Monday, January 31, 2005

Sunday Brunch

Filler until regular blogging schedule resumes. :-)

1) Do you use bookmarks?

I try. It's a habit I'm trying to get into as I read more and more library books and don't want to dog-ear the pages. I like to make them, so I'm hoping that I'll eventually make one cute enough that it will inspire me to use it. :-)

2) What is your favorite book?

Pretense by Lori Wick, if I had to pick just one.

If I don't have to pick one, I would also include the Anne of Green Gables series (really, anything by L.M. Montgomery), Christy & Julie by Catherine Marshall, Little House on the Prairie books, and the Mitford series.

3) Who is your favorite author?

Any of the above (Lori Wick, L.M. Montgomery, Jan Karon). Also enjoy Janette Oke, Mary Higgins Clark (occasionally), Lawana Blackwell, Terry Blackstock.

4) What is the movie you feel is the most authentic version of a book?

I thought that the Little Women version (with Susan Sarandon, Winona Ryder) was very close although definitely shorter than the book. I'm having a hard time thinking of any . . . the Harry Potter movies were very close, although, again, some was cut for length.

5) Is there a book you wish they would make into a movie and why?


I'm drawing a blank . . . although I am looking forward to the Chronicles of Narnia movies that are in process.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

On the Mend

We get back the computer this afternoon with a new hard drive. Then comes the process of reinstalling all the software and getting a handle on all the info that was lost. Thankfully, we have files up through the end of October, but anything since then is gone. What is most disconcerting for me is all my calendar/addresses/email/lists are gone. In a uncanny coincidence, my handheld Palm died about a week ago and I sent it off last week to be repaired. My back-up on all the information was on the computer and now it's all gone. It's just going to be a massive bit of work to recreate some of that stuff. Thankfully, again, I had printed a hard copy of my 2005 calendar right before the computer crashed so I have all our appointments and schedules up to date, but it is the loss of my contacts that is overwhelming. College friends, email addresses, Travis' extended family - all that info will have to be tracked down and recreated. (Hint: if you are reading and I had your info, send me an email please and help me start filling in my blanks.) :-)

I also lost all my recipes which I kept on the computer. I told Travis that I wouldn't be able to cook anymore since I didn't have those files and he would need to start taking me out to dinner. :-)

So that's the computer update. In other news, I tried to set our stove on fire on Monday night. I had put some water on to boil for macaroni and cheese (a gourmet meal since I had no recipes!) and went to the bathroom. Travis yelled from the other room that it smelled like something was smoking in the kitchen, to which I responded it was probably just something on the burner. To my surprise, orange flames were shooting up around the pan and blazing merrily in the kitchen. I yell out that our stove is on fire, Travis comes running, I grab the baking soda and start dumping it liberally on the flames and Travis is ready with water should we need to douse it more. Exciting stuff.

Had I not had computer issues sideswipe me for a few days, I would have spent time writing about our excellent service on Sunday. We had a speaker who is on staff with Campus Crusdade's Military Ministry - good stuff. Also, to update, my girl-cycle is back to normal. I'm guessing that the trip to the in-laws in Ohio and other things going on just had my body out of whack. Thankful that it is resolved.

This has been a week where I'm needing to focus on thankfulness instead of how icky things are. All about perspective.

PS. Shanna, praying for your Mom. I did go to JBU and graduated class of '93. Lived in Ft. Smith for 2 years prior to that for my jr. and sr. year of high school - we might have been neighbors!

Monday, January 24, 2005

Leave of Absence

Computer has completely crashed.

Lost all files and programs, including all email addresses. Ugh. Have my Dad's laptop to check email for work.

Wonderful husband working on reseting the hard drive (surely there is a more technical way to say it).

More later...

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Secret Stuff

Okay, I'm fessing up. The reason that I have been so quiet this week.

I'm late . . . . like almost a week late. But I've taken 3 pregnancy tests and they are have all come back negative.

