Thursday, January 26, 2012

Questions, Questions, So Many Questions

The Riddler (BF).jpg
The Riddler isn't my favorite villain but he is definitely an interesting one. When I thought of a title for this post and "questions" came to mind it automatically formed into his mantra from the movie. Just a little humor in a somewhat heavy post.

Do you ever find yourself questioning yourself or even God? That is where I am at right now. I have been there many times over the past 46 years of my life, maybe not so much in the first years but certainly once I was old enough to understand the harder things in life. I learned some of those at the very early age of four years old.

Life isn't fair and it doesn't always make sense. Why is that? Because it is full of human beings who don't always make the right choices. And who's to say the right choice for them is the right one for you? But so many lives and decisions affect others. 

Over the summer and in the early days of fall my questions centered around the "why did the doors close for us to serve overseas?" We have yet to understand that one. We were willing. We did all the training. But the doors didn't stay open. I have dealt with that for the most part. At times it shows its ugly head and I try to shove it away as quickly as it appeared. Bitterness and doubt have no place in my life. God is in control and He knows what is best for me and my family. He also knows the perfect time for all things. 

What are my questions now, you are wondering? I am wondering if I was wrong to start up my kidcare business again. Or if I "heard" God wrong or thought I heard Him. Why am I asking that question? Because I have worked so hard to get things together, purchased the needed supplies to make my centers again, rearranged the house to accommodate the school and it looks awesome. I have my license  I have been putting the word out to all of my friends. I have signed up on multiple boards to advertise my business. I have my website where I made my own banner (and it looks great) and a fb page for my business. I even had the signs on my car that my daughter was driving until it died. I have great business cards that I have handed out.  BUT  I have gotten ZERO phone calls from prospective parents. Not a one. I have been advertising the start up for months. I have had my website since October. 

Did I do the wrong thing? I honestly don't know at this point. I know I am excited to have this adventure begin. I need it to happen to help pay our bills. I want my husband to be able to take a job with fewer hours closer to home even if it means less pay. I didn't want to take a job outside the home because I homeschool my children and LOVE it. I don't want to give that up. But there are bills to be paid and this is something that I love doing and can make the money I need to pay those bills and get things paid off if I am careful about my spending and where it goes. I can't do any of those things until the phone rings and parents start bringing their children for me to teach.

I am also wondering why after years of putting in applications at other places my husband is still working at a job that is a long drive and long hours away from his family. We found out that the second shift supervisor is quitting and that will leave him to help cover that shift which means more long hours. I am already struggling with the lack of time he is able to devote to time with God and our family because of the mental draining that goes on all day at work. I really don't understand why God isn't opening a door for him closer to home with less stress.

I am wondering how we are going to manage with only one car between the three of us, our oldest lives here and my cheap little car died. With longer hours for my husband it will make sharing a car even more stressful. I wish that old car would have held out a few more months. I am thankful it lasted six months. That was six months she was able to get to work. But what now? It just makes things even more of a strain with all the other things going on. 

What should I do now? As I type this a still small voice whispers:

"Be still and know that I AM God. Be patient and wait upon the ME. MY timing is perfect. I know the plans I have for you, good plans." 

I will keep working on things in my life that need work and keep praying that God will send the kids HE wants me to teach. I will keep praying He provides a different job for my husband. I will keep praying He provides a car for my daughter so she can get to work and church. And I trust HIM to provide for our needs, as I know HE will, without a doubt. 

It's OK when those times in your life you start to question God. Do you know why? Because He is big enough to handle it. He understands how you feel. He wants you to come to Him even with questions and doubts. He loves you so much. He just wants you to come to Him. He can give you peace and assurance. He will answer you. Maybe not the way you thought He would. But He will answer. And He promised to supply all of our NEEDS. Again, maybe not how we thought it should happen. He knows best and sees the outcome of all things. 

