Wednesday, November 24, 2010

More Thankful

It seems each year as the holidays surround us, I'm always more thankful.  More thankful for the obvious things and more thankful for the intricacies of life in general.

This year I feel more thankful than ever.  I feel this is the first time in my life that I gave everything I had over to Him and away he went with my life.  So many doors opened, so many new friends, new opportunities, and new ways of living.  Amazing.  That's the only word to describe what has been done in my life this year.

The things I am most thankful for are too many, but our little guy is the biggest blessing in our life this year.  Almost exactly a year ago, I became pregnant with him and twenty weeks into our pregnancy we didn't know what God's plan was to be for him or for us.  The ultrasound was missing some vital parts and the prognosis of our Little One wasn't one that we or any other expectant family wished for.  We wept, we were scared, and we prayed.  We summoned the prayers and hope of others that the follow-up testing would show that the first sonogram was wrong and our baby would be just fine.  We prayed, begged, and pleaded.  A week later with butterflies in my stomach, I laid on that bed in the ultrasound room and the second ( I'm not exaggerating) that the technician peeked in on our little guy, the vital parts that were once missing were right there.  We were elated, excited, but most importantly thanking God for this blessing.  Some of the people we shared our worries with said the technician probably just missed it, and maybe they did. I, however, believe it was His handiwork.

My top ten things I am most thankful for this year are (in no particular order):

  • My baby Lachlan
  • My busy boys
  • Another fabulous year with my husband
  • My family
  • My friends, old and new
  • A job that has brought me closer to the Lord 
  • Dave Ramsey! :)
  • A piece of my personal life puzzle that was once missing
  • Health
  • 13 wonderful weeks with my boys and just being "Mommy"
Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone!  Remember your blessings and count them every day! God Bless!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Coupon Savvy

Tis the season to spend money...fa-la-la-la-la -la-la-la-laaaaaa!  I love to buy gifts for other people and I've been known to go overboard, to spend too much, thus taking away from the real, true meaning of Christmas. 

Since becoming more frugal and taking charge of our spending, see here, I take advantage of any and all opportunities to SAVE MONEY.  I'm not cheap, I just look for good deals on quality items. I am not ashamed to say that with some things I am a name brand junkie.  I do prefer to buy my kids nice things that last. 

I am one of those people who sign up for every "club" at the stores that I frequently purchase from.  No, I don't get their credit cards, I only get the "perk" cards.  I receive coupons frequently and I only use them when I need something...and Christmas is the perfect time!

Today I shopped for my nieces and nephews since we were iced in at home.  I got something for each of them and I saved a bundle!  I used both online and paper coupons.  One of my favorite sites for online coupons is .  It's a great site to find super coupons for virtually every place online.  It's free, you don't have to be a member, and you, too, can submit your coupon codes. 

If you're looking for an item that is not coupon related, you can look at a bunch of different sites at once by using where you can enter the name of the product, the price you've seen, and where, and they'll comparison shop for you, listing out the places online that have the same item.  It's fabulous!  And a penny saved is a penny earned!

Another way to save is to use FREE SHIPPING!  So many companies are offering it this season, and if you can shop from home, find a great deal, and have it shipped to you for free...why wouldn't you!?

Enjoy the holidays and be a good consumer! Save yourself money and have fun buying for those you love.  I enjoy the "game" of finding good deals, just ask my little Santa's helper!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Food for Thought...Gossip Girl

No, not the show, but reality.  Where does the line of caring for another person end and the line of gossip begin?

There are so many situations one wants to discuss with another close person, not openly with the world.  And it's all about caring for another, but where does that care end and the gossip begin?

Let me know your thoughts....

I just really don't want to be one of THOSE people that talk about others with false information, share intimate details, or ruin trust that I've earned.  I care.

I care about trust, relationships, and my faith.  I want to be known as someone of good character that another can turn to in need of a hug, an ear, or a shoulder.  And sometimes those conversations need to be shared with a third party, and maybe even a fourth, because I feel the need to help, to pray, and to lead.

It's gets sticky...and the line that separates is very fine.  But I love and I care. 

