NOTICE: I don't live here anymore!


Please visit me at http://www.beautifulcalling.ca/

Thanks to April, I have a fabulous new look and a big thank you to Flibby Pie transitioned me to Wordpress!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tune-Up Tuesday: Double Love Dare 2 & 3

A google search of the word 'Tune-Up' revealed the following definition:
An Adjustment for Better Functioning
A search for the definition of 'Adjustment' revealed the following:
A Small Change, A Minor Correction, A Modification
More on Tune-Up Tuesday here.
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Love is Kind. Love is Not Selfish

Last week we talked about how patience is a choice to react and respond positively. This week we will think about kindness as a choice; a choice to do BE kind. Kindness is an action. The keys to kindness are choosing to be kind, willingness to put other before ourselves and taking initiative. Take the initiative to say and do kind things, be willing to serve and meet needs without worrying about ourselves and our rights.

Mrs. Proverbs 31 had it down! Every time do you think? Probably not, but but she won the battle (and it is a battle!) more often than not because she was known for her kindness.

We are all sinful by nature and therefore we are selfish. Society is filled with Me-ology. We hear about our needs, our desires, our rights. We think that we "deserve" this and that. We need to trust God with our own needs rather than seeking to meet them ourselves. Then we are free to focus on others. Pastor Walsh preached a message on love last month at church. He said that loving God with all your heart will not come naturally and that you need to practice and persevere. Kindness and unselfishness are things that we need to practice too. Our first attempts may be fumbling but as we exercise them, they will begin to come more naturally.
Another thing mom and I were talking about (other than biting your tongue) was motive. We need to make sure we are motive is love for God and not personal glory and bragging rights.

Challenge #2 Do something unexpected for your spouse. Something kind.
Challenge #3 What you put your time, energy and money into will become more important to you. Invest one of these in your spouse today.


You can follow along here, however I really recommend picking up a copy of The Love Dare for yourself. It contains so much more than what I am sharing here. You can purchase one by clicking the appropriate flag on my right sidebar to go to my A-Store.
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Do you have a tune-up you are working on? Are you joining me in the Double Love Dare? How are you doing? Leave a comment to let us know or add a direct link to your blog post below to encourage and inspire others. Don't underestimate the power of accountability - it's a great motivator!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Tune-Up Tuesday Status Report

Having cleaned up my kitchen, and with my littles still down, I thought I would sit down and catch you up on some Tune-Up Tuesday progress!

For those who are not familiar with Tune Up Tuesday please start here.

Tune Up Tuesday is my day to share with you the tiny little step that I am taking each week to become more Christ-like. Some weeks my tiny little step is more spiritual than others but each challenge that I complete makes me more like the woman He wants me to be. (Tuesdays are also your opportunity to share if you want!)
  • Focusing on eating my meals, I have more energy to get through my day accomplishing the things He has for me. I am healthier. And I am losing weight!! Slowly, but that baby weight is coming off. Hurray!

  • My desk is a sore point. Though it is more organized than it was, it is still in progress. Organization in this area will really streamline so much in our home. It always seems to be on the bottom of the priority list though. I do hope to finish up with it in the next week.

  • My bible reading is mostly consistant in the morning and has improved in the evening. I still desire to read my bible more and to have a greater love for it. The Lord and His Word are part of the focus of my tune-up challenge Loving My God, Loving My Man.

  • Last week was the first tune up in The Double Love Dare. We looked at patience and were challenged to say nothing negative. I am not a negative person, and while I am certainly well aware of the fact that I have not yet "arrived", I think that generally I am a fairly good wife. Last week I was surprised at how many things I said (or thought) that were in some way critical or negative. I am happy to say that there were many times that I bit my tongue and prayed for help however the instances when I didn't were too many for my liking! Still an area with a lot of room for improvement!
Tomorrow is the next Tune-Up Tuesday Challenge in Loving My God, Loving My Man. I hope you will join me.
If you want to give a tune-up report, link up to tomorrows post! Or of course, leave a comment!

Calling in Sick

Since my littles have been sick all weekend, I had great plans for pulling my house together today. They are both still sick and wailing in harmony. I know as mothers we need to put the needs of our family first, to be gentle, patient, loving and self-sacrificing. But this mommy is feeling a little crummy herself. I wish I could call in sick. I'm going to go ahead and say it - I am looking forward to nap time!

I am reading through Proverbs for March (31 days, 31 chapters) and have to say I am glad today is not the 31st as I am not in the right spirit for her!

Todays Ambitions: tidy up kitchen, wash a load of diapers, make a menu for the week and care for littles.



