Thursday, March 31, 2011

3 in 30 - April's Goals



Last week I hinted that I wanted to do 4 in 30.  I know I'm flaunting the rules, but I don't think anyone will complain and if they do I'm not listening. 

My 4 for April

1. Work on my daily schedule.  Not that I want to live by a rigid schedule.  I've been aware of where my priorities are these days and they haven't been where they should be.  As we are selling the house and getting ready to move, I would like the house to be ready for viewings within at least a 30 minutes notice, this will also get me in the habit for the new house as well.  We would like to start things on a positive and be pro active not reactive.  This requires me to following some sort of housecleaning plan and **gasp**  it looks like I'm following the Fly Lady again, which admittedly I'm rather enjoying this week.  I'll keep you posted as to how this schedule will look next week.

2.  Drink more water.   I have become addicted to diet Dr. Pepper lately.  When your husband asks who's drinking all the diet Dr. Pepper after being at the bottle depot you know you may have a problem.  I've also been drinking at least 4 cups of coffee a day.  When the other two aren't around, I've been drinking what is around - ginger ale, Pepsi, diet Coke, etc...  I recently purchased a 950 ml water bottle and I want to drink at least 3 of these a day.  This will help me get into the habit of drinking water, as well as lose some weight.

3.  Exercise 5 days a week.  This was one of goals for January and I kept up on it until around the middle of February and my pants are proof of that.  I want to get back on track literally and start working out again so that I can fit into some smaller summer clothes when it comes time to buy them.  That's if summer ever shows up, as spring is only finally deciding to introduce herself to us.  

4.  Finish the B90 challenge.  I am admitting that I got lost and dropped off the face of the B90 challenge.  I decided though that I want to finish.  I'm on day 68 so I don't have much left.  I'm going to continue on and finish by the end of April.  This all falls in setting my daily schedule by adding time to read.   But I wanted to add it as it's own goal for April so that I would be accountable and finish it.

So yes, this month I have 4 goals.  I have a feeling that April will be a good month....(yes you can sing along to it, thanks to the Black Eyed Peas.) and I know that I have some great friends to keep me accountable to them.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wednesday's Voice - Pakistani

Pakistani Christian freed from her captors

A Christian mother of seven in Lahore, Pakistan, was recently freed from her Muslim captors after being kidnapped last August, drugged, raped, sold into marriage, and threatened with death if she did not convert to Islam. Forty-year-old Shaheen Bibi was taken from her place of employment to a nearby city, drugged and raped. When she awoke, her kidnappers told her that she had been sold into marriage to one of them. She told them she was a Christian, and they gave her a prayer rug and tried to get her to convert to Islam by reciting a Muslim prayer. The kidnappers demanded a ransom ($1,170 CAD) from Shaheen's father, Manna Masih, by March 5. Local police refused to help Masih rescue his daughter, claiming that the area she was being held in was too dangerous. Masih then sought help from a human rights organization. On March 6, a team managed to rescue Shaheen from her captors, who handed her over on the condition that they not be the targets of further legal action. After her release, Shaheen reported that there were at least 10 other women in captivity with her. Some of the women had their hands and legs broken because they refused to be forced into marriage.

Thank the Lord for Shaheen's release. Pray for God's comfort and peace to govern her as she recovers from her brutal assault

Pray the other women will also be freed from their captors. Pray for the hope of Christ to radiate in their hearts and minds, even as they suffer.

Ask God to bring their captors to repentance and lead them to salvation in Christ.
Sunday, March 27, 2011

Happy Birthday Middleman!

Today is middleman's birthday.  I have many stories about the day he was born.  From telling his sister the baby was coming and seeing her run to the window saying "I don't see the baby." to some serious potty mouth from mommy during delivery (have I told you his head was in the 98%).  

Middleman has always had a mind of his own from the moment since he was born.  He is both giving (he'll take two cookies from the cookie jar to share with his sister at 7 am) and stubborn ("No story, not bedtime yet.").  He has some great truths for life (God lives at Church).  When he sees you crying he wants to make you smile.  He wants to play "tickle, tickle, tickle," especially when he knows he's in trouble.   One day he's Optimus Prime (including sound effects) then he's a cowboy or a puppy.

