Tuesday, May 12, 2015

What We Are Reading This Week

This week as school ends, I'm finishing up Both Feet In: A Journey to Surrender, Sacrifice and Service by our Interim Pastor's Father-In-Law, Bud Fray. Mattie is currently working on the Channing O'Banning series by Angela Spady. Maggie is reading book five in the Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling. Michael is reading the I Survived series by Lauren Tarshis. He has the first ten and is saving up to purchase the next ones. Mollie is finishing up a library book.

We read or listen to books to and from school since we have a 25 minute drive each way. This week we started The Essential 55 by Ron Clark. My afternoon school is planning to implement these rules this fall. So far the ones we've read are great for everyone not just school kids or teachers. Be on the lookout for reviews of these books and some giveaways before the end of the month.

So what are you reading?

Disclaimer: Just to let you know by clicking through the links that go to Amazon if you make a purchase I may receive a percentage of the sales.

Friday, January 2, 2015

2014 Year in Review

At the beginning of the year, I decided that my "word" for 2014 was live. You can check that post out here at 2014--My Word of the Year. If you're wondering, I know most of you aren't, how my year of living turned out read on. Part of the following post was my game plan for 2014 the bold sentences that follow each goal tell how things turned out.

In January 2014, this is how I described my life... Um, boring. It's more like the antonyms, deactive, ineffective, asleep, stagnant, unproductive. But what can I do in 2014 to make live look like it's true meaning?

God, Family, Friends, FUN--No Internet, no phone except in case of emergency and I will decide whether your emergency is my emergency too. Most Sundays I did pretty well with no Internet. Although, I did edit and post pictures to Facebook instead of napping on many of those Sundays. 

Hubby and Kids and family first after God. They are my life. More time with them. I often put other people's needs or things I think need to be done before my family. I'm not apologizing for telling people no. Look people in the eye when I talk to them, especially my kids, in the same room, not from across the house. I even miss out on family time with parents, siblings and our niece and nephews because I'm busy doing something someone else thinks I should have or make time for.
I'm not saying I won't do things to help people. But I will pray and seek God's will and take into consideration my families thoughts and needs before I commit. I did much better with the kids. Mikie is still working on the remodel and I didn't do so great in the time with Mikie goal. the remodel is almost finished and this is still one of my goals for 2015, strengthing our marriage. 

Let Go--
I made my own planner/journal in December. I know God was preparing me to live as I worked on it. It has a calendar for each month, but no hourly schedule. It's more of a journal to record what we do each day after it's done. I want to remember these times, but I'm not going to be tied to a schedule, or to journaling everyday. Live in the moment. Even behind my camera I can live and the kids and I can record our year of memories in our Project Life Book. Well, no Project Life Book even started in 2014. I do have a cart full of photos ready to print, most from my phone. One for each day of the year to go in the journal.

Schedules, basketball ends next week. Other than Mattie running track and field sports are done until next basketball season. The kids are pretty athletic, but our lives aren't going to be run by sports. We hope to move this summer. A big yard sale will follow. Mikie spends every day off remodeling, the kids and I fill our off days with things that don't always help our family or fit into our family mission statement. Still working on this one and that's all I'll say about that. 

Social Media--
None on Sunday and limited time the rest of the week. I have some sponsored posts for the blog coming up. Time spent on social media needs to honor God and help my blog, not my nose problem. I do this one pretty well during the school year, not so well during breaks. 

I can't live if I'm not alive. Healthier eating, more exercise, less crap, less stress. In the words of Dave Ramsey, "Live like no one else, so that later you can live like no one else." I know he is talking about budgeting, which we already do, but it applies to my whole life. This is a goal every year. 

So in 2014, I will live, live for God, live for now, love for the future, live for my family, friends and fun. Live like there's no tomorrow. Live with no regrets. I did all of those things in 2014 plus so much more. 

What's your word?

Disclaimer: I didn't take time from my family to post this. I'm enjoying a second sick day this week, thanks to strep and a fever. So other than sleep, no one was neglected.

Look for my year in review in pictures and my 2015 goals coming soon.

