"Yes, we did produce a near-perfect republic. But will they keep it? Or will they, in the enjoyment of plenty, lose the memory of freedom? Material abundance without character is the path of destruction"-Thomas Jefferson

Friday, January 30, 2009

Adoption Update

It's been a while since I posted about our adoption journey..and that's for a very good reason! We decided to put it on hold for a while, while we figured out how to afford an adoption (as some of you may be aware, adoption is NOT inexpensive!). But, the time has come to move forward as we're very anxious to expand our family and we found an agency that is at least a little less expensive than some of the others we had looked at previously.

As of today, we have completed and submitted our adoption application (which was a nightmare to fill out--TONS of documents!) We have been contacted by the agency to begin working on our background checks: an FBI check, a local check, a state check, a CPS check and a sex offender registry check. Those should take about a week and then we'll move forward again. I believe our next step is to begin meeting with the adoption social worker and begin our classes, then on to the homestudy.

With any luck, we should be approved for an adoption in mid-February and waiting for a birthmother to choose us. We absolutely want to adopt a little boy (so we'll have one of each!) and we're open to any race.

If anyone knows of any potential situations, please leave me a comment or contact me via email at the email address on my blog. We can put the birthmother in contact with our attorney and move forward. Otherwise, please keep praying for us that we'll find our son soon!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Sorry guys! I somehow managed to get ahead of myself! Baking Day is actually scheduled for tomorrow so I'll be posting all of the great recipes and maybe even some photos too! (Btw, welcome to the blog Lorraine!! I'm so happy you found me!)

In the meantime, I just have to brag a little about how great my daughter is. Lately, I get a ton of kisses and hugs and songs sung to me by my little Cuddle-Bug every day. She's so easy to talk to and every day says something new that stops me in my tracks and makes me just stare at her in awe..how does she know these things?

Or she'll say something that will just make my heart melt into a tiny puddle of mommy-love. For instance:

Reagan: I have a baby brudder.
Mommy: You WANT a baby brother?
Reagan: (nodding) (holding her arms like she's holding a baby) I want to rock him.
Mommy: And give him a kiss?
Reagan: Awwwwww, sweet. Read him story books too.

Can we say LOVE??!?!!?!

Baking Day!

I was inspired by Crystal of Money Saving Mom to have a "baking" day! Today, Reagan and I will be making the following *AND* sharing our recipes with you!

Whole Wheat Bread
Chicken Pot Pie
Baked Oatmeal
Chicken stock
Mini All-American Apple Pies

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Business of Play...

I'm constantly amazed by Reagan and her imagination. The ability children have to make up complex stories from the simplest things, and work them out in play is simply beyond me at this stage in my life. Not that at one point, I didn't have a great imagination. I vividly remember building houses and ships out of pinestraw and fighting off Ninjas on the roof of our home as a child. But I think you really lose that ability the older you get and as more of the mundane aspects of life take over.

But not for children. Today Reagan and I were playing with blocks and she grabbed a couple and shouted "triangle!", which they were, good job Reagan! But then she proceeded to make a tent out of them and then make them into a family of triangles with a mommy, daddy and baby. THEN the Triangle Family all went camping together. Can you imagine? Out of the blue, this is what she came up with. Amazing!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Menu Planning

Here is the plan for the week as far as menus go:

Monday: Roast with vegetables and whole wheat rolls
Tuesday: BBQ sandwiches on whole wheat rolls, carrot sticks, fresh fruit
Wednesday: Chicken pot pie and vegetables
Thursday: Chicken soup with whole wheat bread, pumpkin pie for dessert
Friday: Chicken salad sandwiches, fruit
Saturday: Leftover day for ALL MEALS!
Sunday: Mil is making a breakfast casserole for after Church, so I'll probably make a fruit salad to take over as well.

Breakfasts: Baked oatmeal, yogurt, applesauce, eggs
Lunches: Leftovers, soup and sandwiches
Snacks: fruit, yogurt, cheesy bread

**We plan on having a baking day this week, similar to what happens over at Money Saving Mom! (Thanks for the inspiration!) More on that to come later (with recipes!!!).....