Since getting his assessment, we have had to come to some realizations about middleman.  However, it doesn't make us love him any differently.  It just means that God has blessed us with an exceptional child and middleman is truly exceptional.  Happy Birthday my middleman!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Caffeinated Randomness - Ramblings of a Mommy Babble Blogger


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I am a proud Mommy Babble Blogger.  I love blogging and enjoy reading others rambling babble.  Some things I write are very profound.  Ok admittedly maybe just to me.  Other things I write are pure babble.  I think of my posts as conversations I have with my closest friends.  You either agree or you disagree with what I have to say.  You may learn something or I may learn something through your comments.  I have always felt that my blog is my place to get to tell the world the "much deep and profound brain things inside my head" (thank you King Julian).   It's not quite a journal, because I don't think I could handle everything I think or feel posted for the world to see.  But it is a place I can share and not feel like I'm going to be condemned by the world.  


Having just stated that though, you may be wondering why I'm even calling myself a Mommy Babble Blogger.  It all started with listening in to a replay of our local talk radio's morning person.  He was responding to a blog on Babble.com called "Mom Confession:  I Think I Love My Son A Little Bit More."  Now I'm not going to give my opinion on this blog, but I can tell you that while giving his opinion the radio personality kept referring to mommy bloggers as Mommy Babble Bloggers.  Not in a positive way, but in a very negative way.  His comments went from "like a lot of bloggers she can't shut the **** up"  to "If you're going to blog and it's going to take 3 pages to get your point through, I'm sorry I don't care for your point of view. "  Now I have to agree with his last comment but that's usually because of my own attention span.  But I disagreed with his first one.  What's the point of having a blog if we can't speak or share what we want.  The point of the blog is what the writer wants it to be.  If you don't want to read it - DON'T!   I could go on and on about my feelings about blogs, but at the end of the day they are ours -  the writers.   They are our places in this wacky world where we can share our "much deep and profound brain things inside our heads." (didn't think I could quote it again did you?)


Now I agree, I am a Mommy Babble Blogger.  I blog.  Most of it isn't really news worthy.  Most of what I write some may disagree with.  Most of what I write is my opinion or how I am feeling or where God is leading me.  But again it's mine and I embrace the label!


Come and share your random babble with us this week by linking up with us.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

3 in 30 - March Week 4 Check In


Just a reminder of what the goals were this month:

1.  No Yelling

2.  Purge Toys

3.  Set Office Hours

How did it go this month?  Well, 1 out of 3 ain't bad.  I purged toys.  In fact, at least 4 orange garbage bags full.  I saw them being driven to the thrift store.  It was very therapeutic.  I have a feeling I may have more toys to go by the time we move.  

I have come to realize that sometimes I need to yell.  I just have to use it appropriately.  Like calling the kids from the basement when they want to ignore me or when Sam decides to play in the toilet (our new battleground).  What I do not need to do is yell at the kids in anger or when disciplining them.  This is not going to be effective and they are not going to listen to me or really know what they did well I'm screaming at them.  I know when I'm being yelled at I turn off, so how can I expect any different from them? 

I have tried to set office hours, but these last few weeks have been crazy with appointments and getting the house prepped for sale.  This is one goal that is going to be moved over to next month.  

I'm actually looking forward to next months goals.  I'm already thinking about them and trying to decide what my other two will be.  Can I do four?
Friday, March 18, 2011

Caffeinated Randomness - The Makeover

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Last month I entered a contest with the Tip Junkie (I just love her blog) and I Hearts Faces.  It was for a make over of a picture of yourself for your blog.  For those that know me personally, I have never been excited about my photo on the blog.  I was at my heaviest when it was taken and it is actually a cropped picture from a full family picture.  We as women know we want to look our best or better when we are in the public eye.  That's why there is a million dollar make up industry and anti aging creams.  It's also why you will rarely see me with out my hair down and make up on. 

The Old Photo
I was surprised to find out that I won!  It took me a while to get someone to take the photo.  I actually got the photo to the I Hearts Faces ladies on the day it was due.  Talk about by the "skin of your teeth."
 
