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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Handwashing say what???

many of us think that handwashing our clothes went out of style way back in the 50's when the first ringer washers came into  the picture, but I have to say that for my family, we were forced back into this when we moved the last time, and it is quite fun!  i just did 2 loads in my bath tub for the family.  we have been doing this for about a month now and it's refreshing to know that my hard work is paying off for my family to have clean clothes and not have the dirty ones stinking up our rooms because we don't have a washer and can't afford to go to the laundry mat.  At almost $4 a load at our local laundry mat, it's just not possible.  While we do have to hang them out to dry, that's ok.  we are using solar power to dry our clothes, we are on a well, so we are only using minimal energy to have the hot water with our whites.  it's a great feeling to know that i don't have to use all those machines, but i do miss washing my comfortors in the washer.  we do have to take them to the laundrymat, but all in all, i'm having fun and it's making me feel like being a work from home mom is paying off.  i am available when the kids need me, i get so much more done around the house.  and we are more organized than we have EVER been! 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Really, I'M DOING THIS!

So, as many in my family can tell you, I've always said I wanted to go back to college, but never ACTED on it.  Well, I am here to say, I AM DOING THIS!  What proof do you have?  Well, none, but the government does!  I just finished my fafsa application and it's looking GOOD!  I can't wait.  So here's how it works:

Apply for Aide-- this takes longer, so if you want to go back to school, do yourself a favor and apply for aide before you apply for your college!

Order transcripts-- they will be ordered tomorrow come what may!  The copy is only $10, so that won't be a biggie.  They should be to me within 10 days, so I can run those in to the school. 

Apply for college-- I'll need to pay a $25 application fee, but for me, it's worth it.  This will also be happening tomorrow!  WooHoo! 

Things are getting done.  According to Pasco-Hernando Community College, I should be able to have it all done and start my classes come JANUARY!  WooHoo! 

Next comes the PERT placement test.  Good news there is that when I pay my application fee, the school waives the testing fee!  That's a great thing right there!  My score on there will tell me if I am in need of taking remedial courses or not.  It's going to be a great thing!

After that, I will be attending a New Student Orientation just as soon as I can get signed up for one.  It's a 2 hour orientation at one of the campuses.  I will likely take Orientation at Spring Hill so I can do it while the kids are at school. 

Following the Orientation, I will have a meeting with an Advisor to set up all of my classes.  I am PRAYING that I can get them all done in time to apply to the Nursing Program come January 2014!  If I can do that, then I'll be a Nurse in NO time flat!  This is going to be an amazing journey!

Now, let's say that I don't need any remedial courses, I would then be able to start my pre req's at PHCC.  I can take some of them online.  The ones I'll be doing from home are:

Science of Human Nurtrition
Intro to Psyc
Microcomputer Applications

Then I'll need to finish up the pre req's at the New Port Richey Campus.  Those classes are:

Human Anatomy and Physiology
Human Anatomy and Physiology Lab

With that said, I think this is the way to go.  I have looked at several different schools and programs in the last few weeks and really think that PHCC is going to be the best outcome for me.  It's going to be a tough road to go down, but I am so very ready for it!  I can't wait to get started. 

Now, I want to thank everyone who is supportive of me for doing this. It's been a long time in the making and I just decided at the age of 31 it is time to get it done.  So, by the time I'm 35, I'll have a full time career and be able to really help provide for my family.  It will take some time to repay loans, but it's gotta be done.  I understand that more than anyone, so thank you in advance for all of your support to my friends and family.  I was the first to graduate highschool and I am the first to go back to and graduate college too!  I can't wait!  Life Long Learner I am!  Woo Hooooo!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The things kids say....

The things my kiddies say CRACK ME UP!!!  I am sure all mom's say this, but today, I busted out laughing when Maddie came in the livingroom... Here's the story:

I had a friend who was supposed to be stopping by, so since we haven't seen her for a while, I got Maddie into a really cute little outfit.  Something special so she could see her "aunt".  Well, she's sick and didn't get to come, but right after I got her ready, down to hair and all, I'm sweeping the living room and she comes in and declares, with hand on the hip and the whole bit, "I HAVE A HOTT DATE TONIGHT!"  LOL  Where she hears these things I have no clue! 

She warms my heart when she does things like that.  Now I have the two of them over in the living room teaching each other how to play the Soprano Recorder, also known as the flute.  Mackenzie got it last year because she had to have one for music class.  I bought the book too so they could learn a little of how to read music and how to play it.  So, it's really paid off!  For the Recorder and book I didn't even spend $10!  Great investment and music is very good for developing young minds! 

And the next few weeks will be CRAZY here!  I get to finally get our furniture into the new place next weekend! God bless our friends for helping with that task.  I also get to host Thanksgiving Dinner!  That's gonna be fun!  I love to have my friends over and it's going to be yummy eats too!  Then we have the Dear Santa Party.  Followed by an ornament exchange.  I am hosting the women from our Couples Class from Church in December.  We have our friends Christmas party/gift exchange happening soon after that and then Christmas!  Can we say, when I do it, I do it right! 

And that's about all for now, have a great week!

Friday, October 26, 2012

From Student of the Month to Cookin' Cuite

My girls are go getters!  Every year at least 1 time, they are named student of the month!  To celebrate, I decided to let Mackenzie help make dinner.  She LOVES cooking!  So I picked something she's been asking me to make and let her make it!  Super easy and FUN!

Meatball Subs:

Ingredients:

1 Jar Pasta Sauce
Meatballs
Hoagie rolls (they need to be connected on one side but open on the other side)
Aluminum Foil
Mozzerella Cheese

Process:

Put Meatballs in large pot.  Turn on to Medium heat.  Cover in pasta sauce and gently stir around.  When they are heated through, Place them in the rolls.  4 meatballs per sandwich.  Then COVER in Mozzerella Cheese!  Bake at 400 on a cookie sheet until cheese is melted, golden and bubbly! 

We are gonna really LOVE these in a few minutes :)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Time for ME!

Many of you know, that I don't really do anything for myself, and over the years I have battled with going back to school or not.  Well in the last year, I have really been feeling the pull to do it.  After much consideration, I am going to go back!  This summer I'll have to get my pre req's done.  After that it's the RN program for me!  WooHoo!!! 


You might be wondering what has sparked this right?  Well, I have a passion for helping others.  I have experience as a Certified Nursing Assistant.  And it offers a great advancement opportunity!  Basically, my background is medical so why change that right? 

The girls are getting old enough that I can enroll them in PLACE in order for me to do this. And I have the support of my husband.  So I really feel like this is the time!  I think that over the last 3 years, God  has been preparing me for this.  Again you may be asking how I know this, well try applying for 3 years at different places and being told at every one that I am OVER QUALIFIED!  It's really disheartening!  So this just tells me I am 2 years away from a wonderful career full of rewarding possibilities!  As a nurse, not only can I help others, but it will be rewarding from the first day of my first shift!  I can't wait! 

So what all do I have to do toward this?  Well, first, I have to order my high school transcripts.  This is happening this week.  I just have to print out the paper that I have to send in with my payement.  Then I have to take the TEAS test.  That will be scheduled this week as well.  After those, I have to apply for the college and get the info for when the next set of pre req's can be taken.  And apply for financial aid.  After all of that, I'll be set to start my classes.  And to be honest, I am very excited about it! 

So, you're prolly wondering why I opened this with a photo of me right?  Well, that's the newest photo of me.  I took it last week with my cell phone, and I have to tell ya that it's the first photo I have ever done of myself that I actually like!  My self image has changed so much in the last 3 years it's crazy! 

Anyhoo, more to come!  Praise the Lord!

Friday, September 21, 2012

More on Madison

After the parent teacher conference today, I have a much better understanding of this whole PMP thing with Madison.  Here's more on it.... and more on why I now know more about it...

Rewind to when Kenzie was 4.... We were in Indiana and the school system there did a wonderful job of getting the evaluation done before kindergarten, so I didn't have to understand all of the way this would work... When we got to Florida when she started kindergarten, we already had an IEP in place.  So we only had minor changes to that...

Fast Forward to Present... Madison is in 1st grade and has to go through some testing that they do with all 1st graders (Kindergarten too)... It's called FAIR. This is in order to help with her reading and math.  So, here's what the results are:

As it stands now, Madison is predicted (by FAIR) to have a moderate probability of scoring at or above grade level on the end of year comp task.

She is below grade level in Reading Comprehension, however, let me stress, she is a lot farther ahead than Mackenzie was.  At this stage in the game, Mackenzie wasn't even reading at the rebus level, but Madison is, so that's a plus!  Woo Hoo there!

Her vocab also is below grade level, however we have some really good interventions in place for helping her improve here. 

Madison did meet expectations with her letter sound knowledge with all 26 letters in capitol and lower case letters!  that's a good thing!

