Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The S-Money$ Pic of the Month!

See, I don't have it all together and my blunders are many but aside from being made right by Christ, I also have a loving and supportive husband who helps me along the way. We strive to make our marriage one with a biblical foundation.  Which means, that he is to lead the family spiritually, financially, etc. and I am to be his helper, be supportive of him and submit where necessary.

SIDE NOTE - I think he surely has the hardest job out of the two of us since I'm not always the easiest to submit - *insert sheepish grin*

So for us, this idea makes some of our duties/division of labor look 'different' - meaning some may view our break-down as 'old-fashioned' - "you mean you don't plan on working out of the home?!" - add shock/dismay of some upon hearing I like staying home w/my kids, lol!

Though we have some divide in how we conquer our household (i.e. I've never mowed our lawn!), our 'roles' are best suited to our gifts/strengths as well as flexible.  I have no problem helping to move heavy items, carry a load of materials, do some hardcore yard work.  And S-Money$ has no problem changing a dirty diaper, taking our Spillz out shopping (shopping w/teenage girls takes a certain kind of parental temperament. . . trust me!), doing dishes/other chores, helping me bake. 

Ephesians 5:25
And you husbands must love your wives with the same love Christ showed the church. He gave up his life for her.

We serve out of love and a majority of the time when I need him, S-Money$ is more than willing to 'give up his life' and put aside his interests in an effort to meet mine, or the kids.  That takes a level of love, commitment and maturity from someone.  Which is why I want to begin dedicating a monthly post for my dear hubby capturing him in action as he conquers the chaos of The Brood, the shenanigans in our house and models what a loving, biblical husband may look like! 

So, without further ado. . . . here is the S-Money$ Pic of the Month for January!
I was afraid we'd find something growing in here but S-Money$ braved the duty of cleaning the B-Fam Party Van!

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Nattie Bear Strikes!

Do you see this face??  Looks like an angel, right??  Well, don't let that smile fool you!! 

*YAWN* . . . . so it was a rough night with Miss Nattie Bear.  I don't know if it was the excitement getting out the house and meeting with our church group, the excitement of the extra kids/people at group, her teeth bothering her OR any other number of possibilities.  Did anyone notice if it was a full moon by chance??  Whatever it was, that little girl instilled a fear in her daddy and I that we haven't had in I don't know how long.  We were totally at her mercy.  It was one of those moments. . . that happened to last for several hours. . . where she was crying off/on, fidgety, very fussy, crying some more, yelling. . . . . BTW, she did not have a fever which just added to us being perplexed by her behavior.  Also, this was during the late evening when we have 3 other kids that were sleeping - two of which had to get up at 6:30am for school.  *YAWN*

Not from last night - but a glimpse of her feist, nonetheless!

It finally ended at 12:30am-ish when Shawn took her, gently put her in the car seat, heated up the car and then drove her around for a little bit until she fell asleep.  AMEN!!  PRAISE GOD!!  HALLELUJAH!!  Despite the stress, concern, and chaos, S-Money$ was my hero last night!  Insisting on staying up with me to help with Nattie Bear, despite my adamant effort to do it alone so he could rest before having to get up for work.  Makes me so thankful for a loving, helpful husband!  I surely couldn't do this alone that's for sure. <3

Needless to say, we were too afraid to move her out of the carseat when S-Money$ brought her back - for fear we would wake her and start the vicious cycle all over again.  So she slept in her carseat, bundled up in our room close by.  She awoke at 5:30am all smiles.  Blissfully unaware of the earlier night's happenings.  Ahhh, the life of a baby!!!  *wink*

Praying for a bit more ZZZZZ's tonight for ALL of us! . . . . . and for any of you who are also a bit sleep deprived on this Monday morning.  :)

**this post linked to:

Friday, January 27, 2012

Praying For These Mothers

Just another typical day it seems.  Got up around 6:30am to give the big kids their wake-up call.  Wookeese strolls downstairs to say good-bye to daddy before he leaves for work.  S-Money$ and I pray with Wookeese before he leaves (we don't always get to do this, so it was nice!).  I finish the morning routine getting the big kids off to the bus stop.  Wookeese has his daily mini-tantrum/meltdown which results in discipline and me losing patience.  I decide to regain composure by having him help me cook as Nattie Bear sits high-chair side and watches as she nibbles. 

