Tuesday, May 31, 2016

May Blessings

May has been full of blessings from our wonderful God! Here is a sample of them.

  1. Good sermon on work
  2. Restful afternoon
  3. Being together as a family
  4. God's great mercy
  5. New month
  6. Jim having extended time with God
  7. Lillian turning 6!
  8. Fun family day
  9. Not being on the computer or having the TV on for 2 days!
  10. Learning to let go
  11. Meeting another Mom of Many
  12. Good productivity and fun together
  13. Productive day
  14. Cleaning up some of the bathroom
  15. Becca hanging up the shelf
  16. Norwex site up again
  17. Being home all day
  18. Good time at CG
  19. Field trip attempt
  20. Seeing friends
  21. Jim finishing his spring class!
  22. Long date evening
  23. Pistachio gelato at Sweet Frog
  24. Discount
  25. Time with the Felix family
  26. Pizza, apples and cookies
  27. Friends in Jesus
  28. Finishing the school week strong
  29. Cleaning and some organizing
  30. Teaching
  31. Jericho Prayer
  32. Dunkin Donuts
  33. Grocery shopping by myself and not over spending
  34. Testing the Car Wash Mitt (It's Great!)
  35. Great sermon on who God is vs who we are
  36. Writing blog posts
  37. Being disciplined with the computer
  38. Pictures
  39. Cleaning and organizing the whole kitchen
  40. Visit from the Vander Weerts
  41. Encouragement
  42. Sam praying
  43. Switching beds around
  44. Talking to Becca
  45. Learning more about how Jesus feels
  46. Reading 2 chapters
  47. Gabriel growing in prayer
  48. Meeting the Gunns
  49. Cleaning our room
  50. Chick-fil-A
  51. Good inexpensive coffee
  52. More in depth prayer
  53. Time to work
  54. Growing in fearlessness
  55. Jamey working hard
  56. Kids growing in prayer
  57. Cheap Taco Bell
  58. Good doctors appointments
  59. Celebrating Gage's 1st birthday
  60. Meeting new people
  61. Great sermon on prayer
  62. Washing my hair
  63. God tangibly answering prayer as yes right away
  64. Finishing "Large Family Logistics"
  65. Lot's of baking
  66. Time with the Browns
  67. Book Club
  68. Time to talk with Meagan
  69. Hearing other's stories and evidences of grace
  70. Good uneventful drive to GA
  71. Getting package before leaving town
  72. Seeing people at FBC Smyrna
  73. Hanging out with Daddy and Brit
  74. Jim having breakfast with Jeff
  75. Doing announcements with Mom at school
  76. Seeing Emily
  77. Seeing how far God has brought us
  78. Lunch with Julie
  79. Seeing Brendon and Kyle
  80. Spending the morning with the Murdocks
  81. Cooking out with the family
  82. Cousins playing together
  83. Seeing Jacob and Rachel
  84. Joint SS and Worship at FBC Smyrna
  85. Seeing many friends
  86. Safe drive to FL
  87. Playgrounds
  88. Jim's mom welcoming us
  89. Good first meeting for the kids
  90. Kids doing well at the beach their first time
  91. God protecting our family
  92. Time with Laura and Jon
  93. Taking pictures on the beach
  94. Taking a nap
  95. God giving me a clear mind
  96. Britney having a great Norwex Party
  97. Celebrating Jim's birthday
  98. Great discussion in Sunday School
  99. Great sermon on dealing with hard times
  100. Getting on the road early
  101. Getting mostly unpacked
  102. Being told I was smart for having my kids close together
  103. Kids sleeping later than they have been
  104. Time with Jim
  105. Lillian's music recital

