Wednesday, December 11, 2013

waiting for a placement

Today my heart is aching for orphans.

My facebook status says "This morning I am just overwhelmed by the thought of the number of children who don't have a loving, stable parent to take care of them or a safe place to live. Today I am praying for orphans, that God would not leave them fatherless, but place them in a family."

I look at the photo-listings on and my heart aches, and my eyes fill up with tears at all the atrocities, trauma, abuse and neglect these children must have faced just to get to the point of being in-limbo and listed as wards of the state.  (The listings at are even more heart-wrenching for me, and I have trouble reading them/looking at them.)

Last night at bedtime we were praying for friends who are traveling internationally to visit their adopted child. We are praying hard that the necessary documents,visas and paperwork will be completed in the next 2 weeks so that they can all be home for Christmas. As I was praying for them, and orphans in general, Hannah piped in "And let one of them be adopted into our home, Jesus." I love her giving, generous spirit. 

We have had our foster parent license for almost 6 months but haven't gotten a single placement. This leaves us wondering where to go from here. We cannot afford an international adoption, and would rather adopt locally (or as locally as possible) from the foster care system. I don't know what this will look like for our family, but I am continuing to pray that God will bring the right 2 children to us at the right time. Mike is convinced that we should immediately pluck 2 siblings from foster care - but I am not so sure that's how it will be. Maybe it will be 2 different children who don't have any other siblings. Maybe they'll look somewhat like us. Maybe they won't. I'm trying not to expect anything specific. 

So last night I was feeling kind of discouraged, because we haven't been matched with anyone. I know our social worker is a very busy person and that she puts her heart into her work. I know she is not lazy or idle or overlooking us... but I don't know why we haven't gotten any placements.

This morning I realized that it was just over a year ago when we were shut-out from our original MAPP classes. And God dismissed that hurdle, and got us licensed faster than we would have originally. I can only guess that this waiting period is meant to teach me patience.

So for now, I will trust in Him, and wait on His timing (impatiently). 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

emotions aren't the end

Some days I feel inadequate... as a wife, mother, and friend.
Some days I am furiously frustrated and emotionally drained.
Some days I am so worn-down, tired and weary
that after the kids are in bed, I just want to
crawl into my room, lock the doors, and cry.

Yesterday was one of those days.

I am sorry to admit that my throat was sore last night from yelling at disrespectful, disobedient children.

But you know what?
"Joy comes in the morning."
See Psalm 30, verse 5.

Every morning is a new day and another chance to do better.
I have taught my kids to pray and thank God for "this day", and I love hearing this sentiment echoed back to me in their childish voices... because they may not understand it right now, but the truth is, there aren't any guarantees about tomorrow. 

I am learning that my emotions should not limit me.
And I should not let my frustrations or failures limit God.
My feelings are NOT the same as my circumstances.
Even in my tiredness and weakness, even when I'm at my worst, God is there.
And he is working, in me and those around me. Even when I feel inadequate.

Along with a group of people at church, I am going through a Bible Study called "Experiencing God" by Henry Blackaby. It's been around for quite awhile, but was recently updated. The ideas in this study are not new. They are actually pretty basic and simple. But I love that it has devotional thoughts and questions for each day, and really digs into the heart of God (and, in contrast, the heart of ourselves and our sinful nature). Sometimes I need something that just tells me what to study. Everyday with our homeschool lessons, I'm gleaning from others or making up my own material. It's really nice to have a break from that. It's an excellent study, for beginners, soul seekers, or experienced Christians.

(And no, I don't gain anything from the links above.
No affiliate links here; I'm not cool enough for that.)

Here's to Wednesday... Hoping it's a better day then yesterday.

Friday, November 1, 2013

A family for Noah

My last post was about an orphaned boy named Noah looking for a family to call his own.
Well, I just got some great news - a family has been found for him!
You can read a few more details here:
This means that hopefully he won't be an orphan for much longer.
They have a lot of paperwork and government red-hoops to jump through,
in order to meet the deadline of his birthday in December,
but with God's help and grace it will happen.

Thanks lots to those of you who prayed for this young man.
If you can, please continue to pray for him, that the adoption process would go smoothly.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Noah needs a forever family

Those that know me, know that I have a very special place in my heart for orphans. Sometimes at night when I can't sleep, I'll got to website like or and pray for the children listed there. I've been doing that quite a lot lately. Right now we are not in a financial position to adopt, but we are doing what we can as foster parents to help children in our area who need safe, loving homes.

