Fighting March Madness Day #23

Welcome to my new series... Fighting March Madness... similar to the Days of Thankfulness in November this me finding the joy amid the madness.  If you want to know more click here

So here it is... Reason #22 why winter isn't so bad..

I am thankful today for dinner with the WHOLE family tonight for the first time in more than a week

Prince Charming has been working a whole bunch and hasn't been home for dinner most nights... tonight was different and boy did it feel good.  It is not just that I have stuff for him to do or things to talk about (not that I don't) it is all about him just being here.  I love it and our family is complete

Today I am thankful to have a normal day with my loved ones.

Fighting March Madness Day #22

Welcome to my new series... Fighting March Madness... similar to the Days of Thankfulness in November this me finding the joy amid the madness.  If you want to know more click here

So here it is... Reason #22 why winter isn't so bad...


Today is easy...thankful for this gentleman who chose my sister for his lady.

He was the first to join our family in marriage.  I was only 11-12 when he joined our family so he has been there as long as I can remember.  He paved the way for all the other in-laws who followed.  He is gentle, patient, and loving husband who has been a good example to all who follow.  

Today I am thankful for in-laws who joined our family and extended it into an even bigger loving unit.

Fighting March Madness Day #21

Welcome to my new series... Fighting March Madness... similar to the Days of Thankfulness in November this me finding the joy amid the madness.  If you want to know more click here

So here it is... Reason #21 why winter isn't so bad...



Good friends and birthday parties

One of the things that gets me through these long grey cold days of winter is fun with good friends.  Look at this gang... ain't they cute?  We are very thankful for the fun and company they provide us.  Oh and belated happy birthday to the boyos. 

Today I am thankful for good friend both young and old.

Fighting March Madness Day #20

Welcome to my new series... Fighting March Madness... similar to the Days of Thankfulness in November this me finding the joy amid the madness.  If you want to know more click here

So here it is... Reason #20 why winter isn't so bad...



Wood Fires

I love the smell of wood burning.  I love the heat of the fire and the sound of the crackling wood.  Today is the first day of spring... technically... there is no spring around here other than buckets on the trees collecting the sap that say the ground is unfreezing way down deep... but I don't see it.  As a matter of fact we are gonna get snow today... YAY!    NOT!  Anywho this is supposed to be finding joy... so the joy is there will be another fire in the fireplace (not really our's is not working but a woman can dream right?)

So today I am thankful for the thoughts of smelling the wood burning in a fireplace on a cold afternoon.

Fighting March Madness Day #19

Welcome to my new series... Fighting March Madness... similar to the Days of Thankfulness in November this me finding the joy amid the madness.  If you want to know more click here

So here it is... Reason #19 why winter isn't so bad...


Tea... Lots of hot tea!

In winter it is cold (I get it, no kidding Captain Obvious) but it also means I drink lots of hot drinks to keep warm.  I like tea a lot.  And the little things keep me happy this season like finding my favorite, hard to find tea in the grocery store on sale.

Today I am happy for a hot cup of tea.

Fighting March Madness Day #18

Welcome to my new series... Fighting March Madness... similar to the Days of Thankfulness in November this me finding the joy amid the madness.  If you want to know more click here

So here it is... Reason #18 why winter isn't so bad...


Dunkin Doughnuts just opened up this month right near me.  

This is a big deal way out here in the middle of no where.  Other than your local gas station.... this is the only coffee shop now within 20 miles.  So ya, it's a big deal!  You can actually say to someone "ya wanna grab a coffee?" and not mean you have to make it yourself or drive an hour to do it.  Which reminds me of this Jeff Foxworthy little spot... and yes I have actually had most of these things happen to me...

Today I am thankful for a little spot to "grab a cup of coffee!"


Fighting March Madness Day #17

Welcome to my new series... Fighting March Madness... similar to the Days of Thankfulness in November this me finding the joy amid the madness.  If you want to know more click here

So here it is... Reason #17 why winter isn't so bad...



March is maple syrup season.  YUMMY!

