Sunday, July 31, 2011

Love Beyond Reason

I am reading this book right now, "Love Beyond Reason" by one of my all-time favorite authors, John Ortberg. If you haven't read any of his books, you MUST. I had to read one for a class at Liberty and I have been utterly hooked on him ever sense. He is such a funny, simple, straight-up author and I love every book of his I have read.

There is a chapter on love and grace that is just really good - I could actually probably put most of the book on here... but then you may as well read it yourself, right!? Here are some parts of this chapter that I really love and agree with. I hope these statements make you think.


Living in grace, remembering grace, keeps love alive. But losing touch with grace, forgetting that I am loved because God is a gracious God, is a love-killer.

Sheldon Van Auken wrote, "The best argument for Christianity is Christians; their joy, their certainty, their completeness." Guess what he said is the best argument against it? "When Christians are sombre, joyless, self-righteous, smug, narrow, repressive - Christianity dies a thousand deaths."

"One of the most important things that I as a Christian must do is to remember not only that was I saved by grace, but that I am loved this day by grace. God did not save me by grace only to decide that now he will base how he feels about me on my spiritual performance yesterday. God's love is always a gracious love."

"What is the one thing the church has to offer that the world cannot get anywhere else? After all, you don't have to be a Christian to build homes for the homeless, feed the poor, or donate to charity. You don't have to be a Christian to try to effect political change or pass social legislation. So what's the one things that the church has to offer that the world cannot get anywhere else? Grace."

"So if grace is the one thing the church has to offer, if there is no wonder like the wonder of grace, why do we leave it so easily? Why is it that churches filled with people who say they have been saved by grace can become such ungracious people? Why is it if you ask someone outside the church what they associate with the word "Christian" they might mention a conservative political agenda or judgmentalism or self-righteousness but not grace-filled love? .... I think it has at least partly to do with pride... When we're desperate, when we know the extent of our need, we are open to grace... Once people are inside the club, they'd like to see the entrance requirements go up, or what's the point?"

Smart Kid

Bri is in the dining room eating her dinner while I finish making mine in the kitchen. She started saying something very loudly for me to hear. I looked at her and said, "Bri, I can't understand you when your mouth is full." She immediately spit her mouthful into her hand and repeated what she had said the first time.

I guess I asked for that one.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Leading Up to Vacation

I need to blog about my recent vacation, but one thing I started doing before vacation was taking notes on how I spend my days. I've had a few people talk to me about time management stuff recently. Yes, I am a mom who stays at home, I only work out of the home a few hours a week (at one "real" job, at one "fun" job, and two volunteer jobs), but it's amazing how time fills up even being at home all day! With four part-time jobs (mentioned previously), one of which is running our food pantry at church, having a 27-month old and 10-month old, running a household basically on my own, and also just trying to get normal grocery shopping/other errands done, my 24-hour days seem to go incredibly fast.

I left for vacation on July 15. This is from July 7 until that day, so about a week. A very typical week. Someday I will show you my chore schedule. It's a spreadsheet. I'm just cool like that.

If anyone else wants to do this I would love LOVE LOVE!!!! to see what your typical days are like! I am always so curious about what other stay-at-home moms do during the day with their kids, and working moms - I'd love to know how you get everything accomplished, and retirees I'd love to know what I have to look forward to. :) Give me some comments, people!

P.S. Sorry that some days there are WAY too many details and some days are really lacking in details. I hardly ever remembered to put in baths, and I never added in times I was sitting down just feeding Hunter, so some of these times may seem weird or a little off, but that's because some details are missing.

July 7, 2011

6:00 am - wake up, feed Hunter

6:30 am - put him back to bed

7:15 am - finish with workout, shower and get ready for day (I'd like to note this is the first and last time I worked out this month...)

7:35 - finish devotions

7:40 - work from home

8:45 - stop working, put laundry in washing machine

9:00 - leave for a mystery shop; Walmart; pay water bill at town hall

10:40 - get home, play time

12:00 pm - cook lunch; start heating water to make baby wipes solution; transfer laundry from washer to drying rack

12:45 pm - clip coupons while Bri finishes lunch

1:00 pm - clean up from lunch, start cooking Hunter's squash for dinner

1:15 - play time

2:00 - start cleaning up in preparation for Bri's nap; vacuuming whole house and picking up toys. Play one more game before nap time.

