Wednesday, December 30, 2015

January Habit


As part of having a schedule and a routine that will actually work for our family I would like to use our meals as the anchors of our days. So we need to have consistent meal times (so that we can have a consistent schedule and routine).

My goal/plan/habit is:

Breakfast 7:30 Monday - Friday
Lunch: 12:30 Monday - Friday
Dinner 6:00 Monday - Friday

Now weekends are a little less structured and while I don't want to lose that feeling of relaxation I also don't want Monday to be a complete and total restart because everything fell apart on Saturday and Sunday. So on the weekends the plan will be

Breakfast within 30 minutes of the children waking up on Saturday
8:00 Sunday 
Lunch between 12:30 and 1:30 (depending on what time they have breakfast)
After church on Sunday. We usually eat out on Sunday so I don't really have much to do here other than pick where we are going.
Dinner between 6:00 and 7:00 Saturday (this is the one day that I will do my best to wait for Micah to be home from work for us to eat)
We don't really eat dinner on Sunday so I will just say that if anyone is going to eat they must eat before 7:00.

As I said earlier I am hoping that by having our meal times set we can use those times as a structure for our day.
Example: Morning Routine will be finished after breakfast, afternoon routine will be started after lunch, and before bed routine will be completed after dinner.
My goal/hope is that by having the framework for my day tied to our meals (with 3 kids those meals happen no matter what) that going from one task to another will happen more naturally. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

12 Goals for 2016

I have 12 MAJOR goals that I would like to achieve in 2016!

Finishing reading through the Bible.
I started this last year and as of today I have read 838 chapters and I am 70% through the Bible! I chose to read the Bible in Chronological order and I am loving it! 

Finish 12 DIY projects
I don't have all the project decided on but I know a few of them
  1. Paint the inside of the house
  2. Refinish the end tables in the living room 
  3. Make a wreath for the front door 
  4. Make a command center in my office
Focus on one habit a month (28 days to create a habit)
I wrote about my monthly habits that I am wanting to work on here!

Take at least one picture a day

Have a monthly date night with Micah

Take one child out each month for one-on-one time

One Fun Friday Trip with the children each month

Go to Ohio for at least one family vacation

Set up a weekly blogging plan and stick with it!

Start our debt snowball back up

Learn how to make fudge

Start teaching Delaney how to cook

Monday, December 28, 2015

Goals for the Week of December 28

This is the last week of 2015! And I am determined to make it a GREAT week! I want to end 2015 the same way I want to start 2016, making GOOD decisions that will help me accomplish my goals for the new year!

I know the best way to do this is to have weekly goals that I can break down into daily goals! I also know that it's not enough to have goals but that you actually have to work/accomplish them. That's the part that I don't do as well with. But that changes, STARTING this week!

Here are my goals for this week
  1. Unpack at least 1 box a day (hopefully way more) 
  2. Menu/Grocery list/Grocery shopping for the week 
  3. Deep clean the refrigerator and freezer (in the house)
  4. Get Delaney's room ready for Elayna (unpack, bedding, curtains) 
  5. Go to Downtown Disney and get Christmas gift (it's the last one I have to buy - I think) 
  6. Get Christmas storage totes and put NEW Christmas decorations away for next year
  7. Make goals/lists/plans for 2016
  8. Plan something special for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day
  9. Work on blog schedule for the new year 
  10. Budget meeting with Micah to discuss financial goals for 2016
I have a lot more things that I want/need to get done this week but these are my top 10 MUST DO!

I have not decided yet if I will wait until next Monday to update on how my goals went or if I give a quick update at the end of each day. Giving an update everyday might be a bit much but it also might help with the accountability. Any suggestions or ideas?

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Monthly Habits for 2016

I am wanting to work on one habit a month this year. I have read that it takes 28 days to form a new habit (I think everyone has heard that at one time or another) and I'm just going to assume that it is true. So I feel like if I work on one habit a month then by the end of the month I should have it down! Right? Well, it looks good on paper!

So here are my habits for 2016!



Morning Routine

Afternoon Routine

Evening Routine







Christmas/New Year

I feel if I can get these things under control by the end of the year that I will be doing very well. I may have made my habits to broad (meaning covering to many things) and so I may have to adjust them as the year progresses. But I am really hoping to be able to commit to these habits and be well on my way to the "Best Year Ever"!

Friday, December 25, 2015

A Heavenly Cry

The cries of a baby pierce the silence. A young mother, exhausted from days of travel and hours of labor lifts a tiny body to her chest and looks into the face of Heaven.  A man stands beside the woman he loves and her child and vows to protect them both until the last breath leaves his body. 