The Original Photo

The above photo was the one taken by my dear Bible Babe, Cherie.  It was also the one voted over 6 others.   I sent in the photo and waited.  I received this:
The Make Over
 I am very happy with the end result.  It love the look and the way it turned out.  Amy at I Heart Faces did a great job.  I have used this picture now on Facebook and have changed the blog to reflect the new look.  I'm now more and more determined to do a little housecleaning in the prairies to match the new look.  

I also want to thank all of you for your prayers on Tuesday, they were definitely felt.  Our middleman did very well in his developmental assessment.  There was no breakdowns and he was very receptive to all the questions and games with the doctors and therapists.  We now have a formal diagnosis of autism.  This means that we can now get start getting the therapies that he needs to progress.  
Come link up your randomness with us here at Lost in the Prairies and grab our caffeinated button too. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wednesday's Voice - Egypt

The pictures and reports appear to be positive in Egypt. There is relative calm, but the organization in power doesn't have a good track record when it comes to Christians. With the military in control and the constitution set aside, many are wondering what will happen in the next six months. The constitution is expected to be revised, followed by national elections. Please continue to pray for them.

Muslims abduct daughter of church contractor in Egypt
(Source: Assyrian International News Agency)

Muslims recently abducted an 18-year-old Egyptian Christian from her home. On February 19, a group of Muslims broke into a house belonging to a building contractor who constructed the St. Mary and St. Michael Church in the city of Giza. In November, the church was the site of severe clashes between State Security forces and Copts protesting over the closure of their church. Three Copts were killed and hundreds were injured and arrested. After barging into the family's house, the intruders wrote messages on the wall, including "Islam is the solution" and "The Church has to be demolished." They also wrote the names of the other family members on the wall before abducting the church contractor's daughter. Blood was later found on the stairs in the flat. There is considerable fear that the rest of the family will be targeted in further violence.

Pray this young Christian woman will be safely returned home.

Pray her family will continue to look to Christ, entrusting all their cares and anxieties to Him in this time.

Pray Christians in Egypt will be clothed in the Spirit of the Lord, reaching forth their hands in love, even to those who seek to harm and oppress them.
Monday, March 14, 2011

Who Am I?

Last Friday for Caffeinated Randomness, one of my Caffeinated Sisters, Cindy at She Sparkles shared with us her favourite verse (John 10:10).  Then she asked us to share our favourite verse.  I have a few verses that mean a lot to me.  Acts 2 v. 15 always gives me a giggle.  The verse that I have been pondering lately is 2 Samuel 7 v. 18b.

Who am I, O Sovereign LORD, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? (NIV)
I came upon this verse in Beth Moore's David study.  Since hearing and reading it, it has seldom left my thoughts...Who am I?

David said these words to God after God had promised David (the Davidic Covenant) to establish his (David's) kingdom forever (2 Sam 17:16) .  David was overwhelmed by God's promise.  His response - Who am I?

"Who am I...& who is my family that you have brought me this far?"  This year I chose "persevere" as my word.   I have had many trials in my life to persevere through.  Whether I knew it or not He was there with me guiding me through them; refining me through them; and leading me to Him through them.  These last few months in coming to terms with middleman's issues, I have had to persevere.  To walk through the valley of the unknown, knowing that He has promised a banquet for me at the end.  

In all these trials, there have been great joys:  embracing my faith; my marriage; my children; my family and my friends.  There has been joy in the daily small things:  a note on a bad day from my daughter saying "I love you"; a giggle from the Tormentinator; the sun shining upon my face in my desperation; an evening with my husband; and having my tears wiped by the middleman in my anguish.  

Who am I that I should experience so much joy in the midst of trials?  He simply answers ....I am His!


Tuesday morning I will be taking middleman for his formal developmental assessment.  Please pray that we would receive answers in the midst of the unknown. 

I am linking up today with Jen at Finding Heaven and some great ladies for Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood.


Happy Birthday Tormentinator!

