Best Year Ever!

Best Year Ever aYes, that’s right… we are expecting this to be the “Best Year Ever” in our home (BYE for short).  I have never been one to make silly New Years resolutions because they are always dropped within a couple weeks and nothing ever really comes of them other than regret and disappointment in yourself.  I don’t need that 😉

However, this year my husband and I came across this course called “5 Days To Your Best Year Ever” by Michael Hyatt.  He designed it for “busy, high-achievers” like me… well at least that is how I would like to think of myself.  My past is spotted with holes of unrealized goals because life just “got” in the way.  In reality I haven’t found the right thing to keep me on the right track.  I had never learned how to plan, create real goals, and I had never learned how to put those goals into workable action.  That is where this course comes in and it has been amazing.

Yes, we just started this the first of the year, so no we haven’t seen the end results yet, but after all the work we have put into this I believe it will be our BYE because we now have clear have working steps for every goal and more importantly, our reason WHY.  I will be sharing about our walk throughout the year, as well as about aspects of all of my goals I have set for myself.  Some are personal and fun, others are serious!  All are good.  I may not hit them all… but I will never reach them if I never try and I never have a plan to work.

Here are my goals for this year… of course simplified for this blog. 😉

  1.  To cultivate a stronger and more pure relationship with Jesus so I know His voice better and I will follow Him no matter what.
  2.  To cultivate a more vibrant and Godly marriage.
  3.  To pay down debt.
  4.  To get healthier.
  5.  To treat myself well.
  6.  To read more books.
  7.  To be a better mom and homeschool teacher.
  8.  To revamp my blog and write again.
  9.  To improve my hand-lettering.

Best Year Ever 1aNow of course my goals in my workbook are much more specific with great action and purpose. What I just posted is very general and if they were left that way wouldn’t get accomplished because they are ambiguous.  That is why I love this course, it gets you into the meat of the matter.

So, as I blog this year, the things in my life that fall into those categories will be on the list to share.

What changes are you making this year?  Like Michael Hyatt says, “Nothing great ever happens in the comfort zone!”

Here’s to our Best Year Ever!

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Fierce Protector

Psalm 91:4

“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart”

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This Bible verse has always captured my heart.  I have had many things happen in my life where I have needed the protection of our Father, and this verse reminds me that no matter what happens, I always have it!  His protection is fierce and requires nothing on our parts other than faith and from past experience, sometimes not even that.

This painting was done by my amazing husband, Mark.  You can see more of his works and writings at markschutter.com.

Know you are loved by the God who made all things.  You were beautifully and wonderfully made and His eyes are upon you!

Kitten Madness!

On April 10th several kittens were born… We were blessed to receive 2 of them.  Now I have had well over a dozen cats throughout my life and know a lot about them, but one thing I had never experience that I remember are multiple kittens.  I am sure we had them growing up I just don’t remember them.  Had I remembered I might have said NO… and yet on the other hand I would have certainly said YESSSS!

Here is a picture of our bundles of joy at 7 weeks old.

chloe and lilly 2 aNow! Are they not the cutest things in the world!  They were spectacularly adorable!  Sisters and litter-mates they went everywhere together.  Which is evidence below!

chloe and lilly 3 aThe one on top, the tabby, is Chloe.  I totally and unconditionally fell in love with her.  She was my little snuggle bug.  The one on the bottom is Lilly and she and my daughter immediately bonded.  She is sweet and beautiful and definitely more grown up!  Chloe is a goof ball and silly and not real coordinated! lol  Lilly is beautiful, too grown up for some kitty games and extremely coordinated and catches flies mid air to eat them just so we are protected from those germy little creatures!

Fast forward to this week….

chloe and lilly aThey are certainly kittens at heart, but as you can see they have seriously grown!!!  I have to constantly remind myself that they are still kittens!  So their phycho raging through the house at 100 miles per hour between legs and over couch backs and up curtains will soon end!  Right??? lol

This is just a little snap shot of some of the joy that has been deposited into our lives because of these kittens and we are forever grateful!  What joys are in your life and why are you grateful? I would love to hear your stories.

Be blessed!

Happy Anniversary!

Well life has been busy in our home due to lots of homeschooling, horse riding, drama and other extra-curricular activities that come with being a homeschool family.  Not to mention church, serving in different ministries inside and outside of our church, my personal business (Thirty-One Gifts) which I love and regular family life!

My Muppin’s school work got more intense this year and she is doing amazing.  It isn’t without it’s bumps and bruises along the way though.  I am just thankful that our fall this year has been incredibly warm and wonderful because she loves doing her work outside!

Even with all her hard work it amazing me she finds time to do some amazing things for her family… for example, most recently my and my husband’s anniversary.  She is amazing!  Let me show you why!

19th anv 6 a

As you can see she went to a lot of work to draw and write poetry for us, but that wasn’t all!  She also performed a show for us!  Below is her show program, and inside it lists her poems she wrote for us and funny clips she performed.  She truly is an inspiration in our home.  And she was fabulous!

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Here is her first poem.

“Happy Anniversary Poem”

19th anv 5 a

Happy Anniversary, mom & dad.
I’m sure you’re very happy & glad,
Cause today’s a very special day,
for you & yours,
now you’re walking through another door.

So Happy Anniversary from yours truly,
C…. E…., now that’s pretty coolly!

She is pretty amazing isn’t she!  Here is another one she wrote and performed.

“I Love My Parents!”

