June 27, 2010

Third Step to Graciousness: Self-Control

At the very start of my blog I posted about an awesome message from my pastor, Debbie Morris on being a gracious woman.  There are 6 essentials she talked about, and I decided to start my blog with those!  First, humility.  Second, gratitude.  And thirdly, self-control.

I find I have to work so much harder at this now that I have children!  Pastor Debbie gave us this bit of advice, "People are watching us...don't explode!"  That is something I feel I have to remind myself of often when my two toddlers are screaming at each other for the other's toy, or when all three of my girls decide they need ALL of my attention, at the same time.  Of course, that's just my daily life right now, but in other situations: while standing in line at the grocery store or movie ticket counter; or while being disregarded at a drive-thru...whether you are being treated well or poorly; whether it's "just you" or someone actually "deserves" that cutting remark, cold shoulder, or discourteous tone.   You alone are responsible for your actions.
"We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us." - 2 Corinthians 5:20 (NIV)
Wow!  We are representing God here on earth!  What people see in us as God's children is how they may look at God - how important it is that we show Christ in the way we live our life, how we love, our actions of faith, parenting, disciplining, in all our relationships, and in every area of our lives!  (1 Timothy 4:12 - mentions being an example for believers, how much more for those who don't know Christ for themselves!)
"Ambassador" can also mean these things...take them on as your charge, child of God: Representative; High Commissioner; Promoter; Champion; Supporter; Backer; Booster; Consul General. 
"Better a patient woman than a warrior, a woman who controls her temper than one takes a city." - Proverbs 16:32 (NIV, my own adaption).

June 23, 2010

My Latest Goodies...To Share!!

It's always so great getting anything in the mail, other than bills!  Here are a few of the fun things I received and you can too...

I received my two free EcoTools coupons (and used them today on a new bamboo blush brush and foundation brush).  I am going to try and get the mail-in rebate as well by mailing the receipt & return address to: (the offer may have expired already but it can't hurt to try!)
EcoInsiders, Paris Presents Inc.
3800 Swanson Ct
Gurnee, IL 60031 

I saw this sweepstakes today: enter to win a trip for two to Hawaii (which I never win, so I don't even get excited about)... BUT they'll send you a free organic vanilla lip balm!

I got my Green Genius Biodegradable Trash Bag sample in the mail (with a $2.00 off coupon), I'm using that now and so far it's holding up just as good as my Good Sense 60% Recycled Trash Bags (purchased at Walmart).

Also, If you live near a Sprouts, you might be happy to hear that Tasty Baby Organic Fruit Snacks are available there now!  If you send an email to info@tastybaby.com with "Tasty Baby BOGO Coupon" as the subject and your address in the email, they will mail you a Buy One Get One Free coupon!

While we're on the "kid food" kick, check out this post on how to get a $25 credit to Kidelicious.com, expected to open January 2011.  I did it, it took moments (fill out a survey) and received my coupon (through email) within in days.  Actually, I found it in my bulk mail account, so it may have been there within moments.

All you Burts Bees fans, check this out!!!  For $25 you get their grab bag, which is filled with 5 full-sized products, 14 mini-sized products and 5 special gifts!  You can also get a BOGO lip balm deal, check out the post for more details.  Free shipping available for purchases over $35.  Good stuff for you or as a gift!

June 21, 2010

Zach & Jen Neese: A Post on Parenting

Three ladies in the DFW area started a blog called destiny in bloom, with many contributing writers (like my dear friends Zach and Jen Neese).  From topics on self-image to motherhood and parenting, DestinyinBloom.com is a great place to go for encouragement!  
"This blog started like a flutter in our hearts that turned into a dream that inspired us to live out loud and put in words all that He (God) has done in our hearts that has changed our lives.  We hope that in these words you find encouragement and hope." - DestinyinBloom.com
Zach Neese is on the pastoral staff at our church and Jen is the lovely, super-woman mother to their six children!  They have hearts of gold and lots of experience... so check out their post on parenting: I Know What's Causing That.

June 19, 2010

Happy Father's Day All You Dads!

Father's Day breaks down into so many facets for me these days.  Of course I have the joy of honoring my own father; I'm one of four reasons why he gets to be celebrated on this day!  I have my husband who deserves celebration for being such a great daddy to my three precious girls.  Making cards from his two preschoolers and signing all three of our daughter's names on the bottom.  And of course helping the princesses make their grand-dad's some cards too.  I also get to love on my father-in-law on this day.  Whew!  So much celebrating!!!  I know that I am so blessed to have such wonderful men in my life and my girls lives as well.  And what do we do to bless and honor these men?  Splattered paint on white card stock; hand prints and scribbles; thoughtful Hallmark words; lunch out; family dinner; gift cards and ties... so many ways to show our love for the wonderful dads in our lives.  Just remember, all the cards and gifts fade away.  Food is great, but it passes too... I think what each of our men can appreciate every day is our respect and love.  So spend some time this weekend showing some R-E-S-P-E-C-T and L-O-V-E.  Be creative and watch those gifts speak deeper and go farther than anything you buy for them at a store!