I didn't realize until recently that maple syrup is not readily available to everyone outside the northern states.  I just assumed it was one of those things that everyone did.  Now I am not talking about Aunt Jemima maple flavored syrup,  I am talking "real from the tree" syrup.  I have always had the "real stuff" because it has always been available to me.  As a kid I had a distant Uncle that owned a maple syrup farm and now-a-days Prince Charming works with a guy who has a maple syrup business on the side.  So whenever I need it... I just get it... right from the farm.  

So today I am thankful for the thaw, which of course causes the "juices" of trees to begin to flow, which means yummy-in-my-tummy maple syrup.

Fighting March Madness Day #16

Welcome to my new series... Fighting March Madness... similar to the Days of Thankfulness in November this me finding the joy amid the madness.  If you want to know more click here

So here it is... Reason #16 why winter isn't so bad...


Well truth be told this isn't a reason why winter isn't so bad... but more reflective...

I am having a hard time to find something specifically about winter to be thankful for today.  It is just one of those days... it's a monday, I haven't left the house, Prince Charming is working a ton, I am tired.... yada yada yada...

BUT I am today I am thankful... not truly thankful for winter today but I am thankful for a godly heritage.  I am thankful for my grandparents who have gone on before me. I miss being able to call and say "can you pray for me today?" here on earth but I think they know in heaven and are praying for me even still.  

So today... while not the best of days.... I am still thankful for a godly family tree!

Fighting March Madness Day #15

Welcome to my new series... Fighting March Madness... similar to the Days of Thankfulness in November this me finding the joy amid the madness.  If you want to know more click here

So here it is... Reason #15 why winter isn't so bad...


No lawns to mow!!

I was thinking about this as the wind blew today and temps were not so high.  But at least we don't have to mow the lawn and allergies are not in full swing and gardens do not need to be tended.  Yes, Yes I know we have to deal with snow removal... but I choose not to think about that today... Today we do not have to mow the lawn.

Today I am thankful that there is a break from the lawn mower (and thankfully the snowblower today)

Fighting March Madness Day #14


Welcome to my new series... Fighting March Madness... similar to the Days of Thankfulness in November this me finding the joy amid the madness.  If you want to know more click here

So here it is... Reason #14 why winter isn't so bad...


National Pie Day!!

More importantly though was the people we got to share it with tonight.  We enjoyed a nice dinner with Prince Charming's parents and got to catch up on the West Coast News since they have just returned from a 6-week stay.   The big news is that we are going to be an Aunt and Uncle again!  Woohoo! 

Today and I am thankful sharing good news with family both near and far.

Fighting March Madness Day #13

Welcome to my new series... Fighting March Madness... similar to the Days of Thankfulness in November this me finding the joy amid the madness.  If you want to know more click here

So here it is... Reason #13 why winter isn't so bad...


These finally made it to shelves.  

Truth be told they are not my favorite but it brought joy to my heart to bring them home to my sweet friend who loves them! And since we are on the honesty train I really brought two bags home but Prince Charming has claimed one for his own.  So unintentionally I was able to bring joy to not only a sweet friend but the hard-working man who is starting another 60 hour week...

So today I am thankful for the little joy I get to bring to people.

Fighting March Madness Day #12

Welcome to my new series... Fighting March Madness... similar to the Days of Thankfulness in November this me finding the joy amid the madness.  If you want to know more click here

So here it is... Reason #12 why winter isn't so bad...


Grass!  You can actually see some

This past week in our area has seen temps of 40-50 degrees and a lot of our snow has melted.  So we are seeing the ground (brown as it) for the first time in months.  It means hope!  It means crocuses soon, it means maple syrup season soon and it means buds on the trees soon.  Now to remain patient  until that really happens 'cause it could be awhile yet.  But there is hope!

So today I am thankful for the promise of things to come!

Fighting March Madness Day #11

Welcome to my new series... Fighting March Madness... similar to the Days of Thankfulness in November this me finding the joy amid the madness.  If you want to know more click here

So here it is... Reason #11 why winter isn't so bad...


BUGS!...There AREN'T any!!!

