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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Family Focus Friday: Preparing for Christmas

My husband and I attend a Bible church where they don't follow a liturgy or the church seasons, and when it comes to holidays I miss that. I miss Lent and Advent and the leading up to the Big Day, whether it be Easter (or Resurrection Day as our church prefers to call it) or Christmas. So this year, now having a child, I've been thinking a lot about what traditions I want to start for our family at home and how we can celebrate these holidays so our children understand these significant events in life.

This article "The Real Meaning of Christmas" provides some suggestions on teaching your child the true meaning of Christmas. I'll summarize the points here for you, but go to the article for additional info...

1. Start a family tradition of reading the story of Jesus' birth. (Luke 2)
2. Listen to and sing Christmas music that focuses on reason for the season. (good ol' hymns)
3. Involve your kids in displaying the Nativity scene.
(Here's a cute, child-proof one from Fisher Price)
4. Celebrate Saint Nicholas Day (Dec. 6). If you still want to exchange presents, do it on this day and explain who St. Nicholas was and how he came to be part of Christmas tradition. Then on Christmas Day keep the focus on Jesus.
5. Light the candles of the Advent wreath during the four weeks leading up to Christmas. (that starts
this Sunday!) Advent means "coming" and is observed in many churches in anticipation of Jesus' birth.
6. Attend a Christmas pageant or concert at an area church.
While this won't be happening this year, I kind of like the idea of moving gift-giving to St. Nicholas Day. Not sure how that works with family get-togethers. But hmm.... I'll have to see what Hubby thinks about it. After all Christmas isn't about presents or even family. It's about CHRIST.

Last year we were given a small Advent Devotional for the 24 days leading up to Christmas Day. So this year, even though Eli is too young for the craft activities included, I'd like to make a special time each day to read through the day's devotion. I look forward to when he's a little older and can understand more and participate, but already I am often surprised at just how much he understands now!

And here's another article, called "Keep Jesus the Focus of Christmas," that has this great idea about cards and letters:

Make it a priority to send out Christmas cards that points people to Christ. Whether it is through the design or the wording, send out cards that focus on Christ and the meaning of Christmas as opposed to Santa or other secondary matters.

Enclose a Christmas letter with your card and make a point of sharing what Christ is doing in your life. The letter can be brief, but this is the one time of the year it is especially natural to share what Christ is doing in your life with all of the people who are important to you.

Place all of the Christmas cards you receive in a pretty box or basket. Each day, take a card out of the box, read it, and pray specifically for the person who sent it. Consider going through the cards again and again, specifically praying for the sender all year.

Oh, I just love this idea about praying for a family each night! I think we might adopt this tradition!

Besides getting busy with Christmas shopping and decorating your house, what are you doing to prepare for Christmas? For the celebration of Christ's birth? What are you doing to teach your children about the importance of this holiday and what it really means?
(Don't feel obligated to do a whole post about this. Just a comment would be nice.)

Thankful Thursday

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
Colossians 4:2

I kind of have a lot I'm trying to do today, so this will have to be quick. But I did want to pause to thank God for his many blessings...

* I am thankful for a joyous Thanksgiving celebration with our good friends Shawn and Lisa. The food was all delicious, but even better was the sweet fellowship.

* I am thankful that Eli is finally growing into story time. I've waited a year for this! I always dreamed of rocking with my children, reading them stories all the time. And I was in for a shock when at 6 months my baby boy would no longer sit still EVER and reading stories together like that was just a battle. Now at 16 months he's still quite the mover, but at bedtime and short moments through the day he'll actually sit contently in our lap for 2 or 3 stories, and I just LOVE it!

* I am thankful for Kevin's job. While I often get frustrated with its irregular hours, I am thankful for the job and all that it provides for our family.

* I am thankful for Christmas decorations. I think our home is so beautiful when our tree and lights are up, and it's adds such a joy to the atmosphere. And to my surprise Eli loves it! I really thought it was going to be stressful always telling him not to touch the decorations, but he's been just fine about it and hasn't really even tested us. Instead he gawks and points and babbles all about it! It's very cute!

* I am thankful that I am nearly done with Christmas shopping! We went simpler this year and I don't have to think much about it anymore, and we can just enjoy the rest of the season for what it is and what it's really about... CHRIST.

* I am thankful that it's only 2 weeks until we go back home for a visit!! We're VERY excited!!

Join us and share with us what you're thankful for! Visit Laurel Wreath who is guest-hosting Thankful Thursday this week!

CLICK HERE to join me in this week's memory verse!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Weekly Memory Verse

Proverbs 19:21
Many are the plans in a man's heart

but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails.

This week's verse is especially good for me to put to heart. Next fall we get out of the Navy and are then free to take whatever path "we want". We plan to head back to Iowa where all our family is, and we have a very specific location in mind. For many reasons it's ideal for us, and we have our hopes set on it, with backup options in mind too, of course. We have fun looking at real estate online and dreaming about what life will be like when we live there and how close we'll be to everyone. BUT then I come back to reality and realize that GOD has a plan. And it will be HIS plan than prevails! I need to go at this next year with an open heart and an open mind, putting my full trust in Him, and this verse will strengthen me as I try to do just that!


Colossians 2:6-7 So then, just as you received Christ, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in father as you were taught and overflowing with thankfulness.

Psalm 119:9-11 How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Hebrews 10:24-25 Let us consider how may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together--as some are in the habit of doing--but let us encourage one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Psalm 86:11 Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart that I may fear your name. I will praie you, O Lord my God, with all my heart. I will glorify your name forever.

Joshua 1:8 Do not let the word of the Law depart from your mouth. Meditate on it day and night, so you will be careful to do everything in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

Luke 10:27 Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind. And love your neighbor as yourself.

2 Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.

Colossians 4:6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you will know how to answer everyone.

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in your richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts toward God.

Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by a renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing, and perfect will.

1 Thessalonians 5:16 Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 John 3:18 Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

Psalm 19:14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord my Rock and my Redeemer.

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all you ways acknowledge Him, and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 4:23 Above all guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life.

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old is will not depart from it.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is truth, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.

