That thing called Relationship

I had a lot of goals for 2014. A lot! My first priority/goal was to have a closer relationship with God. With this being my #1 goal for 2014 it’s only natural that this is the last thing I’ve started working on this year, isn’t that unfortunate. While very unfortunate and sad it actually gave me inspiration for this post and inspiration to start with a bang! Here we go….

I believe that a relationship with God is something that takes work,  sometimes there are days when I have no desire to open my bible or I think I’m too busy for prayer. I find that on these particular days (there’s been a lot lately) it takes hard work and determination to make the time and find the desire. I’ve also discovered that when I make the time and muster up some desire, my days are filled with a little more joy. On those days when I barely have the time to peek into my bible but do anyways I’m more likely to be reminded of all the blessings God has bestowed upon my family. Just the fact that I’m able to read the bible and serve God should be more than enough everyday! After days like that, when God strikes me with such awe and love and joy how can I go another day without the desire to dip into his word and praise him? And yet those days come. I really struggled with this last year and I’m hoping to make some major spiritual changes everyday, not just this year but indefinitely.

I believe surrounding yourself with the word and other believers more than just once a week gives you inspiration and perhaps more desire to grow closer to God.  This season in our small group we are doing a study by Andy Stanley called “Christian, It’s Not What You Think” Our first meeting was about being disciples, rather than “christians” of God and showing love to everyone and through that love others will know that you are a disciple of God. I’m also continuing in a women’s bible study with our church. Beth Moore’s study  “David, Seeking a Heart like His”. While I’m excited about both studies and look forward to learning and growing from them, there’s something that matter’s more… I know that even if I go to a bible study every day of the week and a good church and I have all these great godly friends that I get to hangout with but don’t have a relationship with God then I have nothing.  I’ve missed out on what it’s all about. Everyday we talk to God, everyday that we praise him and spread his word and die for him is another victory in furthering his kingdom and knowing that gets me really excited!

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” Revelations 3:20

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Waste Not, Want Not

Being a stay at home mom is wonderful and I absolutely love it most of the time. I love being able to hang out with my kids everyday and have fun and watch them learn and grow and explore. I will say though that day after day after day of coming up with activities and stuff to do can not only become tricky but also expensive so as a one income family I have to improvise a lot of the time. Here’s just a couple of ideas that are practically free and super fun for the kiddos.

Mr. Robot –  He consists of a box that we had in the garage, not sure where it came from but I recycled it. Some foil, glue stick, stickers and a few odds and ends. It’s not the prettiest robot in the world but C loved it with his whole heart for about a week!

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We plan to make an entire orchestra this year with all the play instruments we are going to make. This last week we made maracas. We used coffee creamer containers filled with beans, rice, bells, glitter, and fuzzy sticks. Topped off with some decorative stickers of C’s choosing. It was a lot of fun and even Sis gets to play with this toy!

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These were on hand already and the possibilities are endless for what you can use to fill your little ones maracas or decorate it with. I save pretty much every container, at least for awhile, before throwing it out. You never know when stuff like this is going to come in handy.

Happy Recycling!

Time to Shape Up!

I have a lot of goals set in place for 2014 and one of those goals is to lose these last few pounds from the newest baby Lane. Really my goal is to have a healthier heart in general. If I had a picture taken of my heart right now I’m pretty sure it would be faded and enlarged. So in exactly 13 weeks my daughter will turn 1 year old and my son 3 years old. I know what you are thinking, I did not plan well when trying to conceive my daughter. Her birthday falls a day after my sons. I was a month off in my math:(. Anyways this mama needs to lose those last lingering 10-15 unwanted pounds. I would like to do this by the time she turns 1. So, what can be done in 13 weeks….? Here’s what I’m thinking~ I have a slew of different videos in my possession including P90x, The Firm and Tae Bo so I think I’m gonna combine all these amazing workouts and bust my butt for the next 3 months!

To all you women/mommies out there who are struggling to lose those last few pounds and you tend to make a habit of raiding the cabinets when you have a free moment like me then I’m here to tell you, I know exactly what you are going through. YOU ARE NOT ALONE! I know how hard it is to feel comfortable with that post baby body or just your body in general. I will never be the type to get rid of breads or completely stop eating sugar. We only live once ladies and I’m going to enjoy it! Growing up in a family that has desert right after dinner and then again a couple of hours later, I’m pretty much genetically destined to stuff my face from time to time. But I can be more contentious of what goes in my body. That is what I plan to do, hopefully indefinitely even after these 3 months end. So today I start! I’ve already taken those dreaded before pics and I may post them at the end of the 3 months just as long as I succeed. If I don’t succeed I may just have to burn them out of shame, so lets hope for success. I plan to check in every week on my progress and hopefully this will hold me accountable for getting this heart in shape! Here’s hoping.

We start with a little Cardio x  P90X ~ Wish me luck!

Happy healthy living!:)

Indoor Snowman

This year has started off with a lot of snow and extremely cold weather soooo…. what to do with the kids that will keep them happy and  keep the begging to play outside in the freezing snow to a minimum? Well, one thing that came to mind was building an indoor snowman. We use a lot of contact paper for activities in this house, it’s easy for the 2 year olds when it comes to crafts. Here’s a few pictures and a few must have’s for this project.

