Monday, November 2, 2009

On Goals...

As a Stay At Home Mom, sometimes I feel like I am riding a ferris wheel.
Round and Round. Seemingly getting nowhere. (It is exciting, though!)
In November, I am going to write down a goal, with the prompting of Rachel Anne over at homesanctuary. ( So here it is, on paper and pencil! (:

My goal for November is to get a weekly/daily/monthly plan in place for my work at home, tasks that need to be completed, and for myself. And then, follow it!! Hopefully this will help me jump off the ferris wheel, and move to the roller coaster!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Company Girl Coffee 10.30

Wow! It's great to be back! Since May (?), I lost touch with the Company Girls. Last week, I felt moved to come back and see what was going on back here, and Oh, how I missed it! Beginning in November, I'll be a point-getting maniac! (: Since I have no Small Things to discuss this week, I'll just share one of my recent favorite pictures. It is my sweety and our three little ones hiking a gorge last week. I was walking behind, and just saw the perfect picture. I am so glad that I captured this moment. He is such a great Christian example to our children, and I am so blessed to have him as my other half!
Thanks for stopping in!
I'm looking forward to being a Company Girl once more!!!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Company Girl Coffee 5.1

Is it May already?!! I've always heard it said that time gets faster the older you get. I am seeing what people mean, now! I've also heard that Time Flies when you're having fun. That could be part of it, too! (: I am sooo excited about tomorrow morning. My small community is having its semi-annual garage sale, and my mom is coming down so we can go check all 40 of them out! ha. Okay, maybe not *all* of them, but... maybe 39! After we have had our fill of them, we're going to my great aunt's to get a bunch of rhubarb. How many different ways can you make rhubarb? I may be about to find out! This rhubarb adventure started when my neighbor told me a couple of weeks ago that he wanted me to make him a rhubarb pie, jokingly, sort of! (; I said if he could get some for me, I'd be happy to. We couldn't think of anywhere, so the idea kind of died. Later, I remembered from when I was young, going to my great aunts and picking rhubarb. She is elderly now and doesn't use it much anymore, so her son said that we are welcome to all we want. I remember huge amounts of the stuff-and that was when she used a lot, too! But, that was also 25 years ago! I am excited to surprise my neighbor (and my aunt) with a pie! Thanks for stopping in, I hope your weekend is superb!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

New Recipe

Rachel Anne, at Home Sanctuary asked us to try a new recipe this week and post about it. We tried Pizza Biscuit Bake, which I found on as a highly rated recipe. I know this is no earth-shattering recipe, but we always make traditionally-crusted pizza. This was verrry good, and everyone gobbled it up, even the baby! (I didn't put pepperoni on the kids' part)

Here is the Link if you want to try it yourself!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Company Girl Coffee 4.24

Don't know what I'm talking about? Go here to find out!
We are enjoying the BEAUTIFUL weather around here!!! I bought Gwyneth her first pair of flip flops this week-and she wears them to walk in!! That's my girl! (: I better get going-enjoying those chubby toes! Hope you have a great weekend, thanks for stopping in!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Company Girl Coffee 4.17

Hi all! I am so glad you stopped by today! Rachel Anne had a great post today over at Home Sanctuary, don't you think?! After I finished my Master's Degree (we were already married with a 2 year old), we felt God calling me to stay home until our children were all in school. We decided that we would have to make some sacrifices, financially, to create the home environment we longed for! I am going to just bullet list some of the ways that we have found work for us to make it work on a shoestring, as Rachel would say!

