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I Am... Mama and Writer

First Mama.  Then Writer.  Though, of late, the latter has consumed a great deal of time as I work to get things in order to potentially be ...

Friday, January 31, 2014

Free Form Fun Friday

Did you know I have carpentry in my blood?  If one would consider skill/desire/ability to be in the blood if a parent does/did it, then I definitely do!  My Dad created with wood a good bit during my childhood.  It was always AMAZING and wodnerful to me to see him create something truly functional out of just flat pieces of various sizes of wood!

I have created with wood a little bit myself?  It's true.  I built a chicken tractor almost all by myself.  It's long gone now and my pictures of it are stuck on an inoperable computer, but if you read this post about the pallet fence my husband built, you'll see the tractor with a goat in it.  She liked being up high and loved that perch once the side came off and we couldn't use it for chickens any more.  I hope to build again soon.  It IS extremely difficult, though, to build with tenny tiny babes about, so building has to wait until the wee-est ones are bigger.  :)

A rabbit hutch was my next effort.  It went horribly.  Mostly because I was nagged at and called after every 5-10 minutes of my effort at building.  It was truly a horrible and horrendously frustrating experience.

I loved watching my Dad spread glue, affix his c-clamps and the really long ones for super big projects.  I remember some of his frustrations... so when I saw this awesome product (this is an affiliate link, it helps me if you buy here!), I knew I wanted to share/spread the news about it AND *some* day get a set of my own.  I sure hope it'll be sooner than later.

This amazing PATENTED tool is good for SO much more than simply holding stuff together.  It looks like it will hold stuff together wonderfully well, but it will ALSO: get into gaps as small as a 1/4 inch with the spreader attachment (it SPREADS!!!!), jack up to 300 pounds with the removable stands attachment (SAY WHAT!!??), hoist up to 300 pounds (SERIOUSLY!!??),  and it'll hold irregular shapes EVEN round pipes together AND has a no slip grip.  I am amazed and super impressed and SERIOUSLY want some of my own!

This product contains 2 jack clamps, 2 spreader attachments, 2 v-jaw attachments, and 2 foot attachments and does all that I've already shared.  Can you believe it?  Do you know someone who makes stuff with wood?  You definitely need to direct them to my blog!  ^_^

(^^ another affiliate link!)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thankful Thursday: a little about the woman with Pink hair

This Thursday, I am thankful for challenges that require me to do things I used to do for wrong reasons for right ones.  I'm thankful for the opportunity to stand up for my child/children in a way they could see and recognize as such.  I'm thankful for the challenge of staying away from personal attacks even when the other person with whom I am dealing resorts to them.

Yesterday, a woman at the market said something unkind to my eldest daughter.  It was inappropriate and if she actually spoke with rather than at my child, she never ever would've said what she did.  At first I was going to let it pass, as I have been challenged to do (in my nature I have always been a "quick to fight" sorta gal).  Over the last few years I've realized that I should just let it pass.  The more I attempted to do so over this issue, the more sick I felt about it... particularly because of the way my child looked at me and questioned me over this woman's words.

So, even though she was a few feet past us, I approached her to tell her she was wrong for saying what she said to my child.  She was defensive and retorted with additional information that revealed even further that she had really no clue what she was talking about and simply continued to argue only because she didn't want to back down and/or admit she had spoken unkindly and wrongly to a young girl.  Her arguments were horribly faulty and crumbled at every question I poked toward them.  Worst of all, she revealed that she believes the world is a horrible mean place and that children should be put in public school so that they learn that and learn how to deal with it because they are going to have to deal for the rest of their lives.  GAH!!!

Can you tell the subject under discussion was homeschooling?  Well, if you couldn't, it was.  I'll explain more about that another time.  Suffice it to say, for now, that I had a wonderful opportunity to see what I'm currently made of and found, much to my pleasure and joy, that I'm made of much better stuff currently than I ever have been.  Praise the Lord for making me new and increasingly like our dear Savior!  I've got SO far to go yet, but the progress seems really wonderful to me right now!

I really should've known this from all too frequent altercations I am involved in with someone who matters much more than this strange little old woman with pink hair who thinks the world is mean ever could be.  But those are so much more heavy-laden by emotion that it's difficult to discern all that I might understand about myself from them.  However, now that I've had this interaction with the little pink haired woman, I can see so much more clearly my personal progress with the other more important relationship.  Praise the Lord for using this mirror to shine light into the otherwise dimmer area!  :)

Additionally, I'm so thankful that even though yesterday's market day was super duper slow, I was still blessed with a sale!  Praise the Lord for blessing me with consistency.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Working Wednesday

Last Wednesday was a good working day.  Better than the week before.  Not as good as my best day at the market, but still good.  It was a great day as far as conversation and enjoyment.  It's coming to the point that working at the market is a bit of a break from my daily work.  And I get to spend more time paying attention to and playing with my babygirl for a lot of the time at market day.  I definitely like that!  I think she does, too.

 The children and I were so tired when we got back to the house that we all took a nap and ended up staying awake quiet late Wednesday night.  It was good, though.  Thankfully, everyone stayed mostly nice.  YEAY!

I forgot my camera again.  Sorry, no pictures from last week!

Grampa Bruce came by a couple of times with gifts for the children.  Another vendor gave the children gifts.  Yet another vendor let us borrow a blanket for the baby (it was quite warm the week before, but then very cold last week!).  Yet another vendor friend gave me a gift which made it easier for me to bring my birthday plans for my husband to fruition.  Praise the Lord!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

** The following is a review announcement from another blogger.  I'm helping to advertise.  :) **

Mom Are We There Yet has this fabulous giveaway for a Parking Garage Wizard. Know when to stop in your garage without the ugly hanging tennis ball. Want to know how it works? Check out the review.