Matthew 12:34 For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.

Psalm 27:14 Wait on the Lord--be of good courage and He will strengthen your heart. Wait, I say, on the Lord!

Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him.

Colossians 3:23-24 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for me, since you know you will receive an inheritence from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord you are serving.

Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Colossians 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

If you'd like to join me this week in memorizing Proverbs 19:21, sign your name below! May it be a blessing to your life!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Husband Encouragement

It's been awhile since I've posted any husband encouragement goals, so we're getting back to it this week with the following:

1. Play computer game with Kevin. He just got this new car racing game and he keeps asking me if I want to play it with him. And I really don't have any interest. But this week I'll support his interests and at least give it a try!
2. Make no comments about how much time he's on the computer.
3. Take care of errands on my own so Kevin can just relax at home.
4. Plan a candlelight dinner for Saturday night.
5. Ask how I can pray for him this week.

Want to join in? You planning something special for your husband this week? What can you do to encourage him as he goes about his day? Share your goals with us!

Menu Plan Monday - Nov. 26

It's the start of a new week, and I hope you all had wonderful Thanksgiving celebrations with your family! It was a wonderfully relaxing weekend at our house. We avoid the shopping crowds if at all possible and mostly just stayed in. Yesterday we got our Christmas tree and decorations up, so I'm fully in Christmas mode now! As for the menu, this week we're going for few ingredients, little meat, and lite because I have an OB appointment/weigh-in on Thursday, and I am convinced this is the worst season to be pregnant with all the yummy goodies and cold weather!

Monday - turkey panini, orange, carrots
Tuesday -chow mein
Wednesday - bean and cheese burritos
Thursday - breakfast nite- omlets, fruit cocktail
Friday - broccoli cheese soup, apple
Saturday - glazed ham steaks, mixed veggies, orange
Sunday - day off

Dessert of the week: Oatmeal Cranberry Drops

Have a great week, everyone! For more menu ideas, head over Laura's!


More at this blog:
* Read about earning extra income right from home.
* Wednesdays join us for a weekly Bible memory verse.
* Share your fun family ideas for Family Focus Friday.
* Stop by for a refreshing Sunday Psalm.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sunday Psalm

Psalm 19

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.
There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.

In the heavens he has pitched a tent for
the sun,
which is like a bridegroom coming forth
from his pavilion,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is hidden from its heat.

The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul.
The statues of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure,
enduring forever.
The ordinances of the Lord are sure
and altogether righteous.
They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold,
they are sweeter than honey;
than honey from the comb.
By them is you servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.

Who can discern his errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.
Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.
Then I will be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.

May the words of my mouth and the
meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful for God's mercy and grace. For loving me even when I am so unworthy. For saving me so that I may live eternally with Him in His Kingdom and glory.

I am thankful for family--for my wonderful parents and in-laws, my dearest husband, my beautiful son, my sweet daughter on the way, my brother, my sister-in-law, my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. I am so blessed with a great, loving family who all love the Lord.

I am thankful for friends--oh, our dear sweet friends. Those who we've just met, those who we've known for years, and those who have yet to come into our lives. We are so thankful.

I am thankful for God's goodness--for security, a home, a job, good health, a safe community, a church family. For watching over me yesterday when I got a flat tire on the van, the sweet person who left a note on the side mirror warning me about it, and the tire store conveniently located at the closest exit where they filled me up and I continued on my way to a doctor's appointment I could not be late for! God is good!

I am thankful for this day--oh this beautiful day! I don't know where this weather has come from! For 2-3 weeks straight now it's been cold, our heat has been on, and I haven't gotten out for any walks with Eli. But today, TODAY it is GLORIOUS! It's high 60's, sunny with a slight breeze, the air is off, the door is open, I got out for a morning walk, and we have friends coming over this afternoon to join us in celebrating these Thanksgiving blessings!


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving Prayers

At one of our discount stores I found this mini-box of cards called "52 Ways to Say Grace" for only $1 so I picked it up and opened it already, but I'll probably put it in my own stocking for Christmas. haha Anyway, it's filled with prayers of different cultures, and here are some of my favorites that I thought I'd share with you today, in case you want to use them at all tomorrow...

To God who gives our daily bread
a thankful song we raise,
and pray that He who sends us food
may fill our hearts with praise.
--Thomas Tallis, 1505-1585
Be present at our table, Lord
Be here and everywhere adored
Thy creatures bless and grant that we
May feast in paradise with Thee.
--John Cennick, 1718-1755
Now thank we all our God
With heart and hands and voices,
Who wonderous things hath done,
In whom this world rejoices;
Who, from our mother's arms,
Hath blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love,
And still is ours today.
--Martin Rinkart
We thank thee, Lord, for
happy hearts,
For rain and sunny weather;
We thank thee, Lord, for
this our food,
And that we are together.
--Traditional Mennonite Blessing
Bless these Thy gifts,
most gracious God,
From whom all goodness rings;
Make clean our hearts and
feed our souls
With good and joyful things.
--Traditional Christian Grace
Lord Jesus, be our holy guest,
Our morning Joy, our evening rest,
And with our daily bread impart
Your love and peace to every heart.
--Traditional Christian Grace
Thank you, kind Father, for
giving us food to make our
bodies grow stronger. Dear God,
teach us to share with others
what we ourselves have. Amen.
--Chinese Child's Prayer
When I'm worried and I can't sleep,
I count my blessings instead of sheep.
And I fall asleep counting
my blessings.
When my bankroll is getting small,
I think of when I had none at all.
And I fall asleep counting
my blessings.
--Irving Berlin, 1888-1989

Week of Thanksgiving

Be blessed.

"Thankful" Josh Groban

Some days, we forget to look around us,
Some days, we can't see the joy that surrounds us,
So caught up inside ourselves,
We take when we should give,
So for tonight we pray for,
What we know can be,
And on this day we hope for,
What we still can't see,
It's up to us, to be the change,
And even though we all can still do more,
There's so much to be thankful for,
Look beyond ourselves,
There's so much sorrow,
It's way to late to say, I'll cry tomorrow
Each of us must find our truth,
It's so long overdue,
So for tonight we pray for,
What we know can be,
And everyday, we hope for,
What we still can't see,
It's up to us, to be the change,
And even though we all can still do more,
There's so much to be thankful for,
Even with our differences,
There is a place were all connected,
Each of us can find each others light,
So for tonight, we pray for
What we know can be,
And on this day, we hope for,
What we still can't see,
It's up to us, to be the change,
And even though this world can still do so much more
There's so much to be thankful for.