I'm normally very predictable so it's driving me crazy. Is there something wrong? What are the odds of getting three bad pregnancy tests? Should I call the Doctor?

I'm pretty sure I'm not pregnant, but I'm just ready for my body to act normal so that I can quit obsessing about this. The plan is if I haven't started by Monday, then I'm calling the Dr. There's no sense in me just buying and taking more pregnancy tests when I can go to the Dr. and take one and be reimburse for the vist through our insurance. Saves us throwing away money needlessly.

Anyway, that's all that's really going on underneath the surface.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Update

Sorry I haven't been around . . . I have just not been able to focus on writing the last few days. We had a great trip with Travis' family, ate at four McDonalds (I think that was the final count):



. . . and Noelle was loaded on new toys and goodies to keep her entertained for a least a few hours. :-) Her Uncle Jeremy (T's brother) and his girlfriend got her a little stuffed husky puppy - I think that was my favorite gift of hers. It is so soft and looks just like our Jenny-girl.



I'm still feeling pretty behind on things. I didn't get to work on my women's Bible study while we were out of town and so am trying to play catch up there, as well as on laundry and my church work. My responsibilities on our church worship team have shuffled again some and I've had to add a few new things to my schedule. It has really helped that I've been trying to get up early and have some time to myself before Noelle and Travis gets up. I'm still getting up between 6 - 6:30 a.m. and it is making a difference in my getting things done. Noelle is also been really whiney the last few days. I'm sure part of it is she is tired from our trip, and she had so much attention paid to her, that it's been frustrating for her to be back home and not get her own way on everything. When she is like that it just drains me . . . something I'm sure all moms can relate to! :-)

Today we are going to get out a bit - some girlfriends are taking me out for a belated-birthday lunch to Chili's (yum!) and then Noelle and I are going to return a book on CD we rented from Cr@cker Barrel for our trip and go to W@lmart. Got to restock on important things like toilet paper and Dr. Pepper for Travis!

As a P.S., can I just say how much I like my husband? The last year has been very hard - just still sorting through some of the icky-ness of still learning how to be married - but he's really cool. I'm just saying. :-)

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

My Stuff

Stolen from the ladies around W@H . . . and to appease Aleta who thinks I should be caught up already! :-)

Grooming Products

Shampoo -- Suave . . . I'm cheap.
Moisturizer -- I don't use any . . . shhhh.
Cologne -- Happy by Clinique
Razor -- something pink...
Toothpaste -- Cinnamon Crest

Electronics

Cell phone -- something from Cingul@r
Computer -- something from G@teway
Television -- something fairly small . . .
Stereo -- something that was on clearance :-)

Home

Sheets -- flannel
Coffee-maker -- I don't know, someone gave it to us when our last one broke!
Car -- Honda Civic
Stationery -- handmade

Beverages

Bottled water -- Sam's or out of the sink
Coffee -- Folgers or Millstone (flavored)
Vodka -- Ick
Beer -- Double Ick!!

Clothes

Jeans -- Lane Bryant, I think...
T-shirt -- Old N@vy
Briefcase or tote -- a bargain from T.J. M@xx
Sneakers -- Nikes that my Mom gave me.
Watch -- Swap watch

Favorite Places

Our big family room, a bookstore, riding in the car with the sun shining in the window.

Necessary Extravagance

Journals, pens, and scrapbook supplies. And purses!

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

At Home

We're back from Ohio. Been catching up on house work and church stuff all a.m. and ran out of time to do a real post. Maybe will get time to play later today. :-) More later...

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Warning: List-like post ahead

Notes:

  • Cheri, there's something for you here.

  • I've decided to start a Book Blog of sorts. Rather than starting a whole 'nother blog account to keep track of, I'm just building a web page and will update it periodically with what I am reading and a few notes here and there of what I thought of each book. Last August, I started keeping a list of those books that I was reading and I was fairly shocked to see all the re-reading that I do. (There are certain books that will just get re-read every year because they are so great, though . . . I can't help it!) I also want to up my non-fiction reading and start trying out some new authors. I am not very brave about reading someone that I've not heard of or been referred to by a reliable source.

