Monday, March 17, 2014

A Very Green Day!


     I knew it was going to be rainy cold day today so I decided to have a little fun with St. Patrick's Day! For Breakfast we had lucky milk, leprechaun cinnamon rolls and green eggs! Clay loves helping mommy cook.


Chris enjoyed using my kitchen tongs to pinch all the kids not wearing green!
 


During our Bible Study time this morning I let them all watch a you tube clip on St. Patrick. They learned how St. Patrick used the three leaf clover to share the gospel. You can watch it here....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTYQyv8e-x4


During class I found some word family sheets with clovers for Clara Grace to do. I couldn't really find any activities for 4th and 6th graders so I let the two older girls I homeschool only do their math and English which made for a short day (that made them both very happy)!
 


For lunch we had green noodles with green sauce. The kids loved it but my husband wasn't loving the green sauce!



This is just another reason I love homeschooling. Sometimes I feel like the kids are just neck deep in their routines so I love throwing something fun in so they never know what to expect. Today, it was green food and St. Patrick. Tomorrow it might be a picnic at the park or an unplanned trip to a museum. I started the school year clinging to my books, lessons and plans. Anything that threw us off track sent me into a panic. I'm starting to learn that an education is so much more than text books and work sheets. I'm still a little rigid very rigid (!) with math and English but what fun it was today to throw Ireland into history than memorize more states and capitals. Who knows the capital of Maine anyway? Yep, that's what I thought...it's Augusta in case you forgot!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

I Heart Vintage

Our house was built in the 1920's. When we bought it according to the records it had been in the same family since it was built. The great granddaughter had it remodeled and did everything she could to leave the vintage feel including a light blue ceiling for the front porch and most of the original door knobs (refurbished). 

Although my taste is a little more modern I love mixing vintage things in so I thought I would share a couple of my latest projects. Eventually I would love to have granite countertops and dark wood cabinets in the kitchen (yes I have a Pinterest folder for that). Until I win the lottery I have gone with a vintage theme. The walls are a mint green and I've added red vintage accents. Recently, I got a kitchen table at Ikea to save from constantly cleaning the dining room but it didn't look vintage enough. I found these cute chairs for $3.99 at Goodwill.


Yes they were a little rough but vintage none the less! I pulled out some mint paint leftover from the kitchen and went to work! The result turned out pretty good!


Another project I did a few weeks back was a china cabinet. A lady from our church gave me her old china cabinet. It was also a little vintage!


I painted it my favorite color, red! It turned out perfect.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

5 Reasons I Hate The Ministry....I mean 5 Reasons I....


I knew the title would lure you in!




For several years now I keep reading articles like "10 Reasons Pastors Leave the Ministry" or "7 Reasons 90% of Pastor's Wives Wish Their Husband Would Leave the Ministry". The other day it was just more than I could take. Have there been days my husband and I have wanted to quit? Yes! There are far more days that I have thanked God for the sweet blessings he has given us. With that said, for several days now I have been thinking about...

 

5 Things I Love about the Ministry...


 

1. My husband's flexible schedule. The Pastor only works two days a week! Right!?! Have you heard that before too? The more appropriate statement would be he's always working. People need their Pastor occasionally at all hours of the night including weekends and even sometimes on his vacation. He is always "on call." Yes, he's the Pastor but has also been the toilet repair man, janitor, light bulb changer, secretary, teacher, etc. One of the glamorous things about being a Pastor is when someone doesn't show up to do it or want to do it, you're the replacement! However, his schedule is usually pretty flexible, especially in the mornings. Most days I am able to homeschool my children because he can watch our little ones while I homeschool our oldest and two of her friends. I can't imagine teaching long division and diagramming sentences while a one year old is screaming at my feet! Although we haven't had a Saturday he hasn't been "working" since I can remember he is able to take Monday's off which we affectionately have named "no alarm clock Monday!"

 

2. It takes a village CHURCH to raise a child! I have read tons of articles on how terrible it is to be a Pastor's kid and maybe at some churches it is. Maybe at some churches members expect more out of the Pastor's kids than at our church but I have never seen anyone be unkind to any of our children including our WILD child, Clay! Yes, I have literally caught him running across the communion table and no one even looked at him or me strange! Although my husband has given me permission to go completely stark raving crazy on anyone that ever mistreats one of our kids, so far we've been good! Why do I love our church because of this kindness? Because our kids love church. When we go home on Sunday they can't wait to get back on Wednesday. When we go home on Wednesday they want to know how many days until Sunday. Since my oldest child is 6, I'm definitely not an expert on raising children but so far I've found that they love what we love and hate what we hate. Oh, and I've noticed they have ears too!

