This blog is a record of my life as the Lord shepherds me through His will. It is a testament to the lessons I learn, or attempt to learn.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Bella Update











As my little Bella's second birthday approaches, I am giddy about the changes I have seen in her even just over the past month as she grows in to toddlerhood.  Here are a few highlights about my little BellaBoo:

- She is so much girlier than her mom, but it is so fun for me!

- She has a new obsession with all things horses

- She loves makeup and purses and sparkly shoes (shoes in general)

- Whenever we dress her, she always has to spin and show us how pretty she is

- She has decided to take on potty training herself, and she is doing an amazing job at it!

- She copies almost everything her older brother does, but in such a girly & petite way

- When she is on the potty and I ask her if she is done, she says "Not quite yet" or "Still poopin, Mom" just like Ilijah does only in a little soft precious voice

- She tries to manipulate Ilijah and Daddy by wrapping them around her little pinky . . . and it often works, with Dad at least

- This girl will eat almost anything and especially loves meat.  You would never look at her and guess that she eats as much as she does with as little as she is.

- Ivangeline is not far from her in size.  In fact, we have already begun to mix up their clothes a time or two.  The sad thing is that Bella still fits in a majority of Ivangeline's clothes.

- Bella loves her dresses.  She will do anything in a dress.

- She loves to go shopping with her momma, but then misses the rest of her family about an hour into shopping.

- She hates to be away from her Family.  Whenever anyone leaves, she bursts into tears.  This has been a source of frustration a time or two as we have been called to come and get her from class on Sundays.  But we love our time together as much as she does.

- She LOVES her sleep.  She has no problem taking time out for sleep, and she knows when she is ready.  She will even grab her blanket and head to her room herself if need be.

- She is quirky in every sense of the word. She has the cutest little oddness about her.

- In that same sense, she is 100% her momma's girl.  Jacob loves seeing me in her.  I often have to ask if that is a bad thing and if there are things we need to work on.

- She likes to smother you with kisses when you are disciplining her.

- She is a snuggler.  She gets that from her aunty whom is appropriately named "Snuggles".

- She learns fast as she watches Ilijah.

- She wants to be a teenager.

- She is ready to play volleyball already, and this momma is happy!

- At times she doesn't like having her picture taken, but she loves seeing the pictures when I do manage to catch her in the mood. (one time she even took a swipe at the camera, and I have never seen her do anything like that)

- She is feisty!

- She loves to talk and sing and pray.

- Her favorite song to sing is "Jesus Loves Me"

- She can say her "ABC's", count to ten & count every other number.

- She has named her stuffed horse "Dean" (Not sure where that came from, but I love it)

- She likes to color.

- She eats much and drinks little, which is the opposite of her brother.

- She likes to bite my ear as a silly sign of affection.

- She is traditionally shy around others, but is not innately a shy person.  The girl can get crazy.

- She is a dancer, and you can often find her dancing and singing "Shake it, Shake it"

- She is a little mess of energy.

- The child is messy when she eats, but tidy when it comes to cleaning up.

- We have to work with her the most on selfishness.  Her brother is a bit more tender hearted than she is.

- She has the most captivating blue eyes.

- Her smile will literally melt your heart.

The Lord has blessed us abundantly with this little one.  And I just love watching her grow.  Can't wait to see how the Lord uses her for His Kingdom one day!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Whoop Whoop!



Yeah, you can here me yelling that across the store along with a mild happy dance as the cashier hands me my booty.  This was the setting of the scene playing out yesterday at CVS.  My husband could hardly believe it when I came home with 4 new tooth brushes and a candy bar for only . . . oh wait, they paid me $2 to take this from them????  Yes, you heard me correctly.  I was paid $2 to shop!  What is even crazier is that I should've paid them $24.85 for the whole thing.

Now, if you are like my husband and can't seem to wrap your mind around why I would need 4 toothbrushes at once when I already have like 8 more at home, then let me explain what we couponers refer to as stockpiling.

