Five Things Friday: two in a row!

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On My Heart: A few things. My words. A lot about my words, actually. Too much to fit into a Five Things Friday, so expect to be reading more about my thoughts soon.But let me tell ya… having a hormonal almost-teenager and a limit-pushing three year old is hard. And exhausting in ways that make those early years of sleepless nights seem like a cake walk. My self control. I’m revisiting these thoughts again and working through how I handle food. My daughters. My two big girls are taking their annual standardized test today and it has been quite an anxiety-inducer for one of them. I don’t know how children that tend towards anxiety handle regular tests. It’s so hard to watch her stress over something I cannot change. I know it’s a good lesson – because there will always be things we cannot control – but that doesn’t make it easier.

On My Mind: I’m trying to get back in the habit of baking bread and snacks from scratch. After all, if the goal here is raising our own meat (pork and chicken, at least) and growing our own vegetables … eating store bought bread is kind of silly. So my second batch of bread for the week is cooling right now. I’m slowly increasing the amount of whole wheat flour in the recipe, to see how far I can go before people around here start to notice. Banana muffins are just about gone. Coconut-cranberry granola bars are also cooling. It’s more work but it’s worth it. Oh and speaking of more work …. changing doctors? Yeah, it’s a pain. The mountain of paperwork I have to fill out in order to move 6 people to a new doctor’s office is immense. I have to fill it all out just to get us on their calendar!

On My iPhone: Still searching Pandora for music I like. Who knew I was so picky? Good lyrics. Well placed and executed harmonies. Nothing too fast or loud. My answer so far has been hymns. I put on a hymn channel and let it play.

On My DVR: {Netflix for the summer} I’ve started watching Prison Break. Good crime dramas are right up my alley. We recently watched Food, Inc and have a couple more documentaries of a similar style in our list. I noticed that Call The Midwife is also on Netflix. Any opinions on that show?

On My List: Number One on my list is garden prep. When we built our house, we started with a very wooded lot. To get it clear enough to build was a lot of work. Now the work continues, as we want to expand the yard for a large garden. More trees to come down, more raking, more brush burning. Then I can start begging friends with heavy machinery to come over and level it out for us. Then we can build the raised beds and mix our soil/manure. Then I can transplant my little seedlings. Oh and did I mention that all needs to happen this month? It’s going to be a long, exhausting, dirty month around here!

Five Things Friday: the spring edition

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On My Heart: Am I doing things, just to do things or am I doing things that the Lord would have me do? And if I am doing the things that the Lord would have me do, am I doing them with a good attitude? Are they more than another item on the checklist, these things that are important to the Lord, or have they just been checked off and forgotten?  Honestly, I am a list checker-offer. I just like it all done. How we get there isn’t always pretty though and the Lord is gently reminding me, as of late, that the journey is as much a part of the plan as the end result. I’m trying to slow down and enjoy the journey. It’s a struggle for this charge ahead, take no prisoners kinda gal. But I am trying. So I’m stopping to look at a rock collection or tie the shoelace (for the hundredth time). I’m letting my big girls cook dinner and not worrying as much about picture perfect cleanliness when last minute plans with friends for dinner plan fall together. How we get there is just as important as getting there, my heart keeps whispering to my run ahead brain.

On My Mind: Gardening. Chickens. Pigs. Flowers. Landscaping. Walkways. Lawns. All things spring. My wonderful hubby bought me a greenhouse. I love it! Me and my little helpers planted tons of little seeds in paper cups. I think things would be doing a little bit better if it were warmer outside, but winter is not letting go without a fight this year. A more organizer gardener would have put a small heater in her greenhouse, since we’ve had some very cold nights, but I forgot. Our chickens will be arriving some time next week. We are only getting chickens for laying eggs right now. (Last year we raised meat birds.) We will do more meat birds – because I loved having a freezer full of chicken! – but not until summer. And the pigs. Well, they are pigs! Noisy, filthy, bossy fat things. They aren’t nearly as fun to watch as chickens but again, a freezer full of meat will be very nice come fall. And landscaping, walkways and lawns are slowly coming along. Much slower than my patience level would prefer but it will all come in time.