Today we are celebrating our little Tormentinator's 2nd Birthday.  He may torment me and my tea towel, but he is the cutest little boy.  He has a laugh that comes from deep within and laughs at everything.  He loves to cuddle.  He is just learning how to say Hi and Bye.  He loves his juice.  He is very inquisitive and loves exploring, which usually gets him into some type of trouble, but he continues to explore his world.  He likes to look at books and dance with his sister.  He plays chase with his brother while they both scream their heads off. 

God has blessed our family with this little vibrant bundle of energy and we are blessed to be a part of his life.


Friday, March 11, 2011

Caffeinated Randomness - Mommy vs. the Tormentinator

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The Tormentinator (aka the Toddler) and I are at war.  It will surprise you at what the battle is over.



Yes, that's right the tea towel over the oven handle.  This is where I want it.  This is where I like it.  Every time I put it up there and leave the kitchen when I come back it's on the floor.  I can do this at least 20 times a day.  You think I would give up and find a new place to put it, but no.  I fight the battle.  It is a battle I know I will win.

Introducing the enemy - the Tormentinator. 



I know, you think he's cute.  I can hear your thinking right now that he's just too innocent to do this.  How could someone that cute drive his mother crazy?  He's not as innocent as some are lead to believe.  I've watched him.  He waits.  He waits and stalks his prey.  When I put the tea towel back up and leave the room, he makes his play. 

Caught Red Handed!
  
Enjoying the spoils of the battle.

I was framed.

He has won the battle today.  He won't be prosecuted for his actions.  He'll be on probation subject to daily kissing and hugging of Mommy as payment for his actions.  He may even get to celebrate his 2nd birthday on Monday.


Come join me and some great caffeinated ladies for Caffeinated Randomness today.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

3n30 - Week 2 Update - The Week Off



Hello ladies.  This week has been very busy.  After posting last week, we traveled to the town in Alberta we wanted to purchase in to look at three houses.  I'm happy to post that we found one, made an offer and was accepted!!  We are really excited, but that means we have to sell our house.  

This week I have cleaned walls, organized bedrooms and purged toys.   Of the three, only one was on my 3 in 30.  I had great plans to work on my blog and set office hours, but with the rest of what I've been doing I've haven't even got to look at Facebook or Twitter.  I quickly glance when I have a chance on my Blackberry, but otherwise I'm in limbo.  I decided that this could wait until Monday when we hope to list our house.  The house should be completely cleaned and organized by then and all I will have to do after this is to maintain the work I've done, subject to the what the Tormentinator (aka the toddler) lets me.  

I have tried to do less yelling.  I'm still working on this.  I have had to raise my voice a few times when I'm trying to be heard over screaming or after repeating myself 5 times to my 7 year old.  I don't know why, but sometimes yelling is necessary to get the kids attention.  I may not like it and it isn't ok, but again necessary.

I have enjoyed purging the toys.  I have a pile ready to go to the thrift store tomorrow.  I have a few toys ready to list on line to sell via Kijiji.  I also have a garbage bag full of garbage toys (otherwise known as the MacDonald toys) or broken missing pieces toys.  I haven't heard any complaints from anyone about the missing toys.  In fact, I actually got my daughter to purge some of her stuffed animals.   Unfortunately, as this is the boys birthday month new toys will be coming in.  This has just made me more vigilant at purging the ones we already own.  

So yes, I have had a week off on my 3 in 30 goals, but I really haven't had a week off. Can't wait to work on my office hours next week.  I'm looking forward to being off my feet for a while.

I'm linking up with the 3 in 30 sisters this week at the Tuckers take Tennessee.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wednesday's Voice - Iran

Seven Iranian Christians released (Source: VOM-USA) 

Seven Iranian Christians who were arrested on December 26, along with 31 other believers, were recently released from prison on bail. On January 26, two men and a woman were released in Isfahan. Three days later, four women were released from Tehran's notoriously brutal Evin prison. The release of one of the women, Sara Akhaven, involved her family giving up their trade license in exchange for her bail. If authorities decide Sara has broken bail, however, the family's livelihood will be gone. Sadly, the trade license was not valuable enough to secure bail for Sara's sister, Leila, who remains in prison. Some of the original 31 Christians who were arrested have reportedly been released.