She's struggling with Phoneme Blending, but this is one area that Mackenzie also struggled in and both of them get speech therapy to help with this. 

So with that said, it could be a lot worse. I feel very confident that her teacher and I can really work with the reading intervention team as well as speech therapy to really assist madison in reaching goals set for her. 

What do we do now?  Well, we have a pmp in place to monitor her progress, if by mid year when they give her the fair testing again, she isn't showing signs of improvement, we will be getting some more evaluations in place, if it's found that she needs a full IEP in place, we will gather the team and work on that.  We are confident in the school's ability to assist her so we will be really watching out for this lil monkey! 

now some activities that can help all children in different areas are here for everyone.  I've learned that with my kids, these are great ideas and if it will help anyone, I want to do that!

LETTER NAMES AND SOUNDS:

Use index cards to create 2 sets of A-Z.  Play go fish or memory with them.  Have your child say the name and sound of the letters when he/she makes a match.

Use paper and crayons/markers and have your child make their own alphabet books.  Make collages on each page.  Use one letter per page. 

After reading a book, play I Spy with letter names or sounds.  You say, I spy____ and have your child point to the letter that makes that sound.

Cut out letters from magazines, newspaper, or junk mail printed in different fonts.  have your child sort the letters to give practice recognizing the key features of a letter.

use paper or plastic cups and label each cup with one letter of the alhpabet.  cut out pictures from magazines or use objects from around the house to play a matching game.  have your child sort the objects into the cups based on the first letter sound that occurs in the name of the object. 

PHONEMIC AWARENESS

take turns thinking of two words that begin with the same sound.

play the say it quickly game.  you say a word, one sound at a time, then have your child say the word at normal rate.  for example, you say /k/ /a/ /t/ and have your child say cat at normal speed. 

play rhyming games.  say a two word rhyme and ask your child to say a word that rhymes with your words. take turns.  for example, say cat sat and the child could say rat or bat or that

play say it slowly, its the exact opposite of say it quickly.

take turns thinking of two words that end with the same sound. 

paly the change that word game.  think of a one syllable word and have your child think of another word that is different by one sound take turns with each word.  example:  sat and sit, sip and lip

FLUENCY

encourage reading fluency by having your child read and re read familiar books. 

schedule 15 minutes of special reading time every day to read with your children. 

when your child brings home papers from school, let them explain what they did and have them read it to you. 

select a book that you know they will be able to read with success and spend some time reading with her.  take turns reading.

encourage your child to read along while listening to a tape recording of a story. (starfall.com has a great part of the site where the books are read to the kids and they can read along)

COMPREHENSION

go to the library each week and read a book together.  talk about the book and ask your son/daughter questions that relate to the story. 

play fact or opinion with your child.  you say a sentence and then ask if it's fact or opinion.

fold a piece of paper into 3 parts, let your child draw a picture of something she did in sequence then help them write one sentence under each picutre explaining what he/she did first, middle and last.

VOCABULARY

pick out a new vocab word from one of the books you are reading with your child.  talk about what it means.  make a sentence with the new word.  and use it in everyday life that week.

when you are riding aroudn the neighborhood, take turns spotting items that fit within a specified category of transportation

use a photo from an album and have your child retell what happened the day the photo was taken.  encourage the use of vocab from the setting of the picture.  use words such as first, next, last etc.

make hand puppets out of old socks to practice retelling stories read in school or at home.  the puppets can take on the role of characters from the story.  use the voices and vocabularies of the characters.

have your child pick out a word from reading.  help make a word map with that word using examples, non examples, synonyms, and antonyms.  for example, the selected word could be mapped with sunsets, cockroaches (non example), gorgeous (synonym), and ugly (antonym). 

encourage conversation.



Love is Kind

Many times, we forget that love is kind.  We take for granted the way that we come across to our spouses.  For yesterday's dare, I was to do something unexpected for my spouse.  While this journey will be hard because sometimes he's out of town, I am doing everything I can to followthrough with this dare.  I wasn't able to do this for him yesterday, so I did combine it with today's dare.  How did I do this?  Well, not only did I do whatever he wanted to do today, but I didn't say anything negative to him while doing it.  Again, I stress, It's hard with him out of town, since he's home today, we had a morning of going where he wanted to and doing things he wanted to do.  He was shocked that I was willing to do all of this.  More on this tomorrow. 

Yesterday's verse:  Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.  Ephesians 4:32

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Madison-- School Update

I have been busy at work today working on getting a few things set up.  Here's what I have learned so far:

Madison has a Progress Monitoring Plan in Reading, Writing, and Math to help monitor her so that should the teacher think she needs more help in one area or another, they can easily address that!  Woo Hoo!  Love that her teacher is proactive like that! 

She is getting Speech Therapy 2 times a week with Mrs. Mix.  I just got off of the phone with her and she has told me that she definately sees the improvements with her speech!  We are working with /sh/ and /ch/ now.  So, starting next week, we will have speech homework to do in addition to our spelling and math that we already have. 

I have a conference with her homeroom teacher tomorrow.  We are going to be going over this PMP as well as any questions that might arise while we are there.  I'll be bringing a few things to her attention and then going from there. 

So, the PMP, and the way it works is this:  in Kindergarten, when they noticed that Maddie was behind in the three areas, they put into place this plan.  It was late in the year when they did it, so what will happen is that they give extra interventions to her and if they don't seem to be helping, then they would pursue putting her in the program Mackenzie is in.  It's a Self Contained Academic Classroom.  This would mean that she would change schools and ride the same bus as her sister.  (This is something that I have been wanting to happen for a while now!) 

So when I am at the meeting tomorrow, I will find out more information.  And to top it off, I will get her Progress Report tomorrow too!  I can't wait to see how she's doing so far this year.

My thoughts

So, I wanna share my thoughts on a subject that is thrown out there all the time. 

JUDGEMENT.

From a worldy standpoint, we are all judged on a daily basis wether we know it or not.  People judge people anymore without even thinking.  She looks fat in that shirt, yep that's a judgement.  He's not parenting like I would.  That one too is a judgement.  We do it without realizing it most of the time anymore, but I want to challenge all of us.

For One day, pass NO judgement.  Why?  well because I am tired of those who I thought were close to me judging me because of many reasons.  I may not have as much money as they do. I may not have all the material posessions that they have.  I may not have the newer vehicles that they have.  I may not do things they way they would do them.  I may have beliefs that they don't have.  This doesn't mean that anyone should judge me. 

Here's a passage from the BIBLE to shed some light on the subject:

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.  Matthew 7:1-5

In other words, how about looking at yourself before you cast judgement on me.  I come into contact with people every day who think they are better than me, and therefore judge me.  I come into contact with people all the time who have a great paying job and don't want for anything, but I will assure you, MONEY ISN'T EVERYTHING.  Take this into consideration:  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.  1 Timothy 6:10.  Due to your love of money, you really wanna judge me because I don't have money? I think not.  Let me assure you that WE MAY NOT HAVE A LOT BUT WHAT WE HAVE ARE BLESSINGS TO US.  

Also, I would urge you to watch what you say and how you say it.  What you are thinking that you want to say to someone may come across to them as a judgemental statement.  While you are thinking it out of love, it might not come out that way.  For example, when someone asks for prayer, let's make it a point to PRAY for them not tell them all of the ways that they can do things right.  That is a judgement.  When we stand before the Father, HE will judge us.  We aren't called to judge one another, we are called to love one another as we love ourselves.  


John 13:34-35

English Standard Version (ESV)
34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

And one last verse for you:

 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
 James 1:19-21

And know this, Jesus came, died, rose again so that we might have life and more abundantly.  He's here for you.  When you feel like you need to judge someone, give it to him.  He will take those cares away.  

Love is Patient

So, I'm doing this dare.  I decided to do it just to see if I could get through it.  While it's been a trying year with Ryan being gone so much, I decided I would do the 40 day love dare.  This is an activity that will strengthen all marriages, so I wanted to do this for a while now.  I finally got around to starting it. 

So with that said, every day there's a bible verse that goes with the dare.  Yesterday was the first day and here's the verse for it:

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.  Epehesians 4:2

And the dare for the day was to say nothing negative to my spouse for the day. 

Then I had a list of 3 things to do and they were to pray for my spouse and myself, perform the dare, and write my thoughts or feelings, so I decided that I would do some blog entries as a journal to keep my thoughts on.  It is my hope that through my journey it will inspire someone else to also take this journey and work on their marriage. 

