Friday, April 27, 2012

Simple Secrets to a Happy Life by Luci Swindoll

First of all, I picked this book because Luci is well respected and well known through Women of Faith.  I was able to attend Women of Faith in the fall, but Luci wasn't on the speaking circuit.  The title of this book pretty much sums up the book and is pretty self explanatory.  There really is nothing new or earth shattering in this book, but it is quite practical and encouraging.

Luci has 50 ways to make the most of everyday.  Each chapter is short and sweet with examples from her life along with scripture references.  It's a quick and easy read; in fact I read it in the first couple days after getting it, but it's been sitting for weeks waiting for me to post this review.  If I had a coffee table this one would be on it.

Although, nothing is new in this book, it helped me take a look at my life and see if there was anything I could change.  And, as usual with speakers from Women of Faith, I wanted to get to know Luci.  There's something about being sincere and honest about your life in a book that is appealing to an audience. Here's a quote on the back of the book:

Everyone falls in love with Luci.  Everyone reads one of her books and wants to know this woman personally.  Everyone feels that sweet sense of connection, where it seems that she is sharing from her plainest, deepest self, and seeing into yours...She's the world's soul mate." -Ann Lamott

And, here's a quote from chapter 37 Figure it out for yourself:
*be clean both inside and out
*neither look up to the rich or down on the poor
*lose, if need be, without squealing
*win without bragging
*always be considerate of women, children and older people
*be too brave to lie
*be too generous to cheat

Remember this: as you figure out life for yourself, start doing common things in an uncommon way.  When you do, you'll command the attention of the world.

Basically, this was a positive book that I'm sure I'll read from time to time.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 

Other blog posts about Women of Faith speakers: Marilyn Meberg and Patsy Clairmont
If you haven't heard any of these women speak and have an opportunity, I highly recommend them! 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Thank you Mom!

This month my mom signed up to send Leah and Anna a package for Project Gillen.  Thank you Mom for sending a cool care package that arrived today!  Today Leah had knee surgery, which was perfect timing!
Lovely care package!
Prayer bear made just for Leah.

Princess prayer bear made just for Anna.
Puzzle titled: Conquering Life's storms

Yummy chocolate, flower seeds, lotion and candles....what more could a girl want??!!

And the tye die kit of course!
Thanks again mom! You are AWESOME!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Life Changes

So, here I was last week: My husband has left for work and my daughter is still asleep.  And, here I am thinking I should get up and start my day. Instead I'm sitting in the living room enjoying the sun streaming through our front window and reflecting on our upcoming move which is just about 5 weeks away 4 weeks away now that I'm getting to edit this! However, the day I wrote the above, my little monkey woke up before I had a chance to finish this and I stopped...Sometimes when this happens, I just leave the post alone and never publish it, but this is one I want to finish!

I'm working hard to be as organized as possible, but I realize when moving day comes we will just be throwing things in boxes without thinking about whether the stuff should really go together.  I also have been thinking about the process of emotionally being ready to move.  We have been prepping for this move for 2 years and we think we're ready, but are we?  Here's the process of how things happened:

1. Job was offered at the beginning of the year: Shock and awe because there really was a job offer.  Seriously, when you've been waiting 2 years for something to happen, it's hard to believe it when it does!

2.  Sadness to be leaving eastern Washington.  We truly love it here and had there been an option we would have chosen to stay. 

3.  Put house on the market, and it sold in less than a month. WOW!

4.  Reality hitting that we are truly moving.  THIS is happening, so we better get ready.

5.  Although it is sad to leave this community that has become such an integral part to our family's life, it is time to move on. 

6.  Excitement has begun!  We will be close enough to the coast and close enough to Portland to able to have plenty of day trips: the beach, omsi, the zoo...and many other activities!

7. We will be close to family and friends!

8. How do I tell my little monkey that we are moving?  Well, we have gotten books from the library, talked about the move and constantly talk about it.  She still thinks we are moving in with the grandparents because that's where we stay when we visit for holidays.  Honestly, it makes sense, but it's a hard concept for her to understand.  