An adoptive mom and special-needs advocate recently learned about a boy named "Noah" who desperately wants a family. He knows what it feels like to have the love of a family, because he was in a family, but abandoned at the age of six. You can read more of his story here:

Noah is 13 going on 14, and in his country, when you turn 14, you age-out of the system and cannot be adopted. Ever. No chance of a family. Ever! For Noah, that day will come in December - less than 3 months from now. I don't want him to age-out and be all alone. I am praying that someone will hear God's call and step out in faith to bring him home.

If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about Noah, please go to or contact Annie at ""
Serious inquiries only, please. Thank you in advance for spreading the word about this young man who wants to be in a family with all his heart.

Monday, August 12, 2013

business ideas

I met with a friend this morning who told me she just signed up as a home-based consultant for a well-known multi-level-marketing company. I wish her all the best, but I know that kind of selling just isn't for me. I've been there, done that, and pretty much I made zero money out of selling some else's products.

However, I'm toying with the idea of starting an Etsy shop. I like crochet, making toys and other crafts, as well as useful things like headbands, potholders, washcloths, etc. I spend a lot of time on it, and it's a really fun hobby. Others have turned it into a business, so why can't I? I even went so far as to pick out a shop name.... but didn't fill in any of the other details yet. I'll need to build up my stash of finished craft projects first, and take some more pictures, before I'm really ready to sell. But stay tuned! You might see my Etsy shop "grand opening" in a few months.

If any of you out there have some tips for selling online/starting your own business, please share them in your comments. I'd love to hear from you :)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Words to remember

"Even if you're not thanked, what you are doing matters."

I REALLY REALLY need to remember this today.

Today is one of those days where most of us in this house (really, all of us but one) woke up "on the wrong side of the bed." It is that-time-of-the-month for me and I am a little extra irritable. And hungry. Allthetime.

The kids are arguing and whining about every little inconsequential thing...
"She looked at me mean!"
"No I didn't!"
"yes you did!"
"did not!"
"Did too!"

They're being incredibly demanding. And to make it all a little more fun, my husband is working night shift this week, and trying to sleep. In his bedroom. In the same house as four noisy rambuncious kids. I tried to distract them by taking them outside, but within 5 minutes they were all complaining that it was "too hot". Yesterday I officially banned the wored "bored" from our house, but they are continuing to say it, and I can't STAND IT!

But I am not a failure. I am a mom. These kids are safe, healthy, clothed, fed, and relatively happy. That means I've done my job for the day. And even if I screw up, or they mess up, or someone pees on the floor and colors on the wall... there is still grace for them. For me. For all of us. Because Jesus loves us.

Rachel Marie Martin has some more great ideas in her encouraging mom post here. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I have five kids with me all week. Good thing the "extra" ones are big enough to go without a carseat, or it would be a really tight squeeze in the backseat of my Junkmoblie van. Did you know that it's quite difficult to eat your lunch when five children are running circles around you? Gotta take the little one the the bathroom again...

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Praying for Diego

Our friend Diego was released from the hospital this afternoon! He'll be resting at home until he starts chemo next week. If you want to stay updated on his cancer journey, you can read the website created for him here:

Please keep Diego and his family in your prayers as they begin this difficult treatment process.

Also, if you have any great ideas about how to tangibly support Diego and his family during this time, please share them in your comments below. Thanks! :) 

easy peasy dc bracelet - free crochet pattern

Here's another free crochet pattern for you. You can also find it listed on Ravelry.

+Please keep in mind that although this is a free pattern, I would appreciate if you didn’t sell the pattern OR the finished product. If you like it and want to use it, that’s great! But please give me credit if you do. A linkback or a comment would be much appreciated. Thanks.+

Easy Peasy Double-Crochet Bracelet
My 8yo and I have been making these fun little bracelets during the hot, boring summer afternoons and handing them out as "friendship bracelets". I used a variated yarn for mine, but you can use any color or style of worsted weight yarn. You could probably use any yarn you want, you just might need to adjust the hook size and stitch counts. You might also need to adjust the number of beginning stitches to get a comfortable fit.

Supplies needed: a size G hook and about 10yds of yarn.