IMGP2926I hope you'll click on over to read 'Mom Are We There Yet's' review of the Parking Garage Wizard.  Can you imagine how much neck craning and worrying this sort of product would relieve!  Thankfully, I just reverse into a carport now, but I remember feeling so worried when I was pulling into a garage!

One lucky person will win a Parking Garage Wizard from StopLite. Winner must be over the age of 18-years-old and live in the Continental U.S.
Disclosure: If a giveaway is being held: No purchase is necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law. Odds of winning are based on number of entries received. Giveaways on this blog are in no way affiliated with Facebook or any other social media networks. Mom Are We There Yet and all participating bloggers are not responsible for items not sent my sponsor or items lost in the mail.

Tricky Tuesday #16

The children and I put together a new "bug out list" a while ago.  It may have been as long as four months ago, now.  The list has each child's name on it and what they should bring/pack to our departure vehicle.  It is very specific about who is responsible for what and how much... so it would seem that there would be little for me to worry about other than the long list of things I need to pack.  Would it were so!

The children knew a drill was coming, but didn't know when it would be.  I was inspired to run one about two weeks ago as a result of writing THIS post.  They did really well this time around, all things considered.

We forgot the first aid kit and extra water.  I forgot extra clothes and underwear for my husband and me.  (I did get some for the baby, though!)  If you think that's lame, you should see my list!

I set the departure time at 15 minutes.  It took us almost 25... so that needs work.

My eldest daughter was yelling like a banshee a few too many times (even once would be too many, as we later talked about).

I had to speak way too frequently about who needed to do what... so we need to have a few more drills so everyone knows their responsibilities.

Still, it went rather well considering we haven't run a drill of this sort in more than two years... maybe three!  gah!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Meditation Monday #56

Praise the Lord!  Another week of daily meditating. I'm thrilled to be doing so consistently this time around.

I was even able to complete a LONG meditation just yesterday.  It felt SO nice!  This is NOT normal, but I'm so excited about it, I'm going to tell you ALL about it!  I started with an open, of course, then completed 7 minutes of the Sa Re Sa Sa meditation, 31 minutes of Kirtan Kriya, on to 4 minutes each of the two 'anger' forms I've been using, 7 minutes or Wahe Guru, 11 minutes of prosperity, and finished up with a Close.  My baby slept almost the whole time.  Pretty awesome, right!?  :)

Have you determined to begin a 40 day Challenge of your own?  I'd love to hear about it!

Don't these pictures just look TOTALLY serene!!?  I love them!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Super Sunday Slimdown

This week went pretty well!  I was able to exercise all week, YEAY!!!

I'm conflicted as I report that my baby has stayed home with her Daddy and siblings while I go for walks this past week.  It's just too uncomfy for her right now while it's cold.  She's so bundled up that being in my wrap is really confining for her.  She's growing up!  She wants to enjoy movement!  I think it likely that she won't come back to walk in my wrapsodybaby, but may change my mind if there are some really warm days.  It's just more frustrating than anything, for both of us.

Although I missed her little presence in front of me, I did also enjoy being completely alone for various lengths of time from 30 minutes to almost an hour.  It's been a while since I was able to be completely along for very long (she's seven months old now, so at least that long!).  It seems easier to transition through my seasons this time around.  I'm very thankful for that and think it's likely that meditation, essential oils and Bach Remedies have a HUGE role to play in this difference in me!

I've been collecting cans on my walks.  It's amazing how many I find in my little time out and about.  I'm grateful for the can throwers... not so grateful for the other trash I see.  *sigh*

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Saturday Soliloquy #20

From Melbourne I went to Adelaide.  This was my favorite part of the trip and my favorite "just stopping in" city (after Sydney).  I honestly cannot remember anything that I saw or anywhere that I went.  But it was wonderful because there were two sweet girls that welcomed me into their little group.  I remember one was named Caroline, but I cannot remember the name of the other.  I just remember having WAY more fun in Adelaide than any of the other stops on my trip to circumnavigate Oz!  I wish I could write to them and thank them for their kindness.  I'm still SO very grateful!!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Lilla Rose Sale: now through tomorrow

I hope you'll check it out.  If you'd like to communicate with me about it before you order, make sure to write to me at my Facebook page.  I'm in and out of there more often than here.









If you're willing to wait a couple days, I have a party open that will close right before the end of the month. Write to me in my Facebook page and I'll respond with a link to that party.

Also, I can still do a few parties before the end of February!  Still time to hostess and earn the opportunity for an entry into the $700 CASH drawing that all of my qualifying hostesses get!  Let me know if you're interested!

Free Fun Free Form Friday: Seeing Things Through Loving My Baby

I've been seeing a few things that seem, to my vision, to relate directly to spiritual things and, especially, God's Love.

My baby has hurt herself a few times.  Mostly because she's not really in control of her little body very well yet.  She's only seven months old.  Really, it makes perfect sense.  She has jerked around and hit her head on a drawer.  She has fallen over by overcompensating and hit her head or fallen on her face.  She has bonked herself with her hands a few times.  It's pretty comical, really, but I can also see that it's frustrating to her.  A few times as I've comforted her over her latest upset, I've realized that her situation is very much like me with my Heavenly Parents.

Do you see it?

Well, I don't know how in EVERY example in my life, but I'm willing to figure that I'm responsible for my own pain at least half the time.  I can't think of HOW, for the most part, but I'm certain I am like a baby in spiritual matters, so it just makes sense that it would be so.

