Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Time Has Come

Dear Friends,

I am so thankful for this past year. I will say it was one of the hardest years I have had in a long time. I am ever grateful for the change that has happened (our move) and feel confident that though it was hard to give up Pastoring for my husband and even myself we know that we are right were God wants us.  These pictures ahead are my favorite pictures (ok...some) from 2015!

I wanted to be back home FULL TIME and Homeschool again and that has happened this year. I went to work in August 2014 to May 2015 and I am so glad we (kids and I) all returned home. That was my goal and that was accomplished.

I have made small dents in my frugal living and health. But I have made dents none the less. I have found the issue with my health which is a relief so I can focus on making sure I am taken care of. I have researched and began SMALL steps to frugal living.

I didn't read nearly as much as I wanted to. I didn't stick with my spiritual growth plan as I planned. I didn't organize my entire home as planned. We did move across America after all.

But I did grow in the Lord. I learned that no matter how hard things are He is there. We did hit rock bottom in finances (which is what needed to happen) so I could began a serious plan to become a good steward.  I began to study on homemaking, cooking from scratch, and pantry stocking.

I finally kicked my soda and coffee habit.  I have been making this goal for 10 years and I finally achieved it. YAY!!!!!!! PARTY!!!!!!! I drink neither due to my health.

I seen my children begin to grow in their education and that is refreshing!  I seen my children hit rock bottom times to learn character building.

I have traveled across the world and seen places others dreamed about. I seen people saved, delivered, and healed. I have seen mountains of Fiji, trekked through Solomon Islands in the Pacific, experienced LA, California.

I went from a small rural church to a big metro church that I thought would be an hard experience to one of the best choices ever made. I have made so many precious like minded friends. I have longed for this for years.

When I look back over the year it was hard but RICH and I did move FORWARD (Last Year's Word) and I am so thankful.

I am looking FORWARD to 2016!!!!

                       In LA, California. I am seeing the Pacific Ocean for the first time!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Enjoying the Simple Day of Slow with Daddy (Slow Day Week 3)

I have been weekly posting a day that we just SLOW down and enjoy life, family, and whatever comes our way lately. I was inspired by Monica at the Homespun Heart. She has such a wonderful outlook and inspires me about slowing.

We visited my dad for Christmas. If there ever was a man that embraces simple it is him. He has no debt, and lives very minimal. He enjoys nature and animals. He loves to talk about the Lord. He has had a unbelievable hard life.  In the last 10 years he took care of my aunt, uncle, and grandmother who have all passed away. It is unbelievable the hard work he has selflessly done for others.

For trade my dad is a Horse Trader and trades and works with Horses. He is amazing at this. All of my dad's belongings are special and they could fit in a box. But he feels FULL!

I took some snapshots of us as we enjoyed ham sandwiches, chips, and pecan pie on Christmas eve with my daddy. He blessed me with a beautiful coffee cup, and candle. He showered the kids with candy and money. We sat under the pecan tree and laughed about old stories. It was a special time. I am glad we live closer to him. For the last 15 years I have lived over 10 hours away. We are now 1 in half hours.

It was a nice day of SLOW!!! I admire my dad's ability to be in his 50's and be content with simple living.


Chrissy T

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Too Much! My Priorities!

I was on a mission today to plan for the upcoming year and I really wanted to "preplan" a plan to plan! read all that right. I began to make all of it too difficult. You see it has been a whirlwind of changes in the past year and I want to make true long lasting commitments to see true change and to achieve goals for the better.

                                                              December Cooking Class

I started by writing things I wanted to do down and then I started to research all the books, hobbies, how to clean, frugal tips, and budgeting, and homeschool ideas and my mind by the end of the day was overwhelmed and quickly I could see me not even starting all these "great" things I wanted to  accomplish.

                                                     December Cooking Class

Honestly, I got really sad and frustrated because I knew I was trying to over analyze (I am very good at this) and make things harder (also, very good at this) than what it really has to be.

I am going back to the basics. Wiping my slate clean and I am hoping to accomplish only what fits in my priorities for now and then as I gain ground I will reevaluate things and add or take away in a few months. A year can sound really tough for someone like me who is a TYPE A person who thinks if I write it down and don't do it then I have failed. *Smiles* I read some great things today that encouraged me to stay focused. Plan bite sized goals for your priorities.

I don't know why I feel this sudden urge to get things in order but I do. I want to be successful and committed to do so. I also want to keep a gentle realistic balance!

What are my priorities you may ask?

1. Commit Daily investment with my relationship with the Lord.
2. Invest in my husband and children.
3. School our children consistently and creatively.
4. Invest in my health to be able to do the above.
5. Create order, cleanliness, and beauty in our home.
6. Create and Stick to a budget and learn to be thrifty and frugal.
7. Bless others in our church, community, and extended family.

These are my priorities. Things that are important to me. Areas that the Lord has put on my heart to focus on and invest in.

I know you may already focus on these and I do try to do as well but I often get off track. I may mix these up and focus on one area more than the other and then I tend to get off balance. If I do not put the Lord first I fall off the wagon and then what happens is I get off the path and before you know it I am spending too much time online, reading, or doing hobbies. I believe hobbies, reading, and online searching are great tools for the above. But I can spend hours reading blogs on being frugal, reading books on parenting, pinning hundreds of cleaning help ideas, but if I never do them then I am wasting time and my desire is to invest in the "real" life!

