Thursday, June 30, 2016

June Blessings

It's hard to believe we are half way through 2016 already! It's always good to look back, half way through the year, at what God has done for us. June has been a good and full month as we came back from vacation and got to work on school and preparing for baby number 7. Here are some of the blessing God has given us this month!

  1. Getting appts set up
  2. Getting June Norwex stuff up
  3. Good sales
  4. Kids working hard
  5. Looking at the next 10 weeks
  6. Surviving heat
  7. God fixing the A/C
  8. God working in chaos
  9. Growing in prayer
  10. Good conversation with Jamey about the Gospel
  11. Lisa coming to help
  12. God teaching me to reach out
  13. Good news about Sojourn
  14. Making through the day with a lot of pain
  15. Writing group
  16. Journaling beyond Bible reading
  17. Hearing God's voice
  18. Time to read
  19. Relaxing afternoon
  20. Wrestling with God
  21. Starting to study Judges at church
  22. Half-priced Fraps
  23. Nap
  24. Lots of time to read
  25. New vegan dish that is yummy
  26. Talking with Becca and Jim
  27. Spending the day with the Vander Weerts
  28. Kids getting in the pool by themselves
  29. Jim working extra
  30. Going to the park
  31. Meeting a new Sojourner
  32. Praying for Brienne
  33. Working on notes
  34. Seeing Laura B
  35. Hearing the Huckaby's Stories
  36. Time to go to the pool
  37. Talking with Melanie
  38. Morning out
  39. Productive afternoon
  40. Date night in
  41. Free Starbucks and a movie
  42. Middle boys sitting together and talking
  43. Writing
  44. Celebrating Shannon's birthday
  45. Talking with Jim
  46. God's mercy
  47. Getting through the heat
  48. Good Saturday at home
  49. Getting a lot of school work completed
  50. Minimal TV week
  51. Errands
  52. Celebrating 12 Years
  53. Good sermon on Gideon
  54. God working out people for while we're gone: Thank you to Becca, Shannon, Julianne, Victor and Ariana!
  55. Doing nails with Becca
  56. Relaxing afternoon
  57. Getting a real card from Jim
  58. Kids napping 4.5 hours
  59. Time alone with Sam
  60. Getting good sleep
  61. Kids excited about VBS
  62. Jim baking
  63. Making good time to Elk Creek
  64. Cheap Qdoba
  65. Not having to get up with the kids
  66. Nice leisurely breakfast
  67. Enjoying a nice day with Jim
  68. Being surprised by gifts
  69. Playing pool
  70. Good food
  71. Talking and seeking God together
  72. Good dr, appt
  73. Making appts through 40 weeks
  74. Yummy dinner at Red Lobster
  75. Seeing the new Captain America
  76. Gabriel and Sam playing well together for over an hour
  77. Running errands with all 6 kids by myself
  78. The flexibility of homeschool
  79. Realizing I really want the kids at home
  80. God's grace in the tough moments
  81. God continuing to work on my heart
  82. People who are understanding
  83. Jamey and Lillian working on their own well
  84. Time with God
  85. Growing and being stretched
  86. Helping the Fisher's pack
  87. Good sermon on Samson and not following the culture
  88. Surprising Jim for Father's Day
  89. God giving me self-control
  90. Time to meet with the Robinettes
  91. Encouragement
  92. Sharing and receiving wisdom
  93. Meal night at CG
  94. Learning from others
  95. Opportunity to grow business
  96. Finishing Dracula
  97. Starting new classic
  98. Cleaning and teaching kids to clean more
  99. All sitting at the table to do school work together
  100. Good group for Childbirth Conversations
  101. Kids playing well outside
  102. Pizza for lunch
  103. Wedding shopping with Becca
  104. Family time in the evening
  105. School planning for next year
  106. Good sermon on Samson's end
  107. Seeing how God can use our sin
  108. Jim working extra
  109. Book club
  110. Homemade Ice Cream Cake
  111. Getting good ideas for Childbirth Conversations
  112. Learning more about balancing time and prioritizing
  113. Nehemiah turning 1!
  114. Going to playgroup
  115. Sam saying opening prayer and Bible verse with the family
  116. Diary Del
  117. Meeting new people
  118. Cheap Chick-fil-A
  119. Exercising
  120. God revealing understanding
  121. Sara coming for a while
  122. Sam saying closing prayer
  123. Taking a nap
  124. Boys dancing to worship songs
  125. Good end to the month
How has God blessed you?