Also, I've found myself working to make my little one's life more comfy.  When we go for walks, sometimes the sun is right in her face.  I often notice and go out of my way (making myself uncomfy) to shade her eyes from the sun.  She looks obviously like she is more comfortable AND completely unaware of what has cause the change.  I think this is very much like my life in Heavenly Father's hands/shelter.  I believe that I do not see or comprehend all the ways that Heavenly Father works to make my life more comfortable.  I can't see His hand shading me from the sun, but I enjoy the blessing of greater comfort as a result of His work on my behalf.

As I've come to see these things more clearly, I feel so grateful!  I'm so thankful Heavenly Father is always working to protect me and bless and prosper me and my family!

Skinny Pop Popcorn Review and Giveaway

SkinnyPop Popcorn Review and Giveaway

Hosted by: The Frugal Mrs. Jones

Sponsored by: SkinnyPop Popcorn 

SkinnyPop PopcornReview_Giveaway SkinnyPop starts with a premium popcorn kernel, sunflower oil and the perfect amount of salt. From there, "No Artificial Anything" says it all. Our popcorn has no GMOs, gluten or preservatives, making SkinnyPop a tasty, guilt-free snack. The phrase "..and the perfect amount of salt." is no lie! This is probably the best popcorn I have ever tasted. I used to crave movie theater popcorn because it was so delicious, and I absolutely LOVED the butter and salt on it. After having SkinnyPop, I don't think I will ever like movie theater popcorn as much as I used to! The flavor it perfect, and the popcorn is light and makes a perfect snack. There are only 39 calories PER CUP of popcorn - which means you could practically eat a few cups of it and not feel guilty! I received a whole case of popcorn (12 bags/case) and in about 4 days, half of the bags were gone! This popcorn was a big hit in my household. With 6 people living in the house, things tend to go pretty quickly, but this popcorn was a record-breaking snack because everyone loved it so much!


SkinnyPop is an extremely generous company, because they are giving the winner of this giveaway a full case (12 bags) as the prize!! This giveaway will run from Jan. 24 - Feb. 7, so make sure you enter! Good luck, and share with your friends! If they win, they will definitely have enough to share! Use the Giveaway Tool below to enter!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful for the rough patches as well as the easy times.  I'm thankful for hope.  I'm thankful for God's perfect provision.  I'm thankful to be alive!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Cotton Tale Design

This blog received no compensation for this giveaway.
Cotton Tale Designs offers cute baby and nursery decor for an affordable price. The designs you see on Cotton Tale Designs are done by Nursery Decor Designer and Nina Selby. She began Cotton Tale Designs back in 1990 and has restyled and originated the products that has become standard with all bedding manufactures. Nina is inspired by her love for natural beauty, which makes her work captivating and fresh. Currently she makes two separate designs, Cotton Tale Designs and N Selby Designs. N Selby Designs can only be found in Specialty Stores and Boutiques. Sweet Southern Lovin had the amazing opportunity to work with Cotton Tale Designs. I was sent the Gypsy 4 piece set by N Selby Designs. The set I received included the bumper, crib sheet, crib skirt, and comforter. Their designs are perfect for newborns up to toddlers. To see Sweet Southern Lovin's full review visit here. Don't have a little girl? Thats ok. Cotton Tale Designs offers tons of cute prints for both boys and girls, even neutral designs. Visit them here to see all of the cute sets they have.
Connect with Cotton Tale Designs On Facebook
Cotton Tale 1
Cotton Tale Designs is giving away a Baby's First Chair (RV $80) From their Gypsy Line!!
Giveaway will run from 1/17 (12:01 AM EST) to 1/31 (11:59 AM EST)
Open to residents in the US only, ages 18+.
By entering using the entry form below you are agreeing to the terms. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to winning email, or another winner will be chosen. This blog received no compensation for this giveaway. Sweet Southern Lovin is responsible for prize shipment. Any questions, email Michelle at Michelle@sweetsouthernlovin.com

I'm advertising for another blogger.  Pretty neat, huh?  I think this chair (which you could win!) is so super cute.  I know my girls (and little guy) would LOVE it!  :)

Working Wednesday

Last Wednesday was not a super sales day, but it was acceptable.  I'm thankful that I've been pretty steady with a low and high day, but mostly really steady.  Praise the Lord for it!  I forgot my camera, too.  sheesh... that's twice now!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tricky Tuesday #15

Emergencies.  We never know when they'll happen.  That's why they are emergent, of course.

I've been grateful for our systems on many occassions.  Probably MOST grateful when emergencies strike.  We run drills.  I wrote about this subject a little while ago.  We haven't had all that many lately, but I am gearing up to run some more.

I have done a couple since the incident in THIS post in which I share about why we run drills.  Once, our phone didn't work and I was worried that I had forgotten to pay the bill.  The time of day was rough... if I was too late, I would interrupt my husband at the very busy time of day at his job.  So, it was imperative that I get out fast.  So, I told the children they had less than 10 minutes to get ready to go and get in the van.  They tried to ask me questions and I just told them we had to leave and to get on it.  (If there was an ACTUAL emergency, I wouldn't have time to chat with them about why and how and all that, so it's important to keep the practices very close to the real thing.)

Because we have systems in place, the children were out and buckled in within seven minutes.  Yes, I am a little proud of that.  :)

We've had a few family meetings about what we need to do so that we can get out quick.  The meeting has also included conversation about what we each need to carry out to the van and HOW to accomplish what needs to be done so that we could depart in under 15 minutes and have lots of the important stuff with us.  We even have a list on the back of a door AND on the inside of a high cabinet (for me) that guests and visitors are NOT likely to see that describes for each of us what our responsibilities are.  This is a huge blessing.  When they start asking me what they should do, all I have to do is remind them of the list and they can figure it out for themselves!