A new family has been born in a cold world that is sick with sin and despair and these tiny pink hands hold the cure. As Mary tries to hush the cries of this new life I wonder if she stops to think that the voice that fills her ears is the same voice that spoke the world into existence. I wonder if she takes the time to contemplate that this tiny baby she holds in her hands is the God that created her and everything around them. 

She wraps him tight in swaddling clothes and holds him even tighter in her arms. She soothes him with her voice and loves him with all that she has. And I wonder if she realizes that the son she holds will one day lay down his life for her and become her savior. 

Shepherds appear and tell of angel choirs that announced the birth of Jesus. And I wonder if Mary knows that one day those shepherds will be replaced with angry crowds that demand his life and his blood. 

As she looks off into the darkness does she ponder blind eyes and deaf ears being healed by the one so tiny and small that clings to her. 

Wise men come bearing gifts fit for a king and does she know that one day they will be replaced by a friend that will betray him with a kiss. 

Does she know that his purpose for being born is simply to die! To take her sins and my sins and your sins upon himself and then to lay down his own sinless life to reconcile the world back to God. 

Tiny feet that she will teach to walk will one day walk up Calvary’s hill. 

A gentle voice that she will teach to speak will one day cry out from the cross for God to forgive wicked men. 

Tiny hands that cling to her now will one day have nails driven into them. 

Mary’s precious gift from God will one day give the world the most precious gift it has even been given. Salvation. 

As she holds this tiny new life in her arms and rocks the King of Kings to sleep for the first time does she hear the sound of hammers in the distance.  Are the muffled cries of “Crucify Him” drowned out by the praise of the shepherds and wise men. 

And I cannot help but wonder can she see the shadow of the cross that surely lays across his manger.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

My Word for 2016

Have you ever picked a word for the year?

I did it last year. My word was JUBILEE. And last year was our family's year of Jubilee. God restored EVERY SINGLE THING that had been taken from us a few years ago. We even decided to name our house "Our Port Jubilee". That word has so much meaning to our family now and I am so glad that we declared 2015 Our Year of Jubilee!

I knew I wanted/needed a word for 2016 but I also knew that I didn't want it to be just any word. I wanted it to be a word that would transform my thinking and change my life! I knew that it had to be a word that would impact me not just for 2016 but for eternity.

I went back and forth between a lot of words.


And finally I hit on the word that I am making my WORD FOR 2016

There are so many things in my life that I have to be thankful for, at the very least 365! God has blessed me with far far more than I deserve and I want to spend this next year thanking him for all of the gifts in my life. My prayer is that my thankfulness will go deep. You know past the good stuff and into the hard! I wrote a Thanksgiving article last year that sums up pretty well what I am hoping to accomplish this year.

Giving Thanks for the Hard Stuff 

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and along with the turkey and the stuffing comes the spirit of thankfulness. We will gather with family and friends, bow our heads over tables ladled with delicious foods and offer up our thanks to the creator of the universe for all of our many blessings. 

But what if this year we offered up a prayer of thanksgiving for the hard stuff. What if we decided that this year we would take our thankfulness to a whole new level. It is so easy to thank the Lord for health, home, children and friends. But I have learned that it is not our blessings that make us who we are, it is our trials and tribulations. So what if we were to thank God for those. 

My family prays over every meal and thanks God for his provision and yet I have never stood at a sink of dirty dishes and thanked God for that same provision. 

I have bowed my head in humble thanksgiving for my children and yet I have never stood before a pile of their laundry with joy in my heart for them and the messes that they make. 

I am grateful for my husband and our home and yet while fixing dinner for the nine hundred and ninetieth time there is no song of worship on my lips or in my soul for that matter. 

I rejoice and thank God for every mountain top in my life and do my best to forget the valley that I trudged through to reach that peak of praise. 

But I desperately want this year to be different, I want to examine my trials and find in them not good, not joy, but thanksgiving and praise. I want to be like Paul and rejoice in my tribulation because it has done something in my life that nothing else could have done. It drew me closer to God. 

Being thankful for the hard stuff is HARD! Some might say impossible. But I believe that thanksgiving in the trial is where the victory lies. If we can reach the place where the cancer diagnosis gets a “Hallelujah Anyhow” response from us or the foreclosure notification brings the song “This World is Not My Home” to our lips we will have reached the place that Paul was when he said “To Live is Christ, To Die is Gain.” 