June 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 2
  • Read Christian books (Jim- 1 (not school related), Emmie- 3)- 1 for me so far
  • Pray together daily- YES! 
  • Go out for a date once a week- Sadly No
  • Go on a night away once this year- Yes! We were able to get away for 2 whole days for our Anniversary! Big thanks to Becca, Shannon, Julianne, Victor and Ariana who made this possible for us! It was wonderful
  • 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- All got some time but not sur how much
  • Special Outing Alone twice during the year with each child- Took Lil and Gabe out his month!
  • Family fun activity once a month- Had a family "Star Wars" night. the kids loved this!
  • Write in individual journals at least 3 times this year- Got mostly caught up
  • Finish Jamey's 1st year Scrapbook- No work was done on this
  • Keep up with cleaning schedule- Still struggling with schedule
  • Keep up with my calendar- Not as good at this this month
  • Being fully present when with my family- Struggled more with this this month
  • Try 12 new recipes this year- (8) Becca found a yummy curry dish that has been a big hit in our house
  • No TV 2 days a week (watching)- Not sure about this. It's gotten hard with being really pregnant and heat
  • Begin gardening in the spring- May not end up happening
  • Continue sending out Prayer List- Yes
  • Read a book a month for myself- I finished "Dracula" with my classics challenge
  • Jim read one fiction book- Still working on it
  • Journal 5 days a week- Yes! God is gracious
  • Jim Journal 3 days a week- 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- Yes! Such a great time of encouragement and fellowship
  • Blog 1-2 days a week- Yes! God has been gracious in this
  • Mild Exercise twice a week- Got some in, but not as much as I would have liked
  • Maintain weight until birth- Definitely gained this month, baby is growing a LOT!
  • Lose weight after giving birth- 
June went well over all. Jim and I were blessed with a nice time away. The kids had VBS and we're still working through school. It's been a busy month with life in general. I also got to host Childbirth Conversations which is always a blessing and I'm really desiring to be more involved in growing this. We're still struggling to figure out daily life as we wait for baby to make needed adjustments. We're still working on growing our Norwex business and how that plays into our current life. We're also growing in seeking God and what He has for our family. God is constantly showing us more about ourselves and teaching us to follow Him in everything, even when it doesn't make sense. It's been a good month.

How was your June?

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary

We read Beezus and Ramona with our Core A material from Sonlight and I was looking forward to it because I loved the Ramona show on PBS when I was a kid. However, I was not a huge fan of this book. It was well written and definitely had good life lessons, but I personally struggled with how bratty Ramona was. I know this is human nature and how kids act, but reading it to my kids, who already struggle with acting like that, was hard.

I did like seeing Beezus working through her feelings and knowing that her feeling were not always right. I liked seeing her inventiveness in working through problems and learning to deal with her little sister. It provided good learning opportunities to talk to the older ones about loving there younger siblings when they bothered them as well as what God says about loving others.

I would give this book around 3 stars.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Nehemiah's First Birthday!

It's hard to believe our 6th child is 1 year old today. A year ago Nehemiah came into this world with a quick gusto that was such a blessing. And our lives have continued with gusto as we adjusted to being a family of 8. How Nehemiah has blessed our family as he reminds us of the comfort and help God gives to His people.

Nehemiah has grown so much in this past year and yet the smallest of our boys. But he still keeps up with his siblings. He loves to play and explore, crawling fairly early so that he could play with the rest of the crew. You can already see his mind going as he picks up things and attempts to figure out what they are and what he should do with them. How I pray God continues to give him an adventurous spirit and use it for His Kingdom!

Nehemiah has the best smile and laugh. He laughs at just about everything. He certainly smiles at his family and fits right in to a big family. It's fun to watch him respond to things. And he is definitely one of the boys, even though he's little. By God's grace he is very go with the flow and just lets things go.