Row 1: Chain 30.
Row 2: DC in 3rd ch from hook and each st across. ch2, turn.
Row 3: DC in ea st. across. Ch1, turn.
Row 4: sc in each dc across. ss ends closed. Fasten off. Weave in ends.

It should look something like this when you're done:

You can optionally create a buttonhole closure and sew a button on the other end to make it look a little more "grown up". Or switch colors every row to make a pattern. Have fun with it. :)

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Celebrate! Free crochet pattern: princess headband

My newest hobby is crochet. I started learning to crochet at the end of December, about 6 months ago. I taught myself the basic stitches by watching YouTube videos, believe it or not. My daughter started practicing too, and she can do a really great chain stitch :) She sometimes manages to make things like bookmarks and bracelets.

Today we were celebrating the birthday of one of her dear friends. I love giving handmade gifts, but I had this particular friend with me most of the week, and didn't have to time to create or buy anything without her seeing it. I checked around a little bit on my favorite crochet site,, but didn't see anything particularly fast and easy. So I made up my own pattern. (Isn't that usually why patterns are made up?)

Here's the cupcake decorating station.
Her mom made special gluten-free cupcakes.

And here are the kids' party favors: They got to decorate their own flip flops! They turned out really cute!

And here's is my Princess Headband pattern, free for your personal use and enjoyment.
Use any ww yarn and size G hook. This size fits teens-adults.
Adjust the beginning chain length, if needed, for a different size, such as for a smaller child.

Terms used:
ss - slip stitch
sc- single crochet
sk- skip a stitch
dc- double crochet
trc- triple crochet
dc4tog- double crochet 4 stitches together. Do this as if you were decreasing by one stitch, but instead of one, pick up 4 dc stitches. Yarn over, and pull through all stitches on your hook. There, you've done it. It's not hard, it just looks a little odd at first.

R1: ch93.  turn.
R2: Beginning in 2nd ch from hook, sc in 30 sts. ch2, sk2, 5dc in next st. (sk3, 5dc) repeat six times. Then ch2, sk2, sc. Turn.
R3: ch5, sc in 2nd dc, dc4tog. (ch2, sk3, dc4tog) rep. 6 times. TRC in 1st ch. of previous row. Turn.
R4: (ch5, sk3, sc) rep. 3 times. Then ch12, sk3, sc. Again, (ch5, sk3, sc) 3 times. (Note: You will sc into the first "ch5" of the previous row, Row 3. Hope that helps.) Continue by ss into the next 6 sts. sc in ea. st across. ss to join, making sure your chain isn't twisted. Fasten off, weave in ends. All done! :)

Total working time: 10-15 minutes.
This is a sweet little headband for dress-up, birthdays, a quick "get-better-soon" gift, or "just because." You could also add small beads or use metallic thread for some extra glitter and sparkle. Have fun. Happy crocheting...

+Please keep in mind that although this is a free pattern, I would appreciate if you didn't sell the pattern OR the finished product. If you like it and want to use it, that's great! But please give me credit if you do. A linkback or a comment would be much appreciated. Thanks.+

Friday, July 12, 2013

Praying for Diego

My friend Diego is 6 years old. I met him when he was two. I've seen him learn and grow into a sensitive, caring, sweet, kind, silly, generous boy. He's supposed to be starting first grade next week. However, on Thursday. he and his family got some horrible news: They discovered that Diego has cancer.

Today he will have an operation to remove the cancer, as well as one of his kidneys. But this is just the beginning of Diego's journey. He will have a long, hard road ahead of him.  Diego needs all the prayers that he can get. I'd love it if you would pray for him, too. If you see a little boy with a silly grin, please think of Diego and say a prayer for him. I'd love for he and his family to feel the love, peace, and comfort of God during this difficult time. 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

good deal

I don't know about you, but I really love a good deal.
I can't stand paying full-price for things if I know I can get it cheaper elsewhere.
That's why I often browse the listings on craigslist (especially the free section), and am part of our local freecycle group. (PS: Have you heard of Cartwheel by Target? Check it out; I saved over $3 on groceries by using it today!)

This morning I was picking up a homeschool book that had been listed on one of these sites (honestly, I forget which one, because I'm part of several email lists). I pulled up to the address I'd be given. It had one of those storage cubes in the driveway, along with 3 vehicles and countless bikes/trikes/scooters. Their garage was obviously filled with cardboard boxes. I guessed they were in the process of moving. As I was greeted at the front door, two men were carrying a heavy piece of furniture down the stairs. No wonder they were getting rid of some things.