Journal Entry:  Today was a tough one for me.  Why?  Ryan wasn't home with us so it should have been easy for me to not say anything negative to him right?  Well, when I got the phone call from him saying he was going to the er because he was injured at work, my flesh wanted to give him some negative comments, but I refrained from that.  After that one time, I thought about it for a minute, and really resolved to not say anything negative to him.  While sometimes it might be hard, I can get through this because "I can do all things through him who strengthens me."  Philippians 4:13

And I have a video for you today too:


Are you wondering why I am sharing this video?  Well, I have decided not to fight my love anylonger!  Yes, there will be struggles, and I have to say that God will bring me through those times.  God never promised that there wouldn't be raging waters, but he did promise to help us weather the storm.  Therefore, I leave you with this thought today:  LOVE IS NOT A FIGHT, BUT IT'S SOMETHING WORTH FIGHTING FOR.  Are you ready to fight for your love?  I know I am! 

See ya tomorrow for Love is Kind! 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Thirty-One Journey

My Thirty-One Journey as and Independent Consultant has been an amazing one!  And the journey is continuing!  It's going to be a great month!  Not only have we launched the fall catalog, but we have the best sale this month!  Who doesn't love a MAKE YOUR OWN sale!!!!

So, how does it work?  Well it's quite simple, when you spend $31 this month, you get to choose ANY item from our catalog for 31% off!  And that's not any item of equal or lesser value like most stores do!  You could choose the most expensive item in the catalog and still get that 31% off!

Here's an example:

I purchase an Organizing Utility Tote in Black Parisian Pop and Personalize it with my Initials in style 30 with Hot Pink thread, I have spent $37 therefore qualifying me for the special, I then decide to buy my mom the 5th Avenue bag for a gift.  Normally this bag would cost me $125 (at full price), but I only have to pay $86.25 for that bag!  Wow!  That's a savings of over what I spent in the first place!

You too can get this kind of savings on your favorite Thirty-One products!  Just e mail me at rdmmcox67@gmail.com for more information on how you can purchase, book a party, or join my team!

*Disclaimer:  Collegiate line of products is not included in this sale!  The views expressed in this blog post are mine alone and do not express the views of Thirty-One Gifts.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A journey...

many of us many times in our lives start the journey of getting into shape.  most of us fall off of that wagon after just a few short weeks.  i have done that myself, but in january, i made it a goal to start loosing weight.  see, where we go wrong is that we set huge goals that we can't meet.  i set a small goal of loosing just 15 pounds this year.  I did that by the end of May, actually, I had lost 25 pounds.  But then I reverted back to old eating habits and put 10 of it back on.  I am back in the game and have lost 2 pounds again... I will not go back to the old eating habits and will increase exercise and this will be a lifelong journey for me.  I will be fit and that's that.  I may not loose 100 pounds in 7 months like they do on the biggest looser, but I will loos it and keep it off!  I have placed a ticker at the top of my page so that you can see my progress as I go through this journey.  I have started weighing in on Monday's after the kids go to school, I weigh in.  I then have also started a nice exercise plan.  I'll get more into detail on that at a later time. 

I just want to take the time to share some inspirations for all of you:

First, think to yourself, do you wanna be around to play with your grandkids.  While this might be something you don't want to think about right now, go ahead, take a few minutes and weigh the options.  Is this a journey worth taking?  For me it is and I'll tell you why, When I was just 9 years old (the age of my oldest daughter)  my mother passed away.  She will never be replaced, but God put my aunt in the position of taking over the maternal role when she adopted us.  It was a very nice act, but something that I can never replace is my mother, so I don't want to have my children going through that same thing.  For me this is a journey worth taking! 

Second, get yourself into the I can mindset.  You can do anything if you try.  You can do anything if you set your mind to it.  Don't allow the negative nancy's of this world discourage you from reaching your dreams.  If you dream to just loose 50 pounds, tell yourself every day that you can make good choices and you will.  You can do anything you set your mind to and so can I!  Together we can achieve anything we set our minds to!

Third, don't do whatever you are thinking about unless it's something YOU want to do.  You have to want it.  You won't be successful if you are doing this because your significant other says you have to.  This has to be something you want!  Just like with drug addicts, if they don't want it for themselves, they will never stop doing drugs.  If they continue trying to quit because their fiance wants them to, they will never end up breaking the cycle.  Do it because it's what YOU want! 

Fourth, don't accept excuses from your inner child.  No matter what your goal is, you have to take charge of your path.  I have said this many times, and I will say it again, BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD.  If you want to see a more fit population, get fit yourself.  People will see this and they will want it too.  Just one person doing something normally gets a whole group of people to join in and when that happens, it creates a wave effect where thousands join in.  Don't accept any excuses from your inner child and you will be successful!

And lastly, a quote from Dolvett from the Biggest Looser, "If you are not moving, you are not loosing!"  Keep that in your mind, it will inspire you to move!  When you move you burn calories when you burn calories you loose pounds.  when you loose pounds, you get in better shape.  When you are exercising it makes you want to choose healthier food options.  When you burn fat, you build muscle!  That's what we want here! 

And I will close with this,

YOU CAN DO IT!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Date Night

So, we had an impromptu date night on friday night.  And, let me tell you, this will be happening again!  We went on down to Sunset at Pier 60!  It was so much fun!  Dinner at Frenchy's South Beach and that was amazing!  I've never had Buffalo Grouper, and while it was quite the messy thing, it was so very yummy!  As the sun set we had our dinner out on the patio there.  Then walked back down to the pier, to see what vendors were there.  They had some great ideas for gifts.  We were able to see a houdini act, break dancers, acrobatic act, as well as a bucket drummer.  We saw some really pretty dolphin statues around the lawn where they were showing Dolphin Tale on the big screen!  

You know, for 9 and a half years now, my kids have been in my every thought.  Making sure they are taken care of etc.  But for one evening knowing they were with their Yaya and being taken care of, we were able to have adult time and not feel like we had to check on them and the like.  It was very nice!  We can't wait to do it again!  

And since the girls don't have school tomorrow with it being Labor Day we are gonna have a little family day.  That's basically what's been happening here.  

Sunday, August 26, 2012

AMAZING dessert

so, you prolly know we are getting a pretty nasty storm named isaac here in florida today and the weather will be pretty bad through most of the week probably... so we decided since the girls can't go outside to play today, we would make dessert together... somethign we have started doing once a week. this week, we wanted ice cream cake, so i found a recipe on kraftfoods and it's really yummy!

http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/oreo-ice-cream-sandwich-133036.aspx#

this think is really rich, so small servings will be plenty!  it's a great alternative for those who don't care for regular cake and not near as expensive as buying an icecream cake from dairy queen or baskin robbins.  not to mention the fun we had making it!  Mackenzie (9) helped me while Madison (6) played computer.  the hardest part was unwrapping the ice cream sandwiches!

it was a very yummy dessert after our homemade chinese pork and veggie stir fry!  i love cooking for my family, and here lately, they have really enjoyed that i am giving them new recipes to try... yummmmy!

so back to regularly scheduled hurricane info gathering... i will update more as it passes us.

Friday, August 24, 2012

what a week

this week has been crazy.... and mommies think the crazyness ends when they go back to school!  ha!  i've had a crazy bus time thing going on... here's just a glimpse into our week:

daily, get up and get kids showered 7 am.  have them ready to walk out the door by 830.  kenzie's bus is SUPPOSED to come at 848, i say supposed because, that's not the case.  Madison's is SUPPOSED to be here at 908.  Again, not the case.  So, for the most part, we are good up until bus time.  we walk kenzie almost 1/4 mile down the road for her stop, then while waiting with mackenzie, the little girl next door gets on her bus, so we have to leave kenzie at her stop and take maddie to hers because it's normally within minutes of alexa getting on the bus that maddie gets on... (this was one morning so far, but still, it's stress on the mommma)

then my day goes like this:  work, e mails, chores.  and at 4pm, I head out to the bus stop.

here's what that one is like here lately, i get to the end of my driveway at about  4.  last year, maddie's bus was here by 408, then we would walk down to kenzie's stop and wait for it to come anytime between 420 and 5pm.  this year, it's been:  408, alexa is home.  (her mom and i enjoy each other's company, so i go wait with her)  then i wait at the stop for maddie, but kenzie has been getting home first and because maddie's bus driver will not let her off unless i am AT THE STOP i have to let kenzie cross a busy road and walk that 1/4 mile home by herself with me watching.  by the time kenzie gets here, this week there's been another 15-20 minutes for me to wait for maddie... what i don't get is that maddie is 3 miles away from the house, but it takes over an hour for her to get home, when kenzie is 10 miles away and has been here in 1/2 the time it takes maddie to get home...

so i am still waiting for a call back from the transportation department who is trying to completely re route kenzie's bus so that she can be picked up and dropped off at the same place as maddie. the whole issue there was that they weren't taking into consideration that she had a sister at a different school.

so when i hear about that you will be among the first to know.

in addition to all of this we have tropical storm isaac out there threatening our side of the state, and while the rain is nice, we aren't fans of it because it will mean flooded roads for us.  and it will also mean that ryan will have some time off of work which isn't something i look forward to.  but i understand it.  he's worked about 2.5 weeks straight now, and who knows what next week will bring...

i am about to kick off a new season of products with Thirty-One, so I'll be posting a little more about it in the coming days!  September 1 can't come fast enough!  I can't wait to get my hands on some fun things!!!