2:30 pm - Bri's naptime

3:30 - Hunter's nap time. My free time - putting together a future shopping trip for Fed By Faith, eat a snack, upload pictures from camera to computer and chat on the phone

5:00 - Bri wakes up; snack time, then play time

6:15 - start dinner

7:05 - stop cleaning up from dinner because Brianna wants me to play the piano and sing with her. Who can resist? We sing Farmer in the Dell at the top of our lungs and she does the Hokey Pokey on top of the piano bench

7:30 - stop being distracted by piano, turn on music and finish cleaning up the kitchen and dining room

7:40 - hear thunder, rush Hunter to the bathroom so I can squeeze in his bath before the rain starts

8:30 - finally get around to listing one thing on ebay

9:00 - work from home

10:00 - fold and put away laundry, sweep, make sure all dishes are washed and counters are clean, put away toys, complete the baby wipe solution

10:20 - spend 10 minutes winding down by filing some coupons, get ready for bed

July 8, 2011

6:00 am - wake up, feed Hunter

7:15 am - put Hunter back to bed after play time

7:40 am - get interrupted during devotions by Brianna waking up

8:30 am - stop playing long enough to start breakfast and coffee

9:30 - Bri and I play outside and clean out the car some while Hunter naps

10:45 - run errands - go to the dump, work at Classy Paci to pick up FBF items, go see the box turtle that Mom and Dad found at their house

1:00 pm - home; lunch time; I file coupons when I'm done while Bri finishes up

1:45 - clean up from lunch and play time

2:30 - nap time for Bri; do devotions, unload dishwasher, put away laundry that was not dry last night, dust our bedroom, play with Hunter

4:45 pm - run errands - Walgreens, Harris Teeter, bank, and drop off stuff at Goodwill

6:10 pm - start dinner

7:15 - sidetracked from cleaning up by the beautiful weather outside. Brianna and I weed the garden and pick blueberries!

8:15 - finished playing and have given Bri a bath. I encourage her to play by herself so I can finally clean up from dinner

8:20 - sidetracked from cleaning up by doing string tricks and singing songs with Bri

9:00 - work from home

10:00 - sweep and clean counters, enter all receipts from the day into my budget tracker, list one item on ebay, dust living room

July 9, 2011

6:45 am - play time with Bri, get ready for the day, make beds

7:45 am - make breakfast

8:00 am - start making fruit leather, work from home

8:30 am - put a load of laundry in the washing machines

9:00 am - play time (painting nails is definitely on the agenda today according to Bri)

11:30 am -Lauren has just left so Bri and I start going through items for FBF, transfer clothes from washer to dryer

12:00 - lunch time

12:30 - clean up, work on FBF items again, clean out car and vacuum it, sweep garage

1:00 - play time

1:45 - finish fruit leather process, start sweet potatoes in slow cooker for dinner, make a snack for me and Bri to share

2:30 - nap time for Bri; play with Hunter, fold laundry, general clean up

4:30 - leave for Cindy's house and a run to Harris Teeter

8:00 - home; dinner, wash dishes, set dishwasher to run later, write a couple of letters, sweep, finish making sweet potatoes from crockpot for Hunter, work from home

July 10, 2011

7:00 am - breakfast and play time with Bri

8:15 am - start getting ready for church

10:15 - leave for church

1:15 - home from church, start lunch, play time

2:30 - both kids napping - devotions, put away laundry that was not dry yesterday, general clean up, work from home

11:00 pm - realize I didn’t have time to update this at all since 2:30 pm. Left at 5:00 for choir practice. Got home at 9:30 pm, fed Hunter and put him to bed. Bathed Bri and made her dinner, put her down at 10:00 pm. Now I have free time. Clip coupons and eat a sandwich, wash dishes, sweep, clean counters, pack my gift for tomorrow night’s Christmas in July party at church, make my errand To Do list for tomorrow, call in a prescription refill, create a shopping list for Rite Aid (where I will go to get my prescription)

July 11, 2011

6:00am - up with Hunter, feed him

7:00 am - play time with Bri

7:30 am - make breakfast

8:00 - clean up breakfast, play time

9:50 - morning chores - clean bathrooms, change sheets and towels, start one load of laundry

10:30 - clip and file coupons while Bri snacks, change laundry from washer to dryer, pack up ebay items to ship

11:00 - play time

12:15 - errands - mystery shop, bank, Harris Teeter, drop off stuff at Goodwill, Rite Aid, dollar store

2:00 - play time, prepare for kids' naps

2:45 - work from home, unload groceries (there was nothing perishable purchased), blog about grocery trips, make zucchini cookies for Christmas in July party tonight

4:00 - play time

4:30 - clean up kitchen and pack cookies for tonight's party during Bri's snack time, wash dishes, puree and freeze food for Hunter