Weekly Memory Verse

Colossians 4:2
Devote yourselves to prayer,
being watchful and thankful.
Colossians 2:6-7 Just as you received Christ, continue to live in Him...
Psalm 119:9-11 How can a young man keep his way pure?
Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy...
Hebrews 10:24-25 Let us consider how we may spur one another on...
Psalm 86:11 Teach me your way, O Lord...
Joshua 1:8 Do not let the word of the Law depart....
Luke 10:27 Love the Lord your God...
2 Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are competent in ourselves...
Colossians 4:6 Let your conversation be always full of grace...
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly...
Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer...
1 Thessalonians 5:16 Be joyful always, pray continually...
1 John 3:18 Let us not love with words or tongue...
Psalm 19:14 May the words of my mouth...
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart...
Proverbs 4:23 Above all else guard your heart...
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go...
Philippians 4:8 ...whatever is true, whatever is noble...
Matthew 12:34 For out of the overflow of the heart...
Psalm 27:14 Wait on the Lord...
Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things...
Colossians 3:23-24 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart...
Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything...

If want to join me this week in memorizing Colossians 4:2, sign your name below or leave a comment! May it be a blessing to your life!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Menu Plan Monday - Nov. 19

It's Thanksgiving Week! So I'm trying to go simple and fairly light to build up for the Big Day! So here's the menu...

Monday - ground beef gravy (recipe below) n mashed potatoes, carrots, apples

Tuesday - hamburgers, curly fries, oranges

Wednesday - chicken noodle stir fry

Thursday - THANKSGIVING- turkey with gravy, stuffing, fruit salad, sweet potato casserole, veggie, rolls, pie. We're celebrating with friends and splitting the menu for who cooks what!

Friday - loaded potatoes

Saturday - Dad's Spaghetti (seriously, you have to try this recipe! it's different from the norm), garlic bread, salad, peaches

Sunday - day off

For more yummy menu ideas and recipes, go to Laura's.


RECIPE: Ground Beef Gravy
This one's from my mom. We had this frequently growing up, and I just really like it! It's sooo simple to make, very few ingredients, and cooks quickly!

1 lb ground beef, browned
1 can cream of mushroom
1/4 can milk

Brown meat with onion. Stir in cream of mushroom soup and milk. Heat through. Serve over mashed potatoes.

If you want to learn how to make extra income, click here!

Extra Income

A few months ago I discovered a way to make a little extra cash from home....

Treasure Trooper
Cash Crate

They're both survey sites where you can do daily surveys and free offers and get paid for it.

Daily Surveys
You get $0.75-$0.80 for each daily survey about all kinds of topics from car insurance companies to cat litter to chip flavors. It's the most reliable way to make money because it's guaranteed, but you can only do one survey a day at Treasure Trooper ($0.75) and two surveys a day at Cash Crate ($0.80 each). And occasionally there are days where I just don't qualify for any surveys, regardless of how many time I try throughout the day. But just doing three surveys a day for 30 days would give you at most $70.50! How easy! It takes a little while to just get into a survey and then about 20 (sometimes 30) minutes to complete the survey. I give myself about 30-45 minutes some mornings, and then again in the evening while we're watching something on TV. It's mindless work and easy cash.

There are also offers you can do. Mostly free offers, and that's mostly just clicking "No, thanks" to signing up for things and those pay about $0.50 each. But they don't always approve. Or you can do free trials for things like Netflix and Blockbuster for a month and get paid like $10. You just have to remember to cancel the service before the trial period ends.

You do make money off referrals. In Treasure Trooper you can win pearls when you complete offers. And once you get 8 pearls, you can trade them in for 2 referrals (the next two people who sign up for Treasure Trooper, so they don't even have to be people you know). Right now I have 5 first level referrals (I make 20%) and 8 second level referrals (I make 5%), and last month I made $12.74 just off of them! Now THAT'S an easy $12! Treasure Trooper also has VIP status for people who make $500 (lifetime earnings, not in just one month) and one of the great benefits is that every month you get 20 free pearls! So every month I could trade them in for 4 new referrals and still have some pearls to carry over until the next month! So that's my goal with Treasure Trooper, to make VIP status so I can start making a lot more money just off of referrals. Cash Crate has referrals too (earn 25% first level and 10% second level), but they don't have the pearl game, so you actually have to refer people you know, and that's harder.

I've been doing Treasure Trooper for a few months and have made $192 so far and I just started Cash Crate last month and am waiting for my first check to come for $21. If I actually remembered to do the surveys regularly I could make even more. It's not a ton of money, not enough to count as a full-time job (or even part-time probably), but it's definitely a GREAT way to get some extra cash to go out or put in a jar for something special or for REAL savings too, of course! haha

1. Set up a bunch (5-6) of "fake" email addresses so all the junk mail goes into those and you don't have to worry about it. They are real addresses you set up at Hotmail or Gmail, just not email that you actually use for anything other than for doing offers.
2. If you do a trial offer though where you enter your credit card info (like Netflix or something), then DO use your normal email address, so you have all your information easily accessible and you don't forget to cancel the service!
3. After doing each free offer, clear the cookies on your computer. That's supposed to help the offers approve.
4. Don't do too many offers in one day. (maybe just 5 or so)
5. Click "No, thanks" to everything. And "Skip" all the pages you can.
6. For doing free trials on products or services where you enter credit card info we got a Green Dot Mastercard, put $20 or so on it, and just use that for trials to protect putting our actual credit card out there.

I don't do that many offers because I don't have much luck getting them to approve, for the time it takes to get through them. Cash Crate is a little better though.

There is also another survey company called Send Earnings, but I just started with them and have barely made anything yet. So I don't have much to say about them.