*I would have to say firstly, and MOST importantly is that we always seek God's guidance in our finances, and we always try to be on the same page (I know that this sounds absurdly obvious, but you'd be surprised...!) I know that everyone says you're not supposed to, but we use our debit cards for EVERYTHING! We have found that this is the easiest way for us to keep track of our spending. The trick is to 1)keep all of your receipts and 2)keep track of them. We use a small basket on the desk to gather receipts, and then once a day or every other day, I enter them into Microsoft Money, itemizing everything. Once a week, we have a "finance meeting", which starts off with prayer. The day before, I print up spending reports for the past week, and make an agenda of any money-related business. On John's day off (Teuesday), we sit down with coffee first thing and go over everything. It makes me think twice on each transaction, because I know that it is going to be scrutinized in black and white at our next meeting!
*We have no cable and dial up (YES, you read that right!) internet. When I was in school, all of my friends called me the "amish" one because I had no cell phone when everyone else did! We do have them now. You don't always have to have the newest-latest. You will survive!!(;
*We stay home! This is one of the biggest things we have found in saving money. Everytime we go do something outside the home, we spend money! Gas, snacks, events, food, etc. are all expenses, and little ones add up! It's virtually free to have a bonfire out back while the kids run through the yard catching fireflies (and so much less stressful than Disney World)
*We try to be content in the Lord. This is hard sometimes. Our sinful nature makes us want, want, want. I constantly pray for contentment, and try to faithfully seek it in Him!
I could go on and on, but I will restrain myself! Thank you for stopping in, I am so looking forward to snooping around and see what great ideas you have! Have a wonderful wonderful weekend!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Company Girl Coffee 4.10 Good Friday

Welcome, Rachel Anne's Company Girls! I can't chat long this morning, I have a long list today, but I just wanted to say Hi! We are looking forward to spending time praising God this weekend for sending his Son to earth to die on a lowly cross for our sins! Praise God for such a sacrificial display of love, and a free gift of eternal life! When I was very young, I always thought it was was dumb that they called it "Good" Friday. I always thought it should be called Sad Friday! But as I've grown, Wow, when it comes to eternal perspective, Wow! What a great day! I am so thankful for a loving and just God. It is so easy to get lost in the Easter Grass and jelly beans, and lose focus of Why it is, exactly, we are celebrating this weekend. I strive to focus on the TRUE meaning of Easter. Have a blessed weekend!


Friday, March 27, 2009

Company Girl Coffee 3.27

Hi! Come in and have some coffee. I just stocked up on Italian Sweet Cream coffee creamer yesterday, which is our FAVORITE around here! It seems to be a big hit with everyone who tries it. I have been slacking on my Small Things lately. I still read them each day, but sometimes it just doesn't happen. I resolve to get back into the habit next week.
Aren't you so excited for the blog makeover?! I'm waiting to see what Rachel Anne's got up her sleeve. I am positive that it will be fabulous! Speaking of Rachel Anne, why don't you go visit her blog here if you haven't before. She'll change your life with her small things.
My week? Last weekend, we had John's family over Friday night, because his brother is FINALLY home from Iraq-and we got to see our neice for the first time in about 5 years...

Saturday night, we had our old youth pastor and his family (visiting from PA), as well as my sister and her family over. Good times!

Tuesday, my mom and I planned a day away together. We had *such* a wonderful time. She is a neat woman, and a very godly example! I am blessed to call her my mom! If I could be half the woman she is, I'd be happy.
Tonight, we are going to my aunt's for Mexican food, since my cousins are home from Florida and Tennesee. Tomorrow, we have a Sunday School party, and Sunday I am giving a short talk for a Baby Shower, and we have a Birthday party for my nephew. I sing in our church choir, and we are doing a Cantata for Easter morning. What an exciting way to proclaim God's Word! Last night we were rehearsing, and our director asked us to think of the words- one song is " I KNOW that my Redeemer Liveth! Aleluia!" We should be able to say this so boldly! Thank you for stopping in, it is so nice to hear from you in my comments! Have a beautiful weekend enjoying whatever it is that you may be doing. I look forward to stopping in.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Five Things in the Morning

One of my favorite bloggers, Tammy from Tammy's Recipes, has asked her readers to make a list of 5 Things for a morning routine:

1. Get up @ 5:16
2. Take thyroid meds and start coffee
3. Bible Reading/prayer
4. Work Out
5. Shower and get ready to face the day!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Company Girl Coffee 3.13