If we faced a real emergency departure situation, I would have enough to deal with just trying to make sure I got everyone and everything out that I need to.  Answering questions would be way too stressful!

Do you have systems in place that will help you in case of an emergency departure situation?  I'd love to hear how they've worked for you!


Monday, January 20, 2014

Meditation Monday #55

Yeay!  Another week of meditation complete here.

Have you begun a challenge of your own?  Have you been thinking about meditating?  I hope you answer YES to both!  It feel so very good to accomplish positive steps in a good direction!  I feel I am being transformed into something/someone wonderful!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Super Sunday Slimdown

This week was more difficult than others in many ways.  For one, my husband decided that he absolutely must go hunting on the four mornings I might be able to walk.  Thankfully I was able to show him how inconsiderate of me that was and we made an agreement that he would get two and I would get two.

To accomplish my goal for the month, I had to figure out two more times to walk.  To do that I had to sacrifice time to work, which then makes my other work times more stressful because I have to attempt to do more in less time.  I didn't accomplish all that I hoped to as a result, but I was able to make all 4 walks this week.  Praise the Lord.

I sure did miss my morning walks on Monday and Tuesday (when husband was hunting).  I feel like less of a human being when I cannot get out to walk and I'm perfectly healthy, so should be able to get out.

No, walking with the children is not an option.  Part of the point of walking while wearing/having only my babygirl is #1 to get away from my full-time job (my children) for an hour... sometimes less... sometimes more.  But that is THE ONLY time I get away.  It can become a bit much to never get away.  I'm sorry to say it, but it is absolutely true.  If I didn't have meditation, I would be going nuts right now... as I probably was before I had meditation.  Even prayer and scripture reading/study, which I still do, did not help me the way walking and meditating have!

The other reason I walk without them is so that I can walk swiftly.  To accomplish the same exercise with children along would require AT LEAST 4 times the time spent walking... well, my children just wouldn't be able to walk that long.  I should take them on walks.  I need my walks to take care of me.  Not add one more thing to the list of things I SHOULD do that I cannot possibly add to my already jam-packed schedule!!  Seriously.  Why do I tell myself that: *should*.  I resolve to be kinder to myself.  Cause there isn't anyone else who is able to make sure kindness is part of my life consistently!

The scale has been calling my name lately, but I still haven't checked.  I'm thinking about it more and more, though!  It sure would be lovely to see a decrease there since I feel it in my clothes!  We'll see.  :)

I hope you're rootin' for me and joining in!  You can check in with me in Facebook (sometimes) by searching #TeamTori and #OneRollChallenge  It's a worthy cause: our health and fitness!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Saturday Soliloquy #19

After Canberra, I went by bus to Melbourne.  No, it is not said: "Mel-born."  It is said, "Melbun."  It can have a SLIGHT R sound right before the N, depending on the person speaking.

Honestly, I don't remember anything about Melbourne.  I do remember wishing I had a friend (or my guy) with me to enjoy the place and all there was to do and see.  I'm sure I walked around a lot.

I'm sure I enjoyed the sights, but for me... things aren't as important as people.  So, although I'm glad I went, not much stands out in m place.

Looking through pictures online, I found one that is very familiar.  So, I'm sharing it here.


Friday, January 17, 2014

Free Fun Free Form Friday: a Meme on Reflecting

I'm so excited to share a lovely quote joined with a great photo.  The quote: from Jane Austen.  The photograph... one of mine!  I'm very happy with the composition... it's pleasing, I think.  I hope you enjoy the two together.  DO tell me what you think, please!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful for God's constant and endless provision.  I'm grateful for the way He shows of His love and mindfulness.  He is so constant and Good.  I'm thankful for my life and that my family is still together.

Hope is a wonderful gift.  Don't you think so?

hope is a gift

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

January Days Giveaway

January Days $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway is sponsored by the Western Journal and hosted by The Parenting Patch! The cold, winter days of January are half over and you could receive $50 to spend at Amazon.  Two readers of The Parenting Patch and the Western Journal will each win one $50 gift card to Amazon.

To enter for your chance to win the January Days $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway, simply use the following Rafflecopter form. a Rafflecopter giveaway

The January Days $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway is open worldwide. Should the winner be overseas, that person will receive $50 via PayPal!!  The January Days $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway ends at midnight CST on January 29, 2014. Two winners will be chosen at random via Rafflecopter. The winners will be sent an email and will have forty-eight hours to respond. If no response is received within forty-eight hours, another winner will be chosen. The Parenting Patch and other participating blogs are not responsible for prize fulfillment.

Working Wednesday: Special Video of my Girls in Action

This video was a bit staged.  I mean, really... do you think it would even be possible for ME to be behind the camera and catch them in the act of attempting to get a passer-by interested.  How very cool it would be if I could get someone they didn't know to do a video of them in action!  THAT would be suh-WEET!

We had a good day at the Market last Wednesday.  I realized I was stolen from the last Market Day.  So very upsetting... especially because I'm pretty sure I know who it was.  :(  She seemed so kind.  Just another lesson for me on NOT to trust people as much as I would like.  *sigh*

This past Wednesday ended up about half as much as my best day.  I'm so grateful.  Especially now because I'm hoping to make a child's wish come true.  It's a worthy desire... and I miss my sister!  I'm hoping God will continue to bless and favor us and enable me to earn the funds we need to make this dream come true!!  God is so good... I'm just hoping He wants what we want!  :)

They don't normally demonstrate the item they did this time...
proved a little awkward.  Next time I'll make sure they do a Flexi
for you to see.  That is what they sell most consistently.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tricky Tueaday #14

Today is a continuation of my series on SYSTEMS and rules that help me as a Mama.