Status Note: The Lord heard my morning plea. As we were lying on the floor taking pictures and feeling down, the doorbell rang. There was my sister and three of her boys. Chloe (who was feeling the worst) perked right up. What a blessing to have her visit!!



Here is the project I am tackling right now as my littles nap:




What do you do with a sick baby and a two year old? Entertainment ideas? Encouraging words? A favorite scripture to cling to? Share away!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Bite Your Tongue

My mother and I were talking the other day because she had been eating almonds and actually bit her tongue. She said it really hurts (silly mommy!) I've actually bitten mine a few times in my life and it certainly wasn't pleasant.

It got me thinking: I would be foolish to physically bite my tongue on purpose because I would hurt myself. But you know I can really hurt myself by NOT figuratively biting my tongue when I should. I can hurt and damage my character, reputation, testimony and relationships. "Biting our tongues" may not always be pleasant for us and at times it is down right hard but by God's grace we can do it!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Wedding Bells!

My brother is one of those people who love life, love to travel and love adventure. I wasn't sure he would ever get married but he fell in love and now he is starting the adventure of a lifetime in Australia!

Tonight at 10:00pm my time (here in ON, Canada), my baby brother will be getting married.

He and his fiancee worked out at a resort together in Alberta. He was from Ontario and she was from Australia. They fell in love, moved to Australia and are getting married!! How I wish that we could all be there with him! Then I could be in the wedding and wear a fabulous dress...ah well.

Maybe he'll let me put a picture up after. Who doesn't love to see a wedding picture?!?

Membership Frugality: We Love the Zoo!

Our Whole Gang!

Is there somewhere you'd like to go and it costs too much? Try buddying up!

My sister and I love the zoo! She has 5 littles and I have 2 so needless to say, it costs a lot it would be a special treat to go once a year. Many times a membership to somewhere is not that much more than the actual admission! We spoke to the membership office and explained that most of the time it would just be my sister, the littles and I, coming and could we qualify for a family membership? On our own, neither my sister or I could afford to buy a membership. Because they were nice enough to allow us to all join under one membership, as long as we each go 1 1/2 times a year, it pays for itself. They also have many membership benefits that we are able to take advantage of! Free things as well as discounts and coupons. On the rare occasion that we are there with our spouses, they have to pay full price but usually we are there during the week.

There are also some indoor playgrounds here in town. We don't go a lot but we have been a couple times (in the winter). Check before you go because usually they have a group rate. One place we have been offered a $1 discount per child if you had over four children in your group.

If you are planning to visit anywhere that has a fee, always do an Internet search for a coupon or to see if they have any specials that you can get in on!

We used to being to the Art Gallery of Ontario in our pre-children days. Because we lived a certain distance from the gallery, they had a special rate for non-residents. Be sure to investigate this aspect as well.

If you are really frugal, then you probably only visit places that are free and this post won't interest you in the least. To be honest, I mostly just wanted to post the cute pics I have from our zoo day last week :)

Aaron came with us in our van to keep Chloe and John company.
Chloe wondered if John might like some of her cheese (I'm sure he would lol)


Chloe spent a good amount of time trying to catch the geese. Good thing we have a membership for that :) You can't find Canada Geese just anywhere in Canada!


Dont' forget to visit Life As Mom for more fruagl tips!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Getting Teeth?

John has been a little fussy lately. He has also been waking up every 2 1/2 hours. I can't remember a night that he slept longer than that. The other day he cried and cried. I gave him a little Motrin and a home-made melon Popsicle and *boom* he was happy as anything. Maybe he's getting a little tooth pushing through. I haven't felt anything yet but I think it's on it's way. A happy and sad moment. I'm happy that he is growing up the way God intended but I am sad that his toothless and dorky baby grin will all too soon disappear. Babies grow up so fast!

Tuesday morning, despite delays and extra spills at breakfast, we made it out to ladies bible study and were only a few minutes late. Hurray! When Jaiden walked in the door that morning I had to laugh since Chloe was wearing almost the same dress as she was. At bible study they asked if I planned it :) Chloe loves her rubber boots so even if they don't match the outfit, I indulge her. Don't sweat the little things right?

mmm...Banana Bread that Freezes Well!