After the Littles go down for a nap I decide to do my usual internet stroll updating myself on blogs I follow and of course. . . facebook statuses.  A link from Pure Modesty's site catches my eye.  "It's a Girl" is the trailer title.  Hmm, sounds interesting.  Below the video I see an excerpt describing how young girls are being killed because they are simply a GIRL!   Whoa, now it's more than just interesting!  Please watch the video below and see for yourself. . . . .

Suddenly after watching this video things seem different to me.  The countless facebook statuses of complaining, pics of our kids, new hairdo/nails/etc, political propaganda, 'fml' lines, crude comments, famous quotes, what someone is making for dinner, misbehaving kids, blog updates scroll as my eyes gloss over the screen again.  Stunned.  It all seems pointless and futile at this point.  Like we're all in a twisted off-shoot of reality.  This bubble of cyberlife where status lines trashing an ex lover receive countless 'likes' and supportive comments to said poster.   What about posts like this?  Usually shared, a few comments voiced and then it fades into obscurity.  It's a shame.

But what about our daily routines jumbled with wake up, go to work (or stay home w/kids), come home, eat dinner, clean up, go to bed, then do it all again the next day.  Are we blinded by the monotony of our daily routines OR do we use the monotony of daily routines to block out addressing issues beyond our backyard so we don't have to 'feel' uncomfortable? 

This is my struggle.  I see injustice and what do I do?  What can I do?  Sometimes I feel overwhelmed just being where I am. . . yeah I know, sort of pathetic in the grand scheme of things in relation to world issues/problems.  But we are all depraved and sin has us all separated without Jesus Christ to save us.  These women are lost but many are probably more scared and confused having to make a decision they don't want to make.  Though I praise God I don't have to go through that struggle, my heart still aches for the lost little girls and YES even their mothers; for those forced to make a decision that they don't have the resources to run from. 

For right now, God has impressed it upon my heart to pray.  Pray for these women and children, pray for their spouses that look on, enable this to happen or feel just as lost and helpless as the mothers, pray for governments whose twisted legislation allow for such grave choices to have to be made by families.  Hug your girls and boys and JUST PRAY! 

Psalm 22:9-10, 19-22
Yet you brought me safely from my mother's womb
and led me to trust you when I was a nursing infant.
I was thrust upon you at my birth.
You have been my God from the moment I was born.

O Lord, do not stay away!
You are my strength; come quickly to my aid!
Rescue me from a violent death;
spare my precious life from these dogs.
Snatch me from the lions' jaws,
and from the horns of these wild oxen.
Then I will declare the wonder of your name to my brothers and sisters.
I will praise you among all your people.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Through Your Eyes

It seems like the toils and stresses have affected me
Pregnancy aches and pains twitch at my limbs with most steps
Discipline at an all time high
Patience at an all time low
But it's not the end of the world. . . or even the end of the day
And there is hope . . . .

Through your eyes I can see the creativity overshadowing the mischief

Through your eyes I can experience curiosity and the beauty in a cold snowy day

Through your eyes I see time fly as you grow more quickly than I imagined
And your beauty from within

Through your eyes I can let go of reservations and enjoy the moment in all its silliness

Through your eyes I can take solace in the meaning of rest

Through your eyes I see love.  Love from my Father in Heaven.  Love for the family he has bestowed upon me.  No day is too long, no task too tedious, no pain too hard to bear.  Because I can see the grace and blessing of the moment . . . . . Through Your Eyes. 

**This post linked to the following:

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Soup-y Tuesday

It's that time of the week again. . . . which means soup for dinner in our house! 

I'm trying to keep this fairly consistent so hopefully there will be many more soup-y Tuesdays to come.  :)

On today's menu I have a new recipe I tried - Stuffed Pepper Soup which was posted on the Women Living Well blog.  The pic looked so yummy and I loved when my mom made stuffed peppers growing up so this was a MUST try recipe.  Glad I tried this recipe because it was awesome!  Tasted just like the inside stuffing of the stuffed peppers I remember.  I added a bit of shredded cheddar to my bowl and that was perfection.

*My only caveat with this dish had nothing to do with the actual recipe, but with my crock pot.  It didn't cook the rice evenly so I had some mushy rice on the bottom, nicely cooked rice in the middle and some semi-crunchy rice on top.  *sigh*  No worries, though!  I just transferred the soup from my crock to the stove top in my large soup pot and finished it off there after adding some water and more garlic salt & pepper.  Saved the dish! 

And to top it off, the batch I made over the weekend was a big enough batch so I don't have to cook today. . . . . 2 bonuses in one day!!   *smile*

Monday, January 16, 2012

How Do You Do It??