Anyway, I'd encourage you to check it out! And if you do, use the links from this post, and you'll be counted as one of my referrals! And if you have any questions, just leave a comment, and I'll get back to you! Hope this helps!

Friday, November 16, 2007

To-Do List

Okay, this week was supposed to be the start of 3 more weeks following my cleaning schedule (Goal #84), but I haven't been keeping up very well. Kevin working nights and sleeping during the day throws things off a bit, but still, that's no excuse. So today's catch-up day. I've made a to-do list for myself. It looks long, but if I really get to it, it could take less than an hour! So here we go....

1. Spray shower.
2. Put up new towels.
3. Wash towels. (afternoon)
4. Mop bathrooms.
5. Dust upstairs.
6. Clean bedroom.
7. Empty bath trash.
8. Organize hat box.
9. Pack away Eli's shoes.
10. Go to Babies R Us. (afternoon)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Family Focus Friday: Thanksgiving

Quite awhile ago I found this "Week of Thanksgiving" challenge (or whatever you call it) at the Revive Our Hearts website, and I know you can do it any time, but I've been excited for Thanksgiving week to come so I could share it with you then! It guides you in thankful things to focus on for each day (7 days). I'll be doing this on my own or with my family, and I encourage you to do it as well, whether this week or any time! Because we should have grateful hearts ALWAYS!

And while we're on the topic of Thanksgiving, I'd love to hear about your family traditions. We are in the military and aren't around any family for the holiday, so the last two years we've celebrated with our close military friends Shawn and Lisa who don't have family here either. And I'm looking forward to another of sharing the holiday with them this year too!

As I was researching for today's post I found some good articles and picked up some good ideas. One tradition I liked was to make the Friday after Thanksgiving something really special, something NOT involving Christmas shopping on the busiest day of the year, something just for the family, something that's your own. "Rather than rush off from Thanksgiving, extend the holiday and spend it truly enjoying one of the things for which you are most thankful – your family." Like hanging out in jammies all day, playing games, or watching a movie. So we'll see. We don't have anything planned for the day, no traditions established yet. What do you do the Friday after Thanksgiving??

Now let's get to the heart of the matter.... having a thankful heart and showing our gratitude. The Week of Thanksgiving challenge will encourage you in how to show gratitude. But also this article offers other suggestions as well:
1. Start a family thanksgiving journal to record what your family is thankful for
2. Do a name exchange and during dinner share "I am thankful for _____ because_____."
3. Make table accents with either a scripture verse (ie Psalm 95:2) or a simple phrase like "Thank you, God, for family and friends."
4. Write thankful notes to show appreciation for your husband, children, friends, neighbor, etc. (1 Thes. 5:11)
5. Do something to show appreciation to church staff.
6. Make a thankful box and on days that you're feeling angry towards someone, challenge yourself to write a note for why you're thankful for that person.

Closing Verses:

Psalm 95:2 "Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song."

Colossians 3:15-16 "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God."

Colossians 4:2 "Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful."

Hebrews 12:28-29 "Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our 'God is a consuming fire.'"

1 Corinthians 15:57 "But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

A Week of Thanksgiving
Things to Be Thankful For
Family Thanksgiving Traditions
Are You Raising a Grateful Child?
6 Creative Ways to Develop Gratitude
Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude
The Thanks and Giving Tree

Alright, I know this week was kind of mish-mosh of things all related to Thanksgiving. Here's what I'd love to hear from you... What are your traditions for Thanksgiving weekend? What do you do to teach thankfulness and gratitude to your children? What ideas do you have for showing appreciation to others (husband, children)? Or if you'd like, share a list of thankfuls! Have a blessed holiday!

P.S. I won't be posting next Friday. Have fun with your families!

Previous Family Focus topics: (it's never too late to comment)
* Bible Reading
* Fun Fall Activities
* Nutrition
* Meal Times
* Halloween
* Your Neighbors
* Family Worship
* TV Time

For the love of chocolate.

Seriously, just look at these. LOOK at these!!! Amazing huh? Follow the links for recipes and let me know if you make one and I will SO be over at your house!

Cappuccino Truffle Brownies

Thankful Thursday

The holidays are here. Joy is being spread everywhere. Families are gathering. It's a beautiful time of year! And I am thankful....

For Family. We get to see them in just a few weeks, and I'm getting VERY excited!! Our week is packed already with things to do and people to see, and I know it's going to go so fast, but oh I can't wait!

For Hubby. Last week when I was "taking a break" he planned all the meals for us, mostly-cooked all the meals, and was just overall a SUPER help! I really needed that, and he DID it!

For Eli. We've had a good couple of days with few "episodes". And he's learned how to sign the word "more"! That's his first word or sign at all, so we're very excited and proud!

For babies. Two friends just had beautiful, healthy babies, and we're so thankful for the Lord's guiding hand through pregnancy and delivery. (Amy, you're next!!)

For clothes. I take for granted the clothes I have in my closet every day. And just as I was beginning to think about all we had to get for Baby Girl's wardrobe (since there's no baby shower second time around), we were given two small deliveries of hand-me-downs, for which I am sooo grateful!! I'm feeling a lot more prepared for those first few months of cold weather, so I don't feel like I have to go out and buy stuff NOW while it's still available!

For schedules. A couple of the moms in my stroller class are having troubles with their babies waking in the nap or napping during the day. (one baby is 7 months and another is 13 months) And I am soooo thankful that Eli's been sleeping through the night since 6 months old. It was a looong 6 months to get there, but we got there! And he's been on a good schedule ever since, making our days predictable and calm (for the most part), and he's getting the rest he needs to grow and develop.

For the little things. Coffee with lots of cream and sugar. Baked goodies. Mail. Surprise packages. Phone calls. Story time with the little one. Quiet evenings. Candles. Warm beds. Fuzzy blankets. Slippers. Hot breakfast. Colorful leaves. Afternoon outings. Flowers. Chocolate. Dreaming of chocolate. Warm pie. Weekends.