Monday, August 20, 2012

it's one of THEM days....

as you are aware, my kids started back to school today.  it's one of them days.  it's always hard because the first day of school, so many emotions are going strong... there's the emotions of the kids and then there's the emotions of the mommy's.  today i'm sad.  why sad?  i have all this time to myself, which in motherhood is not normal any mom can tell you that.  but with all of this time, comes time to reflect on the fact that my babies aren't babies anymore.  madison is in 1st grade!  it's the big girl grades for her now... and mackenzie is in 3rd grade.  it's really hard to accept for me because i know that soon i will have high schoolers!  when maddie's a freshman, kenzie will be a senior, and well, let's not go there just yet.

so what's my plan for the day, well i want to do a hi five for my business, then i'll attack some of the housework.  laundry.  the spare room.  kenzie's room.  the spare bathroom, our room, maddie's room, etc.  i may not get it all done today, but i'll do what i can.  i am doing a fall clean and purging out things we don't use or don't need anymore.  and rearranging furniture... it's time for a fresh new beginning in this house.

i'll also have to charge my camera.  i didn't realize it was so low.  i couldn't even get one photo of the girls before they left because as soon as i turned it on the camera shut off again...

so there may be another post today with how the girls did at school and what's going on there, but i will get to that later :)

and I want to leave you with a bible verse today:


Ephesians Chapter 6 verse 10

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

crazy weekend

our last weekend before school starts was a crazy one:

friday:  a day to help my in laws pack up their house.  they are headed to north carolina for a year and then they will be back!  so we are helping as much as we can.

saturday:  i had my c and c meeting with Thirty-One, and I can't go into details about that til after the rest of my team has their meeting.  Once that happens, i'll post all about it.  so excited!  then more packing.  we did get a lot accomplished this weekend!

sunday:  church.  we had a great message via Pastor Strayer.  He just knows how to bring it in a way that touches my heart!  i also have some more news that i'll share once it's all finalized, but it has to do with church missions, and my business...

and now we are current... the girls are heading to bed soon, and i am gonna have my team call in about 1 hour and 20 minutes... and i am excited to see what EOJ has for us tonight...

more updates to come i am sure...

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Great FREE math site for elementary kids

Because I have two children in Elementary School, I thought I would be a doll and share our math secret, but before I do, let me give you a little insight as to how we found this site and why we love it.  Last summer, my nieces were over from Orlando and got on the computer to do their "math" for the day.  When they showed me, I spoke to my sister in law about it.  It's a great site that really helps kids remember their basic facts.  So, I signed up for just Mackenzie.  She was going into 3rd grade, and wasn't great at math, so anything that would help is what I was going for.  So she did it off and on last year.  This summer, we didn't really do it.  I actually had forgotten about it, but since school is starting again, I thought why not.  So, here's the jest of it.  

Go to Xtra Math and you will need to create an account.  You will select the grade your child is in or is going into.  I didn't do it for Madison during Kindergarten, but it would be a great idea to get a headstart on that.  So after the parent signs up, you will add children to your account.  Each child will have to take this intro set of quizzes so that the site can see what facts the kids need to work on.  They always start the kids with Addition.  In fact Kindergarten and 1st grade work on Addition only.  2nd Grade does Addition and Subtraction.  Third Grade does Addition, Subtraction, and Multiplication.  Then Fourth and Fifth does Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division.  

So daily, your child will have about 10 minutes of math time where they take a progress quiz and then race the teacher.  The faster the child answers the better the score basically.  They are helping the children to memorize basic facts.  While both of my girls are working on Addition, Mackenzie is much farther than Madison is and very soon she will be mastering that on the program (because we haven't done it daily like we should)  and it shouldn't take her too long to get to where she knows all of her addition and subtraction facts.  I am really trying to help push her through this program because she has to know all of her multiplication facts for 3rd grade!  

It's crazy how much they have to know before going into certain grades.  So I am going to make it my mission to find some really cool and educational sites to share with you each week.  This week this is the recommendation I will give.  

I do hope you like this site as much as we do.  

Love, 
Dawn & the girls!
You Are "Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother"
You may or may not have the most honorable parents, but you try to respect and honor them whenever possible.
In general, you think that people should focus on their families more. Charity begins at home.

You also believe that younger generations should do a better job taking care of their elders.
It saddens you to see how older people are treated in most cultures. You think it's truly a disgrace.
Blogthings: A Fine Line Between Insight and Stupidity

This one was a little fun thing for today.  There's not much going on, so I thought I would post a blogthing. It was cute and fun.  The girls are chilling today and wishing the weekend would go faster, and school would start.  Do you seriously know of kids who wish there wasn't a summer break?  That's my kids for ya!!!  Well, hope to have something more interesting for you tomorrow :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Our Teachers Rock!

So, here's how the morning went:

Madison's school:  was a bit of chaos.  Nothing was organzied for getting the busses, or any other information.  They didn't even have a nutrition area set up.  It was utter chaos.  I've never seen a school set up that way.  Perhaps I can talk with the administration to help come up with a better solution for next year.  Her teacher however is AMAZING!  She's cute, fashionable, knowledgable, and we love her!  Mrs. Lopez is going to be fun to work with this year!  And, she loves Thirty-One!!!  Her favorite color is PURPLE, and we have tons of purple coming out in September!!!  Madison loves her class and can't wait for school to start!

Mackenzie's school was a bit better organized, I just wish there would have been a sign to tell parents where to go.  Once we found out where they were all set up and made it through the maze to it, it was set up, signs on tables, and very nicely run.  The staff was very knowlegable, unlike at Madison's school.  We were able to get through Kenzie's in a matter of minutes!!!  We went to her class and met Mr. Russell!  We had the priviledge to work with his wife Mrs. Russell last year and are excited to work with him this year!  We had a nice discussion about how this year is going to work and here's basically what is happening, Mackenzie will have him as her primary teacher, but for certain subject area's she will be out in a regular class (they call this mainstreaming in the education world)  and for specials she will go with her mainstream class for each area of art, music and p.e.  This is something that we have been wanting to work on for a while.  Mr. Russell was quite informational and is going to be a joy to work with.  He said her mainstream teacher is going to be Mrs. Williams.  She will have an intern from USF for the first part of the year and in addition to that there will be an Instructional Assistant going to Mrs. Williams class with Mackenzie.  To top that off, he said that he and Mrs. Russell were both shocked that Mackenzie wasn't able to pass the SAT10.  He said that they both thought she would do it, but that he wants to ammend her IEP to say that tests can be read to her and hopefully that will help slow her down with her test taking.  I pray it does.

So all in all, we had a great morning!  Off to get some work done now

Have a blessed day!

Back to Busyness

We all can relate, I am sure, to the rush of back to school.  There's supplies to purchase, clothes to organize, teachers to meet, kids to get back in routines, homes to reorganize from the summer fun, etc.  With all of this going on, we can all get a bit frazzled.  Well, the frazzling has begun!  We are less than a week away from school starting here and the girls are as excited as can be!  Mackenzie and Madison have had their backpacks packed full of school supplies for a couple of weeks, and so since today is Meet-The-Teacher Day at their schools, I'll be posting another time to fill you in on how that works for us with 2 different schools, 2 different sets of faculty, and 2 different cities for me to drive to for this event.  Before I do that though, I wanted to update you on our week thus far:

I've managed to somehow prep all of our food for the rest of the week!  So when it comes to cooking, it's going to be easy peasy!  We had some yummy Spaghetti with Zesty Bolognese Sauce on Monday, Mackenzie cooked a great Easy Cheesy Chicken and Mac with Veggies last night.  Madison helped me get everything in the crock pot for tonights Easy Crock Pot Beef Stew!  She also helped me make egg salad for today for lunch.  Then on Thursday, we are having a Chicken and Veggie Parmesan that Mackenzie is making.  (The good thing here is that I have already cooked the chicken so that won't take but a few minutes for her to cook :))  And on Friday, it's Pizza night in this house!  Woo Hoo!

So Monday it was a day of getting myself a schedule started, and that's gone well.  We've worked out every day so far this week, done our chores and had time for working/playing as we can.  Tuesday we continued that and did detailed cleaning in our rooms that we needed to do that in, so I was running through here like a mad woman attacking the kichen, hallway, livingroom, and bathroom.  The bedrooms are coming soon too :)  Like the Fly Lady says, "you are never behind, just jump in where you are."  that's the way it should be.  So that's what we are doing.  While I haven't been doing the flylady steps like I should, I have adopted some of her routines, and it really does help.  I'll be clearning hot spots today.  And for some reason my desk is always a hot spot.  As is the kitchen table for wierd reasons, but that will soon be fixed again.  Laundry is the habit of the month, so I am working on Mt. Washmore being nothing more than a few pieces of clothes at the bottom of the laundry basket.