Saying goodbye to the old and looking forward to the new!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

31 Days---Day 30

As the month comes to a close, I've not meet my goals, but I've written a little more than I normally do. I plan to keep posting at least once a week. I am in the process of reading some books that I received from Tommy Nelson Kids, so that I can post a giveaway. I also will be giving away some of Tricia Goyers books over the next few weeks.  We will be on fall break Monday and Tuesday, although they are calling for snow it's still fall break. I will be transferring my blog to an easier to find website. After the transfer is over I will be holding a contest to help increase my followers with a gift card giveaway. I will announce that as soon as the website is up and running.

This week is getting pretty exciting. The sheet rock guys are at the farmhouse. It's getting really close for us to start moving things. I hope to have most of it moved during Christmas break so we can put the other house up for sale. I finally braved up and went to the cellar. It's not as spooky as I thought it was.

Maggie was Mayor of Biztown Monday. Her class had studied all about the workings of a city over the last few weeks. The students filled out job applications and the teachers chose them by interest and personality. Maggie was little upset that she was Mayor at first, but afterwards was very excited to have been chosen for the role.

Michael went back to school this week and other than being tired he has done well.

Mollie played a B-team tournament. She was a nervous wreck at the first game. During the second game she got the ball, dribbled down and passed off to the point guard. She LOVES basketball now she said.

Mattie has been working hard on her part in Once On This Island, JR. My students perform next Thursday. If you're local you will not want to miss out on it and Into the Woods, JR. Mattie is also working on her speech and campaign for Vice-President of the state Beta Club.

We hope to rest some this long weekend between the cleaning and discarding of things we don't need. Here are a current pic of the farmhouse. You can read about the house here.

Have a great weekend!!

The outside still needs a few little things and a Caribbean Blue front door.

The cellar wasn't so bad.

Friday, October 24, 2014

31 Days---Day 23

What a week. In my last post I talked about MagPie's birthday and how she serves Krispy Kreme for her birthday. Well, she decided she wanted a cake with Littlest Pet Shop figures on it. Guess who ate the entire sheet cake by herself, me! Maggie didn't eat a bite, she just wanted the toys.

Michael went on Friday morning to have his tonsils and adenoids out. He has battled lip licking, throat clearing and restless sleep for several years. It wasn't until this year's well child visit that the doctor and I picked up on it being more than just a bad habit. We visited the ENT and he decided we would start with surgery and if that doesn't remedy the issue we will do more testing. We hope to see a change over the next few weeks.

Mattie spent two nights at the National Beta Club leadership conference in Gatlinburg and had a great time. She is Vice-President for her school Beta Club and is running for Vice-President of the state club at convention in November. She along with the other officers and two sponsors enjoyed meeting new friends, enhancing their leadership skills and of course shopping and running around town.

Mollie played in her first elementary basketball game Monday evening. She isn't sure she likes it, yet. She loves soccer. I think she will love it once she gets used to it. Being the baby she is used to everyone picking up her slack. We got all the way to school, 30 minutes from the house, and she begins to cry, again. She was already upset because Michael wasn't going to be there to eat breakfast with her. Maggie works Safety Patrol every morning so she can't sit with her. On Friday, she needed basketball clothes for practice. As we pulled up at school she realized no one picked up her bag. After school I found out that a couple of the other basketball players, both boys,  sat with her because she was crying and they felt bad for her. Maggie's best friend Amanda sat with her all this week.

Saturday morning I received my four week keychain and five pounds lost star at Weight Watchers. I've done Weight Watchers before and didn't stick with it. I gained all that weight back plus some. I lie all the time that I don't care about the number on the scale just the one on the label in the back of my pants. We all know that if the scale goes down the label does too. Although, last time I weighed 157 pounds and wore size 16/18 pants. This time I was at 168 and in size 12's comfortably. I'm pretty sure that is in thanks to kickboxing at Red Dragon Martial Arts, even if it's just a couple times each week. This week I fully expect to pay for that entire sheet cake I ate with a gain.