Shopping is a chore, but if we have systems in place, it doesn't have to be as bad as it otherwise might be.  My children love to go shopping.  I'm not entirely sure why, but it usually is a pretty good experience... and they get to leave the house.

Unloading the groceries could be as much or more of a hassle if we try to do it without systems in place.  I totally remember those days!!!

For me, unloading the children is the same process at home as anywhere else (with a little more easy-going mama at home since I'm not worried about them running into the parking lot and getting run over).  They know that they are expected to hang out near whereever I put the groceries into the van.  Before I started selling Lilla Rose at the Farmer's Market, that place was pretty much always the very BACK of the van.  But now that's pretty full of my set-up for the market, so I usually load the groceries into the passenger seat area of the van now.

As a result of this change, the children unload themselves from the van and hang out around the front of the van until I have baby in the sling and am ready to distribute stuff for them to take in the house.  I make sure to give the little guy (2 years old) the lightest groceries.  Sometimes I have to take stuff out of a bag for him to carry.  I can NOT leave him out of this process or there will be greater difficulties in the short and long-terms.

The girls carry the bulk of the groceries and I follow up with whatever is left after they run and make a few trips to unload.  It works very nicely.  Once inside, I coordinate the unpacking of bags.  Usually with the two youngest trying to help and being reminded that they need to get out of the kitchen.  The older two girls are very helpful.  Often my second daughter is assigned to read to the younger two with my oldest daughter helping to load things in to the refrigerator or putting other things away in cabinets.

Now, all of this series (concerning the systems I use for shopping trips) doesn't mean that we have NO problems ever.  We do.  The children don't keep their hands to themselvses perfectly.  They don't do what they are told the first time.  We have lots of problems.  But the problems we face are not, thankfully, temper-tantrum-type problems (unless it's mine when they ask for something I had on my list!!!  haha).  Praise the Lord!

Are you excited to see what comes next week?  I sure hope you are!!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Meditation Monday #54: again with FOCUS

My schedule is in flux lately and I've been feeling a bit more chaotic as a result.  I don't like it at all.  I much prefer the regular things happening at the regular time.  So interesting, that!  I never EVER would've imagined that I would say and truly feel such a thing, oh, 5 years ago... shoot, even 2 years ago!  I mean, I was uncomfy... but in a comfy way... with the chaos of my daily life.  Now, chaos is uncomfortably uncomfortable!  I think that's a REALLY good thing!  What do YOU think?  Are you uncomfortably comfy with chaos?

This past week I was able to meditate every day.  YEAY!  I was even able to complete a few LONG meditations.  One even had a half-hour Kirtan Kriya!  A couple have had longer-than-7 minute SaReSaSa forms and a couple longer than 3 minute Prosperity meditations!  I'm feeling very accomplished, could you tell?

My thoughts have been very much on my word for the year: Focus.  Also, I continue to think a lot about cycles and repetition of sameness or improving upward.  The Mandlebrot Set (MS) keeps coming up.  Just this last week I was able to talk about the MS three or more times!  Once with someone I've never spoken about it... THAT is always so exciting to me!!

 Nice picture for FOCUS, right?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Super Sunday Slimdown: remembering the Fireman Attire

This week was good, yall!  How did you do with any of your goals?  I'd love to hear!

As for me, I was able to walk four times.  Two of those walks also resulted in collecting lots of cans!  We've been trying to get a good bunch to turn in for cash... just another "stream of income" in our multiple stream effort.  Every stream that feeds the ocean plays a part in the whole.  So, too, with every little effort to earn an income!

I haven't weighed myself or anything lately.  My Mom mentioned that she thought my hands looked more slender.  That's nice!  My clothes feel more comfortable.  I'm glad.  It's so much easier to DO stuff without all the extra weight.

Once, when I was visiting my family in Virginia my brother had me try on his Fireman suit.  It was HEAVY!  I felt tired just wearing it for a few minutes.  Come to find out, it was right around the same amount of weight I'd shed prior to that point!  NO WONDER I was always tired!

I gained weight after my son #4 and didn't start shedding that until I was preggie with my current baby #5 (who is now 7 months old!).

Check out One Roll At a Time.  I'm on the writing team there.  Also, you can join us on Facebook by searching #OneRollChallenge.  I hope you will!  :)

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Saturday Soliloquy #18

Last week was a bit about Sydney and my time there.

When I left Sydney, I went (by bus) to Canberra, which is the capital of Oz.  My hostel was pretty near the center of things, which is a huge blessing.

To say Canberra properly, you say: "Can-bura."

I walked to various places to see the sights.  I went into many of the "important" buildings.  I also visited a war memorial.  I'd never been to any in the U.S. so it was a very touching experience for me.  I think visiting such a place (especially for the first time) is amazingly powerful and really puts things into perspective... at least for a little while.  It was a memorial with lots of names... and looked kinda like a tomb.  It was heavy on my heart for a long time afterward.