Join us at Crystal's for more thankful posts! Have a great week, everyone!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Weekly Memory Verse

Thanks for bearing with me the last couple weeks when I just needed review and some time off. I'm ready to get back to it this week with a new verse...
Philippians 4:6
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Colossians 2:6-7 Just as you received Christ, continue to live in Him...
Psalm 119:9-11 How can a young man keep his way pure?
Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy...
Hebrews 10:24-25 Let us consider how we may spur one another on...
Psalm 86:11 Teach me your way, O Lord...
Joshua 1:8 Do not let the word of the Law depart....
Luke 10:27 Love the Lord your God...
2 Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are competent in ourselves...
Colossians 4:6 Let your conversation be always full of grace...
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly...
Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer...
1 Thessalonians 5:16 Be joyful always, pray continually...
1 John 3:18 Let us not love with words or tongue...
Psalm 19:14 May the words of my mouth...
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart...
Proverbs 4:23 Above all else guard your heart...
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go...
Philippians 4:8 ...whatever is true, whatever is noble...
Matthew 12:34 For out of the overflow of the heart...
Psalm 27:14 Wait on the Lord...
Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things...
Colossians 3:23-24 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart...

If you'd like to join me in memorizing Philippians 4:6 this week, sign your name below! May it be a blessing to your life!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tackle It Tuesday: The Van

I've been saying I needed to do this for awhile now. And I decided over the weekend I was going to do this as a "tackle" for Tuesday. And since the rain cleared off, I was actually able to get to it, and now it's DONE! I CLEANED OUT THE VAN. There's nothing to show for all the little Kleenex, trash here and there, and baby bath that I took out. But it looks much better, and I'm happy to say it's done and out of my mind!

Monday, November 12, 2007

#100 Completed: Fridge Magnets

One project I just crossed off my 101 Goals list was to make fridge magnets out of magazine pictures. I cut out some images of common things Eli sees every day, pasted them on white cardstock (so the back of the picture would be white instead of the other side of the magazine page), laminated them with self-laminating paper from Walmart, and stuck a magnet on the back. They turned out really nice and they serve two purposes: 1) they keep Eli entertained when I'm busy working in the kitchen since he likes to be near me at all times, and 2) it gives us good opportunity to practice words, since he still is not talking! So check out my work...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Menu Plan Monday - Nov. 12

I was spoiled last week when Hubby offered to plan the menu for me, AND during the week he cooked most of the meals too! Soooo nice! Now we're back at it again this week, except this week Kevin works nights and will take dinner in with him. So I figured the easiest thing would be soups and sandwiches, because they can easily be reheated or made separately. Oh and last week we tried this recipe (and the review suggestions) for Fried Chicken, and it was excellent! We'll be keeping this as our recipe to use from now on!

Last week I organized the freezer and found that we have several chicken breasts, a serving or two of chicken strips, and 2 pork chops, so I'll be incorporating them into this week's menu...

Monday - pizza

Tuesday - chili (recipe below, I'll be making some to freeze), pears

Wednesday - World's Best Potato Soup, oranges

Thursday - BLT sandwiches, apples

Friday - chicken salad sandwiches, carrots, grapes

Saturday - pork chops, steamed veggies w. McCormick garlic and basil steamers (I still have half pack left from previous use), applesauce

Sunday - Bible study - day off

Lunch options: salad with chicken strips; Ramen; PB&J; grilled chicken sandwich

Dessert of the week: Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins (we'll be carving our pumpkin this week, since we didn't get to it over the weekend!)


Serves: 8 Cooking time: 40 min.

2 Tbl vegetable oil
3 lbs. lean ground beef
3 large onions, chopped (3 cups)
1 large green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 Tbl minced fresh garlic
1/3 c. chili powder
1 1/2 Tbl. ground cumin
1 1/2 Tbl. dried oregano leaves, crumbled
3/4 tsp. crushed hot red pepper flakes
1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
1 can (14.5oz) stewed tomatoes
2 c. beef broth
salt and pepper to taste

1. In an 8-quart pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Brown meat and spoon off fat.
2. Stir in remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.

**Looks intimidating by the number of ingredients but a lot of those are spices I have on hand, and it's really easy to throw together, tastes oh so good, and is great for freezing leftovers for another day!

Visit Laura's for more great menu ideas!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

#93 Completed!

I completed #93 of my list of 101 Goals. I organized the freezer with cheap storage baskets I found at Walmart. Check out the before and after pics...


Now that the freezer is organized, I actually know what's in there! And I could probably feed the family for most of the week just cleaning out what we already have! I can just slide out the basket to get what I need instead of digging around through everything. It's VERY nice, and I just had to share!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Bloggy Break

Just wanted to let y'all know that I'm taking a bloggy break this week. I've been stressed and cranky and just need a week to refocus and recharge by spending a little more time with God and a little less time on the computer.

So I won't be posting a new memory verse this Wednesday--let's have another review week! Or choose a verse of your own. I'll be back with a new one next week, I promise!

And Friday's Family Focus...
Assignment: plan a fun activity for the family. We'll be carving our pumpkin, baking some seeds, and making a yummy dessert of some kind!

Have a great week, friends!
I'll be back soon!

Menu Plan Monday - Nov. 5

I was just sitting down to plan the menu last night when Kevin VOLUNTEERED TO DO IT FOR ME! So I took him up on the offer, and here is the yummy menu HE came up with. He even found new recipes too, but they're in ebook format so I'll have post them another time. But I did find my enchilada recipe last week so I'll post that for you because I love it and it's great for parties!

Monday - Panera Bread's broccoli cheese soup (recipe below!), oranges
Tuesday - mac n cheese and hot dogs, apples
Wednesday - chicken piccata, mixed veggies
Thursday - breakfast nite- baked French toast (recipe below)
Friday - steak, peas, oranges
Saturday - fried chicken, mashed potatoes, corn
Sunday - day off

Desserts of the week: Blackberry Cobbler (will have to get the recipe from Grandma), homemade caramel popcorn (testing this as an idea for Christmas gifts)

RECIPE: Enchilada Dip

6 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed (I like to use ground beef instead just b/c it's easier)
2 pkgs (8 oz) cream cheese
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 sm. can green chiles
2 pkg. taco seasoning
1-2 cans cream of chicken soup

Combine all ingredients in crockpot. Cook until cheeses are melted. [last week when I made it I just did it on the stove, and it was way quick and easy] Serve w. tortilla chips.