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Be careful what you say....

when you have children! Because they will absolutely mimic you! Not only has Reagan gone around the house saying "Oh My God!!!" to everything this week, but she also woke me up one morning doing a perfect imitation of me:

Background: When Reagan does something wrong and I'm trying to keep from yelling, I'll sing-song to her "Reagan, I don't know why you're doing tha--aaa-aaa-t, when I told you not to, just five minutes agooooooooooooooooo".

Fast forward to this morning: Reagan who had been trying to pry mommy from bed for the past thirty minutes (IT WAS EARLY!!!!), says in a perfect sing-song: "Moooooooooommmmeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, Reagan baby wants to get dooooooowwww--nnnnnnn!"

Obviously I woke up very quickly after snorting with laughter!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Want to win 3 months free of Weight Watchers?

Check out Bargain Briana and leave a comment and you just might be a lucky winner. Be prepared though--if you win, you'll need to be prepared to share with her readers how your weight loss is going! So good luck! And wish me luck too!! I could definitely use the accountability!

"Oh, Fine!"

This is how Reagan responds to EVERYTHING lately!

Reagan: I want to play with play-doh.
Mommy: You want to play with play-doh?
Reagan: Oh FINE!!! (exasperated voice)

As though it was MY idea in the first place. Sheesh.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

My freebies this week!! (And CVS deals!)

So on Monday, we made a quick trip to Walmart! And I got the following items free! How awesome!

50 pack Splenda sweetener
4 boxes of Arm & Hammer baking soda
3 Johnson's Little Buddies soap
1 box Johnson's safety q-tips for children

Oh, and from CVS on Sunday, I got the following items for less than $7 with $7.58 left in ECBs (would have been better if several things weren't out of stock..argh!)

2 Nasogels
1 4-pack Duracell batteries
1 box Cascade
2 boxes of CVS allergy medication (like Claritin)
1 box Excedrin Migraine

Yah! I'm getting better people, getting better!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


FINALLY! I am no longer anemic people! This is a HUGE person victory for me! Let me explain: I have been anemic for the longest time...almost my entire adult life. I even developed a heart murmur due to my very low iron. During those frustrating 'female' times, I even get so lethargic that Josh has to take over at times, and ply me with all sorts of red meat.

So to combat this, as at times it has been quite debilitating, I have been pumping myself with Iron..quite literally. I've been taking a combination of vitamins, which include:

a prenatal (with iron)
Calcium + D
Iron (256% the DRA!)
fish oil
potassium (at times)

Today I had blood work done and guess what? MY LEVELS WERE NORMAL!! This is possibly the first time in my life I have not had to worry about my iron levels and I'm ecstatic! So, for anyone else that is extremely anemic out there, you can get your levels normal!

Here are some other tips:

*Cook in cast iron pans--your food will leach some of the iron out of the pan
*DO NOT TAKE your iron pills with any calcium-rich foods, including milk and yogurt, or calcium pills--Calcium blocks iron absorption into the body. Take your Calcium pills at a separate time of the day from your iron pills.
*DO take your iron pills or eat iron rich food with foods/drinks high in Vitamin C--this HELPS your body absorb the iron. Example: eat a steak with a salad chock full of tomatoes!
*Eat lots of iron rich foods-including iron enriched breads, cereals, red meat, kidney beans and leafy greens.
*If you need a quick pick me up, grab a burger! Red meat has "heme" iron which your body absorbs quickly. Leafy greens contain "non-heme" iron which your body absorbs slower, over a period of time!

Good luck!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Today is a historic day. There is no doubt about that. When the people of America elect a new leader of the free world, and he is sworn into office, no matter who he is, or what party he is from, it IS a historic day.

It is a historic day because America has elected her first African-American president. It is a historic day because not only did America elect her first African-American president, but because he also beat out TWO WOMEN running for President and Vice-President.

Yes, it is a historic day.

But it is not a triumphant day. It is not a day in which my heart will be celebrating. It is not a day in which I feel as though we are making a fresh start.