On My iPhone: Pandora is where my music is coming from lately. I listen to a few different channels as time allows. I’m trying to get into listening to podcasts, but find it difficult to focus on them. As for apps – My Fitness Pal is my go to lately. I find the simple act of recording what I eat is very impactful. Grocery Gadget is my favorite app for keeping my shopping organized. I’m trying out a few different coupon apps as well. If I lived closer to a Target (I’d be broke), I would use the Cartwheel app a lot more.

On My DVR: We just suspended our television service for a couple months but decided to try Netflix for early mornings and rainy days. I need to know what to add to my playlist! What’s your favorite Netflix show or movie?
On My List: My Hubster is working this weekend, so my list is pretty short. We are going to get laundry done. That’s pretty much it and that’s also enough to fill my weekend! We’ve gotten so behind on laundry. I’m slowly compiling a list of curriculum haves, needs and wants for the 2014-2015 school year. Science is a no-brainer for us but everything else is kind of up in the air. We will be prepping for our annual standardized testing this week. We are slowly wrapping up our school year and I’m so happy with our progress this past year. We are also working through another new chore chart. It seems that we can never keep one for too long. What’s your favorite way to keep track of chores?

Five Things Friday. Finally.

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I’ve missed a couple of Fridays lately. Sorry. We’ve been a bit swamped.

On My Heart: Teaching my daughters to do things well, not to just do things. This is mainly focusing on chores right now but I’m praying that the lessons sink in deep. There is a testimony at work when we do things well, with a good attitude and with joy. It may not seem like it matters to make your bed when no one is coming over and you’re just going to get in it again anyway. But it matters.  And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,  knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. (Col. 3:23-24) Peace is also on my heart. Living at peace.  If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. (Romans 12:18) I don’t think this means I have to be best friends with everyone I meet. But I need to have a peaceful relationship. And if that means to keep my heart peaceful, I keep my distance, … maybe that’s okay. I’m still chewing on that one.

On My Mind: I don’t even want to say it. Health. Exercise. Ugh. Can anyone else ugh with me? It’s hard to be disciplined in what we eat and do. I’m slowly working healthier carbs into our diet. I’m also painfully sore this morning after doing a new workout. We aren’t going totally gluten-free for several reasons, but we are working on healthier options. It’s hard, people. That’s what’s on my mind. As I go through my day, it’s on my mind. Thinking if I’m making a good choice. How will this choice I’m making impact my calorie totals at the end of the day. It’s a lot of thinking and choosing, rather than just grabbing and going. Being intentional about anything takes work, right?

On My iPod: We have an edit here…. drum roll ….. I got an iPhone. Prior to this I was using either an ipod Nano that is seriously older than half my kids or a cracked, barely working iPod touch. I should clean up the Nano and save it because it might be a collector’s item in a few years. Due to some new responsibilities I have, it was necessary that I was easy to get ahold of. My little $15 Tracfone was not reliable. So an upgrade was necessary. Right now on my phone, I’m learning how to use Siri, how to talk my texts and playing with different ringtones. But the newest music on my phone is some old music. It’s a CD that was given to us when Lael and Alyssa were little called Sing the Word. They listened to it so much, it wore out! So we bought it again for Lauren and Addie. They listen to it when they go to sleep and through the day. Thankfully digital files don’t wear out!

On My DVR: Hmm… that’s a good question. Let me check, hang on. Okay. Treehouse Masters and Building Wild are two shows that my Hubs got me into. The guys on these shows build the coolest things! We are totally into When Calls The Heart now. Elizabeth and Jack are so cute. If you haven’t caught it yet, I would highly recommend it. One thing that isn’t yet on my DVR is Dancing With The Stars. I haven’t really watched it in the past, but one of my favorite celebrities is going to be on this season. Candace Cameron Bure (DJ from Full House) has become popular again, for writing books and sharing some pretty good thoughts on submission while on national television. She’s outspoken about her Christianity and I appreciate that. I’m just not sure how she’s going to balance some level of modesty while dancing.

On My Schedule: We have a birthday coming up (Lauren will be 7!!), that’s always hard to schedule because trade show season is also starting. My husband is the sales manager for a local HVAC company. So when all those spring home shows start, he works at them. It makes for a busy March and April for us. We have lots we want to do and people we want to have over. But work comes first and that means trade shows.

