Family Vacations, Cleaning, Miracles and more…

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We recently went on a short, two day family vacation for Spring Break.

We got a big room that accommodated all of us that had a kitchenette. With 7 people, five of which are children-That can be difficult. Plus, they had an awesome pool with a swirl slide and water park feel. Also, there was a hot breakfast included with waffles, sausages and everything! The area surrounding our hotel was beautiful. We planned our couple of days with ease in mind.

However, those eased minds became rattled shortly into our drive. The kids fought. All the way there: They screamed. They cried. They whined. And we checked in. Exhausted.

We thought the kids were just excited, it will be okay. It will get better. Once they see where we are staying, everything will be fine!

We desperately tried to encourage ourselves in the Lord.

It didn’t work.

They continued and so did we. My husband and I began arguing and I wanted to go back home.

But, would it change, I thought?

Probably not!

We were trapped. Nothing surrounding us to take our attention away or kept us busy and separate from each other. I was facing how our family functioned together. And, it was shocking!

That night, laying in our uncomfortable hotel bed, my husband and I had a heart-to-heart discussion. This had to change.

When life is busy at home, we can be clueless at the how well we are functioning as a family..or not functioning. We needed the peace of God in our family and we had to put some things into action.

During our conversation we realized a lot. Since starting public school, me getting a new job, his accident and now doctor appointments/physio, we have been too busy and don’t spend a lot of time together…as a family.

Many of these changes can’t be stopped. So, we planned to start implementing some crucial components to our daily lives. Some of these things were pushed aside due to our commitments and just couldn’t be ignored anymore.

We started sitting together as a family at dinner time…even if that meant more chores and cleaning for me…even if that meant only one meal! We were going to do it.

We took away all entertainment. No computer, no iPad for any of us–unless for research! We have kids in school, I am a writer and my husband is a Pastor–we need to research! But, no games or anything, etc. Even for parents! We are all effected by the rules…hence, accountability on all of us. They will have no excuses!

We got back home and started the new plan immediately.

It was like we were a new family. Peace finally started to come. Yes, they had their squabbles…but, not all day fighting, hitting, screaming, tattling, whining! Ahhhh!

Now, it feels like we are a family again. Even our prayers at the dinner table are more focused and participated in.

That is worth fighting for!

That is worth the extra inconveniences!

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My Cleaning Challenge has been pretty much, just a challenge all together.

My goals this year were to organize something each month. And though I got off to a great start, I have wavered due to new responsibilities. But, not all is lost and I have had a chance to do some things 😀

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I am trying to follow along with Sarah Mae’s challenge to 31 days of clean. Periodically, I will post what I have done to keep you updated as well. However, I have been terrible at it lol! I like to whip everything up in one day and have it look like a perfect house–even for a half an hour! Then, the kids can have at it. It doesn’t take long before it is a mess again, so I savour any second with my show room feel…even for a split second! Just saying!

Anywho, here is a before picture of one of my areas that desperately needed attending to. Like I mentioned before, I rearranged my work space. So, this unit I wanted for my office and not the kids area.

Here is the after pic:

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As a mother, I have seen my fair share of miracles.

Many of my children came from miracles. I will share some of these stories in the future. What I am gobsmacked with everyday though, is the fact that these mini miracles miraculously attract dirt wherever they go!

I mean seriously….How does this happen in one day??

In one section of the house only.

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Actually…in less than one day!!

It has to be a miracle haha..but, it is not.

However, I am so thankful for the mini miracles that make that mess 😀

Romans 12:18 

“If it be possible, as much as lies in you, live peaceably with all men.” KJV


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Make the most of your spring break!

Holiday’s in full swing and most families plan on short vacations, Disney Land stays or home stays and lawn care. I want to offer something a little different. It might seem odd as school is out for the time being and kids are loving the fact of no homework, no getting up early, no lunches to go and no confined spaces.

But, that doesn’t mean we take a break from reading!