Super Yummy Banana Bread
  • 5 Tbsp Salted Butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 2 Egg Whites
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups mashed banana
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cream (or milk, half and half, buttermilk or any combination thereof)
  • 1/4 chopped walnuts (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 deg F. Line bottom of mini-loaf pans with parchment paper and then grease the pan to ensure ease of removal.
  2. Beat butter until light and fluffy. Add white & brown sugar and beat well. Add egg, whites and vanilla. Beat well. Add mashed banana and beat on high. (a lot of beating huh? Hope you have a mixer!)
  3. In a separate bowl - combine flour, baking soda & baking powder. Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with cream (or milk) ending with the flour. Add the nuts if desired
  4. Pour batter evenly into loaf pans and bake until browned and toothpick comes out clean. Approx 1 hour 10 min +/-.
  5. Cool approx 10 min. then remove from pan and cool completely on rack
Notes:

Quick Breads often taste better the day after they are baked. As soon as it is cool, I wrap in in plastic wrap and leave it on the counter over night. The following day, we eat one (or two) and the rest go into the freezer! I wrap them in plastic wrap and then put them into a plastic bag to make sure they stay fresh!

I have a few staple recipes that I make in mini-loaf pans and freeze. I shared a Frugal Carrot Cake recipe in the past that freezes well too.

I always buy over-ripe bananas because they are usually marked down to a super low price. Last summer I bought over 20 lbs of reduced bananas for about $4.00. I peeled them all and mashed them all and froze them in 2 cup portions Now when I want to make banana bread, it is so easy.

When my husband makes his home-made ice cream, the recipes usually call for egg yolks. He leaves the whites in the fridge for me to use for baking. Last week mom told me that you could freeze egg whites. We are going to try and freeze them in ice cube trays so that I can easily use them in my baking. If if works you can bet I'll share the details on a Frugal Friday post!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I'm a Princess!

Yes, you read it right. I am a princess! A daughter of the King of kings, royalty, joint heirs with Christ. I've got a mansion waiting for me. I wonder if it is pink? Maybe you're a princess too - that would make us princess sisters! I am following the series It's a Real Job and last week was about your job description. I began thinking about my roles and the tasks required to fulfill those roles

My Beautiful Calling (a.k.a. my job description):
  • Daughter of the King
  • Servant of Christ (thanks Mrs. G)
  • Wife
  • Mother
  • Keeper of My Home
  • Daughter
  • Sister
  • Friend

Tasks/Roles Involved

  • Student of the Bible
  • Testimony to Others
  • Laundress
  • Housekeeper
  • Dishwasher
  • Cook
  • Taxi Driver
  • Errand Runner
  • Grocery Shopper
  • Menu Planner
  • Receptionist
  • Baker
  • Event Coordinator
  • Groundskeeper
  • Doctor
  • Boo-boo Kisser
  • Diaper Changer
  • Listening Ear
  • Shoulder to Cry On
  • Story Reader
  • Hospitality Manager
  • Teacher
  • Counsellor
  • Song Leader
  • Playmate
  • Craft Coordinator
  • Incubator - what a blessing! (this one is compliments of my sister)
  • Correspondence Officer
  • Filer
  • Photographer
  • Steward of Resources
  • Home Decorator
  • Chief Organizer
  • Blogger

Give me some time and I could probably expand upon this list. I'm sure you could too. I agree with Brianna - it is a real job, and a big one.

It may seem to pay poorly and sometimes there are no apparent or immediate rewards. We must be faithful and persevere because each and every task done for right reasons and with the right attitude and, of course, with the right focus, has eternal benefits for us and our loved ones!

When we get overwhelmed by our huge job description (just look at it!) we need to remember that
He gave us the job in the first place. He'll give us all we need to succeed!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Cheeky Maiden & 9 Months or Less Giveaway!

Enter here for your chance to win home-made soap and diaper spray. This actually goes really well with a post that I will be doing next week on cloth baby wipes! Most of you have read my cloth diaper post and know how happy I am with my cloth diapers. Now I am venturing on to the next level. My husband said he would give up paper towel when I started using cloth baby wipes. I took that as a challenge!

Fantastic Giveaways

UBP Giveaways - Get in on them fast!

Limited time only as part of the UBP there is a $100 Cash giveaway. Certainly one you won't want to miss. Go there now.

Fabulous Natural Soaps Giveaway. Go there Now!

And a Super Giveaway - a $50 Gift Certificate to Good for the Kids. Just click the image.

She Speaks Proverbs 31 Ministries Opportunity


I just stumbled across the most amazing opportunity that I must share with you. The opportunity to win a scholarship to the 2009 She Speaks Conference by Proverbs 31 Ministries! Imagine the opportunity to learn and better equip yourself to be the writer, speaker or leader that the Lord is calling you to be. I'm imagining this right now.