6:15 - leave for Ladies' Group at church

10:00 - home; work from home, laundry, wash dishes, sweep

July 12, 2011

6:45 am - play time, start a load of laundry

7:30 - start breakfast

8:15 - play time

8:45 - work from home, put laundry from washer to drying rack, fold laundry that wasn't dry last night

9:30 - get kids and me ready for day, cut Bri's hair

10:15 - snack time

10:50 - while kids play, I unload dishwasher, put away dishes in sink, fold laundry, put together a grocery list

11:30 - leave for Walmart

1:30 - get stuck coming home from Walmart - a train is stuck on the railroad tracks!! Start lunch, put groceries away

2:00 - bathe Hunter

2:30 - naptime for kids, devotions, cook lunch for tomorrow (mom and dad's), list items on ebay, package sold items on ebay, put some laundry away, clean up kitchen

4:00 - play time and snack time

5:30 - leave for funeral home

7:50 - get home, start dinner

8:45 - Skype with our Georgia family

10:00 - wash dishes, clean counters, clip and file coupons, sweep

July 13, 2011

7:00 am - breakfast and get ready for day

8:30 - Skype with family

9:15 - play time

10:00 - clean out and sweep garage, start packing to take kids to parents house for the day, start packing for upcoming trip, clean hallway bathroom

11:20 - leave for parents' house, take trash to dump

9:15 pm - home after work and church; start dinner, start packing for rafting trip and GA trip, freeze produce from today that I won’t eat before leaving town, plan recipes for GA that involve the produce that won’t freeze well, wash dishes, sweep, put away some coupons, clean out car, clean refrigerator, work on reunion stuff

July 14, 2011

6:15 am - up and feeding Hunter

7:00 am - play time, getting ready for the day

8:30 - packing for trips, dust house

9:30 - run errands, ship ebay items at post office, get supplies for upcoming trip from the dollar store, go to doctor to pick up extra formula

10:30 - snack time, start cooking dinner for a friend who just had a baby, work on reunion stuff, transfer laundry to dryer, vacuum bedroom, turn snack time into lunch time, finish packing up dinner for friend who just had baby, make an extra lasagna to freeze with leftover ingredients, mop floors, clean our bathroom

1:00 - play time

2:00 - snack time

2:40 - unload dishwasher and wash dishes, get kids ready to go

3:15 pm - take trash, go to Brooke's house to meet Anna Rae!

6:00 - home, start dinner, work from home

7:00 - clean up from dinner, start second load of laundry, dust again

9:05 - trying to finish packing, getting ready to dry rest of laundry (pretty sure I worked until passing out from exhaustion this night...)

July 15, 2011

5:15 am - leave for Tennessee

And the rest is history! Yes, I started keeping this journal again when I got home - well, actually the beginning of THIS week, the 25th.

I would seriously love to know a typical day at your house! I bet you accomplish much more than you think you do. Or if you don't, maybe after you start taking notes, you'll figure out why. :) Also, looking back at it, some of the days seem to only have a few hours of "play time". Rest assured, Bri and Hunter play by themselves some too, but many times when I am doing chores, I am teaching Bri how to do them to help me out. So although those hours are not included in "play time" they certainly qualify as "quality time". :) (She helps with unloading the dishwasher, cleaning up after meals, loading the washing machine, moving items to the dryer (but I do the drying rack), moving items out from the dryer, putting things on hangers/putting away diapers/putting away her underwear or socks, sweeping, vacuuming, general clean up, and gardening.... I may have missed some! The chores I refuse to let her help with are cleaning the bathroom, mopping, cleaning the fridge, dusting, cleaning the windows (can't reach), changing the sheets (although she tries), cleaning the microwave (can't reach) and cleaning the counters (can't reach).)

Oh my gosh, I feel like I just gave you way more details into my life than you would ever want to know...

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Check out my post here about Blockbuster Express, now that our local Blockbuster has gone out of business!

Piano Video

Probably one of my favorite videos ever of Bri. She was so involved in her song ("Happy birthday to Claire") she didn't see me start taping at first. Luckily even after she noticed me she kept on singing!
  • "Happy birthday to Claire"
  • "Happy birthday to Bri"
  • To Baby: "Sit up here with me?"
  • "Happy birthday to Baby" (looks very proud of herself for coming up with this)
  • "Happy birthday to Opa"
  • Whispers: "Hunter up!"
  • Then realizes it was the ice machine making noise...


I love this video. Dad does string tricks with Bri so we've started doing them at home as well. This is one she randomly did one night and I was able to catch on video - "Mosquito".

We went to GA last week and had Bri's Kindermusik CD going strong. Hunter was saying, "Turn it up!" in this video - he is JAMMING!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Muffin Man

Dad already posted a similar video to this, but she's too cute. Here is Bri dancing to one of her favorite songs "Muffin Man".