Photo Credit | sonicdad.com

Reading to your children is the best thing you can offer them when you have the time. They need to hear your voice and feel your comfort. This is a great way to cuddle up and just chat. Talk about the parts of the story you loved, your kids loved. Laugh about the funny parts.

I think this is a great time to start a home bible study with your children. Often times we think church once a week is enough for them. But, we need to include bible reading daily. Scripture memory daily and most of all, your children need to see and hear you walking with God daily. What better way to read the Bible, then with your children as an example of what they too should be doing.

This is the book we are reading right now and LOVE it!!!

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The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail

Happy Holidays and Hopefully, Happy Reading!

Phone Company’s Must Love Moms!

Photo Credit | dreamstine.com

I am absolutely convinced that phone company’s LOVE moms!

I was just having a discussion with a very good friend of mine and couldn’t help but laugh when she told me she needed a new phone because she dropped hers. I asked where and giigled-knowing exactly what happened and yup! Truth be told, she dropped it in the sink!

To think of how many phones I have boughten over the years because I have dropped them into the dirty dishwater: Two hands in the soapy water, head cranked to the side, smiling, and cramping while insanely trying to multitask the slippery plastic against my slick hair. Then-whoops!

This doesn’t account for our wonderful helpers that are oh-so-willing to aide us in our phones doom.

Toddlers are great when it comes to laundry, they can pick up those articles that have fallen on the ground so mommy doesn’t have to bend over, etc.  But, they also are prone to helping mommy add extra clothes or items they feel need to be washed and not always does mommy pick up on what has been added to the ever growing wash cycle-lo and behold, it is the cell phone.

Milk and juice have made the acquaintance of our cell phones while parked on the counter by our lil mini helpers and the worst is when they scream, “bye-bye” from the bathroom and you here the toilet flush. Yes, that was the phone and pretend Grandparent swimming down the drain!

These little accidents have cost us a lot in recent years but, nothing is more valuable to me than my Saviour, my husband and my lil’ helpers. Life can be so materialistic if we allow it, or we can laugh about the cost of our modern life and truly value the best things this life has to offer!

Matthew 6:19

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:” KJV


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The Hard Path of Mothering With Purpose #2

The Hard Path Series | Blog

The Hard Path of Mothering with Purpose…

What is your Faith?

Faith can really make or break us.

It is the very start of our Christian walk-having faith that Jesus died and rose again to save our souls from sin and death-but, did you know it plays a major role in being a mother too? We walk by it everyday as a mother? How?

Everyday we set out on the task of mothering and our faced with obstacles and challenges. Ones that are easy, tiresome, scary and moderately hard. Many of these require our faith to get us through. Sometimes we aren’t seeing the results that we typically should see and we wonder if we make any difference, or if any change is really happening on the inside of our precious children. After all, we want to have faith they would make it in this crazy world!

Do we train-up in faith?

Our role is to train up. This also requires faith. To train, we instil: Skill, Knowledge, Capability, Productivity, Capacity and Performance. Training has a specific goal in mind. For us, this goal should be linked to our faith and as we instil these elements of raising our children. We hope that they will respond appropriately to them.

The bible says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 We are believing that after all of our hard work, diligence and perseverance through the pressed times, our work will pay off-in a sense-because our children will not depart from this training; this time of labour we have poured into them so that they CAN face the world beyond them! We are having faith, they will make it!

Who are we having faith in? Are children? Ourselves?

If I have faith in my children that, after all my hard work they would respond and do as they are told, I would have to fall over laughing! You know children. They are human. They have their own mind-set. They have their own sin nature and they don’t always do what they are told-Haha! I was one of them and can surely a-test to that 😀

If I have faith in me as their parent, I would have to also laugh. I am human too and have failed with being diligent. I have made mistakes. I have given in to my sin nature and know that I am not always a reliable source to follow.

Then who should we have faith in?

Jesus!

