Monday, January 21, 2013

You call it lazy. I call it...

The Day The Hamper Was Empty for Five Hours In A Row!

Yep.  6pm.  After dinner.  The only one of my children that is dressed (somewhat) is the one that insisted on dressing himself...twice...because he found his favorite outfit and then his favoriter outfit.

I am pretty sure that the only time the older 2 children have spent away from this couch today has been for meals (and the occasional time out).  I'm pretty sure that I'm okay with that.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to be up late tonight prepping for school tomorrow since I didn't do it over the weekend.

I'm pretty sure I feel more rested after this 3-day weekend than I did at the end of a 2-week Christmas break.

The weekend, though?  We had an actual weekend.  The kind where everyone is home and you sleep in (hey, 7:00 IS sleeping in), and you laze around for the morning, then mobilize the troops and do fun stuff together.  The kind of weekend where Mamaw comes and brings a little bit of Mamaw-land with her, and you throw away responsibility for a little while and keep the kids up way past bedtime so they can look at the stars.  

The Planetarium at Ball State University

The kind of weekend where you get up and make pancakes and eggs for your family while they sleep and watch movies, and everyone is full of food and family and fun.  

That kind of weekend.

I'm going to miss this weekend.

I love this weekend!

The Hubby has 3 1/2 months of school left.  That's all.  That's all?  That's all!  And then?  And then.  Weekends, if we're lucky.  We're praying for weekends.  We're hoping for weekends.  We're longing for weekends.

Would you pray for our family?  It's been a LONG 3 years, but it's almost over.  As we journey through the home stretch, please pray for God's direction in finding a job for The Hubby.  Please pray for patience for all of us.  (We're all feeling the length of the ride right now.)  Please pray for us as we, once again, figure out what it's like to all live in the house at the same time and not just when we're passing each other on the way out the door.

However you can, please pray for our transitions these next few months!


We LOVE weekends! 

How do you spend your weekends?

Friday, January 18, 2013

That was then...

On February 1st of last year I post this picture of myself:


Was that really only a year ago?  It feels like a lifetime ago.  It WAS a lifetime ago.  

After this picture was taken I lost 5 more pounds.  Five more!  That put me solidly at a 55 pound loss.  SO hard to believe!  I was ecstatic!  Overjoyed!  Determined to never EVER gain even an OUNCE of that weight back.

A lot's happened in a year.

I am a full-time working mom now.  I'm an English teacher and I love it.  But.

A year ago I was going to Zumba 3x/week.  I was riding my exercise bike at home.  I was riding bikes with the kids.  I was taking long walks with a kid on my back and one in the stroller...or one on my back and one holding my hand...or...  I was eating great.  I was!

I got busy, friends.  I got tired.  I got overwhelmed.

Dare I say I got lazy??

Um, yeah...that one's a little painful to admit.

My medication causes weight gain.  Ice cream causes weight gain.  Lack of exercise causes weight gain.  Lack of motivation?  Weight gain.

I am frustrated with me.  I am tired of feeling the lousy way I feel every day.  I am tired of being tired.  I am tired of the yuck.

Today I have decided that I am ready to put myself back in front.  Today I have decided that I am ready to, once again, fight for me.  Today I am taking myself over.

I need your help, friends!  I need your help.

Please offer your support.

Please offer your patience.

Please offer your criticism.

Please send me your ideas for how to be a healthy me!

I'm ready.  I'm in.  It's ME time!

Friday, January 4, 2013

I AM a Motivated Mom (You can be too)!

What motivates you?  

You know, what really gets you going? 

I think it's different for everyone.

I am motivated by accountability.  I am motivated by results (positive or negative).  I am motivated by frustration.  I am motivated by others' successes or failures.  I am motivated by the calendar or the clock.  I am motivated by change.  I am motivated by stagnation.  I am motivated by a lot of things.

One thing that really motivates me, really gets me going, is a checklist.

I think I have my Auntie Dona to thank for that.  She's a list maker.  I hear that she makes lists of her lists.  (I don't know if that's true or not, but that's the story.)  I'm not quite that extreme, but I am a list maker for sure, and few things make me as happy as checking something off a list.  

