Three years at LWCC

365 Project: Day 63 Wednesday, February 1st was my 3-year anniversary of working at church. Prior to beginning this “working mom” journey, I was exclusively a stay-at-home mom for the previous 13 years. My last job before deciding to stay home with my kids was as a Nursing Assistant in a nursing home, so this has been quite a change for myself and my family. The Lord, my husband, and my kids have all been very patient with me as I try to figure out how to not only do everything I did before, plus add work on top of it. His grace is amazing, and somehow we’ve never had to wear the same underwear for two days straight. I just feel so blessed to be on staff at the church whose ministry changed the course of my life, and what makes it better is that Jon and I get to work there together. This is my cubicle. It’s always neat and orderly, but you’d think after three years, I’d have spruced the place up a little. I am not Miss Decorator USA, so it’s just one of those things, I guess. It’s my goal to, at the very least, get some pictures of Jon and I and the kids in frames, and put them on my desk before another year goes by. I don’t know why I’ve tricked myself into thinking it’s so hard. It’s not. Well, anyway… stay tuned! I’m sure it will be a picture-worthy event when it happens. I am blessed. I love my job, my co-workers, and even my undecorated cubicle. God has been so...

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The headphones

365 Project: Day 62 I feel like this is kind of a weird picture to post, but it was almost 10 p.m. and I still hadn’t taken a picture for the day. So, this is it. I’ll resist the temptation to criticize my looks after a long day, because it’s just annoying when people do that. 🙂  Here I am, sitting in my living room with my headphones on, while Jon watched something on TV.  Jon bought me these Sennheiser headphones for Christmas, and I LOVE them! He knows I love to blare music, so it’s his gift to both of us, I’m pretty sure. They block out pretty much everything except the music (or whatever you’re listening to), and they have a 10-foot cord. You have to be careful to not step on the cord though… unless you have someone techy in your life who’s willing to connect the plug-in thing back to the wires for you whenever you break them. I have done this at least four times since Christmas. It even comes with a thing to wind the cord up and clip it on something, and after the fourth time of breaking them, I decided the cord-winder was a good idea. Unbeknownst to us at the time, there was a $20 price-drop during the Christmas shopping season, and these headphones were only $18! They’re $37.99 today, but if I was in the market for new ones, I’d say they’re very much worth $37.99. Jon’s used to seeing me bopping away, but occasionally he’ll look over and shake his head and smile. It was a Victory World Music kind of day that day, and I played them over and over… and over. Montell Jordan is the main guy in VWM, and he’s also the guy from the 90s who sang the song, “This is How We Do It”. He has since given his life to Christ, and now he sings for the Kingdom… and is now a worship minister/leader at his church in Georgia! Cool, right? This first song is him with Beckah Shae (another artist I...

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Colleges calling

365 Project: Day 61 In two days, my 10th grade daughter Hannah got five letters from colleges, inviting her to visit them and to consider applying. These arrived last week, and she’s gotten more from all over the United States every day since. She’s obviously gotten on some mailing lists, but what I really love about this is that people have asked me so many times over the years about whether or not homeschooling hinders a student’s opportunities and options for college. My answer is always an emphatic, “No, siree!” I’ve done lots of research on this in our 12 years of homeschooling, and even while I’ve personally been told by certain colleges that many of them seek out homeschoolers because of their work ethic and academic excellence, my adage to my daughters has remained the same. Here’s part of it: If you work hard, you will always have the same advantages as anyone else in life. If you slack off, don’t blame anyone except yourself. And if you trust God on top of doing your best and working hard, He’ll always get you where you need to go. He’ll never let you down. He knows the best way to get you there, so even if you think you have it all figured out, leave room for Him to lead you into His perfect will for your life. He knows what He’s calling you to do, and He’s always on your side. The Creator of the Universe is the best advantage, so keep Him first...