I got the book and asked the mom "So, where are you moving, is it someplace local?"
Her answer: "Macedonia."

What?! Macedonia? I think I've heard of that before, but honestly I'm not even sure where it is.
I asked "Why Macedonia?" and she said they'd been there before on short-term trips and wanted to serve there as full-time missionaries for the next few years.

Wow. Another country... living for God in another country. I can't imagine uprooting my spouse and kids and moving to a place with a different language and culture, with no family on the same continent. That would be weird. That would be daunting... But I guess it wouldn't be impossible.

So many times in my life, I've been reminded by the words in Luke 1:37: "for nothing is impossible with God." In a more modern version, this verse is translated to "God can do anything!”

My mind is so small. How many times a day or a week do we try to limit God?
Why does our scope of influence have to be limited to our particular town or city?
Why do we try so hard to serve people we already know (which is still a great thing to do, don't get me wrong), when it's usually the people we DON'T know and DON'T often associate with who need Jesus' saving grace even more than these?

This week I challenge you (and myself too!) to think of ways to serve outside our comfort zones. It might not be in a different country or state, it might be in the same time zone, or even in your own backyard. But if you quiet yourself and listen to God's still small voice, you might be surprised by where He will ask you to go.

Matthew 28:19-20 says 19 "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

follow-up appointment

I posted a few weeks ago about how I"ve been feeling generally crummy, tired, no energy, stomachaches, and I'm unable to lose weight no matter what I eat or how much I exercise.  Well, I had more bloodwork done last week, and everything came back... "normal". Even though I'm still anemic. Apparently that's just normal for me and they don't feel like doing anything about it. They only tested my TSH level, not anything else to do with my thyroid, which is obviously acting up again. Mr Medic wants me to switch doctors.

In other news, our final home inspection is tomorrow, so we're really close to officially being Foster Parents! HOORAY!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

One of my favorite bloggers is doing a huge Mother's Day giveaway! Anyone can enter, just click here:

In other news, homeschooling is going exceptionally well this week. I think we're realizing that we're in the home stretch - just two moreweeks to go with our curriculum before we break for the summer!

Tomorrow we'll be touring a local elementary school. I registered H. for 3rd grade there, but now I'm having serious doubts about sending her away to school. If you think of it, can you please pray that Mike and I can have wisdom and discernment about this? It's been weighing heavy on my heart lately.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Terrible, awful stomach cramps. I am afraid to leave the couch.
All I've eaten today is water and oatmeal, so I know it's not from something I ate.
And it's not a certain time of the month, either.

I've been feeling generally crummy for a few weeks, but can't figure out why.
I know my thyroid levels are low again. Waiting on more blood-work later this month. 

On a positive note, I did get in a good 30+ minutes of Bible devotions this morning before the kids woke up. And Hannah is doing all of her schoolwork today without complaining :) Yesterday she was in an awful mood and had a very poor attitude, so I'm glad today is better.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Supporting Shagbark

I am deviating from my normal subjects in order to share a different kind of project with you.

My sister is currently living and working at Shagbark Farm in Missouri (link goes to Shagbark's blog, where there are lots of cute animal pictures and more informative ramblings). Shagbark's mission is to "establish a sustainable, sacred, primitive homestead in northeast Missouri."

To learn more and/or donate, simply go to They have quite a few unique, handmade "prizes" depending on how much you are able to contribute. This is a worthy cause, and all donations will go a long way to helping this small farm be totally self-sustaining and "off-the-grid." Any amount is accepted :) Thanks for considering.

And lastly, a short update from Joan Shagbark:
"We’ve still got just under $12,00 to gather to reach our goal to make all these dreams come true. help us make more gardens! tell your herb loving friends and fruit tree loving friends to share the love and offer us some support. anyone who grows any of their own food (or wishes they did) might be willing to share a few words, links, or dollars for our cause. every bit of help counts. thank you, thank you, thank you. you are changing our world."

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Flourish Giveaway winner!

I hosted a Flourish giveaway  last week, and the winner has been chosen.




Lacie will receive a package full of Flourish products worth over $25 total!
Congratulations, my friend!