The Valley of Death is dark but it allows us to see that Jesus is the Light. 

Having nothing in the bank and no job is scary but it shows us who owns the cattle on a thousand hills. 

Sickness is humbling but it teaches us that there is still power in the name of Jesus. 

Heartache and betrayal are devastating but they bring about the realization that God is just a whisper away. 

There is praise in the diagnosis, there is victory in the tribulation, there is thanksgiving in the hard stuff. We simply must choose to see it.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Disney Vacation - Beaches & Cream Soda Shop

Our first meal on the first day of our Disney Vacation was at Beaches & Cream Soda Shop. We had never eaten there before though we had been inside once just to see the decor and check out the menu.

We were all very excited about eating at this restaurant especially Andrew. He chose Beaches & Cream for one reason and one reason only THE KITCHEN SINK!

The decor in this restaurant is unbelievable. In true Disney fashion they went all out to make this look like an old fashioned ice cream parlor and of course in even truer Disney fashion they succeeded!

Sign above the door
 Don't you just love those little beach balls that are around the top of the sign! Adorable!

The doors into the restaurant
 We arrived early (of course) and they were not open yet. However because we did arrive early and were the first people to check in for the day we were given quite a welcome when we entered the restaurant!

The menu
 If you click on the picture of the menu it should open it up in another window and you should be able to read it (if you want).
I want these ceilings in my house!
 I seriously want these ceilings in my house! My office actually! I love the blue, I love the tray, I love the texture, I love everything about them!

 We have eaten at a lot of Disney restaurants and I have to tell you that this is one of the funnest decors we have seen. The colors are amazing and the details are delightful.

The mirrors
 The mirrors are great. They are etched and make the restaurant feel bigger than it is. I think it is one of the smallest Disney restaurants we have eaten at.

Ice cream cone lights!
 Seriously, does it get any cuter than this! Love!

The very best onion rings!
 These onion rings were the BOMB! They were so very good! I wish I had a plate of them right now. I would not share! And yes, they were as big as they look! They were $6.99 and worth every penny. We will be ordering these again even if we are not on the dining plan!

Beaches Patty Melt
 And this is what I ordered! A Beaches Patty Melt! It was so good! I wish that I could have finished the entire thing but sadly due to my over indulgence in the before mentioned onion rings and the looming dessert I knew was going to be delivered to the table I stopped myself after half and just a few fries.

A close up!
 According to the menu this is an Angus beef burger served with sauteed onions, Swiss cheese and Garlic-Peppercorn dressing (which I did not get because I was afraid it would be spicy- I just had them bring me a side of mayo) on Rye bread. And it was ssoo good! Seriously, I think if I went back today I would get the same thing (though my husbands Grilled Cheese was AMAZING too). My burger was $15.99 and really not a bad price for Disney food at a sit-down restaurant.

 And this is the reason that my middle son (the sugarholic) picked this restaurant over every other Disney restaurant. The Kitchen Sink! And yes that is the actual price $28.99! But let me tell you if you order this. The lights in the restaurant start flashing there is hollering and your name is announced for all to hear as they parade your sundae around the floor and deliver it to your table with quite a show!

The size is unbelievable!
 Just the sheer size of this sundae is enough to make your stomach hurt! But it is meant for 4 people to eat. Who those 4 people are that can eat this whole thing I do not know. Because they certainly were not us four!
Those little golden cakes in the sundae, they were the best part! Those and the cherries. Well, those and the cherries and the pineapple. Okay those and the cherries and the pineapple and the miniature candy bars. Well, maybe the Mandarin oranges were good too. 

Best Vacation EVER!
 FYI any Disney server will take your picture if you ask them too! You might not want evidence floating around of all the food you ate but still they do make nice memories! 

A whole jar of cherries and a whole can of whipped cream
 Just encase you have ever wondered what an entire jar of maraschino cherries and an entire can of whipped cream would look like on a sundae, here you go!

It really was good!
We didn't even come close to finishing it! I'm not sure that 4 normal people could, unless they had had nothing else to eat. It really was good but I don't think I would ever order it again (of course I would have never ordered it in the first place - that was all Andrew). And I don't think I would ever ever order it if we were not on the dining plan! I just don't think I could pay almost 30 dollars for ice cream!

However I will say that if you have a sweets loving kid (like my Andrew) it should be a once-in-a-lifetime experience that they should have! But I would probably skip the meal and just get this! Unless your on the dining plan and then get the meal and the appetizer and this! And eat what you can!