The recently released believers reported that they spent over a month in solitary confinement and endured hours of interrogation and torture. It is likely that those who remain detained continue to face the same brutal treatment. Among those who remain in prison is a couple with two children. Although their mother, Maryam, has been able to phone her children from prison, they have not heard from their father, Rasool, in over a month. All of the other prisoners have reportedly been able to call their families, so there is great concern for Rasool's condition.

Thank the Lord for the release of these believers. Pray that they will remain faithful in witnessing about Christ.

Pray all imprisoned Christians in Iran will be released. Pray they will be emboldened and equipped by God's grace as they suffer

Pray for Iranian Christians who face extreme pressure and opposition under the government's new policy of "religious cleansing."
Friday, March 4, 2011

Caffeinated Randomness - The Ice Fog

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I have a confession.  One that I alluded to in yesterday's blog.  One that I've alluded to in Twitter and in Facebook.  I've been under an Ice Fog - both literally, emotionally and spiritually.  As I told a friend:  "There is not enough coffee or chocolate to get me out of it." 

The last two weeks the temperatures around here have dipped as low as -48C with the windchill.  Add to that a few snow storms and you can imagine what it feels like around here.  It's too cold to go out.  It's continually white.  I like snow when it first arrives, it cleans everything up.  However, after three months of continual snow, its overwhelming and drab.  Even the sunny days are horrible, as it seems the sunnier it is the colder it is.  There's no warmth, no colour and no escape. 

A week ago kids had one week off from school.  It also happened to be one our coldest weeks this year.  I was housebound with the kids and it was too cold to do anything.   The kids were bored and irritable and I felt cornered.  It was only time when something was going to give and it was me. 

Emotionally, we've been on the moving roller coaster.  I had forgotten how stressful that could be.  From looking for a new house to preparing our house for sale.  The emotional strain of telling people your moving and having to tell it over and over and over and over ......  There's the meeting with the realtors to value your house.  There's travelling to viewing homes the town we are moving to.  There's the mad dash to declutter and clean and finish all those projects started and not yet completed.  Then there's the packing and that one I don't even want to think about just yet.  

We're almost ready to list the house, which once done will be good.  The stress then will be keeping the house prepared to show.  I've done it before and I know I can do it again.  It will just mean that I'll have to following the tormentor..I meant toddler around and clean up whatever he gets into immediately.  This may actually help my exercise routine.

This all leads to the spiritual fog I've been under.  I know some of it is my own fault.  The clinging to control and trying to rely on my own and not trusting in God to take care of those things that I don't want to let go.  The mispriotizing God in my life.  I have been participating with the Hellomornings ladies through Inspired to Action.  During this time I've been reading my bible for the Bible in 90 Days challenge.  One problem.  I'm reading my bible and I'm doing my study in the mornings, but I'm not praying like I had been.  It's like I've been learning more about God, but ignoring my relationship with Him at the same time.  

All this was finally pressed upon me this weekend.  The fact that I need to STOP!  Stop ignoring my relationship with God.  Stop and rest when I need rest.  Stop and ask for help and not trying to do it all on my own.  Stop whining about the weather and just deal with it as it isn't going to change unless Global Warming happens in the next day or two.  

I've started reading Get Out of That Pit by Beth Moore.  Because this is exactly where I've landed in a cold snowy emotionally debilitating pit.  I can actually feel myself sliding down further when I struggle to get out on my own.  But this last week I've been asking God to reach out.  Today while reading Lamentations (I know I'm a day behind), I read :

I called you're name, O Lord, from the depths of the pit.
You heard my plea:  "Do not close your ears to my cry for relief."
You came near when I called you, and you said, "Do not fear."
Lamentations 3:55-57

This is what I had been doing for the last week.  Crying out to God for help.  Crying out for guidance.  For a hand to lead me out of the pit that I was in.  And He answered.  Do not fear.  Trust me.  It is was in the words I had been reading but not really digesting.  If you feel like you're in the pit or about to slide into the pit, don't be scared.  He is there with you.  Trust Him, He will provide a way out.  It may not be immediately, but it will come if we trust.


