Thursday, April 30, 2015

My Heart Belongs to Two Men.

My heart belongs to two men and my husband is perfectly okay with that. 

I have always heard the cliche statement, "You heart will just grow in love and you will be able to love one just as much as you love the other." As women we usually hear this when we are fearful of having a second child. And it is true - you don't love one less so that you can love them equally. You just get more room to love. 

Isn't it amazing that God loves us so much that He gave his ONE AND ONLY Son so that we can have a life with Him! Think about it mamas, HIS ONE AND ONLY SON. 

Could you have done it? There is no way on God's green Earth that I would give up my ONE AND ONLY son. Even if God asked me to, I would be holding on so very tight, I wouldn't be able to let go. Sure, God, yes He is yours, but you gave him to me! You can't have him back.  He has my heart!



The day that Little Mister was laying on my chest (yes in this picture he is not even a day old) no longer brewing in my belly. My heart grew 3 sizes! Yep, I experienced exactly what The Grinch did!. My heart belonged to another man now. My husband now has to share. He is okay with that by the way.  

At the time of writing this Little Mr is 9 days shy of 3 and 1/2.

I love him more today on day 1262 than I did on day 1.  

I love him more today than I did on day 1 because ... 


I have seen how passionate he is ... that will take him to places he hasn't even thought of yet. Oh and he is a thinker!


Just like his daddy he loves to laugh. He loves to make you laugh! When he realizes he made you laugh he won't quit. According to him, "Quitting is a bad thing Mama." Just remember that when things get hard baby.


He is a lover with spunk. Don't let this sweet, sweet darling face fool you. He loves hard. Knock you to the floor with a flying bear hug hard. For him love him hard in return. The harder the better!


Dirt + Cars = One Happy Boy. I am so thankful that he is 3 1/2 now. I can let him spend as much time outside as his little heart desires with minimal supervision. He is so content to take his cars outside and just play in the sandbox or the grass.


Helper extraordinaire in the kitchen. Give him time and he will be doing it all on his own. Watch out ladies, he might have mama's gifts in the kitchen. Another skill that will take him far!


Be still my beating heart. What did I do to be this blessed? I don't deserve any of this. Thank you God for loving me this much and so much more..


He is adventurous, curious, and daring.


Watch out world! He is going to get you!


Full of life since day one. Stolen this Mama's heart from breathe one.

I thank God for him. Even on the days when I can't get pass the fighting, hitting, pushing, arguing and crying -- I thank God for my son. I thank God that I don't have to give up my one and only son. I couldn't do it. I would be giving up my heart.

Mommy loves you Monkey Man. More than my words will ever be able to express.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

What's New Wednesday: Link Up

Good Morning Lovlies!

I hope you have had a wonderful week. What's New in your world this Wednesday?

Newest in our world - Hickman #1 will be working from home - eek. I am not sure if I mentioned it but once again he was looking for a job. Seriously we have had the worst luck lately. He has been looking for about 5 weeks this time. I am really hoping (praying actually) that this is the last one.

Funny how God likes to show us He is listening. I have started writing our prayers, things we need on a post it or paper and putting it in my bible. This is exactly what I wrote "God we need Keith to get a job, a career really, that can take care of this family - in abundance. Thank you for all you do." The next day he was offered the job that he accepted. IF it is what they say, it is well in abundance. If it is HALF what they claim it is still more than what we need. If it is 1/4 of what they say it is we are covered . I am hopeful. Next week will show us much more.

What's New on Teachers Pay Teachers and Teachers Notebook?

Teachers Pay Teachers
Teachers Notebook

This is my newest Freebie.. It is a sample of the Bugs, Bugs, Glorious Bugs bundle. It has a little something from most of the resources in the bugs and insect bundle.

I have taken the Bugs and Insects bundle and split it into 8 packets if you are looking for just a portion.  Remember, bundles are 30% off purchasing all the portions individually.

Thank you to all of you who linked up last week! I got so busy that I wasn't even really able to promote it at all. We had over 30 link ups!

Now it's your turn! What's New in your world?

This link up is for your newest products (1 paid, 1 free - TPT or TN) and/or your newest blog post.

Can't wait to check them out!



Review: I Finally Quit by David Ross

When it was presented that Heather Randall of Christian Women Affiliates had a “different” book for us to review and wanted to make sure she had willing reviewers I took a chance. I read the summary of I Finally Quit by David Ross on Amazon. I replied to her, I would be willing to review it. And here we are.  




