I know I know, I havent blogged in a long time. I believe this is the first time in Dec at all. This month has been busy, a good busy I guess. Im so greatful for the blessing of Christmas but with all the hustle and bustle Im always glad for it to pass. (Is that bad to say?) (On a sidenote: Maybe thats an indication we're not fully dumping the commercialism of CHristmas and fully embracing the true meaning. Something to think about I guess) Anyways, Ive had several people comment on how theyve looked at this blog and were sad to see I hadnt been posting. Honestly since the election I just lost the taste for blogging. I dont know if that makes any sense but I have such strong convictions and feelings about many of the issues raised that when the *bad* side one I just had to take a break from blogging for fear of offending many of my "friends". Hmmm....maybe offending over certain issues isnt actually a bad thing. (something else to ponder I guess). Well with that said Ive been thinking about what I should write about when I decided to get back on here again. Ive sat through several teachings at church with thoughts racing through my head thinking man if I could only write all these down in my blog that would be great. I want what I write to let everyone know how we're doing but also to be an encouragment to others. Life can be hardbeing a keeper at home and mommy, and since I love going to other moms blogs and taking at peak at their daily lives I want to pass that on to others as well. With all that said Im ready for the new year!!! We will be welcoming a new blessing to our family in July. This is exciting bc this baby was totally given to God. Derek and I prayed that the Lord would chose to bless us with another baby in HIS perfect timing. We know that when He gives us the blessing of another child He'll also provide for that child. So while sometimes *we* and others wonder how on earth we can afford another baby we just go on with the assurance that God keeps His promises and His word promises to provide for His children. Of course that means that we need to be good stewards (in all areas) of what He gives us. This is one thing we're working on for 2009. Being better stewards in all areas esp our finances. God has blessed Derek with a wonderful job surrounded by many believers and has blessed us in other ways that has allowed me to stay home and live with the worry of not having enough money to buy groceries or gas (although there were times when gas was close to $4 a gallon!) eventhough he makes less than most people we know. But we know we still spend foolishly and havent fully surrendered the area of finances completely to Him. We have full intentions but we know when we make bad/stupid money decisions we're obviously not trusting God. With all that said....we're so excited for this next blessing and even more excited that s/he was created and will come in Gods perfect timing! No, we're not worried about how we're going to afford another baby. God will provide!! And yes....we are selfishly praying for a boy. Can you blame us??? The new year also brings on new challenges. If you know me well you know my best quality is defiantely not being organized. Thats with things or time or anything that needs organization. I used to be really good at putting on a front. My girls (at the time just Elisa and Ava.) would always be dressed to a T. Perfect clothes with perfect hair and perfectly matching bows. (this dates this time bc Elisa would still actually wear bows!) I looked like I had it all together but pa-leeease dont come knocking at my door bc our house looked like a tornado hit it. And that was pretty much all the time. I will say my kids looked much less put together when we go out now but my house (on a whole) looks a little better then back then. So where do my new challenges come in you ask? Get to the point...I know. With homeschooling and being pregnant and still nursing I am just wiped out! I have such little energy to get the basics done that anything considered a little extra seems unattainable. So anything above and beyond is going out the window. We're starting with dance. Much to Ava's dissapointment we're giving up dance. This goes along with making better use of our time and being better stewards of our finances. While the studio that they take dance at isnt expensive in comparison to some, its costing us more than we're willing to pay anymore. Besides the monthly tuition the costumes for the recital we're going to cost $80 each!!!!! Thats for each girl. So we'd be spending $160 on costumes they would wear once for their recital and then play dress up in. In other words, those are some expensive dress up clothes. Elisa said she really didnt care about giving up dance (just another way God is working bc Ive been praying about all of this) but Ava didnt like the idea. All her little friends from preschool last year are in her dance class and she cant imagine not seeing them every week. Poor thing...she goes from seeing them 3 days a week last year (preschool and dance) to one day a week in the fall, and now none. She'll adapt....this is life. Another thing we've already given up that helps in many areas of our life is we've given up our satelite TV. Actually TV in general bc we dont even have an antenna up to get local stations. Its been so nice. We talked about doing it at the end of summer but went ahead and kept the satelite but now we know we're not supposed to have it anymore. Besides the money we were wasting on it every month (Derek and I sat down maybe a couple hours a week to watch it), when we did watch it it was full of filth and such a time waster. When we originally decided to keep it we decided that we would record any shows we wanted to watch and then fast fwd through the commercials. (Prime time commercials can be just as bad as soap operas now!) So while we purposely watching the filth we were still seeing it in the commercials. We said the same for the cartoons the girls were watching. We were going to record them and FF through commercials so as to cut out all the "I wants!". Well we never ended up only watching recorded programming and relized that the TV really is just a waste of time. So instead we're reading more and spending more time as a family (as corny as that might seem). I know I know, seems kinda radical...giving up TV and all. But hey its actually been a total blessing so far! Oh and now that I'm pregnant with #4 and people so rudely ask if we have a TV (theyll ask it for sure with 3 kids and a pregnant belly since they asked it with 2 kids and a prengnat belly) I can respond with a smile and laugh and honestly say no :) (well we own one but we dont watch it) Well I think Ive rambled long enough now. I dont even feel like going back and proof reading before I post. So, if I dont make sense in areas, please forgive me. Im tired and pregnant and should be in bed :) Happy New Year!