9. Packing and organizing is a long, tedious task. The donation pile is growing!

10. Just about 4 weeks and we will be heading to our new destination!

Any of you had any big moves with a toddler?  Any recommendations on how to help with the transition?

My little monkey decided to clean her room.  Her room was spotless, this was the hallway!

Friday, April 13, 2012

DIY No Sew Purse Pockets

Have you ever had one of those purses that you just keep digging for your keys or your phone and it takes forever to get to them in the never-ending abyss??!! 
One of my birthday gifts was this purse: 

I'm in love with this purse, and I decided I needed more pockets(got tired of digging for what I needed.)  So, I made a cardboard insert.

Materials needed: 
cardboard, scissors, jeans, liquid stitch(or other adhesive), and a measuring tape.

1. I measured the inside of the purse
2. I cut the cardboard to fit
I made sure to put this inside the purse to see if it was what I was hoping for.
3. I cut the part of the jeans I wanted to use and started gluing
My goal was more pockets.
I also glued the jeans on the other side.
4. Once the glue had dried I put the finished product in the purse
Purse before
And, after insert
I have used this today and I feel so much more organized!  Pockets for my phone and keys!

Monday, April 9, 2012

DIY craft experiment

I found this vest on pinterest that I decided to attempt making:

*my personal pictures below DO NOT look classy like these pictures, not really the end goal anyway :)

The instructions called for a large or extra large hanes t-shirt. And, since I didn't have that I just decided I'd experiment with a t-shirt I already had to see if it's something I wanted to make in the future. My t-shirt was a medium, so there wasn't nearly as much material to work with.  I think I've decided I may want to venture out and find some cheap larger t-shirts to give this a try. Maybe pair it with a tank top on a nice spring day or a long sleeved shirt in the winter?!!  

**warning: I took these pictures in the short time I had by myself(a friend had my daughter).
And, this vest did take about 5 minutes to make!
Belt in place to show you what the vest truly looks like using a smaller shirt than instructed. Not quite the look I was aiming for, but this was an experiment.

I totally want to make it with a larger shirt!
If I have a chance to redeem myself and make this with a larger shirt, I will definitely do another post(or maybe I should stay away from no sew clothing??). This was easy to make!
And, here's what it looks like on a little person:
I think this will go in her play clothing bin...might be turned into a superhero cape!

Giveaway: Jillian Michaels 30 day shred dvd

And the winner is: Tara.  
You have made the most referrals and contributed so much to this blog! 
Thank you!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Running skirts

I'd totally enter a race just to get one of these running skirts.
Skirts+running shoes=awesome!

DIY Headbands

Here's some pictures of the super easy headbands I made today, for instructions go here:

Because of a friend, life is a little stronger, fuller, more gracious thing for the friend's existence, whether she be near or far. If the friend is close at hand, that is best; but if she is far away, she still is there to think of, to wonder about, to hear from, to write to, to share life and experience with, to serve, to honor, to admire, to love.
-Arthur Christopher Benson
Thanks Catrina for this quote on my birthday! 

And another quote from a card:
You are valuable because you exist. Not because of what you do or what you have done, but simply because you are.
-Max Lucado

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Tara's Corner: Easter

Hello again!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Holy Week and are looking forward to Easter as much as I am. Holiday's are always so fun and interesting in my family, and most definitely religious holidays. It's a very different experience for me now that I am a mom and my kids are getting older. What I often find myself thinking of is that I want to make sure my kids fully understand the true reason and meaning behind holiday's like Easter and Christmas, while still preserving the magic that comes with such things as the Easter Bunny and Santa Clause. I do everything I can to make sure there is room for both sides, but I would often wonder how much was reaching them..then there's been the last two years.