RECIPE: Panera Bread's Broccoli Cheese Soup

1 Tbl butter, melted
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup melted butter
2 c. half-and-half
2 c. chicken stock
1/2 lb fresh broccoli
1 c. carrots, julienne
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
8 oz grated sharp cheddar

1. Saute onion in butter. Set aside.
2. Cook melted butter and flour using whisk over medium heat for about 4 minutes. Be sure to stir frequently.
3. Slowly add the half-and-half, continue stirring. Add the chicken stock whisking all the time. simmer for 20 minutes.
4. Add the broccoli, carrots and onions. Cook over low heat until the veggies are tender, about 20 minutes.
5. Add salt and pepper.
6. By now the soup should be thickened. Pour in bathes into blender and puree.
7. Return the puree to the pot and place over low heat, add the grated cheese; stir until well blended. Stir in the nutmeg.

Serves 4

Recipe: Baked French Toast
4 servings, about 2 slices each

8 slices of bread
5 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

1. Lightly grease a 9x13x2 baking pan. Cut each slice of bread into 2 even strips. Arrange bread strips in pan.
2. In large bowl, mix eggs, milk, sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer on low speed until well-blended, about 5 minutes.
3. Pour egg mixture over bread strips; cover. Chill 4 to 24 hours.
4. Preheat oven to 425. Bake until eggs are set and toast is lightly browned, about 3o to 40 minutes.
5. Serve with Cinnamon Sugar Topping.

For more great menu ideas head over to Laura's at OrgJunkie. Have a great week, everyone!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Sunday Psalm

Psalm 147

Praise the Lord.

How good it is to sing praises to our God,
how pleasant and fitting to praise him!

The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
he gathers the exiles of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.

He determines the number of the stars
and calls them each by name.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power;
his understanding has no limit.
The Lord sustains the humble
but casts the wicked to the ground.

Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
make music to our God on the harp.
He covers the sky with clouds;
he supplies the earth with rain
and makes grass grow on the hills.
He provides food for the cattle
and for the young ravens when they call.

His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse,
nor his delight in the legs of a man;
the Lord delights in those who fear him,
who put their hope in his unfailing love.

Extol the Lord, O Jerusalem;
praise your God, O Zion,
for he strengthens the bars of your gates
and blesses your people within you.
He grants peace to your borders
and satisfies you with the finest of wheat.

He sends his command to the earth;
his word runs swiftly.
He spreads the snow like wool
and scatters the frost like ashes.
He hurls down his hail like pebbles.
Who can withstand his icy blast?
He sends his word and melts them;
he stirs up his breezes, and the waters flow.

He has revealed his word to Jacob,
his laws and decrees to Israel.
He has done this for no other nation;
they do not know his laws.

Praise the Lord.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Family Focus Friday: Bible reading

In one of the books I read I got a great vision of having "daily Bible reading time with mom" where all the children gather together in the afternoon, curl up on the couch with cookies and milk and read from the Bible together, older kids reading to the younger kids.... That's my great vision that I hope to make true someday.... someday....

Right now I TRY to have Bible time with Eli during breakfast (because he can't yet sit in my lap ever and doing this while he's strapped in the high chair seems like the only possible time). First we read through the Proverbs and now we're working through the Gospels, starting with Matthew. Like I said, I TRY. We do this IF he's having a breakfast he can feed himself and that takes awhile (like toast). I know he's only 15 months, but I'd like our "daily Bible reading time" to be something more. Something special. Something so he knows just how very important it is.

So I'd love to know, what do you do with YOUR children?? What's your Bible reading time like? Please share!

Previous Family Focus topics: (it's never too late to comment)
* Fun Fall Activities
* Nutrition
* Meal Times
* Halloween
* Your Neighbors
* Family Worship
* TV Time

Book Notes: A Mom After God's Own Heart

Wow, I have a lot of notes from this book, it was all just so great! Elizabeth George is my favorite author and so inspiring to me, and so much of what I've read I've started incorporating into my own life! So let me share (everything is excerpts really)...

Intro: Little Choices That Reap Big Blessings
1. Develop a template for your weeks--put first things first--daily Bible time or Bible story time; prepare for church.
2. Analyze your TV time. How much are you watching, how could you use that time to grow in your knowledge of God, to put better things into your heart and mind, to pray for your family to follow God
3. Choose a devotional book--for yourself and for children.
4. Memorize a Bible verse every week.
5. Pray for your heart.

CHAPTER 1: Take Time to Nurture Your Heart
"...we need to take care of our own hearts. We need to take time to nurture our hearts. We are to love the Lord. We are to love and obey His Word. His Word is to reside in our hearts. And THEN we will be godly mothers, and we can more successfully teach God's word to our children."

CHAPTER 2: Teach Your Children God's Word
"It's important to have a time that's set aside and scheduled for reading the Bible... Don't worry about what your children are or are not getting out of your Bible reading times. What they do get is the firsthand experience of seeing your love for the Bible and your wholehearted commitment to God and His Son. They'll realize God's word is important to you...therefore it will become important to them." (59)

CHAPTER 3: Talk to Your Children About God
Constantly focus all of everyday life on Him and His teachings by talking about Him all day long.

"Why talk about God? Because we talk about what's important to us. And when we don't talk about God, we send a loud message to our children that God really isn't that important. So make God a part of your everyday life and chit-chat. Talk about Him and His ways. Talk about His word and His Son. Talk about the wonder of his creation." (72)

CHAPTER 4: Tell Your Children About Jesus
"Somewhere in the midst of all you do, want to do, and need to do, there should be this aim: to educate and introduce each of your children to Jesus Christ...you must see telling your kids about Jesus as your Number One priority and purpose in life as a mom." (88)

* Read out loud to your children daily from the four Gospels.
* Have your kids share in the reading if they can.
* Have them write out and memorize key verses.
* Encourage them to write letters and prayers to Jesus about what they're learning.
* Draw or color pictures of the stories you are reading to them about Jesus.
* Create a full-on craft time aimed at illustrating the day's story and truth.