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Materials :

Contact Paper

Tape

Construction Paper

Cotton Balls

Yarn

Felt – for eyes, mouth, nose and hat – could use anything you have on hand though

You can either lay the sticky side of the contact paper facing up on the floor or put it on the door facing out. We found it easier to go ahead and start on the door. We just used regular scotch tape to hang on the door during the building part. After your little one is done decorating Mr. Snowman you just turn the contact paper around and stick the sticky side to the door so your creation can hang up for the rest of winter. You want to make sure you leave the contact paper big enough around the snowman so that it will stick. This project was so much fun and C usually doesn’t last long with crafts these days but he absolutely loved this and finished every last bit of it himself. In the second picture he has a glue stick, this is not needed at all but he insists on having a glue stick in his hand if there is construction paper involved! So enjoy and happy snowman building!:)

A week in the life of Little Lanes…..

So this week we had our ups and downs at home and away from home. Story time at the library was a success on Monday, the first success we’ve had in a couple of weeks of our library visits. This one did not consist of time outs or pulling my hair out while the other mothers stared, some with looks of understanding and some with piercing, judgmental eyes. I was able to hold on to the oldest little Lane just long enough to not interrupt the actual book reading. It is hard to hold steady a 9 month old and a 2.5 year old for two books back to back without dropping one and spanking the other. (Quick side note: I don’t like to spank. It does nothing for my son but teaches him to hit. I’m not saying it doesn’t work for some kids but mine, not so much. Honestly I feel too bad doing it as it is.) Back to the subject at hand…. it can be done, holding the two still long enough to enjoy 2 books about snow! Phew didn’t think I was ever going to get that thought out.

Okay, now on to some fun ideas for the kids and how to fill the days/weeks with the little ones.

Every week I plan a schedule for the following week for my son. Weekly theme, number, letter, crafts, sensory, etc, etc, etc… I’ve done this since he turned one but I soon realized that there’s really not much a one year old can make, craft wise… except for blobs of paint and gobs of messes… but I held strong. This is where I brag a little…. My son knew and recognized every letter by the time he was one and a half years old. By two he could say his alphabet and at two and a half he knows all the sounds the letters make and several words that start with each letter. So it pays to start early and often! Kids all have their different specialties though, he has always loved books and letters while some of his same age friends can throw a ball like a player in the minor leagues (they are only two) or can say sentences like no ones business. Anyways a few things that helped him along with the letters and numbers –

Alphabet Play Mat – Totally worth the ten dollars I paid for it on black Friday. (Yes, I’m also very cheap…. wait the hip term is frugal.)

Yes we get a lot of use out of this! It was and still is a huge help in teaching and playing. These days he likes to build boxes out of them but still educational, these things just won’t quit!

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And then there is the alphabet magnet board that I made when Clive was about one and a half.

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This took me 3 nap times which was a total of about 7 hours. It involved a letter coloring book, scissors, crayons, glue and a magnetic marker board. We hung it up in his room at his height and would play find the letter and match the magnetic letters to the big letter, match the colors. I mean the things this board is capable of is ridiculous! You don’t even have to be very artistic, which I’m not so this was perfect for me. I will have to make another one for my daughter because this one was torn up but it lasted a little over a year so totally worth it.

This post was originally supposed to be about this weeks activities/crafts but it doesn’t look like that’s where my mind wanted to go in the end, we have activities and DIY projects from over a year ago. You will be happy to know that in a year or so you will find out about this weeks crafts, I guarantee it.

Happy tiny tot teaching.

And so 2014 begins….

2014 is finally here and I’m already behind in my goals for the year.

Goal # 1- Have an active and growing relationship with God.

Goal # 2 – Have a daily schedule of activities (arts, crafts, learning, etc….) with my 2 year old and almost 10 month old.

Goal # 3 – Get finances in order, savings account, pay off debt, tithe regularly, etc..

Goal # 4 – Be a better housewife, including but not limited to, cleaning, better cooking, happier and more delightful to be around, etc…

Goal # 5 – Lose the last of the baby weight, 10-15 lbs left over after all is said and done.

Goal # 6 – Start a blog to help fulfill all other goals.

So far I’ve dabbled in #1, I’ve been fairly consistent and victorious in #2 and #4. On the other hand #3 and #5 have been a bit of an after thought. As you are well aware I’m about 16 days behind on Goal # 6 but alas here we are! I do believe that all these things are achievable and possible but at the same time it is hard to start every single one of these goals and be 100% committed to them all at the same time right on day 1/1/2014! What was I thinking? I do believe I was setting myself up for a bit of a failure here. But I’ve learned in this life to be happy with what is and as for what isn’t, start implementing changes where they are needed to find the joy that is missing from that area in your life. So the changes are slowly being implemented! Anyways I hope to blog about everything interesting (at least to me interesting) that happens under our little Lane roof and possible little Lane outings. I’m working on preschool scheduling/activities for my son for next week, along with recipes I plan to try, bible studies I plan to do and budgeting ideas I plan to implement. There will be pictures, paragraphs and explanations of my victories and failures in all of the ventures listed above. Hopefully this blog will be a little fun, a little educational and a little bit of rock n’ roll. As we all know already it is sure to be corny!