Now last year, I took my oldest son, Talon with me to, for lack of a better description, a reenactment of the crucifixion of Jesus. The Nazarene Church in Nampa, Idaho puts this on every year and they do a beautiful job. It is one of the most touching things I have ever seen. I have been many many times since that first year I went with my dear friend Angie and her family.  It never fails to have me in tears and to the point of bringing me to my knees in worship. Taking Talon with me was a big deal, because even though I've discussed with my kids the fact that God sent his only Son to save us, actually seeing the man portraying Jesus being nailed to the cross and his weak voice begging his Father to forgive us as he dies, well, I wanted to wait until I felt each of them was at an age were they had the ability to sort their feelings about it and could find the words to ask the questions I had no doubt would be there. Talking about it is one thing, seeing it portrayed is another. Not to mention that he would be witnessing the wreck his mother looks like afterwards, and I wanted him to be able to understand that in the end it is tears of joy, praise, and thanks for this beautiful gift.

I was so proud how much Talon took in, how much he understood and how well thought out his questions were about the things he didn't quite get. To a young child of 9 it is so hard to imagine anyone not loving Jesus. I am looking forward to sharing this with my other 3 children in the coming years. My ultimate goal is to one day be a part of the cast that shares this beautiful message.
Resurrection scene from No Greater Love at Nampa First Church of the Nazrene

This year, just like every year, I was preparing myself for what I was going to give up during Lent. For the last 6 years I have given up ALL meat for the full 40 days of Lent. I have talked to my kids about this and of course they notice, us being a fairly carnivorous family and all. Imagine my pride when all on his own, Talon tells me that he would like to give something up for Lent. Following him, were his younger brother and sister who said they would like to give something up too. I was bursting with pride at the fact that they felt led to do this and completely on their own. I have only told them that I do it and my reasons why, but have never suggested that they should.

Talon and Chloe decided that they wanted to give up pizza and Hayden decided on soda. Now these things may not seem like a big deal, but in the minds of a 10 year old and two 8 year olds, it is. Especially when we have many birthday parties serving pizza and pop during Feb and March, and every Tues being pizza day at school. I was very grateful to the Parma School lunch staff for supporting Talon and Chloe in their decision by offering an alternative lunch for them on Tuesdays.

Several weeks into this we were at my parents house and my brother had gotten pizza for everyone for dinner. Not only could Talon and Chloe not eat the dinner, but neither could I since all of them had some sort meat on them. As the first one was pulled out of the oven and the second one was cooking with the yummy pizza smell filling the house, Talon says out of no where, "You know what mom? This is really hard!" Right there was the recognition and the opening I had been waiting for. I of course told them the reason I did this every year, but right here with the smell of the food and knowing he was making a choice to 'give it up' I was able to drive my point home. That yes, I'm sure it did feel very difficult to not have pizza with everyone. And that there are times when I am so hungry for whatever meat product I am cooking for them for dinner, but not able to enjoy because of what I gave as difficult as this feels for us, imagine what it must have felt like for God to give His child, His ONLY Son, to die for our sins. Now that is sacrifice. Seeing the full understanding in the faces of my 3 young children, seeing them really 'get' why we do this every year, was such an amazing experience.

So this weekend as we dye the eggs and fill little plastic ones with candy, money, and trinkets and wait for the Easter Bunny to hide them, I will enjoy watching my kids running around, filling their baskets knowing, with full confidence, that they understand the TRUE meaning of Easter.

I appreciate everyone who took the time to read this long winded post, letting me express something that is so dear in my life; my faith, and my children. I wish each and every one of you a blessed Easter spent with those you hold most dear.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Journey to a new back: workouts and giveaway

I'm slowly getting back into my workout routine, but I realize I have to be careful because re-injuring my back shortly after the initial injury is worse the 2nd time around.

What's working for me:
the heating pad is wonderful
stress relief yoga: click here for more info
level 1 of 30 day shred(modified)

And, I know many of you have heard me talk about Jillian Michaels workouts.  I love her 30 day shred workout, especially level 1.  The level 1 workout does wonders for my back.

And here's the information for the giveaway:
1. Like my face book page if you haven't already:
Optional: Refer people to like my face book page, each referral will get an extra entry.  If you send people to like my page, make sure they tell me you sent them.
Winner will be picked on April 9th

And, stay tuned for a guest post coming from Tara's Corner!