Hi Girls! Thanks for stopping by today, it is certainly nice to have you! Isn't Rachel Anne great? I know that every morning I look forward to checking in on what is going on for us today! This being said, I have slacked a little on my Small Things this week(although, now I am totally KICKING myself since I've learned what the high points prize is-awesome!!!) I have been putting out fires this week, it seems. I try not to live like that, but sometimes. well, you know how it is! We've had a flurry of activity this week. On top of that, I'm feeling foggy-brained, and so I've been running around getting last minute details finished that I overlooked ): Last Friday night, we had a birthday party for one side of the family, and Saturday night we had the other. In between, we had a Grand Prix (hot wheels) at our church. I taught Sunday School Sunday morning, and Tuesday was Hutch's Birthday party at Preschool. Tomorrow I have a Gifted By God brunch at church (which is exploring our Spiritual Gifts-SOOO excited!!!), John and I have a 30th birthday party for a co-worker of his in the evening, and I teach Sunday School and sing in church on Sunday morning (I am singing Wonderful, Merciful Savior, which I am very excited about), Haydn and Hutch have a program for an Assisted Living Center in the afternoon, and I have church nursery in the evening!!
The Birthday Boy!

I try to guard our time, as I feel that, as a society, we are over-booked. Well, as hard as I try to not be involved in everything, we are always busy busy, it seems!

I stumbled on a blog this week called Like A Warm Cup of Coffee, and have been intrigued by a club called the 5:16 club. Long story short, there is another website that links from that, and there is a series about the 6 Habits of the Highly Effective Woman. Number 1 is She Rises Early. To say that I struggle with this is an understatement!!! I am a chronic snooze hitter! To be in this club, you get up at 5:16 in the morning and spend quiet time with God FIRST! (5:16 comes from Ephesians 5:16-which talks about redeeming time. so cool.)

I am going to try this for a week and see how it goes! I'm very excited, and will let you know next week how it went, and what changes I saw in my life! Thank you for sharing a cuppa with me! Sorry I've rambled a little!

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Family plaque was a birthday gift from my mom this year. I love it! This is in our bedroom.

Company Girl Coffee 2.20

Hi there! Great to have you over! Today is a day home, and a night in, at our house. Besides going to and from school for Haydn (which is right across the road!), we are home to stay! I love being home, especially since it feels more like a home-which I owe hugely to Rachel Anne and her Small Things! (could I possibly say the word home more in one paragraph?)
Last night, I had to laugh because all of the kids were in bed, John was surfing the net for hot rod truck building stuff. I came up from the basement with a bunch of empty organizing containers, and was stalking the house. I said, "What do we have around our house that is floating around and needs a home?" He said, "Are you getting points?!" Smart man! He came up with the idea of his guitar "stuff". So I got a pretty basket that I've been dying to use, and gave his music, picks, and tuner an address!
*Concerning the electric slide: We like to dance around here! We are true boogiers! We are always gettin' our groove on. We're that family on the dance floor the whole time at a family wedding, laughing our heads off! (except for a break to the chocolate fountain here and there!) The problem is, my husband has this ongoing boycott of "organized line dancing". He thinks it's a cop-out for people who are too scared or boring to express themselves by dancing (I think it's called interpretive dancing-ha) This man is a trooper. He'll go to great lengths to make me happy, and happiness equates with POINTS! He drew the line, though, when I told him I'd like him to do the electric slide with me for points. Hey, everyone has their limits, and I'll respect that!

I would do anything for Love,
But I won't do that!! -Meatloaf
The rest of the story: although I didn't coordinate it for actual points, the next day after school, I cranked up some music in the living room and demonstrated the Electric Slide for my kids. They thought I was uber-cool. Especially when I did the fancy floor tap (and optional spin!)
Have a great weekend! Did you actually get anyone to do the Electric Slide with you? If so, I am sooo jealous!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Company Girl Coffee 2.13

Come on in! Pull up a new seat! (We got a new dining room table and chairs this week! Our old one was sooo wobbly that our 3 year old actually kissed the new one when we got it. It really was that bad!)
Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE Rachel Anne's Home Sanctuary, and her Small Things? Yeah?! Well, I do love her kind spirit and great sense of humour! I also love the way that our home feels more like a safe haven from all of the Small Things that I complete.

