Saturday, October 15, 2011

Breaking the Silence

Wow....  It has been a really long time since I last posted.  Life has been busy.  Preschool started back up.  So I am teaching two days a week.  I am coaching Sister Blessing's soccer team.  Brother Blessing is now extremely mobile, has no fear and a mischievous streak.  Therefore, I spend a lot of my time keeping him out of trouble.  He is also obsessed with the computer.  He will not leave me alone if he sees me on the laptop.  So while I have had several ideas for posts, I have not been able to actually write them.

And since I am so busy, what do I do?  I got sucked into Pinterest.  I really didn't need the time wasting aspect of it, but I am really liking being able to organize all the ideas I find on the internet.  Hence the reason for this post.

We've been encouraging Sister Blessing in her prayer life.  I'd been looking for ideas to keep the momentum going.  I found this on Pinterest today.  It's right up Sister Blessing's alley.  So I went on a scavenger hunt around the house to see if I had the materials I needed to make this.  I lucked out and found a big box of popsicle sticks from another project.  And I found a bucket we can use at least temporarily.  I eventually would like to make a nifty looking one, but figured the prayer part was more important than the presentation.  :)

Here is the "finished" product:

 We're going to have Sister Blessing pick out four sticks each night to jump start her bedtime prayers.  She is very excited about this and had to help me show off her new prayer bucket.

She can't wait to try it out tonight!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Confession Time

Busyness is one of the big reasons I haven’t posted much lately.  But I also haven’t been posting because I’ve been in a bit of a funk.  I just plain didn’t feel like it.

I was disappointed in myself that I bombed on the 31 day cleaning challenge.  I started off strong and just couldn’t keep up the motivation.  This happens to me all the time.  I get a bee in my bonnet to get organized and get serious about it.  Then I quickly lose the motivation…usually because something happens that seems to wipe out all of my progress.  Then I feel overwhelmed again and just don’t even know how to get started again.

Then there is my health….well, weight mostly.  I know I am overweight - really overweight.  Those of you that know me would be shocked if you knew just how overweight.  The thing is I know what I need to do.  I’ve done it before.  I lost 50 pounds about 8 years ago.  But getting married and having two kids caused me to slide back into a lot of bad habits.  I had started to lose some weight before I got pregnant with Brother Blessing.  And I didn’t gain as much with him as I did with Sister Blessing.  So I thought it would be easier to lose the weight.  Wrong!

Part of it was my rationalization that I didn’t want to do too much about my weight while I was nursing Brother Blessing.  Well, he has been weaned for about a month and was slowly weaning himself before that anyway.  Now it’s time to get serious again.  I want to lose weight for a lot reasons:  family medical history, to be a good example to my kids, to be healthy and to feel good about myself again.  But I’m feeling pretty overwhelmed right now.  I’ve been trying off and on by myself for awhile…it is so discouraging to work so hard and not see much in the way of results.  I’ve been there, done that, bought the t-shirt.  So I know it won’t come off immediately.  However, I often feel like I work really hard and see nothing for my hard work.  And that is a big motivation killer.  Which then leads me to get discouraged…which leads me to slide back into bad habits again…vicious cycle…sigh.

When I lost the weight before, I was single, had a lot of disposable income and time.  At this point in my life, time and money are not as disposable.  It’s hard to find time to exercise and do the prep/planning needed to get the momentum going again.  And we have financial goals that have caused us to put ourselves on a self-imposed, very tight budget.  I did Weight Watchers and worked out at Curves before.   I also was part of a gym before I got pregnant with Brother Blessing.  I was making progress, but the pregnancy, especially the first trimester, wore me out.  Between the fatigue and nausea, I just couldn’t keep up with my workouts.