I discovered one of my favorite lists a couple of years ago.  I've told you about it a couple of times.  I love it, in part, because I don't have to make it myself (although there is great joy in the making of the list).  I love it, in part, because it reminds me to do things I would have otherwise forgotten.  I love it, mostly, because it totally motivates me.

Are you curious yet?

Yep, that's right.  My amazing motivational list comes from Motivated Moms!

Motivated Moms is a "chore chart" for moms.  It's awesome.  It's wonderful.  It's terrible.  It's everything you need it to be.  It's...well...motivational!

Imagine a home in which laundry piles up for days upon days, where the kitchen floor gets a once-over with the broom once a week or so, the kids' nails get clipped when they get scraggly enough that the kids are actually asking for them to be clipped, the fridge gets cleaned when someone can no longer stand the grime...dreadful, isn't it?  Yeah, so ummm...welcome to my house.

Four months ago I started an amazing new job.  An all-consuming, exhausting, amazing new job.  I adore my new job.  I am amazed by feels.  The trouble, though, is that it's all I have time for.  I feel like, between work, kids, and sleep, I have run out of time for anything...even beneficial things.

Beneficial things like, you know, cleaning.

So, as I sat here on my couch during Christmas break, contemplating what would motivate me to get my messy house (and perhaps life) in order, it's no surprise that I remembered Motivated Moms and the difference that printable calendar's made in my life the last two years!

I shouldn't have been surprised, but I was, to discover that not only does Motivated Moms have the amazing printable calendar I've grown to love, but they've got both apple and android apps now, too!  I don't know how you feel, but this was amazing news for me.  

You see, I love lists.  I love marking things off of lists.  What I don't love is clutter (although my house is full of it).  A binder of lists on my counter?  That feels an awful lot like clutter to me.  It's clutter that helps control clutter, I suppose, but it's always just been awkward.  We don't have tons of room on our counters.  The binder just takes up space.  The app, though?  Perhaps it's clutter on my phone or my iPod, but I don't see that when I walk by.  

I am so much more in love with Motivated Moms today than I was before I downloaded the app yesterday!  SO much more in love!

That house I described earlier?  It's still there.  It's still messy.  It's a work in progress.  But right now?  My bed is made (or at least straightened).  My LAST LOAD of laundry is in the washer. (Don't ask me about the folding, m'kay?)  My bathroom counter is cleaned off.  The top shelf of my fridge is clean.  My furnace filter has been changed.  I could go on, but I won't.

Give me a warning and 30 minutes, and my house will be clean enough for company!  

I couldn't have said that yesterday morning.

You see, Motivated Moms gives you daily chores to do.  Whether you choose the paper version or one of the apps, you get a list of daily jobs, mixed together with day-specific jobs.  Today, for instance, I made my bed (like every day) and wiped the bathroom sink (like every day).  I also cleaned the microwave inside and out.  I cleaned the top shelf of the fridge, which was actually yesterday's job.  Some days the list seems long, especially when you're just starting (or re-starting). Some days, though, the list looks so manageable.  Even on the days when the list looks long, it's really not so bad.  The longer you stay on the Motivated Moms "program," the easier it gets!  Faster, too.  

Motivated Moms actually has the option, now, to assign tasks!  If it's Little Lou's day to feed the dog, for instance, I can turn that task purple.  If it's Bugsy's day to sweep the kitchen floor, I can turn that task yellow.  It's an great way to monitor who else is doing their chores, too, not just Mom!

In fact, if you become a Motivated Mom, you very quickly discover that you've got an amazing amount more time on your hands than you ever had before...and a much much cleaner house! 

I choose to use the version with Bible reading as well as other chores.  I've chosen the paper downloadable version with Bible reading the last two years.  The app already comes with the Bible section, and you can choose whether you want to leave that turned on (I hope you will) or turn it off.  

Not only does Motivated Moms help you clean up your house, it'll help you clean up your life.

People, Motivated Moms is an $8 investment.  $8 will get you either the paper download OR the app.  Motivated Moms is worth FAR more than $8.  If you try it, you won't regret it!  

Speaking of trying it, there's a free trial version of the app!  2 weeks worth of chores for you to try.  What an amazing gift Motivated Moms has given!  You're going to love it so much, you're going to want the full version.

