Monday, January 12, 2015

Saying Good-bye

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I've touched on it somewhat in my vlogs (I think?), and I also posted about it a little on here, but this past holiday season was a really difficult one for me and my family.  I lost not one, but two of my grandfather's approximately a month apart.

You see, I am a very, very lucky girl.  Because although my parents came from divorced homes this gave me the opportunity to know and love not only two, but four grandfather's as I grew up.  In November we lost my dad's biological father, and this past Christmas Eve we lost my mom's adopted dad.

In some ways these men were polar opposites.  Where one had a hard time grasping the concept of being a dad, the other was born and bred to be one.  So much so that when he fell in love with my grandmother he fell in love with her three girls as well.  He took them in, raised them as his own, and through the courts and God's grace gave them his last name.  One loved to travel, and never wanted to stay in Texas too long.  The other travelled a lot as well, but he wasn't as fond of it.  I remember being on the phone when we had just moved to California, bawling my eyes out I was so homesick, and he cried right along with me.  He said they moved so he could work and make money, but every time he left Texas he counted down the days until he could go back.

But just as they were polar opposites in some ways, they were so alike in others.  They loved their grandchildren (one only had two, the other had thirteen), and their great grandchildren even more.  They both lived hard lives, but loved every single minute of it.  They were both passionate to the core, and held a spark of life in their eyes that I never saw go out.

This past Saturday my family held a celebration to say good-bye to one of these men (the other requested not to have a funeral), and what a party it was.  It was so amazing to see all these people gathered together to play music and reminisce about this larger than life man they would all miss.  Stories were told of his days as a musician, his ability as a concrete layer, his 'testifying' whenever he'd perform.  We remembered how he taught most of us to throw knives, some of us to dig ditches, and taught every single one of us kids how to 'chop, chop, timber' and showed us how a 'mouse eats cheese'.

I loved both of these men so, so much, and they each left an incredible impact on my life.  The things that they taught me, the experiences and memories they gave me, I can never repay.  Some have told me I am weird because I haven't cried that much, and honestly that is a little weird for me.  But the truth is I am so grateful for the times I had with these men.  Remember that post I wrote about my friend and the grace and peace she felt?  I think I have found it in this situation, and I thank God for blessing me with it.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Cleanliness and Godliness

I'm not perfect.  GASP!  I can't believe I just admitted that on the inter webs, because sometimes I feel that we as bloggers want you to believe that we are.  That we have it all together, our kids behave perfectly, always pose for pictures, and our houses look like an issue of Better Homes and Gardens at all times.  Well I'm sorry everyone, I'm not that person.

I'm sure you've heard the phrase cleanliness is next to Godliness, and if you grew up with grandmother's like I did you probably heard it a lot.  Heck, I still here it a lot!  The problem is that my house is not always the cleanest place in the world and therefore I think my grandma's sometimes have small panic attacks when they enter it.

I want to take a moment here to say my house in not a disaster area, my dishes aren't stacked miles high, dirty laundry doesn't cover the floors (although a lot of the time clean laundry waiting to be folded covers the couch).  It's the little things that clutter the house and tend to build up that is my problem.  Those little things are everywhere!

I've come to the conclusion that the problem is that I am a perfectionist, and while that may lead you to believe my house would be perfect all the time I believe it actually hinders it.  You see I want my house to be perfect, I want it to be perfect to a level it's impossible to maintain, especially with two kids and a daycare.  Have you seen my videos?  I call Atlas and his best friend (one of my daycare girls) the Terrible Two for a reason.  Those two kids can destroy a room in .02 seconds and then move onto the next room to see what else can be destroyed.  Half the time I feel like picking up after them is completely fruitless because as soon as they see a room is clean something inside them tells them it must be destroyed, right. this. very. second.  I love these two kids, and wouldn't trade them for the world, but there are many days where I wish they would just stick to destroying one room and leave the rest of my house in peace.

Now when it comes to cleaning my house I have tried everything.  Weekly schedules, Fly Lady, calendars, daily lists, etc.  Nothing really seems to be working for me, but I am not giving up.  I am not one to really do New Years Resolutions, but with baby Austen coming in May I have to get this place organized once and for all.  No if, ands, or buts about it.

So I am on a mission, to find a method that works for me and my family, implement it, and keep it!  I plan to keep you updated on our journey over here, and if anyone has any tips (any at all!) please don't hesitate to share them.  I need them!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

January Memory Verse:

Proverbs 6:1-5

My son, if you become surety for your friend,
If you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger,
You are snared by the words of your mouth;
You are taken by the words of your mouth.
So do this, my son, and deliver yourself;
For you have come into the hand of your friend;
Go and humble yourself;
Plead with your friend.
Give no sleep to your eyes, 
Nor slumber to your eyelids.
Deliver yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter,
And like a bird from the hand of the fowler.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Frugal Friday-Utilizing Our Leftovers

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We've got a challenge on our hands, a no-spend January (more on that later).  Because of that we are trying to stretch every penny in our budget as far as we can.  I found this muffin recipe a year or so ago on a blog I follow and fell in love.  Oatmeal is a big staple in our home, but I always have leftovers.  I hate to throw food (aka-money) into the trash, we were seriously eating dressing for a week after Christmas because I refuse to waste it!

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Doesn't that look appetizing?

These muffins fill my families bellies, while using up some of those leftovers; and did I mention they are delicious!  I hope you enjoy them as much as we do :)

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It is not a watery batter, more like cookie dough than most muffins.

1 cup cooked oatmeal
1 egg
1 TBSP melted butter
1/2 cup milk
4 TBSP honey/sugar/maple syrup
2 TBSP baking powder
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cups 'extras' (we use chocolate chips and sometimes blueberries)

Mix all dry ingredients together, add in wet ingredients and then bake at 400 for 20 minutes.

2015 Goals and Plans

2014 was a hard year, and if I am being perfectly honest I'm kind of glad to see it leave.  A lot changed, but I changed too.  The hubs and I are not just trying to get out of debt anymore, we are not just mad at our debt.  We are furious with it and we are bound and determined to get it gone as fast as we can.

This new year of 2015 is not going to be easy, we are starting it off with the smallest income we have ever had since getting married almost five years ago and more debt than we have ever had (hello new house payment!), but we have a plan and are on a mission to kiss it goodbye once and for all.  Now I am realistic, I don't think we will get it all paid off this year.  Unless our income changes drastically it's just not going to happen.  But I am optimistic that we can get all but one of our consumer debts paid off, and I think in 2016 we can do all but the house and finish our emergency fund.  How awesome will that be?

I also have big plans for OhanaFarm in 2015, for one a few family members and I are actually hoping to take OhanaFarm from just a wishful idea to a real life small hobby farm this year!  As for this blog, as well as my youtube channel, I am hoping to stay active.  I will continue posting about our debt free journey but I also want to focus on how we live frugally to make our debt free dream a reality and how you can too!  Of course once we get the 'farm' up and running, even if it's just a large garden, I plan to take you on that journey too.

I hope everyone's start to this New Year was a great one, and it is my continued prayer that it is an amazing year for all of us!