I am new to the blogging world, and if you peek here, you can see why I am here! I have a strong desire to grow in Christ, and to reach others for Him through my day to day life (as ordinary as it is). Sometimes I feel that my verbal communication skills are lacking and find that I am much better at communicating my thoughts through writing. I was so excited to see that some of the most widely read blog authors will be there! What a fantastic opportunity to learn how to blog more effectively.

The speaking workshops also hold promise. I have always been shy at public speaking. Perhaps terrified is more the word I am looking for. I know that Christ equips those that He calls. Moses is a great example of that. I am involved in our special Sunday School class at church and am learning to be more comfortable speaking in front of others. It has been a stretching experience. Not always comfortable, and on my own I would certainly not be able to get up there on Sundays. With the encouragement of Ruth, my dear Titus 2 mentor/friend, and of course the Grace of God, each Sunday I feel that I grow a little more. I pray that as I accept these tasks and challenges from the Lord, He will give me strength and courage to accept new ones.

As mentioned above, Christ equips those that He Calls. I don't need to attend this workshop for the Lord to give me the essentials I need to complete the tasks He will lay in my path. And neither do you, my dear reader! But oh, He could certainly use the workshops as a tool couldn't he?

Unless the Lord opens the door and I end up with a scholarship, in this season of my life, our financial situation doesn't allow me to go. But it was wonderful read about it, dream about it and post about it. Perhaps it will be me who is chosen to attend (hurray!) but if not then it may be through my post that someone else participates in the contest. Perhaps they will win, attend and learn that which is needed so that they are equipped to do that which the Lord has called them to do. Since we know that the Lord works all things out, we never know exactly how He will use what we do, but we know it will be for good.

Tune-Up Tuesday: Double Love Dare Challenge 1


A google search of the word 'Tune-Up' revealed the following definition:
An Adjustment for Better Functioning
A search for the definition of 'Adjustment' revealed the following:
A Small Change, A Minor Correction, A Modification
More on Tune-Up Tuesday here.
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Love is not just a feeling but a choice; a decision.

On Tune-Up Tuesday for the next couple of months will be going through The Love Dare and, as I mention here in Loving My God, Loving My Man, it's going to be a DOUBLE LOVE DARE! The book was written to be a 40 day challenge to better love your spouse. I have decided to take a day or two at a time each Tuesday and work on them for the duration of the week. This journey will not be an easy one as we learn to die to self to love our God and our spouse more. It is not for the faint of heart. This adventure will take determination but it will be fufilling and have lasting eternal benefits. This journey is a marathon - not a sprint. At least that, in a nutshell, is what the introduction tells me.

Challenge #1 Love is Patient

Love is patience and kindness. Choosing to be patient is choosing take a deep breath, a moment to think and then to respond positively to negativity or a negative situation. The Love Dare defines it as "an internal calm during an external storm". This photo below is "inside the storm". Amazingly calm isn't it? That can be us with the help of the Lord!

Impatience often causes us to react in ways that we later regret or say things that we wish we could take back! Impatience is far too often the result of our own selfishness.
Patience is a choice. A choice to control your emotions, words and actions rather than letting them control you. And it certainly doesn't come naturally - at least not to me!

The Challenge: Do not say anything negative. And if you don't have anything nice to say - don't say anything at all. I think this extends to tone as well. Often, we (or I at least) can say something that is, not in itself, negative but depending on how I say it, it can be provoking.

Verses: James 1:19, 1 Thess. 5:15, Prov. 14:29, Prov. 15:18, Ephesians 4:2

You can follow along here, however I really recommend picking up a copy of The Love Dare for yourself. It contains so much more than what I am sharing here. You can purchase one by clicking the appropriate flag on my right sidebar to go to my A-Store.
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Do you have a tune-up you are working on? Are you joining me in the Double Love Dare? How are you doing? Leave a comment to let us know or add a direct link to your blog post below to encourage and inspire others. Don't underestimate the power of accountability - it's a great motivator!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Loving My God, Loving My Man!

Friday night Chloe, my 2 year old, slept over at her Grandparents so Scott & I (and baby John) had a date night all planned! Scott was off work at 3:00pm so we went grocery shopping, to the movie store, the Chinese take-out and home again for our "date". This was planned early on in the week but it did line up with a post that I read Friday morning on Date Night at Home. After reading that, I ensured that I put a little more effort than usual into my appearance and wore makeup and heeled pink sandals (Yes, I was freezing!)