If you didn't win, you can still go online and shop anytime.
My personal website is: 
The online store is open 24-7. Check out my facebook page to see if there are any special deals going on right now. You could also schedule a party with me, so that you can see some fun Flourish products in person and watch how they work. If you don't live in NC, I can organize an online party for you - just ask!

The best thing you can do for me? It's simple: Tell your friends about Flourish! It's a new company with awesome, innovative products, but so many parents don't know about it yet. Be the trendsetter, and spread the word.

Thank you for your support :)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Flourish Giveaway!

Have you heard of Flourish? No, you haven't? Well, I'll tell you a little bit about it.
Flourish is a unique small-business-based company that sells products invented by moms, for moms, to make moms jobs easier! It's a brand-new company that got started with three moms in October 2012.

They have products to help keep kids safe, like this Parking Pal magnet. Simply stick it on the side of your vehicle. Kids place their hand onto the magnets hand, and they stay put. No more running loose in parking lots! It gives them a little bit of independence in the parking lot and keeps them safe so that you can load/unload the car. We have one on our van and it's worked really well for my 2 and 4 year old.

Check out the Monkey Gripster that kids can hold on to. It will attach to your purse, diaper bag, stroller or belt. There are so many different ways to use it! It also comes with it's own drawstring carrying bag, and a board book all about how to stay safe with the Monkey Gripster in different places and situations. No more wandering preschoolers at the mall :)

Another great product is this chalk mat set.
It comes in several different prints and includes a small chalk holder (no more broken chalk sticks!). The "butter chalk" is dust-free - no sneezing or smeary messes from the chalk dust. It also comes in a table runner size - perfect for playdates, parties, or coloring time. Plus it makes it super-easy to label your food during holiday meals.

Another one of my favorite products is the Aqueduck. It comes in 3 different colors (blue, pink, and gray). It also comes with a ducky temporary tattoo! It's a nifty little invention that helps kids reach the water - no more lifting heavy toddlers or squishing their little tummies on the edge of the sink. Now that we use Aqueduck, my kids actually LOVE to wash their hands!

You can read more about the Aqueduck's creator, Susanna Lee, on her webpage:

Want to win something from Flourish? 
Well, here is your chance!

Just enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Flourish Giveaway ends at midnight on Friday April 19th, so you have a few days to share this giveaway with family and friends. (Also, don't forget to do your taxes. :)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sick / Homeschool giveaway

I have been battling a nasty version of the flu this weekend. Yesterday afternoon, I was so weak and dehydrated that I actually fainted. I'd been sitting on the porch, watching the kids run around in the front yard, waiting for a friend to take them to the playground. Just sitting there in the sunshine was all I could manage to do at that point. I waved goodbye to the kids, stood up to go inside, and just collapsed.
It was really only for a few moments, but I was really disoriented. I am SO THANKFUL that my friend Emily was there to help me get back into the house, thankful that I didn't get hurt when I fell down on the wooden deck, and thankful that my kids didn't see this little episode.

Thank the Lord for close friends who can help out in my time of need!!!

Another mom-blogger homeschooling friend of mine is running two different giveaways here: One is for Draw and Write through History, the other is from Draw Write Now. Go enter quickly, they end at midnight tonight!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Crochet, our new favorite hobby. Free pattern included!

My oldest is sick, so we are spending a lazy Saturday at home in our pj's, watching movies and playing board games - which is a rare treat for my kids.

Around Christmastime, the 8yo and I began to teach ourselves how to crochet. At first we watched youtube videos to figure out what we were doing. Then we graduated to borrowing crochet books from the library. Now we are finding new patterns online. In February, I found my newest favorite crochet website,  They have so many good resources, patterns, and fun ideas there!

It is still somewhat difficult for the 8yo to read and understand patterns, so most of the time when she wants to make something, I still have to preview and decipher it for her. I made up this simple six-petal flower pattern because I had a hard time finding a flower pattern that doesn't include the triple crochet stitch - something that is still difficult for her.

So here it is:
Simple six-petal flower pattern
Row 1. Chain 6. ss to join in ring. (6 stitches total)
Row 2. 2sc in ea st. (12 total)
Row 3. (2sc, 3dc) rep. 6x. ss.
Row 4. (sc, ch4, sk 4, sc) rep. 6x. ss to join.