"I don't know how you do it all!" is actually a phrase I've heard from several people.  Me?  Do it all?  **Insert idealized vision of what that might look like above**

I guess it's really subjective as the majority of those who have uttered that phrase to me typically have less children than I do.  Just like they are amazed at what I do with 4 going on 5 children, I am in the same respect humbled and in awe seeing mom's with more children than I who do so much more - like homeschooling/gardening/sewing.  One of these Mom's is Amy from Raising Arrows - whose blog post I am linking up to today.   She does an amazing job of taking care of her home, family as well as being a great encourager with God's Word!  *smile*

To be honest, I in no way, shape, or form see myself as someone who 'does it all'.  Maybe I put up a good show?  Seem to maintain my cool in front of others?  Either way, there is much that doesn't go right, small things - and large things - that go undone throughout my day.  Take last week for example. . . .
  • I started one morning spilling my leftover tea all over my nightstand when I tried to turn off my alarm at 6:30am with my hand half asleep - doh!
  • Managed to step in every wet spot on the kitchen floor that my husband left after cleaning the dishes. . . . in my clean socks.  Ick!
  • Forgot about a load of laundry in the washer one night and had to RE-wash it since it went sour.
  • Left an icky diaper in our room for over a day that the hubby just found.  But in my defense, it was bagged and tied so as to not be TOO offensive.  *sheepish grin*
  • Didn't time dinner correctly so we ate way late on Sat. night and ended up missing church that evening; instead going Sun. morning.
  • Didn't get all the bathrooms cleaned, laundry done, or purging the kids' clothes done like I would have liked.
Obviously, there are some leaks in my 'Doing It All' facade!  But when things don't work out the way I plan, I have a choice.  I can be frustrated/feel defeated/complain or I can count it all joy.  Yes, you heard me correctly!  I said I can Count It All Joy!  Why?  Because I'm not meant to do it all; no one is!

*This is a lie!!

Perfection is never achieved.  It's a lie which focuses only on self and what we can do on our own.  If I can do it all, then I negate my need for a Savior.  Instead I choose to rely on Him, ask for wisdom and in turn do better at coming up with a plan and tackling the next day with what I maybe didn't get done this day. 

First and foremost - I will start by relying on prayer.  Next, I'm better hoping to streamline my routines, home processes, etc. by gleaning information from other experienced moms like Amy from Raising Arrows, Kim from Raising Olives, Connie from Smockity Frocks and also from Kim Brenneman who wrote 'Large Family Logistics' - which I am currently reading.

So, I don't do it all.  I'm just a regular mom doing the best job I can do with God's grace. . . . . and of course with the patience of my family when I blunder!

**Also linked to:

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Resurrection Rolls

I found this great recipe from the 'Habits for a Happy Home' blog - which is not only yummy, but also can help give the kids a visual understanding of Jesus' death, burial and resurrection. . . . . . hence the recipe name of Resurrection rolls!   Here's how we did it. . . .

  • 1 can of crescent roll dough (or more depending on how many you want to do)
  • melted butter
  • cinnamon/sugar mix (about 2-3 parts sugar to 1 part cinnamon)
  • marshmallows

Here's what the ingredients represent:
  • marshmallows = Jesus
  • crescent dough = cloth to wrap Jesus
  • melted butter = oil for embalming
  • cinn/sugar = spices for anointing

Though the recipe mentions reading the passage in Matthew 27:57-61, our boys were very anxious to get baking . . . . as illustrated by Wookeese eating 2 of our marshmallow Jesus before we even got started!  So as we worked, I explained to the boys how after Jesus died, Joseph of Aramathea took his body and prepared it for burial (Luke 23:50-53).  So we took our marshmallows (Jesus), dipped them in the melted butter (oil), coated with the cinnamon sugar (anointing spices) and then wrapped a piece of crescent triangle (cloth) around the marshmallows.

We made sure to cover all openings so 'Jesus' was nice & secure inside. Then place the filled dough on the pan to load in the oven. *Pretend the oven is the tomb and that you are about to bury Jesus.

Bake the rolls according to the package directions - 375 degrees for approx. 11-13 minutes. 

Once they're done, tell the children that it's been 3 days and have them help you check the tomb to see if Jesus is still there (caution w/Littles by the oven of course!).  When you cut open one of the rolls, the kids will see that Jesus (which was the marshmallow) is gone! 