Indeed, it is a day my heart is heavy. My soul feels burdened with the doubts and worries of tomorrow. When America allows herself to be duped into socialism, when America allows herself to fall open to the arms of those who wish to do her harm, it is not a day for celebration. When America openly embraces racism, after fighting so hard to rid herself of it in the past 40 years, it is not a day to be of which to be proud.

Rather it is a day for conservatives to begin to work harder towards those goals which we have set and to help make the future brighter by protecting our home, by gathering courage and pulling ourself up and refusing to give up our freedom to a government that keeps requesting more and more from us.

It is a day to brace ourselves for the worst, but continue to hope for and work toward the future with America's best interests at heart.

It is a day to remember why you're proud to be an American and refuse to give up that pride.

God Bless America.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Life Lesson

Today, I decided Reagan and I would make bread. And as usual, when my thoughts turn to baking, or anything kitchen related really, my heart started it's yearning towards that lovely, incredible piece of machinery I have been longing for for years....the KitchenAid Stand Mixer.

Let me give you some background here. I have wanted this particular mixer since it came out. I DREAM about this mixer. Josh keeps asking me where I would put it since I have ZERO cabinet space. I tell him not to worry, I'll make a place..it'll have a shrine (um, excuse me, place) of honor on my cabinet, where I can gaze lovinly at it each day.

Now, as anyone who has this mixer knows, or anyone who lusts after it, as I do, it's not the cheapest kitchen appliance on the market. The low end is just under $200...and well the high end, it's up there. I've had my eye on the $300 version, but would 'settle' for the $200 version. In fact, Josh has told me I should just go ahead and buy it....but everytime I go out to do so, I end up talking myself out of it for one reason or another. And I never knew why..until today.

As I said, Reagan and I were preparing to make bread. I got all the ingredients together for us and measured them out, with Reagan pouring and stirring. This is the fun and fustrating part of having a toddler of course---as it's wonderful to watch them grow, learn and help, but fustrating to see flour flying all over your freshly swept floor! Then came the mixing part, with my old trusty hand mixer. As I leaned over Reagan from where she was standing at the table on her chair, and held my hand over her's to guide the mixer around the bowl; as she began to imitate me by pushing the bowl in slow circles to aid the mixer, I realized, if I had that beautiful stand mixer, I'd be missing this.

I wouldn't have had the joy of watching Reagan's face as SHE held the mixer and watched all the ingredients blend together. I wouldn't have seen her delight as she snuck a finger into the bowl and tried a taste of the dough (or the horror..mixers can take fingers off you know!) It was magical really. One of those moments where I felt time had melted and I was standing in some 1950s style kitchen, helping my daughter make bread, like so many mothers before me.

And later as she helped me punch the dough down and laughed at how silly it seemed, I realized I definitely wouldn't be buying that dream mixer.

I have all the dreams any one person could ever need.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

She wears the pants.....

The other night the three of us were laying in bed after a rousing game of pouncing on each other to wear out our seemingly never tired toddler. While laying there, I decided to give Josh a quick lesson on washing Reagan's new big-girl undies. Here is how the conversation went:

Mommy: "Josh, if you wash Reagan's undies, please don't dry the plastic pants (the things that go over big girl undies while you're potty training) because the dryer can ruin them."

Reagan: (loudly) "DADDDY!!!!! DON"T DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUEEEE DAT!!!!" As she was waggling her little finger..or at least I think she was...I was blinded by the sudden fit of laughter she put me into!

OK, so it doesn't sound as funny here, but moms, I'm sure you know those toddler moments and I assure you, it was freaking hilarious!!!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Hey, Tom Hanks....

Since when does having an opinion on something make you un-American? Because gee, the last time I checked, having an opinion is part of what MAKES you an American. So just because someone disagrees with you and believes that gay marriage is immoral, doesn't make them un-American!!

As for you, personally, America just doesn't care what you think. And that goes for the rest of Hollywood too. Sure, you're entitled to your opinion just like everyone else, but we're sick of having your anti-American rhetoric and immorality shoved down our throat. You want to know why your movies aren't making as much money as they used to? Because people are sick of you and the ideas you portray.

