Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness

I am not a good housekeeper. I never have been, but I hope to be better at it one day. When it comes right down to it, I would rather do just about anything else besides clean. Of course I like it when my house is in order and there isn't stuff everywhere, as it tends not to be with two small boys living here. However, it doesn't really bother me to let things go a bit, until someone wants to stop by or I trip over toys on my way to the kitchen. Believe me, if the above saying is correct, I am far from a godly person.
I never learned to love a clean house - or better yet, I never learned to love to clean my house and keep it neat and tidy. Honestly, growing up, it was something we did when we were having company over (sorry Mom for throwing you under the bus there) because we were so darn busy: church 3 times a week, sports practices and games, weekend outings, etc. Naturally, that's my mode of operation now too: clean when it becomes necessary. There are actually days when I wish that I was just a touch of a germaphobe (not too sure on the spelling of that one!) or that I actually enjoyed cleaning. Mostly, I just wish that we could afford to have a cleaning lady come in once a week or month. No luck yet on any of those things.
In light of all of this realization, I'm coming up with a resolution for the month of February too: I'm creating a chore list for me (and my husband, when he wants to pitch in!) that I will keep up with everyday! I've had some success at keeping up with my resolution for 2011 (here's a reminder in case you don't remember!), and I've decided that I think I'd really like to make this the year of a brand new Melissa. Nothing too drastic, but give myself monthly goals/standards too live up to. So, in case you were wondering, here's my chore list (I'm assigning a room per day to clean, along with some other daily activities):

Monday: Living Room and laundry (including putting it away)
Tuesday: Bathroom
Wednesday: Playroom and laundry (including putting it away)
Thursday: Kitchen
Friday: Bedrooms and laundry (including putting it away)
Saturday: Hallway/Stairs in addition to clean sweep of all rooms
Sunday: Day of Rest
Everyday: pick up stuff, toys put away, dishes done, counter tops/stove top clean

I'm currently writing this out on a pretty piece of paper (or plain ol' notebook paper) for my refrigerator (our printer is not currently hooked up to our computer, and it's too much hassle to print something out). I will commit to this schedule, I WILL!!

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Since this is nearly the last day of the month, I thought I'd update you on my progress with my actually New Year's Resolution. I'm currently caught up on my daily reading, along with a short daily devotional on the life of Paul (by Beth Moore). I'm also trying to catch up on another short daily devotional that I really enjoy, but I'm a tad farther behind on that one. I've also realized that while my time in the word is becoming more sufficient, my quiet time and prayer time is lacking. I'm trying to work on that now. A couple of ladies from my Monday night Bible study suggested keeping a prayer journal by recording and praying over scripture that I'm reading that's really impacting me. I love that idea, and I am planning on implementing it. I'd love your prayer and support in those areas that I'm working on now. Thanks!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

(Mostly) Wordless Wednesday

Yes, these are cell phone photos. Not fabulous, but what I had on hand....These were taken at our Wednesday morning bible study Christmas party. All of the older kids (not babies) sang a few songs for the moms. My two children sang the loudest (and were the only singers on one song). Proud Mommy.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Jeremy's Resolution

Yeah, it's not really a "resolution" per see for Jeremy, but it is something that Jeremy's hoping to do this winter/spring. We need to build our kids a set of bunk beds before our new baby comes.
We actually spent an hour Friday afternoon looking at various stores to see what they have, what's affordable for us, and what is actually possible for us to try to create on our own. We certainly got some fabulous ideas (we're thinking a loft bed with stairs that have storage with a twin bed on the floor underneath), and would you believe how inspired I was to log onto Twinsanity's blog and see that she's made the exact thing we are wanting to make for the boys' room! She even provided us with links to the plans she got to build them. Considering that she managed to make that awesome bed/playhouse for her kids, I am even leaning towards the idea that I could certainly help/maybe make them too... Wow.
So, here we go... I'll let you know how it goes. Or which store we end up buying bunks from. Which ever comes first.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

When you manage to get up off the floor (because of the surprise of me actually posting two new posts in just one day - can you imagine!), I'll fill you in on what my New Year's resolution for this year is.
Last year I was successful at my New Year's resolution for the first time in my life. Yes, after 29 years, I have finally managed to make a resolution and keep it - for the entire year. If you remember, my resolution for last year was giving up pop, more specifically Diet Pepsi, and drinking only water for a month. I needed to kick a bad addiction I had going, and I managed to go an entire year without any pop (minus one short mental lapse in which I enjoy a glass of punch at a wedding without thinking about the fact that there was probably pop in it).
In light of the fact that I managed to fulfill my first ever New Year's resolution, I thought long and hard about what I wanted to resolve to do this year. After some thought, I decided that reading the Bible every day was what I wanted to do. So I dusted off the Bible in a Year my brother had given me for Christmas a few years ago. Mind you, making a resolution to stop doing something (like drinking pop) is very different from resolving to actually do something new. Yes, I was reading the bible every once in a while, but actually carving time out of every day to read a porting of "God's words to us" (what Jayce tells me the Bible is every time we sing "The B-I-B-L-E") is going to be a lot different.
And that's exactly what I came to find out that first week. I managed to ignore my new reading for a week straight. It was easy to do, you see, because Jeremy was home a lot, things were starting up again for the winter, and the boys demanded a lot of attention, along with the normal household chores, taking down all our Christmas decorations, etc. But then we went to my friend, Heather's, house, and she told me that she too was trying to read through the Bible in a year. Suddenly, there was someone in my exact place, but with a busier household, more space to clean, more laundry, etc. I knew immediately that I had a buddy who would keep me accountable and keep me in the Word every day. So, thank you, Heather.
I can't tell you how exciting it was to turn to Matthew 9:9-13 this morning at church and realize that I had just read through that passage this week. How exciting it has been to learn more about Abraham, Noah, Isaac, and Jacob than I had in my 18 years of Christian education. How refreshing it is to start and end my day in "God's words to us".
So, here I am, putting it out there: this year, I am resolving to get to know God better, by spending time in his Word. Every day.