Gossip is vindictive. 
Love is kind.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Ever since my beautiful new spice joined us in September, I've been a stay-at-home mom of 3 boys.  It's been pretty fabulous, very busy, and a tad crazy.  Along with all of the fun field trips to the zoo, the Mall of America, daddy's work and all the delicious treats we seem to whip up almost daily, comes the tantrums, the talking back, and thus, the discipline.  I loathe discipline.  It was my downfall as an educator, and is my downfall as a parent.  Certainly I do discipline, and I always look for new ways to be effective in it, but those ways wear off.

My older boys have taken their turns (thank goodness) in going through their behavioral transitions in adding a new member to our family.  The oldest, was and has been the most difficult.  I felt and continue to feel that I am always "on" him about one thing or another.   It's probably been the most difficult with him because he's always been so easy, never one to tantrum, never a negative word.  It hurt to raise my voice at him or to discipline him with anything more than redirection.  So, I devised a plan that utilized my learning.

I bought a 24 piece puzzle of one of his favorite characters from the movie Cars.  With each GOOD choice he made, he earned a piece of the puzzle. The number of pieces he could earn in a day were endless and it reinforced the POSITIVE behaviors rather than taking away due to the NEGATIVE.  He could never lose a piece of the puzzle, as we were focusing on the positive.  In the end when he earned all the pieces HE chose the reward, which the first time was a trip with Grandpa to Cabela's.  He was thrilled to choose his reward and proudly proclaimed, "I chose it".  It was great to see such a triumphant smile on his face!

It was a great choice!  It worked! And it worked WELL!  He was so driven to earn the puzzle pieces and the negative behaviors quickly dwindled to few or none in a day.  Which in turn made my consistency dwindle as well.  As soon as the behaviors were gone, I forgot to keep going, keep reinforcing the great behavior I was seeing.  And although the old behaviors are quickly making a reappearance, I have realized he needs that positive reinforcement and I need to continue working on being CONSISTENT.  Following the plan for a length of time longer than only 2 puzzles. 

So, I'm back at it!  Giving away puzzle pieces, rewarding the positive behaviors I see. 
And of course, working on my consistency.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Baby's First Snow...

Welcome to God's Family

Yesterday we welcomed our littlest (BIG) blessing into God's family and promised to raise him 
in The Word.


This past week I attended the celebration of a life of a woman I had come to know within my church family.  I was at the celebration to support the family, and little did I know how much my life would be touched.  I haven't shared much about the amazing blessings God has placed in my life this year, one certain situation in particular, but this celebration touched me in a way that set my heart on fire and made me take a leap of faith.  As I pray through this fire, I hope to come to a place where I can reveal my blessings to those who don't know me as closely, but may in turn set their heart's on fire like mine. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Heart.

It doesn't take long for someone who crosses paths with me to observe and learn that I love children.  Adore them.  Cherish them.  And the thing is, I don't just love the perfect children, the "normal" children.  I love all of them.  Especially those who need more. Need more love, need more education, need more direction, assistance, support. 

In my first year of teaching, 10 years ago, I crossed paths with several children who needed more than they were receiving.  They had families who loved them, provided for them, and they were in a great school, yet something was missing for each of them. I was a first year teacher in a highly demanding school, way out of the realm of my existence.  The aloofness of this school and some of the parental make-up made my learning curve drastic that year.  I learned, and I learned quickly.  I had administrative "support" or more like a "frequent flyer pass" to the principal's office for some stern conversations and untrue accusations.  But the best part of that year was the children.  They pushed me, encouraged me, and trusted me.  I became a better teacher and person because of them.  I learned to provide for them educationally so that they were able to attain a level of success they previously hadn't felt. 

I went back to school. I was determined to learn more to help each of them learn more.  I went back for a Master's degree in the area of Special Education. I became more equipped with tools that helped me help each of them and accommodate their needs.

I'm not a saint, nor a savior.  I just love kids.  All of them.  With all needs, all behaviors, all with desires to succeed, to be accepted, to be taught and loved.

And now, my first class that stirred my "pot" and got me learning and yearning for more...they're in college.  Succeeding. 

I love it.


I love each of them for teaching me more.
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