These are the months I get a break from tick checks, mice in the traps, mosquitos eating me alive, flies in the house, ants on the counters, beetles in my garden, and stink bugs in the windows.

In God's great wisdom He knew the earth needed a break during winter months and all these things go into hibernation or die off.  We also get a little bit of a break from having to keep these creatures out of our home.  That's kinda nice.

So today I am thankful that I get a break from creatures that I am not horribly fond of.




Fighting March Madness Day #10

Welcome to my new series... Fighting March Madness... similar to the Days of Thankfulness in November this me finding the joy amid the madness.  If you want to know more click here

So here it is... Reason #10 why winter isn't so bad...


Meet the foreign builder and family....

During the winter when building isn't so busy they get to come visit.  They live half way across the world and so obviously we don't get to see them often.  But we always love it when they come home and we get to catch up and have playdates.  They have to leave soon and I will miss them but for now I am enjoying catching up!

Today I am thankful for cold weather that causes a break in building so that they can take a break and visit.

Fighting March Madness #9


Welcome to my new series... Fighting March Madness... similar to the Days of Thankfulness in November this me finding the joy amid the madness.  If you want to know more click here

So here it is... Reason #9 why winter isn't so bad...


Thankful that these wonderful people return FINALLY!

Remember when I told you back in day #1 that some people leave for warmer weather.  Well, these folks go to the warm waters of CA to avoid the coldest part of winter and since it was so cold they got stuck there for a little bit longer than they planned but today they finally make it home.  So I am thankful that they are around again.

Today I am thankful for a family that I wasn't born to but is family just the same!

Fighting March Madness #8


Welcome to my new series... Fighting March Madness... similar to the Days of Thankfulness in November this me finding the joy amid the madness.  If you want to know more click here

So here it is... Reason #8 why winter isn't so bad...


The garbage doesn't stink

Ok, ok we are not as good as we should be taking the garbage to the dump but in the winter it is not as bad when it takes weeks for us to get there because it just freezes and doesn't stink!  (hey it's true!)

So today I am thankful that it takes longer for things to decay than it does in the summer.

Fighting March Madness Day #7

Welcome to my new series... Fighting March Madness... similar to the Days of Thankfulness in November this me finding the joy amid the madness.  If you want to know more click here

So here it is... Reason #7 why winter isn't so bad...


Antibiotics...

Yup today I needed them today for the 3rd time this month.  Nothing serious, but... I got to go to my doctor's office that day, was able to show a little piece of plastic, pay a small fee, the rest was paid by my insurance company.  I was also able to get quality healthcare, I was treated with respect, handed a slip of paper and able to get high quality medications within an hour and at barely no cost to me.  I started feeling better within hours.  This is not true for a lot of the world who die of conditions that could be helped with simple and easily available medications all because of their place or status of birth.

So today I am thankful that I have quality healthcare and medications available to me.

Fighting March Madness #6


Welcome to my new series... Fighting March Madness... similar to the Days of Thankfulness in November this me finding the joy amid the madness.  If you want to know more click here

So here it is... Reason #6 why winter isn't so bad...


See this handsome Prince right here?  I am really thankful he works super duper hard for us!

Remember when yesterday I said that I was thankful that we were able to redo our master bath this winter?  That takes $$$$ and this guy right here has worked some 60 hour weeks recently to provide for that and I REALLY appreciate that.  He is the most faithful, hard-working, supportive husband any woman could want... but back off ladies... he's all mine!!!

Today I am thankful for a faithful, hard-working, supportive man in my life.

Fighting March Madness Day #5


Welcome to my new series... Fighting March Madness... similar to the Days of Thankfulness in November this me finding the joy amid the madness.  If you want to know more click here

So here it is... Reason #5 why winter isn't so bad...


Time to work on indoor house projects.

We decided to redo our master bathroom (need a major update from the teal blue walls and pink appliances) this winter.  So with no lawn to mow, cars to wash, garage to clean, garden to tend to, and pools to upkeep it leaves more time to work indoors.  (and really who wants to be inside when the weather is nice?)  Isn't this shower head really nice?  I really thought so to but we didn't end up getting it as it cost nearly as much as the entire shower itself... but one can dream right?  Anywho...

