Friday, August 24, 2012

God Sighting: Homemaker & Secretary

"A man’s heart plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps."
Proverbs 16:9
Taken from

Against my desires, I have a part-time job.

As our savings dwindled down to nothing, I knew I NEEDED to do SOMETHING, ANYTHING to bring in some income.  My retail gift shop, although successful, hadn't been enough to make ends meet.  And my direct sales adventure had not taken off like I had anticipated.  And we all know that getting a business off the ground usually necessitates more expenses in the beginning.  I have not given up on these two venues.

It was time to seek employment outside the home.  With each click of my mouse, visiting different employment websites, my heart felt squeezed, clenched tighter and tighter.  My eyes burned with tears.  It took every ounce of my being to continue this difficult task because it went against my will to do anything but be a full time homemaker.  Of course this could be debated if someone who is unfamiliar with such demands walked into my home!

What a blessing I have in my two year old son whom I have watched grow every minute of his life.  I have not missed one milestone yet.  He is MY responsibility to raise.  To instill Christian values.  To shepherd in this life.  To give endless amount of kisses throughout the day.  To teach.  To share.  To play with.  To cook for.  To wipe hineys.  I don't want anyone else replacing me!  I don't want to miss one single moment of this (except maybe the occasional middle-of-the-night awakenings!).

I closed my eyes and submitted my application to a temp agency for a part-time church secretary position.  The next day I was called in for an interview.  I drug my feet to get there, didn't prepare, and surely did not want to be there!  A big relief when I didn't have enough proper identification on me to have the interview!

Unawares, this was just the beginning of my God-sighting (a circumstance where God's hand is particularly evident).  I did reschedule the interview - a week later.  I took that time to cry and pray and cry and think and cry and worry and cry and mull things over and cry and debate with myself and cry and . . . .

Then I discovered PEACE!  It's like one night during my quite time with God that it just hit me.  Afterall I had envisioned, in years past, a church secretary position as ideal for various reasons.  And afterall I might could compromise part-time.

This was just the beginning of my peace.  The interview process at the temp agency went incredibly well.  I passed all those dreaded typing tests and Microsoft Office evaluations with a breeze, well exceeding the average percentage required (not to brag).  I connected with the lady, who was quite impressed with my resume, education and experiences.  And of course I easily passed my drug screening and background check.   I learned that I would not have to do payroll!  Although this cut my hours from 16 to 12 hours a week, I would not have to be away from home as much (nor be responsible for such reports!).

The peace completely settled in during the interview process with the church.  My supervisor harbored such sweetness and sincerity, easy to talk with and share concerns.  Why was I even concerned!  She had already thought about my gas mileage and instead of having to come in more days a week with less time each day, I'll come in less days putting in more time.  Freeing up more days to be with Little Jack and the most important day of the work week to take Little Jack to some social activities and for me to participate in a coveted Bible study!

Long story short - God calls and equips.  And now I have 3 part-time jobs - The Gift Barn, Verefina Independent Consultant, and church secretary - and 2 full-time jobs - marriage and motherhood.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Homeschooling Toddlers & Preschoolers

"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!  You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.  And these words which I command you today shall be in your herat.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit inyour house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.  You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." ~ Deuteronomy 6:4-9
 I have become serious with my homeschooling research as of late.  I had decided to implement a few things since Little Jack seems to be absorbing so much and curious about everything.  In doing so I came upon the article below.  My heart was encouraged.  Without even realizing it, I've been homeschooling for 2 years (Little Jack is 26 months old.)!  So I really don't have to implement anything, but I am going to be more intentional in providing learning experiences for him to absorb and to satisfy his curiosity.