I’m beginning to feel like I need the accountability of WW again…and would love to have a gym membership again.   I also have rediscovered how much I enjoy swimming as exercise.  But gyms with pools are expensive!  Plus, I need childcare.  Chief Blessing’s work schedule would make it hard to work out only when he was home.  I know I can’t fit both into our budget again…Well, we could maybe do it, but I don’t want to kill the momentum we have going for our financial goals.  We might be able to swing one or the other.  I waver between which one would benefit me the most.  I’m leaning towards WW – because walking is free!  And it’s the eating I really need to focus on right now.  Part of me just hates the idea of paying for something when I know what I should be doing…and trying to fit something else in my schedule.   But I also haven’t done that well on my own, so maybe I need the help.

Ugh…sorry for the long rant/vent.  I just have really been in a funk about all of this lately.  I really want to make some changes.  I have the head knowledge to make a lot of these changes happen.  I just am struggling to find the self-discipline to start with a plan and stick with it.  I’m not really sure what the point of this post is other than to give you an idea of where my head has been.  It’s been hard to write about blessings when I’ve been in a weird mental state.  I’m working on trying to focus on the positives.  I know all of this will get figured out at some point.  Hopefully, now that we will be home for awhile I can really put some time into planning what I want to do.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Summer Blessings

Wow.  I can’t believe how long it’s been since I last posted.  I have been doing some sewing, but it’s all been for birthday presents and/or bartering with friends.  We are going full speed ahead through summer.  We had Brother Blessing’s one year birthday celebration.  Then we had two weeks of swimming lessons for Sister Blessing.  She also went to her first sleepover at our dear friends’ house – they live very close by and are like family.  

Then we only had a short break and we were off for a cross country trip to visit family in Arizona.  It was a verrrrrrrrryyyyyyy long, two-day drive there and back.  There really isn’t much to see other than dust devils and cacti in West Texas and New Mexico.  Sister Blessing was fascinated by the windmills and the fact that you could see Mexico when we were in El Paso.  Her understatement of the week:  “It is hot in the desert!”.    Can I get an amen?  I felt like I was roasting out there in the “dry heat”.  But we had a lot of fun with family and were sad to leave.  Best souvenir:  Brother Blessing started taking his first real steps.  He will walk as many as five steps at a time before he decides crawling is just way faster right now.  Though he walks around pushing his little lawn mower with one hand...go figure.  I guess he thinks the lawn mower is holding him up.

Then we were barely home and celebrated Fourth of July with some close friends.  And then prepared to leave again…well, at least some of us…Chief Blessing had to stay at home to work.  The little blessings and I have been spending some time in Grandma and Grandpa Land.  Brother Blessing is testing his mischief making abilities in the larger and much more interesting surroundings.  Sister Blessing is loving all the extra attention and fun things to do.  And the fact that Mommy tends to relax some of the normal rules while we are here.   The re-programming plan will commence shortly after we arrive back home.  ;)

Then we are only home about week before we have VBS at our church.  This is the first year that Sister Blessing gets to attend as an actual participant and not just in child care for the workers.  I don’t think she really understands what it is, but I know she is going to have a blast.

So that is our summer so far in a nutshell.  All the activities and Brother Blessing’s increasing mobility have put a severe cramp in my spare time.  (Spare time – what’s that? Ha!)  So when given a choice between spending that time sewing/crafting or blogging....Well, since it’s been almost two months since I posted on my blog, I guess we know which one is a higher priority.  I have some projects in the works I would like to blog about and would also like to share some pictures of what I have done this summer.  But that will have to wait until another day.  We may be in Grandma and Grandpa Land, but Brother Blessing only wants Mommy if he wakes up at 5am.  And my sleep has been greatly affected by the fact that Chief Blessing isn’t here with us.  :(   So I will try to be good and get to bed before midnight…Now if I can just turn brain off and actually sleep…..

Friday, May 20, 2011

Accepting My Limitations

I've been working on this 31 Days to Clean Challenge and have to confess I've failed massively this week at the challenges.  But I'm trying to be okay with that.  I was pretty busy this week.  I was gone from home a lot and when I was at home a lot of other things needed my attention.  