So, I Finally Quit by David Ross is a memoir with a call to action. David Ross was successful, engaged, and at the top of his game when his world came crashing down and sent him straight off the cliff, metaphorically of course.  You see Ross was all those things, but he was a alcoholic and a smoker.


Ross takes you through a series of “fortunate” events. Horrible, but “fortunate” events that took him from where he was to the lowest of lows and back up the mountain. This time that mountain was a different mountain, one of sobriety. This mountain lead to living, really living, not just existing.


When I read the summary of “I Finally Quit” I thought to myself, okay I don’t really have things that I need to quit … like this. I have other things I am sure, but not like this. His story sounds really interesting and maybe it will give me some concrete tools to pass on smokers and drinkers in my life.  


That was my expectation. Having finished the book I don’t feel like my expectations were met. I know what David used, but he didn’t give any tools on how to take what he did and use it for yourself. The final 10 pages of the book or so are a call to action. The action being join the “I Finally Quit Movement” through the ifinallyquit.com.  I felt this was a little like pleading, honestly.


What I didn’t expect was to find myself so incredibly intrigued by this story. I actually found myself wanting to come back to the book and find out more. How did he do it? What did he go through next? I found it amazing that he quit drinking without being checked into a rehab facility.  When you read about what he went through I dare you to not be amazed by what God can do in people’s lives … even when they don’t really seem to know Him all that much. Ross mentions that it was obvious God’s hand was on his life and he talks about one time where he saw an angel. It did not appear that he was actively seeking, or in a relationship with God while all this was happening to him.  


I wanted to know more. I went to ifinallyquit.com, I registered and looked around. He has groups for anything you want to quit -- low self worth, sweets and sugar, complaining -- right now there are 16 support groups. The movement is newer, but the dream of this movement is what got him through the dark temptations.  


His story may be what you need to take that next step into quitting the thing you want to quit. His website might just be the thing you need to connect with the support that is going to help you move to quitter.


You can become a quitter here> ifinallyquit.com
You can pick up a copy of “I Finally Quit” here> The I Finally Quit Movement: Recruiting an Army of Quitters
You can like I Finally Quit on Facebook here>www.facebook.com/ifinallyquit


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

What's New Wednesday Link Up!

I know I have basically fallen off the face of the earth. Through each person getting sick over the last few months, allergies, job losses, some not-so constructive criticism and a class at church ... I guess I fell off a bit.

But ... I am back!

So here we are spinning our plates again. I am sure something will fall off again, but then we will just pick it up and get going again. Success is a journey.

What is New here with The Hickman Five

1. I have become a Jamberry Nail Wraps consultant. I know get paid to have pretty nails and help you have pretty nails too!


I am hosting my #instalaunchparty over on Instagram! Come party with me. I was just challenged to join the 25% club! To do that I need to sell 12 more wraps! Want to help? Get your wraps here.

2. I have added more to my Teachers Notebook shop and my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

Teachers Notebook is mostly new by adding products that have already been in my Teachers Pay Teachers. It seems like there is a different clientele at both places, so I am enjoying have both stores open. Seeing that I have not been doing as much marketing as I would like on either it is nice that thing have been still selling on both.

Seeing that it is What's New Wednesday I am going to share with you one of the new products that is available on both stores.


This Robot Bundle is has 8 Hands On Resources! You can check it out here on Teachers Pay Teachers and here on Teachers Notebook.

What about you? What have you been up to? Link up below -- please limit product links to your newest (not shared before) 1 paid product and 1 free product. You can link up from either store. You may also link up your newest (1) blog post.



Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Review: Supermarket Healthy by Melissa D'arabian

"Recipes and Know-How for Eating Well without Spending a Lot" -- yes please! That is exactly what I need. This is the promise that Melissa D'arabian makes on the cover of her recent cookbook "Supermarket Healthy." This book came out of the desire for D'arabian to feed her family of 4 healthy without breaking the bank at all those fancy health food stores.


Something dangerous happens when you pick a cookbook to review from a small snippet of a description and a well worded sub-title. You take the chance that there is nothing in this book your family will eat. The struggle is real with 2 picky eaters in the family. And no I am not referring to the kids. Little Mr. is rather picky and I am in a high sensitivity season where 90% of what I eat sends me right into stomach aches and other delightful things that a lady does not discuss.