Want to know what America wants? Good, wholesome values. I, for one, will not be supporting any film that Tom Hanks is in...or any other actors who choose to come out of the woodwork and say that having an opinion on something is un-American, or who continually tries to shove their so-called values (or lack thereof) down my throat!

A call to all conservatives..boycott the usual Hollywood crap, support wholesome family films such as those put out by Walden Media!

Friday, January 16, 2009

I a genius!

Yes, that's what my daughter told me Thursday afternoon. I was quite in shock that she said it since I've never told her she's a genius before, although I do tell her constantly that she's so smart. I *DO* remember Darby saying it to Pooh on "My Friends Tigger and Pooh" last week......I'm just amazed! What a memory! What a smartie!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Good night John Boy....

As Reagan was laying down in her bed, before falling asleep, she leaned over and whisphered to her bunny "I love you Bunny" then turned around to her teddy bear and whisphered "I love you bear, I love you Sanford" (Sanford is bear's name!..a story for another time). How sweet! Thank goodness she didn't want to say goodnight to ALL her animals though!

Oh, and as a sidenote, when Daddy asked if she loved Mommy and Daddy, Reagan paused for a noteworthy moment and then said 'ok!'

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The menu....

If you saw my post yesterday with all my great buys, you're probably wondering what I'm going to do with such an odd assortment of food. So here, you go! The menu for the next two weeks:

**NOTE: Actually I purchased waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more food than a family of three can eat in two weeks, but I do like to keep a stockpile of food for emergencies. I truly believe you can never be too prepared for anything. (And yes, I probably will be one of those people with a bomb shelter in my backyard one day!)**

Wednesday: BBQ Chicken Pizza (with homemade bbq sauce!); carrot and cucumber salad
Thursday: White Christmas Chili; corn muffins
Friday: Chicken pot pie with vegetables
Saturday: Leftovers
Sunday: Roast and Cornbread Salad
Monday: Shredded BBQ Sandwhiches with cucumber and tomato salad
Tuesday: Baked fish with Perfect Potatoes
Wednesday: Saucy Baked Chicken with green beans and mashed potatoes
Thursday: Homemade Breaded Chicken Patties with mixed vegetables
Friday: Shredded beef enchiladas or tacos
Saturday: Various leftovers from freezer
Sunday: Chicken Vegetable Chowder with biscuits
Monday: Fish, green beans, baked potatoes
Tuesday: Sloppy Joes (homemade) with carrot-raisin salad
Wednesday: Homemade Family-Style Macaroni and Cheese and vegetables

Breakfasts: Cereal, eggs, fruit, oatmeal, toast, yogurt
Lunches: leftovers, sandwhiches, soup, fruit, vegetables, yogurt
Snacks: pretzels, fruit, homemade cookies, yogurt
Desserts: All American Mini Apple Pies, homemade Granola Bars

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Loving the deals people, loving the deals....

So after spending several evenings this past week reviewing and cutting coupons, reviewing sales, etc; I finally went shopping today. And I must say, (for me) I did extremely well! I was going to post a picture of all the groceries I purchased for the amount I spent, but frankly, it would have just been even more exhausting since I tend to stockpile when I shop. And shopping, paying for, getting groceries in the car, getting them home and putting them away, while with a toddler, in the freezing cold and snow, is not exactly the most fun I've ever had.

I will tell I made out with some fantastic deals! I'll post them here for you so you can see for yourself! (By the way, this will last my family at least two weeks without returning to the store AND I was able to stockpile several things, including a TON of meat, medications, soaps, etc, that will last for quite a while in our freezer and secondary pantry!!)

(unfortunately my scenarios didn't work out as well as I had hoped because they were out of the Throat Coolers, which really put me in the 'green' in ECB's).
ECB's leftover=$4.00
The Goods:

Double pack (1000 count) qtips
Bonus pack Johnson and Johnson shampoo
6 pack of Soyjoy
Kotex bonus pack with liners
Double pack of family size Cheerios
oh, and once piece of cheap candy!