Thanks for letting me share this. Writing always helps put things into perspective and I was able to hear God speaking to me as I was quiet and listening for that Word from Him. I know the answer lies in spending more time with Him in the Word and in prayer. Only He can give me the peace I need to live each day as it comes and make the best of each one. 

Until next time...blessings to you.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Four Keys To Success

I am reading a great book by Candace Cameron Bure. You might remember her on Full House as DJ Tanner. She has written a great book called Reshaping It All: Motivation for Physical and Spiritual Fitness. This is one of the things I am using to help me keep the right frame of mind about my whole weight loss journey. 

The chapter I am on right now is called Unlock Your Freedom. It talks about the keys to success. I know I want success in this adventure. And I want to keep it off for good. I don't want to travel down this road again over and over again anymore. I have done that all of my adult life. 

So the first key is Willpower. We can't just want to do something, we have to put action behind  it. We can strengthen our willpower through positive thoughts. That makes sense, doesn't it? Negative thoughts sure don't make it easier to accomplish something. We have to keep our thoughts positive in order to accomplish weight loss. Plus willpower is what it takes to push on even when obstacles get in our way, including stress.

The next key is Belief. What we believe will be our outcome. We need to choose to believe we can succeed. We need to believe that our bodies were created to be a certain way and through healthy eating we can live a more abundant life. We have a choice to believe negative thoughts or positive ones. I want to be a positive person and believe I can succeed.

The third key is Decision. Each small decision we make builds to make a bigger picture. Every time we say no to something we shouldn't eat that takes that want a little farther away. I have successfully cut out soda again. It was really easy this time because I had given it up four years ago and only just started having a few here and there this past year. I am limiting sweets to a bare minimal. Not because I have to, because I choose to. I have a goal in mind, a purpose. I don't want to weigh this anymore. So even though saying no to one candy bar might seem small, it really isn't. I was able to purchase one for my husband on Saturday and didn't even think about buying one for myself. The desire wasn't even there. That is progress, especially for a chocoholic like myself. 

The fourth key is Action. Nothing will happen without action.You have to put action to your decisions, belief and willpower. We can want something all day long but without action we aren't going to get it. If we need to set aside a certain time to workout then we better do it. Then when that time comes around don't hesitate but jump in there and get it done. I know I feel so much better after I have worked out, even when it was at 6 in the morning. I was proud of myself for getting up and working out. I knew I had done something to move forward in what I wanted. 

We have to put all four together to succeed. We can't just rely on one or the other. They work together. I know I don't have as much to go as some, but to me, it seems like a great deal. I have gotten down to 150 pounds before but I really need to reach a much lower amount on the scales. For my height I should weigh between 120 and 130. I was 120 pounds for a long time before I had children. I would like to try working all the fat off my body and toning as best I can and see what that looks like on the scales. I could weigh more because muscle weighs more than fat. I didn't have much muscle on my body back then even though I was 120 pounds. I plan to have a toned body and will be fine if that looks like more on the scales. 

Some key thoughts: I have been putting my goals into action. I have been watching portion control and counting my calories since the beginning of December. I have been working out almost daily for the past three weeks. I have been taking care of my face daily like I should. It is my desire to have overall better health. 

What goals are you going to put the four keys into practice to accomplish?

Changing my life a day at a time.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Field Trip: George Washington Exhibit

Before Christmas we finished a unit on the American Revolution and George Washington's life. There just happened to be an exhibit at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History on George Washington. How exciting for us. We were thrilled that our friends, Cindy and Ryan, have season passes and were able to invite us to go. It really made all we learned come alive and we learned even more.

I hope you enjoy our slide show. This didn't include the whole exhibit but I got what I could.

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What is your favorite field trip your family has done?