I enjoyed a day off with Michael this week and then four stress filled days preparing for upcoming choral and drama performances at both middle schools. Someone said this week they wished they taught music so they could sit behind the piano all day. I told them I might think about swapping. I have five performances including a school board meeting between October 30th and November 11th. During that time we also have two days of fall break. Once those are over we start Winter Concert. My evaluations never truly reflect what my students learn, because our performances don't count as part of my evaluation. Yet, I don't worry about the evaluation. The true evaluation is indeed the performances and the great comments I and my students and principals receive in town and the bragging the principals get to do at their monthly administrators meeting.

To end the week I took Maggie and Amanda to a 4-H/livestock meeting last night. We are moving to the city, have three and one half acres zoned agriculture, can have livestock and they want sheep, goats, chickens and horses. I'm not convinced we can pull this off and they aren't sure they want to give up basketball to care for their animals everyday but we will see what happens.

I have a couple of book giveaways coming up in the next few days so be on the lookout for another post. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

31 Days---Day 16

Yesterday was a whirl wind of activity. We had a Student Council meeting afterschool, bought three pairs of basketball high tops and took MagPie for her birthday dinner at Olive Garden. It's a 45 minute drive with the crazy traffic even on a Wednesday evening. Luckily for us, the schools in the county where we attend church was out for fall break, so no activities, we could celebrate. We waited for 45 minutes and as busy as they were we ate for over an hour, mostly waiting on more bowls of endless chicken and gnocchi soup. I about died when we pulled into Krispy Kreme for her birthday doughnuts for her school party today. The hot sign was on. If I didn't have to weigh in at Weight Watchers Saturday morning and hadn't ate three bowls of soup already I would have consumed a dozen right there. I restrained and left them in the car overnight. Bad mistake, let me tell you. The car smelled like doughnuts this morning. Maggie has outgrown her food allergies of white potatoes, mushrooms, peanuts, navy beans and chocolate, but she still doesn't like to eat cupcakes so she always takes Krispy Kreme. The kids at school love it. Many of them never get doughnuts at least not that brand.

Maggie is 11 years old. She is one of the most thoughtful, loving kids you will ever meet. I often tell her it's not fair she's got it all brains, beauty, creativity, athleticism, the works. She can do anything she sets her mind on. She has wanted to be a missionary since she was in the 2 year old Sunday School class with Mrs. Mary. She plans to be a large animal veterinarian so that she can travel oversees and help animals and tell others about Christ. Maggie is the "Mother" to every kid she ever meets who needs one. Maggie is perfect in every way. Happy birthday, Maggie!


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

31 Days---Day 14

It has rained a lot is an understatement. I'm not sure how we missed out on the severe storms but it had poured rain all day. Fifty-seven severe weather warnings in our area, thunderstorms, flooding, flash flooding for every county.

As we were cooking dinner, I noticed the sun was shining at the back of the house. It was still dark and pouring in the front. I knew there was a rainbow somewhere. When I walked out there it was, not one but two and both ends touched the ground right in front of me.

The girls started walking to see if they could stand where it touched the ground. I just started taking pictures. East Tennessee weather, the beautiful leaves changing colors and God's glorious rainbows.

The last two pictures are pointing west as the rain came to an end. The top layer of clouds was moving from south to north and the orange, fire looking bottom layer was moving west to east. They all were moving really fast.

As wet as I was running in and out of school yesterday morning, changing schools at lunch, to a meeting after school, to basketball practice after that and finally into the house, I was so blessed with this beauty. Life happens, it moves fast, but you've got to slow down and dance in the rain, and admire God's handiwork.

Thank you Lord for you blessing today.

31 Days---Day 12

Sometimes life gives you friends that span generations. The Sweeten's are one of those families. My parents best friends. They travel together several times each year. Their children and I are still great friends although we are grown. Now grandbabies who will grow to be friends.

I was so excited to be able to photograph them Sunday. It was pouring rain and the park we wanted to use was a muddy mess. We made the best of it and luckily they have a wooded area across from their house so we stood in the carport and used it as a background. Here are a few of my faves.