When I received this book from Blogging for Books I jumped to flag all the pages of things that we might be willing to try. Let me tell you there are several. I go to make the grocery list to add some of these items to the list to try out some new recipes to find out that The Mr was let go from his job. Grocery budget just went from having some buffer to barebone basics, no extras not trying nothing new. If it is not something we know we will eat, it cannot be purchased.

So I held off on reviewing thinking he might land something soon and we could try out a recipe. Well, he is still looking ...

Seeing this beautiful book sitting there I just had to re-open the pages. I happened to open to a page called "Blue Prints".  These are pages that tell you how to do make xyz without giving you the actual ingredients. So you can step out of recipe box. I could used things I had and still make something newer.

So I tried out one of these blue prints and they are great! You just follow the 2 or 3 steps and you are done.

Here are some of my highly scientific and completely quirky ways that I look at cookbooks - and how "Supermarket Healthy" stands up against them.

1. Is it pretty? Do you want to open it? Do you want to hug it, love on it and treat it well?

Yes. The cover is what drew me in.

2. When you open it ... How many pages do you need to turn to find pictures? Just a few (yeah!)? Are all the pictures in the middle of the book (boo)?

When I opened the book I happened to land on a dual page recipe, but I turned the page and there was a beautiful picture of "Soba Noodles with Garlicky Clams and Fennel" smiling up at me -- not that this picky eater would ever consider putting that in my mouth.

3. Are the recipes easy to read and follow?

Now although I have yet to make one I have read several of them. Very easy! Now, I am somewhat of a natural in the kitchen. I like to be in the kitchen. I like to cook. So ... would my sister who can bake, but ask her to make more than dessert and she might have a bit of an anxiety attack, be able to make these? Definitely! There are no fancy terms or difficult directions.

4. The real test -- would we eat the majority of the recipes?

No. To be honest, I flagged things that we would try, but of the over 150 recipes I would venture to say we wouldn't even eat more than 50 of them. My mom made a good point, the author is from California and they have a different style of eating than we do here in the midwest. That shows in this cookbook.

You can tell that Melissa D'arabian really started this cookbook to take care of her family. Very few of the recipes take more than an hour from start to finish (according to prep and cook times) -- that is good for busy moms, but the recipes are fancier than I would make on just "any night".

Overall, I think this is a good cookbook and worth the investment if you are looking for healthier options while still only shopping at your local supermarket. I also think you have to be more open minded to the things you are eating and preparing for your family to really enjoy this book.

I mentioned it above, but I want to make it clear. I did receive this cookbook from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review. The opinions are 100% mine.



Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Struggle is Real


I know that nothing good lives in me, that is in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.

Romans 7:18-19


The struggle is real.

The struggle is never going to go away.

As long as we are sucking wind on this planet, the struggle is real.


This struggle is that of sin. I am sure you have heard it, “sin is sin.” I have, many times. My exact thought -- “I am good, I am not sinful. I don’t do the big ones.” Yeah, well what about the little ones? What are you talking about Sara?

What about listening to that little nudge, and doing what it tells you to do? Not obeying. Living in fear. Doing just enough to barely survive. THOSE are the sins that I struggle with.

Obeying
Control
Loving

When it comes to these sins -- I am a SINNER. I fail daily. Thank God for His grace and mercy.

But when I don’t sin. When I obey, when I stop trying to make it work my way, when I respond in love -- oh my then I give God room to work. Then I give God room to bless others. Then I give God even more reasons to want to bless me - even though He has all the reasons He needs, I am His and He loves me!

Let me explain it the way Jesus would have with a story.

I really don’t like grocery shopping. It is a chore that I just like to ‘get done’.

Well last summer we were on the hunt to replace the kids kitchen. It was too small for both of them to play at the same time. It was falling apart. It was really cheap to begin with. I had looked at a few places but found nothing that I felt was a great deal. I would scan every single garage sale as I passed to see if it was worth stopping and really looking.

Back to the grocery shopping. I was on the way to the store - I decided (God lead me) to take the time to drive to my favorite Aldi rather than the one right up the street. On the way I see this garage sale. I slow down and peek … toys, but nothing big. I keep going.