Ready to get started?  Head on over to Motivated Moms!

If you're in the mood to download the printable version, be sure you use the coupon code THISNTHAT.  You'll get $1 off the printable ebook, making it just $7!  That offer's only good through the 18th, though, so hurry!

Does WINNING motivate you?  It motivates me, too.  Leave me a comment below (we'll do this the old fashioned way) and let me know why you NEED Motivated Moms this year!  I'll choose a random winner from the comments on 1/19/2013!  The winner will be able to choose either the printable ebook or the apple app.  (Sorry, the android app isn't available for giveaway.)

Don't forget to purchase your ebook or app right away, so you can get moving in this new year!    Your house deserves it...YOU deserve it!!

I was given a copy of the apple app at no cost in order to facilitate a review, but I was going to post one anyway.  I was not compensated in any other way.  This is seriously an awesome app, and even if I hadn't been compensated, I would have said the exact same things.  

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


She is, in my mind anyway, a perfect example of an imperfect human living every single day for the glory of the God who made each and every one of us.  

She's precious.  Remarkable.

She's silent when she needs to be and forceful when it's necessary.

She is actively involved in her family and her church.

She has been a missionary, both to people in other countries and to her neighbors at home.

She speaks truth into the lives of incarcerated prisoners at jails and detention centers.

She walks in parades, sharing the gospel.

She has literally put her life on the line, more than once, to put the word of God into the hands of those who aren't allowed to read it.

She is (almost) 84.

This is my beautiful great aunt.  

She's stunning, really, both inside and out.  When I think of the word "glory," she's one of the first people to come to my mind.  Glory.  She doesn't do the things she does so that people will look at her as a saint (although we do).  She doesn't do the things she does so that we can gaze with awe at the amazing woman of God she's become with years of refinement (although we do).  She doesn't do the things she does so that we will congratulate her or praise her or thank her (although we do).  

She does the things she does, every day, for the glory of bring Him glory.

She does the things she does to show God her love for Him.

She does the things she does in PRAISE for Him.

She worships Him through her works.



I don't make New Year's resolutions.  I tried a few times.  I failed.  I don't do it anymore.  A couple of years ago, a friend told me about her plan to choose a word each year that would shape and mold who she would be that year.  It's been a fabulous reminder of who I am becoming!

I pray for days and weeks before the start of a new year, asking God for the one word I need to more fully embody as I walk through the pages of this year's calendar.  I was struggling, really struggling, to decide on a word this year.

A couple of months ago, maybe close to 3 months ago, I challenged my students to begin living every day, every moment, for the glory of God.  I challenged myself too.  It's been a nice shift in mindset.

When I began the journey to decide on this year's word, GLORY kept popping into my mind.  I resisted.  I've already been there.  I've already done that.  For weeks and weeks I've been doing that.  Every time I go to school, I think about glory.  Every time I go to school, I think about glory.

And what about the rest of the time?

What about when I'm in my living room?  My car?  The grocery store?  What about when it's time to wash the dishes, the laundry, the dog?  What about when the kids are really getting to me?  What about then?  Do I live the way Christ would?  Do I live in a way that would bring glory to Him?  

Do I live my life in such a way that when I'm (almost) 84, my great nieces will look at me with eyes full of wonder and amazement and SEE Christ?  

Do I do everything I can to live a life that brings glory to God?


This year, I will focus on glory.

glo·ry [glawr-ee, glohr-ee] 
noun, plural glo·ries.
very great praise, honor, or distinction bestowed by common consent; renown: to win glory on thefield of battle.
something that is a source of honor, fame, or admiration; a distinguished ornament or an object ofpride: a sonnet that is one of the glories of English poetry.
adoring praise or worshipful thanksgiving: Give glory to God.
resplendent beauty or magnificence: the glory of autumn.
a state of great splendor, magnificence, or prosperity.

I will strive, every day, to do everything I do for His glory.  He deserves my best.  It is my goal, my job, my desire, to give Him exactly that. 

 After all, if my 84 year old great aunt is willing to give everything, including her very life, for His glory, aren't I capable of doing the same?