Sunday, July 31, 2016

July Blessings

July has flown by in a blur! It has been good and challenging. Through it all God has taught us and blessed us. Here is a picture of our blessings in July.

  1. Kids singing and dancing to praise music
  2. Boys growing in singing
  3. Writing and planning
  4. Swimming and breakfast with Becca
  5. Learning to make an online registry for Norwex!
  6. Finishing 2 weeks of school
  7. Fraps
  8. Going to the Bats game
  9. Victor coming with our family
  10. Good sermon on Deborah and women 
  11. God using unexpected people or things to accomplish His plans
  12. Pizza for dinner
  13. Jim working 4 extra hours
  14. Getting ahead in school work
  15. Time to read
  16. Hanging out with friends at the Brown's house
  17. Sara helping us be able to go
  18. Morning with the Vander Weerts
  19. Kids playing well together
  20. Dairy Del
  21. Meeting new people
  22. Jim being off
  23. Nehemiah having a good doctor's appointment
  24. Working on things for Childbirth Conversations
  25. Time with Sara
  26. Booking 3rd Norwex party for July!
  27. Going to a new co-op playgroup
  28. Jim getting a lot accomplished at home with the older kids
  29. Learning to work through things when they happen
  30. Aviana arriving safely (Friend's baby born early) and getting to see her and Brienne
  31. Great sermon on meals with Jesus
  32. Teaching opportunities
  33. Whole house napping
  34. Krispy Kreme
  35. Safe drive to Lexington
  36. Yummy Ceprese sandwich
  37. Delicious lemon ice cream
  38. Getting 12 people in our van
  39. Kids getting in the pool
  40. Sam trying to swim
  41. Delicious breakfast
  42. Going to the Ark Encounter
  43. Learning more about the flood
  44. Cheap IHOP
  45. Kids actually petting animals
  46. Kids enjoying the Explorium
  47. Cousins being together
  48. Snuggling with Nehemiah
  49. Good hard work
  50. Getting everything ready for current parties
  51. Dance party with the kids
  52. Sleeping in
  53. Talking with Becca
  54. Great Norwex party with Meagan
  55. Having a nice evening at home
  56. Seeing the Thoni family
  57. Staying off the computer
  58. Book Club
  59. Being prayed for
  60. Fellowship and friends
  61. Hearing other's stories
  62. Much needed CG time
  63. God working in hurt and confusion
  64. Growing in trusting God
  65. Learning together
  66. Playing with Cinchshare
  67. Learning new ways to help with business
  68. Mama's Day Out
  69. Prenatal massage
  70. Fun Facebook party
  71. Talking blogs with Margaret
  72. Time with Jessica
  73. Great sermon on Zaccheus
  74. Talking as a family over lunch
  75. Getting space and clothes ready for baby
  76. Jamey reading John 1 at dinner
  77. Sam helping clean up
  78. Parents getting here safely
  79. Nehemiah dancing and singing to music
  80. Lillian cheering the baby out
  81. Baby looking healthy and big
  82. God continually teaching me to trust
  83. Pieology for lunch
  84. RAIN!
  85. Looking at Co-op classes
  86. Seeing Rachel for a few minutes
  87. Nehemiah eating really well 3 days in a row
  88. Good nutrition visit
  89. Becca's bridal shower
  90. Making it through the day
  91. Time to relax and nap a little during a stressful day
  92. Contracting more than normal
  93. Snuggling with my babies
  94. Low-key day at home
  95. People praying for us
How has God blessed you in July?