That sounds easy but, I can tell you that sometimes it is not and I fall back into trusting in my own strengths or relying on my children and their obedience alone. This will always fail me, but God never does!

Do we limit our faith?

I always jolt myself back to the scripture that says with a mustard seed of faith we can literally move mountains. I find that fascinating and sometimes (don’t judge 😉 unbelievable!

Oh, when I am desperate I set my faith up to that standard, but in my everyday life–with daily chores not getting done from disobedient children-with life rushing by, I have no time to breathe-with epic meltdowns in the grocery store, to the troubled teenager that wants to take their own life despite everything bit of love you have offered–I confess sometimes, I limit God in my faith!

I often wonder if the woman that was healed by Jesus from the flow of blood for 12 years limited her faith? This was such a significant miracle by Jesus that Mark, Luke and Matthew all noted about it in the gospels. I wonder if it could have been a larger leap of faith? She said to herself, “If only I could touch the hem of his clothing”. She did and He turned knowing faith made a difference and power left Jesus because she was indeed healed. This is a wonderful picture of faith in action. Even the centurion knew Jesus did not have to go and be there in present for his son to be healed and Jesus marvelled at his faith.

I wonder if this very woman said, “If only I believed in Jesus alone, I would be healed,” I am sure she would have still been healed. She had to see Him though and then she had to touch His hem. Are there stipulations in your prayers and faith that you have to see before God can do miracles?

Do we speak faith into our children?

I am very guilty of this and hence the need for it here! Do we foster faith in our children by speaking it into their lives? Despite what we are seeing do we still believe God can do miracles in our children’s lives? If so, do we speak it to them too?

So often I can be discouraged and speak the truth that only I see in the moment and the results only I see at that second. I forget God sees our future too and He sees what we can become, not who we are today! I need to see through God’s eyes too and speak faith over my children. When I pray, I need to pray for what they are becoming not always about how they are acting now.

God is they’re heavenly Father too and cares about them more than we will ever. Our faith needs to lie in how He sees them and what He knows will become of them in the future after we have laboured for Him with them.

Believing that the skills God has given us and what we put into them, will not be dismissed as they get older.
Believing that God can do great miracles still and in our everyday life, even with problems that are long withstanding and never seem to end.
Believing God cares for them more than we could ever and knows what is in store for the future of these precious souls. Believing and speaking that into their lives too!

Our faith needs to lie in Jesus and Him alone for He cares for us and our children.

Click here If you want to read the first of this series called, What is your Identity? 

Sign up to receive these posts directly to your email box above and you won’t miss the third part of the Series called:

Are you Alone?
Hebrews 11:1
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” KJV

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Spring Cleaning Challenge & Goal Accomplishments!

Spring Cleaning is underway here and as some of you know, last month I set up my goals for the year. One of them is to Organize a room each month.

Last month I got to organizing a whole room…well, re-organizing. I eneded up switching the entire room around. It worked better that way and I will have before/after pictures in another post coming soon. But, I also was cleaning and tidying up things that definitely needed it while re-doing the room. The one area that desperately needed organizing was my kids’ book shelf!

Before Picture

Before Picture

Yes…this really needs help! So I took everything out… IMG_0738 And set aside piles of books and what order I would like them in. (Eg. Easy Readers, Chapter Books, Homeschooling Books, etc.) There was also a pile for purging all the ripped, damaged books!

Garbage :D

Garbage 😀

Then, I wiped it clean…it was very dusty 😦 I use my home made counter cleaner. I don’t like using anything to harsh for areas that kids will be playing. Here is the recipe to my cleaner.

Gotta get clean!

Gotta get clean!

There was a picture frame I had just got and the kids broke it by throwing a ball in the house, when they knew they shouldn’t. I think it was hanging up for less than 24hours…hence why I don’t normally buy anything nice for a house full of mainly boys! I glued the back back together and added it to the bookshelf when I moved around the room. That way it can’t fall too far down and I think it works perfect 😀 Here is the After Picture!