Today I am thankful for the time that is available to do those "pretty" projects around the house.

Fighting March Madness Day #4


Welcome to my new series... Fighting March Madness... similar to the Days of Thankfulness in November this me finding the joy amid the madness.  If you want to know more click here

So here it is... Reason #4 why winter isn't so bad...


The birdies are really pretty against the snow.

The birds who stick around for winter are really pretty against the white snow.  And they really eat from my feeders since a lot of times I am there only food source.  They are also my indicator of a storm coming, when there are tons of birds at my feeders it is a sign that a big storm is coming.

So today I am thankful for God's natural storm warning system and beautiful creativity.

Fighting March Madness Day #3


Welcome to my new series... Fighting March Madness... similar to the Days of Thankfulness in November this me finding the joy amid the madness.  If you want to know more click here

So here it is... Reason #3 why winter isn't so bad...


Catching up on all the TV shows or movies that I never watch in warm weather cause I'm too busy

Since warm weather is in short supply around here when it does happen I use it to it's max which means late nights out on the porch, swimming at the pool, or bonfires with fireflies.  So when it is cold I tend to be "in" early and snuggled down which means I can catch up on some of my favorite TV shows.

So today I am thankful for the extra time to just "chill out" (pun intended)

Fighting March Madness Day #2

Welcome to my new series... Fighting March Madness... similar to the Days of Thankfulness in November this me finding the joy amid the madness.  If you want to know more click here

So here it is... Reason #2 why winter isn't so bad...



Snow clothes... (haha! you thought I was gonna say sledding didn't ya?)

Where else is it required to have two completely different wardrobes?  Now this isn't just a want it is a requirement here in the great Northeast.  Round about October or November we "put away" all our shorts, tee-shirts, flip flops, sandals, and bathing suits and exchange them for sweaters, scarves, hats, gloves, winter coats, boots and flannel pjs.  Who doesn't want two complete wardrobes? There are some places in this world where they only own one or two outfits and I own two completely different wardrobes... God is good!

So today I am thankful for the opportunity to completely change my wardrobe twice a year!

Fighting March Madness Day #1

Welcome to my new series... Fighting March Madness... similar to the Days of Thankfulness in November this me finding the joy amid the madness.  (I will catch up on the first 11 days as I go)

Winter in the northeast means bitter cold! I mean nose hair freezing, eyeball sticking together, wind-whipping COLD!  It also means shoveling, snowplowing, snow tires, layers of clothing, with tanks and tanks of oil plus fires burning plus slippers plus blankets in hopes of feeling slightly warm.  It also means most activities and programs "take-time" off because nobody wants to go out in the cold.  And if you do happen to participate in an activity always plan that about a third of the days just won't happen due to weather and illness.

So as you can see this social bug stay-at-home mom DOES NOT LIKE winter months.

My least favorite it March... why do you say?  Well... January is hard no doubt but we have a few birthdays in January so that helps with getting out and something to do.  February is short and has Valentine's Day and winter break.

March?

Nada.. Nothing...B.O.R.I.N.G!!!!

Ok here is where confession time comes in... my heart is not in a very good spot right now....see this right here from Philippians 2:14-15:

""Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world

That's not me... not even close!

So... what do I do?  Move? Turn up the heat? Go on a long vacation?  Well....

No, No, wait... not what I was thinking...back on task...

None of those choices are available to me right now and instead of stewing over why not... I choose to be thankful right here instead... I choose to lead my heart...

So here it is... Reason #1 why winter isn't so bad...


Ice skating

True... winter is cold but it is cold enough to walk on water!  My kiddos got ice skates for Christmas and have enjoyed ice skating this year.  Most of the country never gets cold enough to use these but we do every year and my kiddos really like it.  It is good exercise, free to us and right in our back yard.

So today I am thankful for fun things to do with freezing water.