19th anv 4 a

I love my mom,
she’s a loving mom,
a caring mom,
a beautiful mom,
a funny mom,
the best mom…. ever…. forever.
She is a blessing!

I love my dad,
he’s a great dad,
a cool dad,
a handsome dad,
a silly dad,
the best dad…. ever…. forever.
He is a blessing!

I…. Love…. My…. PARENTS!!!!!

And if that wasn’t enough!  You know, writing poetry, performing it, drawing pictures and stuff… she also created rings for us and gave them to us to wear as a reminder of our vows 19 years ago.  She is truly a blessing and I am honored to get to be her mom!  Her heart is so full of love that I can’t wait until she get’s to be a mom someday and share that love with her kids… I mean… I can wait… lol… I can wait a LONG time! lol

19th anv 1 aPoetry is copyrighted by this blog… please do not share without permission.

Thankful Thursday!

It is Thankful Thursday time and since I have been so busy the last month that I have hardly had a chance to share I am here to say I am thankful for being here!  🙂

There is so much to be thankful for, even for busy schedules sometimes.  But as I think on my life, what is in it and who is in it, what I am truly thankful for is my family.  They are a true gift from God and I am 100% blown away by how amazing it is to have them in my life!

This man is the most amazing man I know. He is my best friend, lover and God given gift. He is an incredible dad and husband. I am so proud of the man he is and the man he is becoming. I am so very thankful for him!

Here is my man with my Muppin… another wonderful thing I am thankful for! If you can’t tell what they are doing in the center… He is throwing gold fish into the air and she is catching them. Such a wonderful day!

I am also thankful for my daughter’s amazing imagination! She builds amazing things out of whatever she finds, and has so much fun doing it. Creativity is a true gift from God as He is the ultimate creator!

What are you thankful for?  I would love to have you join me and shout out what God has done in your life that you are truly thankful for.  There is so much that we take for granted.. Don’t!!! 🙂

Join Divas With A Purpose ~ Thankful Thursday!

Thankful Thursday

Summer of Service A.C.T.S.

The summer is winding down as evidence by the crazy whirlwind that my life is right now!  I have been busier than ever and it isn’t going to slow down for a few more days.  In just hours I am off to our yearly women’s retreat at our church to serve and minister to other women and to hear what God has to say to me.   As I prepare to leave I am reminded of something wonderful that begins next week.  So before I leave I wanted to share A.C.T.S. (A Call To Service) with you!  It is not for us adults.  Us mom’s know how hard we serve already.   😉    This is a program to get our kids to serve!

Why serve?

Our culture puts an extravagant amount of energy into raising kids who will grow up to feel good about themselves. In schools, clubs, homes, and even at church, adults have made a decided effort to bolster children’s “self-esteem” –not by actually encouraging kids do something that’s worthwhile, but by simply telling them they are important and valuable.

At the turn of the century, researchers predicted that the next generation would respond to these efforts of raising self-esteem by being filled with optimism and civic duty. Unfortunately, recent research shows the opposite. Kids coming of age today are more self-centered, disrespectful of authority, and depressed than ever before.

In a very real way, then, the best path toward building selfless, confident children is to help and encourage them toward a growing and thriving faith in God. And that includes obedience to what God teaches—not because it makes kids feel good, although it often does—but because they’re following God’s instructions to love Him and serve others. That builds a faith they can count on and carry with them into adulthood—which is the greatest gift any parent can bestow on their child.

Join Adventures in Odyssey this summer to discover how fun it can be to serve others!

https://mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com/attachment/u/0/?ui=2&ik=dcb1346767&view=att&th=13e8ec22ea82a46c&attid=0.1&disp=inline&safe=1&zw&saduie=AG9B_P873rJS1u4yrBsktQqV7xgG&sadet=1368747677139&sads=s6tVvE2OvIhx3WQIqkOJHfMLY3QAdventures in Odyssey, the beloved audio series from Focus on the Family, has encouraged kids toward a stronger faith for 25 years. Whit, Connie, Eugene, and the other loveable characters from Odyssey have shared countless adventures with kids across the world in the classic audio dramas, books, videos, and devotionals, fulfilling the AIO promise to help kids discover, imagine, and grow.

This summer, Adventures in Odyssey is joining with Christian bookstores across the country, inviting kids to participate in a Summer of Service. They’re promoting the biblical message, “When you serve, everybody wins,” encouraging kids to serve their families, their communities, and their world. Whether it’s baking cookies for an elderly neighbor or putting together a care package for missionaries overseas, kids will discover that serving can be a blast!

How the A.C.T.S. (A Call to Service) challenge and contest works:

Kids who join A.C.T.S. can pick up a service log and collect fun character stickers for hours served at participating bookstores throughout the summer, or download a serving log online at whitsend.org.  At the end of the summer, kids can record and upload a short video telling how they serve and why they’d like to become an Adventures in Odyssey Ambassador.

A hundred winners will get the brand new AIO Album, and after online voting, two grand prize winners (one boy and one girl) will get to travel on an exciting Good-Goers Mission Based Adventure trip to another country with a parent!  The out-of-country destination will be announced on a live podcast May 22—hosted by AIO actors Katie Leigh (Connie) and Chris Anthony (Chris)—which you can watch at whitsend.org/acts. You don’t want to miss it!

Just to show you some love you can download a free mp3 file of the AIO Service episode, Business of Busyness as well as the free PDF download of summer service ideas for kids.   Enjoy!

What will you be doing with your kids this summer to serve?  I look forward to hearing some fun ideas!  God Bless!!!