Before we head out to the schools, I want to leave you with some inspiration for today.  Yesterday morning was quite trying for us, so with that being said, I want to leave you with a bible veres:

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."  Philippians 4:13

Just remember don't give up!  You can do it.  Push through the rough spot and Praise Him in the storms of this life.

Monday, August 13, 2012

30 Day Shred Challenge

So, I decided that I would try the 30 Day Shred.  I watched it yesterday and did as much as I possibly could, so I will work up to where I can do the whole workout.  I am so out of shape that it will take me a couple of days to get to where I can do the whole thing without having to stop.  The good news, I did more than I thought I could!  So, tomorrow I will get farther.  The girls are loving doing their workouts!  They even grabbed cans of vegetables to use as handweights!!!  It's amusing to see them decide what they are going to use to workout!  While they are loving this workout, they don't realize how good it is for them I am sure.

Ryan left this morning (well 4am)  for Naples for the week.  While we will miss him, we understand that he has to work to provide for us.

Mackenzie is totally stoked out for school to start.  She can't wait for meet the teacher day, but then again Madison is really excited as well!

I have been really working hard too!  Having a good month with my Thirty-One!  In fact, I think I might even make me a slideshow to show some of our new products/prints that are coming in September!  Remember, you only have til the 31st to get in on the Summer Catalog!!!  We have lots of new and exciting things happening in the coming months!

My week:
Monday:  workout, house work, get kids set for school, prep all food for the week.
Tuesday:  workout, thirty-one, lay out clothes for meet teacher day
Wednesday:  meet the teacher day, work out, hump day, housework/laundry
Thursday:  workout, thirty-one, tune in to church 7pm,
friday:  workout, get things ready for c and c meeting, grocery shopping for next week (don't forget to buy stuff for kids lunches), ryan home!!!
Saturday:  c and c meeting, beach day
Sunday:  church

So, while it looks like we are having a busy week, really we are taking it easy this week.  I plan on getting all of the housework done by wednesday so that I can have some movie nights with the girls before they go back to school.  We are moving their bedtime to 830 now that they are in 1st and 3rd grade.  Next year, Kenzie willl go to 9pm and Madison will go to 9 when she hits 4th grade.  I am also working on some chore charts, spreadsheets, as well as schedules for each of us... So, it's going to be quite a crazy week.

Off to do as much work as I can!!!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

sunday

today was a typical sunday for us. i got up at about 730 which is my daily norm. got the kids and ryan up at 8 after i had showered and started the process of getting ready for church.

we left the house about 830 so we could get there and get the kids all checked into their classes. maddie was moved up to the 1st grade class and kenzie went on into her class. it's great because mackenzie is in a class where they have 2-5th graders so even though she's still in 3rd grade she still gets to be in class with her friends.

ryan and i went on into our couples class. and one main thing we came away from class with is this:

because the holy spirit lives within both of us, when we are speaking to our spouses, try to remember that we are talking to God as well. this is a very deep thing for us to take in, so it will take some time, but i am sure it will really leave a lasting impact on us.

while in couples class, we were asked to put our names/shirt sizes down so that in 2 weeks we can order class shirts, so we did. after class, we were asked to speak with the leader who informed us that because someone wanted to sponser a couple for their shirts, we were who she picked! it feels great to be blessed! i just about cried on the spot! so, since we have our shirts taken care of, we are wearing them to the couples event in september that we are volunteering for. it's going to be great because all of the volunteers are going to wear their class shirts and that way we will stand out!

speaking of the event, it's the Love worth fighting for event that's sweeping the nation, and since we are volunteering, we get in free!!! woo hooo! double blessings!!!

we then went to service and saw aaron gillespie perform! amazing praise let me tell ya!

after service, i had a migrane so i laid down. it's been bad tonight, but the mt dew is helping. ryan took the girls to yaya and pappy's for dinner and brought me dinner home :) thank you carol and roy for that!!!

and now i am gearing up for my weekly conference call!!!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

wow it's almost 9pm already???

it's been a long day, but things are coming together...

i e mailed back and forth with Kristen today. She has been where I am with fighting with schools, so she had some very useful information for me. I also got a hold of Mrs. Russell from last year who will be working very closely with me and Mr. Russell (Mackenzie's teacher this year), I got my website fixed, I spoke with my sister in law Angie. and Chyanne and really did make her day! I've worked on work e mails most of the day, as well as some end of summer time with the kiddies... ryan worked a 12 hour day today YAY! and now i'm settling down gonna just chill tonight...

my plans for next week include but are not limited to: getting ryan to plant city so he can go to work out of town next week, meet the teacher day wednesday, house work, catalog party, and lots of last week of summer loving for my 1st and 3rd graders!!! Not to mention, I'll have to figure out a sitter for my kids for my meeting on Saturday. I have about a 2 hour meeting I need to go to Saturday am, but with Ryan gonna be out of town, I have to figure that out... Things will work out I just have to wake up some before I can taclke that one.

and I'm outty time for some rest. it's been too busy today LOL

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Zephyr Park

So, yesterday, we woke up to a flat tire on our Camry, but not to worry, I already had a back up plan. My friend Deb was already going to pick us up to go to Zephyrhills for the small Spray Park there. So we went, the kids played on the dry playground and then after they were all sweaty and ready to be cooled down, we went into the fenced in spray area. This thing has tons of sprayers, bazooka like water guns, buckets that pour on you etc. While I got tons of great photo's, for some reason my card reader is being a royal pain in the toot! So, I'll have to upload those photo's later. Then on the way home, we dropped Kenzie and Maddie off for a night with Yaya. After that, Ryan picked up the Explorer from her so that he could get the tire fixed on our camry, in the mean time, Deb brought me home, and she stayed the night along with our friend Kevin who brought wings for dinner! It was a great night!

and now for today, since I didn't blog yesterday, I wanted to update you on what happened with the photo's and car, so today, Ry got the girls from his mom and I got the sausage gravy fixed for our breakfast. Deb and Kevin slept in and as breakfast was getting off the stove they got up. We've watched all of season 2 walking dead since they came over. While we were doing that Ryan was playing Super Nintendo.

I also checked in on my incentive and it's getting there... Today is the 9th and I have until the 15th to submit 500 in sales! I am down to needing only 346 for this goal! When I do this, not only will I receive an incentive kit, but I will also qualify! By qualifying in the first 6 months, I get a little bonus from my company! It's so very much worth it!

If you are interested in getting more information about my monthly special, please come on over and e mail me. I had to call home office this afternoon when I realized that my website wasn't working properly and it could be a day or two before it's all straightened out. But in the mean time, I can submit orders manually for anyone who needs one submitted.

The girls are getting more excited by the day for school to start! And the last update is that it's looking like Ry will be on an extended job here very soon which means that we will have to just deal with him having to be out of town again for a while, but I would rather have him having to be out of town than for him to not have any work at all!

And that's about all I have for now! For those interested in emailing me about Thirty-One please do so at rdmmcox67@gmail.com

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

gettin' ready for back to school...

the girls are excited! woo hoooo! i love that my girls love school! they both get up and don't fight on school mornings which is great!!! so here's the breakdown this year:

i have maddie the first grader (doesn't seem possible!) and she's so excited can't wait for meet the teacher day next week! her supplies are almost finished... then it's just put some clothes on lay away for her and we will be good there...

then we have kenzie... as you know last year she was in 3rd grade and here in florida if 3rd graders don't pass the standardized test, they fail... well, kenzie was given the opportunity to take a second standardized test and didn't do well enough to go on to 4th grade (after i requested, more than once i might add, that she take this test one on one however they refused to allow it after telling me that the assistant principle would sit in with her) anyhoo, it's going to be a great year for her! although she has had all of this last year, it will help her a lot in the long run...

we have found some really cool resources we are ordering so that i can help her more at home... and that's just the way it's gonna run this year.

kenzie's school supplies are also almost finished. which is awesome... i just have school clothes to purchase for her and that's gonna be it for her.

both of the girls decided to support mommy when they got their backpacks!!! Mackenzie bought the UpperClassman from my website! and the print she purchased was botanical lace. she followed that by purchasing the botanical lace thermal tote to take her lunch in. (i allotted 60 to go toward backpacks and lunch totes, and they both chose to do this via my website)

Madison on the otherhand purchased the keep it cool backpack which has a thermal pouch on the outside of her bag and the pink circle spiral thermal tote!

they both personalized them with their names on them! they look great! and they are a great quality!

since I know you want to see what these things look like, head on over to my website at Thirty-One and i am available via e mail today if you have any questions about putting in your order...

Oh, and you will want to know about the special too won't you... well, it's for every $31 spent, you get to choose one SPIRIT COLLECTION item for 50% off!!! that's an amazing deal!!! and they added spirit purple to the collection!!!

