“You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.”
Charlie Tremendous Jones

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Perception is Not Reality

Far too often, perception is thought to be reality. Just as these tracks don't actually connect in the distance, a nice home and car doesn't always mean they someone is wealthy, well behaved kids in public doesn't necessarily mean a happy home life, lovey-dovey pictures on social media don't solidify a perfect marriage. Trying to compare your life to others in this way is looking on with skewed perception. Ask what God wants for you and base your reality on that.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Spring is Here

Spring is here and we are having the busiest spring we've every had. Carsyn is on the school tennis team, performing with the concert and jazz bands, taking piano lessons, is in the boy scouts working to get his Eagle rank, and working on 2 online classes on top of his school schedule. Corbyn is doing all of his schooling online at home, is in cub scouts, is taking piano lessons, and will soon be taking an archery class. Cole has his schooling at home, is in cub scouts, is taking piano lessons, is currently playing soccer with the local soccer club, and will soon be taking an archery class. Cooper has his schooling at home, is playing soccer with the local soccer club, and wants to go everywhere his brothers go. And Caybrie, well she is almost 18 months old. 

When my kids were younger, and I only had a couple to a few, I would here parents with older kids talk about how packed their schedule is with all the stuff their kids are doing. I thought to myself, "I'll let my kids each do a couple things and then our schedule won't be so crazy". When those couple of things all overlap in the spring it gets crazy. And I foresee many more years of craziness ahead as my kids get older. But I love watching my kids do things that they enjoy. I'm glad that I am able to allow my kids to participate in all these activities. And in a few weeks summer will be here and we will be looking for things to do to fill the time. 
I love my family. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

One Month of No Going Out To Eat



When you have 5 kids it isn't that hard to spend a small fortune on going out to eat. And if you don't track your spending you can easily let it get out of hand. When you spend $40 a meal at a fast food joint it doesn't seem so bad until you look at it being $200 for the month with only five family meals at a cheap restaurant. 

In the past our family has picked a random month to not go out to eat. You read that right. One entire month without eating at a restaurant or from a restaurant. This year we picked January. Here it is the 26th of January and we're staying on course to reach the goal. It helps that we have done this several times before. The first time we tried it was quite a struggle. 

Here are some tips if you'd like to do the same thing with your family. 
  1. Plan this with your family. Get everyone involved, parents and children. In your plan get suggestions of what meals each person would like to have from home. It can be hard to meet the goal and eat at home everyday if the little ones are complaining about every meal. Or it can be hard for the parents if all you are eating are meals chosen by the kids. 
  2. Make a menu for everyday of the month. Be sure to plan quick meals for stressful days. This will require that everyone in the family have all their scheduled activities on a shared calendar. You don't want to be working on your goal and then have a day that both parents are out of the home for the majority of the day and multiple kids have stuff going on after school. You finally get home and everyone is tired from day and nobody feels like cooking. Be sure to plan your menu around days like this. Slow cooker and freezer meals are great for those kinds of days. 
  3. Go grocery shopping, with a list. You'll want to be sure that you have all the ingredients needed to make the meals on your menu. Be sure that you plan out the perishable items and buy those throughout the month. You'll want to minimize shopping trips so plan one big shopping trip to start the month where you purchase all the nonperishable items for the month and the nonperishable items for the first week (or two depending on shelf life). When you return to the store for your weekly shopping trip it is a quick trip to grab just the additional perishable items needed for the next week. 
  4. If you really need to give in to a craving for something from your favorite restaurant try a quick google search for a copycat recipe. Check out our Crunch Wrap Supreme that we made at home. 
Just because you're eating at home doesn't mean that you can't enjoy some of the same things that you would normally get when eating out. 

If you haven't tried it, or it's been a while, go ahead and give it a try. Challenge your family to go an entire month with no going out to eat. If you do give it a try, comment below and let me know how it went. 