Monday was my birthday, so I was especially pleased when we got to print and hang the verse instead of cleaning (:

I'd have to say my favorite thing, though, was the Sticky one. I love it when she gives us wiggle room for creativity every once in awhile. I decided to have the boys sit down and do a sticky craft after school. We always have such a fun time together doing crafts, but I hate to admit that it doesn't happen nearly as often as it should. Today we decided to build little dogs out of pom poms to put on their bookbags. (I got the kit at Wal-Mart a long time ago)

We had a great time getting our fingers sticky! Haydn took care of our "silly points" for us, by gluing the dog ears to his head.

He takes care of our silly points a lot of the time!Hutch had nothing to do with such things! He said that they weren't for BOYS, they were for DOGS! (I think he even rolled his eyes at us!!!!!)
Our finished productHutch checking his out. It met his specs!
I stopped in at Big Lots last night for my "time away", and I found this! I thought it was very fitting for the day!! (But not fitting enough to pay 12 bucks for some pom poms and pipe cleaners!) But I did snap a picture with my phone!
**For Valentine's Day, we usually don't do much because my hubby is a lot like Rachel Anne's (his thoughts on the holiday, AND his perpetual romantic-ness *hee hee*) Tonight, our Youth Group at Church is offering Free Babysitting, so how can you turn that down?!!! We will be spending some time together tonight-even if it means eating at Taco Bell and going to Goodwill, just aimlessly driving around, and hanging out at Wal-Mart (nothing like an evening like that to make you feel like you're in college again!) Thanks for stopping in, and I hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day!!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Company Girl Coffee 2.6

Hey! I'm glad that you dropped in! This week I've kinda slacked on Rachel Anne's Home Sanctuary Small Things. I did complete three out of five, so that's not too shabby! Today's Small Thing is GREAT! Doing something to feel like a woman (with bonus points for flirting, etc., but we'll just leave it at that!) I have been thinking about this a lot lately, and found a fun "list" of things to do once a week as a beauty routine (doesn't that sound sooooo fancy?!) It's old-fashioned and from some early 1900s book, but the idea is charming, I think! And, some things are done WAY more than once a week, like wash your hair, but anyway... it's the point! Take a look if you want. I've thought about making my own list of weekly "beauty maintenance" things and choosing one night and saying, "I'm going in the bathroom. Unless the house is on fire, don't bother me!" and doing it. That hasn't happened either, but a girl can dream! Do you do anything like this?

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Organizing Junkie's January Round-Up!!!

I participated (for the first time) this month in Organizing Junkie's Monthly Round-up! This month's task was files-those pesky paper piles!! Yeah, I know a little bit about that!! Using Laura's PROCESS method, I'll explain what happened around here in January(Well, at least in the den!)

P: Planning for Your Project

Obviously, I'm working on with my filing system (: I looked at the areas that are involved in my filing system that I am having issues with. Overall, I have a functional filing system that basically works for me. It just needs some tweaking.

1. PUTTING ALL OF MY FILES IN ONE PLACE: In the past, I have, for some reason, had an "active" file and an "inactive" file. The thinking behind this was, well... I'm not sure. It sounded like a good idea at the time! The lines became a little blurry, and I ended up using both. I decided to put them all together in one place. *Just a note.. I don't use traditional filing cabinets. I like my files to be sorta portable. And, low budget!*

The "ACTIVE" file


2. Past Years' Files: These needed some help. At the end of each year, I sorta just grabbed everything out of my current files and shoved them into a big tub. Sorta in order. Sorta.

3. School Papers/Kids' Drawings, etc.: These were everywhere. My kids like to draw. A lot. We were just stacking them on their desk. I made somewhat of a basket for them, but it wasn't working.

4. Owner's Manuals: At one point, I put these all in a file folder in the regular file box, but they are so bulky for this. They ended up in a pile on a basement shelf. Not good!

**After these areas were considered, I also looked at my budget. I really didn't feel like spending much, if any, money. I worked really hard on shopping my house and getting by!**

R: Remove Items

I gathered all of the papers/files and dumped them onto a table. Wow! What a mess!