Australia War Memorialflowers in the wall

It's beautiful, isn't it?  Even though the photos do it justice... they don't.  It's so difficult to describe.  But there is NO way that a photo can replace BEING there.
This fact, is one of the reasons I have some of the dreams/plans I have.  I truly believe it's better to BE there and EXPERIENCE stuff than to simply accept the vicarious experience of a TV program or a photo.
Anyway... back to my time in Oz.
I'm not sure if I had really been to D.C. before my trip to Oz.  There was a different feeling about that city than others.  It was like it was lacking.  I didn't know how to describe the lack back then.  But now... since I've been to D.C. as well as Canberra... I think I would describe it as a lack of goodness in/of Spirit.  Not to say that all the folks who work and live in those cities are bad.  I certianly do NOT believe that at all.  It's just an overall feeling.
And the buildings... while they are impressive, they felt empty and lacking.  Now makes me think of "the great and spacious building" in Lehi's vision and Nephi's dream.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Free Fun Free Form Friday: My Little Boy in a Suit

We've been out and about a bit in the last two weeks.  Mostly because I waited until the last day of December 2013 to take the children to the Temple and then had the opportunity to go again within the same week because it was a new month.  Jmy asked a few days after one trip and I was happy to say YES for once!  It was a blessing for all of us.  We had a lovely Temple day on January 4, 2014.

Going to the Temple means getting extra dressed up.  We didn't wear the same outfits, but we did wear nice and pretty clothes.  Jmy was in a suit and tie.  The girls did not wear the same dresses as in the post linked above, but they were very nicely dressed in dresses.  I don't ALWAYS make sure Jmy is in a suit and the girls in dresses, for sure, but I am working to make sure they are very neatly dressed.  It makes a difference.  It really does!

little boy in a suit

Why?  I'm glad you asked!

It's because of the way others perceive.  When the children are dressed very nicely, people rarely say, "You've got your hands full," with the sorta negative tone or expression.  It's difficult to describe if you haven't experienced it, but there is a BIG difference between those who say that same phrase with wonder and awe or congratulations and those who say it and sound like they mean, "Why on earth do you have THAT many children!!?"  Truly, there is.  When the children are dressed very nicely AS WELL AS behaved wonderfully, I hear the latter much more frequently than the former.

Just the other day, Saturday, Jan. 4th, we went to Chick-Fil-A as part of our Temple trip (we don't always or even often get to do that, so it was a bonus) and our cashier asked if we'd just gone to church.  We hadn't, so I told her no.  She asked why we were so dressed up.  I often would use that opportunity to share that we go to the Temple, but this time I shared the other reason, "Because it's easier to convince people that I know what I'm doing when the children look good."  I do know what I'm doing (most of the time), so it's MUCH easier to interact with people when we LOOK like it!

It was interesting that day... SO many people sorta stopped what they were doing to look at the children and smile and say something kind.  I think it might have been a little bit like being a celebrity... very surreal!  I mean, we go everywhere together and that rarely happens QUITE the way it did that day.

Pretty fun, all told!  :)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Thankful Thursday: Introducing Focus My Word of the Year

I'm thankful for all of the possibilities that each new day brings.  I don't take advantage of them all (who can?), but I sure am thankful for them!

Using my time more efficiently and to better result is among my main efforts lately.  It's amazing how much I am able to accomplish when I put my mind to FOCUSing.  I haven't shared, specifically yet, but FOCUS is my word for this year, 2014.  FOCUS.  It's a good word, don't you think?  I'm grateful for the opportunity to FOCUS and change myself to be more FOCUSed.

introducing focus my word of the year

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Working Wednesday

I'm so excited!  It's sorta overwhelming, but wonderfully so!  I'll tell you about my other-than-Lilla-Rose-work in just a minute.  I just have to tell you about my Lilla Rose news first!  :)

What is so exciting and overwhelming?!  I'm glad you asked!

A few Lilla Rose Consultants and I have joined together to create an AWESOME Hostess incentive.  So far, since I have been a Lilla Rose Consultant, I have had 4 Hostesses.  Most of my selling has been via the Farmer's Market.  Three out of the four had parties that were more than $200.  The other... well, not so good.  But it could've been with a little effort on my Hostess's part.  How does this tie in?  Well, all of my Hostesses who have $200 parties from now until the very last day of February, will be eligible for the Hostess incentive.  I've already booked 4 spots and I have only 6 more to fill.  I hope you will be one of my Hostesses!

The Grand Prize winner will receive $700 cash AND a $200 shopping spree with her Consultant, me if you win after Hostessing with me!  There is also a similar second prize and may even be a third prize!  How exciting is that!??  And that, my friend, is all ON TOP of what you'll earn by simply having a $200 Party!  It's a win-win situation.  There really are not many deals that truly are win-win, but this is!

This is the Flexi of the Month for January 2014.

The Flexi is the signature piece of hair jewelry and can be used for scarves as well as a few other things (not just hair).  We also have other pieces of hair jewelry, too.  Something for every lady with any hair and since flexis can be lovely ornaments for scarves... we even have something for ladies with no hair!  :)

I've got a couple giveaways live currently.  Available to all new Lilla Rose Customers.  I hope you'll check them out.  One with Outnumbered and the other with Growing.  Enter both!

I was able to go to market day today!  I'll tell you about it next week.

In other working news... I'm still striving to figure out the whole 'monetizing a blog' thing.  I've earned a little already, which is really encouraging!  I hope you will enjoy all that comes of this effort of mine to create a new stream of income for my family via this place I have nurtured for the last 8 years.  I still love writing here... just hoping to bring in some needed income via this passion of mine!

Crocheting is still on the stove of my mind... sitting in the warming spot, currently (meaning: I've not had any orders recently).  If you'd like me to make something for you, let me know!

I continue to love my Tower Garden.  I haven't spent as much time nurting it as I would like, but it continues to thrive and provide us lovely veggies!  It's also just really cool to look at!