June 12, 2010

Fit to Workout...

Well, it's still going to be another three weeks before I can do anything more than yoga and chasing after my preschoolers.  But when that beautiful day arrives and my doctor tells me I can start working out again I want to be prepared!
I know most people have a hard time sticking with a workout routine.  I was comfortably in a routine before I got pregnant, working out to videos at home during nap time and I had been at it consistently for over a year.  So I guess I found my time of day (same every day), and type of activity that I really enjoyed. I don't think it's changed much over the last nine months of pregnancy but just in case I want to know that I have a plan of action to stay excited about working out every day!
Jillian Michael's DVDs are no doubt some of my favorite workouts.  I have her 30 Day Shred and No More Trouble Zones DVDs, but I'm also planning on buying her Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism and Yoga Meltdown DVD workouts as well.  I LOVE 30 Day Shred because it is three levels of 20 minute, kick-butt cardio and weight training combined.  It is so perfect on days when I just don't have much time.  Trouble Zones and Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism are 40 minute workouts for when I have a bit more time to devote to it.  I haven't heard much about the yoga, but I'm excited to try it out!  Also, I just found Jillian on Hulu, a great way to try out some of her workout moves and get a taste of her style without paying a dime.  Check it out!
Another cool "program" I like is Couch to 5K.  It is a great way to get excited about running.  I did this a bit last summer in preparation for my first 5K and I was surprised at the advancement I made.  I'm not a natural runner, I enjoy it once I get back into it, but I couldn't only run...I would get bored and give up pretty fast.  But this gave me a way to ease into running, where I could see improvement without injuring myself!
In attempts to spice things up with my Jillian workouts I purchased The Biggest Loser Workout: Cardio Max DVD.  I must say, it's a bit disappointing, to me.  I like the "boot camp" style workouts: sweat, work hard, feel close to death, and then be done.  I don't like drawn out, "easy" workouts and that's how I felt about these three cardio workouts.  The only one I enjoyed was the 20 minute, level 1 (which in my opinion is the hardest of the three levels, the other two being only 10 minutes in length), with Bob Harper. 

Let me know some of your fitness and nutrition secrets, I'm always excited to hear what other people are doing to get and stay healthy!

June 4, 2010

Recycle By Numbers

Poly(ethylene terephthalate):  Soda bottles, water bottles, vinegar bottles, medicine containers, backing for photography film.  NO KNOWN HAZARDS.  ACCEPTED AT MOST RECYCLING CENTERS.

High-density Polyethylene:  Containers for:  laundry/dish detergent, fabric softeners, bleach, milk, shampoo, conditioner, motor oil. Newer bullet proof vests, various toys.  NO KNOWN HAZARDS.  ACCEPTED AT MOST RECYCLING CENTERS.

Poly(vinyl cloride):  Pipes, shower curtains, meat wraps, cooking oil bottles, baby bottle nipples, shrink wrap, clear medical tubing, vinyl dashboards and seat covers, coffee containers.  KNOWN POTENTIAL HEALTH HAZARDS.  RARELY ACCEPTED,  SOMETIMES BY PLASTIC LUMBER MAKERS.

Low-density Polyethylene:  Wrapping films, grocery bags, sandwich bags.  NO KNOWN HAZARDS.  RARELY ACCEPTED,  CHECK YOUR LOCAL RECYCLING CENTER.  RETURN GROCERY BAGS TO THE STORE.

Polypropylene:  Tupperware®, syrup bottles, yogurt tubs, diapers, outdoor carpet.  NO KNOWN HAZARDS.  "PRESERVE GIMME 5" RECYCLING LOCATIONS.

Polystyrene:  Coffee cups, disposable cutlery and cups (clear and colored), bakery shells, meat trays, "cheap" hubcaps, packing peanuts, styrofoam insulation.  KNOWN POTENTIAL HEALTH HAZARDS.  ACCEPTED AT MOST RECYCLING CENTERS.

The hotdog of plastics!  Products labeled as "other" are made of any combination of 1-6 or another, less commonly used plastic.  KNOWN POTENTIAL HEALTH HAZARDS.  RETURN TO MANUFACTURER FOR PROPER DISPOSAL.

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