Monday's Daybook

For Today:
Outside my window... dirty melting snow

Praising God... our small group gathering

In prayer for... wisdom about the future

I am thinking... how long to run bible study before the summer chaos hits

I am thankful... for our new-to-us minivan

In the kitchen... toast crumbs all over the counter and recycling that needs to be emptied

I am wearing... jean, pink shirt, pink sweater

I am creating... lesson plans.... always lesson plans

I am going... to go grocery shopping

I am wondering... why my father-in-law pulled in our driveway and pulled out of our driveway without stopping

I am reading... Shelter of God's Promises by Sheila Walsh

I am hoping... the oil truck comes sooner than later

I am learning... about waiting 

Around the house... kids in the tubs, kids playing Wii, and clothes to be put away

I am pondering... which study will be best for the ladies

A favorite quote for today...  "the christian faith is not a cruise ship where all your needs are met, it is a battleship, fighting the good fight!"

One of my favorite things... bacon 

A few plans: the menu for the Pearl and Noble Gentleman this weekend!

A peek into my day...  

Monday's Daybook

I saw this over at Simple Woman's Daybook and I thought it would be fun to add on Mondays....

For Today:
Outside my window... waaaaaay too much snow

Praising God... for a little extra cash to pay for the car repairs

In prayer for... finances to complete Dave Ramsey's BS#3

I am thinking... the day is slipping by too quickly

I am thankful... to be a teacher

In the kitchen... clean dishes finally!

I am wearing... brown pants, grey sweater, and black turtle neck

I am creating... a research project for my princesses about puppies

I am going... to see the Lego movie

I am wondering... if all this snow will melt before weeks end

I am reading... I just finished The Bronze Bow with my princesses

I am hoping... spring comes early

I am learning... how to schedule my homeschool day 

Around the house... are piles of things that need to be put away

I am pondering... my lesson plans for this week

A favorite quote for today...  "So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three, but the greatest of these is love."  1 Corinthians 13:13

One of my favorite things... a good Starbucks latte 

A few plans: my getaway with Prince Charming

A peek into my day...  family movie nights

Barely surviving here in brokenville

Ok remember when I told you about brokenville here?  Guess what happened after that....


I am not kidding here....

Our minivan that has been in and out of the shop for 6 weeks.  The mechanic working our van thought he had it fixed and took it on a test drive and the thing caught on fire and literally burned up on the side of the road.  Literally! Stopped traffic on a major highway for an hour!  Firetrucks, cops, the whole works!  I am not making this up people!

But oh wait it gets better... so we still have one good car right?

WRONG!

Our other vehicle which we just put $3000 dollars into 6 months ago hit a HUGE pothole on the way to a weekend getaway my hubby and I were going to and cracked the rim on the car which of course caused the tire to leak.  When we went to have it fixed the strut, ball joint and sway link are all broken as well... (told you it was a huge pothole under snow) so now it needs work done it.

So here I am still barely surviving in brokenville... and I can't help up wonder... What is God doing? 

Lesson Plans the Erasable Way

I have found the best pens EVER!!!

These are FriXion Point Erasable Gel Pens

In my lesson planner I color code my kids work... blue, purple, pink... each little Princess gets her own color.  But I am constantly changing and rearranging my schedule and these pens have this neat little white tip that erases the pen perfectly and unlike pencil erasers they don't wear down.  

Then throughout the week as we accomplish task I highlight it... 
what doesn't get done moves to next week or skipped.
(this is a good week look at all that yellow!)

It has made a world of difference for me in my lesson planning.  I love the bright colors, I love the fact that they are erasable.   Go ahead try these pens for yourself.

Surviving here in Brokenville



Things keep breaking!  In the past two months we have had our minivan break (going on 6 weeks in the garage), the truck we are borrowing break while our van is repaired, the printer break, the coffee pot break, the microwave break, the humidifier break, and a tray table break.

On top of that we live in upstate NY that has gotten 2 feet of snow with wind gusts up to 30 miles per hour.  Which means plowing and plowing and more plowing.  We are house sitting and the house we are watching got drifted in and the heat shut off for a few days bringing the temp down to 44 degrees... so more shoveling and digging out to get the heat to work again.  