  • I think I'm catching a cold. Stuffy head, sneezy, the works. Seems like today is a good day for staying in and bundling down. A cold front is moving in and I'm ready! :-)

  • Tuesday evening I finally put my wedding photos in my wedding scrapbook. I now just need to spend some time journalling on certain pages. Most of the album is completed as far as layouts and pages, I just had stashed the "official" photographer photos on a shelf and hadn't gotten around to putting them in the album. Like I said, I now just need to do some journalling and it will be finished.

  • One thing that I have realized recently is that, in my quest for simplification, I need to simplify my recreational activites. Hopefully this makes sense here, but I love doing all sorts of crafty/art things - cross-stitch, scrapbooking, making cards, stamping, writing, and I would really enjoy learning how to knit or crochet some day. However, over the last year, I made little to no progress in any area because I spent time dabbling in too many areas. This year, I am going to work (and invest my finances) on catching up my scrapbooks, journalling regularly and making cards. I am going to try not to spread myself so thin so that by December '05 I look back and am even more behind on chronicling our family's history in photos.

  • Am reading A Woman's Call to Prayer. I am already so encouraged by this book and am only into the first 3-4 chapters. Elizabeth George points out at the beginning of the book that if a woman is interested in learning the discipline of knitting, she spends time doing it, practices, and works at the skill. I should look at prayer similarly. There is a reason why I am uncomfortable praying and don't feel like I know what I am doing . . . I've never taken the time to learn and study prayer. Light bulbs were going off for me as I read this. I'm dusting off my prayer journal and am going to get down to the business of learning to pray.

  • I'm so behind on my housecleaning. While I have enjoyed the extra time with my neice and nephew, I am ready to get back into my routine of keeping up with things around here. Things are picked up for the most part, but I need some days to get ahead. My poor dogs have been inside for several days because it has been pouring here - they are desperate for some time to get out and run and burn off some of their insane amount of excess energy.

  • I don't think I ever wrote about my kid-less night last Friday . . . it was so needed and wonderful! Travis and I had made plans to go see National Treasure with some discount movie tickets that we had. (More on the movie in a moment). However, about 45 minutes before he got home from work, I got a call from the church treasurer telling me that I was going to get a bonus check for my job from 2004! It wasn't much, but it paid for our dinner out, a trip to the bookstore for us and some popcorn at the movies. God was so kind to provide that bonus for us. Anyway, we went to Borders first and spent about an hour at the bookstore just wandering around and drooling over looking at books. Travis got a couple computer books and I got Miserly Moms. I had checked this out at the library several months ago and knew it was one I wanted to add to my library. Then we went to dinner at Carraba's (I ate Eggplant Parmesan) and to see our movie. National Treasure is fabulous! The movie didn't have a single bad word in it (I can't even remember any instance of taking God's name in vain) and the story was very cool with all the different aspects of American history tied into it. (We also got a kick out of the fact that Boramir from the Fellowship of the Ring was in the movie.) Anyway, I highly recommend it. It's one that I would like to have for our own home library when I can pick it up used at the video store.

    Off to get a few things done . . . have a wonderful weekend and I'll catch up with everyone next week when we get back from Ohio. :-)
  • Wednesday, January 12, 2005

    Confession is...

    good for the soul. Or so they say. But boy, does it hurt. This morning, I was reading the sermon for this coming Sunday and was really convicted. There's an area where I have not been acting with integrity and for the last two days God has laid this very heavily on my heart. I'm so thankful for His forgiveness this morning. I was able to confess it to God and then I went and woke my husband up and confessed it to him and asked him to hold me accountable. My day is looking so much brighter now that I have made this right with the Lord. Just wanted to share my praise with ya'll. :-)