My almost one year old is quite adventurous.  I've spent numerous hours this week keeping him out of trouble.  Even with all of that supervision he managed to get a bump on his head that I'm glad his newly cut bangs cover. That means I have fewer explanations to make.  :)   Brother Blessing is going to be the one that sends us to the ER for the first time - I just know it..  His wonderfully fun (well, most of the time) curiosity makes even things like doing the dishes difficult.  He either is trying to get into the dishwasher and pull things out.  Or he is trying to get into something else that means stopping what I'm doing and rescuing him (he is obsessed with his sister's crayons).  I'm really trying to focus on the fact that he is only going to be this little for so long.  Some days I'm successful at that and other days I freely admit my frustration levels are high.

Brother Blessing also hasn't been sleeping well this week which means Mommy isn't sleeping well.  I don't function very well when I am sleep deprived.  I struggle with this.  It zaps my patience and energy which leads to me feeling guilty because of something I've said or done or not done.  One of the chapters in the book this week talked about allowing yourself the freedom to do something that gets you excited.  This is a way to help you find the energy to do everything.  I realized how true this is.  I love to do crafts - mostly sewing, but I've dabbled in a lot of different crafty arenas.  I really like to make gifts for people.  This week I've been working on a gift for Sister Blessing's wonderful preschool teacher for the end of the year.  I've also been working on a birthday shirt for Brother Blessing to wear at his party next weekend.  And I realized how much energy I had after letting my creative juices flow.  I always forget this between projects and get mired down in the nitty gritty of life.  I feel guilty doing crafts when my house is a mess.  But I think I'm going to have to remember to allow myself time to create in order to have the energy and patience to deal with the rest of my life. 

So I'm giving myself grace for this week.  And maybe next week, too, since we'll be getting ready for Brother Blessing's party.  ;)  But I'm just going to jump back in and do what I can.  I already can tell a difference with what I have done.  There are two goals I've thought about this week in relation to this challenge:
  1. Having a "clean enough" house to be more deliberate in inviting friends over to spend time enjoying each others' company.
  2. Having a "clean enough" house that I don't feel guilty when I want to spend time in my creative outlets.
I'm going to continue to try to do the challenges.  I'm just not going to worry about doing it in a certain time frame.  Even if my own challenge lasts longer than 31 days - that's okay.  All of the things I'm doing are helping me feel better about my home and helping me put things into the right perspective.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Perfectionism - My own worst enemy

My big confession for the week - I haven't done all of the challenges.  And it bugs me and my perfectionist streak.  It's not even that I've been lazy.  I have accomplished more this week than I have in months in getting the house ready for friends to come over.  It's just that there are not enough hours in the day and I don't really have eyes in the back of my head to keep an eye on Brother Blessing's adventures.  Though, I think Sister Blessing wonders if I do have eyes in the back of my head.  :)

I've been trying to keep a to do list like one of the challenges suggested.  I do better when I have a list.  It keeps my ADD in check.  However, I tend to overwhelm myself by the size of the list.  I like the suggestion of only putting six items on the list for the next day.  I really tried to keep it to six.
This is where my perfectionism really kicked in.  First of all, I often had trouble figuring out what six things needed to be on the list...and what order they should be in...What if I forgot something important?  Did it matter if I didn't do them in order?  You know...silly things like that.  And there were days I didn't finish my list.  Shocking, I know!  
I felt like I was failing at the challenge when I didn't finish all the tasks from the book or on my list.  And then I tried to remind myself that a lot of times I didn't finish because I either had other things that had to get done or I had been overly ambitious with my list.  Life happens and that's okay.  The whole purpose of this challenge is not to have a perfect house, but to help me deal with my attitudes about having a clean house.  And I've been reminded how much my perfectionism gets in the way.  I can't control everything that happens especially with two little ones running around the house.  But God is in control and even when I can't see exactly what He is doing, I have to trust in Him and rest in His peace.

