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

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

My Top 10

Becoming an Independent Norwex Consultant has been a fun challenge. I started using Norwex last August and was very quickly convinced of its excellence as a cleaning product. They have so many options to help with cleaning, so today I wanted to share my top 10 list with you.

1. Body Pack
2. X-Large Bath Towel
3. Envirocloth
4. Kitchen Towel/Cloth
5. Dish Cloth
6. Cleaning Paste
7. EnviroWand
8. Mop
9. Window Cloth
10. Dryer Balls

Over the next few weeks I will share more about these products and why I personally like them so much. As I use more this list may change, but this is where it stands currently!

What products are in your top 10? If you have never used Norwex, which products would you like to try and/or learn more about?

Please Contact me with any questions
Emmie Manor Independent Norwex Consultant

Friday, April 15, 2016

Sam: Our Big 2 Year Old!

It's hard to believe how much happens in 2 years. This precious little boy entered our lives and changed it forever. God has already used Sam so much to grow us and our family into more of His likeness and teaching us to let His Kingdom come and rule in our hearts and lives.

Sam is so full of life! He wakes up with a smile and goes to sleep with a smile (generally speaking). He loves to laugh and play and sing. He would rather be outside than anywhere else, exploring and seeing what there is to see. It has been so fun to watch him explore in our new backyard the past couple of weeks and see what there is to see and do (though there is little yet). There is not a dull moment when Sam is around.

In those rare times when Sam is not exploring and playing, he is a snuggle bug. He loves to sit with you and sing or listen to a story. He such an affectionate little boy, which is a blessing. He loves people and doing what others are doing. Sam will not be pushed around and is learning to hold his own with his older brothers. He is growing into such a sweet big brother as he looks after Nehemiah, feeds him and gives him kisses. Love his sweetness.

As sweet and fun as he is, Sam does have a temper and he is every bit a 2 year old. If you have kids or have been around kids you know what I mean! But by God's grace the tantrums are shortening and he is learning to share more.

Recently, Sam has begun to pray at meals and during family prayer times. There is nothing like hearing the prayers of a small child, even if you cannot understand them because you know God can! How much grace God is already giving Sam! It is such a blessing and I pray it continues and that He will know the Saving Power of Jesus!

Sam is learning how to clean and put things away better, and always wants to help the older kids with their chores. I pray God will continue to give Sam a strong work ethic and that he will work hard for God's glory as he grows.

What a blessing to have Samuel in our lives! I thank God for him and his precious life. May God continue to use Sam to bring others to Him!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Twenty and Ten

This book is part of our Core A Sonlight curriculum. This was a great story to talk about the struggles of WWII with kids on their level. I really enjoyed reading it, even again after 2 years.  My kids enjoyed it as well and helped us to talk a little about the Holocaust, even at their young ages. It was also good for discussing how to make decisions in hard circumstances as they are learning right from wrong in more abstract ways. Some scenes are a little intense so if you have sensitive children, be aware of that. I would recommend this book for most ages.

4.5 stars

Friday, April 8, 2016

Remembering Kimberly

Last night I went to the memorial service for my dear Sister and friend, Kimberly Hall. December 3, 2015 she was suddenly taken home to be with Jesus in a car crash. Yesterday she would have turned 44. She left a husband, 8 children, 1 granddaughter, parents, siblings and many friends who loved her dearly.

What I remember most about Kimberly is she loved Jesus so much and wanted to love Him and please Him in everything that she did. Today she is with her Savior and enjoying the reality she so longed for, worshiping Him and praising Him in her perfect glorified body.

I met Kimberly just over a year ago at a mom's retreat for homeschool moms. She knew no one, but came anyway to meet other moms after moving to Louisville just a couple months before. Everyone admired her and said how brave she was for coming knowing no one. She had such a quiet spirit, but no one could forget her. Once we started talking, we couldn't stop. She emulated her Savior and glowed with the Holy Spirit shining through her.

Kimberly joined our writing group and I got to know her even more. Her writing was beautiful. Her ideas amazing. She loved history; studying history and teaching others about history and how it effects us today. We had intelligent conversations on how different things have effected our culture today and her writing about it was beautiful.

One of our last big conversations was on Kimberly's porch talking about what God was doing. It wasn't speculation, but the honest question of 2 of God's daughters asking, "God, what are you doing in our lives? What are you wanting to teach us?" How I loved this about her. We could seek together, ask questions together and really know Him better together.

It was a blessing to join her family and other friends to remember Kimberly. We ended the memorial service with her favorite hymn, which I have never heard before, "None of Self and All of Thee". Below are the words that shows the journey of people as they follow Jesus until they are perfected in glory.

O the bitter pain and sorrow
That a time could ever be
When I proudly said to Jesus
All of self and none of Thee

Yet He found me, I beheld Him
Bleeding on th'accursed tree
And my wistful heart said faintly
Some of self and some of Thee

Day by day His tender mercies
Healing, helping, full and free
Brought me lower while I whispered
Less of self and more of Thee

Higher than the highest heavens
Deeper than the deepest sea
Lord, Thy love at last hath conquered
None of self and all of Thee

Today Kimberly is filled completely with Jesus in her glorified body. 

How about you? What will be your state when you die? Do you know Jesus who saves us? If you don't, please ask. I would love to tell you about my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who will save you too. Don't delay. You don't know when your day will be.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

In Grandma's Attic

This book is part of Core A in our Sonlight curriculum and it was a delight to read. The chapters and very short, which is wonderful when you have 6 wiggling kids! I love the lessons that Grandma is passing on to her grandchild as she tells her stories of her childhood. It is also a neat look into how life was many years ago on a farm in America. I also greatly appreciate the Christian elements woven in the stories. It is not overtly Christian, but Biblical principles are certainly taught in this book. I would highly recommend this book to anyone!

4.5 stars

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Think Green Save Green: April is Earth Month!

April is Earth month where we learn about ways to reduce waste and be more responsible in taking care of our Earth. Just under 4 years ago I wrote some personal observations on this topic and reading over it today I realize how much more I am convinced of our need to use more reusable products and decrease our waste. It is one of several reasons I have become an independent Norwex consultant. By using Norwex products with only water we are helping to take care of our environment by reducing the amount of plastic we use as well as the chemicals that are released into the environment.

As I read my previous post, I was also reminded how thinking green can save us green! And Norwex certainly does this. We save money by not having to buy many cleaners and sprays over and over again. Our cloths with just water clean well and remove up to 99% of pathogens without the need for disinfectants that have bad odors and should be used with gloves, many of which still have unknown side effects.

The more we use reusable products the more we are helping others, loving our neighbor as ourselves, and we are keeping the environment for the generations to come. It's a win win for everyone!

So while you prepare for Spring Cleaning how can you think green and save green?

Please contact me with any questions!
Emmie Manor Independent Norwex Consultant