That is our progress report for today. Thanks for stopping by. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Freezer Cooking

Vintage CookingI am not sure if everyone knows about "freezer cooking" or "once a month cooking" or other names people call it. Whatever name you use, it's the same concept: you cook a bunch of stuff once a month and stick it in the freezer then pull it out at dinner time each night without all the prep work that goes into putting it together. It takes a bit of extra time one day a month. A lot of people choose a Saturday because they can enlist the aid of their entire family for it. The size of your family will determine how much time it will take. I have five people that live in my home right now. If you have 8 or 10 then you would make twice as much as I would. Make sense? You know your family and the size meals they eat. So when you plan out your cooking just do what you always do and allow for that many mouths. 

A very helpful website I found is Life As Mom. She has a whole list of helpful blog posts. It tells you step by step her plan for doing this. There are lists of how to pack things, what the time limit is on freezing things, even breakfast freezing. 

freezer cooking

Also, I found another great site, Fabulessly Frugal. She has a thing called Fabuless Freezer Cooking. She has the plan, how to get a "group" of friends together to do it with you so you all save money and lots of recipes. 

It is going to take me a bit of time to sort through these sites and decide what will work for me. But it is my hope that I can start this next week. We get paid once a month so cooking once a month sounds great. I can get everything I need at the store for my freezer cooking and pick a day to cook. Then have my dinner in the freezer for each day. That sounds GREAT for those days when I am just worn out and don't have the energy to think about what to make for dinner or to even turn on the stove. We all have those days. Plus the breakfast in the freezer cooking sounds wonderful. It would be great to offer my family a nice hot meal for breakfast instead of cereal or poptarts. That is a much healthier start to the day.

I will post recipes and updates as I figure it all out. And share what works for me and what doesn't. Everything has to be made to fit your life because we are all different and one thing doesn't always work for another.  

Until next time...blessings to you.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Our Progress

August - December 2011
The first half of this school year has been wonderful. The reason I put a castle for my picture was to represent all the places we have traveled through stories and movies of the year, and the many others we will visit in the years to come. I have managed to blog about most of the really fun and interesting things we have done. We started the school year off in August by finishing up three units from last year's curriculum that we weren't able to finish because of all the preparation for our trip to Kenya in June. We went right into this years material without a pause. We completed two of those units. That makes five units for the first half of our year. 

We had some great projects with our homeschool groups. We did a Dolphin Tale study  and went to the movie on opening day for Home School Day. We made a lap book for Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs. The kids played soccer with one of our groups and I was the coach. We had a super missions day for our AAHE October meeting. We had one field trip, to the public library. Because we are part of two groups we are able to do more. Our last group activity of 2011 was our Christmas party, which was a huge success and loads of fun. 

We did a major field trip to Kenya in June/July. That was an experience that our family will never forget. We spent three weeks there. We were on 9 airplanes and it took over 30 hours to reach our final destination each way. Even though that wasn't "during the school year" we felt it was a huge part of our educational experience.  

I rearranged the "school room" twice. This last time was to accommodate the re-opening of our kidcare and preschool.  We have involved the front room and the dinning room. It really looks nice and we have all of our resources readily available when we need them. 

January - May 2012
We started back to school on January 2. We had three weeks off of school in December and were ready to jump back into it. We have some huge plans for this half of the school year. We will do two more units before taking our Spring Break. Then we will do two more units and finish school mid May. They will finish this years Math by spring break. They will be given the option of starting next years math. I purchased their math for the next several years at the book fair last year. 

We are planning a very special Spring Break for the kids to show them we are proud of all their hard work in school this year. We want to make it a tradition each year to do something special, fun and different. They have no idea what we have planned. 

We hope to do a few more field trips for the year. There is an exhibit on George Washington at the local museum that we are going to see next week. They have a special website to go along with the exhibit and enhance your learning experience. We will do more book/movie studies. Our next one will be War Horse. We will read the book, do the study and see the movie in January. 

That is just a glimpse of the next five months. I can't wait to blog the pictures from all the adventures we will have. 

That's our progress report for today. Thanks for stopping by.