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I love to see their little feet behind the curtains. (Bri is saying, "House. House. Househousehousehousehouse." Just FYI.)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Organizing the "Right" Way

Go check out my blog here about organizing the right way!


Most of these need no explanation, I just need to get them off my camera!!

A tragedy in the toy box:

Bri has learned how to take pictures:

Oops... I guess Hunter learned to climb the stairs? I walked over here one day to find them both on their way to their bedrooms!

Poor neglected Hunter... he is always getting into jams like this!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011

Another Dawn

I just finished "Another Dawn" by Kathryn Cushman, which was given to me by Bethany House Publishers so I could write a review. I have to admit, from the very beginning of the book I was a little aggravated with the main character. From the first few moments of the book, she had strong opinions about things such as letting her child play in a public sandbox (too many germs), using an old thermometer (because of the mercury in it), using her father's laundry detergent (too many chemicals), and not drinking Sprite (it's made up of just sugar and chemicals). She was pretty depressing and a little annoying. But the debate of whether or not you should vaccinate your children was raised in this book, and it was a very extreme case that brought up this issue. The story itself is actually good, and the ending is incredibly sweet. So if you can get past these few irritations (or maybe they won't even irritate you) I would recommend this book. Also, if you feel strongly about the issue of vaccinations, you may want to skip this book. Faith is an underlying topic in this book, and especially forgiveness, but it is certainly not brought up frequently when it doesn't apply, like many Christian fiction books.

I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishing Group for this review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Friday, July 15, 2011

From the Attic

You should really click on this picture to enlarge it. This is a Christmas list of mine. Not sure how old I was, but I loved to go through catalogs and just clip pictures of the things I wanted.

Just so you know, I did not own any of these toys, so obviously I was naughty or something and Santa decided not to bring these to me. :)

  • "Frog Piano"
  • Fisher Price zoo set
  • Fisher Price farm set
  • My Little Pony house set
  • Dial-A-Teacher (I'm not sure what this was. I tried to Google it and can't find any information about it.)
  • Ballet bar
But I did get these toys, so maybe I wasn't too bad of a kid.
  • Fisher Price parking garage
  • Big plastic house (there is no brand name on the picture but I know we have this toy)
Anybody remember any of these toys, if you can see the picture?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

From the Attic

I found these old signs in one of my boxes and I remembered the summers that Jane, Sally and I would set up roadside stands in the hopes of making some extra cash. But we didn't sell lemonade like "normal" kids, oh, no. We put on plays.

"Amanda + Jane. 2 future actresses. 50 cents per play. 2 plays, see either drama or comedy."

"5 minute plays. DRAMA/COMEDY - which do you prefer? ONLY 50 cents per play. Acted out by: Jane Taylor + Amanda Loyd. The Martian and the Girl"

Well, these signs were fun to me, but then the other night Mom gave me a piece of paper. I didn't realize what I was holding until I saw this sign that said "The Martian and the Girl" and then read the paper that Mom gave me. She didn't realize it but she had given me the lost script of The Martian and the Girl!!

Okay, let me preface this by saying I have no clue how we wrote this. I'm sure Jane and I combined forces, but I do have to admit it sounds like something I would have come up with. I was probably 11 or 12 years old at this time. I'm also not really sure what some of it means... There are some random phrases throughout, so if you are reading this and feeling confused, I'm right there with you. With that said, and without further ado, I give you... The Martian and the Girl.

Amanda: Who or what are you?


Jane: I am a Martian.

Amanda: Where are you from?

Jane: Mars. Take me to your leader.

Amanda: Why?

Jane: Hustle. Hustle to your destiny.

Go to Bill. (As I was typing this, I realized "Bill" must be Bill Clinton, who was president at this time!! Too funny!!)


Amanda catches up.

Amanda: What are you doing?

Jane: I need your leader.

Amanda: Why are you putting us through this? What do you want?

Jane: Mars is running low. So we need some of your...

Amanda: Our what???

Jane: Bridge partners!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Whatever Works

Every day we have several hours of play time to fill with games. I try to do different things every day so that we aren't doing the same thing all the time. Sometimes this means I have to come up with things that are so random they are funny to Bri.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Just Hunter

In this first video about Hunter, you can see he's got his mama's smarts. He had a toy that he wanted to play with, but Brianna, the apple of his eye, was playing in the dining room. He scooted off to get his toy and then made his way back to where Brianna was. I just love the way he handled this toy!

This next video is just a good old-fashioned baby belly laugh!!

