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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A tip for sealing those Christmas cards!

I love sending out Christmas cards with our annual "Newman News" newsletter and mine will go out December 1st!  Woot woot!

My least favorite part of the whole process is sealing the envelopes!  Can you believe that years ago I used to lick them?  Ya, like each and every one!  Ewww!  They taste so gross!!  Then I used glue sticks but worried about getting glue on the newsletter or photo.  So last year I thought of this and wanted to share...


Just use a moistened make-up sponge!  I use a water bottle to get it wet since I have one in my office to clean my rubber stamps.  And since I'm in my office, I spray it over my little garbage can so I don't get anything else wet.

Easy peasy lemon squeezey.  I think this would be great for kids to help with!  Too bad I'm doing mine when my kids are in bed!  D'oh!  I should take my own advice on that last point!

Happy stuffing!

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

My thrifty finds!

I had such a good shopping trip the other day at Good Will!  It can be so hit or miss when you go there but man did I score!  I went in looking for a winter coat for one of my kids and came out with all these goodies instead!  {Still gotta find that coat!}

And forgot to take pics of:
an infinity scarf
a belt
boys Levi's pants
boys dress shirt

So to summarize... I got myself 2 scarves and a shirt.
I got my daughter flannel PJs, a GAP pull over fleece, a GAP shirt, GAP scarf, a dress & 2 other shirts.
I got my sons 4 shirts and 3 pair of pants {including those Levi's!}
That's 18 things....
ALL FOR $36!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was so excited because everything with a yellow tag was half off.  Normally, I don't score with that but this trip, holy smokes, I got like 4 or 5 things with the magical color!  THEN at the check out I realized it was Tuesday... military discount day!  AH!  So that was an addiction 20% off!  

I think I skipped to my car!  So exciting!
Just haaad to share!

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Sunday, November 16, 2014

a Beverly Lewis book

I don't read much fiction because honestly when I find a good book, I forget all else, including meal times!  But a friend of mine recently gave me some of her favorite books by three different authors.  I watched Beverly Lewis' movie "The Shunning" on Netflix and enjoyed it, so was excited to read my first book written by her!  


I read The Postcard all day Saturday and thankfully my wonderful husband was home to help with the kids!!!  I curled up on the couch and read for hours, finishing it in one day!  Oh the Amish was a lovely little world to escape to!  I started the sequel but am pacing myself with that one!  LOL!

So if you're looking for a good book in the Christian fiction genre, I definitely recommend this one!!!  And if you live nearby, I'll pass these on to ya when I'm done!

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Monday, November 10, 2014

Funny

At our local mall, security rides around on these Segway things....

{photo found online}

I was with my kids at the mall last week and Lance announced:  "Look, security has a new thing to ride on!"  Oh my goodness... I laughed so hard... 


Just putting up Christmas decorations!  hahahaha!
I love kids!!!

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Monday, November 3, 2014

My issues with Halloween

We don't live in a neighborhood where people go door-to-door on Halloween and I don't like it enough to go to someone else's neighborhood to participate.  So for the past few years I have opened my home to friends who also didn't go trick-or-treating.  But this year, my kids wanted to go out.  I had planned to go with friends over where they live but as the date got closer, I just didn't feel right about it.

DISCLOSURE
It's not simply an issue because my faith.... because let me tell you, Christians have varying opinions on this topic depending on their own experiences and beliefs.  We could start a big debate but that is NOT what this post is about.  It is about MY OWN personal conviction and unrest with a certain aspect of Halloween that I do not like!  So the following thoughts aren't because I'm a Christian... any human being could have wrote this.

MY PROBLEM
The problem I have with Halloween is the gore and blood.  Many toddlers are afraid to even walk the aisles at Walmart!  Why is it ok to celebrate murder and expose our children to it?  I don't let my kids watch R-rated movies but suddenly everywhere we go in October they are bombarded by it!  My neighbor hung a bloody dead body wrapped in plastic from a tree close to the road.  My kids and I had to see this each time we passed by.  It was disgusting!


EXPLAINING THE DEAD BODY TO YOUNG KIDS
I had to explain what it was and why someone would want to put it up.  Do you know how bizarre it is when you try to explain all this to innocent and curious children?  I hate that we celebrate the grotesque and suddenly we're shocked when we read headline news about someone committing a gory crime.  We are a very desensitized society because we don't see how our "fun" is affecting us!  We should be more sensitive than we are to seeing a slaughtered, murdered human being - even if fake, because it looks so real!

WHY WE DIDN'T GO OUT
We didn't go trick-or-treating because I didn't want my kids exposed to the gross costumes that'd be walking the streets.  People in masks carrying bloody knives is NOT FUN to me or the kids!  I also didn't feel right going to someone else's neighborhood knocking on their doors.  I love the sense of community that Halloween can bring... in our own neighborhood, but that isn't an option for us.

WHAT WE DID INSTEAD
My kids were so understanding when I explained to them that we wouldn't be going trick-or-treating this year.  They didn't need much convincing actually because that dead body was all the evidence they needed!  We got together with friends for a playdate and the kids dressed up!