Homeschooling Recommendations for Toddlers and Preschoolers

by Shannon White
  1. Read to your child daily, for at least half an hour. Break this into shorter time segments if attention spans are still short. Choose quality storybooks. Toddlers often land on one particular story that they want to hear over and over, which is great for them if you can stand the repetition!
  2. Talk to your child throughout the day, while you are going about routine tasks. Listen attentively to your child, even if he or she is just jabbering, and respond.
  3. Hug, kiss, cuddle, wrestle-play often during the day.
  4. Let your child help you with household tasks when you can. Give your child simple chores that he or she can do on his own.
  5. Encourage your child to explore by providing books, blocks, play dishes, washable markers and paper, a doll or stuffed animal, puzzles, etc. Interest is often renewed if toys are made available on a rotating basis. Too many toys, especially non-creative ones, just overwhelm a child and encourage greed.
  6. The early years are an excellent time for memorization. Even at age two, children can learn to recite their parents’ names, their phone number, their address and Bible verses. Spend maybe five minutes a day learning something new or reviewing memory work.
  7. Include music in your life. Sing to and with your child; listen to child-friendly or even classical CDs. Choosing Christian music is a wonderful way to emphasize your Christian values as well.
  8. Keep the TV off. Numerous studies have shown that even the best videos may be harmful to your child, and that interactive play is always to be preferred. Make carefully chosen videos a rare treat, if offered at all. I know this is radical!
  9. Limit sweets. Kids and adults alike are healthier and learn better if they have wholesome meals and nutritious snacks as a lifestyle. We've had a hard time getting to this point, but I'm glad we have.
  10. If you want your child to learn a foreign language, start early. Studies show that younger children learn faster than high school aged teens. Of course, live interaction with a person speaking the language is best, but CDs also work fine. Ones that include music will heighten interest.
  11. Don't worry about socialization. Children need to interact with Mama and Daddy. They really don't need all the pressures of a group of peers for many years to come. Socialize by serving others with your child (visiting an elderly relative, for example) and by inviting another family to your home for a meal or for a play date.
  12. Most importantly, pray for (and with!) your child daily and teach the truths of the Christian faith as you go through the day and in special devotion times.
  13. And of course, have fun! Enjoy these precious days with your child. Remind yourself on bad days that this time goes by so quickly, and savor it! Choose laughter!
Shannon White and her husband, Gary, have always homeschooled their six children. Shannon strives to follow her own recommendations, with both successes and failures on any given day.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Cloth in the Kitchen

"The wise woman builds her house...." 
Proverbs 14:1

Who uses a whole roll of paper towels in a day?!?

Anyone with a 6 month old who is just beginning to explore food! 

We had been purchasing our Bounty select-a-size paper towels at Sam's Club.  So we were saving money buying in bulk and with the half size sheets.  However, at the rate we were going, we would be spending over $20 every week or so!

So the Moye's adopted the principle of a paperless kitchen in 2011.

You may be saying, by the time you add the cost of enough towels and wash clothes for a few days and detergent and water and electricity to laundry them it would be $20 a week.  I would have to disagree.  I did repurpose plain white hand towels and wash cloths, which saved on that purchase.  But you can purchase in bulk for real cheap.  Besides, bath items are popular at thrift stores and yard sales.  Or just use an old t-shirt or other fabric to serve the purpose.

We already had to do laundry for dish cloths and kitchen towels.  Why not add several more to the load?  No extra time.  No additional hassle.  And not that much more detergent.

Our water bill increased about $3.00 for the month.  But we also began cloth diapering about this time too.

Yes, they do get stained.  But I'm not serving up a 5 course meal with dinner guests.  I do a rinse cycle before the wash to remove some of the stain.  And every once in a while I do an oxy-clean or Clorox presoak and sanitary wash in extra hot water.  Other times I just do a cold wash and extra rinse.  I wash everything with an extra rinse cycle because I have a front loader washer.  I can hardly wait to use up my current detergent, liquid County Save, which is good, to use Green Earth Natural's laundry detergent, which has worked great on cloth diapers for HE washers.

I use to fold them up nice and neat to display them in a lovely homemade basket made by my mother-in-law at More Than Baskets.  Now I just throw the hand towels in one end of the basket and the wash cloths in the other end.  Who has time to be organized and neat with a toddler (and husband ;) )?!?

Once dirty I have been throwing them into a Thirty-One cube (thanks Chad and Natalie Guffey!) I have on top of the washing machine, which is a short distance from the kitchen.  However, a mesh or breathable container would probably work better, reducing the potential of mildew from being wet.   Something total different may be needed if there's a distance between the kitchen and laundry room.