Anyway, we had wonderful Chinese food while snuggling on the couch watching the movie "Fireproof". The movie and book were created by Alex and Stephen Kendrick who serve on the pastoral staff at Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, GA. It is the story of a couple whose marriage is in trouble and how they come to know the Lord. During the movie, the father shares with his son "The Love Dare" which according to the movie is a 40 day journey to truly loving your spouse. Some of the "dares" for each day included saying nothing negative, doing something unexpected, contact them at an unexpected time to let them know you were thinking of them etc.

While I am generally not a person given to run with the latest craze, the idea of a Love Dare intrigued me. Saturday, as I pondered it further, I was thinking about how we not only need to love our spouses more deeply and truly, but our Heavenly Father as well. I decided then that I would purchase The Love Dare and work through it, not only to be a blessing to my husband and to work on loving him more, but to deepen my relationship with the Lord as well.

In the bible, God has laid out the blueprint by which we should build our relationships. He has established a perfect order: God, Spouse, Children and then everything else. The first two, my relationship with God then my spouse, are the foundation of my home. Builders know how important solid foundations are and God is the Master builder! He has set this order because he created us to thrive when we are following this pattern he has laid out. I wish that I could stand up and boldly proclaim that I have arrived and my ducks are all in a row. However, especially in this season of my life with a 2 year old (sometimes two of them) and a baby, I have to admit that many times my order is completely backward with priority on my children, then spouse and God gets what is left.

Don't get me wrong, I have a great relationship with my Lord and my spouse. I love them both! But I know I could love them more; to love less selfishly. I hope to deepen and strengthen both of these relationships. Over the next several weeks, I will be reading through The Love Dare and working on implementing these actions (& proof of my love) into my life. In considering this challenge, I can certainly say that this falls into the category of 'tune-up" and therefore, over the next ? weeks it will be the Tune-Up Tuesday focus. I will be posting the challenges online, if you'd like to purchase you own copy of the book, visit my A-Store on the right hand column.

I encourage you to come along on the DOUBLE LOVE DARE: TO LOVE GOD & HIS WORD MORE AND TO LOVE YOUR SPOUSE & FAMILY MORE. Participate when you are able. As with all of my Tune-Up Tuesdays, there will be a Mr. Linky so if you want to post along with me, link up! The links are up indefinitely so if Tuesdays don't work for you, pick a day that does. For non-bloggers, the comment section is always open to you.

A journey is more fun with company and surely I'm not the only one who could love my God or husband better! With that being said, tomorrow morning will be our first challenge. I'll see you then!

Adorable Apron Giveaway - Don't Miss It!


My friend Brianna is having an apron giveaway over at Heart(h) Management. Race over and see how easy it is to enter. It's a beautiful apron by Marie-Madeline Studio and you get to pick the style and the fabric!!!

While you're there, take a look at some of her great posts. Her blog as truly been an encouragement to me. It is a 'real' blog where she posts on real issues mostly aimed at those of us in the season of momminess (which is right where I am)! Be sure to follow along on Mondays as she is posting on It's a Real Job.

What are you still reading here for? Go there!

Menu Plan Monday March 23


So this week is certainly not as busy and I am not as embarrassed to share our plan as I was last week!

Breakfasts:

  • Chloe is back on to bacon but still not eggs. This week we will have: Corn Pops, Rice Krispies or Fruity Cheerios along with bacon. My husband said this morning that it was the breakfast of champions!

Snacks:
  • We still have a few home-made melon Popsicles
  • We have some grapes, strawberries and melon that need to be eaten today or tomorrow. Only enough for 1 or two snacks though.
  • We have apples and oranges from the store this week
  • And of course staples like gherkin pickles, cheese and goldfish crackers. The girls go crazy for those little pickles!
Lunches:
  • Since we have a pretty good dinner menu planned, we should have plenty of leftovers for lunches.
  • We will also use the meat slicer and slice up the BBQ turkey for sandwiches.
  • I am also going to make up a pizza dough tonight and have it sit in the fridge because one of these days my friend Mary and her boys are dropping in for lunch. I thought the kids would like a nice pizza! I had originally planned to pop into the grocery store and pick up a frozen one but since my husband reads my blog I thought I had better not! For those of you who may not know him, he is even more "do-it-yourself" than me!! Very few frozen or canned foods in our house.
Dinners:
  • Monday: BBQ Chicken Breast with mashed potatoes and cauliflower (left over from last week)
  • Tuesday: Sicilian Pot Roast (using Mario Batali's Ossa Bucco recipe!) with beans, corn, carrot atop pasta. Needs to be ready early as Scott has Choir Practice tonight!
  • Wednesday: Shepherds Pie. Church night - something simple! We have quite a few potatoes that are sprouting so I want to get them used up this week. My poor husband - he'll be potatoed out! I love potatoes so I'm just fine with it!
  • Thursday: Roast Chicken with Roasted Potatoes, Roasted Brussel Sprouts (so yummy!!!) and a salad (which will not be roasted). We purchased several whole chickens on special. After this meal, we will take any left over chicken off the bone for a nice stew and I will use the bones for stock!
  • Friday: Pork Loin, Rice and Vegetable Medley (a.k.a. use up whatever veggies are left in the fridge!)
  • Weekends: I don't actually plan meals for the weekend. Since my husband loves to cook and create, this is his opportunity to come up with culinary masterpieces. A few weekends ago he made the most divine home-made ice cream!! He's not a dedicated poster but be sure to check out his blog http://www.ebabble.net/ for interesting food experiences!
Join in on Menu-Plan Monday. Do a post on your blog and link to here. Don't have a blog? Just leave a comment!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Beautiful Life Management Giveaway Winners!