I am done!  I am tired, worn-out and mentally spent.  

Now, in the long run is a humidifier a horrible thing to loose?... not really.  I get that.  

But I am just tired of chasing the broken.  

...I am tired of giving up a whole Saturday that was supposed to be about finishing trim in an unfinished bedroom for an emergency plow job. 

...I am tired of having to throw another appliance out and spending money on a new one. 

I don't want to spend anymore money on these things.  I want to spend money on a new outfit, I want to spend money on a vacation.  I want, I want, I want.... there in lies the heart of the issue....  

CONTENTMENT

I have always struggled with this issue and it only seems to intensify this time of year.  I not sure if it is the snowed in, bitter cold, nasty weather or the just spent a ton of money at Christmas and hoarding money now attitude... but still I feel stuck.  

My dad keeps saying at least it's things that are breaking and not the people in your life... but in way I feel broken.

We are working on Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace steps and are on Baby Step #3... It is HARD!  It is taking forever!  We had hardly any debt to begin with and we had a little saved to begin with so steps #1 and #2 were easy peasy!  But since we did not have to really debt snowball we didn't have anything to roll over into building this emergency fund.  We did not have car payments, cable, eating out, or huge spending habits that were easily cut.  We already live on a minimal budget, trying to make a savings out of that is HARD. On top of that we are living on one income and homeschooling... so the money that is not dedicated to just making this household run (and currently just fixing things) is just trickling in.  It is sometimes frustrating...  I don't like it!  (ahem... free spirit speaking here)  

ok... but back to CONTENTMENT... the big ugly word in my life right now... the thing I don't want to admit is really the broken thing in my life.  

I am leaning on the words of my lovely sister-in-law right now, "don't hang on to it anymore, throw it at the feet of Christ."  So here is little ol' me working through this... 

I am gonna throw this insatiable desire for the things of this world right where it belongs... down at the feet of Christ.  

...I am not gonna worry about how much money is in our bank account, I am just gonna keep working on not overspending and keeping to the budget that my nerd of a Prince Charming has set before us because that is honoring to him.  

....I am not gonna freak when something else falls apart, because I will remember we live in a broken world and things will break.  

...I will be ok with not going on an expensive vacation even though I feel like I deserve it, because in reality, I don't deserve it.  

What I deserve, I didn't get.  It was death.  It was separation from the holy and loving God. 
And I didn't get that because someone else did.  

...Jesus Christ did.  

He took himself, a perfect and sinless God and poured himself in a man.  He than made himself of no reputation, scorned as a matter of fact, by the very creation he made.  He then took my sin (ahem... lack of CONTENTMENT) upon himself and said here let me that for you.  

So from now on I choose to remember that 

...things of this world will break, 

...people of this world will fail me, 

...my bank account will probably never be where I want it to be, 

...and I won't get what I think I deserve.  

Instead I got Jesus and that will be enough.

The saga continues so here is the rest of the story

The Messy Teacher

I am a teacher and here's what I think I look like....


But reality strikes and I realize I am one of those "messy" kinda teachers.  Ya know the kind that if given a choice of 3-4 activities to "enhance" your subject I am always gonna pick the painting, dig in the dirt, glue lots of little pieces of paper to the paper kinda project.  I love when kids dig in a get dirty with the projects!...












 What I have trouble accepting is that while messy teachers are fun teachers, "messy" teaching creates- well, messes....








I am working on being ok with my piles.  I really am!  I am working on finding the balance between fun "messy teaching" and cleaning up after myself to create a home that is welcoming and well cared for.  It is a not an easy balance for me.  I struggle more often than I care to admit and my Prince Charming and little ladies generally get the brunt of my frustration.  

Today I am feeling a little overwhelmed with my piles of stuff and yet balancing that with my looming lack of preparation of lessons for this week.  Someday I really hope that I find a balance between what I should do and what I want to do... but for now I really need to go get cleaned up and plan some school lessons....