A paperless kitchen has not been nearly as dreadful as I had thought.  It's quite simple actually, with many more benefits:
  • wash cloths clean up dirty toddler faces SO much better
  • and you can use that same cloth to wash the sleep out of their eyes as well as clean up the table
  • cloth towels are so much more absorbent (especially if you do not use fabric softener in the dryer)
  • less waste (less trash for your husband to have to take to the dump; therefore, less nagging for you!)
  • more frugal (more money to spend on things that really matter!)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Little Jack's Honor (Part One: Motherhood & a Judgmental Letter)

"For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother's womb.

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.

My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them."

~ Psalm 139:13-16

Motherhood has been one of the best things that has ever happened to me!  I realized my calling to be a wife and a mommy as a teenager.  However, I followed the expected course of life - college and career.  I met my husband three years after college graduation (a story in and of itself!) and we are living our “ever after” now with a little addition who is now 19 months old.

Motherhood has helped me realized who I am.  It has strengthened me in many ways.  I am being refined daily, in many ways too! 

Motherhood has allowed me to pursue a passion - research.  One of my goals in research is to discover how people did it in Biblical days and even just a few centuries ago.  It being Life - how did they live off the land, how did they raise creative and competent children without all the recommended gadgets of today, how did they live without all the modern conveniences of today, how did they heal their bodies without modern medicine and modern doctors, how would they face today’s culture with yesterday’s values?

Motherhood has driven me to be more active in my quest.  I will share the plethora of information I’ve learned, specifically to infants, over the past two years over several posts.

Let me open with an anonymous letter (spelling and grammar errors included) that was written to our pediatrician in April of 2011:

To whom it may concern at LaGrange Pediatrics:

As an acquaintance of this family I am only writing this out of deep distress and concern for the well being of William Darden Moye IV due to his low weight, only weighting approximately 14 lbs since his birth at the end of June 2010 due to alternative and holistic means of feeding and nursing this baby.  The mother has consumed raw milk since she found out she was pregnant and has continued to do so despite advice from professionals and licensed doctors, even though her breast milk is primary source of his nutrition.  Despite being advised to supplement his diet with rice cereal and other foods to increase his intake to assist with weight gain and normal development she has refused to do so.  Also developmentally this baby is barely sitting up by himself, not crawling, or interested in normal play routines associated with babies at this age.  There is also no normal sleep patterns for this child which I know is also important for healthy brain development with babies.  This baby has also kept a yeast infection off and on since birth and being treated with gentian violet, enough to turn his mouth and lips purple for extended amounts of time.  He also recently has had a terrible diaper rash or “acid burn” the parents have both described in detail the severe areas of cracking, bleeding, scabbing on the child’s bottom/rectum area and also despite being advised to use the “normal” products to cure diaper rash she has decided against medical advice and instead has applied “homemade and holistic concoctions to treat this even applying a vinegar solution this the open cracked areas as she describes in her recent face book posts which are included.  Again I only bring this to your attention out of sincere concern for the well being and development of this child and ask that you thoroughly ask and inquire more about the feeding, nursing, and sleep patterns of this child during his doctor appointments and also inquire about medications and holistic means of treating this baby medically that are being used.  Please try and ensure that this baby starts getting the proper nourishment and medical help he desperately needs!

First off, let me make a suggestion - get all the doctor notes on your child!  You will probably have to sign a medical release, pay a fee, and pay so much per page, but this is your doctor’s interpretation of what you say to him concerning YOUR child!  The records reveal not only his comments, but any tests results and treatment plans.  I disagree that you should have to pay for information that is rightfully yours.  But YOU need to know how the doctor interprets your concerns and how your child is being treated medically.  And you may find out information you’ll never receive in a routine appointment (such as the above letter, in our case).  There’s no way for any parent to remember all these details, even if written in a baby journal.

Secondly, if you have concerns about an acquaintance’s baby, go to the parents before writing an anonymous letter to their pediatrician!  You just may find out that your concerns are unresearched, misguided, opinionated, and just plain ignorant.  One Facebook post cannot accurately portray the big picture of what’s going on in their lives. 