About the only thing Nehemiah doesn't like is being upside down and eating. We hope as we continue to introduce things he will like eating better, but he just doesn't seem to care for it.

We are so blessed by Nehemiah's life. He adds so much to our family and God has given us such a gift in Nehemiah. Father thank you so much for the precious gift of Nehemiah! Thank You for giving us another boy and for giving us a precious reminder of who You are as our comforter and helper. Please grow him into a man after Your own heart who is a comfort and help to others and seeks Your way over his own. Please save him by Your grace at a young age, that he may grow in fear and admonition of You. Give him a deep love for Your Word and Your Way. Thank You again for such a precious gift!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Dracula by Bram Stoker

I've been wanting to re-read this classic for quite sometime and the 2016 Back to the Classics Challenge gave me the perfect reason to do so! This book is for the category of A Fantasy, Science Fiction or Dystopian Classic.

I remember liking this book before, and I'm so thankful that I actually enjoy it now since it's been 17 years since I read it! In fact I loved this book! It was intricate, suspenseful and, for the most part, fast moving. I like that it is written in first person perspective from many people, giving the illusion of being all knowing, but each character only knowing parts until the culmination near the end. The honesty of the characters was also a nice touch as they wrote from there hearts.

Though I am familiar with the story, I enjoyed going through the mystery with the characters and watch as they put pieces together. The writing is simply brilliant. I could put myself there with the characters and see what the saw, hear what they heard and felt what they felt. It was hard to put down.

I never do this, but I would give this classic 5 stars. I would highly recommend it, but if you are sensitive to things of this nature I would exercise caution.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

What Do You Do With One?

Last week I had the opportunity to spend 2 hours alone with my 2 year old. What on earth do you do with one kid!? That was what I was asking myself. I can barely remember having just one and my second was born well before he turned two. So really, what were we to do?

We ended up watching Leap Frog videos, reading a book in spurts, talking about letters and numbers and just rocking together. It was so weird! Enjoyable but very odd. I don't think either of us knew what to do without the others around.

I will say, though, I learned a very valuable lesson in this time. God knows what He's doing!

I know this is not an incredible observation for those who trust in the God of the universe, but it hit me so much in those two hours. Why? Because I realized just how lazy I would be if I only had one. And laziness is a sin. God has intentionally given me a big family to draw me out of my lazy tendencies and teach me more about hard work for Him, taking care of family and just how to be more like Jesus as a whole.

One is hard, don't get me wrong. Sam is crazy and very full of life and keeps me hopping on a regular basis. But 7, is even more so. There is little rest except that which God gives. There is always something that needs to be done and always training to do. You are responsible for so much!

But it is a great blessing. A great heritage from the Lord. (Psalm 127)

God gives different sized families to different people all for His purpose. No matter what size yours is, work hard as unto the Lord and not for man. Teach and train and do not fall pray to laziness that come so easily. Father, continue to teach me how to work hard in my home, for Your Kingdom and Your glory. Teach others as well, that Your people may be witness to a dying world Who You are and how great Your ways are.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Product Spotlight #6 (June Specials)

Another great special from Norwex this month includes the Travel Pack (p.6).

The Travel Pack come with 4 compact sized Envirocloths and a pouch to carry them in. This is great to keep in a purse or diaper bag for many purposes. Going shopping and not sure about your cart handle? Wipe it off with your Travel Pack cloth. Kids with sticky hands? Wipe them off with your Travel Pack cloth. Spill something on your shirt? Use your Travel Pack cloth to wipe it off and get a head start on stain removal.

Just wet the Travel Cloth and put in the pouch. It's ready to go when you need it. When you get home hang it up to dry. It's that simple and you always have an easy way to clean on the go.

Having 6 kids we are always in need of cleaning of hands, faces, etc. So thankful to have this available to clean when we need it while we're out!

How would you use your travel pack?

Park Ready has it with a reusable bag and towel so you are ready to head out into the summer fun!

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

Friday, June 17, 2016

Product Spotlight #5 (June Specials)

One of this months customer specials with Norwex features the Envirocloth (p.6) and Window Cloth (p.10). Today I want to share with you why our family loves our Window Cloth and why it pairs so well with the Envirocloth.