Later we did our own version of "trick-or-treating".   I went in the boys' bedroom and the kids knocked on the door.  I opened it with candy in hand to find them smiling BIG SMILES saying "Trick or treat"!  They were so cute!  I ran to the playroom and closed the door, they followed me giggling & knocking.  I opened the door, gave them treats and ran to Vienna's room, then my room!  More laughter.  More candy.  And a fun time!  Jay brought home pizza for supper and they got to enjoy their treats while we watched a family movie together.  We had a very fun Halloween and one we all felt comfortable with!

LISTEN TO YOUR CONVICTION
Again, I know people who don't do Halloween because of its association with the occult and the history of it and they probably don't approve of my kids doing what they even did!  I'm not trying to start a debate about whether we should participate in Halloween or not.  As I told my kids, the problem with ANYTHING when you live as a Christian, is doing something against your gut instincts.  When you do something that just doesn't seem right in your heart... that is the holy spirit convicting you.  You gotta live by the Spirit and listen and obey, even when it's against what the rest of the world is doing, even close friends.  I'm teaching my kids that if you ignore that little voice... ignore that whisper of conviction, it'll get quieter.  And I'm also teaching my kids that it's ok to be sensitive in a world that so often tells us to toughen up.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Winter blues a comin'

When I talk about being productive, I don't always mean hit the ground running in the morning, staying busy, keeping a clean home, crossing things off my to do list and baking cookies all with a smile.   For me, some days my productive endeavor is just surviving and feeding my children!

I suffer from anxiety and I have a history of depression.  Some days the dark clouds loom over my head and it takes everything in me to just get through the day.  {And THAT is partly why I have this blog!  Why I write... and why I am so purposeful about things... trying to manage my struggles.}

I am seriously affected by weather and time change.  It's already getting dark in the evenings and I feel my anxiety building as we get ready to turn the clocks back.  I also feel the pressure of the holidays upon me... my mental to do list swirling in my head... 8 weekends til Christmas... Ahhh!!!  {Feel it now too?  Haha!  Sorry!}

I betcha I have Seasonal Affective Disorder and although I haven't been officially diagnosed with this disorder, I have seen someone in the past for my other issues!  I have some strategies in place to help me get through this time and I would encourage anyone feeling the blah to not ignore it and talk to someone!

Even with knowledge of what I can do to help get through these dark days, the blah always comes.  I wish it wouldn't but it does.  And fighting it is what my endeavor is right now.

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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Sorry Kids... No sleepovers

My kids are 9, 7 & 4 and with age have come the invitations for sleepovers.  But we are that family that doesn't do sleepovers.  I know I know... sounds so strict and crazy but I have my reasons.  And after talking to other parents who I admire and who have older kids, I feel at peace with our decision.

I thought I would write about it in case there are people like I was... You have that nagging feeling in your heart but don't have the words to accompany it to explain why you don't want your kids going to someone else's house to sleep and wake up.  Or maybe you feel pressured because other parents are letting their kids do sleepovers but it doesn't feel right to you.  And the other reason I write... simply to give parents something to think about!

"Everything is permissible"--but not everything is beneficial." ~ 1 Corinthians 10:23


My reasons...

  1. My kids are young and need their sleep.  Sleepovers often don't involve sleep {go figure!} and the family has to deal with the consequences of overtired children the next day.  No thanks.
  2. Many homes and kids have the internet just a click away and some young kids I know have their own iPhones and iPads!  I used to look up "naughty" words in the dictionary never mind what kids could do now!  
  3. Friend's friends.  I trust many of my friends to take care of my kids and I genuinely like their children.  But we really need to think about those strangers who would be also spending the night with our kids!  Kids from families we don't know and that's something to think about.
  4. Possibility of sexual abuse.  It happens and is very real to me.  It happened in my family and I have friends who've been abused.  If we have to be the uncool parents to avoid this risk then so be it.  I can take a knock in my reputation to protect my kids from this nightmare.
  5. Nothing good happens after bedtime.  Truth or dare, freezing bras, sneaking outside, etc.. come to mind from my own childhood.  Sleepovers did not add to the quality of my childhood.  Some nights will filled with unnecessary anxiety and stress.  {I actually remember a friend of mine crying for her mom and how she was teased.  Not cool.}
  6. Sleepovers don't deepen friendships.  My kids aren't missing out on connections by not sleeping over at a friend's house.
  7. My kids are still pretty young.  As their mom and guide, I don't feel they have the skills to speak up if something is happening that they know is wrong or against our house rules.  I intentionally protect my kids from overexposure and one day I have to trust them to make decisions for themselves.  BUT at their current ages, I don't think it's fair for me to put the full burden on them.

clipart source

So ya, those are my reasons and my kids really don't feel deprived.  The older two have been invited to a couple sleepovers now but they have only attended one each, not staying the whole night.  The parties usually start around supper time and I just pick them up a little after their normal bedtime to give them a chance to enjoy the evening activities with their friends. 

Also, it's not like they don't ever spend the night at friends' homes.  Recently they stayed with friends while Jay and I went away for our first ever get-away since married!  Obviously we make exceptions depending on the circumstance but overall, sleepovers aren't a normal thing around here.
 
I want my kids to enjoy their friends and time with them but in the end, we are the parents and we need to trust our gut and make decisions that will keep them safe....  Even if that makes us the most unpopular and uncool mom in the neighborhood.


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