All Finished!

All Finished!

Organizing does not come naturally to me, you can read about that here. However, I LOVE how I feel when I do it! My kids love it too and my husband. It makes the home feel so much better and breathes an air of comfortable, easy and manageable…instead of stressed, cluttered and unmanaged! I thought this post was perfect along side of Sarah Mae’s Cleaning Challenge right now. She also cleaned her book shelf which seemed fitting that I did mine too. Find out more about her Challenge here!


Photo Credit | static1.squarespace.com

Goal Update…

FINANCIAL

  • Keep better records of personal banking
  • Work on better credit (due to a new roof addition of over 10 thousand dollars this kinda ruined it last year)  Got a new budget and that will start the process
  • Put $ aside for dental expenses and budget that into the main Budget. (With 7 mouths and 5 of them being children…this is a good idea) Started in the new budget
  • Maintain and keep better records for Business plans/Ads/Book Promotion/Book Development Processes and separate these better from personal accounts. Started separate accounts

BUSINESS

  • Continue to develop In the World but, not of it Blog Continuing
  • Write 24-30 Substantial Blog Posts 5 so far and new series coming 😀
  • Acquire 3-5 valid, true to the blog, things/products that I use/recommend personally, and qualifying Affiliates Got them and working on more
RealityWriter.Wordpress.com Blog & Author:
  • 15-20 Substantial Blog Posts 1 so far, but working on a new book series for email subscribers
  • Do research for 2 other Books in Que..
  • Begin writing for the two other books
  • Finish small finalizing ends for Facing The Grey half way there
  • Work with Editor in May
  • Get Ideas together for the Type-setting on Facing The Grey

MARRIAGE

  • Make compliments and notice husbands accomplishments (speak his love-language) Attempting this and trying to maintain this on a daily basis
  • Leave Love notes for him 2 or 3 times per month
  • Spend more quality time with him weekly, alone! We have been spending so much time together lately and it has been wonderful! …just wish it was the alone part too. Need more date-nights.

MOTHERING

  • Do fun things as a family 2-3 times per month Started lessons in music!
  • Help with homework/Bartons System at least 2 times per week This has been a serious challenge…
  • Go for regular walks 2 times per week with my youngest son Started running instead with him once per week
  • Read aloud the Bible 4 nights a week have done only 1x per week…
  • Read aloud 1 Chapter Book a month  Reading The Mouse With The Question Mark Tail!

EXECERICE

  • Go to a class Once per week Started Ballet lessons with my work
  • Go for walks 2 times per week with my youngest son 1x per week
  • Do more Gardening outside

HOUSE

  • Organize one room completely per month This month I did it 😀
  • Attempt to have dinners earlier by prepping food earlier and being more organized Thanks to Confident mom…will blog about this in a future post!

Now last but not least and almost forgot to add it in:

PERSONAL

  • Try to quit coffee (my health has really gone done hill and I think this may help) Down to one full cup per day!
  • Bake something once per week to learn and get better at it for kids’ lunches
  • Spend 1 hour per week to do nails, or have a bath
  • Schedule time everyday to do book writing Needs improvement in this area but got a lot of writing done!
  • Schedule time in to visit with a friend from church twice per month
  • Read 1 Fiction book a month
  • Start to read 1 non-fiction book a month The Dress Maker of Khair Khana. See my Book Review here!
  • Read and memorize scripture on motherhood This blog has really helped me in this area as each post has a scripture verse that pertains to our everyday life as a mom!
  • Spend 30 minutes in prayer/bible reading a day Needs Improvements!

How have you done on your goals so far this year? Are you taking up the Cleaning Challenge too? Don’t forget to sign up & not miss a post! Want to read more about these goals in my blog post…go here! 1 Corinthians 14:40 “Let all things be done decently and in order.” KJV


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The Hard Path of Mothering with Purpose Series

The Hard Path Series | Blog

I am going to be starting a new Series that deals with the hard path of being a Mother of Purpose!