Five Things Friday, v.5

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On My Heart: Really, there is probably too much to share. It’s been a long week. We’ve had our share of battles. A highpoint was surprising the girls with a day trip to the Adirondack Museum, where we met up with my mom and nephews. They then followed us home for the night, on the spur of the moment, after the kids all begged for more time together. Having them here and then gone so quickly, not knowing when they’ll come back, was hard. Custody and courts and such rule their time and Aunts are not included in such things. Today, I sent Alyssa (my food allergy girl) off with her sisters to the homeschool enrichment program that we all love. It’s always a bit challenging, even though she’s older. In my heart, I want to believe that everyone is watching out for her and thinking about her safety. Deeper in my cynical heart though, I wonder if anyone is thinking about her or the ingredients in the snack they hand out or hearing the taunting words thrown around in the cafeteria. I know kids will be kids and I know she’s my kid, my responsibility. But my cynical heart would also like to think that someone is keeping an extra eye on her.

On My Mind: I’m so thankful that my children asked if we could have Momway for dinner. A few years ago, I was grocery shopping but didn’t want to cook that night. For a quick dinner, I brought home various lunch meats, rolls and sandwich toppings. The girls lined up on one side of the counter and walked me through what they wanted on their sandwiches, much like going to Subway. Someone (I think it was Josh) renamed sandwich night Momway and it stuck. We all enjoy it. Little cleanup, no cooking and perfect for a night that Josh is out at a meeting. Happiness all around.

On My iPod: I am currently in a music rut. There is no music being played on my iPod. I’m sick of all of it. Suggestions are welcome. I like to play Monopoly though. And I still don’t like Flappy Bird.

On My DVR: This week, it’s also on my Redbox… Grace Unplugged is on tap for tonight. My girls love Jamie Grace and she has a supporting role in this film. It received the Plugged In award for best Christian film of the year. I’m looking forward to watching it. I’m two episodes behind on Person Of Interest. And for some reason we DVR Highway To Heaven but no one ever watches it…

On My Schedule: Dinner with new friends, Monday night classes at our church, Upward basketball … all leading up to a short getaway for our family to the Great Escape Lodge with my parents. To say the girls are excited would be a huge understatement. To say that I’m excited would probably be an understatement as well. We haven’t gone away to do something vacation-like in a really long time. A day trip here and there, but nothing like this. I am fighting the urge to start making packing lists until after our pretty busy weekend. Then it’s bathing suit fittings, flip flop buying, Puddle Jumper finding, one more Friday School and away we go!

Five Things Friday {the cranky version}

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On My Heart – Submission. There is not a ministry entitled ‘Doormats for Jesus.’ That is not what submission needs to be. There is supposed to be a mutual respect and love in order for submission to work the way God intended. When a relationship becomes more about who has a tougher life, there is no respect. It’s just an oh poor me contest. And I don’t think that is what Jesus wants for relationships in the Church.

On My Mind – Do I really need to say it? I do. I am so sick of winter. We have been battling sickness for weeks. Cabin fever is driving us all a bit batty. There is only so much you can do when the high temperature for the week is 10 or when it’s snowing like mad.  Normally, I really try to just enjoy winter knowing it will eventually come to an end. But seriously, I think we will be snowed in until July. And my kids like beatboxing when they’re bored. I don’t like beatboxing. This is becoming a problem.

On My iPod – I have exhausted all my music choices so we’ve now moved on to the girls’ music. One Girl Nation and Jamie Grace have been keeping us bumping along lately. Still some Christy, Kari, Chris and Natalie to keep me sane though. I’m not a pop music kinda gal. My girls are also trying to get me to like Flappy Bird. I don’t like Flappy Bird. It is the most frustrating game I’ve ever played.

On My DVR – Truth here too … I’m so sick of television. I really do like When Calls The Heart though. It’s just enough drama but still wholesome.

On My Schedule – dinner with new friends …  a weekend away, hopefully to a very fun location (much needed, can you tell?) … continuing Monday night classes at our church. The Ten Commandments class is so, so good … more Upward basketball … the usual.

See? I told you it was the cranky version!