Our BLMS giveaway has ended. Don't forget that you can still request your FREE E-book from GraceWorks. Click on the image above to go there!
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Before I announce the winners - I would like to invite all of you back to participate in the Ultimate Blog Party 2009. We have a giveaway here at Beautiful Calling and there are tons of giveaways here too.

So without further audieu - #2 and #13 are the lucky winners:

Grand Prize Winner: The Beautiful Life Management System
Brianna March 12, 2009 2:31 PM

Second Prize: GraceWorks Gift Certificate
Tamara March 14, 2009 8:31 PM

A little about a Mommy with Littles...


What is a Beautiful Calling?

When I chose the name for my blog, I was mostly thinking of my calling to be wife, mother and keeper of my home. Upon further reflection though, Beautiful Calling has another application. Any woman, of any age in any season, who is in the Will of God is fulfilling her Beautiful Calling.

A Little About Me:

I'm:
  • a Saved by Grace Christian
  • a happily wife married to Scott, a wonderful man (2005)
  • a busy stay-at-home mommy to Chloe (2) and John (7 months)
  • a caregiver to Jaiden (2) three days a week
  • a Cupcake baker and a Bunwich maker (seriously!)
    I'm also a new blogger and I am thrilled that you are here!! Welcome to the
    Ultimate Blog Party of 2009! Never heard of the Ultimate Blog Party before? Well, neither had I but, I suggest that you head over a take a look...after you've explored my blog that is. There are prizes to be won!


A Little About My Blog:

I was domestically challenged when I first got married in 2005! This is a bit of an understatement :)

Since then, with the Lord's help, my desire is to answer my beautiful calling - which is not all about housework! I am learning to be the helper my husband needs; an example and a teacher to my children so that they will come to know, love and serve God. I want to Wait on the Lord with my life! With His help, I want to be keeper of my home and to be a good steward of the time, talents and resources that the Lord has entrusted me with.

This blog is an honest record of my successes, failures and lessons learned (and the one I am learning!) I pray that here you will find something helpful, encouraging or motivating! Read more here at Why Blog?

I also host Tune-Up Tuesday so be sure to come back for that!

A Giveaway!

If you have read The Symbol of a Beautiful Calling, then you know how I feel about aprons. Come back on Friday the 27th for a chance to win a fabulous apron!
***NEW NOTE: I was planning to have an apron giveaway on Friday but I found out that a friend's blog is having one on Friday!! GO HERE FOR INFO ON BRIANNA"S GIVEAWAY. We'll have our apron giveaway in April! So isn't that neat? You'll have an opportunity to enter two apron giveaways - aren't you glad you stopped by?!?
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Did I mention that by participating in the Blog Party, you have a chance to win some fabulous prizes. You don't have to have a blog to participcate My top prize picks are:

See Kai Run Giveaway

Does your toddler need new shoes? Mine does, so I've entered the giveaway at Travelling with Baby for a chance to win a pair of See Kai Run Toddler shoes! Don't forget to join in with the Ultimate Blog Party 2009 for a chance to win even more prizes!

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Will of God

The will of God is doing today what you know you should. What is the will of God for my life, job etc.? He will reveal it to you in His timing. For now, just do what you know you should. Care for your family, use your time & talents wisely, go to church, read you bible, pray...just do it!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Cupcakemobile


This morning started early again as I iced 190 cupcakes before the little ones got up. After breakfast, into the van went Chloe, Jaiden, John, my double stroller and the cupcakes!
I love this double stroller - it is a Peg Elegante. It isn't the most compact stroller since on this particular model you need to remove the seats to fold it down but it was just what we needed. I had looked at another peg stroller that folded right down but decided that this one worked better for two toddlers...more room. Did I mention that it is over $900 (eek!)for this stroller new? I found it on Kijiji and was able to pay for it with cupcake money. It was the Lord who opened the door to get it for such a great price and it was Him who knew how it would more than meet our needs. I was soooo excited to find out that we could use it for cupcakes too!

