Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A new year is coming and I'm coming back...

I'm testing out some new features, or should I say, new blog templates.  It's been awhile since I've been here on blogger and I'm excited to see what has changed, improved and been discontinued as far as features go. 

Here's a picture I wanted to share in the meantime :-).  It's from last December's major snowstorm....this year, there is NO snow on the ground...so I thought it would be good to reminisce.

Enjoy !

Monday, December 26, 2011

Create in me a clean heart, O Lord ~ A new devotional journey for Heart & Home

Organized Hearts, Organized Homes

It's that time of year...when everyone starts thinking about New Year's Resolutions...most of them ditched within the first few days or weeks.  As we close out 2011, I have been reflecting on what I need to do in my life and the person I want to be.  I recently found out about a 52 week devotional through a friend in a Home Blessing Facebook Group called Devotional for the Disorganized and decided that I (and my family) would be blessed very much by participating. It aims to target cleaning our hearts first and then cleaning the clutter of our lives will come as a result.  Homeschooling four children certainly brings about LOTS of clutter ;-).   I am looking forward to getting started with a group of very supportive ladies online. If you'd like to learn more about this devotional and what it's all about, visit this post about "What's a Clean Heart?".  Would you like to join me and some other wonderful ladies?  Leave me a comment below with a way to contact you.  Be sure to let me know if you are on facebook so you can join the special devotional group to participate in discussions and get the weekly challenges.  We'll be starting this Sunday, January 1st.  We've already received our first challenge:  Make a list of your TOP 5 Projects/Goals for your Heart & Home in 2012.   This is definitely going to take some thought as I see so many things that need to happen around here both internally and externally.  So with that being said, here are my TOP 5 (and not necessarily in the order of importance):

My Heart Goals:
  1. To continue to foster a closer relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and to have a heart like He does
  2. To continue in my journey of gratitude in all circumstances
  3. To set aside time each day that I may spend it with the Lord, one on one without any distractions
  4. To read my Bible completely in one year using my Bible Reading Plan
  5. To restore broken relationships that need to be restored

My Home Goals:
  1. Create, implement and maintain a workable filing system for the mounds of papers that take over almost every room in my home.  This particular clutter really affects how we feel about our home and each other, so it really needs to be tackled!
  2. Organize and catalog our homeschool library and materials.
  3. Create and implement a workable chore system for all members of our family so that we may easily maintain our home.
  4. Organize our huge rubbermaid bucket full of photos so that I can easily share these photographic memories with my children.
  5. To learn more about food storage and emergency preparedness and implement a storage system that will work for our family so we will never have to worry about food on hand in times of trial and emergencies.

How about you?  What would be YOUR top 5 Heart and Home Goals for 2012?

A Christ Centered Christmas

I recently had the opportunity to read Hal & Melanie Young's new e-book "Christ-Centered Christmas ~ The Ultimate Guide to Celebrating a Christmas Your Family Will Never Forget" and wanted to share with you what a great resource this is! Christmas has become so overly commercialized that people often forget what the season and day is all about....family coming together to worship and celebrate the birth of Jesus, our Lord and Savior. It's those memories we want to preserve for our own children. Hal and Melanie share how they have created traditions in their family that bring them all together and celebrate in a God-honoring way....from decorating your home, to activities during the advent season, to caroling parties and baking, Christmas gifts and Christmas Day activities. She also shares family recipes that were so mouth watering, that we are sure to try them out in our family next year!! One of the traditions that we started this year (before I even had a chance to read through their book) was the Jesse Tree. I wrote some about this Advent activity last year here, but it was something that I had done as a child in Church (many, many years ago) and wanted my children to experience the same. It's all about wonderful memories and glorifying God in each and every one of them. I HIGHLY recommend getting a copy of this book for yourself by visiting http://www.raisingrealmen.com/2011/12/announcing-christ-centered-christmas/.  You won't be disappointed and perhaps you, too, will move to having a more Christ-centered Christmas!!!