July 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 3 and I have had 3
  • Read Christian books (Jim- 1 (not school related), Emmie- 3)- 1 for me so far and started "Mission of Motherhood" this month
  • Pray together daily- YES! 
  • Go out for a date once a week- I think we actually accomplished this this month
  • 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 and is not likely to happen at this point
  • Discuss plan weekly on Saturday afternoon- A little better but still needs improvement
  • Spend 15 minutes of one on one time with each child every week- All got some time but not sure how much
  • Special Outing Alone twice during the year with each child- No individual dates this month
  • Family fun activity once a month- We got to meet up with my parents, niece and nephew in Lexington for a couple days and go see the Ark Encounter! That was a blessing!
  • Write in individual journals at least 3 times this year- I am caught up! God is good! Ready to write about the birth of our newest one when he/she gets here
  • Finish Jamey's 1st year Scrapbook- No work was done on this, likely will not happen at this point
  • Keep up with cleaning schedule- Still struggling with schedule
  • Keep up with my calendar- A little better than before, but still need improvement
  • Being fully present when with my family- Struggled more with this this month
  • Try 12 new recipes this year- (8) Still at 8 for the year
  • No TV 2 days a week (watching)- Nope It's gotten hard with being really pregnant and heat
  • Begin gardening in the spring- This is not likely to happen and obviously not in spring since we are well past spring
  • Continue sending out Prayer List- Yes
  • Read a book a month for myself- I finished "Les Liasons Dangereuses" with my classics challenge (review later this week)
  • Jim read one fiction book- Yes! He finished "Eragon" and is well into "Eldest"
  • 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- 
I'm not really sure where July went! It has been a hot and busy month. We are prepping for baby #7. We finished up the current school year with the kids. We had the blessing of going to the Ark Encounter and teaching our kids more about God through that and got to explore some of Lexington. We have been striving to find a good routine while we wait and seek what God would have us to do right now. I'm working on building the Childbirth Conversations blog with the help of a sweet Sister! We are also working on building our Norwex business and loving how God has worked in it this month with 3 parties! God provides! Our biggest thing now is waiting for baby to come and attempting to not go insane. God continues to show me and teach me that my life is His not my own and that He is doing exactly what He wants with me. It is growing our relationship and teaching me to cry out as well as listen. It is also HOT so staying cool has been a huge challenge.

Please pray for our baby to come soon! We're so excited about meeting our precious addition!

How was your July?

Monday, July 25, 2016

Dolphin Treasure

This book is part of our Core A curriculum through Sonlight. This book we all enjoyed reading together. We all like that it is short, which means short chapters for short attention spans with littles. This was also a great fun adventure book. You can feel the danger, the suspense, the emotion that is portrayed in the book even with it being short. It is full of fun, real life drama that makes you want to know what is going to happen. I also appreciated the practical lessons I was able to teach my kids about greed and appropriate risk taking. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone!

I'd give this book 4.5 stars.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Product Spotlight #8

Today I want to share with you the Microfiber Variety Pack (MVP) that is part of this months Microfiber Magic customer special. (p. 7) This pack includes a smaller version of the Envirocloth, Window Cloth and Body Cloth with a clear pouch for carrying them. I have shared about each of these products previously and how much our family loves and uses all of them.

So what makes the variety pack special? You have a small set ready to carry with you anywhere you go! This is similar to the Travel Pack, except that it contains 3 different types of cloths, so it is ready for different types of tasks. Need to wipe down a grocery cart? Pull out the Envirocloth. Smudges on your windshield? You have a Window Cloth. Need to clean off your hands? Got a Body Cloth to wipe them down.

All of these can be used for a variety of different things, and with the MVP you're ready for anything!

How could the MVP help you?

Please Contact me with any questions
Emmie Manor Independent Norwex Consultant
Catalog (p. 7)

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Story of Doctor Dolittle

This book was part of our Sonlight Core A curriculum this year. I can't say I loved this book nor did I hate it. It was just OK. My kids liked the adventure aspects of the book, as did I. They liked hearing about the crazy things the animals did. It was definitely good for building imagination.

I personally am not a huge fan of animal books, so that immediately deterred me from this book. I did think it interesting that the man could understand all the animals, but as I prefer realism as a whole, giving animals so much intelligence to outwit people was kind of annoying. I also did not like that this man who was so "head in the clouds" went and did whatever he wanted and everything still worked out for him in the end. That's just not a super great lesson for kids. The saving point of the book was that Dr. Dolittle was intent on getting back home to repay the people who had lent him items for his journey. He did not want people to think he had run off and taken advantage of them. I did appreciate that.

I would rate this book around 3 stars.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Year 6 in Louisville

Hard to believe 6 years have come and gone since we said good-bye to Smyrna and hello to Louisville. Each year becomes harder to believe the amazing journey God has us on, and each year He comes through in His ways to show us more about Himself and putting our faith completely in Him. I shared last year about the 5 year plan being up. Another year has come and gone and we're still in Louisville. We are thankful to be here but it is still hard as it has been another year of seeking and wondering what God has in store for us.

Currently we are awaiting the arrival of our 7th baby any time in the next 5 weeks, though hoping it is sooner rather than later. Jim has 3 classes left which should be completed in this next school year. Our kids are finishing up another year of school. Five out of the six love school and want to learn at all times! Jim and I are growing in our marriage and learning how to really love God, each other and our kids while leading them to the cross day in and day out. We are seeking together where it is that God wants us long term, while learning to really be present where we are and living each day to the fullest here and now.