Thursday, March 3, 2011

3 in 30 - March Week 1 Check In


I'm so thankful that it's March.  February started off great and ended with a big blob!  Namely me feeling defeated, hurt, alone, and the dreaded word I hate to admit....depressed.  I am going to forget what I didn't get accomplished in February.  I am starting fresh in March with new goals (ok one is old, but it's one I'm determined to complete) and new focus and purpose.

My goals for this month are:

1.  No Yelling - The goal that I wanted the most to complete but after a "winter break," two preschoolers and a sick toddler, I did not make it past week two.  I know I've already had to raise my voice a few times, but for the most part, I haven't had to yell yet.  It has also become my new threat to the kids - "Do you want me to yell?"  The answer is always no, so it keeps me focused and reminds them what it's like when mommy is out of control. 

2.  Purge toys - Since we are moving, I don't want to move all the toys we have accumulated.  No matter which house we decide upon, we will most likely have less storage space and therefore, I needed to purge our homes of toys.  We have so many that I think we can get rid of 1/2 of them and still have lots for the children to play with.  The boys both have birthdays this month,  so I know new ones are coming as well.  The baby toys definitely will be purged.  I will keep a few for guests, but really, since they aren't being played with they are not getting packed.  I need to set up some kind of rules for the purge like not played with in 6 months equals being purged or not age appropriate means being purged or  how many match box cars do we need.  If any of you have any other suggestions I'll gladly take them.

3.  Set office times - This last month, it has occurred to me that I need to  XX set aside times to blog.  It is more often or not that I end up writing many of my blogs at 10 pm in the evening or it takes me 7 to 8 hours to type a blog,.  Some of the reasons for this is because of distractions (the kids, telephone, books, etc..), mostly just my habit of procrastination.  I was a serious crammer in school.  For me to grow my blog, I need to start putting some time into it and I need to make it a priority in my schedule, not an after thought.  I will be working through Amy Bayliss' 31 Days of Heart Matters - Ministry On Line to guide me on my walk with my blog.  I'm also considering a make over, but haven't totally decided on that one yet.

March will be the month that I'll get back on track and "persevere" through the "ice" fog that has indelibly settled in around here.  I'm focusing up and not out.  I going to using my goals to assist me in this.  I know March will be a great month.  

I can't wait to hear what everyone else is doing this month.  Check out the 3 In 30 ladies at AP Freewriting and join along with us.

Wednesday's Voice - Somalia

I know its late, but.......

Islamic Somali militants confiscate Christian farms
(Source: International Christian Concern)

Since January 19, members of Al-Shabaab, an Islamic Somali extremist group, have confiscated eight farms from Muslims who showed an interest in Christianity. Christian converts from Islam owned five of the farms and three belonged to Muslims who had attended Bible studies in the cities of Afgoye and Baidawa. Most of the landowners have fled their homes and remain in hiding. There are also unconfirmed reports of additional Christian farm seizures in Dinsor and Burhakaba districts. The confiscated lands were given to businesspersons who regularly donate to Al-Shabaab.

The Islamic group has vowed to cleanse Somalia of any Christian influence. Since January 2009, Al-Shabaab militants have killed 23 Christians, most of whom were church leaders. Militants have also desecrated three Christian cemeteries in Mogadishu and destroyed a Christian library in the Luuq district. Despite intense persecution from Muslim radicals, the Somali Church has demonstrated remarkable growth.

Pray the Lord will provide for those who have lost their land. May His provision be evidence of the Lord's goodness and mercy to those who have yet to put their hope in Christ.

Pray the Lord will bring about significant change in the culture and attitudes in the leaders of this nation.

Pray His Church will continue to grow in spite of the opposition.
My photo
Alberta, Canada
I'm a 39 year old (oh yeah I'm telling you my age) Stay at Home mom. A former Bad Girl now reformed sinner, I'm married to my Y2K guy and raising 3 great children from God. Proudly Canadian, however, missing the West Coast, I currently live in the prairies watching the farmers fields produce as I learn how God produces the fruits in me.

Mini Me

Mini Me

Middleman

Middleman

Tormentinator

Tormentinator

Friends and Neighbours

Where I travel

Prairie History