Fighting for Little Jack’s honor started before April 2011, though.  After months of research before his birth, my husband and I decided that we would refuse the routine treatments of newborns - vitamin K shot, eye antibiotic ointment, and circumcision. 

Vitamin K shots are given because a deficiency in Vitamin K can prevent blood from clotting.  This is especially critical for circumcision in males.  However, I was reminded:

Leviticus 12:3 “And on the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.”

Genesis 21:4 “Then Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God has commanded him.”

Luke 1:59 “So it was, on the eighth day, that they came to circumcise the child....”  (referring to John the Baptist)

Luke 2:21 “And when eight days were complete for the circumcision of the Child....”

Philippians 3:5 “circumcised the eighth day....” (referring to Paul)

I added the emphasis on the eighth day.  Why would God provide this law to the Israelites?  Blood doesn’t clot well before the EIGHTH day and sensitivity to pain increases after the EIGHTH day!  God knew this without lab tests and modern medical research!

The eye antibiotic ointment is administered to prevent the spread of gonorrhea and chlamydia bacteria.  I do not have either!  (I refused testing on myself during pregnancy as well.  I do realize not everyone is open and honest about their sexual activity and about possible diseases they may carry.  And that the prenatal testing and eye ointment is a precaution for the baby.)

Needless to say, social services paid us a visit the day after our return home.  Another fight for my son’s honor!  I simply told her I had spent months researching and that we had made a well-informed decision and one with the best interest of our son in mind.  She realized our competence and politely excused herself without further questioning. 

Part Two to follow . . . .

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Prayer Journal

"Pray without ceasing." ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:17
I am definitely guilty of this!  But most of the time it's a recited blessing or selfish one-liners:
"Help me be patient with this toddler!"
"How do I lovingly tell my husband 'I told you so!'?"
"Get me home safely!"
I discovered my long lost prayer journal during my recent quest for organization.  And boy has it been lost - 3 years lost!  I am so ashamed!  My prayer life can stand improvement.

I desire a more intentional prayer life, but it would take me hours to pray for everything that needs praying for - the reason I organized a prayer journal.  I wish I could give credit to whoever gave me the idea.

A) My prayer journal is one of those petite 3 ring binders with loose leaf paper in it.  On the inside front cover is handwritten the format for an intentional prayer:
Let's consult Mr. Webster (paraphrased by me) for a few definitions here:

  • Adoration - the act of worship, honoring
  • Confession - disclosure of sin for the purpose of reconciliation; "a written or oral acknowledgment of guilt by a party accused of an offense"
  • Thanksgiving - expression of gratitude; acknowledgment of goodness
  • Supplication - a humble and earnest request
  •      Petition - a [personal] request
  •      Intercession - a request for someone else
  • Surrender - "to yield to the power, control, or possession of another...;" "to give up completely or agree to forgo especially in favor of another;" "to give (oneself) up into the power of another especially as a prisoner;" to give (oneself) over to something (as an influence)"
  • Listening - to pay attention; to be alert; give consideration
B) There are 8 divisions:
The weekly details, described below, can be rearranged as it fits your routine and schedule.

  1. Scripture
  2. books
  3. my family
  4. missionaries
  5. people and their prayer requests
  6. lost people
  7. my own needs and concerns
  1. my church, my pastor, my fellow believers, my Sunday School class, those with whom I'm  involved in spiritual ministries
  2. other churches, other believers (effective in bringing people into the kingdom; their growth as disciples; boldness in witness; development as leaders), those who live in restricted countries
  3. revival, spiritual awakening
  1. unreached/lost
  1. national concerns (people, situations, and places)
  2. government leaders (people of character, sensitive to righteousness, good decisions, who do not know Jesus)
  1. those who cross my path randomly
  1. people of other nations (leaders, missionaries, fellow believers)
  2. Lord, call more laborers (may each one hear and obey Your call)
  3. mission strategists, decision makers responsible for world evangelism
  1. family
  1. neighbors
C) Tucked in the front inside flap I find 3x5 index cards with Scripture verses written on them for memorization purposes, prayer request printouts from church and Bible study groups, and a blank Thank You card.