The most important thing I have learned this year: if I'm not caring for my family and leading them to Jesus, how can I do this anywhere else? I must know how to seek God in the everyday and prioritize here and now if I am going to do more for the Kingdom. It's like the parable of the talents. I must be a good steward with what God has given me now in order to be given more responsibility. I want to be a good steward of my family, my talents, my gifts and my resources, and I'm learning more and more how to do that.

I have seen this as God is helping us to grow our Childbirth Conversation ministry and grow our Norwex business and I pray God will continue to teach us and grow us in these things and how they can be used for long-term mission.

God has been so faithful and that is what matters.

I'm excited to see what the next year holds, especially as we seek where God would lead us after the seminary journey is over.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Use My Ransomed Life

"O Father, use my ransomed life
In any way You choose"

This line from "All I Have Is Christ" by Sovereign Grace music has been stuck in my head for weeks now. I wrote a couple of years about The Scariest Prayer Every Christian Should Pray and have been reminded so much since then how this phrase goes right along with that idea. This prayer is just as scary, because it means that you are inviting to God to do what He wants with your life. Are you ready for that ride?

I've been thinking so much about this for many reasons.

1. We are expecting our 7th child in under 7.5 years. I cannot tell you the number of people who have told me I'm crazy or I'm a saint. To each I think, "No, it's just the life God has given me." If I'm crazy, then God must be insane for giving me all of these kids. And there is no way I'm a saint because God is using all of these kids to continuing sanctifying me. I have always desired a big family, but never thought it would happen like this. God is using my life surrendered to Him to build this family and bring people into this world, I pray, for His Kingdom and Glory!

2. The last few years have been far harder than I ever imagined! Between family, school, work, dealing with sin and learning to be more like Jesus, it has been such a challenge. But God, in His great grace and mercy, has seen me through and shown me that my life is in His hands and He will do what He wills with my life because His plans, His purposes, His ways are so much higher and greater than ours. His chief aim is His glory and our good.

3. Right now we're in a weird limbo. Jim has a year left of school and our future is still unclear. Our hope and prayer is to go international and we believe that is where we are going, but right now that path is hidden. It is causing me to pray this, seek His will, but ultimately say, "Use my ransomed life in anyway You choose, because I know whatever You choose will be best." 

Is it easy to fully surrender? No! But God has used this time in Louisville to teach me to surrender to Him at all cost, even when it doesn't make sense. I still fight, question and wrestle, but each time I learn more that His way is best and surrendering my life fully to His will is what is always best.

How is God asking you to use your ransomed life?

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Five True Dog Stories

This book was part of our Sonlight Core A curriculum this year. These are fascinating stories about dogs doing interesting things. They are short stories, clearly written for kids. I think my kids liked the stories fairly well and hearing what dogs are capable of doing. While definitely interesting and easy to read, because I'm not huge on animal stories, I can't say it was my favorite. There is nothing wrong with this book, though if you have kids who are sensitive to things happening to animals or people, this may not be a good read for them.

3.5 stars for this book.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Product Spotlight #7

It's July and this month is Mop Month with Norwex! So today I thought I would share about why our family loves the Superior Mop System (p.13) from Norwex. This is Jim's second favorite product and on the Top 10 list from Norwex.

The mop system come with a Telescopic Handle, Large Mop Base, Large Wet Mop, and Large Superior Dry Mop. This system is wonderful for all types of hard floors and can also be used for cleaning high ceilings and windows. The handle can also be put on the Envirowand (p.18) to dust higher areas easily.

The Superior Mop System is wonderful because there is no need for chemicals. You can clean your floor with nothing by water. This keeps sticky residue from building up on the floor and also keeps from needing to avoid walking on a floor for a length of time for it to fully dry. One of the things I have always hated about mopping the floor is having my feet stick to it after mopping it for sometimes 2 days after. No more of this! The Wet Mop Pad also contains BacLock helping to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold.

The Dry Superior Mop Pad is ideal for picking up small particles missed by brooms and vacuum cleaners with it's static charge. The microfiber is perfectly designed for this. I recommend getting the Rubber Brush (p. 16) to help with cleaning the Dry Superior Mop Pad between laundering.

We use it in our kitchen primarily since we mostly have carpet. But for houses that are full of hard wood or tile, this is a very worthwhile investment.

During July, when you host a party you have the opportunity to earn this amazing system for FREE! Talk to me about his amazing opportunity!

Have you used the Superior Mop System? How do you use it?

Please Contact me with any questions
Emmie Manor Independent Norwex Consultant
Catalog (p. 13)