Monday, May 2, 2016

Our 6 Year Old Lillian

Six years ago after a very strange 24 hours and the protection of God, we welcomed our only daughter, Lillian. She came to us a flurry and she continues to live like this. Slow is not an option for her. She loves life! She loves to run and play and work hard. She desires to please and is a diligent worker. She loves having school work to do and wakes early to get it done. She is growing in her love of house work as she desires to be a mom and have a family one day. She is bold and enthusiastic. When she makes a connection or remembers something she will tell you with such energy you can't help but be excited too. She has so much spunk!

This year Lillian started kindergarten at home and is thriving in it. She is self motivated and loves learning with her brothers as well as by herself. She loves having individual work to do everyday and she is proud of the work she does. It will be exciting to see how God uses this for His Kingdom as she grows, we pray, in love with Him and His way.

Lillian loves her brothers and enjoys being with them. Recently she has started playing family with Jamey, which is precious! She also enjoys being alone and living in her world a little. Though she can be rough and tumble, she really is delicate and she lets the boys know she will not be messed with and not to wrestle her down because she is a girl!

Lillian loves to laugh! She thinks most everything is funny and definitely inherited her daddy's sense of humor. It is such a joy to hear her laugh! But she is also very tender and emotional. I love how she wants to sit and snuggle with us just because she can. She loves hugs and kisses and just being loved on.

Recently Lillian has gotten into reading her Bible daily and wants to read along when we read out loud. She is quick to memorize verses and know them when we ask about them. We pray that God will use this to draw her to Himself and show her the deep love of our Father and the saving grace of Jesus!

Thank you, Father, for our precious Lillian. She is such a joy and pleasure to have in our family. Please grow her in faith and love that she may know You and follow hard after You and not the things of this world. Let her know You and Your ways that she may live for Your Kingdom! Thank You again for her precious life!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

April Blessings

April has been a crazy month, but even in the midst of insanity and spiritual warfare, God has been very gracious. Here is a glance at our blessings this month.

  1. Being able to be with Becca at the hospital all day
  2. Becca having a successful surgery
  3. Talking and laughing
  4. People praying
  5. The Body of Christ
  6. Time with Marie
  7. Becca coming home
  8. Fresh guacamole
  9. Jim doing school
  10. Smooth transitions
  11. Great sermon on diversity
  12. Helping Jim learn verses
  13. Hot shower
  14. Hot shower
  15. Napping
  16. Going to bed early
  17. Feeling rested
  18. Jim not having to use PTO
  19. Getting extra from Norwex
  20. Talking with Daddy
  21. Nice calm day
  22. Productive morning
  23. Singing with Sam
  24. Hearing good news from Friends
  25. Great conversation at CG
  26. McAlister's 
  27. Jim joining us for dinner
  28. Designing wedding invites
  29. Talking to Britney
  30. Kids building
  31. Ham biscuits
  32. Sleeping until 8
  33. Kimberly's memorial
  34. Praying for Brienne
  35. Becca being home
  36. Working through feelings with God
  37. Wrestling with Truth
  38. Planning for Saturday
  39. Jim cleaning and organizing pantry and fridge
  40. Teaching kids to clean
  41. Great sermon on multicultural worship
  42. Restful afternoon
  43. Learning what rest is not
  44. Running errands as a family
  45. Reuben playing a game with Jim
  46. Making it to playgroup
  47. Meeting new people
  48. Good conversation with Meagan
  49. Being encouraged at CG
  50. Hearing God working in unique ways
  51. Meeting Step 2 with Norwex
  52. God providing
  53. Date night
  54. Frozen lemonade
  55. Nice weather
  56. Playing outside
  57. Anna's Jamberry party fun on Facebook
  58. Sam turning 2!
  59. Homemade cake and icing
  60. Funfetti Pancakes
  61. Taking Sam to the park by himself
  62. "Star Wars"at Victors with Jim and Jamey
  63. Jamey taking care of and playing with Nehemiah
  64. Nehemiah enjoying playing outside
  65. Good sermon on Marriage
  66. Hearing from Honays about work in Germany
  67. Field Trip
  68. Exercising in the pool
  69. Book Club
  70. Jim working 4 hours extra
  71. No TV!
  72. Godly counsel
  73. Celebrating Becca's birthday
  74. Taking Gabe to the store
  75. Hanging out as a family
  76. Perseverance
  77. Encouraging others
  78. God's strength in my weaknesses
  79. Jim working only 8 hours
  80. Passover
  81. Time to read
  82. Not being on the computer
  83. Great sermon on generations
  84. Parent Child Dedication
  85. Fraps with bonus stars
  86. Doing nails with Becca
  87. Moments with Sam and Nehemiah
  88. Peace from God
  89. Good doctor's appointment
  90. Learning to overcome feelings
  91. Chick-fil-A with CG
  92. Kids hanging out with other people from CG
  93. Organizing living room toys
  94. Reaching out for help
  95. Getting a vent in the kids bathroom
  96. Encouragement from the worker at our house
  97. Afternoon at Brienne's
  98. Kids playing well and exploring some
  99. Praying with other believers
  100. God's amazing presence 