Young Living essential oils are amazing!  I'm so grateful to be a distributor of them!  I've been using various brands of essential oils for more than 7 years now and I think essential oils are, basically, miracle workers.  Young Living has surprised me, even with my "long" experience with EOs!  I don't have a wide variety of the oils yet, but I have used Lavender extensively.  It is SO effective!  I was not expecting to be as impressed as I am.  I've used it on my baby's face when she's almost caught the cough/cold the older children have had and each time (three now), she has immediately recovered!  I've also used it to help me stave off the cold and it has helped my children relax and rest better through the night.  I've had LOTS of neck and back pain the last month and the Lavender EO from Young Living has helped woderfully!  The biggest difference?

Well, with other Lavender EOs I could sorta FEEL it upon application.  It wasn't super hot and it didn't really burn, but it was definitely warm and maybe a little tingly (depending on the brand).  I don't feel anything with YL Lavender... nothing like that, anyway.  I only feel relief that seems to just... appear!  It's been really wonderful!

Bit by bit, I'm working to change all my essential oils over to Young Living oils!!

That's all for now.  Til' next Wedneday when I share more of what I'm working on!  ^_^

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Tricky Tuesday #13

How DO I save money and aggravation while shopping without using any coupons?

Well, I'll tell ya!

It's called the: Ask-for-it-and-I-don't-buy-it rule.  And it works WONDERFULLY!

When I first instituted this rule, I wasn't so sure it would help very much.  Children test.  It's just the way it is.  I figured I was in for a lifetime of having to say no a million times every time we went shopping.

One day, though, I decided to try this rule.  I don't know if I read it somewhere or if it just suddenly popped into my head.  I've had both experiences with various parenting successes... I just don't keep track of which is which very well.  Anyway... I told the children, "If you ask me to buy anything from now on, I will not buy it.  The only way you can tell me what you want and STILL maybe get it is if I ask YOU what you want."  As I mentioned, I didn't know how well it would go.  My children test and test again (even when they REALLY know the rules).

Well, they definitely tested.  I had my list all written up.  And they know, if it's on the list, I'm definitely getting it unless I absolutely cannot find it.  I was standing in front of the frozen pizza place and one of my girls asked if we could please buy pizza.  I was SO upset!!!!  I basically had a temper tantrum right there and said something like, "What!!??  Why in the WORLD would you ask for pizza after I JUST told you, reminded you, and told you again about the new rule!!!??  Do you see this (made sure to show list to each child)?  Do you know that it says PIZZA!??  And now... and now I can't get pizza, which we were going to have for DINNER tonight, because YOU had to go and ASK for it!  GAH!!!!  What am I going to do for dinner now?  I'm so frustrated.  Why in the world would you ask when you know the RULE??!!!"  The girls spent the time I was fussing in frustration looking at and slightly elbowing each other.  When I was finished, they appologized.  I said, "Thank you.  Still doesn't help me with dinner!"

Well, since that experience, my children have only RARELY asked me to buy anything in the grocery store.  I invited a child to tell me what they wanted on their birthday.  Reminding all, the whole while, that this is different because I asked.  They get it.  They really do.

I am so grateful for this rule in place.  I can usually go shopping with all of my children (5) with far less frustration than I felt with 2 or 3 before I put the rule in place.  Praise the Lord for His perfect provision in EVERY way!

If you are interested in more ways I keep order and peace among my children when we are out and about, click on over HERE to read about systems!

Next week I'll continue to share more about shopping.

Monday, January 6, 2014

This Month's Flexi of the Month is a Peacock

What do YOU think???  You can find it, as well as many other lovely Flexis at My Lilla Rose website.  Make sure you check back here on Wednesday to read about what I'm doing for work... there's something awesome you can participate in... I want you to have a chance at winning an AWESOME prize!!!

Meditation Monday #53

I almost missed a day this last week!  I remembered right before I went to sleep, so made sure to do my forms.  I was even able to do a longer-than-usual Kirtan Kriya since babygirl was deep asleep!  :)  This is another week of every-day-daily meditation.  YEAY!!

That means I'm 2 weeks into my current 40 day Challenge (that I've had to restart twice before!).  I sure am hoping to complete it this time.

Cycles and seasons and systems have been forming with even greater clarity in my mind's eye and to my understanding.  It's amazing to realize how The Mandlebrot Set is manifested micro-cosmically as well as macro-cosmically!  I feel awed and amazed to realize new aspects of it.

Everything is a system.  A cell... it has all the different parts that do their different things.  An Atom... if we could truly understand/see, we would see that even electrons and quarks (and anything else that might come along that we perceive as smaller) have their own separate parts working together... basically controlled by a central intelligence for the individual system as well as an overarching one for the whole of the whole system.  It's wonderful and awesome!

As I meditate, especially using the SaReSaSa Meditation, I feel more understanding and awe about all of it.  Not just on the micro end, but on the macro, too.  It's amazing and awesome and... well, I just wonder how anyone could think it could all happen with such order and precision without intelligent design?  It's just beyond my ken.

Lately, my routine has been: open, SaReSaSa, anger, anger, Kirtan Kriya, prosperity, and close.  You can find four of those HERE.  I'm not doing the releasing anger/negativity linked from that post.  The anger meditations I'm using are included below and in the order I do them, too.  :)

Have you been meditating?  Are you experiencing anything particular/peculiar/unusual/good/bad... anything?  I sure am experiencing good stuff and hope you are, too!!!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Sunday Slimdown: Shedding Weight Instead of Losing It

I'm a member of the writing team for One Roll At a Time.  I'm excited about this blessing at this time because I want encouragement in this part of my journey... shedding excess weight.  I'm tired of feeling alone in my efforts.  It's good to have company with whom to struggle along, don't you think so?

