Sunday, January 23, 2011


Addiction to one thing or another rules so many lives.  My life has been altered by addiction.  I've come to a place as an adult where I see this, accept it, and hope for change in the person that has succumbed to it.  Addiction comes in so many forms, alcohol, drugs, sex, money, gambling, food, and the list goes on.  For many people in our lives, they may go through treatment, they may continue therapy and counseling for their addictions, however addiction has become a way of life for them.  It's finding a healthier form of addiction that they look for, like exercise. 
Then, there is an addiction to the best thing one can find.  Jesus.  Who wouldn't want to be addicted to him?  The Way, the Truth, and the Life?
He's amazing!  He changes lives, hearts, and families.
His love isn't conditional, His love is forever!
He forgives, always! He doesn't keep a record of wrong.
He knows you, from the very beginning of your being.  There's no getting-to-know-you period.
He's always there.  You don't have to go find Him.
He carries your burdens, your grief, and your worries. No strings attached!

He's changing lives everyday, and He is the healthiest addiction known to man.  I'm praying for those in my life to see what He can do, so they too make a change.  If addicts need an addiction, this is the best choice!


Saturday, January 22, 2011

On Pins and Needles: Liam

Over the course of the last month many things have consumed me.  A close friend of mine said it best, "You allow yourself to carry the burdens of others on your heart." That is so true.  I know it can be both a positive and a negative aspect about myself, but I think that it is just who I am. I'm constantly on pins and needles for others, and sometimes myself. 

Recently our oldest boy had us a little in a tizzy.  Over the last month, through the holiday season he became more and more withdrawn.  He slept more, was more clingy,ate less, and played with his classmates and brothers less. It just wasn't him.  He is one of the most energetic, excitable children I know.  And the fact that he just let the world pass by him wasn't normal for him. 

I began making excuses.

He's sad about his friend being sick.
He's tired from the holidays.
He's fighting a cold or other illness.
He's growing.

Just the other day my husband said to me, "Honey, have you noticed how lethargic he's been?"  And that was all it took for me to be on pins and needles.  I called the doctor the next morning and we took him in for a more thorough exam.

Upon arrival, the doctor went through a checklist that listed all of his symptoms. It was incredible how many he had that were listed.  As she proceeded you could see that she too, was concerned and the ideas swimming in her mind I was not sure that I wanted to know.  Next we had the nurses take three pin-poked vials of blood for initial blood screenings.  My little guy was so brave, not a trickle came from his eye. These tests were testing for mono, blood diseases,and leukemia.  Leukemia!?  The doctor came in with a look of relief on her face and shared that the last test was indeed negative.  Praise God. She shared with me that she was most concerned about the possibility of this being a different outcome.  But all tests were negative.  She was still believing that something was "up" with our preschooler. We were sent to the hospital for yet more blood to be drawn and more tests.

Needless to say, the size of the needle that was used for the blood drawn from LJ's arm was a little alarming for the little man.  He was scared out of his mind and sobbed while the great nurses at Maple Grove hospital did their work with him.  They were consoling, considerate, and careful.  This blood is to be testing kidney and liver functions, thyroid disease, mono, Lyme's disease, and other "blood panels".

Following the procedure, I took him out to get some goodies and some not-so-healthy food to smooth over the bumpy morning we had.  It was hard for the little guy, and the mommy in me needed to give him more than just a hug for his bravery.  We got some goodies from the "Dollar Spot", ate some pizza from Pizza Hut, and drank a mighty Slurpy.  It was just the medicine he needed. 

Still holding his arm, we ventured out to home in the cold.  I watched his eyes become heavy, and slowly he drifted off.

So far  the tests he was given have all came back negative, thankfully.  LJ is starting to perk up and his appetite is off and on.  He's playing with friends more and more each day.  For that we are thankful.  We'll wait for the remainder of tests to come back, but for the most part, we're content that we're seeing improvements and are no longer on pins and needles.

We're most thankful for his wellness and thankful for the prayers and thoughts of those who sent them.

Friday, January 21, 2011


There is nothing more special
than a little boy's
Love for
his daddy.

What I'm Reading

Isn't it obvious that being a mom of three boys, I could use all the help I can get in successfully raising them...not to mention understanding how they work?!
I'm a huge fan of Dr. James Dobson from Focus on the Family and am re-reading this great book that is chalk full of insight on boys, how they're made, and how to effectively raise them. 

Making It All Work

Recently at MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) meeting myself and several other moms gathered to pray together, chat, support, and learn together.  Our meetings are monthly and this month we had a fabulous speaker who shared the importance of financial peace.  The woman who shared many words of wisdom about finances gleaned her perspectives on several ways to save money on every day living expenditures.

In past blog posts I have shared sites that I have utilized in saving money.  You can find those posts here and here. I have since then found more sites and more strategies to saving money.   Here are some of the strategies I use to get the most on what we've been provided.

1)   I scour and search for steals and deals on gifts, necessities, and the occasional splurge.  Some of the sites that I have added to my money saving scavenger hunt are
Creative Couponing 

2) I always buy a Saturday paper ( they're cheaper than Sunday) sometimes I buy 2, purely for the coupon inserts.  Both of the above websites alert me as to the number of inserts that will be in the paper for that weekend, as well as the value of the coupons I'll find.  It's always nice when someone else does some of the work for you.

3) In order to keep to my $60-$80/week grocery budget for our family of 5, I plan the week's meals based on the foods that are on sale at Cub Foods and Target.  Both stores offer deals and they also offer coupons either in store, by mail, or on the web.  Many times you can match up a store coupon with a manufacturer coupon to score even bigger savings.  I spend a good amount of time each week devising my plan for meals for the week in order to come out with a best case scenario, which usually keeps the pocketbook a little more full.  I only go to the grocery store with a detailed list, and I rarely deviate.

These are just my top three things I've been doing to save money recently.  It's all become so natural and routine now,that I don't really think before doing it, it's all become habit, and I'm working hard to make it all work.

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