April Evaluation

  • Spend at least 10 minutes praying daily- I have been able to do pray but it's been more help me this month
  • Spend at least 10 minutes reading and reflecting on the Bible daily- Been able to do this most days, 
  • Memorize verses with the kids - working on this during school time
  • Have extended prayer times 4 times during the year- We have each had one
  • Read Christian books (Jim- 1 (not school related), Emmie- 3)- Working on "Large Family Logistics" 
  • Pray together daily- YES! 
  • Go out for a date once a week- Um no. 
  • Go on a night away once this year- Plan made
  • Read 3 books together this year (read one day a week)- This did not happen
  • Discuss plan weekly on Saturday afternoon- Not really
  • Spend 15 minutes of one on one time with each child every week- It's been a hard month. Have had some one on one time, but not as much as I would have liked
  • Special Outing Alone twice during the year with each child- I got to take Sam out for his birthday and Jamey had a special lunch with Jim
  • Family fun activity once a month- We celebrated Passover together this month
  • Write in individual journals at least 3 times this year- Did some writing, but am behind currently
  • Finish Jamey's 1st year Scrapbook- No work was done on this
  • Keep up with cleaning schedule- We have done some major cleaning, but still struggling to get consistent in this
  • Keep up with my calendar- Getting better
  • Being fully present when with my family- Back and forth, some days I was able to do this well, other days it was really hard
  • Try 12 new recipes this year- (5) Made mirangue cookies for Passover
  • No TV 2 days a week (watching)- with nicer weather this has been so much easier! We have definitely watched less TV as a whole
  • Begin gardening in the spring- Still nothing yet. Just a little more to do in the back and hopefully we can get something going
  • Continue sending out Prayer List- Yes
  • Read a book a month for myself- I finally finished "A Good Man is Hard to Find" and have read a decent amount of "Large Family Logisitics" 
  • Jim read one fiction book- not yet, this month has all been school
  • Journal 5 days a week- Yes! God is gracious
  • Jim Journal 3 days a week- YES! This is a huge improvement and blessing for him
  • Edit novel to prepare for publishing- No work on this
  • Book Club once a month- Yes! Love these Sisters
  • Continue to meet once a month with writing group- We met twice this month as next month is out for me!
  • Blog 1-2 days a week- Yes! God has been gracious in this
  • Mild Exercise twice a week- I have finally gotten to work out in the pool twice. Praying I will be able to fit in more of this!
  • Maintain weight until birth- Been doing better but still gained a little
  • Lose weight after giving birth- 
Wow! It's already the last day of April. It has gone by so quickly. This month has been full of family and Spiritual warfare. Satan has been on the prowl seeking to attack in anyway possible. I've struggled a lot with depressed feelings and really doubting life. We've been better with school but there as been a lot of push back from the kids. It's just been tough. It's hard to see that so many goals just disappeared this month like a vapor. Even in April I still feel like there is so much that is not decided. I'm struggling with discipline and really wanting to do that. Please pray for a smoother May as we have a lot going on this month too. I need to add business goals in the mixed now that we're involved with Norwex. I know all of this is what God has called us to, it's just challenging trying to figure everything out and trust God fully. He will provide and make clear. He generally does in time. Right now there is a lot of faith growing!

How was your April?

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Product Spotlight #1 with Top 10 Sellers

Body Pack

I cannot tell you how much I love the Body Pack. It has changed showering for me! I used to hate trying to get clean in the shower because I just couldn't get clean. Maybe that sounds weird to you, but really all the soaps I tried always left me feeling gross. I didn't know why. A couple years ago I began learning more about what's in body soaps and it made sense. There is oil in them that coats your skin and does not allow it to breathe! There are also chemicals that can dry out skin and cause irritation.

