Monday, August 19, 2019

Are You an Overcomer?

When I think of the word overcomer several things pop into my head.  Mainly, people in history that have had to climb HUGE mountains in their life and have endured to the end.  Moses, Horatio Spafford, Harriet Tubman, Nelson Mandela, Louis Zamperini.

But the reality is, in some small ways we are all overcomers.  We all have things in our lives or times in our lives that we have had to push through.  The human spirit compels us to just keep moving and not give up.  What a gift from the Lord that is!

So, YES, I am excited about the new Kendricks Brothers movie, OVERCOMER, that is set to be released in movie theaters August 23.  I am a sucker for feel good movies and love when we find one that is family friendly.  Not an easy task in this day and time, for sure.

OVERCOMER is about a high school basketball coach whose team faces some hurdles and leaves him without a job.  He agrees to fill in as the school's track coach, a sport is is unfamiliar and unimpressed with.  There he meets a young student facing trials of her own and in the end learns a lot about what we allow and should allow to define us as a person.

Cool bonus!  On the Overcomer website you can find a parent guide, family devotional and a sports team devotional as well!  You can also download posters and more!  Grab your family or a group of friends and make it a special outing and then time of good discussion.

"Kendrick Brothers Productions is the company of brothers Alex, Stephen and Shannon Kendrick that exists to honor God and share the truth and love of Jesus Christ through movies, books, curriculum and speaking. By blending engaging stories with doctrinal integrity, the Kendricks seek to encourage and inspire audiences with resources that positively impact their lives and strengthen their faith, families, and personal relationships."  (Facing the Giants, War Room, Courageous)
As people are walking out of the theater, we hope that they begin to ask questions about where their identity is found, because too often we find it in our circumstances, in our titles, in what other people are saying about us, in our jobs, in our positions or awards. Those things can be taken away,” said Stephen Kendrick.
“I hope moviegoers will realize their salvation is about much more than just having a ticket to eternity. They were actually given a brand-new identity.

Thanks to FlyBy and Provident Films,we are able to give away two FREE ticket codes to see Overcomer.  Just leave me a comment here on the blog of who you would take with you to see it.  A random winner will be chosen on Friday!

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.  No Canadian winners please, Fandango does not reach to our Canadian friends.


34 Weeks of Clean 2019! Week 32- The Computer

Technology- ugh!  I am just going to go on and admit to you that I am not a techie queen.  Cleaning queen, maybe, but NOT a techie queen.  That is one of the reasons I still beg my 21 year old to help me work on my blog.  It is a little more challenging now that she is working, but hey, we make it work.

And computers?  Well, they fall under the techie thing and therefore are not my friends.  In addition, with my hero husband pretty busy these days, I am at an even bigger disadvantage. I tease him that if ever something happens to him I am going to throw away all things techie, with the computers going first.  I. Am. Serious!

This week though, despite my hang ups, we are continuing with the office theme and hitting the computer, or computers in some cases!  Don't worry, this involves a lot of deleting (which I am good at) and some file rearranging, which my daughter is good at! Plus some general cleaning that I am sure we can all manage.

If this is an easy week for you, I do NOT want to know.  I prefer to think that everyone else is suffering right along side of me, thank you very much!

So here is the plan for cleaning up your computer!

  • First of all, wipe it down. This includes the screen, tower, mouse, and keyboard.  Dust settles in cracks and crevices quickly and can really mess things up.  I know some people that use the cans of pressurized air or a vacuum cleaner with brush attachments.  I also use a Norwex cloth meant for mirrors that I love!  No need for harsh chemicals.
  • Next, on to the techie stuff.  Ugh!  Your goal is to go through and cleanup or delete old, unused files, pictures, and downloads.  I am continually AMAZED at how much I find stored on my computer that has been there for years and that we do not need.  Apparently I download a lot of files I forget about and never use.  Who knew?  And pictures- well, let's just say I am not as organized in that area as I wish I was.  Luckily, a few years ago my 21 year old IT girl went on  a mission to rescue me from my crazy filing system.  Remember, folders are your friends.  Even if you have a ton of them, at least if they are clearly labeled you can retrieve things you need quickly.  Follow the same rule that we talked about from last week- EVERYTHING HAS A HOME!  Don't forget to clean out your trash bin at the end of your fun!

Simple!  OK, not really, but at least it is concentrated in one area.

And next week- well, it will be your last assignment!  I can hardly believe it.  Thank you to all who have been hanging with us- you rock.  And thanks to all who have sent me sweet notes.  So many of you have worked hard and should be so proud of yourselves!  Wish I could give each of you a hug and a high five!  You deserve it!

See 'ya next week- get to those computers and start cleaning and organizing!


Week 4- Fridge, Freezer and Floors
Week 5- Recipes 
Week 6- The Stove and Loose Ends 
Week 7- The Dining Room 
Week 8- The Living Room 
Week 9- Books 
Week 10- Bathrooms  
Week 11- The Foyer
Week 12- The Family Room and DVDs 
Week 13- Pictures and Scrapbooks
Week 14- Arts, Crafts and Hobbies 
Week 15- The Master Bedroom  
Week 16- The Master Closet 

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Marble Circuit Fun

You know we love games and such around here, right?  There is just something about a game that brings people together and makes things fun.  We play a lot of different types, but for some reason we always seem to eventually drift back to problem solving type games.  It may because we have a wide range of ages under our roof currently, or maybe we are just such left brain dominant people we can't help ourselves.