Well, I gotta be going... it's gonna be a hot day out there at the spray park but the girls need a day out of the house before school starts :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

work at home mom tips

since i have started working from home, i just wanted to take the time to share this with you.

i was reading in parents magazine and came across a great article, and i am only going to hit the very tops of the article here, but here are some great tips for you work at home mom's who are struggling to balance work and family time since you are working out of your home....

first, i know i will be taking advantage of the girls going back to school, so i, for one, will have several hours a day that will be free for work related tasks only. this will do wonders for my business i am sure.

now for the ones from the article:

you MUST create a schedule! it's very important so that you can balance that work and family time better. you will thank yourself for doing this after you have gotten accustomed to doing it!

for the mom's of toddlers, take advantage of nap time! when your little one is snoozing, use this as your POWER HOUR to get as much working as you can done for your business! i know you are going to want to sneak in a load of dishes, but you really need to just stay on task!

set some boundaries so that you aren't crossing mom with businesswoman. when you do this you can give either your kids or your business your full attention, and when you are in work mode, you are only working. maybe dress office casual during your work hours and dress mom during your mom hours... this might help?

keep the kiddies entertained during your work hours (if they are home with you) for babies/toddlers this is easy! you will simply provide many activities for them such as floor toys during the time you must work while they are awake.

plan for some interruptions. don't get frazzled if you need to tend to your little ones during your work hours. take the time to tend to them and get right back to work. once your work hours are over, close the office door and don't go back in until your next day of working.

ask for assistance if you need to. if you need grandma to come and help with the kids while you work, ask her! she would love more time with her grandkids.

as i find more info, i'll post more, but i just thought you might like to see a few tips that i am implementing in my schedule to make my business more successful.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

excitement fills the air

here in our house, we are excited for a number of reasons!!! first because

JESUS IS ALIVE!!!

then the other list:

-school is creeping closer! woo hooooooo!
-we find out next week about kenzie's sat score
-maddie is a 1st grader
-we are going cabin camping this weekend!
-we have the workshop in september and we are so excited about it
-today is the 1st of august, which means big things for me!


now to expand on a few of the excitements...

cabin camping- we haven't been for like 2 years, but we have tent camped quite a bit. we love the cabins and so this will be a fun trip! it's also our first trip of the year because it's been way too hot for camping!

what does today mean? well, a new customer special! for every $31 spent, my customers can get any spirit collection item for 50% off!!! That's an amazing savings!!! So, for every $31 spent, they can get their chioce of color in any of these for the prices listed:

large utility tote for 17.50
organizing utility tote for 15
picnic thermal tote for 17.50
cinch sac for 10
retro metro bag 27.50
about town blanket for 19.50

and with that said, there are a few other things going on:

first, the most requested color in Thirty-One history is finally joining the Spirit Collection!! PURPLE! woohooooo!

this is the last month for the summer catalog, so if you have been putting off ordering, make sure you get that order in early as we will be having a list of retiring products!!! and we already have one product that is fully retired!

we have some new thread choices for fall and 3 of them are making their debut this month: BURNT ORANGE, FOREST GREEN AND MAROON! these are going to make your personalized bags and totes look very nice for this fall!!!

we have a new personalization hitting our catalog this fall and it's here for the month of august at a 50% discount! it's called Icon-It. and that means that you can choose to have one icon with one name or phrase added to your bag for just $5! When our new catalog gets here, this will go up to $10! And the choices for this are:
a beautiful crown for your little princess
a flower for you flower lovers
and for the sports fanatics, we have a baseball, a soccer ball, a volley ball, a football, or a basketball!

now, for the icon it, there are 3 styles that won't work with it. these are from the summer catalog and they are the large and small rectangle basket liners and the mini retro metro bag.

then finally we have added the cinch sac to our spirit collection!!! this is an awesome bag that will be a very nice addition to your little sportster's collecion for packing their uniform/ shoes to and from games... it's also a great overnight bag for those toddlers headed to grandma's house!!!

And i'll close there.

God Bless and have a Thirty-ONEDERFUL day!!!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

a morning of business

this morning, i woke up with the mindset that i was gonna get things done... and because i am on team ELITE, i decided since a lot of the team is headed to national conference today (i can't afford to go this year) i wasn't going to let that keep me down. we on team elite like to do what we call hi five! so here's the jest of it.

hi 5 is where we take an index card and write down the top 5 things we want to get done today. i have done that and so far today i have accomplished more than 5 things i really needed to do today. some of those include:

making a new cover photo sporting my business for facebook!
august special posted to my group on facebook
update information on the auction.
reminder for july special ending today
reminder for catalog ending in 31 days!!!
e mails
address box updated
and i am about to set up my kit.

today is going to be a great day! so Rejoice in HIM!!!

and the family update: 20 days til school starts! can i get an AMEN! the girls are getting excited. we made a count down calender yesterday for them. they have their back packs packed for meet the teacher day so they can drop off the first of 2 loads of school supplies! crazy how much they still need.

here was the original list for each child:

Madison needed:
1- binder
4- 2 pocket 3 prong folders
2- plastic folders
8- gluesticks
2- boxes of 24 count crayons
2 packs of pencils
highlighters
dry erase markers
1 pair scissors
2 wide rule journals
2 packs loose leaf paper
1 pack pink gum erasers
1 pair headphones
1 bottle hand sanitizer
1 box tissues
1 box sandwich size ziploc bags
pencil box
backpack

Mackenzie Needed:

1- binder
8- folders
4 packs wide rule paper
1 pk 24 crayons
2 packs colored pencils
3 dozen #2 pencils
3 hole pencil pouch
2 packs hilighters
1 pack dry erase markers
2 box tissues
1 package baby wipes
1 roll paper towels
1 box ziploc bags
1 bottle sanitizer
3 composition notebooks
scissors
blue pens
black pens

And now we need between the two of them still:

Madison:
2 folders
2 plastic folders
1 box crayons
highlighters
dry erase markers
headphones

Mackenzie:
2 folders
3 packs wide rule paper
1 pack crayons
2 pack colored pencils
2 highlighters
paper towels
sanitizer
2 composition notebooks
blue pens
black pens.

so while the lists did get alot knocked off of them, every year these back to school lists seem to get larger! almost drives me nuts. Grandma took them supply shopping this year and spend quite a lot on the supplies. i thank God for my church helping families in our community that need the help because without the church there have been years where my kids wouldn't have their supplies at all!

I don't have much to buy for them, and I thank Grandma and God for that! I have their back to school clothes to get, but that's after we see what they have/need. We are in a mode of saving money now, so we are going to do what we can to preserve that savings account!

ryan is still applying everywhere. he worked all of last week, but so far this week he still hasn't been called in for a job. while i don't like this, i know god has our back and he has a perfect plan in place, we just don't know what it is just yet.

and we are starting to get things together for camping this weekend. we are going to the cabins at starkey park and can't wait for that nature time. while deb and i will escape for a girls (few hours) date to sweet tomatoes, we will come back and have loads of fun with kevin, kevin, ryan, mackenzie and madison.

*note the girls have decided they are no longer maddie and kenzie they are MADISON AND MACKENZIE. so i have been trying to get used to using their full names when they aren't in trouble LOL

Monday, July 30, 2012

Awesomeness!!!

Ok, so it's really early in the morning for me to be blogging. I usually wait until later in the day, but I figured hey, why not get this put on there while it's fresh in my mind!!! First, I have to ask, is AWESOMENESS even a word????

So, as some of my readers already know, my husband and I have been married for almost 10 years. Up until this year, we were hit or miss with church. We would have times where we would be at church every Tuesday night for my Women's group and his Mens group, every Thursday evening for mid week service and every Sunday for service. While we were being fed, I was also volunteering in the 4 year olds class. That can be a challenge in itself. And that's a whole nother post that I should do sometime. But this year, God laid it on my heart to start going to our Couples Class. This class has been amazing! It has taught us both many things, so I was excited to have a Sunday to sit in the class with my husband and not worry if the kids were being good in their classes because they were at yaya's house. Well, as it turns out, there were tons of Announcements. During one of them, Susan said that the church was looking for 2 couples to "volunteer".

Immediately, God tugged on my heartstrings!!! This was an event I have been wanting to go to, and I'll tell you what it is, just be patient.