If the kids have not already tried to devour the rolls at this point, like mine did!, now would be a great time to read Matthew 28:5-8 explaining the resurrection of Jesus!! 

This story/activity is actually meant to be done around Easter, however we were excited to try it!  Besides, who wouldn't want to hear a great bible story coupled with warm, buttery, cinnamon/sugary, gooey crescent goodness?!   *wink*

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Snacks for the Brood & Co.

I must confess - my blog is still in the infant stage but after seeing on my blog roll a posting from Raising Olives about linking with snacks for a crowd - I wanted to do a double post today so I could participate! 

Usually, our crowd that needs snacks are my own brood - YES, they can eat me out of house and home once the Bigs (Spillz/C-funk) get home from school and with Wookeese going through a growth spurt I believe! - or their friends. 

This week I tried to be prepared!  Aside from the usual cut/whole fruit, veggies, cheese chunks, I decided to do some batches of muffins.  Makes a great after-school snack, take to school snack, or a curb-pregnancy-craving snack!  No matter the flavor - WE LOVE MUFFINS!

I did two kinds this week.  A basic chocolate chip muffin and a cranberry orange muffin (recipe below).  I did a dozen of each and many have already disappeared! . . . . may be back to the kitchen by the end of the week!  :) 

Cranberry Orange Muffins:
2 C Flour
3/4 C Sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 C dried cranberries
1 egg
3/4 C orange juice
1/4 C vegetable oil
1 tsp grated orange rind*
      *I didn't have oranges on hand to use the rind and they still came out orange-y with just the OJ
  • Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.  Mix wet ingredients and then incorporate into the dry ingredients - making sure not to over mix; just til moistened.
  • Spoon into 12 muffin cups in muffin pan (or greased muffin pan - like I had to do since I ran out of muffin paper liners!).  Sprinkle tops with extra sugar and bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes until slightly golden on top.
  • Enjoy!!
Also, made a batch of cranberry & chocolate chip granola bars cut into bite size pieces to also keep hungry tummies at bay until dinner time!   I love this recipe because it can be tweaked with any type of goodies you have on hand and/or have a tasting for.  :)

*Sigh* . . . . now to see how long these snacks last in the house. . . . .

**Linked to Raising Olives blog:

When Little Kids Help

When your help around the house during the day consists of Littles - aka: Toddler and 8-month old in our house - then you could just be getting more mess and a little less clean*wink*

Makes for an interesting day since you never know what you may get, LOL!  But there are those other moments, the priceless ones you need to capture for memories to come, where your Little comes through.  He/She gets it!!  They did it!!  Yeah!!  (insert applause/praise/smiles)

Though I'd like to attribute those moments of success to my awesome & stellar parenting. . . . . sadly, I cannot!  It is not because I am good, but because God is good and gives me those pocket moments of wisdom to share with my children along with the patience and love to teach.  So you see, I can't claim the glory. . . . . . BUT I will surely enjoy His blessing in the outcome!  *big grin*

*Proverbs 22:6*
    "Teach your children to choose the right path, and when they are older, they will remain upon it"

Having my Littles help isn't so I can obviously get the job done the way I would like it - though my pride would say otherwise.  It's a teachable moment - if I take the time to embrace it!  When they are older, they will have learned homebuilding skills and developed some sort of routine that they too can pass onto their children.  Lazy begets lazy.  Surely NOT what I want them to learn!  So the sooner they help, the better.  :)

So what do I get in our house when the Littles help? ? ? ? ? . . . . .

I get the help of a renowned food critic - who apparently is grossed out by a raw/whole ckn . . . .

I get ALL of my main ingredients inspected and prepped before dinner (potato inspection in process). . . .

I receive a 'Get-Out-of-Bending' free card w/vacuuming. . . which is great during pregnancy! . . . .

And one of my favorites! . . . . I get the CUTEST taste testers!

***Yes, I will take my Littles for the job over doing it myself ANY day!!!

**This post is also linked to: 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Soup-y Tuesday

I'm not always good at routines, but when implemented and utilized they tend to work wonders for our family.  Wow, imagine that!!  ;)  So it's definitely an area I need to really focus on and try to maintain.  One area is meal planning.  I've had way too many nights of throwing together something last minute, thus feeling anxious and stressed afterwards due to my poor planning -  *confession of my imperfection*

I've quickly come to the realization that as our family expands, so should my knowledge & ability on how to get good stuff on the table in a timely manner. . . . . otherwise the natives get VERY restless, LOL! 

