Hope for Tomorrow, Grace for Today...what it means...

For in this HOPE we are saved. But HOPE that is seen is no HOPE at all. Who HOPES for what he already has?

~Romans 8:24

And if by GRACE, then it is no longer by works; if it were, GRACE would no longer be GRACE.

~Romans 11:6

Sunday, April 25, 2010

I Scrapbooked!! (And my scraphilosophy)

I actually did some scrapbooking this weekend! With my hubby gone, one boy away and the other asleep Friday evening, I was able to get some much needed scrapping done.

Yes...these pictures are from last June. Yes...I only got 2 pages done while nibbling on chocoloate frosting covered chocolate graham crackers. Yes...I feel accomplished.

My scrapping philosophy may make many of you out there feel much better about your progress.

For starters...I don't think there are people out there that can't scrapbook. There are those who do not want to scrapbook, and there is nothing wrong with that. I don't like to garden or play sports. So I understand not having interest. However, if someone has any bit of interest, I think they can scrapbook. There are wonderful how-to guides, idea books, online tutorials and more that make it easier everyday to scrapbook even if you do not consider yourself crafty.

I have seen the overwhelming side of scrapbooking, and I know of many who feel as though they could never get "caught up," and with this threat looming over their heads, they simply give up.

I am here with good news! You can start scrapbooking from any point in history that you wish! There are no rules. There are great suggestions, but there are no rules. There are aesthetics guidelines, but they are not rules. I do not like the concept of being "caught up" on scrapbooking any more than I like the idea of being "caught up" on laundry and dishes. There will be always be more photos, dirty clothes and dirty dishes! YOU ARE NEVER CAUGHT UP!! But you can take whatever amount of time you wish, work at whatever project you wish and call it good whenever you wish. IT IS FOR YOU!

So Friday night, I took these pictures from the page protector I stored them in until I was ready, and I scrapped only those pictures. When I got done, I was satisfied because I had a chance to relive the 2 days that those pictures captured. I also got to expel some creative energy and swim in my paper and stamps for a while. I had a great time!

Soon I will post on how I tackle scrapbooking. I get asked alot about how to arrange the albums and what to do for your kids. I also get asked about photo organization. I hope to share this with you soon! Thanks for reading! (If anyone does!?!?) ;-)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Burger King Budget Meal for 3

I have many weaknesses. One of which is my nearly constant need for large, icey diet-pepsi/coke fountain beverages. Being budget conscious (is that a nice way of saying I am cheap), I don't get these often, but once a week or so, I have to indulge. So when going to a fast food restaurant or to substitute or when there are still 3 hours left until Steve gets home, I find myself really, really craving my drink.
So...due to my addiction, I must include a diet coke in my BK order.
I get a cheeseburger (the same kind that comes in the kids meal) in a medium sized value meal. This is usually around $3.99 or so. Then I get an extra cheeseburger (for Gav) and a 4 pk of nuggets (for Micah). This adds about $2.29-$2.49 to the order. So now my total is somewhere below $6.50. I get my soda, I share my fries with them and I bring maybe some sliced apples or something from home along with drinks for them. This saves so much on the mark-up of chocolate milk, the apples (which add $.49 to a kid's meal), etc.
Otherwise, a meal for 3 at BK is around $5-6 just for me, then add on $3.50 each for the boys! Yikes!!
(For Calorie Budgeting...FYI...Steve and I did a Weight Watchers knock-off diet last year, and we still ate at BK. I got my diet soda, cheeseburger and usually ended up with a small fry order after sharing...that is 12-13 points. This is not great if you only have 21 or 22 pts a day, but I was nursing Micah, so I had 32 or 33 a day. A Whopper, Jr. meal with small fries and no mayo is around 11 or 12 pts, too.)

The American Revolution

Okay...now I have never been very interested in history. I don't like memorizing dates or knowing all of the battles fought in a war (let alone who one each), and I just never understood the drive that people had to learn about it. Well, now I do. Do you know how often times as an adult things you disliked as a kid become some of your favorite things when you are an adult (for me: avocados, black pepper, grocery shopping, and now...HISTORY!)

A little backgroung...I am a licensed teacher, but I currently have a sub-only license because I never taught at the high school level (which was my authorization originally). I could have taken a class each year or done some other things to keep it, but money and time held me back.

After quitting my job and having Gavin and then Micah, I have subbed and tutored off and on for the school district where I live. I fell in love with elementary! Go figure! I think that is a rare thing (going from high school to elementary), but I also think that maybe I was never meant to be a high school teacher. I love too many subjects to only teach math!

That being said...let's get back to my original topic: history. I wanted to teach all the subjects, but history?!?! I never liked it in school (except studying the Holocaust and Oregon).

