Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I cut it off for charity...

I think we all know that more people than ever are being affected by cancer, alopecia, trichotillomania and other conditions that may cause them to lose their hair, and ultimately their self esteem.  Women especially suffer when dealing with hair thinning or baldness.

My husband made the statement that he wishes that people would be able to feel comfortable being who they are even if that includes being bald.  I think its a nice idea, but with as much as people go through while fighting a serious illness, I think its understandable for them to seek some normalcy and often that includes wearing a wig.

It often feels like there is not much that I can do for those suffering from diseases and illnesses of this kind.  But donating my hair is something (albeit a small thing) that I can do and I am happy to do so.  Every few years I take the plunge and cut off 10+ inches of my hair and send it to a charity.  Here are before and after pictures of my recent donation cutting.

I teased my friends on facebook by posting this pix of Nate holding my ponytail before I posted the real "after" pix.
 Then, after much persuading I posted the pix on the right and the pix on the left was just taken (after I'd had a chance to play with the bit of curl left in my hair).

What do you think?  Cute?  My hubs still maintains that he prefers my hair long but that I'm beautiful no matter what my hair looks like.  I am enjoying the short new 'do for now.  Might have another "after" to show soon because my sister is going to help me die it!  ;-)

There is a really great article on She Knows about donating your hair to charity HERE.  You can donate your hair via Locks of Love OR Pantene Beautiful Lengths OR Wigs For Kids. If you have a donation "before" and "after" post I'd love to see it!  Thanks!

photo source

Monday, July 30, 2012

Weekly Goals (July30-Aug5)

Last week:
finish reading When Saints Sing the Blues and move on to Real Moms... Real Jesus by Jill Savage - DONE - a couple of chapters into Real Moms now

attend our last craft camp and send out questionnaire for feedback - DONE - we had a great time!  I'm still waiting for responses from the other moms.

do at least two activities and/or outings that I've put off all summer - DONE - we went to the splash pad and also redeemed a couple of our free kids meal coupons from summer reading programs

complete a chore/reward system for Nate - DONE - thanks to a friend we have a new system in place!

keep a food journal to keep myself accountable of what I'm putting into my body - DONE - hoping to keep up with that.

read the packet of info on SCD that was suggested by one of Joe's docs and start the book from my dietician friend gave me: Nourishing Hope by Julie Matthews - Only take look at them.  Waiting til after our appointment with a naturalist before we make any decisions.

take a look at our curriculum for this coming year to get prepared for school to start - DONE - I've got nearly everything we need... but wedding stuff is keeping me from focusing too much on this right now, we're waiting until after the wedding to start school.

get my hair cut ;-)  -  DONE - before/after post to follow! 


Goals for Week of July 30 - August 5

read a few chapters in  Real Moms... Real Jesus by Jill Savage - realistically know I probably won't finish (this being wedding week and all)

plan field trip to Wilbur Wright Birthplace Museum for homeschool group

attend preview of Joe's kindergarten classroom - and buy class supplies

read aloud with the kids every day

cook 16lbs of pulled pork for the wedding reception

help finish last minute wedding stuff

Friday, July 27, 2012

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Craft Camp Week 4

Last week we had our final craft camp.  The theme of the week was "Camping".  Sallie and Mia put together some really cute things for the kids to do!

 There were two tents set up in Sallie's yard and each held a different craft/activity.  The first was beach ball coloring.
Inside the second tent the kids got to make insects from spoons and pipe cleaners.  So cute!
 Then we brought our brood inside for campfire songs with Mia's parents.  Her dad played the ukelele and her mom led the kids in doing the motions for the songs.  It was great fun!

I don't know about the rest of the crew but Nate and I were sad to have Craft Camp end!  I am thankful for everyone who participated and I am eager to do more fun things together in the future!

I have not stopped giving thanks for you,
remembering you in my prayers.
Ephesians 1:16

Monday, July 23, 2012

Weekly Goals (July 23-39)

Last week's Goals

finish reading When Saints Sing the Blues - well... I'm very close, just a couple chapters to go

go on a mid-week lunch date w/ my hubby (it's a mystery guest visit to Cheesecake Factory!) - DONE - I thought I was going to have to drag the kids to this but my parents are awesome and watched my three kiddos so Isaac and I could have a rendezvous.  It was so nice to sit down to a meal together.  That is getting more and more rare lately.  Thankful for the time we got to spend together!

finish creating a chore/reward system for Nate - W.I.P. (work in progress) I have a hand written chart we've been using for a week or two, but I still want to streamline things to make it more user friendly, and my printer is not working so I can't really complete it until that gets up and running again.  Will roll this one over to next week's goals.  :-(

attend a friend's adoption fund raiser at Chick-fil-A - DONE - YUM!

make a trip to Costco to get a few things for my hubby's lunches - DONE - I do think we get some good deals there, but man is it easy to spend a lot of money there! 

eat more fruits and vegetables and less desserts - DONE - obviously this one is kind of broad... but I did work on this and I also kept a food journal which I have been lax in doing for the past few months. 