O: Organize into Piles

I pulled out all of my 2008 papers from my files, and categorized the papers left into

*current files

*Past Files

*School Papers

*Owner's Manuals

C: Containerize

This is the fun part!! While I would have LOVED to buy new, glorious containers, I stuck with my plan (:

1. ACTIVE FILES: I went to my basement and found this..

I had a nice, big hanging file tub with all of my grad school papers/teaching files. I thought this would work perfectly for my combined active files. Since I'm staying home with my kids while they're small, I don't really need easy access to these until I go back to work someday.
So, I put these files and papers into a couple of cardboard boxes and put them on a high shelf in the basement until I need them someday.

This allowed me to combine my files and get all new labels for them! They're categorized by subject, and then alphabetically within (except for the first section, which I use for convenience)

I stuck some cute scrapbook paper in the front. Just because it's cute!! The categories:

RED: "Active" =hey! I just can't let it go!

ORANGE: Possessions

GREEN: Financial

BLUE: Each family member has a folder

PURPLE: Interests/Hobbies

2. PAST YEARS' FILES: I pulled my old tub up and went through these. I threw SO many papers away. I had every bill paid for the past 7 years!! Although I probably did keep more than I need to, I look at it like this: We have a basement, and I am not lacking for storage space. What's it gonna' hurt saving a few more papers? Better safe than sorry. Now. If I had a storage issue, then I'd be more selective. Anyway, moving on! (:

I used hanging folders and numbered them "YEAR #1" through 7. Behind each year, I place the papers saved from that year. At the end of each year, I take papers to save, stick them in the front of this, toss the Year #7 papers, and move the little year labels up a year. So easy!!!

Then, this lives in my basement until next year!

3. SCHOOL PAPERS: For school papers, I used my old current file box and let the boys choose scrapbook paper for the front of it. I made a file for each boy with "their color". We use these for a lot of things. All their papers get dumped in here. (Except for ONE which they get to display on the fridge. They can switch this out as much as they want). On Saturday, they'll go through this and keep what they want to and toss the rest. I think we're going to get Memorabilia Boxes for each year of school. That's still in the works (;

Within each folder, they have a "Homework Folder". Their homework to complete goes here, and it's portable, so they can move it to the table or wherever. Hutch is in Preschool and still doesn't have much homework, but I figure it's never too early to get him in the habit!

4. OWNER'S MANUALS: I used my old "Inactive" file box for these. First, I went through and questioned which ones I need to actually keep. Do we really need the owner's manual for our Gazillion Bubble Blower? I dont' think so!

Next, I ripped out all of the foreign language sections. This reduced the bulk by about half!! Since I don't refer to these on a regular basis, I didn't think it was worth it to put them in file folders or categorize them. I just stuck them in the box in alphabetical order. Done.

E: Evaluate Plan

S: Solve/Simplify Anything that Isn't Working for You

* I'll do these after I've lived with them for awhile!*

S: Smile, relax and enjoy your hard work!!!

Sounds good!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Company Girl Coffee 1.30.09

Hi! I'm glad you stopped in! This week, Rachel Anne's Small Things actually turned into Big Things in our home. My husband last night just said, "Our house just seems so much nicer lately" Hmm.. I wonder if it has anything to do with Home Sanctuary.. of course it does! (;

Of course, my favorite thing this week was to chart out the basic plan for the week. I LOVE to do stuff like this, and anyone who truly knows me knows this! I'm a list/planning junkie! But in the midst of all of this, the most important Small Thing this week for me was Rachel Anne's plea to ask us to choose a standard for our home that works for us at this present season in our life. This is so true! My house, with three little ones, is not going to be spic and span sparkling clean, and that is okay for me right now. It's working. (This is not to say that it isn't possible-it's just not for me!) On the other hand, my standard is way higher than it was, say, four years ago when I was completing my Master's Degree with a one year old!! Yikes.
Another aspect of this is to set MY standard, not try to measure up to someone else's. We all have these people in our lives who set the bar reeeeally high. And to them, I say, Great! We should appreciate their efforts, and try not to be bitter or jealous toward them. But we also need to, as home keepers (full or part-time) set OUR standard and measure our house against that. That's it. It sounds so easy, huh?!!
I am so glad that we were given the Small Things we were given this week. Very "deep" and kinda puts everything in perspective! Well, I need to get going! Thanks for stopping in!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Menu Plan for January 26- February 5