Anyway, when I take off the back seat and also the canopy for the front seat, I can pile 175+ cupcakes into my cupcakemobile along with John in the front and my two little girlies holding on to the sides. We look like a parade, I guess, and got a lot of funny looks but you know - we got all the cupcakes delivered safely and it sure beats the wagon we used to use!

With the cupcakes delivered, we continued on to the Library where we picked up all sorts of wonderful new books. Hurray! Chloe loves stories. We only picked up a few books that go along with our Learning Poster theme this week so we might make another trip again next week.
Remember Friday is the last chance you have to enter for the Beautiful Life Management Planner Giveaway!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Tune Up Tuesday: Bible Reading

A google search of the word 'Tune-Up' revealed the following definition:
An Adjustment for Better Functioning
A search for the definition of 'Adjustment' revealed the following:
A Small Change, A Minor Correction, A Modification
More on Tune-Up Tuesday
here.
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I love to read organizational books, or books on time management. I begin to tingle when I hit the women's section at the Christian bookstore. Books on becoming a better wife, mother, deepening my prayer life...the list goes on. I also love to read blogs on the same subjects. Oh, how I love to read and oh, what a desire I have to answer Christ's call to come up to higher plains.

It has been said that Christians, as a whole, spend more time reading motivational, inspirational or self-help books than they do reading the bible. I hate to admit it but this is true of me.

Oh, don't get me wrong - I read my bible (almost) daily and I know that I am growing in Him. But since my children arrived, I have less time to read and when faced with a small window of time in the evening for reading, many times I opt for one of the above-mentioned books rather than my bible.

Isn't that interesting (and foolish on my part)! My book choices are good ones, as are my desires. But are the book choices the best choices? Heart(h) Management had a great post about good vs best choices here.

Would I rather read a book about my husband or would I rather read a love note written directly to me by him?
The Bible is God's love letter to me!

If I had something that wasn't functioning as it should, wouldn't I be best reading the manual that came with it?
God made us, knows us best, understands how we work, what we need and God gives us everything we need to know through His Word. There is no better book to read than the bible to help me become a better woman, wife and mother.

Other Christian books are good and can help us to think of things in a different way or show us how to put something in to practice but if we (me) allow them to become more important (or find them more exciting) than the Word - then we (I) are (am) in need need of a tune-up in this area!

Tune-Up Mission: Spend more time in the Word than just my morning chapter.
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Want to join in? Leave a comment. What 'Tune-Up' are you working on this week? (If you need ideas, please refer back to this post.) Do you have a successful "Tune-Up" accomplishment to share? Leave a comment or add a direct link to your blog post below to encourage and inspire others. Don't underestimate the power of accountability - it's a great motivator!

Safety is Important!

Our Monday Morning Baking! Aren't we safe?

On Saturday we made a quick trip to Walmart to purchase canning jars to organize our spice cupboard. While we were there we bought Chloe her first bike helmet...in a gender neutral color so that John can use it next. Aren't I frugal? Ha!


Anyway, since Saturday Morning, Chloe has only taken it off to sleep and bath...in both cases it wasn't willingly. I was battling a bug so we didn't go to church on Sunday, I would have drawn the line there! No helmets to church!

Saturday afternoon we went next door for a quick visit. My neighbor wondered if I wasn't a bit over-protective with a helmet for backyard play?
Sunday afternoon Chloe fell down our stairs coming down from her nap. Wouldn't you know - it was the only time she didn't have her helmet on! Ugh!

So here is my sweet Chloe in her new 'hat'. If you happened to miss John in his hat - click here.





Menu Plan Monday

Welcome to my first ever post on Menu Plan Monday. I was actually debating on whether or not to join in this week since my weekly menu plan looks very sad indeed but it is such a busy week for us that 'quick fixes' will need to suffice!

Breakfasts:

  • I used to make nice hot breakfasts every morning until Chloe discovered cereal with milk. It is all that she wants for breakfast (unless she was allowed to eat pasta) so this week we have: Honey Comb, Corn Pops or Fruity Cheerios along with a drinkable yogurt.