Congrats, you've made a flower!
You can use any hook size and any yarn. 
Experimenting with shape, size, and fabric is half the fun! Enjoy :)

Friday, February 22, 2013

March for Babies!

This morning I saw a random link online for March of Dimes. I realized that their annual Walk for Babies is in April, about two months away. Without giving it much thought, I clicked "join now!" and signed up to walk and raise money for premature infants (of which I was one). Here is my personal fundraising page:

I set my individual goal at $50. In less than an hour, one of my favorite aunts pledged $100 for me!!! My goal is surpassed. I was so excited that I created a team, and one friend has already joined me. I don't know how many friends will walk with me in April or how many dollars we will raise, but I do know that every dollar helps. Just as no life is too small, no donation is too small. It's easy to help.

To learn more about how you can help end prematurity, please go to

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Adopt US Kids

Right now the kids are watching a 20-min video as a reward for finishing all of their schoolwork before 11am. I am planning to make them a picnic lunch, let them play at the park for at least an hour, and run a few errands (I NEED printer ink!!) before gymnastics class this evening. Hmm, I should also make something for dinner.... I was thinking of broccoli-potato soup.

Because I have a little break from the children's seemingly constant demands, I jumped onto and did a quick search for foster care kids under the age of seven who are in need of a family to care for them. Every one of them is adorable and special in a unique way. Their pictures make my heart melt! Since we began our MAPP classes earlier this month, it seems like I always have orphans on my mind. Last night I finished over 30 pages of our "family profile", which will be turned in on Thursday. I am just so glad that we've gotten this process started. There is SUCH a HUGE NEED in our area for foster families. And it breaks my heart that there is such a large number of children who are in abusive or neglectful situations. We want to make a difference, we want to stop the cycle of violence and pain and replace it with love. Even if it's just for one child, it's all totally worth it.

I love hearing stories about orphans finding forever families/parents finding their children.
If you'd like to share an adoption story, please leave a comment below!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The great church search....

Today, during church, someone stole the license plate off of our van!!!
I thought that having a beat-up 13-year-old vehicle with a broken windshield and 2 windows that don't open or close would prevent theft. Apparently junkers can still be vandalized too.  We reported it to the police, but we still have to go buy a new license plate sometime this week.

For the last six weeks, our family has been searching for a new church to call home. So far, the church search has left me feeling disappointed. The church we visited today was in a nice location and had great children's programming. The worship portion was ok, but the sermon was weak. They seemed to be more focused on "seekers" than on growing real disciples of God. I was trying to feel the Lord's presence and listen to Him, but I just wasn't feeling it. I followed every word of the sermon, but I didn't hear anything that hadn't already been said quite a few times. In my  spiritual life, I don't want to feel distant, I want more depth. It is getting discouraging to drag the kids to new places of worship every week. Mike and I are looking for a body of believers who are a close community, well-connected, growing, serving, and sharing God's love.

As for my "food goals":
Less carbs and sugar? Yesterday we all ate a gluten-free lunch!

Smaller portion sizes? Getting there.

More fruits and veggies? Yes! We love smoothies!
Exercise is.... still just about non-existent.
Hey, progress is better than nothing.

Friday, January 11, 2013


Let's get real. Let me be totally honest: I do not like resolutions or diet plans. I do not like repetitive exercise routines. But I am looking to lose a few pounds that I inadvertently gained last year. So, instead of dieting or resolutions, I am making some clear, easy goals and objectives for myself.

First, portion control: I don't need 3 servings of spaghetti for dinner. I don't want to teach my kids that it's ok to be gluttonous. I've also been aware of a lot of food wasted at our house and I'm trying to avoid that to. So, smaller portion sizes for everyone.

Second: Eat less carbs and sugar. I'm trying to be sensitive to the little guy's gluten-free diet. Cut the carbs and sugar, add more fruits and veggies. Since I got the Ninja blender for Christmas from the in-laws, I've been drinking smoothies almost everyday for breakfast. I'm surprised that it keeps me full for a good 3 hours.

Third: exercise. Let me be the first to admit that I am awful at exercising regularly. I'll run around the yard or take walks with the kids, but at the end of the day when they're all in bed, one of the last things on my mind is fitness. So I'm starting small: walk for 10-15 mins a day and do 50 ab reps each night.

So far, so good. I'll give you an update at the end of the month and tell you if I've stuck with it or not.