Goals for July 23-29

finish reading When Saints Sing the Blues and move on to Real Moms... Real Jesus by Jill Savage

attend our last craft camp and send out questionnaire for feedback

do at least two activities and/or outings that I've put off all summer

complete a chore/reward system for Nate

keep a food journal to keep myself accountable of what I'm putting into my body

read the packet of info on SCD that was suggested by one of Joe's docs and start the book from my dietician friend gave me: Nourishing Hope by Julie Matthews

take a look at our curriculum for this coming year to get prepared for school to start

get my hair cut ;-)

Ok, there you go.  Its been a busy week or should I say month... or more... anyway, proud of that I accomplished last week and trying to stay motivated for the week ahead!

Proverbs 19:21 “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.” (ESV)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Magic in Marriage

Well there has been a lot of blog-talk about some steamy stuff lately.  There is this book out called 50 Shades of Grey and it is getting a lot of attention.  I saw it in the store and skimmed right over it - as in the photo above, I thought it was about photography (just kidding!).  But since then I have been seeing it everywhere.  And apparently there is this movie out now about strippers or something?  Just kidding. It would be hard to not know about this movie. It is everywhere.  And I know women that have already been to see it.  Typically, I am not one to want to ruffle feathers so I have not really said much on the subject.

But the more I read on this topic, the more I am reminded what is wrong with this movie and other forms of entertainment like it.  In her blog post: Fifty Shades of No - Jill Savage brings up some good points.  She said this: In the same way that potato chips do nothing to nourish my body, movies about male strippers and erotica novels do nothing to nourish my mind.  There’s a reason God tells us in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”  He clearly wants us to consume only what is good for our mind.  We've all heard those verses before.  They clearly apply to this situation.

Sheila Gregoire takes a slightly different approach in her post: Magic Mike, Marriage and Women's Libido and she brings up how our culture is trying to change women.  She says this:  For the last hundred years or so there’s been a concerted effort to get rid of morality–and God. People wanted to be free to do what they wanted without being burdened by having to do what’s right, or having God tell them what to do. They didn’t want guilt. They wanted humanism. But what stood in their way? The family. Marriage.  God created marriage and the family... He would want us to take a stand to protect them both.

Then Mrs. Gore uses her blog post: Magic Mike Who?? to remind us what a real man is: Entertainment like this cheapens true masculinity, and paints a deceptive picture of what women should get excited about in men.  So if you’ll indulge me, I would love to help remind my female sisters what “sexy” and “manly” really looks like… A man who communes with his Creator daily and strives to live a life that glorifies God.  A man who reaches down to pick up his little girl when she trips and falls and holds her close until her tears are gone.  There is so much more to being a man than what is portrayed in the media today.

Melissa Jenna is blunt in her commentary and refers to both Magic Mike and 50 Shades of Grey as "mommy porn" on her blog post here: 50 Shades of Magic Mike (in which I am very uncool).  She gets right to the point saying:  Christian women need to reject both of these works, and instead, use our voices in support of what is good, right and true. It is our responsibility, as daughters of the Heavenly King, to remain set-apart from the poisons of our culture, to rebuke temptation, and to celebrate and honor righteousness. 

These women whose articles I have referenced are far more informed and eloquent than I am.  My qualifications are this: I am a daughter of the king, a wife and a mother.  And personally I would not want my husband to watch a movie that is full of female strippers.  So I see it as my way of showing my husband that I love and respect him by choosing to not see this type of movie or read erotic books.

I choose to make my husband my "Magic Mike".  He may not measure up in the world's eyes because he is a little less Channing Tatum and a little more Chris Farley.  But he is a loving and devoted husband and father who is one of the greatest men I have ever known.  He works hard to provide for our family.  He adores me and thinks I am the most beautiful woman in the world (who can resist that?).  He rose to the challenge with each of our children's births and was the best labor support person a woman could ask for.  He wrestles and horses around with our kids and gets the best laughs from them.  He accepts my crazy girlfriends from college as family. There is hardly room for me to list the many ways that my husband is wonderful.  He deserves to be the one that I long to turn to for sensual intimacy.

My heart's desire is for my sexual needs to be met by my husband and no one else.  That is how God designed marriage to work.  If we allow erotic movies and the lies that the media tells to get a foothold in our marriage it could destroy what God has created between us.  The work that we both put into our marriage has built bonds that are strong but we are not unbreakable.  It takes making choices like this day after day, putting one another before ourselves... we must be steadfast in order to preserve our precious marriage. I want us to live out these verses in our marriage:

Proverbs 5:15-19 - Drink water from your own well—share your love only with your wife. Why spill the water of your springs in public, having sex with just anyone? You should reserve it for yourselves. Don't share it with strangers. Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth. She is a loving doe, a graceful deer. Let her breasts satisfy you always. May you always be captivated by her love.