May Evaluation

  • Spend at least 10 minutes praying daily- God has definitely grown my prayer time this month, some days have more prayer time than others, but every moment praying is a blessing
  • Spend at least 10 minutes reading and reflecting on the Bible daily- Most days this happened
  • Memorize verses with the kids - working on this during school time
  • Have extended prayer times 4 times during the year- Jim has had 2 and I have had 1
  • Read Christian books (Jim- 1 (not school related), Emmie- 3)- Finished "Large Family Logistics
  • Pray together daily- YES! 
  • Go out for a date once a week- Sadly No
  • Go on a night away once this year- Working on the logistics for this in a couple of weeks
  • Read 3 books together this year (read one day a week)- No
  • Discuss plan weekly on Saturday afternoon- No
  • Spend 15 minutes of one on one time with each child every week- I think this has been averaged as a whole
  • Special Outing Alone twice during the year with each child- No outings done this month
  • Family fun activity once a month- We went out of town and had some fun family time at the beach
  • Write in individual journals at least 3 times this year- No writing this month
  • Finish Jamey's 1st year Scrapbook- No work was done on this
  • Keep up with cleaning schedule- Did cleaning before heading out of town, but not schedule
  • Keep up with my calendar- Getting better
  • Being fully present when with my family- I was given a lot of grace to be more present than I have been
  • Try 12 new recipes this year- (7) Made double chocolate zucchini bread and avocanana bread
  • No TV 2 days a week (watching)- With traveling it's been back and forth, but I think we averaged this
  • Begin gardening in the spring- Still nothing yet. 
  • Continue sending out Prayer List- Yes
  • Read a book a month for myself- I finished "Large Family Logisitics
  • Jim read one fiction book- Finally started a fiction book while on our trip!
  • Journal 5 days a week- Yes! God is gracious
  • Jim Journal 3 days a week- While at home, yes
  • 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- Not this month
  • Blog 1-2 days a week- Yes! God has been gracious in this
  • Mild Exercise twice a week- Not really, a little here and there, but not much
  • Maintain weight until birth- Definitely gained this month
  • Lose weight after giving birth- 
When you travel for half a month it tends to go by quickly. Travel also plays a little with the goals. Even in all of that God has been very gracious to help us with praying, reading the Word and trusting Him with our lives. This month involved a lot of traveling and seeing family and many other goals that were not specifically stated for the year and that is good! We have learned so much during this month and grown in faith and seeing the blessing of following God in faith. That is what's important. God continues to grow us and our faith. God is so good.

How was your May?

Monday, May 30, 2016

Maybe I Don't Hate The Beach

We just returned from a few days of visiting Jim's mom and brother at the beach. It was such a good trip! I've always hated the beach, but after this visit, I don't hate it as much as I used to. In fact this time around I mostly enjoyed it (except for sunscreen and sand residue).

I sat on the shore holding Nehemiah and watching the others play in the sand and ocean. I looked out into the vastness of God's creation and for the first time in years I felt a calm and a peace that I haven't felt in years! The song "Oceans" by Hillsong came into my mind. I love this song and looking out at the endless sea the metaphor of that song overtook me. I have lived in those moments of life when the depths of life have overwhelmed me and all I had was my Savior, Jesus, to pull me out of those depths. I was ready to swim it, to go into the ocean where my feet could not touch and feel the depth of God's love for me and the power of His hand in a different sense. At that moment I could have done anything because I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that my God was with me.

And God is still with me, even though life is not in that moment where the water is swirling over my head and I'm waiting for Him to pull me out. But how easy it is to forget. I hope in those moments when I allow the sea around me to overtake my thoughts that I will remember that moment of calm when I felt completely at peace. My Prince of Peace, I need you to fill me!

I have enjoyed the beauty of the beach before, but this time was different. I would still prefer the mountains to the beach for just a vacation, but now I would like to go back to the beach more frequently than I have to be reminded once again of the beauty and grace that comes when we allow God to take us into the deep waters of life where we are reminded all we have is Him and He is enough.

Sunday, May 29, 2016


Today Jim is 33! It's been a crazy and busy year in our home. It's been such a joy to see Jim grow as a husband and father this year as it's also another year growing in the Lord. Jim has been working hard on day shift for a year now and learning how to balance work and family on a "regular" schedule as well as taking classes to finish his M.Div. It's been a great year of learning for all of us and God has been so gracious in giving us exactly what we need to grow together in Him and to grow Jim as the God-given leader of our family. God has so blessed our family with Jim!

As our family grows Jim is stepping up in leadership and help. I'm so thankful for the man God is growing Jim into. As he learns he teaches us, especially the kids. He loves to play and wrestle with the kids and wants them to know the love of Jesus. What more could you ask for in a dad!

This year was special as just before Jim's birthday we were able to visit Jim's mom. What a special birthday gift for Jim this year! God continues to bless and give.

Thank You, Father, for Jim and how you have blessed him and blessed our family with him. Please continue to grow him in the image and likeness of Jesus. Thank You for giving him a humble and teachable spirit. Thank You for Your continual grace. Please continue to give!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Product Spotlight #4

Getting back to my Top 10 List, I want to share the Envirocloth (p.6) with you today.

The EnviroCloth is great! It is the most versatile cleaning product I have ever used and works wonders on such a variety of surfaces anywhere from the kitchen to the bathroom to the car. Being able to clean with just the cloth and water is wonderful. Don't have to worry about using harmful chemicals and it works great. An added bonus is being able to hand it to the kids and let them go clean without worrying about them using the cleaning products. The Envirocloth has changed the way we clean and has made us more inclined to clean!

I'm also a huge fan because being pregnant often has hindered how much I can clean since most cleaners are not safe for women who are pregnant to use or inhale. I would have to ask others to help and stay clear of the rooms they were cleaning. Now it's not a problem (except for the baby being in the way :) ) I can pick up an Envirocloth, wet it and clean quickly and easily in very little time.

What do you need to clean quickly and easily?