So to fully understand the whole story, I have to back up a bit. About a year ago, I had heard about this movie that was sweeping the nation. I tend to like to read the book, then see the movie. Many people think that ruins the movie, but my mindset is that by reading the book, I know what the characters are thinking in certain parts therefore enhancing my movie experience, so I downloaded Fireproof to my kindle. I finally read it this spring and WOW! That was one amazing book!!! Ok, so fast forward now to Saturday night... Ryan came home from dropping the kids off at his mom and dad's house. I was doing some work on the computer, and he said, "Honey, how about a movie tonight?" So I asked him to pick one out while I finished what I was doing. He still hadn't decided on what movie on Netflix to watch, so when I got done, I took the remote and started scrolling through, when I landed on Fireproof, we both were like, "lets watch that" so we did. Now, for some background info, my husband isn't a movie person, normally falls asleep during movies. Not this one. He watched the full thing and was in awe of it!
So, when in class, they asked for volunteers, I asked him if he would want to do it. He said, well, I'll have to take that day off, so he's gonna and not only are we volunteering for the event, but we get into the Love Worth Fighting For event at my church for free!!!

Love Worth Fighting For is an event that is going around the nation right now. Kirk Cameron and Warren Barfield are the ones who lead this event and it's going to be amazing! We both are excited to go! But if you are wanting more information about it or to preorder tickets, head over to the Love Worth Fighting For Website! It's pretty amazing for us to be able to go to one of these workshops!!!

While this means I will have to get a sitter for a long day, I don't mind because not only is it Serving the Lord through this awesome event, but it's also feeding my faith, as well as connecting and learning with my husband by my side! This is a monumental event because, one month five days later, we will be celebrating (at home) our 10 year wedding anniversary and a few weeks later, we will celebrate with our couples class at the couples camping retreat! So, this will just kick off our fall of amazing couples activities!

More is sure to come on that! So, I have had a weekend that I can describe in one word: AWESOMENESS!

Peace, Love, and JESUS CHRIST!!!!

Friday, July 27, 2012

economy

good afternoon and how are you? i am much better today. not feeling nearly as bad as i was yesterday. while i don't have a car to go places due to the hubbs needing it for work nor do i have a phone due to not being able to afford it this month, i am doing well. God blesses us all the time! so to start this post out I give ALL glory to God!

now, we all know that the economy has been very bad for a while. I only expect this to continue. with very few jobs out there and the housing market taking the hit it took, everything else has continued to rise in price. we can't let that get us down. at one time we were a 2 car family, home owning, house phone, internet, cable having cell phone carrying family. now we are a one car, internet only, one cell phone, renting family. it would appear that this is a bad spot, but I counter you on that. this is exactly where God wants us to be right now. while i took some time off of work, I am now a work at home mom. I am not in a get rich quick scheme, but I love what I do and the little I have made so far is more than we had when I wasn't working at all. ryan is still in steel decking construction. while he doesn't like to have to be away so much and work those long hours, he does it because he loves us and wants to provide the best he can for us.

so with his economy, it even makes buying groceries seem hard for a lot of families, and since we had rain all of last week, ryan's paycheck wasn't as good as we would have liked, so we are trying something new... i still have plenty of chicken and fish in the freezer, rice in the cupboard etc. so, when i post this list, keep in mind it is in addition to what we already have in the pantry. we are a little short on money this week, so we are going with the bare bones approach to our meals. while this may sound hard, it really isn't that bad. in fact, once a month we try to do this to clear out left overs and frozen meals. we also do this in order to prepare for the following week to buy a large amount of meat.

so here's my grocery list for the week:

baking powder (because i'm out)
eggs
whatever fruit is on sale at the best price
hamburger
milk
potatoes
vegetables (again what's on sale at the best price)
tuna (2 cans)
bullion cubes (again, i am out of these)
onions
shortening (this is only used for baking biscuits/tortillas etc)
nutmeg (this is a maybe, have to check the pantry, not sure if i have it on hand or not)
and tomatoes (diced canned will work fine if they are on sale)

*in the vegetables, i have to get peas and corn for sure

now, with all that said, i have a little menu that we will tweak when ryan gets home. i'm only listing our dinners because breakfast and lunch are easy... our dinners for the week include:
shepherds pie
tuna and pea wiggle
burger night (we will have burgers)
scalloped potatoes and veggies
scalloped potato and tuna casserole (made from left overs from night before)
veggie soup with rice
baked potato with veggies

*we will be adding in some chicken and fish i just have to see the nights that ryan wants to do that.

note that a lot of these recipes dont' have meat in the name. well that's because they are vegetarian recipes. meat is very expensive, so when we have to we eat without the meat. we will add meat as needed for ryan as he is the meat eater in this house. the girls and i can't wait to have that tuna wiggle! we love tuna!

and just for fun here are our breakfast plans:
eggs in a biscuit
pancakes
tortilla's with eggs and veggies
donut muffins
potato pancakes

a couple of those we like so much we don't mind having them 2 days out of the week.

for the most part we will use left overs for lunches.

and we will keep our shopping down to around 20 dollars for a family of four for the entire week! and some of these things will go for a lot longer than just the one week such as he baking powder.

i will post my final shopping after i get home from doing it this evening. and will post the recipes this week on the nights we use them.

i do pray that your weekend is a great one!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

busy time

as you all know, we are all having a busy summer. kenzie just finished her summer reading camp with school, and we will know officially what grade she will be in within the next 2 weeks. she took another standardized test, and the results will either push her on into 4th grade or keep her in 3rd grade. for those of you who don't know, in third grade, in the state of florida, all third graders have to take and pass the fcat in order to pass third grade. but they only have to pass the READING portion of the test. mackenzie, bless her heart, took the test, she scored at 175 on it. she needed a 182 to go on into the 4th grade. while this doesn't seem like a lot of a big deal, it is. because her grades were solid c's all year (and many parents would complain if their daughter brought home c's, i do not because i feel that anything over a d is a great effort), she did her best, but due to her feelign the need to rush through her work, she made some mistakes throughout the year, therefore resulting in the c's. while if she were to take her time and really concentrate, she would have probably been a b student, i have to say that with everything we have been through with fighting to get her the help she needs, she's doing well. now, onto other things. ryan has been on again off again with work. it's driving us nuts and he is actively applying, but it's like he puts in applications, and then they call him back to work so he can't do the interviews, but that will change. saturday he is going to a jobfair. it's with the gulfside hospice here in new port richey. please pray for a good outcome. we love having him home when he's off, but we need him to have solid work. while we are scraping by, it's by the grace of god. we can and will make it through this time in our lives. god will provide. i have continued my journey with thrity-one. it's been a great journey, and i look forward to seeing what other things are yet to come with this business. see a post later this week about that one. maddie has enjoyed having the summer to be with me in the mornings, but she is LOVING having her sister home now! they are playing ICarly now! Maddie is Sam and Kenzie is Carly! too cute!

we just had a weekend with our friends deb and kevin. it was a great weekend. kenzie had kaitlyn over for a sleepover, and so, deb and i went to the movies in the early afternoon and kevin and ryan went that evening. we all saw the hunger games at the three dollar theater. it was great! i am so very glad that i read the book before i went to the theater. i find that by reading the book , although there is alot having to be left out of the movie, i find that i totally understand the movies better that way. i can't wait for the second one to come out!

then monday, the maintenance man was here to do some work on the bathroom, and well, it's not looking so hot. he's just making shortcuts and not correcting the initial problems... so we have complained to the landlord about him. this is the 2nd maintenance man who has been working on the same issues and we are having the same problems out of him. i can't wait until God blesses us with enough money to put down on a house. it will come and when it does, i can breathe a little easier. while i like renting because i don't have to do the maintenance, i don't have a say in many of the aspects that i would love to have a say in such as for example, how hard is it to just give me a darn dishwasher? i would make my life so much easier! anyway, it's looking more like we will have to vacate this property and go live in one of the land lord's other properties so they can get all of the work done on this house. this may be the best scenario for us because with all the rain we have had, the septic tank is flooded (no, we don't have poo in the yard YET) and the septic guys can't pump it until our back yard dries up. it's been flooded due to the rain for about 2 weeks now. and the rain doesn't seem to be letting up enough to dry it up. and that's just one of the major issues with this house.

well until next time

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Tervis

Well, I know this may sound silly, but I am in love! I have found the cup we all want for our kitchen! And while many people might want to make sure they have matching cups, I'm going out on a limb here and saying that we want to get a tervis that is personalized to what each of us like. Why do we want these cups? Well, yesterday, at my Celebrate & Connect meeting, we were given Tervis cups for our amenity. (More on that later) And, while I haven't bought them in the past, I was excited to give it a try. I got home and put ice water in it. About an hour later, there still was no condensation on my cup! YES! I love this cup! Now, I have been using it for about a day now and no water circles, no need for coasters, they are dishwasher safe, microwave safe, and according to the website they are virtually indestructable. While they are a bit pricey, I think they are worth it! They run about $11 and up for the 16 oz I was given.

So now, on to the amenity that I told you about earlier. With my company, we have C & C meetings every other month, and if we register online they will send an amenity to the director who is hosting the meeting. So, this amenity will change and usually it's something that they want to promo or something that is not going to be available for a while yet, or maybe even something they have come out with FOR CONSULTANTS ONLY!