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Mmmm… chai tea latte

365 Project: Day 60 Besides water and coffee, my favorite drink at home is a homemade Tazo Chai Tea Latte. Homemade means different things to different people. Just roll with me here. You just fill your mug up with half the mix and the other half with milk, and then microwave it for a couple minutes until it’s hot. One box stretches pretty far. The box says there are eight servings in a box, but how far you can stretch it depends on your size mug, I suppose. They come in a 3-pack at Costco for somewhere around $8, but they’re also sold individually everywhere. If you ordered this drink at Starbucks for the amount of times you can enjoy it at home, you’d go broke. Well, that’s kind of an exaggeration, but not entirely. It’s such a huge cost-savings though, so it’s a no-brainer… I would never order this because I can make my own for so cheap. It’s the yummiest hot drink, with the right amount of sweetness, to warm you right up on a chilly Minnesota evening… or morning… or...

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HomeMakers Overnight – Saturday

365 Project: Day 59 …continued from part 1. After getting to bed after 3 a.m., we woke up around 9, and then some of us went to do the morning stretch in the commons area with Jen Gilbert before brunch. And some of us didn’t. I was bushed, and was so surprised when I looked out our hotel window… there were SO many of the girls out there—and ready to work out. As much as I liked the idea, I wasn’t up for it. I grabbed my Wolfgang Puck hotel coffee, sat down on the bed, and chatted with a couple of my roomies for a while instead. Now it was time to get showered and ready for the day, and head down for brunch by 10:30. Here’s my friend, Lisa… with a beautiful baby. And look at those tights. Those shoes aren’t even actual shoes. They’re part of the tights! Is that cute or what?! This is the only picture I got at brunch, which is unfortunate because it was DELICIOUS! Especially the bacon. It seems that others will have to fill in the gaps of photo ops I missed. I’m sure there are many. Anyway, back to Lisa. If there are babies around, she finds them. Her own five children are between ages 13 and 20, but this is a typical sight on any given day. If a love language can be called ‘babies and teenagers’, that would surely be one of Lisa’s. She just needs both age groups in her life. God made her that way, so people are happy to oblige when they see her coming. After brunch, we all headed to the (really awesome) workshops that were planned for the next couple hours. It was a hard decision to make because there were four workshops to choose from for the first session, and three options for the second session. They included workshops on: saving money, pediatric medicine, fashion, exercise, healthy eating, and a Q & A session (about anything you’d ever want to ask in secret…or in public). Wow, it was such a great lineup. All of the workshops were led by HomeMakers, who are also experts in their particular field. I know I’m not alone when I say I wanted to go to all of them.  Carrie Rocha from Pocket Your Dollars attends HomeMakers, is a member of our church, and is a fascinating and engaging speaker. Although I’ve heard her speak about saving money before, with technology and the economy always changing, I know there will always be new ways to save and new things to learn. I went to her workshop for the first session. It was really good. One of the funnest things I learned (yes, I said funnest) this time around was that you can find the pricing history (in chart form) of any item sold on Amazon, using The Camelizer. That is so helpful for me because most of mine and Jon’s shopping is done on Amazon. It can help make better decisions as to whether or not you should wait for a better price. They even send price-drop alerts, which is so great! Another interesting thing I learned from Carrie that I didn’t know before was that Aldi and Trader Joe’s are owned by the same people. Who knew?! Also, did you know that there are many retailers who do price-matching (including Target, WalMart, Best Buy, HomeDepot, Office Depot, etc…)? Knowledge is power, as the saying goes… and I felt so empowered after that workshop.  Me and Lisa. We lead one of the twelve discussion groups at HomeMakers of about 20 people. We’ve known each other for a lot of years, but this is our third year having a group together. I’ve told her many times that I am so thankful the Lord worked it out that we could lead a group together because in my over ten years of attending HomeMakers, the last three have been the very best for me personally, and the most fulfilling. She and I are different in some ways, and alike in others, but we both feel like we complement each other SO well. Lisa says we’re like an old, married couple. I love when she says that. That always makes me crack up. She’s one of those naturally funny people. I, on the other hand, seem to be the only one laughing at my own jokes. Haha! She is also one of the wisest women in my world. I love that you never have to wonder about anything with Lisa. She’s a tell-it-like-it-is kind of friend. We have a great group at HomeMakers, but best of all, I know I have a friend...

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