Being a mother-no doubt-is hard work. It is selfless and we can have our doubts of who we are, what we are doing and if we are actually making any difference at all. I am here to tell you, you are! You are making an impact in your child’s life…one that lasts into eternity.

This Series will delve into thoughts that will keep you on the narrow path with your head held up and your eyes set on the things above-Heaven. For this is our main purpose.

However, we can get distracted from our main purpose and goal in rearing up and training up our children in whom God has entrusted to us. So, for the first part of this Series, I want to talk about your Identity!

#1 ~ What Is Your Identity?

Who are you as a mother? And what is your real purpose in that role?

Well, to some these questions come easily if all is well in your world of mothering but, when the walls are crashing in and the rules are neglected and children are rebelling…these are hard questions to ask ourselves. We need to focus again and remember what our calling is.

We are mothers. We are not necessarily; naggers, pushovers, walls to climb over or step on-ers, or angry monsters. We are called to be nurtures first and foremost but, most importantly our main calling is to be Christ-like!!!

Are you an imitation of Christ?

Does your children see Christ in you? Our Identity lies in who Christ is, not of ourselves. Are we being mothers on our own strength?

I often think of Jesus and His life lived. He is the single most crucial part of our existence, our Creator, our Heavenly Father. He came to this earth as the King of Kings and was met with murderous eyes and depravities. His life was not lavish. His earthly children did not recognized Him. He was used by them. He was mocked and laughed at by them. He was beaten up by them. Even His closest disciples, who He poured every bit of wisdom and love into, deserted Him at one time. Yet, out of love he sacrificed His own desires, bled out tears of sorrow and gave up His life for his wicked children (yet, while we were yet sinners Christ died for us) 

I believe we have the perfect image of self sacrifice in Christ.

Now, I am not suggesting at all you let your kids spit in your face, rip out your hair or beat you up!!! But, I want us to recognize that mothering is a sacrifice with a GREAT reward!!

Christ found this to be JOY SET BEFORE HIM!!!

We too can look to Christ and know we have a great reward in heaven. Our Identity, our strength, our reward is Christ. Lift up your eyes. Be Christ-like and know you are loved in Him first. Then, we can in return show self sacrifice for our children during those rough times, so we too can reap the great reward of a life born again into the kingdom of God. For your children are a great reward and your example to them will lead them also towards heaven!

What a beautiful joy to have!

Hebrews 12:2

“Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” KJV

Sign up to never miss a post. In the following weeks look out for the next part of the Series

#2~What Is Your Faith?


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SPRING IS COMING!!!

Here is to getting your gardens ready 😀


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This is one of my goals for the year and when I found this, I was super excited!


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I also think, that during Valentines, we should also shower our children with love…

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These love notes can do just that and remind us of the joy they truly are to us!!

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Blessings,

Why I don’t coupon AND how I still save money!

Why I don't Coupon & How I Still Save | Blog

I have been working very hard to bring you this Blog Post.

Recently I decided to go and do a little couponing. I normally don’t do this because a few years ago, I really tried taking couponing up and I am sure a lot of mom’s with mouths to feed have tried this adventure before too. I found it was like a part time job. So, here is my recent hull from couponing:

I Clipped out the coupons that were sent to me. If you are a couponer WEBSAVER.ca does have an easy way to get coupons.

I Clipped out the coupons that were sent to me. If you are a couponer WEBSAVER.ca does have an easy way to get coupons.

So, this was the hull! The grocery store near to me did not have any of the other items in stock so I ended up with this.

So, this was the hull! The grocery store near to me did not have any of the other items in stock so I ended up with this.