After I am done shopping I am putting the cart back and I think to myself, I am going to leave my quarter in the cart and bless someone. (This one probably was me, not God.) Then I feel that nudge, that hey you are about to be told to do something from God. “No, you are going to leave 3.” “What? Then I have to go back to the car, get two more quarters, walk back over here … and God there are people coming! I will probably have to talk to one of them! (All of a sudden 4 people were heading toward the carts!)”

Then there is that split second -- are you going to obey or not. Sin or follow directions?

Mentally kicking and screaming I walk to my car, get two more quarters and walk back. I put one in the first cart. I put one in the second. As I am walking away I get the look … the look that registered as “crazy lady what are you doing?” I respond to the look by saying, “Random Acts of Kindness. Have a quarter!” Then I high-tail it out of there.

I get in my car and breathe out … I don’t think I took a full breathe during this whole thing - what was God wanting me to do! I was way out of my comfort zone, but a few seconds later I was back in my car, breathing and safe. Back in my little cocoon of pseudo invisibility. I am heading home, feeling rather good that I obeyed.

As I get up to this yard sale I see it. Front and center, big and calling my name. A KITCHEN! This was the same yard sale that I passed on the way to the store. I stop. I walk straight to that kitchen. “How much?” willing to pay up to 20 … “$5” WHAT?!!?!?!?!?!?! (mentally) I pull that money right out of my pocket and I give her $6.

Moral of the story … I had that nudge … I heard the request … I had a split second to decided obey or sin … I obeyed … God rewarded me.

Do I get ‘rewards’ like that everytime? Of course not. I would guess that if I really looked at it I would see more rewards than I do. Am I more willing to listen to that nudge that says … do this. You bet. God needed me to see that listening and obeying are important! Do I fail at it? EVERY SINGLE DAY! Does God give me chance after chance? Yep. That is why He is such a better parent than I am.

So, Paul lays it out for us. The struggle is real.



Friday, April 3, 2015

Focus Friday

AHHHHHH

First things first it is 8:30 on a Friday and my family is still sleeping. So Praise The Lord - I am getting some quiet time even with having decided when I went to bed I was going to let God wake me when it was time to get up and not my alarm clock. ... FYI this is a dangerous prayer, there have been times when God wakes me at 3:30 am. I looked at the clock and was like ... Okay God if I am really supposed to get up THIS early you will fill my head with scriptures about how the lazy sleep. Then those scriptures come an hour later! 

I have started getting up around 5 lately and it is actually really nice to get those several hours of quiet time before the house gets up and running. As Franchesca says ... before the Crazy Kicks in.


Oh my has this song spoke to me lately. I have tons of plates to keep spinning. I feel like I keep adding more too.

1. I sell Educational Resources on two websites. I have been really active with one and more passive with the other. I am trying to be equally active on both and that is harder than I thought.

2. I am a blogger. I am a reviewer. I am a writer. I feel like this is one of the plates that keeps falling and crashing.

3. I am a Jamberry Nail Wraps Consultant. (This one is super new.)

4. I have joined Boom Boom Prints to sell artwork.

So many plates. So many plates. Because all of these are online ventures I also have to do all the marketing, promoting, relationship building -- crash, spin, crash, spin. Oh man that plate does not like to keep going.

Let's not even mention the fact that I am Mama. I am Wifey. I am friend. I am sister. I am sister-in-Christ. I am daughter. I am princess (I am the daughter of The King after all).  Ohhh.. and I am Sara, I forget her often. That is the plate that is usually sitting over there on the floor.

(Time to take care of kiddos and finish while they eat breakfast.)

I have big jobs and life likes to spin out of control. Not only do we have my plates, but we have Hubsy's plates to keep spinning.

Here is what we need -- we need to be two octopi united as one (since we are married and united as one anyway). We would have 16 arms and we would be able to keep it all going.  God has it all wrong!

God made us with two hands, that is it. When we get married we both only have two hands ... our hearts and lives might be united, but our bodies ... not so much. God did it this way so that we would lean on HIM.

I heard something (again really) but it was really profound the way that I heard it this time.




It is time to take some time and focus. So today will be Focus Friday. Take all these plates, list out what I need to do for each. Make a schedule to work like it all depends on me. I also am going to write something around my schedule that reminds me that I need to extend myself grace and I need to quit trying to achieve way more than is realistic.

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