Tuesday, January 25, 2011

"New Year's" Resolutions

 Each year, January 1st slips up on me like a silent stalker.  I remember that I should be making some resolutions, and then the busyness of the holiday season tunnels my vision for a few weeks, and before I know what's hit me...it's January 2nd. 
This year, I decided to forget dates, and set resolutions, which I prefer to call 'goals', as they come to my mind through the help of the Holy Spirit, and that is working for me.  I purchased a planner that has a Monthly Goals page right after the monthly view, but before the daily view.  Now I carry my goals in my purse for quick editing and reference, and that works!
One of my earlier goals was to take time daily (if possible) to listen to the Focus on the Family broadcast.  Throughout my life I have gleaned so much valuable information, encouragement, motivation from Dr. Dobson and his guests, but in the last few years (as kids have overtaken the house) quiet moments to listen to radio shows have quickly diminished.  Now we have a trade-off:  I get 30 min of Focus, they get 30 min of Unshackled (censored...lol).  Although this may seem like an insignificant goal, the help that I have received so far in the programming this year has been invaluable.  Jim Daly has continued a great tradition of putting incredibly resources out there for Christian families.  His book is worth reading, as well.  Great stuff.
My favorite show so far this year is the January 6th edition entitled Words of Kindness, Source of Healing.  Florence Littauer (amazing communicator) speaks from her heart about the power and influence of our words.  It comes from her book, Silver Boxes.  It would be well worth your time to check out http://www.family.org/ and look up this show. 
Another goal has been to immerse my mind more deeply in God's Word using diverse means.  As we progress through different stages of life, we have to adjust our methods to coordinate with our current pace and place.  What works for me now is a Bible app downloaded to my phone that automatically sends me a 'verse of the day', has a simple Bible reading plan, tons of different devotional books, and with a click can be converted from text to audio, which is great if my eyes are too tired to remain open, yet my mind is still active.  :)
I also hooked up with crosswalk.com to receive daily emails with great articles for spiritual growth.  These "daily doses" of truth and Scripture really help to keep me focused.  Girlfriends in God is another email resource I am using.  It's good stuff, and the variety holds my attention.  The key is to find what works, and not be afraid to change when it ceases to "work"!
My great challenge for February is to S.I.M.P.L.I.F.Y.!  I love that word, but hate how often it fails to describe me!  I designed an acrostic to help me keep my wits:
Sever emotional ties with 'stuff' - tangible or intangible.
Inventory necessities, making tracking easy.
Market items that are valuable yet not needed or wanted in the current household.
Pray for added strength, wisdom, and clarity during this process.
Leave nothing untouched.  Denial is unhealthy! :)
Implement strategies for maintenance.
Focus firmly on the goal, not the frustrations involved in the journey.
Yield to the absence of 'stuff'; don't be tempted to re-clutter what was just de-cluttered!
So...hopefully by March 1st, my mind, soul, and home will be simplified!
I hope you are keeping up with your "goals" for 2011.  Don't feel defeated if you have to go back and adjust to make them achievable!

Monday, January 24, 2011


On the previously mentioned weekend "away", Greg and I spent the first night in Holmes County, and enjoyed the snow covered hillsides and Amish food and shopping (especially the food, of course!).  We couldn't decide what to do on the second night and third day (Ohio only has so much to offer on a freezing cold winter day!).  We debated between Disney's Toy Story on Ice in Cleveland, or the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad tour out of Akron.  We're old.  We chose the train.
It ended up being an interesting excursion, and we hope to take the kids back when they do the Polar Express.  Anyway, a few of you were interested in the train thing, and I did take a few pics.  The lunch was awesome...huge deli sandwiches topped with Amish cheeses, Grandma Shearers potato chips (local fav), and Coke...Greg added choc covered pretzels.  Very filling lunch!  We opted to stay on the train for the full 3 hours, instead of getting off at the Peninsula for shopping and eats.  It was cold.
We saw some deer, lots of people cross country skiing, passed a ski resort, and followed the river.  Didn't take many pics, but here are a few:

Beautiful winter ride!


Lots of high bridges

Love the scenery through the National Forest

The end.  :)

We also stayed at a "new to us" hotel in the Akron/Canton area.  It was straight out of IKEA, and for my house I would have hated the decor, but for an overnight the mod simplicity was refreshing!
No bathtub, just a huge shower (pic doesn't do justice-huge)
with a partial door, not a sliding door. 
That was a little different,
but with the length of the shower water did not escape the open part.

So, ifyou ever stay at a Cambria Inn & Suites,
you'll know what to expect!  :)

p.s.  I didn't realize that my blog was not allowing anonymous comments.  Fixed it, just ask that you put your name at the end so I know who is visiting!  :) 

Thursday, January 20, 2011


This article cracked my up...I can totally see one of my kids making that prayer request! Lots of kids cheer when they get to eat out. Ours cheer when we eat in. Doing that more often...love to hear the cheer! :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

One of my favorite things...

about my life is that I am married to a wonderful man. I'm glad that he's a good friend, and a great dad, but I'm even happier that he is a fantastic husband. We love to spend time together just hangin' out, exploring new places, whatever it is...it's better together. We were blessed again this year to receive get-away $ as part of our Christmas, and it was spent without guilt, because it was designated by the gift-giver to be used for an overnight trip (thanks, mom and dad!). Of course, a couple of the kids are getting to the age where they want to go along, but after a brief explanation (something like 'mommy and daddy need a solid, happy marriage, and part of that is taking time for each other, and I hope when you grow up that you'll leave your kids with me and go have some fun with your honey!'), they seem to be satisfied. And it's amazing that within 48 hours, they're mad because we are back home. :) Not every parent finds it important to have dates or weekends away from the kids, but I do, and I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is struggling with these types of issues:

So, mid-January, we had a wonderful weekend away, with some very comfortable places to rest, delicious food to eat, and beautiful Ohio sights to see. And made some new friends during our three hours on this train...

If parenting has become more important than nurturing your marriage, be encouraged to take time to restore that first relationship...the happiness of your home depends upon it!


For those of you who plan to attend next month's WOW (Lima Chapter), here is the link to familiarize you with some of the discussion content:
This will be incorporated into our continuing study of personalities. Looking forward to this one...see you then, if not before! :)