Also, if you have tips to share on eating in feel free to share them in the comments. 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Chatbooks

Between Instagram and Chatbooks I haven't been writing on my blog very much. I feel like the stuff that I would put on my blog is all the same stuff that I already shared on Instagram. And why post it all over again? I love that i can print my blog in a book and use it as another from of journalling. But then my sister-in-law introduced me to Chatbooks. With this app I automatically get a bound book mailed to me after every 60 posts on Instagram. It makes the printing part so simple. I love having the printed books to look over and to share with my kids. I'm not great at writing a journal and I love that these little Chatbooks provide a journal supplement for me. 



If you want to give Chatbooks a try you can use my code J6A7MWCZ when you subscribe and get your first book free.


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Carey's Creations

      Years ago Carey wanted to by a vinyl cutter. I didn't know why she wanted to spend so much money on something to make vinyl decals when she could by the decals for a lot less money in comparison. She convinced me to buy it. And to this day I am so glad that she did. She has built up a work from home business with it, and I get to play with it too. 

This week we used it to cut templates so that I could personalize a couple VOSS water bottles. 

Check out her blog at CareysCreations.bogspot.com
What idea can we help you with?

Saturday, April 4, 2015

iTie

Today I took time to re-tie a quilt with my wife, and she sneaked a picture. 


This quilt is 14 years old. It was made by a group of friends and relatives at Carey's  surprise bridal shower that my mom organized. Carey even picked out the fabric without knowing that it would become a quilt for her. 

The bottom was getting thin and the edges tattered. So we bought some fabric and yarn to repair it. We had a great time working on it today. 



What do you love so much that you repair it rather than replace it?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

When you find Christmas wrapping paper leftover at work.....

When you work somewhere that likes to have decorations for everything, you sometimes end up with leftover stuff stashed in corners or closets from people who think we are really going to save it for a whole year to use the next time that holiday comes around. Well today while cleaning up a storage room I found some Christmas wrapping paper. I didn't want to just throw it away, that would be wasteful and the wrapping paper wouldn't get to fulfill its destiny. So I put it to good use. I even convinced someone else to sign a card to leave with the gifts. 



I'm sure the office associates will be so excited to see what they got for Christmas when they get to work in the morning. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A new Christmas tradition that takes only 5 minutes!

While skimming through my Twitter feed I saw a tweet from Christy Wright about her favorite Christmas tradition that only takes 5 minutes. 


I won't lie, it was the "only 5 minutes" part that really sparked my interest in what her favorite Christmas tradition was. Here is the link to her blog post - http://christywright.com/2014/12/a-christmas-tradition/. She talks about each year when she packs up the Christmas ornaments she writes a letter to herself and talks about the past year and what she hopes for in the coming year. I thought this was a great idea not only for myself but to teach my kids more about journaling, being thankful, and setting goals. What a great way to look back to where you were a year ago and see how much God has blessed you in the past year. Also to see how you've grown and become stronger from the events of your life. 
I always wish that I was better at journaling. I write in my journal every so often throughout the year.   I also use my blog as a form of journaling. This tradition would provide me another moment to reflect and journal. 
Thanks for sharing Christy

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Review: Talk to the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or Six Good Reasons to Stay Home


Talk to the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or Six Good Reasons to Stay Home
Talk to the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or Six Good Reasons to Stay Home by Lynne Truss

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



If you want to learn how to use English manners in America, here is an introduction.



View all my reviews

Up-cycle a toddler bed - just in time for Christmas

My wife told me about this great idea of building a storage bench from a toddler bed headboard and footboard. We found a free toddler bed and then bought the supplies that I needed to get started. 

First was to cut the footboard in half and line it up with the headboard. 

Then I started building the bench seat/storage box. 

After putting the box on I framed out the seat. 

 With the seat and hinge on I was ready to stain and seal. 
 

I chose to use natural color stain and seal it with polyurethane.

 The boys seem to like it. I guess it won't be a surprise on Christmas morning. 






Now what should the kids keep in it?