I used to be involved with the Baptist Student Union at Campbell University.  They had groups called outreach teams.  We would spend the weekend with a youth group at a particular church, ministering to them through song, Bible study, games, skits.....  The team would stay with host families.  Since my prayer journal accompanied me wherever I went, I kept a Thank You card inside to leave with my host family.

D) Stuck in the clear pocket insert at the back was a poem, quoted at the end, that I learned while studying at the Focus on the Family Institute.

While typing all these details out, I realized how legalistic this may sound to someone without OCD or without high organizational needs or without time constraints.  (Sometimes I wish I didn't crave lists and binders and filing cabinets and file folders and organizing trays and labels and . . . .)  This surely is not intended to make prayer time rigid, but to purpose it.  To allow communion and sharing between God and His children.  To bring wholeness to that "pray without ceasing."

Excuse me while I go converse with my Father!

O Christ, my life, possess me utterly.
Take me, and make a little Christ of me.
If I am anything but thy Father's son,
'Tis something not yet from the darkness won.
O give me light to live with open eyes.
O give me life to hope above all skies.
Give me thy spirit to haunt the Father with my cries.
George McDonald, Diary of an Old Soul (adapted)

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Life of Communication with a Toddler

"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!  You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. 
"And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.  You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.  You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."
~ Deuteronomy 6:4-9
I have been reading a must-read for anyone who has children, of any age, still living at home.  It's entitled Shepherding A Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp.  I have a comment to share upon reading Chapter 10, "Embracing Biblical Methods: A Life of Communication."

I am the stay-at-home mommy to a nearly 19 month old.  My days are filled with A LOT of supervision and a lot of "no-no's" and "let's do this instead."  All my chores have to be designed in a way where a toddler can help.  I'm constantly explaining how our doggies are nice and that we shouldn't hit them with a puzzle-piece hammer or a drumstick.  I'm learning how to deal with temper tantrams (yes, my sweet little angel has a very short fuse!) - Little Jack will know how to count to 10 soon and problem solve.  If I do get a chance to do something on my own, I'm interrupted with a toddler approaching me, book in hand.

I get tired.  And look forward to bedtime.  But then I think, "Ah!  Finally time to get done all those things I couldn't do with Little Jack awake."

I get discouraged as we have a 2-story farm house, infested with mold, that needs remodeling before it's livable again, and limited resources (ie. NONE) to accomplish this.  Grandma could keep Little Jack and I could get a job, to bring in a steady income.  I feel torn between what I think is God's calling on my life - being a wife and a mommy - and "necessity".  And just when I'm in despair about our choice God ALWAYS brings a reminder into my life that this is my calling.  Today's -

"There is a simple way to look at the cost of deep, full-orbed communication.  You must regard parenting as one of your most important tasks while you have children at home.  This is your calling.  You must raise your children in the fear and admonition of the Lord.  You cannot do so without investing yourself in a life of sensitive communication in which you help them understand life and God's world.  There is nothing more important.  You have only a brief season of life to invest yourself in this task.  You have only one opportunity to do it.  You cannot go back and do it over.
 "You live in a culture in which there are opportunities for you to do things unheard of in history.  You are presented daily with scores of options for investing your life's energies and creativity.  There is more than you could ever do.  You must, therefore, prioritize.
 Parenting is your primary calling.  Parenting will mean that you can't do all the things that you could otherwise do.  It will affect your golf handicap.  It may mean your home does not look like a picture from Better Homes and Gardens.  It will impact your career and ascent on the corporate ladder.  It will alter the kind of friendships you will be available to pursue.  It will influence the kind of ministry you are able to pursue.   It will modify the amount of time you have for bowling, hunting, television, or how many books you read.  It will mean that you can't develop every interest that comes along.  The costs are high."
 p. 97
 But the benefits FAR outweigh the costs.  Little Jack will only be a child once and I want to be the one investing in him.  And I'm journeying through what all that entails and anticipating how God is working out my path of life.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

How to Fall In Love Again in Four Minutes a Day

" not self-seeking." ~ 1 Corinthians 13:5 (NIV)
This year will mark our 5 year wedding anniversary!  I feel that's an accomplishment, especially in this day in time when commitments are based on happiness and self fulfillment.  Love is the hardest and best work I've ever done and will ever do.  I get so excited when I find creative (and often common sense) ways to spice up the love life of this "old married couple."  And to be able to do it in 4 purposeful minutes! 