Friday, May 6, 2011

31 Days to Clean Challenge: Day 4 and Day 5

I have to admit the accountability of the challenge is keeping me pretty motivated.  I'm  hoping that this newly found motivation will stay with me once the challenge is finished.  In my my mind, I know it is easier to keep up with the house if I do  a little bit at a time and stay on top of it.  In reality, I let too many excuses keep me from doing it.  Sure, I have little kids and that makes it difficult.  But if I'm honest with myself, I waste a lot of time.  Time that I could be using to be productive.  And if I had a cleaner, more organized house I would have more time to also spend on fun things for myself. Like playing with my kids, sewing, reading, etc.

Day 4 was about having a place you can put your feet up - a place that can be lived in.  Believe me - this house can be lived in. And if you could see it right now - it looks more than lived in.   I'll never be accused of having a show home.  :)  But I definitely could do better about making it more comfortable and less cluttered for my family.  One challenge was to invite someone over.  That was already taken care of as we are having some friends over next weekend for a Mexican food potluck Yum...My mouth is already watering just thinking about it.
The other challenge for Day 4 was to clean your microwave and your oven.  The microwave was easy.  I still haven't done the oven.  I have a self cleaning oven and the fumes/smell are awful.  We're talking headache causing, nausea inducing...Okay, maybe I'm being a little melodramatic, but it's still really bad.  And I'm concerned about my kids being here while I do it.  However, I also don't feel comfortable leaving the oven unattended for a long period of time.  So I'm still trying to figure that one out.  

Day 5 is about priorities.  I've been thinking about them, but still need to put them down on paper.  That will probably have to wait until the little blessings go to bed.  Sister Blessing thinks seeing me with a pen and paper means it's drawing time.  Brother Blessing just wants to try to eat the pen or the paper or both.  :)

The Martha challenge for Day 5 is to clean the blinds, window treatments and the inside of the windows in your kitchen.  I just finished the blinds.  Sister Blessing helped me.  I really want to encourage her desire to help.  I really don't want to pass down my bad housekeeping habits to her.  I have enough other bad habits she will probably inherit (or already has :) ) that I feel like I need to nurture her desired to be a helper even if it means it takes longer for me.  Once Brother Blessing has decided he is ready to play again instead of being snuggled with we will clean the windows.  I need to do some laundry anyway so I'll just toss the window treatments in with the rest of the load.

I'm glad we have a weekend off from the challenge.  However, I'll be cleaning up a storm anyway.  My house is a disaster with a capital "D".  And we only have one week until "company" comes over.  I put company in quotes because the people coming over are more like family than company.  And I refuse any housework except for what is absolutely necessary on Mother's Day! 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

31 Days to Clean Challenge: Day 3

I have to confess it was a little harder to find the motivation for today.  I've been in a boot brace for a week.  I'm almost to the end of my time in it, but for some reason today I was just frustrated with it.  I also had a lot of errands to run this morning.  I'm also trying to work on Mother's Day gifts from Sister Blessing to her grandmothers...Yeah, I know it's kind of last minute...but I'm a major procrastinator (should be my middle name).  And honestly, I've been so busy, the whole thing kind of snuck up on me.  So by the time I got home at lunch, I really didn't feel like doing anything.

I really want to stick with this challenge, however.  So I forced myself to do it and found it really didn't take that long.  The Martha challenge for today was to clean the tops of fridge and cabinets in your kitchen.  And clean the outside of the cabinets/drawers.  I'll confess I didn't do the top of the cabinets just because I couldn't reach them with a stool.  Yes, I am that short!   But I managed to do the rest - even with Sister and Brother Blessing trying to "help".  

The chapter also talked about how we can give our homes life.  I was very convicted by the ten suggestions.  In fact, I was overwhelmed and felt very lacking...Then the leader of the challenge reminded us we can't do it all and to just focus on one thing for now.  I really want to focus on "Offering life-giving and grace-filled words to my husband and children".   My patience and understanding are not what they should be.   I could give a bunch of reasons why - but they are just excuses and I need to learn to control my reactions better.

I still have the Mary challenge left for the day, but I need to get the little blessings and myself ready for church tonight.  Fortunately, they are serving dinner at church this evening so I don't have to worry about that.  I'm always happy for a day I don't have to cook!