Now I am teaching the American Revolution to a great group of 5th graders, and I love it! I am getting my elementary authorization and have to do a practicum at that level, so I am doing 5th grade. I am absolutely enthralled by the study of this great war! Wow! I am a person who definitely likes to argue and bicker, but I am not a fighting person. I purposefully married someone that uses his words with everyone, and I do not like the idea of war. However, I do know that it is necessary at times and that even Bible has shown how God helped the Israelites battle their enemies. But I am still surprised at how much I LOVE this!

I read Longfellow's peom, "Paul Revere's Ride," to the class yesterday. It is a great read, but best done after a tiny refresher on events of April 18th, 1775 and those just prior. Paul was an express rider (in Boston) who needed to get word to the colonial militia in Concord that 700 British soldiers were also coming from Boston to destroy the stores of military supplies the Continental Army had there. So Revere waited in Charlestown (across the river from Boston) for lights in the top of the Old North Church (1 if by land, 2 if by sea) to know how they were coming and then to be off to warn all of the minutemen and Patriot leaders on his way. He was captured on the west side of Lexington and 2 other riders continued on the Concord. Check out the poem if you have time! I did some hand motions and some foot-stomping, galloping, etc. while I read it and it really seemed to come alive! After reading it, they were assigned partners and one stanza per pair to translate into an easy to read, everyday language paragraph. We will read our version of the story on Monday!

You can check it out at the site below! Sorry if I bored you, but I am so excited about this!!


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

First Entry!

I am sitting at my computer (obviously) with my delightful cup of coffee. Curious George is on in the other room for my 3 1/2 year old and 18 month old boys who are quietly enjoying their morning ritual. For this very first entry of my very first blog, I want to share a little and ask a couple of questions. I am hoping that there is at least one person out there who reads this and comments!

For a bit of entertainment this fine April morning (at least in the PNW), I would like to share a story from this morning involving me, my big boy (Gavin) and his "baby" named "Sweetie" who is really one of those bunny heads with a small blankie attached. (You know what I mean, right??)

So...Sweetie and her Dadda (Okay...this calls for a little background information already! My Gavin has this habit of becoming a character and maintaining that character for months on end. He was SuperWhy (or Whyatt) for a couple of months aorund Halloween (you can guess the costume Mommy made!) and we were each another character. We couldn't use our real names or he would correct us with our SuperWhy character name. I was Princess Presto. So Gavin has a new thing now. He is the proud Dadda to Sweetie and a tiny Koala bear he name "Micah" (his little brother). I can't call him Gavin, but I also can't call him Dadda because he is not my Dadda. He told me I can call him "Steve" (my husband's name), but he is not the same "Steve." Do you follow? It gets more complicated. Anyways, the real Steve (my husband and their father) is "Dr. Wilson" (who happens to be their pediatrician), Micah (our 18 month old) is "Steve's" Dadda and his name is "Grant" (but he is not the same Grant that is Gavin's friend Amber's dad--this Grant also happens to be husband to one of my dearest friends who is joining me in this blog effort and my walking buddy of 5 1/2 years). Are you with me? Oh...are you wondering who I am in this little charade? I am the MAILMAN! Yes! The mailman! I feel special.)

Okay...So back to this morning...Sweetie and her Dadda (I call him Steve) get into bed with me and Gavin starts to read to me from Sweetie's "book" (a Taste of Home magazine order card that I am assuming is the scrapbook her Dadda has made her).

He reads: "Sweetie went to spend the night at Sasha and Rawlly's house (my parents' house...these are their dogs) because her Dadda is going somewhere. Her Dadda takes all of his friends in his pick-up to the 'hoptipal' to have their babies. Sweetie is already born. And after they have their babies, I will pick them up in my pick-up and take them home." I think too many babies are being born amongst our group of friends! It seems like every week there I was saying...hey! let's go see the new baby that was born! I love that he doesn't care yet that he is a boy and having a baby. At least he is the Dadda not the Momma!

Okay...down to business! If you haven't read the caption under the title, the two verses listed or my profile information on the side of the page, please read these things now. This saves me from writing all of it down in my first entry, and it gives you a chance to see a bit of who I am and a bit of the direction in which this blog will be headed.

I would like to offer up a prayer now for you and for this blog and my contributors (Sarah, Lisa and anyone else whose expertise I may utilize...don't worry, I won't take credit for your genius!!)

Heavenly Father, I ask that Your hand would be over the words written hear and the hearts of all who read this. I ask that You would provide wisdom to know what to say, what not to say and what things really would be better with a picture! I thank You for being a provider of hope and the giver of grace. Give us each the grace we need to handle today's surprises and normalcies and allow us to be gracious with one another, and give us hope that tomorrow You will be there to help us do it all over again! In Jesus' Name, Amen