Which brings me to Soup-y Tuesday! 

If I can make some nightly meals revolve around a theme it's much, much easier to plan . . . which means I can better streamline my shopping.  So, Tuesdays will most likely be designated at soup night - aka Soup-y Tuesday.  Here's what I'm thinking for how an ideal week might look for our brood. . . .

Sunday - Group Night - meet w/our church group so dinner is covered but still need to feed the kids
Monday - no theme
Tuesday - soup, bread & maybe salad
Wednesday - Leftovers
Thurs - no theme
Friday - Pizza night
Saturday - no theme
'No theme' nights can easily be converted to an ethnic night, casserole night, sandwich/chip night, grill night, another leftover night, etc.  Just depends on what baby and I are craving and what we have on hand.  This helps me remain flexible as well as keep the rest of my brood on their toes as to what Mo-Mo is going to cook!! . . . . sheesh, I can't have them knowing ALL my secrets, can I?!?!  *wink*

Tonight on the menu will be. . . . . Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings w/salad & bread!

What are you having tonight???  :)

**Linked up to:  I'm An Organization Junkie blog. . . . yesterday's topic was 'Menu Plan Monday'

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Grocery Budget Challenge - Part 2

*Before I go any further, let me just say that we did NOT make budget this payday* 

. . . . But that is OK!  Part of me is wondering if the amount we budget isn't enough for our growing family - as it has been the same amt. for so long - probably the same when it was only hubby, I and 2 kids!   So I'm hoping that through these posts and looking to utilize Quick Books, we can better track and revisit this amt. later in the year to see if it really IS feasible. 

Before I go into a more-detailed breakdown, I must note that the $200/pay - or $100/wk - is for groceries only (though on tight weeks it has had to include some non-food items) and we expense $25/pay separately for C-Funk to buy lunch - which breaks down to $2.50/day for two weeks worth of hot lunch (seems reasonable to me!).  Spillz refuses to buy lunch at school so her lunch items are included in the $100/wk. 

OK, so what does the $200/pay look like for our house this pay period???

  • $40 - Merindorf Meats meat bundle (15lbs. meat)
  • $10 - our local grocery store in town for misc. convenient food items for Nattie Bear since mom-in-law was babysitting.
  • $135 - Meijers*
  • $23 - Sams - for items I forgot/preferred in bulk (frozen fries/turkey lunch meat/hot dog buns/gummy bears*)
Grand Total:  $208 ===> $8 over budget. . . . . .so far 
          *includes some splurge items - the gummy bears were S-Money$ & Spillz's doings, LOL!

I say 'so far' because milk, bread, or some other staple that we run out of in the next 1-2 wks. may have to be purchased.  I try as much as possible to just do without but items like eggs, milk, etc. that are used in many basic recipes I cook often - i.e. pancakes, muffins, granola bars - are just too hard to go without.  Bread is something I can make if we run out so that's not too pressing to go out and buy before next pay. 

Also, tonight is our small group with some church members/friends.  I forgot to get ranch dressing and croutons for the salad we are supposed to be bringing - doh!  Luckily I have a recipe & the ingredients I need to make homemade ranch and I'll just make homemade croutons from a free loaf of bread we got for a service project yesterday.  There!  Just saved a few bucks!  Not much, but still makes me feel better when I can find small ways to save. . . . . even if I did go a bit over budget.  :)

What about you?  Do you have a grocery budget?  If so, do you find yourself sticking to or are you also an 'Over-budget offender', like me?  *wink*

**Linked up to: 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Grocery Budget Challenge

WooHoo it's payday this week!  **Happy Dance in progress**

Oh. . . but wait!  That also means it's time to pay bills, budget and do the grocery shopping.  UGH! 
OK, 'happy dance' has now ended.  :( 

Really it's not that agonizing.  Just takes a little extra planning and work.  Which is where I've had to try and incorporate some semblance of a menu plan/grocery strategy so I can stay on track at the grocery store.  And NO, it's not just because I'm pregnant that I can't stick to a list. . . . . well, maybe a little.  But I 've always had a bad habit of seeing something that looks good and then tossing said item in the cart.  Sounds good in theory. . . . but not so good at the check-out when I have to pay. 