First things first... What is it with the phrase most folks use to talk about getting rid of fat.  They say, "Losing weight."  I'm not losing weight, my friends.  I'm working hard to get it out of my system and I am happy to get rid of it and pray I will be able to refrain from packing it back on.  When it finally does evacuate from my body/temple/system, I'm glad.  I don't feel upset or frustrated at all.  When I lose things I am unhappy.  So, when I refer to working toward a slender figure, I work hard to say, "Shedding excess weight."  Have you seen a snake or other skin-shedding beastie at their work of leaving behind their old outward parts?  It's rather difficult work to my understanding.  So, it seems super appropriate to use that particular phrase for my process.  Maybe, if enough of us use that phrase, we can bring about a shift in word use and thereby a slight change in the way the whole process is viewed and maybe even dealt with.  Yes, I know... highly unlikely to come about via my puny lil' blog.  However... YOU can talk about it and spread the word.  YOU can bring about this shift and change.  I'd love it if you tossed me a bone by referencing me here on We Keep Choosing Us, but you don't have to, for sure!

So, this past week was better than many recently!  I was actually able to get out and walk four mornings.  YEAY!  It would've been more, but my husband's schedule and activities cut in to my walking time.  ahwell.  I'm worried that I may be getting sick again... so we'll see about next week.  I'm okay with it either way.  I am, for the most part, making better food consumption choices, which is also going to enable me to shed the excess weight.

If you search #OneRollChallenge, you can see me as I am.  I'm going to do a side-by-side before and after for the month... I've posted my before.  MAN!  That was so difficult!  I didn't realize how truly horrible I look when comparing my figure to what is considered healthy and fit and slender and attractive.  I will admit that I still feel a bit sick about it... sick being a mixture of frustration with myself and disgust and... oh, so much STUFF!  Anyway... I encourage you to search that hashtag and join in on this month's series of challenges.  They are, really, quite simple.  I hope you will!

See you there!  :)  Oh... and tell me what you think about "shedding weight"!  :)

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Saturday Soliloquy #17

This post continues the story from last week.

Sydney is a very big city with lots to look at and experience.  I'm sure there's even more if you have more money than I did!  Still it was cool to walk up and down the streets.  I'm glad I'd already had my circle drawing experience in Japan.  One really big difference between Sydney and other big cities I'd seen in the U.S. is that it was way older looking, but very clean.  By older looking, I mean that the style of the overall architecture is so much older.

Additionally, it seemed like the city design is more geared to community.  There was an area of shops and such that could only be accessed by foot.  You had to park pretty far away to get to it, from what I could tell.  Of course, I didn't have a car or use one, so I may have missed something.

I met one young lady with whom I am still in contact with.  Katrin Henn.  She was a bright spot in my loneliness in Sydney.  We ate together and talked.  It was so nice to spend some time with her!

In walking, I enjoyed finding LOTS of sushi places.  Some were actual restaurants.  Others were more like a sort of closet off of the strip into which you could walk and have service at a bar (or order from the front a premade plastic container of something or another).

There was a huge flea market area.  I could've spent most of my few days in Sydney in that place!  SO many vendors!  It was pretty cool.

I really enjoyed my time in Sydney.  It was a good first experience of Australia.  Just a bit lonely.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Free Form Fun Friday

Fridays will be for WHATEVER!  Yeay!

Orlando Temple Collage Of Gollihugh Children images

What is today?  Well, I just wanted to share somethings I love with yall!  First, my children and second visiting the Temple.  Mostly just pictures... that's a first from me in a long time.  We went to the Temple even though it was closed because, for various reasons, we hadn't made it all December.  The goal?  To take pictures of the children in front of the sign.  We'd never done it.  It went very well!  ^_^

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful for amazing children and a united family.  I'm grateful for phone calls from family!  I'm thankful that I have some lovely sisters, brothers, and a wonderful Mom and Dad who love me!  I miss them like crazy right now!!!  I'm thankful for my life.  It's not always easy... it's not always enjoyable... but it sure is wonderful!!!  I'm SO thankful!!!

This image is from Clumsy Crafter.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Working Wednesday

Another holiday on a Wednesday, so no Market Day today.  Don't you worry, though, I'm working!

I've submitted two pieces to two different blogs and I'll be published later this month.  I've got another piece I'm finalizing and that, too, will appear on yet another blog later this month.  Yes.  Yes, I have been busy!  Thank you for asking!  :)

Although I have been pretty busy, I'm feeling pretty good.  A little on edge at times, but better than I have in situations as potentially stressful in the past.  HEY!  Maybe I'm actually growing up!  That is a hopeful idea!

Crocheting has been going on around here a bit, too.  My girls are excited about learning and doing pretty well with it (the two eldest).  That's exciting for all involved, of course.

So, I'm keeping busy with various things pertaining to those and more.

Oh!  HEY!  If you want to hostess a Lilla Rose Party with me, right now is an AWESOME time to do it.  A few teammates and I have a special incentive going on...  If you hostess and your party qualifies (reaches $200 for this opportunity), then you are entered into an opportunity to win $500 OR MORE!  How awesome is that?!!?   By the way, three out of the four parties I've had so far have finished at more than $200 easily.  The other party... well my hostess really didn't do anything for the party, so it didn't qualify at all.  Let me know if you'd like to be a hostess with me!  You can comment here with your email address, write to my email, or contact me via Facebook.  They all work well to get in touch with me.  :)

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