It is not just the fact that they are paying me to take items from them.  It is not because I am a hoarder.  If you really know me, you know that I am FAR from being a hoarder . . . typically I am on the other end.  As a matter of fact, I would rather do without, if it meant a clean and happy home.  Alas, I digress.  Let's get down to the nitty gritty.


Stockpiling 101 -

How you stock pile.

           Collect coupons and use them only when you know you are getting that item at the very lowest possible.
           Use as many coupons as they will allow you, or as many as you have, and purchase a bundle of the same item at its lowest cost.
           Designate a specific area of your home to organize and store your stock pile.


Why you stock pile.

           Most of you are wondering why on earth you would ever need to purchase so many of the same items at once.  You don't need those items at this very moment.  Aren't you spending alot of your grocery budget on one item?  Well, the answer is that I do not need all of those items at this very moment, but I will in the future.  And, no, I am probably spending the same amount of money on multiples of that one item as I would have on a single purchase of that same item at full price.  The purpose of stockpiling is to never have to pay full price for items that you and your family need.

So, the next time our family needs new toothbrushes, we just go to our stock pile instead of having to go to the store and pay the $5.99 they were worth.  Trust me when I say that this is a habit that will bless your family abundantly!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Where to go from here

Evening.

Hope you all are doing well as you sit and await my latest post.  It is so very hard to be consistent.  However, I am learning more and more about managing my time.  As a matter of fact, I have been able to sit down and read several books since I last wrote.  This would also contribute to why I have not been able to write recently.

Ah, well.  That is how it goes.  Isn't it?  You spend time sanding out the rough edges in one part of your life, and all the while another part is left tattered and dismayed. 

I can honestly say, however, that I have been progressing on my couponing.  It has been quite the fun experience, and at times, I even feel as though I could do justice to those who call themselves extreme couponers.  Why, just two weeks ago, I saved over $150 on formula alone, and since I don't really use much formula, we were able to send it on to the orphanage in Africa.  Good thing too, because we may have just found the very Orphan that God has called us to adopt.  He is extremely malnourished and he could certainly gain much from the formula God so graciously chose to give us.

On another note . . . God has been really tugging at my heart strings lately on several things.  I am not sure if I am ready yet to divulge these things at this moment.  But they are there none the less.

Again, I hope you, my readers (the very few I have been able to maintain), are doing well in the days since we have last spoke, and I pray that you continue to do well in the future.

Here is a word of encouragement to leave you with -

Romans 15:4-6
4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.
 5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, 6 so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Guest Blogger Numero Dos

Child Labor Laws 

Written By - Jennifer Hambrick

This one has soap box potential. Consider yourself warned.

We had just gotten home from the grocery store with a van full of food to bring in and put away.
It was past dinner time.
Nobody had napped.
Jeremiah had to work late so I was by myself.
I was having numerous contractions and knew I needed to lay down.

And so, I asked every kid to help carry in the groceries with me and then asked Ella if she would get the boys in their pajamas while I worked on putting away the groceries and starting dinner.

She did a stellar job.

And we all got to eat dinner a little sooner.
And I got to lay down a little earlier.

I have read and overheard on several different occasions lately of other mothers proudly announcing their opinions that it was "unfair" to "burden" their older child(ren) with caring for their younger child(ren).

Ahem.

To put it nicely, I just sort of scratch my head at this train of thought. I don't get it. I feel absolutely no angst or guilt about expecting all family members to do their share of work and help each other out when necessary. I don't see any benefit in the whole coddling thing, and I make no apologies for it.

While I am careful not to delegate any responsibilities relating to safety to Ella (at least at this age) I can only think of the good things that come about from her sharing in the responsibilities of the family in age appropriate ways. Or possibly in some maybe not so age appropriate ways, as I don't know many other five year olds that can get their younger brothers ready for bed.

Then again, I don't know of any other five year olds that have a four and three year old brother either, ha!