    In other news, we are in week 4 of keeping my sister's kids. Yesterday I just had mine and my nephew (3 mo.) and we got out and ran a few errands. When we got home we all needed naps. :-) Today, Jordan is here, too, and it's been much busier around here. This afternoon she and I made cookies and I thinked that helped her feel like she got a little attention. I had put Noelle down in her crib for her nap while we were working on them and we heard a loud yell from the bedroom. I went back to check on her, thinking that she had just dropped her lamb out of the bed, only to find her mouth covered in blood and it smeared all over her hand. She must have popped her lip on the side of the crib and, since mouths bleed so badly, it was everywhere. She wasn't even crying when I went back there - just wanted me to get her out of bed so she could play with Jordan, but it sure scared me! I let her stay up a few minutes and then put her back down and she was out like a light. She's trying to drop her morning nap and go to one nap a day. From about 10:30-11 a.m. she is miserable fussy, but will not take a nap. She would stand in her crib and scream for 30 minutes rather than give in. So we are working on pushing through the morning and then taking an earlier and longer afternoon nap.

    It's funny. I really thought that when she gave up her morning nap I would be all upset about losing that time that I had previously had for myself. But I'm finding that I enjoy her being up with me (except for those occasional temper tantrums that are starting to break out) and don't mind it at all. It's definitely making me have to be more focused with what time I do have to get stuff done and saving those tasks that she can either "help" me with, or that I can do while she is playing, for while she is up. She loves to help me unload the dryer . . . mostly because every now and then she will find one of her "Baa"s in the dryer and she gets such a big kick out of pulling them out. Like they are hiding from her or something. :-)

    Didn't get this finished yesterday so just to wrap it up . . . we leave for Ohio on Friday to go have Christmas with Travis' family. It's also his brother's birthday so it will be fun to see everyone. I'm looking forward to the drive with Travis - always gives us a good time to talk in the car, catch up and read. (I'm also anticipating a possible nap).

    Bible study starts back today so best go get a few things done so that I will be ready. I'm still getting up at 6 a.m. - it becomes a little bit less painful every day, and I'm finding that it does help me to get up and get organized after spending time reading my Bible. Coincidence? I think not. :-)

    Monday, January 10, 2005

    Amen!

    Psalm 8



    O LORD, our Lord,
    How majestic is Your name in all the earth,
    Who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens!
    From the mouth of infants and nursing babes You have established strength
    Because of Your adversaries,
    To make the enemy and the revengeful cease.
    When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
    The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;
    What is man that You take thought of him,
    And the son of man that You care for him?
    Yet You have made him a little lower than God,
    And You crown him with glory and majesty!
    You make him to rule over the works of Your hands;
    You have put all things under his feet,
    All sheep and oxen,
    And also the beasts of the field,
    The birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea,
    Whatever passes through the paths of the seas.
    O LORD, our Lord,
    How majestic is Your name in all the earth!

    Friday, January 07, 2005

    Morning Report

    I'm soooo sleepy. But I've managed to get up at 6:00 a.m. all week. And I drank my water yesterday by like 1 p.m. We'll see if I can repeat that! :-) Also tackled the chicken that was in the fridge and needed dealing with. I decided to stew it because that seemed the easiest to start with. I ended up with a ton of chicken for cassaroles and stuff so I'm excited about that. But, ick, ick, ick! when it comes to taking the meat off the bones. That just makes me all squeemish inside.

    Not much on the schedule for the day, but EAGERLY ANTICIPATING a few waking hours without childcare responsibilities later. I may get out and attempt yet another Christmas return but it would mean going to Old N@vy and that store overwhelms me.

    These are from Friday's Feast:

    Appetizer - Have you been sick yet this winter? If so, what did you come down with?

    We have been mercifully spared thus far. Travis had that nasty virus in October/November that shut him down for about 3 weeks, but Noelle and I have been relatively healthy minus a sore throat or runny nose here and there.

    Soup - What colors dominate your closet?