"Point out any behavior that goes against God's standards. And at the same time, point them to Jesus as the One who can forgive their sins and help them to do the right things."

May your children never remember a day when you didn't talk to them about Jesus, your Best Friend and Savior!

CHAPTER 5: Train Your Children in God's Ways
"Your children will follow your footsteps more easily and often than they will follow your advice."

"Yes, children raised in the nurture and admonition of the Lord can stray from God. But they can never get away from the prayers of their mom watering the seeds of God's word and love that have been planted in their hearts through a lifetime." (116)

10 Commands for Guiding Your Children
* Teach them, using God's word. (Deut. 6:4-9)

* Tell them what's right and wrong. (1 Kings 1:6)
* See them as gifts from God. (Ps. 127:3)

* Guide them in godly ways. (Prov. 22:6)

* Discipline them. (Prov. 29:17)

* Love them unconditionally. (Lk. 15:11-32)

* Do not provoke them to wrath. (Eph. 6:4)

* Earn their respect by example. (1 Tim. 3:4)

* Provide for their physical needs. (1 Tim. 5:8)
* Pass your faith along to them. (2 Tim. 1:5)

CHAPTER 6: Take Care of Your Children
1. Feed them.
2. Protect them--from siblings, from accidents, from incidents, through education, from the internet, from TV, from the opposite sex
3. Rest time.

CHAPTER 7: Take Your Children To Church
Going to church...
* is an opportunity to hear the heart, mind, and voice of your pastor (Col 4:16)
* is a time to join your heart with others in unified worship (1 Tim. 2:8-12)
* is a time to blend your voice together with others in praise to God (Matt. 26:30)
* is a time to give sacrificially to the Lord (1 Cor. 16:2)
* is an opportunity to have a shared experience with both young and old (Acts 2:42)

CHAPTER 8: Teach Your Children to Pray
"Prayer is important to our children at all ages and stages. And we bless and better their lives when we let them see and hear us pray--when we pray for them, when we pray with them...and especially when we teach them to pray. It's one more way we love them. And it's one more way we train them up for life, especially the future when we won't always be available and they're on their own. And, blessing upon blessing, it's one more way we train them to serve God as they enter into the personal privilege and ministry of prayer."

Prompting prayer...
* ASK "What would you like to thank Jesus for tonight? Today? Right now? Let's not forget to say 'thank you' to Jesus!"
* ASK "What are you worried about? Sad about? Let's tell God about it right now. He can take care of it."
* ASK "What is your biggest challenge today? What would you like to ask God to help you with? Let's ask Him now."
* ASK "Can you think of a special friend we can pray for? How can we ask God to help him or her?"
* ASK "What do you think your dad/brother/sister needs help with? What kindnesses can you do for them to make their lives easier? Let's ask God to help us all."

Everything you do and don't do teaches.

CHAPTER 9: Try Your Best
1. Know who you are.
2. Know what it is you do.
3. Realize you cannot serve two masters.
4. Keep it simple.
5. Don't go it alone.
6. Take one day at a time.

CHAPTER 10: Talk to God About Your Children
* Pray for your child's salvation.
* Pray for your child's friends.
* Pray for your child's purity.
* Pray for your child's schoolwork.
* Pray for your child's church involvement.

CHAPTER 11: Making the Choices That Count
Choose your attitude--
* heartily (Col. 3:23)
* faithfully (1 Tim. 3:11)
* willingly (Prov. 31:15)
* excellently (Prov. 31:29)
* joyfully (1 Thes. 5:16)
* prayerfully (1 Thes. 5:17)
* thankfully (1 Thes. 5:18)

#36: Finish reading A Mom After God's Own Heart

I did it! I only had ONE chapter left when I posted this as a goal, so today I just sat down and did it! Hopefully in the next week I can get my book notes posted!

To work on this weekend:
* Read one chapter of Shepherding a Child's Heart with Kevin. (#37 and #54)
* Drink water. (#7)
* Take care of T-shirts. (#98)
* Print Godly Tomatoes. (#38)
* Call my friend Erin, who's offered to tell me about how she makes bread. (#59 and #11)

Click here to see my complete list of 101 Goals.

Thankful Thursday

Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16

Wow, I need this today. It has not started off to be a good day. I'm just crabby, tired, and irritable. My eyes burn, and I just want some space. One of those days... So it's a GREAT time to just STOP and think about God's blessings in my life...

1. My mom's visit over the weekend. It was action-packed with trips to fabric stores, fall activities, and family time! It was a great visit!

2. Yesterday's trip to the pumpkin patch. See my photos here. While we were there I was caught up just trying to get "the perfect picture" and in my frustrations I didn't allow myself to just enjoy the moment. Do you ever have that? Where you get so caught up behind the camera that you aren't even in the moment? But after the fact, I still had fun and the pictures did turn out okay. Two scenic favorites...

3. My new goals list. I feel like I have good motivation and focus right now and am ready to get tackling this list!

4. Eli. As much as I'm having frustrations with him this morning, he is such a JOY. This week he was outside having a blast kicking through the leaves. It was one of those great moments where we could just step back and watch him having fun as he discovered something new!

5. Hubby. We really do get a lot of time together--occasional lunches, most afternoons, evenings, and weekends and I'm so grateful for that!

It's short and simple this week, but that's all I've got for now. For more Thankful Thursday posts, head over to Crystal's who is so graciously guest-hosting for us!

101 Goals: Complete list!

I saw this at Java Mama's blog a couple months ago and was inspired to start a goals list, and then today I saw it again at Amy's blog, so I decided to get back to it. What's "IT", you say? Read on...

The Mission: Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria: Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on my part).

Why 1001 Days? Many people have created lists in the past - frequently simple goals such as new year’s resolutions. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organizing and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities.