Now that I have a body pack, I don't have this problem anymore! My skin feels clean and it's able to do what God created it to do because there aren't oils and chemicals coating it. I just use my body cloth and water from the shower to clean. It's wonderful! When you have a house full of kids it also cuts shower time when you need it. Added bonus!

Maybe you have sensitive skin or dry skin. Maybe cleaning products bother you and you cannot find a good product for cleaning your skin. These are great for you as well. They are made with the Norwex microfiber so they are soft and gentle on skin while removing up to 99% of pathogens that are on your skin.

After using the cloth rinse it out thoroughly and hang it up to dry. It's ready the next day!

These really have made a huge difference in my day. I highly recommend them!

Please Contact me with any questions
Emmie Manor Independent Norwex Consultant
Catalog (Body Pack is on p. 53)

Norwex Top 10 Sellers
1. Envirocloth
2. Window Cloth
3. Dusting Mitt
4. Superior Mop System
5. Ultra Power Plus Laundry Detergent
6. Fluff and Tumble Dryer Balls
7. Cleaning Paste
8. Descaler
9. Blue Diamond All-in-One Bathroom Cleaner
10. Body Packs

Monday, April 25, 2016

A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Short Stories by Flannery O'Connor

I finally finished my 2nd classic in this year's Back to the Classics Challenge. This met the category of "a volume of classic short stories".

This book was painful to get through. It is a very accurate picture of deep southern life in the early 1900s, which can be very challenging to read. But it wasn't really that that I didn't enjoy. The style was hard to read and several of the stories felt way too incomplete. I realize short stories are made to tell a story in a brief amount of time, but I felt like a few didn't even tell a story. I would get to the end and think, "That's it?" A couple of the plot lines were outright depressing, which again doesn't usually bother me, but these left me feeling dark in not a good way.

As a whole I would not recommend this book, but I know others really enjoy her work, so take it as you will. It would be good for a history/culture study in late high school or college, maybe, or good for an English class on how to not write a short story, but beyond that I cannot say it has much value.

I would give this book 2 stars.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Think Green Think Beyond Yourself: Happy Earth Day

Earlier this month I shared about Thinking Green to Save Green, but today I really want to focus on how thinking green is learning to think beyond yourself.

There are a lot of personal benefits to using more reusable products and less of the disposable, as I have shared before, but as a mother of 7 who is earnestly seeking to live out love your neighbor as yourself before my kids and teaching them to live the same way, I'm finding that living a "green" lifestyle is as much about loving your neighbor as it is about dollars and cents.

As I look at some of the information out there about earth day, it is evident that improving the planet is the primary focus. But why should we bother improving the planet at all? When we do our part to take care of the planet, we are loving our neighbor as ourselves. For every reusable bottle, every cloth napkin, every reusable bag we carry with us we are saying I love others more than myself, more than my convenience.

I do want to say I don't condemn the use of disposable products and even use these things myself on occasion. It is not evil! And the way many things are made it is difficult to completely get away from disposable products. But it is clear from much research that the more of this we use, the more damage we are doing to our planet, the more damage we are doing to others and to the generations to come.

The basic commands in Scripture are to love God and love others. We are also charged by God to care for the earth. Again, I condemn nothing, but the more I look into everything out there, the more I realize that there are many things we can to do to love others and some of those ways is to decrease disposable waste where we can, stop using so many chemicals and recycle when we do use plastic, glass and aluminum products.

I'm thankful for Norwex in helping me to do at least the first 2 things and that we have recycling in our city so that the little bit of plastic from their bottled products can be recycled.

What would you like to learn about Norwex helping you go green?

Please Contact me with any questions
Emmie Manor Independent Norwex Consultant

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Jim's Top 10

Today I'm sharing Jim's top 10 list of Norwex products. Yes, my husband loves Norwex as much as I do. His list was made on his own and we did not compare until after both lists were made, so this is his honest opinion.

  1. Envirocloth
  2. Mop System
  3. Bath Towel
  4. Dish Cloth
  5. Body Pack
  6. Mighty Mesh Scrubber
  7. Cleaning Paste
  8. Envirowand
  9. Window Cloth
  10. Kitchen Cloth/Towel

Stay tuned to find out why Jim likes these!

Please Contact me with any questions
Emmie Manor Independent Norwex Consultant