The Goods:

Healthy Choice Frozen Meal
3.5 lbs cat food
Litter Liners
BeachNut Toddler Meal (2)
Johnson's Little Buddies Easy Grip Soap (3)
Walmart brand Zyrtec (first time using this..wish us luck that it works as well as Zyrtec!)
Walmart brand Tylenol (also first time using this!)
Kotex pantyliners
Christmas bows (.25!!!)
Progresso soups (2 cans of low sodium! perfect for lunch!)
White Cloud size 5 diapers (using these at night while PTing!)

The Goods:

2 cucumbers
1 green pepper
1 bunch celery
1.5 lbs roma tomatoes
puff cereal
4 pack cottenelle tp (2)
box of crackers
kashi cereal bars (2 boxes)
package of ranch dip mix
family size frozen broccoli
baby carrots
1/2 gallon milk (2)
organic frozen corn
large size lemon juice
a small ton of kroger individual size yogurts for me!
rice krispies (2 boxes)
yoplait less sugar kid's yogurt (2 6-packs)
suave conditioner
suave shampoo
clorox sanitizing spray
sweet and low
20 lbs of chicken leg quarters
bag of kroger pretzels
2 lbs of lunch meat
family pack of chicken breasts
extremely LARGE pork roast (will be enough for SEVERAL meals!)
tea bags
whipped topping
trash bags
popcorn shrimp
package of instant potatoes (it was nearly free, I had to buy it!)
fridge pack of diet coke
mushrooms (2 cans)
lunchables (2--on clearance!)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The CVS-virgin!

I have been hearing tons of stories about people scoring awesome deals at CVS. I researched, read tons of blogs, talked to various people and still felt I was just too stupid to get all the "ECB" and "B1G1" and coupon-ing lingo....that is, until I checked out Deal Seeking Mom! Thanks to her post this week and the wonderful ladies that commented with their own CVS scenarios, I was able to figure it out and come up with some of my own scenarios! So here it is, my first time playing the CVS Game!

Transaction #1
Buy 2 Throat Coolers for Kids (I will be using a coupon I found a link to at Deal Seeking Mom that is buy one, get one free)
Total without tax=$4.99
Use my .50 cents in ECB that I discovered I had!
Total out of pocket expense=$4.49
ECB's earned: $9.98

Transaction #2
Soyjoy 6 pack $6.00
Kotex bonus pack $4.99
Use $1 Kotex coupon from paper
Total without tax=$9.99
Pay with ECB's earned=$9.98
Out of pocket expense=$.01
ECB's earned: $8.00

Transaction #3
Cheerios 2 pack $7.99
Use ECB's: $8.00
Out of pocket expense=$0
ECB's earned: $4.00

Transaction #4
Cologate Buy 1 Get 1 (prices range $1.99-$3.29)
Use coupons from paper (either .75 or $1.00)
Johnson's Bonus packs $3.99 each or buy Johnson's baby products that are less than $3.99 and use my two printable coupons for $2.00 off any Johnson's product
We need Q-tips, so purchase those and use my printable $3.00 off coupon for a CVS product.
Use $4.00 ECB's
Out of pocket expense: varies, hopefully less than $3.00!

Hopefully this helps someone else! All the coupons I mentioned were either in today's paper or a link can be found on Deal Seeking Mom's website! Good luck!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Things I cannot share.

The other day, as I prepared to get my shower, I noticed my towel was damp. Apparently my husband had grabbed it to dry off, in his haste to get ready and get out the door to work. Why he couldn't just grab a fresh one out of the cabinet, literally two steps away, I'll never know. But he's a guy, and I guess that's reason enough.

Now, the towel wasn't *THAT* damp, and it should have been perfectly clean since he was drying off a freshly clean body. But I just couldn't get over the fact that it had been drying off *HIS* body. Of course, this makes little rational sense. After all, I *am* married to the guy. We have kissed and shared plenty of germs in other marital activities, but I just could not conceive of sharing my towel with him.