Why I don’t Coupon…

This hull doesn’t work for me and is a small example of why I don’t coupon. Below I go into the two major reasons. But first, here is why this couponing session didn’t go as planned:

One, I actually didn’t need the chocolate. However, I use it now as rewards for my Toddler to go potty. 1 for pee and 2 for poo 😀  Second, that little box of Cheerios fed all the kids cereal for one day. Not sure if the 0.50 off was really worth it and the actual paper towel I wanted, I couldn’t get. Canada watches for these coupon sales and sometimes they won’t have those specific items in stock during the sale time.

It looks so easy with the new Couponing Wars and Reality television shows, as well as money saving blogs that are out there and the fuss over them.

However, I have a large family! It took me a while to get used to this fact and we so badly want to buy a farm. Until then, we need to figure out how to still SAVE & be content with our lot in life!

Another reason couponing is hard for me is–I live in Canada, not in the US! So, this really gets hard. Canada has less population and overall consumerism has to stay strong in order for the country to function. Canada’s coupons have expiry dates and the stores willing to take them have many restrictions. The one store here that will allow overlapping coupons and you end up with a return to really profit from couponing is London Drugs. But, they don’t sell grocery’s! They sell cameras, toiletries, perfume, etc. It is hardly sensible to feed a family of seven off of this. Canadian Tire has amazing deals and coupled with coupons you can almost get your laundry detergent for free! Still, this won’t feed my 4 hungry boys!

That being said, I want to show you how we do save money on grocery’s for a FAMILY OF 7!

& How I Still Save…

We shop our big two week shops at Costco. One really great perk of having a big family is we shop there a lot and if you have their Executive Membership, it ends up paying for itself plus you get money back at the end of the year. Another way we save there is by buying their in-house sales. This really goes along way if you don’t mind not buying your favourite items every week. Plus, it brings diversity to your shopping.

Here is some of the In-House Sales our Costco had lately:

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After our Costco Shop, usually I hit other local stores for Organic produce on sale.

I am very happy to see so much choice now in our stores. Even Costco has been stocking their shelves with Organic items!

I watch for good sales!!

I watch for good sales in other stores!

This cereal, which is one we love buying and is our favourite was at a store near me, 2 for $10. That bag feeds my kids two bowls each. At five kids, that is $1/bowl. Not bad for the bowl sizes they get 😉

For regular produce we go to a local market and save lots of money by choosing that store. We try not to buy produce from any other stores, however bananas and a few things we will pick up at a grocery store that is well stocked in Organic Produce/Meat and is fairly reasonable. Unless the meat is on sale we won’t buy it. My husband hunts and we usually have a stock of venison in the freezer. But, here is some meats we got there:

Make sure you freeze these right away and use the day you take it out of the freezer to ensure freshness and quality when buying marked down items--especially raw meat!

SAVE $10–Make sure you freeze these right away and use the day you take it out of the freezer to ensure freshness and quality when buying marked down items–especially raw meat!

We like to get the double marked-down items for better sales on Organic Meats. If you go in the morning, they usually have the mark-downs from the night previous!

SAVE $7–We like to get the double marked-down items for better sales on Organic Meats. If you go in the morning, they usually have the mark-downs from the night previous!

So, that is it. There is so much more to say about this and there are times I will pull out coupons to get things, but it is rare. How do you do with couponing? Have you tried it before in Canada? Is there a way around the grocery items for couponing? How do you shop for your large family?

Ring in on the conversation below!!

Matthew 25:21 

“His Lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of they lord.” KJV


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This is a great resource that has eternal impact as well.

If you are into Homeschooling and need a LA portion or the one you are using is not working, try Write through the Bible.

Here is a peak at what the inside looks like. I am always curious to see the inside and how it will fit with our family. 

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Interactive Picture Books

Click Here! For your guide to a Teaching Job.
Click Here! To Earn money working at home assembling and creating Crafts!
Work from home while doing Data Entry!
Paid to do Surveys at home!
Click Here! To get an aisle-by-aisle Grocery List software to make shopping easy and simple!