The 4 Minute Marriage Habit:
How to Fall in Love Again in Four Minutes A Day

It only takes four minutes a day to move into a deeper heart place. Four minutes a day to connect, deepen the communion. Live koinonia.

Who doesn’t want a deeper relationship?

1. Four Focuses

Four times a day focus on the love you vowed. When I leave the marriage bed, leave the front door, when  I return to front door, return to marriage bed. These are the four critical archways of time in our day. Touch or whisper a sweet nothing when passing through these gate points, and we walk into hours of closeness. It’s the focus that makes old love fresh love.

2. Four Embraces

Four times a day, embrace. Embrace fully and hold each other’s eyes. That’s all. Repeat four times daily. The one flesh breathes best when the skin pores are close; connected.

3. Four Affirmations

Four times during the day, thank him.

For working faithfully, for hanging up his towel, for putting gas in the van, for making this heart skip a wild beat. Look for the ways to thank him and watch how he moves closer.
The 4 Minute Marriage Habit to Fall in Love Again:
4 Focuses + 4 Embraces + 4  affirmations = Falling in love all over again

Thank you again Ms. Ann Voskamp at A Holy Experience,, for your insight.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Day's Drafts

"So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." ~ Psalm 90:12

Do you ever feel like you’ve been busy all day, but don’t get much, if any, accomplished?  I find planning and to-do lists very helpful.  And very discouraging when I don't get everything marked off.  Recently I came across this really neat planner (attached below) that I would like to share.  It's been most helpful to me in not only planning and writing to-do lists, but prioritizing those to-dos and organizing my day.
Taken from "A Holy Experience" Blog

1. The Day's Dire - the 3 most pressing needs to tend to
I don't feel obligated to do 3 (although I certainly have at least 3 dire needs!).

2. The Diner - the menu?
Meal Planning is definitely something I need to work on!  Along with cooking in general.

3. The Domestic - the household tasks
These are the chores not done daily.

4. The To-Do - tomorrow's Dire's and Draft
This step is SO important to avoid getting distracted from the task at hand.  I think of so many things that I need to do throughout the course of my day.  Instead of stopping what I'm doing, getting distracted to accomplish what I just thought of, I simply jot it down here and plan on doing it tomorrow.  I find these distractions are what make me feel like I've been busy all day without accomplishing anything.

5. The Definites - the things definitely done every day
I really like the water glass icons!  Keeps water intake on the forefront of my mind since I see it every time I look at my planner.

6. The Dailies - the daily rhythm
Here I document all those mundane chores that get done almost on auto-pilot mode (except cleaning the litter box.  That takes a little more motivation!).

7. The Doxology - looking for gifts to give Him thanks for today
This reminds me of a line in a VeggieTales song - "A thankful heart is a happy heart."

8. The Day's Draft - draft out when during the day you'll do the dires, dailies, domestics, and to-dos
This organizes all those lists!

The first week of implementation has proved productive.  Maybe it has been more mental, since my house is still a mess!  I feel accomplished and things are getting done.  That's important.  And I'm also remembering this quote:

"The accomplishment of a day
isn't so much about accomplishing goals but abiding in God,
and this is the thing that needs remembering."
~ Ann Voskamp, author of The Holy Experience Blog ~

Sunday, January 8, 2012

My First Blog Entry: Where I am Today

I have a mental list of all these things I want to accomplish, goals I want to reach, to better myself and the life of my family in all areas of our existence.  And I'm always justifying not doing them.  And blogging is the last thing I thought I'd ever do!  So, here's to the baby steps that make up the journey of the rest of my life.