    There really isn't any predominate color theme that I can tell. I do tend towards brighter colors. I can't wear pastels often or kacki (sp?) at all without looking like I had a really bad experience on a roller coaster.

    Salad - How would you describe your personal "comfort zone"?

    Hmmm. If they are meaning how close do I like people to be to me physically . . . I'm not an "in-your-face" kind of person. I like a little room to move and breathe. If they are talking about in conversation, I am content to be a listener and just kind of absorb a lot of the conversation around me. Not that I never say anything, but I like time to get warmed up for I am expected to answer the deepest most personal of questions. :-)

    Main Course - On which reality show would you really like to be a contestant?

    I don't think there is one. I really, really, really, dislike reality TV. American Idol is the only one I have ever watched (I think I stuck with it for one season) and I don't think I would want to be on there either.

    Dessert - Which holiday would you consider to be your favorite?

    Any other time I would have said Christmas immediately, but this year has been . . . hard. Not because our family was separated out for Christmas - I really enjoyed just being home on Christmas day with my husband and daughter. Just some work situations, family situations, etc., that all conspired against me put me in a serious slump from Thanksgiving to New Years. Right now Labor Day is looking like my ideal holiday! :-)

    Seriously, I love Christmas time normally and would count it as my favorite in a heartbeat.

    If you think about it, pray for Dana today as she's having hand surgery!

    Thursday, January 06, 2005

    A Fabulous Success

    Yesterday's delurking day was a fabulous success! I may have to do that again in the future because I met some cool people out there. Like:

    ~ Janet - she and I shared a secret mutual blog reading appreciation. She is a knitter and I love her blog to see what she is creating (and other stuff that she posts there, too!)
    ~ Diane in WI who is blogless and sweet. :-)
    ~ Zoot, who I have been reading for several months now and she cracks me up. Zoot is a hoot! (That was totally cheesy, but once I typed it, I had to leave it).
    ~ Elizabeth, who is Becky's sister. Hey, Elizabeth! I was a legal secretary, too, and worked for the TBA for almost 5 years before Noelle's arrival. And we're almost neighbors!
    ~ Zoe, my international reader. That sounds so exotic! :-)
    ~ Suzanne, who has a very fun winter-y looking blog. Must go back and visit soon. :-)
    ~ and ChapinaGirl who's real name is a mystery to me. :-)

    Several regulars posted, too, like her and her and her and I think I had my all-time comment high for the day. Lots of warm fuzzies going on around here.


    In other news, I'm moving on towards my next step in my Simplicity and Simplify plan of '05. Now that I have gotten up early all of 4 days in a row (*pats self on back*), I am implementing the new water regimen. My giant jug of water is sitting on my desk and I'm going to start getting it out in the morning instead of shoving it to the back of the fridge behind the chicken that I am defrosting and hiding it. Definitely more likely to be drunk if it's not behind the chicken.

    By the way, I need to do something with the chicken today or tomorrow. Yesterday I made homemade granola and it made the kitchen smell all wonderfully cinnamon. I also attempted sweet potato french fries last night . . . a major error in judgment on my part. We will NOT be discussing the sweet pototo disaster of '05 around here AT ALL. :-) (Think blackend, charred and burned to a crisp and you get the idea.)

    Today, I have my neice and nephew again, and it's also my day that I try and get some work done for church (printing bulletins and things). I may end up leaving that until this evening after Noelle goes to bed, but we'll see. Have I mentioned that I have a child-free evening tomorrow night?! This coming Saturday is our morning for staff meeting at church and my Mom usually keeps Noelle overnight the Friday night before that to help me out. I would take Noelle with me when she was little, but she's too active to stay in the room and play with us and too little to be left alone in a room with toys to entertain herself. Grandma will be picking her up after work on Friday and, although I miss her dreadfully when she is gone, I'm going to enjoy the evening hours of no kiddos with Travis. I think we're going to see a movie . . . either National Treasure or Phantom of the Opera. Has anyone seen either?