So then I started thinking about other things that it absolutely completely grosses me out to share..and how those make little sense either:

I can share a glass of water or tea, but I cannot, will not, share milk, coke or orange juice with someone...ugh, it makes me shudder even to think about it.

I can use a public restroom, but I can't share a towel with my husband.

I can clean up my daughter's puke, but if someone sneezes within a foot of my coffee while walking at the mall, in the trash it goes.

I will gladly eat pizza that has sat out for two days in a cold oven, but bring me a steak at a five star restaurant that isn't smoking and charred black, if it has even the tiniest hint of pink...send it back!

I know, I know. None of this makes sense, but there they are..just a few of the idiosyncrasies I have developed over the years...so share one of yours...and Jana and Kelly, you cannot talk about how you only eat things in twos....because I'm calling you out already here!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Hi, My name is Leah...

and I have a toy addiction. Seriously.

Christmas is well over, Reagan got TONS of gifts, and I *STILL* have the following toys sitting in my garage, that Reagan has not seen or been given yet:

Fisher Price Little People Castle
Fisher Price Little People Carriage and Horses
Melissa and Doug Deluxe Wooden Kitchen
Melissa and Doug Pots and Pans
Melissa and Doug Groceries
Fisher Price Little People Camping set (ok, I DID buy this one AFTER Christmas!)

Embarrassing, yes? At least my husband still has no idea exactly how many toys are out there! But hey, I should be set for all the little gift giving holidays for this upcoming year right?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

And the winner is!

Nicole D! Nicole, if you email your address to lovegrowsbest at yahoo.com, I'll get your Starbucks card out to you in the mail!

On a sidenote, thanks to everyone who left a comment or has left a comment in the past! I really appreciate the readers I've had (even those that don't leave public comments and email me instead!) And I'm sorry it took so long to get the winner listed. I've been enjoying a nice, early bedtime of 8:30 at night lately, so little time to blog (so my secret is out..I blog a lot at one time and schedule it to publish on various dates!)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A little headache tip!

Besides becoming good friends with your Tylenol bottle, here's a great tip for helping get rid of all types of headaches:

Just add a tablespoon full of flaxseed to a container of yogurt, and enjoy! The flaxseed actually helps dialate your capillaries in your brain and helps the blood flow a little easier! I've tried it and it works!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Classic Reagan

Reagan and I were playing blocks the other day and she suggested we 'build' daddy (I guess she really missed him!) We built him, complete with googly eyes (from the mega blocks set!) I said 'ok, we'll have to put him up so daddy can see him when he gets home'...right at that moment, her little foot accidentally knocked 'daddy' over. She got the saddest, sweetest look on her face and said 'ooooooh daddy!' I nearly died laughing, but she kept right on patting him "poor daddy!"

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Ever feel like you just don't belong?

I've been feeling that way lately about having a church home. I desperately want Reagan to have the same upbringing that I did. In that, she's raised in a church that is a second family to her, she finds a deep faith in God and learns to help her community and world.

I love the church I grew up in. My church provided the foundation for many things in my life and allowed me to grow and interact with others in the same belief structure. It also allowed me to venture out and make mistakes and find my own way and always be welcomed back into the fold of a loving family.

Granted, as I've grown older, I see that my chuch was pretty rigid. Dress codes and no music and very very traditional. But it was the RIGHT church for me to grow up in and I'm very lucky to have been afforded that privelege. I learned that God is a compassionate, loving Father; and I learned what God expected of me in my life and how I would be able to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

That being said, Josh also grew up in a wonderful church...a church we were later married in. But he came from a much different background. I remember the first time I attended his church, I was absolutely appalled that people actually 'talked' back to the preacher during the service. And there was MUCH more pagentry than I was accustomed to--the preacher wearing robes and lighting of candles and organs and so forth and so on, but a much more relaxed atmosphere and much less traditional. Beautiful, but different. Still, I began to feel a little more at home there once I began to know the pastor there and trust and love him, and listened to his sermons.

Fast forward to today. Josh and I are looking for the right church for OUR little family. Unfortunately, neither of our childhood churches are close enough for us to attend regularly (his being 30 minutes away, and mine being, well, about 14 HOURS away!)