Linking up to a few of these lovely blogs.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Weekly Goals

I have a habit of saying I'm gonna do something, and truly wanting to do it... but not actually getting around to it.  Ugh.  Who likes to admit that?  Not me.

I have been inspired by fellow bloggers Sarah Mae and Crystal to share my goals with you all.  Now, Crystal posted her goals for the year and I did that too... but due to my own lack of organization I've failed to follow along and keep updating those.  Sarah Mae is doing something a little more my speed and posting weekly goals.  So here goes:

Goals for the week of July 16-22

finish reading When Saints Sing the Blues

go on a mid-week lunch date w/ my hubby (it's a mystery guest visit to Cheesecake Factory!)

finish creating a chore/reward system for Nate

attend a friend's adoption fund raiser at Chick-fil-A

make a trip to Costco to get a few things for my hubby's lunches

eat more fruits and vegetables and less desserts

Its not a huge list... but its a start.  Next week I'll let you know how I did this week and let you know what I'll be working on next. 

Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
(Psalm 37:5)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

DIY Baby Shower

My sister, Lauren's baby shower was last weekend.  She is now living out of state and it is so great to have her come back for a visit from time to time!  We miss her!

My gift to Lauren was a diaper bag that I made for her using this tutorial.  I really like the look of it but if I make this bag again I will probably box the corners instead of doing it with the rounded corners like the tutorial says.  I love this fabric!  Got it at The French Seam on the northside of Indy.  They have such cute fabric there!
 We played the candy bar in the diaper game.  Its a classic!  ;-)  And my favorite baby shower game:  Baby Shower Bingo
 Here is a pix of me, my sister Lauren (the mom-to-be), my sister Hannah (bride-to-be) and my cousin Shelby.  I love those girls!
 And here is Lauren with her future mother-in-law and sister-in-law.  They are such sweet ladies!
And here is the traditional picture of Cindy talking to the baby in the belly.  I am pretty sure I have a shot of this with each of my pregnancies.
Oh look!  Here I am pregnant with Christine with Cindy and Julie both talking to the baby belly.  Aw... aren't they cute?  ;-) 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

I saw this on facebook and had to share it:

 If God can believe in us,
Then why, oh why, can't we?
We are all equally special to Him . . . †`

For You created my inmost being;
You knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. -Psalm 139:13-14

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Craft Camp Week 3 - Armor of God

This was my week to be in charge of Craft Camp activities.  I came across so many great Medieval crafts and activities it was so hard to choose what to do!  We ended up having a couple of stations and rotating the kids around to do the different activities.

The first station was Paint Stick Swords.  It was pretty simple but a little time consuming since we were letting the kids wrap their own swords.

Then it was on to Goblet Making.  They decorated clear plastic cups with gemstone stickers.  This one was pretty simple but fun.
Then each child got to create cardboard Shields with their choice of family crest/coat of arms design on them.  .  I originally was going to explain what each color and shape meant and make it really meaningful but it ended up being a little too busy to get their attention long enough for that.  I also had bible verses about the Armor of God for them to go over but that too was also hard to get their attention for.

With all that energy to burn we took them outside for "Knight Training".  They did sword fighting, jumping jacks, horseback riding (piggy-back), and of course how could we forget: pool noodle jousting! ;-)
Whenever I do something like this I can always find things that I would or could have done differently... but the kids had a great time and that is all that I can ask for!

Monday, July 09, 2012

Nate's 7th Birthday

 With everything we've had going on lately I did not put the usual planning into Nate's birthday.  But we managed to pull together a few fun things to celebrate!
We had my husband's side of the family over for pizza and cupcakes. 
The boys played water balloon games and had a blast.  Its been so darn hot here they were happy to get some relief from the heat!

 Nate got a couple of Lego sets as gifts and he has loved spending time with Dad putting them together.
Just this week he has read the first two Harry Potter books!  So Isaac and I rewarded him on Friday night by letting him stay up to watch the first movie with us. He thought he was big stuff. Then on Sunday my friend Jess and I took Nate to see the movie Brave together.  It was nice to get some special time with the birthday boy!

Nate is such a special, wonderful boy!  He certainly tries my patience at times but he is incredibly smart and compassionate.  He loves his family so much.  Nate is often telling me "you're the best, mom"... Aw!!  Who can resist that?   ;-)  I am eager to see what the Lord has in store for my oldest son.  He can do anything he puts his mind to!  

"I pray that the Lord
will bless you . . .
as long as you live."
(Psalm 128:5, CEV)