    Wednesday, January 05, 2005

    Lurkers Unite!



    It is my understanding that today is De-Lurking Day in the blog world. I'm jumping on the band wagon, too! If you've been lurking, let me know who you are so I can say hi!

    Tuesday, January 04, 2005

    Winding Down...

    Getting ready to go and make some popcorn and curl up with a book before collapsing for the night. Was on the go for most of today. I managed to get up again at 6 - yeah! (The doggies helped out because they just had to go outside at 5:57 a.m. How convenient!) I'm now two for two on getting up and reading my Bible. Not to mislead, I just read in the morning. If I'm going to work on any kind of Bible study where I actually have to use my brain, that comes later in the day or in the evening after Noelle is in bed. I was able to spend some time just now working on my 1 Samuel study. I'm almost completely caught up. I got about 5-6 days behind right before we quit for the holidays with sickness and new nephews and such. We start back up next week and my goal is to be back up to speed.

    Anyway, I made stew in the crockpot (Pattie, it was your recipe from the W@H board - yumm!) and corn bread in the cast iron skillet. It just tastes better when you make it in the skillet. I couldn't really tell you why, but I feel very "Laura Ingalls" pulling my cast iron skillet out of the oven and putting the cornbread next to soup I made from scratch. If I had only grown the veggies myself. :-)

    I managed to make it to the grocery store today with the three kiddos. That was an adventure. I realize there are many that go to the grocery store with three or more all the time - I admire you greatly! Let me explain about the grocery store run. I go to Aldi's once a month and stock up on groceries for the entire month, and supplement with occasional trips to Sam's and/or Kroger when necessary and for those things that you can't get at Aldi's. (If you aren't familiar with Aldi's, they sell a limited variety of food really cheap). The closest Aldi's to me is a 45 minute drive away. When Noelle was tiny, I could barely get there and back with her between her feedings. Today, I had my 12 week nephew strapped to me in the snugli, Noelle in the cart and Jordan (7 yr. old neice) pushing the cart. All went well for the most part - we had to break into a box of cereal for a snack about 2/3 of the way through the shopping to convince Noelle that climbing out of the cart was not in her best interest. Oh, and Jordan kept getting her shoe caught somehow under the cart and would have to take it off (shoe still stuck in the cart), climb under, and pull it out - of course, blocking most of whatever aisle we were in. But that was a minor inconvenience compared to not having groceries! :-) It also worked out well that I had lunch planned today with my Mom and sister and didn't have to worry about coming home and putting together food for the kiddos after the shopping trip. We were able to go to J@ck in the Box & relax . . .

    Dana, the one-handed wonder, posted the following question in the W@H Swonderings today: What would happen if there were no television? Why would this be good? bad? This is a hard question to answer. As I've mentioned before, we don't watch much TV. We don't pay for cable, so on a good day, when the wind is blowing in just the right direction, we can pick up PBS, NBC and ABC . . . occasionally FOX. I don't find that I miss anything by not having TV. Sure, there are shows that I would watch if I had it. But, I really think that God has used the time of no television to heighten some of my spiritual senses (if that makes sense). When I watch something in a movie or on TV at someone else's house, I notice so much more whenever there is swearing or God's name taken in vain. I am amazed at how promiscuous (sp?) the shows are and that the trends is to become even more so, how normal same-sex relationships are treated, and how violent the violence is. TV seems to be anymore about one-up-manship. If this channel has show "A" that has a certain amount of racy-ness to it, then another channel feels compelled to top it and push it to the next level. The difference it has made in how I view sin (because you can't really call it anything but that) that is portrayed as normal on TV I now view as a blessing. Especially as I am stumbling through trying to figure out how to raise a child passionate for God which so many obstacles against her. It's overwhelming at times.

    Anyway, I leave you with a recent picture of the girl. She had her 15 month Dr. appointment yesterday. We weigh in at 21 lbs., 7 oz, and are 31 inches tall. We also have officially given up the bottle - she won't drink her milk out of a sippy cup yet, but we're working on it.