We both have different expectations. Josh expects a more relaxed atmosphere, where the people can wear jeans and have coffee in the sanctuary and there are bands playing Christian music that he can relate to and get into, and an atmosphere that lacks that judgemental feeling that some churches display, intentionally or unintentionally. I prefer more traditional settings, with women in dresses and the traditional hymns and sermons that really reach me.

Now, none of these things really matter at all..except in one respect--our comfort level. We both want to feel comfortable enough to let our guard down and become FAMILY with the people we worship with. And so, we continue our journey, both of us giving and taking a little with each visit to a new church.

But where can we really meet? Josh was convinced we had found the right church and I thought so too, until we continued to go. The more the bands played, the more I listed to the preacher, the less comfort I felt. I needed something that caught my heart and gave me a sense of peace and thankfulness.

So, today we'll try another church, and hope we BOTH feel at home.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Reagan's first prayer

Reagan said her first prayer over dinner at Pizza Hut on 1/2/09. "Baby Jesus, tank oo, food. Amen!" We are soooo proud of her!!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy Blog-a-versary to Me! (And a giveaway!)

Actually I missed it! My blogaversary was really several days ago, but, like most things, I think about it once and then it happily flies out of my head! But never fear! We *ARE* going to celebrate! And we're going to do it by having the first ever Love Grows Best giveaway!

All you need to do is leave a comment on this post by Sunday, January 4th, 2009 at midnight and then I'll choose a random number (via random.org) and you could win! Win what you might ask? One lucky reader gets a $10 Starbucks coffee card..hmmm, coffee! Yes, it's not a big giveaway, but it's free right?

So happy blogaversary to me and good luck to you!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Years Resolutions

There seems to be a growing trend toward selecting a word to personify the coming year. I've decided to jump on the bandwagon (clearly my word for the year is NOT 'leader'); My word is HAPPY. I want to be a happy person. I want to find joy in the little things. I want to laugh more, cry tears of happiness more, feel more, love more. I think Reagan deserves a happy mommy and Josh deserves a happy wife.

In an attempt to not be so ambiguous about this goal (which is another of my resolutions), I've been thinking of some ways to make myself happier. I want to spend less time cleaning and more time playing. I want to say no to more commitments and yes to more free time. I want to say no to more 'stuff' (which inevitably leads to more cleaning and less time) and yes to more experiences. I want to say NO to worrying about the future and yes to focusing on what I can deal with and prepare for. (This does NOT mean I won't continue to keep abreast of ongoing situations in our country and abroad!) I want to be happy about where I am, instead of wanting to be somewhere else farther in my life.


I also have some other resolutions, which I've tried to make very specific and focused.

I will lose 20 lbs. Just 20. That is all I will concentrate on. More is fine. But 20 is all I will require of myself.

I will manage my time better. Instead of traipsing around the house endlessly, trying to accomplish one task each day and getting little, if anything, done and not having time to play with and enjoy Reagan, I will prepare a weekly schedule and manage our time better. More time to focus on her and helping her learn and play and less time wasted.

I will set up a curriculum for Reagan to learn her colors and numbers and other things she needs to know...through play of course! But there are goals I have for her and I want to reach them.

I will make more time to be a wife. Date nights need to become a priority for Josh and I. Once a month...and it doesn't have to be anything big, maybe just dinner or a movie or shopping together, but just time to talk and enjoy each other's company.

I will stick to our budget. I will not get sidetracked by how cute a toy is and how much Reagan NEEDS it. She does not need it. We do not need it. We will stick to a budget.

I will take better care of myself and become healthier so I can be there for my children. More vegetables, more exercise, less sweets and more rest. Time carved out weekly (this does NOT include work) for just me to do something I enjoy--a trip to Starbucks by myself, time to read a novel, a shopping trip by myself...or maybe even a bathroom break by myself!

I will be accountable. This year I'm going to make myself report once a month, on this blog, how I'm doing with my goals. The first of every month will be "Resolution Update" time.

So those are my resolutions. What's yours?
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