Please Contact me with any questions
Emmie Manor Independent Norwex Consultant
Catalog (p. 6)

Monday, May 23, 2016

Little House in the Big Woods

This book is part of our Core A curriculum from Sonlight. The kids really seemed to enjoy this book. They enjoyed the stories and adventures of their Pa and Grandpa. I liked it OK. It's not my favorite, but it was interesting learning more about how people lived back then. I would love to learn some of the skills they use. I also appreciated the Biblical lessons that you can teach from the things that the family goes through.

One of the hard parts with this book was the variation in the chapter lengths. Some drug on a little with detail. There was also a lot of legalistic moralism which is challenging.

I give 3 stars to this book.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Large Family Logistics

A friend from book club recommended this book and seeing that I have a large family, I wanted to give it a read. Thank you to Jo for letting me borrow it!

As a whole, I really enjoyed this book. The beginning is very good and is a great look at the Proverbs 31 woman. Part 1 is about the spiritual elements of keeping a home which I really appreciated. Part 2 was more practical and everyday implementation of homemaking concepts. My family has become very large very quickly, so some of what she had so say was a bit overwhelming. Her kids were spaced out a bit more so some of the systems for me were hard to interpret. But I do think she had great ideas if you are able to take general ideas and personalize them. I hope to use this to grow in that.

I also had some difficulty with some interpretations of ideas. It's not that I think she is wrong per se, but sometimes circumstances don't always fall in cut and dry lines.

I do think this book could be very beneficial for all homemakers whether you're single or have 50 kids. I would recommend this book to anyone.

4.5 stars for this book

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Product Spotlight #3

Today I'm taking a pause from my Top 10 list to share about the Norwex Car Wash Mitt (p. 57). This is a two-sided mitt that dose a great job of picking up up dirt and grime

Our family recently got to try out the Car Wash Mitt washing our 12 passenger van and it did a great job! We did not have access to a hose so no pre-rinse like Norwex recommends, and it still cleaned the entire van with one rinse of the mitt during it. I love it!

Jim says:
The car mitt works great and is very easy to use. When we used it, it washed the dirt and road grime off with such ease, even when our 6 year old daughter was using it! It worked wonderfully. I would recommend getting the car cloth to use with it to help keep water spots from forming after you wash your car.  It was great being able to wash the car with just the mitt and water, didn't have to mess with soap or rinsing the car off after we scrubbed it down. Have to love being able to do it all in basically one step!

Do you have a guy in your life that loves washing his car? This is a great month to gift him with a great set of car cleaning equipment!

Please Contact me with any questions
Emmie Manor Independent Norwex Consultant
Catalog (p. 57)

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Product Spotlight #2

Today I want to share my #2 from my Top 10 Norwex List, the X-Large Bath Towel (p. 53).

This towel is amazing and has been such a blessing to me. I hate feeling wet or damp. One of the things I hate with exiting the shower is not really being able to get dry. With the Norwex X-Large Bath Towel I can get my body dry! No more clothes sticking to my skin or skin drying out from air drying! I actually feel clean when I leave the shower now!

Between the Body Pack and the Bath Towel, showers have completely changed for me. I cannot recommend them enough!

Jim also loves the Bath towel. He says:

"I absolutely love the towel. It is so soft, absorbent, and it dries off very efficiently. It is thin, which is great for storing it, but unlike most thin towels I have used it is still soft and works wonderfully. It is easily one of my favorite products and I highly recommend it!"

What's even better? This month Norwex has a special on the Body Pack and X-Large Towel! Now is the time to get these products and see how wonderful they really are!

Have you tried the bath towel? What are you're impressions? How does it compare to other towels?

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

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Jericho Prayer

In Joshua 6 God tells Joshua and the Israelites to go take the city of Jericho. To knock down their walls He tells them to walk around the city once a day for 6 days. On the 7th day, they are instructed to walk around the walls of the city 7 times and the 7th time to blow trumpets and shout. The Israelites did this and God knocked down the walls of Jericho so that Israel could conquer them.

Several years ago some friends of ours felt impressed to do the same, only with prayer. Oh how important prayer is! Instead of marching, they and others drive around a city to pray for the city to bring down the walls of darkness that surround that city and to ask for God, who conquers all, to conquer the souls and the powers of darkness that hold the city.

It was such a blessing and a privilege to participate in this this year! Yesterday our family loaded up and drove around Louisville to pray for our city. It was such a good time to remember the love God has given me for this city. It was a great time to remember areas of the city that we have forgotten and for God to show us just how much lostness there is here. The Spirit moved as we drove! He compelled many thoughts and prayers and it was such a blessing to be used in this way! God does not need us and yet He uses us, His people and our prayers to show us His power and His greatness. It's just amazing.

I don't know of anything specific or direct that was answered from our prayers, but I know God was honored and He is on the move.

What city do you need to pray for? If you would like to do something like this, let me know and I would love to share with you more about this prayer ministry.

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!