Some common goal setting tips:

1. Be decisive. Know exactly what you want, why you want it, and how you plan to achieve it.
2. Stay Focused. Any goal requires sustained focus from beginning to end. Constantly evaluate your progress.
3. Welcome Failure. Frequently, very little is learned from a venture that did not experience failure in some form. Failure presents the opportunity to learn and makes the success more worthy.
4. Write down your goals. It clarifies your thinking and reinforces your commitment.
5. Keep your goals in sight. Review them frequently, and ensure that they are always at the forefront of your thinking.

A lot will be happening in the next couple years...new baby (due February 2008), Kevin's new job and relocation fall 2008. And who knows what's in store for the year following! So, with all that being said, here are my goals for the next 1001 days!

101 Goals in 1001 Days

1. Keep pregnancy weight gain to 35 lbs or less. completed 2/14/08
2. Return to pre-pregnancy weight by end of July (baby due in Feb, wedding in Sept.) completed 7/30/08
3. Walk 5x a week
4. Join fall walking group.
5. Figure out walking plan for winter months. Walking group is going to meet at the mall during winter months.
6. Run 1 mile without stopping.
7. Drink 8 glasses of water/day for 2 consecutive weeks.
8. Take prenatal vitamin daily for remainder of pregnancy. completed 2/14/08
9. Fruit and veggie included in every dinner.
10. Learn how to prepare an over-easy egg. completed 4/09
11. Learn how to make homemade bread. completed 3/20/08

12. Get up at 6:15am 3 days a week for 2 weeks. completed 1/28/08
13. Prayer journal every day for 2 months.
14. Daily personal Bible reading for 1 month.
15. Read book together with friend.
16. Memorize 50 scripture verses.
17. Review memory verses twice a week.
18. Read through entire Bible.
19. Find a devotional book.

20. Finish all pre-baby scrapbooks:
21. Finish honeymoon section of wedding scrapbook.
22. Finish college scrapbook.
23. Start and finish Europe scrapbook.
24. Start and finish Denver scrapbook.
25. Finish first year of baby scrapbook. completed 7/8/08
26. Complete and print ONE digital scrapbook page so I can decide if I like that method or not.
27. Finish Eli’s curtains and room d├ęcor.
28. Update photo album before second baby. completed 1/21/08
29. Find way to limit/control amount of time on computer.
30. Figure out RSS feed for blogs. completed 3/24/08 thanks, Paul!
31. Take a dessert to our neighbor. completed 10/22/09
32. Read through entire course of online photography lessons.
33. Watch Photoshop tutorial.
34. Read a book just for fun. completed 4/26/09
35. Plant a garden. completed 5/09

36. Finish reading A Mom After God's Own Heart. completed 11/1/07
37. Finish reading Shepherding a Child’s Heart. completed 2/3/08
38. Read/print all of “Raising Godly Tomatoes”. completed 11/27/07
39. Read Babywise. completed 2/10/08
40. Read Bringing Up Boys.
41. Finish watching parenting video and take notes.
42. Read a book to children every day. completed 5/4/09
43. Plan one fun family activity every week for 1 month. completed 8/20/08
44. Take vacation to Colorado. completed 7/4/09
45. Get new family photo.
46. Go to Vermont. completed /21/08
47. Go to Long Island.
48. Go camping. completed 6/15/08
49. Find play group for Eli.
50. Go an entire month without any TV. completed 7/30/08
51. Establish special time with each child daily. completed 5/4/09
52. Create list of specific rules for Eli.
53. Go 24 hrs without computer.

54. Start twice-a-month date nights and do for 3 months.
55. Read book together with Kevin.
56. Post Husband Encouragement Blog once a month for 6 months. completed 5/4/09
57. Take a short trip together.
58. Choose a couple hobby (hobby Kevin and I can do together).
59. Make each half-anniversary unique for 3 years. (something besides just dinner)

60. Call a friend once a week for 1 month.
61. Keep up with all birthdays for 3 months.
62. Plan a summer BBQ for friends.
63. Send baby gifts to "expecting" friends. completed 11/16/07

64. Savings account up to X amount. completed 4/17/09
65. Lower grocery bill to $75 a week for 2 months.
66. Start Eli and Hannah savings every month (X amount).
67. Start saving for retirement. completed 1/09
68. Follow Christmas budget.
69. Start supplemental income.
70. Make V.I.P. status on Treasure Trooper.
71. Save up for a "new" Jeep.
72. Complete Supermarket Savings 101 course.
73. Learn the Walgreens EasySaver program. completed 11/27/07
74. Go an entire month without any unnecessary spending. (dessert, snacks, clothes, new makeup, etc)
75. Create and follow budget for remodeling new house.
76. Always search consignments before buying new. completed 4/20/09
77. Set up our will. completed 8/08

78. Start inviting people over once a month.
79. Find one new activity/service to attend regularly.
80. Pick at least one thing (way to serve) to do at church. (ex: cooking, nursery duty, etc) completed 7/1/09
81. Train Eli to sit in church with us. completed 11/1/08
82. Do "church time" at home with Eli 4 times a week for 1 month.

83. Create cleaning schedule and follow it for 3 weeks
84. Print revised cleaning schedule and follow it for another 3 weeks. completed 1/10/08
85. Organize recipes. completed 5/4/08
86. Organize magazine articles. completed 5/30/08
87. Find new "system" for stuff that gets put on top of piano.
88. Organize/get rid of box of wall hangings and picture frames that we don't have up.
89. Find bigger bookshelf for children's books.
90. Make nursery decor for Baby Girl's room. (after we move) completed 2/14/09
91. Take old baby items to consignment store (for credit). sold!
92. Buy a fire extinguisher. completed 11/11/07
93. Put a med kit in the van. completed 4/30/08
94. Organize freezer with baskets. completed 11/5/07
95. Get piano tuned.
96. Get caster wheels for piano.
97. Clean up French horn (oil and polish).
98. Sell old books we no longer want.
99. Throw away old T-shirts. Completed 11/5/07
100. Make homemade fridge magnets for Eli out of magazine pictures. Completed 11/10/07
101. Finish touch-up paint on screen doors.

Start date: November 1, 2007
Completion date: July 29, 2010

I just discovered there's an actual website for this 1001 Day Project! So go check out others who are doing this, finish your list, and then add it to the master list!