 

3. What other job comes with a moving, building and remodeling crew? Our Church family has helped us move three times in the past six years (I think we're done for a while)! Not only that, several men from the church built an addition on to our house when I was pregnant with our third child and never charged us a dime. When we bought our last house our church family really spoiled us. I would be writing all day if I wrote everything they did, but some of the sweetest things I remember is a couple of ladies that spent several days painting some of our rooms, coming home to new rocking chairs on our porch front porch, and a sweet lady watching our newborn while I unpacked boxes.

 

4. Ms. Smith! No, her name is not really Ms. Smith but since I didn't ask her permission to use her name I'll just call her Ms. Smith! Ms. Smith is the sweetest older lady you will ever meet. You will never hear her say a negative word. Mrs. Smith is not able to do a lot, but she is a prayer warrior for our family. I remember when I was pregnant with my middle son, Clay. Doctors had told us that he could have several chromosomal abnormalities. She cornered me in the bathroom one Sunday and told me "I've been praying about that baby and everything is going to be okay." I believe with all my heart Ms. Smith and prayer warriors like her are the reason we have a wild healthy Clay!

 

5. My BFF! Yes, it's true that close friends in the ministry are very rare. Why? well, you would have to be in the ministry to completely understand that but just trust me! Because of this, it has made the relationship between my husband and I much closer. We both know the reality is we're all we've really got. Friends we thought we would always have turned out to be frenemies! What the devil meant for evil, God meant for good! P.S. Now, don't get me wrong we have been blessed with a few amazing friends too that have stuck by us through the sunshine AND rain.

 

If you're a Pastor's wife or Staff Member's wife I would encourage you to make your own list of things you love. It's always easier to see the glass half empty instead of half full.

When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
 

 

 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Operation Skinny Dosters

There's always that one pic that someone snaps and when you see it you gasp. At first there's denial because of course the camera always makes you look bigger than you actually are...right?!? Well not really because the scales back it up:(

Here's my earthquake pic...
 
Having three babies in five years doesn't do a lot for your figure. Especially with the youngest being "1" spaghetti is much easier to cook than grilled chicken and vegetables! Regardless of how it all happened that's where I was. It was time to make a change! My husband decided to jump on the bandwagon with me and it sort of became a competition.
 
-The first thing I did was join the YMCA. It was a little pricey but $10 a week has been well worth the change I have felt emotionally if I never lost a pound!
 
-We got rid of almost all sugar and started using stevia which is all natural with no chemicals.
 
-We eliminate as many carbs and fat as possible and use whole wheat/low calorie bread.
 
-When possible we try to use organic, grass fed, and non processed foods. We can't always afford all organic meat (although www.lettucecarry.com run specials on their grass fed beef and organic veggies a lot so we stock up when possible) but we did eliminate processed meats completely and get our ham and turkey sliced at the deli.
 
-I'm constantly trying new low calorie recipes and low calorie snacks so we don't get burnt out or feel deprived!
 
 
 Philly Cheese Steak Stir Fry
Snow Cream made with Stevia
 Grilled Chicken with broccoli and boiled cabbage

Tilapia and Shrimp cooked in Pam and Italian dressing seasoning.
 
After 2 1/2 months and 23 pounds here is my new selfie;)
 
 
I still have a few more pounds to go but progress is progress!


Saturday, February 8, 2014

Welcome to my blog...

      I told my husband a few weeks back I was thinking about starting a blog. As soon as I said it out loud we both busted out laughing. If you know me you know I'm not a writer or have enough patience to read a whole book. I have a whole library of sample iBooks because I never read enough to actually buy the book!
 
     The longer I'm involved in the ministry the more I realize how much pressure there is living "In the Bowl" aka fish bowl, shark tank or whatever you want to call it! Before you think I'm one of those people who are always complaining about how 'hard' the ministry is think again. Yes, I've had those moments where I've thought how nice it would be not to have every word, action, and method critiqued and for my husband to have a normal job but there have been MANY more moments I've been overwhelmed by the goodness of God in our life. God has surrounded us with a church family that loves us (most of the time!), three precious children (most of the time!), and opportunities most people would only dream of.
    
 
 
     I hope you will join me as I share experiences, recipes and crafts through "Life in the Bowl".