Gasp! A Real Post?!?

Yes, many of these photos are nearly a month old, but I thought you might like to take a look at what our crazy-busy Christmas looked like this year! And I managed to only add a couple of photos from each celebration - so this won't take you a whole day to look through, only an hour or two. Just kidding. I think.
To start off, one of our local malls installs a huge electronic train set every Christmas season, and it is always a highlight to check it out. It seems like they add more and more each year, including Thomas the train and some of his buddies.
They also have a free Santa who comes in at certain times of the week - it doesn't cost a thing to visit him, take your own picture, and they have a digital camera there should you have forgotten your own that they will email you a copy. Who knew that there is a mall out there that actually embodies the true Christmas spirit - give not take!
We spent a week at my parents house just before Christmas, which included many Christmas celebrations. Our first, other than getting to see my brother and sister-in-law (from Virginia), was family Christmas for my dad's side of the family. I couldn't decide on just one or two photos for this one because there were so many people there we hadn't seen in so long! First, the photo of Kevin is because of that beautiful butterfly stitch on his face: he attacked my dog, and she defended herself. I just had to include it! Also, we were thrilled to see Tyler (top right), who is 18 and just joined the Army and who we haven't seen in several years (I didn't even recognize him!), my Grandma D, who broke out of rehab where she was recovering from knee replacement surgery, and my Aunt Carol, who was hospitalized not too long ago for having fluid around her heart - very scary situation! Looking back, it was so much fun spending the evening with all these people.
Our next Christmas party was with my mom's side of the family. These are all the younger generation of 2nd cousins who were at the party. We were actually missing 5 others, and the oldest 6 didn't want to sit with the "little kids" on the floor. They also didn't get presents!
By far one of my favorite times of this party was torturing my cousin, Austin, with the singing doll his little sister got. He hated the song it played, so it was great fun to turn it on nearby him and watch him squirm.
While we were at my parents' house over that week, we carved out some time to go spend with my Grandma D, who was still at rehab recovering. She got the boys some Christmas gifts that they opened while we were there, and Grandma D got her gift from us.
Since we weren't going to be with my parents, brother, or sister-in-law for Christmas, we had our own Christmas celebration. I tried sticking a red bow on Lexi and giving her as a "gift" to Kevin and Rachel, but they didn't go for it. Lexi wasn't too happy about me trying to give her away either.
Grayson loved the hat that Kevin and Rachel got for him, and he still wears it every time he goes out of the house.
A cute picture with our Aunti and Uncle we don't get to see nearly enough!
The boys had so much fun playing with Uncle Kevin the week we were with him. For how shy Grayson was with him a couple of weeks before that, he certainly warmed up after spending so much time together.
Christmas Eve, we got together with Jeremy's family to celebrate Christmas. Jeremy's sisters, brother-in-law, and mom went together and got this awesome train table for the boys. Needless to say, it was a big hit!
We also got to meet Jonathan and Lauren's new puppy, Tallahassee. Here he's sitting on his new couch, a Christmas present from Kalena and Karen. Isn't he cute!?
Christmas morning the boys had fun opening gifts together and apart, seeing family who came for breakfast, and just relaxing.
Aunti Kalena even got involved in a very frustrating game of "The Duck Game," which I had to bow out of because I couldn't handle some one's refusal to play by the rules. Thankfully, Kalena is a better sport than I am!
One of my favorite things about Christmas at Jeremy's mom's house is that when we were opening up our stockings, we found some of the clues Jeremy's dad had used when they were kids. Jeremy's mom and dad always made a game out of figuring out whose gifts were whose, and where they were. It was usually a day long process to open gifts at Christmas, even sometimes going into the next day. Jeremy and his sister had fun looking back at the old clues and seeing their dad's handwriting again.
Last, the boys got these suckers in their stockings this year. Do you know who they are? If you are at all familiar with Mater or the Cars movie, you should have recognized them right away.
As you can see, we had a great Christmas this year, filled with tons of family and celebrations, part of the best part of Christmas for me. But truthfully, even better than family and parties, remembering the true meaning of Christmas, and having my kids know that Christmas is just a celebration of Jesus' birthday, that He came to earth as a baby who would eventually grow into the man that would take away the sins of this world, was what really made Christmas special this year.

Friday, January 14, 2011

I know, I know

Yeah, I know it's been a VERY long time since I've actually posted on here. My apologies. Especially because tonight I'm not actually "posting" something... I'm just checking in to say "Hey! Check out my friend, Kristi's, blog." It's called Broken and Redeemed - Confessions of an Imperfect Woman. Understand, she's only posted one time, so far, but she's a totally amazing woman who certainly has a lot to say on faith. I especially love her first post on Trust vs. Fear. It really hit home. So, if you have a few extra minutes in your day, check out what she has to say.

And I'll use my extra time to finally download our Christmas pictures and hopefully get a few of them posted.