    Enough rambling for one sitting . . . off to popcorn. Peace.

    Monday, January 03, 2005

    I did it.

    Up at 6 a.m. this morning. It was painful but I got up. Read Psalm 3 and made a pot of coffee - in that order. :-) Caught up on my email (yeah, Heather's engaged!!) and took a shower in our N E W bathroom. And Noelle still isn't up yet.

    The question is, will I be able to do this again tomorrow?

    I did have a little incentive to getting up so early this morning. It looks like I will be watching my neice and nephew for the next two weeks because their normal sitter is dealing with a family health issue. The only time I anticipate having to myself has to be early or late for the next while. I went to Target with the three kids and that was an adventure. I'm hoping to have two out of the three down for a nap in the near future. Noelle has her 15 month checkup this afternoon so off to get something started for dinner for later.

    Saturday, January 01, 2005

    testing

    a new layout . . . bear with me.

    Happy 2005!



    January 1. That always has such a nice ring to it. The beginning of another calendar. A blank page in a new journal. Waiting for events and memories and thoughts to be recorded. I'm ready for this year. I feel that God is going to make some changes in me and through me and I'm a little excited, albeit quite nervous as well. For several weeks now, I've been praying about and thinking about a theme for 2005. I think it's come.

    ~ Simplicity & Simplify~


    Simplicity as defined means: "the quality of being simple or uncombined, absence of showiness, absence of affectation or pretense; also clarity of expression."

    Simplify means: "to make simple or simpler, as to reduce in complexity or extent; to reduce to fundamental parts; to make easier to understand."

    I make my life so much more complicated that it needs to be. I add expections that should not be expected of myself and others and set goals so above and beyond the realistic that there's no point in even trying to achieve them. I sense that this is a year of pruning for me. Purging that which is not needed to make way for something more beautiful and desireable. (The interesting thing to me is that it appears I am not alone with this vision.)

    So, in the spirit of the day, here are some of my resolutions which I hope will be a guide for this year as I effect some change with the help of the Spirit.

    1. Simplicity in my spiritual life.

    I set myself up for failure. "This year I will read through the whole Bible - twice! I will become a giant in my faith in six short steps. I will complete every Bible study I can get my hands on and memorize the books of Psalms and Hebrews." Really. I do this. :-)

    So this year it will be simple. Richard J. Foster wrote a wonderful book called Celebration of Discipline. It's broken into twelve sections - twelve different disciplines of the faith. I'm going to slowly read this book again this year. Spending a month on each section: meditation, prayer, fasting and study (the inward disciplines); simplicity, solitude, submission and service (the outward disciplines); and confession, worship, guidance, and celebration (the corporate disciplines).

    2. Simplify my schedule.

    Learning to say "no" to things. Having a daily routine that is easy, manageable and sticking with it. About two months ago, I started the process of putting together my FlyLady control journal. It's complete for the most part and even as I was writing it and organizing, I noticed how much better my mornings went when I didn't sit and stare at the mess in our house, but attacked it in an organized fashion. Things are looking neater and cleaner around here and I want them to stay that way.

    3. Simplify my possessions.

    How much stuff do I really need? Sell, give away, and throw out!

    4. Simplicity with my habits.

    This encompasses those healthy life choices that I need to start making. More water, less Diet Coke. (Oh, the pain!) :-) Instead of vowing to cut out all carbs (ha!) and to adhere to a stricty liquid/protein/veggie/whatever diet, I'm just going to simply make better choices. One thing that I've already started is putting a large jug of water in the fridge that holds my entire day's worth of water. I'm going to buy less Diet Coke to keep at home and instead look at it as part of the treat of going out. I'm refraining from rash vows to look good in a swimsuit by August to just eating healthier and cooking healthier for my family.

    There you have it. I'm enjoying reading your resolutions as I make my rounds. Make me accountable for mine and tell me how I can help you with yours.

    Peace.