It has been nothing short of a miracle some weeks that I try to feed our family of 2 adults, 3 kids and one baby on $100 a week.  No, I didn't make a typo --- that's $100/week or $400/month!  But do notice the word TRY in the first sentence of this paragraph (see, I even underlined for your convenience).  We do go over budget sometimes and that is ok.  I'm always still tweaking, toying around with different ways to stretch our grocery money.  I've tried bulk buying, local grocery store, big chain grocery store.  Still have to try local farmer's market and this summer we plan on planting our own veggie garden (tips greatly appreciated in this area!!!).  Through trial and error, and error, and error I've come up with some tips I try to stick with.  Such as:

  • MAKE A LIST!  I know, a no-brainer but I still can make errors on this one - *sigh*
  • I always check the weekly sale ads to see what's on sale and try to structure our meals/snacks/etc. around that.  For example, this week 1 lb. cartons of strawberries are on sale so I'll probably grab some and use for fresh fruit snacks or cut up to serve w/yogurt & ice cream.
  • I sometimes use our local meat market.  This week I'm getting a meat bundle for $40 which includes 3 lbs hamburger, 1 lb. bacon, 3 lb. beef roast, 1 lb hot dogs, approx. 1 lb. ground pork sausage and 6 lbs of chicken fryers (2 whole ckns).  This should get us through most of the next two wks - maybe having to supplement a few nights with leftovers, breakfast for dinner or meatless nights.  All totally doable and budget friendly.
  • Keep pre-made/boxed stuff to a minimum.  I've gotten better and more efficient at making things from scratch.  But we do get Ritz crackers, pretzels, Saltines on occasion to eat with fresh fruit & cheese, pack in lunches, to have w/soup and sometimes boxed dessert mixes - like brownies/cake.  **NOTE - I have been known to go off track on this one - I LOVE sweets!  There, I've confessed!**
  • Don't go hungry! . . . and I would add 'Don't go pregnant' because I'm always hungry lately, but I really can't get around that one - blah!
So here's the CHALLENGE!  Can I meet my bi-weekly budget goal this time???  I'm running out of quite a bit in our fridge/cupboards so. . . . guess this will have To Be Continued. . . . . . .

**Any shopping, grocery, menu planning tips/tricks/advice you can offer?  Willing to share what you budget to feed your family and your family size?  Maybe quick recipes?  Would love to have you share so myself and others can benefit!   Thanks!  :)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

10 years is a good start!

So today, the hubby and I celebrate our 10 year anniversary!  Not an easy task when one considers society norms with an approximate 50% divorce rate.  And I would be lying if I said it has come easy.  Don't get me wrong, there have been many hilarious moments, fond memories, and joys along the way. . . . BUT it's been WORK!  We've struggled through moving and organizing a house . . . . STILL organizing as our family expands, increasing our brood to what will be 5 kiddies mid-2012, dealing with crazy family/drama, balancing that with normal family, letting some friendships fizzle while adding new ones along the way, numerous pets (some foster pets), but most importantly. . . . we've struggled through our faith in Christ and how that should look in our lives.  We spent numerous years going through the motions of attending church on Sunday but never truly having our life transformed by our beliefs.  Looking back, it pains me to see how negatively that affected our children and anyone else we were around.  We weren't leaders and we didn't try to stand out.  We lived for ourselves and this world; not for God/each other/our children.

Thankfully, God has a way of hanging onto our hearts and changing us when we least expect it!  A couple of years ago, God worked on S-Money$ and I which led us to make some tough, yet rewarding decisions. 
  • I was in a career field I enjoyed yet we both agreed it was best for me to once again stay at home with our children.  In order to support this decision, S-Money$ has made a few job changes over the last couple of years to better meet our financial/family needs. 
  • After each baby, I said I was done, lol! . . . . until my pregnancy with Nattie G. in 2010.  We are open to however many children God blesses us with; not to follow society's status quo of avg. family size of 3.19.   
  • To more strictly limit our family's time and interactions with those who are continually negative, divisive and in opposition to our faith by their words/actions. 
Add to this a more mindful effort to read the bible more, share God's Word with our kids, TALK with our kids, train them in the way they should go, instill better communication habits in our family, carving out more adult time for hubby and I (not easy with the Brood in toe, LOL!) and overall just trying to have fun, laugh more, be silly more. 

If I've learned nothing else in my 10 years of marriage, it's that our time here is short.  Sure, 10 years is a great achievement and I couldn't be more happy for my time with S-Money$. . . . . but God has a lot more in store for us.  I can feel it.  I'm hopeful for the future. 

 Which is why I think that 10 years is simply just a good start!! :)