I can, however, think of numerous character flaws that might arise out of raising a child to grow up thinking that they shouldn't be made to carry any responsibility within a family.

I can't wait for the day that Ella can actually baby sit for us. Or for the boys to cook dinner for me. And you had better believe they will all be pitching in with laundry. Glory hallelujah, I can see a day coming!

I am trying to raise self-sufficient children, after all.

Ok, stepping off my soap box here.

Am I completely off my rocker here? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this issue...

In the meantime, I have to go check on my son who is currently cleaning my living room.
























**Actually, he is just fulfilling his "consequence" for deciding it was a grand idea to break his pretzels up into little tiny pieces and fling them all over my living room.**

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Guest Blogger

Straw Bale Gardening: 101 

Written by Tasha Via 

It appears as though I have sparked some interest from many of you about my straw bale garden.

Let me just preface this by saying, I don't really know what I'm doing.  This is the first year I am attempting this and, as I quite frequently am reminded of, I kill just about everything green around this house.

With that in mind, I do have a couple of helpful sites with step-by-step information on how to get your own straw bale garden started.  And since I never profess to be better than the average gardener I will let these sites speak for themselves.

Why would you choose to do a straw bale garden?
  • We live on top of granite...literally.  It is about six inches down under the whole town of Rolesville.  It makes gardening even that much more difficult.
  • You don't have to have a large yard to have this kind of garden.  Just large enough to put a few bales of straw.
  • You don't need much soil.  It really saves money in the long run.

Where did you figure out how to do this?
First of all, I saw the idea for the first time on this blog.  I figured it was worth a try.

Her bales looked awesome by the time it was all said and done.

Then, my friend, whom I've talked into doing this with me, found this great link to a local guy who is obviously a pro at this sort of thing.

Do you have any pointers for us?
Yes, I have already learned that you are supposed to place the straw bales sideways, with the string around the perimeter and the loose ends up and down.  This will help keep them together as they begin to disintegrate.  I turned and rearranged my bales yesterday.

Do you have any other resources that you can pass along?
If you are still unsure about this technique or have more questions, this site may be able to help.  It goes into great detail about the type of bale you should buy, the different layouts of your garden, how to plant your seedlings and how to take care of the garden.

And if you're still not sold on this idea, you can read more about straw bale gardening HERE, HERE and HERE.

Hopefully by the end of the summer my garden will look something like this!  Hey, a girl can dream can't she?

Monday, March 28, 2011

No Not Me Never Ever Monday ; )




I would never ever make a blog and let it sit for over two whole months . . . No Not Me, Never Ever!

I would never ever chalk it up to being pregnant and not feeling well, and then I surely wouldn't blame it on having a baby and being so completely exhausted.  I mean, what mom (that has three children 2 years and under) would ever be exhausted any how?  If I were to be so exhausted, I wouldn't secretly envy all of my sister-in-laws who I feel are super moms.  (Yes, even you Joy . . . crazy Super Nanny Therapist)

I also wouldn't ever read other mom's blogs and drool over their energy and tenacity.  I mean I always have my act together.  I have each day planned out and maximize my time to capacity.

And certainly, I would never ever watch TV while FINALLY getting around to writing a blog that I hadn't put off for two months.  No, because that would distract me and it might also take twice as long to do a task that I am always so focused on.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Adoption Fundraiser



Friends! I am trying to help raise funds for two families to bring home two precious little girls from Africa!

From now till the end of this month, I will be giving 100% of my commission to these families.

For every dollar, they will receive 25% to go towards their adoption.

Plus! AtHome America is having their HUGE January SALE! So, you will get a ton for your dollars worth and give to a great cause at the same time!

Visit www.athome.com/keeshavia to look at a catalog and place your order. Or, ask me how you can give directly to these families' funds!

Please spread the word!

Let's try to get 25 $100 orders by the end of this month and help bring those precious girls HOME!


Keesha Via
AtHome America
HomeStyle Specialist #42343
www.athome.com/keeshavia
keeshavia@gmail.com

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