It's really cute! It's a Spirit Collection Thirty-One Edition cup! The design is one that I normally wouldn't have picked out but I love it! And it's very functional! In fact, my 9 year old is trying to take it from me! Looks like it's time to start picking out the perfect Tervis for her and Maddie both! We already know the perfect one for daddy!

Friday, June 15, 2012

decisions and moving on

while you know this week has been a week of decisions, we have gone through the decision making process for quite a while and most of the time i feel like we haven't made the best decisions, but when i think about that i resolve to move on to better decision making. with that said, i woke up this morning and made the decision to go to career central. while many of you might not know what this palce is, it's a place locally that will assist with employment and training to re enter the work force. i got the orientation for the wia program done. i've put in a few applications, and now am working on getting a great resume done.

ryan is working on a few things of his own, and i am hoping that sometime soon he will want to blog about that too.

kenzie and maddie have been great throughout this whole process... so they will be excited to learn that i stopped in at the y to apply for the open doors program! so i am hoping we can start that soon too.

my friend christine has been trying to get me to try a zumba class, but i've always turned her down, tonight i will be going with a different friend to try zumba with her! can't wait to see if i can keep up with these ladies! i'm sure i'll be worn out by the time i get home, but it will be worth it!

while at walmart, i saw a ring i wanted to try on, they didn't have it in my size, but i did learn that my weightloss has resulted in me loosing 2 ringsizes!!! wooohooooo! that's awesome!

and that's about where i will leave this post off. i am hoping that i will remember to blog at least once a week from here on out, but if i don't, i'll be back as quick as i can.

have a god blessed father's day weekend!!!!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

'tis a beautiful day

today is going to be a great day! not only is my hubby home <3 but my girls are having fun and i will be able to see my friend diana at church tonight! missed her something fierce here lately!!! i've printed the application to get my transcript, and just waiting to send it out til tomorrow when i get some stamps. i have ordered the pencil pouches for the girls, so that can be marked off of the to do list... and now i get to do what i love! reading my bible. i only have 1/2 of yesterdays reading to catch up on and then do todays, so i have to get busy, but before i do, i have to say that i am shocked. i mean, i know that there are people out there who are going to try and bring my faith down, but to find some articles on the internet where people are actually suggesting that Jesus was gay???? i mean, geez i just don't get it. i mean, the bible says that jesus was without sin. he was god in the flesh and god doesn't sin. the bible talks about how jesus was upright, blameless, sinfree, yet he went to the cross to die for the sins of all of us and yet, some people in the world are actually suggesting he was gay! so what does gay have to do with him being a sinner? well, it's simple, the bible tells us to love the sinner but to hate the sin. being a homosexual is a sin. it goes against my faith, and due to that fact, i have to believe that Jesus was in fact not gay. why in the world does Satan feel like he has to attack my faith like this? In the beginning when I didn't have the faith I have now sure, but as I age in my faith I find some of the things he attacks me with to be, well, quite FUNNY! I mean geez. he knows I read my bible, go to church, and attempt to live a life right with the Lord and he is going to bring this to me. Well, my only reaction is to knock it down with the power of the Holy Spirit and to bring the actual truth out there! It's crazy but it just took me off guard when I first saw this. I just can't believe how much Satan will do to try and destroy the Kingdom of God and when i say try i really mean that he is failing miserably. he will never win over my soul! Jesus is LORD of all!

and with that said, i am off to finish reading from yesterday and start today's reading. I have about an hour of reading ahead of me, but that's totally ok. i love reading my bible.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

First Set of Steps

So, I just got off of the phone with the college, and here are the steps I have to take:

1. Submit General Application and $25 Application Fee
2. Submit my High School Transcript (I have contacted the District, so I am just waiting on that one to come in)
3. Apply for Financial Aid as soon as possible.
4. Sit for Placement TEAS test. Submit $50 Testing Fee
5. Go in for New Student Orientation.
6. Attend Advisor Appointment to set schedule and answer any questions.
7. Take Pre Requisites-- A & P 1 and the Lab, Microcomputer Applications, Science of Human Nutrition, and Intro to Psych.

So now for the hurry up part of this, to be able to go in January, I have to have all of this done by September 2012, So I think it's safe to say, I'll enter the program next August. While it's a year away, that gives me time to get it all done. I'll have until May to get everything done, so that gives me time to get all of my classes under my belt and be excited for the RN program to start. After it starts, I'll have about a year and a half until I am done!!!

More updates are sure to follow this!

A great start!

So, you all know about yesterday's post and I am happy to report that I am having a great support from my closest friends! Thank you so very much!!! Here's a very short update:

I've contacted my high school district for my transcript! I know it's not a huge thing, but I have to have this first before I can start the process of taking the TEAS test and ultimately starting the Nursing Program! I'll be heading into the community college just as soon as this comes in!

After talking with my husband (who is working out of town right now) He's supportive of this decision as I knew he would be. We have talked about it before but never followed through, and this time, there's going to be no stopping me! I'm ready to take this bull by the horns! And with so many of my friends urging me forward and not having attitudes toward the decision, I am really feeling that I can do this.

I have spoken to the girls just to inform them of what Mommy is up to and they are excited for me as well!

I'll update more when I know my next steps. I'll be calling PHCC today, so I can find out exactly what my steps need to be.

Until then, God Bless You!

Monday, June 11, 2012

here's to beginnings

every now and then, we all have trials and tribulations.  and we don't always make the right decisions, so here's to new beginnnings!  ryan and i are embarking on a new beginning in our lives.  we are attacking this bull as a team yanking on the horns.  we will be successful.  and you know sometimes you have to fall all the way down before you can pick yourself up and dust your pants off and work your way up that ladder to success once again.  in the last 4 years, we stumbled, got up and started working toward the top again, but because we were making foolish decisions, we have fallen all the way to the bottom of the ladder, and now we are going to be starting fresh.  while he's had a great job, i have been staying home with the kids.  i will be challenging the state exam to get my certified nursing assistant's license back.  i allowed mine to lapse so i could spend time with maddie before she went to school.  now that she's starting first grade in the fall, i really think now is our time to shine.  i will likely put the girls in place before and after school care so that i can easily drop them off before going to work in the ams and then pick them up after i have run my errands.  it will cost me about 80 a week, but on a cna salary plus ryans salary, we can pay that.  then in the evenings, i will likely start taking courses at the community college in the fall or spring to work toward achieving my lpn degree.  while this was something that i didn't think i would ever want to do, it is what God is pushing me toward.  so when that's done and i have passed that board, i will work in that role for about 6 months before bridging over into the rn program at phcc.  I will take 1 year to get that rn degree, then continue toward my bachelors and bridging once again for my arnp degree.  Why you might ask?  well I am ready to finally put the past of feeling like a failure and like nothing i do is good enough behind me.  I am ready to be successful!  I have done my research, and while this will be a tough road, I know I can do it.  I've started gathering the documents I need to achieve this goal.  I am praying that by the time I turn 40, I will be an arnp.  That gives me 9 years to achieve it.  I will show you the figures after I finish with my post.  I know that when I was working, I was looking at it as a job and not a career.  I wasn't thankful for what I had.  I have changed my mindset on that.  When we both were cna's we neither one were happy, but I believe that was because we were choosing to not be happy.  When we were both working, we averaged about 40k a year.  Most of that was put toward old bills that we should have paid off instead of just splurging all the time.  I have grown a lot since then and I know that Ryan has too.  We are ready to start working toward our children's college educations.  We are ready to start working toward owning a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom home with an enclosed lanai with pool.  It doesnt' sound like much, but when you have nothing, any dream is better than no dream to work towards.  We are ready to start looking forward to being able to purchase a second car (and are hoping to do this by January 2013)  We need a second car badly. 

now for the fun part.  I went onto indeed.com for this information, and these are averages, so while it's a nice number, i know i may make a little less than the numbers you see here:

on average cna's in florida are making about $28,000 a year
on average lpn's are making $45,000 a year
on average rn's are making $76,000 a year
and on average arnp's are making $90,000 a year. 

again i stress, that i will probably make less than most of those averages to start, however, you have to remember i am coming back from not working for almost 2 years, so I need to start at the bottom and to me anything coming in is better than nothing coming in. 

i do want to ask one thing.  from my friends and family, please do not judge me for this decision, instead support me.  uplift me.  encourage me.  and when i ask for a sitter so i can go to class, it's not because i don't want to have my kids with me, it's because i want to get this done as quickly as i can so i can start spending more time with my kids and so i can better their future.  as i said above i have been feeling like i can't do anything good enough to please some of my family, so i want to change that and i need you to change your mindset to one of support and encouragement not one of judgemental attitude. 

thank you in advance for reading and encouraging me to live my dreams.  i am sure more posts will come as i get closer to living my dreams.  i am praying that i will have my cna test date by october 1, so i can start working by  the 1st of november at the latest!!!