                                           The chef teaching the kids how to make caramel.

I always justify my time online, reading, and such as I am reading or searching things for my kids, marriage, bible studies ideas, and cleaning help. But it is time to start living out what I read, learn, and study.

I have my priority list and so I feel confident that I will be able to plan better and keep it simple.

How do you keep from being overwhelmed when setting goals?

Blessings Friends,

Mrs. Chrissy T

Sunday, December 27, 2015

I Can't Believe it.............

I can NOT believe that it will soon be 2016!!!! I know you probably have heard that from so many people and you may have said it yourself. The funny thing about it all....I say it every year!!!! EVERY YEAR!!!!

I do have plans to PLAN (*smiles*) the upcoming year. I always choose after prayer a word for the year and it is always what I need. Last year was FORWARD and we did that for sure. I wrote about this earlier in December.

I will post later in the week my Word of the Year and some of my "goals"! But for now I wanted to encourage you to embrace the last few days we have left. I am finding that it is better to start something now than to continue to wait until January 1st.

In other words you want to plan some homemaking goals then do that but go ahead and do something to jump start it to have a good kick off before 2016!

If you want to lose weight go ahead and began to slowly cut things out so it isn't so hard on January 1st!!!

If you want to cut out debt or budget better. Take these next few days to jump start by making your budget and researching on it NOW!

If you want to read more in the year to come start your list of books and go ahead and get them from the library.

You plan to read your bible daily, pray daily, fast more....why wait!!!???  Start this DAY!

I encourage us to start SMALL steps to set us up for SUCCESS for the NEW YEAR!!!! I have found that when I try to do too many things at once I ALWAYS fail. But I may start one of my goals this week and then one the next and then so on. I usually set 5 goals a year.

Blessings my friends!!!!! Have a SUPER WONDERFUL DAY!


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Dear Friends....

I pray you all have a wonderful Christmas! I am so thankful for this time set aside to thank the Lord the life of Jesus! I am so thankful for the giving season!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Ready or Not! & Gift of Joy Jars!

Ready of not my dear friends Christmas is here. I have all the gifts bought, wrapped, cards were mailed, Christmas photo taken, food bought, all prep work for the dishes done, and I have even got they Jesus Birthday cake made. First time in 17 years I have had all this done early!!!!

Some fun traditions we have done for years are making a birthday cake for Jesus and taking some time to celebrate HIM! We also like to color in Christmas color books, watch lots of Christmas or Christian films, and my husband takes the kids to the store to get me a gift. We also get a personalized ornament with our names on it. I was actually a little disappointed in ours this year. They did a very poor job on the writing. I just went ahead and took it and we will make the best of it.

I wanted to share a gift I made for my Aunt's.... JOY JARS. I found these cute jars with the chalk labels already on them plus the rope ribbon for $1.50 each. I printed out scriptures and little positive things to encourage them. I cut strips of the scriptures and stuffed the jar full with words that will bring JOY!

I used a chalk pencil to write JOY Jar on the label. I love them and I may go get some more jars and make up some for gifts in the future. I love giving random gifts to friends.

I have felt very good this week and I am so thankful. I know that blog reading may not be the big thing this week with all the festivities but I have dedicated myself to write in this little space for more of journal purposes and I hope next year I can print it out my yearly posts in a book form.

Dear Friends....I pray you all have a truly wonderful Christmas!


Monday, December 21, 2015

Pitter Pattering Around (Slow Day Week 2)

Good Monday Friends,

Christmas is around the corner. We don't have a whole lot more time my friends to prepare.  Some already may be having family festivities as we speak. *Smiles*

Before I started my day Saturday I enjoyed some cozy time with the Lord. I am feasting out of the book of Proverbs.

I enjoyed my Saturday making goodies for neighbors, church leaders, and Sunday School leaders for gifts of appreciation.

I also finished all my wrapping. Which was helpful to see what and if I needed a few more gifts or items for people.  I noticed that Kyle (my younger son) was very low on the gift department. I am not sure how that happen. We don't go all out but we try to be at least equal between the kids.

I am waiting on Little House on the Prairie Season 2 DVD collection for my daughter in the mail. They love Little House on the Prairie. I have to get Ethan some shoes, Kyle a few more little odds and ends, and then I am all finished up. Yay!

I have enjoyed my display of Christmas Cards. I put a sparkly ribbon on a door and I use these adorable clothes pins to hang them. It makes me smile when I see all the cards and pictures. I like to say a prayer over them when I see one.

While I was making goodies and wrapping gifts my kids had some neighbor friends over in the yard. It was super chilly so I made rounds of Hot Cocoa for them.

To wrap up this great relaxing while being creative day..... my husband's company gifted me a piece of pottery it is by Gail Pittman. A very well known pottery designer here. I was tickled pink!!!!!!

It seems now that I type all this that the day wasn't SLOW at all. But it felt SLOW. It felt peaceful. It felt good to make goodies for others. I felt love as I wrapped each gift. It was a SLOW day in creativity!!!!!

Have you SLOWED today or in a while?  I get this inspiration from Monica at Homespun Heart blog. She demonstrates so beautifully the meaning of SLOW.