeing Christmas decorations in all the stores

3.  Starbucks Christmas coffees (Come on, you know coffee had to be here somewhere, right?)

4.  Seeing my the excitement on my boys' faces when we pull our 5 feet tall singing, dancing Santa down from the attic

5.  Using my snowman dishes

6.  My kids enjoying the same Christmas movies I grew up watching on TV

7.  Driving around town after dark to look at Christmas light

8.  Spending time with my husband and kids - no work, no college, just time with my three favorite guys

9.  Our church's candlelight communion the Wednesday before Christmas

10.  Rememering what Christmas is really about - celebrating God's amazing gift to us 2,000 years ago

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My favorite recipes websites

I am so thankful that this semester of college is almost over!  Life has been so hectic that I've resorted to quick-fix meals almost every day.  I've really missed cooking, and I'm looking forward to experimenting in the kitchen again and testing new recipes.

My favorite recipe site, hand down, is (formerly Recipe Zaar).  There are so many amazing recipes here, and it's so easy to search for just what you're looking for.  I also love the fact that each recipe is submitted by home chefs, so they are tested and tried.  I found my Mexican egg roll recipe here.

I don't know what I would do without my slow cooker, and I'm always finding great new recipes to try at A Year of Slow Cooking.  To me, a slow cooker is a busy mom's best friend - you can put your food in and pretty much forget about it, then end your day with a hot, home-cooked meal.

A site that is new to me is Picky Palate.  I love the original takes on familar recipes, and I also love the fact that everything I've tried is easy to prepare.

I hope these sites will inspire you to get into the kitchen, try some new foods, and have fun cooking!

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Next "Survivor"?

I've read this before, but I found this extended version and read it recently at the women's gym where I work, and we all agreed it hits home!  This really sums up the reality of everyday life for a mom.  I love it...

- Six married men will be dropped on an island with one car and four kids each, for six weeks.
- Each kid plays two sports and either takes music or dance classes.
-Each child will need a wrapped birthday gift for two parties during the six weeks, to which the men must RSVP, drop off, and pick up.
-Each man must also take each child to a doctor's appointment, a dentist appointment, and an appointment for a haircut.
-He must also make cookies or cupcakes for a social function.
- There is no access to fast food.
- Each man must take care of his four kids, keep his assigned house clean, correct all homework, complete science projects, cook, do laundry, etc.
- The men only have access to television when the kids are asleep and all chores are done. There is only one TV between them and there is no remote.
-Each man will be responsible for decorating his assigned house, planting flowers outside, and keeping it presentable at all times.
- The men must shave their legs and wear makeup daily, which they must apply themselves, either while driving or while making four lunches.
-During one of the six weeks, they will have to endure severe stomach cramps, back aches, skin breakouts, and have extreme mood swings, but never once complain or slow down from their duties.
- They must attend weekly PTA meetings; clean up after their sick children at 3:00 a.m; make an Indian hut model with six toothpicks, a tortilla and one marker; and get a 4-year-old to eat a serving of peas.
_Them men will pray with the children each night, bathe them, dress them, brush their teeth, and comb their hair by 7:00 a.m. each day.
-At the end of the six weeks, a test will be given, and each father will be required to know the following information about each child: birthday, height, weight, shoe size, clothing size, doctor's name and phone number, best friend, favorite color, favorite toy, favorite story, favorite snack and drink, biggest fear, and what they want to be when they grow up.
- The kids vote them off the island, based on performance.
- The last man wins only if he has enough energy to be intimate with his spouse at a moment's notice.
If the last man does win, he can play the game over and over again for the next 18-25 years - eventually earning the right to be called 'Mother'.

Friday, December 3, 2010


I work at an all women's gym, so I talk to lots of moms everyday, and I hear some pretty funny things.  They have lots of "momisms" that are quoted often.  Here are a few of my favorites...

1.  There are very few things in life that coffee and chocolate can't make better.

2.  This isn't Burger King - you don't get it your way, you get it my way!

3.  I have one ounce of sanity left...would you like it?

4.  I try to take life one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once.

5.  Mommy brain is when your gray matter turns into gray hair.

Happy Friday and have a great weekend, everyone!
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