I had a friend (Jackie!!) over on Saturday, and she poked fun at me because I post my menus on the fridge! It's okay. I've got tough skin! Personally, I love to make paper-things, and I also like to have what we are having this week right in front of me (as well as in my calendar)-SO this is right up my alley!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Monday, January 12, 2009

Crafty Crow GIveaway

I just entered a giveway for really cute clothes made from repurposed vintage fabric. Here is how you could enter, too.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Menu Plan Monday 01.12.09

There is a beautiful cover of snow everywhere!! We spent a weekend cooped up in the house, which is perfectly fine by me! I got a big headstart on organizing my den, and had a lot of family time!

So what will be on our dinner table this week? Thanks to Rachel Anne at Home Sanctuary, I have the whole month planned out! Thanks to The Organizing Junkie, I get to share it with everyone (:

Each night of the week, I chose a different theme. Here are my themes for January/beginning of February. I'll re-evaluate then.
Monday: New Recipe
Tuesday: Ethnic
Wednesday: Soup
Thursday: Breakfast for Dinner
Friday: Crockpot
Saturday: "Fun"
Sunday: We don't plan Sundays. We usually eat at my parents' house after church

Here is this week's menu:

Monday: Heavenly Potatoes & Ham*recipe here* (My parents got us a ham, so I'm baking it, and cutting it into portions for recipes spread out throughout the month and freezing them ((1-2 per week so we don't get sick of it. I do this because they get us a ham every year, and I have burnt us out by having a 'ham' recipe every night of the week for two weeks!!))
Tuesday: Chimichangas/Beans & Rice
Wednesday: Cheeseburger Soup *recipe here*
Thursday: Pancakes and Sausage (Hutch takes cupcakes to preschool for snacks)
Friday: Chicken with Black Beans and Cream Chees (crockpot) *recipe here*/Rice
Saturday: Ham & Pineapple Homemade Pizza (*Crust recipe here* -made in bread machine) and (*Sauce recipe here*)

Looking forward to a great eating week! Hope you have a wonderful week wherever you are!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Thankfully, it's Friday!

Have a seat! Get yourself a cup of whatever it is you enjoy. We probably have it somewhere in the cupboard, because we like it all! (: My husband called from work early this morning to let me know that there is a big snowstorm coming around noon today. I rearranged our schedule, and headed to the grocery story early this morning instead of this afternoon as planned. I'm glad I did, because I'm back home and it's 11:30-the snow has already started falling, earlier than expected. I feel a little smug sitting here back in my slippers, sipping a latte from McCafe (you know, the "gourmet" stuff!!!!!) We're looking forward to a weekend full of nothing. That is, if you don't count popcorn parties and snowmen and hot chocolate and board games and snuggling!! I'll take that kind of "nothing" any day!

Back to scheduling, my husband and I have been focusing on God's plan in our lives lately, and I think that Rachel Anne at Home Sanctuary reminded us Company Girls very vividly of this recently ( I LOVE her story, by the way. That is the perfect example of how everything works together for good- even when you don't understand what the situation you are in right now has to do with the big picture) All too often, we are hashing out our schedule and realize it is just that. It is OUR schedule, and not what God has in His great plan for us! With the new year, we always set goals for ourselves and look into the future, so to say, and map out where we want to be a year, five or ten years from now. While this is great, and it is important to have goals, we must always remember a very important point~The Lord willing. We must strive to always be in His will, and sometimes this means not getting exactly what we want.

Kinda like my day today. I thought I had things all mapped out. Something big happened to change my plans. A snowstorm happened, and "messed up my schedule". What has been your snowstorm? What has God sent in your life that has made you remember that it's His schedule? And that His schedule is always the best one!