Monday, July 11, 2011


You get your kids to help with chores by starting them young... and making them think you're actually playing with them!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

More Pictures

The only way to get all the pictures off my camera... is to put them on here!!

Brianna likes to be pushed on this tricycle, but she is happy to push Claire around too!!

But Claire isn't the only one who gets this treatment!

Trying to put Baby on her shoulders:

Now featuring: I'm A Little Teapot

Brianna and Hunter both loved beets around this age. Bri won't eat them anymore and I don't blame her! Please, please forgive the pink, frilly bib. I am so sorry future Hunter!!

Can you tell we got blackberries in our produce box?

Finding out your skirt flies up over air vents: Priceless. She was entertained by this for quite a while.

Ah, M&Ms.

Hunter, 9 months and Seth, 12 months meet for the first time! (Cousins)

Watching the storm outside:

Singing our song from Kindermusik about riding horses; this is where she says, "Whooooaaaa!"

Brianna thinks when Hunter is fussy all he needs is a good old-fashioned book read to him.

The star of the show:

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Hide The Hand

I did this whole video trying to get Bri to do one of her famous faces. When we are playing "hide" something she usually juts out her lip or if I do it she will hug me and rub my back and kiss me as if to comfort me. So I took a really long video hoping she'd do it, but of course she didn't. Either way, it is a fun game and you can see why I like staying at home so much. :)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Camera Dump

My camera cut off in the middle of doing a video of Bri and Hunter today, which means it's time for another camera dump of pictures!!

At Nenah and Papa's the other weekend:

So over it at this point!

Don't ask me how he gets into these random places. And please excuse the pink diaper...

Fashion 101:

Hunter. Seriously?? I know I said you could help, but that's really not helping!


One afternoon I mentioned to Bri that I wanted to vacuum. I walked away to do something and when I came back into the living room it looked like this:

That girl knows her chores!!

10 Little Christians

Read this in the book I just finished, "Living Free in Christ" by Neil Anderson and I really liked it. Wanted to share it here.

10 Little Christians

10 little Christians came to church all the time; one fell out with the preacher, then there were nine.

9 little Christians stayed up late; one overslept on Sunday; then there were eight.

8 little Christians on their way to heaven; one took the low road; then there were seven.

7 little Christians, chirping like chicks; one didn't like the singing, then there were six.

6 little Christians seemed very much alive; one took a vacation, then there were five.

5 little Christians pulling for heaven's shore; one stopped to rest awhile, then there were four.

4 little Christians each busy as a bee; one got his feelings hurt, then there were three.

3 little Christians couldn't decide what to do; one couldn't have his way, then there were two.

2 little Christians each won one more; now don't you see, two and two make four.

4 little Christians worked early and late, each brought one, now there were eight.

8 little Christians, if they double as before... in just seven Sundays we'd have one thousand twenty-four.

In this little jingle there is a lesson true - you belong either to the building or to the wrecking crew!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Bath Time

Okay, so for about 8 months Hunter was the kid who hated bath time. I mean, he would scream bloody murder, turn purple, I was constantly checking the water temperature or you know, see if I had needles sticking out of my fingers into his body or something. But I guess he just hated it, and looking back it was probably because he had to sit still for ten minutes straight. Now that he is out of his baby bathtub he loves baths!!

These first pictures I took to show off his most recent bruise (although that may change by the time this blog posts). He was standing, holding onto the coffee table, which he does all the time, but he toppled over and hit his ear on the way down. Doesn't it look awful!?!? Well, it looks much worse up close, trust me. He hardly cried though.

Also, I am putting a video on here, and disclaimer - he doesn't fall in the bathtub, slip, or get hurt in any way, so don't get nervous grandparents anyone.

Oh yeah, and if you listen closely at the very end you will hear his new "word"... that's right, Mama! :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

How We Do

We didn't do anything for July 4th this year, primarily because we have a 9-month old who was asleep at 7:30 but it ended up raining a bit anyway, so that's okay. Brianna and I sat on the porch when the storm was first blowing in and it felt so good outside for once. It's been so blazing hot lately!

We didn't do anything really spectacular the rest of the night, just the usual - playing games, eating, taking baths, although I did show Bri some fireworks on youtube and she was not impressed at all. Finally around 9:15 when she should have been going to bed (or already in bed) I decided we should have some brownies. We had brownies in a box but I love homemade so that's what we did. Then I thought it would just be wrong to have her help me make the brownies but not stay up to eat one. Fortunately they only took about 30 minutes to make and about 30 milliseconds to eat, so it was all good.

Saying, "Cheese!" She is pretty terrifying...