Snacks:

  • Melon Popsicles - these came about because melon was on sale. I bought it because Chloe loves melon and I thought it would be great to put in the food processor for John. Turns out...doesn't matter what I do with it...John doesn't like melon. My DH suggested making John's pureed melon into Popsicles and Chloe loves them!
  • Cookies - this morning when I put on my apron, Chloe immediately asked to put hers on and 'help'. Well I wasn't really doing anything that required help but with that cute little face peering up at me - we made cookies and here's the proof.

  • Kielbasa & Cheese - we went to the market on Saturday and daddy bought Chloe a treat: meat! Chloe loves her "meat" (kielbasa) so we have some for snack this week.
Lunches:
  • We have some left over pork, steak and pasta that we will be using up for lunches this week. If we run out of things, Kraft Dinner is a treat and goes over really well.
Dinners: This is the sad part :)
  • Monday: Grilled Cheese and leftover Coleslaw. We are meeting everyone for bowling tonight so dinner needs to be quick!

  • Tuesday: Farm Fresh eggs, Home-Made Bacon, toast and strawberries. It's going to be so beautiful out today. We're off for a park play date and I have an order of 150 cupcakes for tomorrow that need to be baked today. Scott has a meeting tonight too.
  • Wednesday: Baked Pasta. Ice & deliver 150 cupcakes! Tonight is also church night. Busy Busy!
  • Thursday: Steak, Potatoes & Cauliflower. We'll eat like kings tonight since my dh has starved all week. Plus it is another easy meal since we're off to the Toronto Zoo today. Hurray!

  • Friday: TBA but possibly eating out. Chloe is sleeping over at Nanny's tonight and we are scheduled to have a play date with some grown-up company. Today is also the day that the Beautiful Life Planner Giveaway ends.

  • Saturday: Soooo excited. Today is my spa day. They are no longer a regular part of my life so it is a special treat indeed. Since my maternity leave is finished in July, I want to get my allowed number of massages in before my benefits expire! Lunch is catered in my a gourmet local eatery. Dinner? Hmmmm...

Join in on Menu-Plan Monday. Do a post on your blog and link to here. Don't have a blog? Just leave a comment!

Friday, March 13, 2009

What God Says about What We Say!

A friend shared this with me the other day. I am sure the verses are familiar to most of you but sometimes we all need a little reminder in one area or another. Before I posted them I wanted to go through and read them all to ensure that the references were right and relevant. I've added a link to the actual verse for you (because I am nice!)

Reminders of God's love, provision, and mercy are a great way to start off the weekend!

God has a positive answer for You:

You say: 'It's impossible'
God says: All things are possible
Luke 18:27

You say: 'I'm too tired'
God says: I will give you rest
Matthew 11:28-30

You say: 'Nobody really loves me'
God says: I love you John 3:16

You say: 'I can't go on'
God says: My grace is sufficient
II Corinthians 12:9 & Psalm 91:15

You say: 'I can't figure things out'
God says: I will direct your steps
Proverbs 3:5-6

You say: 'I can't do it'
God says: You can do all things
Philippians 4:13

You say: 'I'm not able'
God says: I am able
II Corinthians 9:8

You say: 'It's not worth it'
God says: It will be worth it
Roman 8:28

You say: 'I can't forgive myself'
God says: I Forgive you
I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1

You say: 'I can't manage'
God says: I will supply all your needs
Philippians 4:19

You say: 'I'm afraid'
God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear
II Timothy 1:7

You say: 'I'm always worried and frustrated'
God says: Cast all your cares on ME
I Peter 5:7

You say: 'I'm not smart enough'
God says: I give you wisdom
I Corinthians 1:30

You say: 'I feel all alone'
God says: I will never leave you or forsake you
Hebrews 13:5

Don't forget to enter our Fabulous Planner Giveaway here!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Great Giveaway!

My Frugal Friday post is our Giveaway Announcement!
What is more frugal than free right?
Especially when it is something that will help you be a better steward with your time.
Time is one of the most important resources God has given us!

ENTER OUR GIVEAWAY
Grand Prize:
Beautiful Life Management System

Courtesy of:



How to Enter:
  1. Visit GraceWorks and take a look at the products they offer.
  2. Come back here and leave a comment in this post with your color choice for the BLMS Binder if you were to win.
  3. If you have a planner already, comment on which supplies or pages that GraceWorks offers that would most help you!
  4. Be sure to leave an email address, website or some way of contacting you :)

If you need to catch up on our planner series, please read A Real Blessing, Plan to Bless, Morning Latte Anyone?, Our Beautiful Calling isn't ALL about Housework! and finally, The Main Thing.

The fine print: Open to USA and Canada residents. One comment per person please. Entries (comments) must be received by March 21, 2009 at 11:59pm (though I will be asleep at that time)!

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