The Window Cloth works amazingly on windows, silver, jewelry and really any shiny surface to give you a nice clean and clear finish. After using our Window Cloth we could see clearly through the windows and the sunlight beamed through as I have never seen before.

With 6 kids there are always finger prints all over our windows. We use our Envirocloth to remove the grime that comes along with kids' finger prints and use the Window Cloth to shine it up. They are a great team!

You can clean the window with only spritzing water and wiping with the Window Cloth and it works quite well, especially if you don't have kids' hands all over them! But I really like the combo for a nice clean.

How have you used a Window Cloth? What is your preference? Just a Window Cloth or using it with the Envirocloth?

Check out Shines So Bright for a great deal on both!

Please Contact me with any questions
Emmie Manor Independent Norwex Consultant
Catalog (p. 10)

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Praying or Worrying

I was sharing with a friend how I've struggled to pray as much as I would like. I love to pray! But lately life has been hard and chaotic with a large family and another baby on the way. Most days my prayers have been "Help Me" or telling God what I think or what I want. Lately I've been convicted that this is not what I want nor is it how it should be. It's been all one sided. I have failed to listen.

My friend in her wisdom asked, "So are you really praying or are you worrying in prayer form?"

That was it! Instead of really praying for God's will to be done, I was telling God what I thought and then making my decisions based on my own logic, knowledge, merit and then fretting about the outcome. I was taking everything on myself and not letting God be God. As a result I was hostile, anxious, angry and easily upset. I was allowing others views to affect mine as well as my view of myself instead of letting God be my determining factor. Life was miserable for all of us!

During my drive that day I took a step back and listened. God absolutely spoke to me that day and He is continuing to speak to me as I take a moment to listen. With all the chaos it's not always easy to listen, but I'm learning that when I begin to feel that stress of life and am overwhelmed that I need to take a moment and just listen.

God will speak to you if you will just listen. Whether through Scripture, a friend, a song or that still small voice, when you seek Him, He can be found. Sometimes it's not immediate and we must be patient, but He will speak.

So how about you? Are you really praying and making it a conversation, listening to the voice of God? Or are you just worrying under the guise of prayer not really seeking to hear from God at all? I pray we will all grow in listening together!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Light at Tern Rock

This book is part of our Core A curriculum through Sonlight. This book was nice and short but held a powerful message. It is a good look at forgiveness and seeing the best in situations, especially ones that are inconvenient and we were not expecting. I really enjoyed the relationship between Ronnie and Aunt Marthy. It was also good to see how important hard work is and how what we do can help or hurt others. As a whole I enjoyed this book. I can't say I loved it, but I'm not dreading reading it to my next group who do Core A in a couple of years.

4 stars for this book!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Our 12th Anniversary

Today it's been 12 years since Jim and I said "I Do". It's funny to look back and think how everything was going to be. Nursing school, family, maybe some traveling and overall a life of harmony and happiness.

And then real life hits. Nursing school is Hard! Family is Hard! We did some traveling before kids, which was incredible and led us to pursuing God's call in missions. That is also Hard!

But even in the hard, difficult and earth shattering moments, God, our Perfect and Holy God, has been faithful to us. He has been faithful to see us through school. He has been faithful to bring 6 (soon 7) babies into this world. He has been faithful to bring us to Louisville. He has been faithful to teach us, love us and discipline us. He has been faithful to remind us that marriage is not about a life of harmony and happiness, though it is a HUGE blessing when those things are present, but it is about becoming more like Jesus as we pursue Him together in all aspects of our life.

In the past 12 years we have done a few things we thought we would do from the beginning. But there are many others that God has brought us through during this time. He has taught us to love more, to wrestle, to not take good enough and to strive for more in Him.

By God's grace there is more harmony and happiness in our home than ever before. By God's grace we are learning what it means to do life together, even though we don't do it well all the time. By God's grace we are learning to parent and teach our children the ways of the Lord. By God's grace we are truly becoming friends and partners. By God's grace we are learning to communicate so that we can do more together and be effective.

These 12 years have been good and hard. But I'm so blessed to be in this marriage that God is using for His Kingdom and our good.

I love you, Jim and the life God is building in us. May we have many more years together both good and hard.