Either way, I knew when I saw Marble Circuit being offered by Timberdoodle Co  I had several in our family that would love it.  Turns our everyone does and many competitions to see who is better and faster have been had!

Marble Circuit is a relatively easy game as far as instructions go.  Pick a card you want to try, there are 64 that vary in difficulty, and try to get your eight marbles to run a course to a final resting place that ends up matching the card you choose.  All answers are on the back of each card.

Sound easy?
Think again!

To direct your marbles to the appropriate final space you must arrange  ten different tiles that force the marbles one way or another.  By changing the direction of a tile, you can change the path of a marble.  But that same tile may direct the path of additional marbles to place you do not want them to go.

Once you think you finally have the solution, you slowly pull the stopper at the top and watch your marbles run the course you have set up.  When they all settle into their final places you then check to see if your marbles match the solution card.

Of course, our 12 year old was the first to try out Mable Circuit.  He is, after all, the master of puzzles.  After doing a few of the easier cards he conned his brother into trying and the competition was on!

As soon as dad came home he got into the fun and his older sister, who I think may be the fastest so far, got in on the fun!

I love this game for so many reasons!

  • Because it is on the smaller size, it is easy to take with you on the go and pull out when you need to fill some time.
  •  It is great way to build problem solving skills. 
  • It is great for team building or some friendly competition.
  •  It is good for fine motor skills. 
  • It is good for visual learners.
  • It's a fun quick break from school when tensions are running high.
  •  It is quiet! (hey, I AM a mom of four after all!) 
You can find Marble Circuit in the 5th Grade Curriculum Kit from Timberdoodle, but don't let that limit your thinking.  It is fun for all ages! One caution I have for you is the marbles are quite small and could pose a chocking hazard for small children.  Be careful where you store it is you have littles in your house!

Just make sure you keep it close enough to pull out frequently- it can be quite the addiction!


Monday, August 12, 2019

34 Weeks of Clean 2019! Week 31- The Office

Welcome back to 34 Weeks of Clean!  We are nearing the end of our series and by now you should be feeling really good about your homes.  One week at a time, we have been on a mission to take back our homes!  If you are just finding us, it is still not too late to get started.  Just pick a room, set a timer for 15 minutes if that is all you have, and go!  If you do that each day, you WILL see results.  You can find a complete list of the previous assignments at the bottom of this post.

Slow and steady wins the race, promise!

It is not by coincidence that I saved the "Office" for the end.  Or that I will be breaking it down for you in three weeks of assignments. This is a hard place for many people.

Our new home does have a separate office room that we call our library.  It is a room I have dreamed of having for a very long time.  26 years, to be exact.  It was one of my non-negotiable when we started house hunting.  I have always wanted a place to keep our books, but also a place for Clarke to have his desk and all of his collected military "things."  It might look a bit overdone a lot to some people, but for us, it is a lifetime of precious memories that make me smile whenever I see them.  We do not normally collect stuff, but each thing in this room holds a story to my husband's dedication and service to his country.  BUT, it is the room to your left right when you walk in the door and therefore I do feel like it needs to stay as clutter free as possible.

See, right in the open for the world to see.

View from our front entry

When we first began this cleaning and organizing journey years ago, it was brought to my attention that we are fighting three problems really-




Here is how we began to deal with those issues.

Laziness.  We have, all of us, got to commit to finishing what we start.  That includes if you take something out, you put it up.  Sadly, the kids are not the only ones guilty of this.  We are working on it, I promise.

Too much stuff.  Well, by now you know that I like to throw things away! Each year I sort through desk things and get rid of extras.  Notice I said extras, not just what we did not need. I think there is a difference.  Yes, we need pens,  no we do not need 200 of them.  Last year I seriously went through our whole house on a war path against pens and threw every last one of them away that did not fit my fancy.  The reality is I have never had to throw a pen away because it actually ran out of ink.  Do they even do that?  The other reality is that when I go to use a pen I seek out one of two kinds, ignoring the rest.  So those two kinds stayed and the rest went out, with the exception of highlighters and pencils that we use for homeschooling.  Bye bye motel and business pens!  If I need your number I will look you up in the phone book.

Sharpie pens are my favorite in case you were wondering!

Not having homes for everything.  I read in my Kathi Lipp book (Clutter Free) that one of the problems with organizing is that if something does not have a home, it just gets rearranged daily.  Yep!  Guilty! And paperwork seems to be one of those areas for me.  I am working to change that.  My often heard war cry is EVERYTHING. HAS. A. HOME!  The kids love it.  NOT!  If something does not have a home, a place that it goes every single time, then we either find it a home or it goes out the door.  It is amazing what that simple little task will do for you.  Try it- go around your house one room at a time and anything that is sitting out, ask yourself, where does this belong?  If you do not have a home for it- find one.  Now! Or move it out.

We are going to divide the "office" into several weeks for sanity's sake. It will look a little different for everyone, but even if you do not have a dedicated office room, I KNOW that somewhere in your home is a secret stash of files, bills, and random paperwork.

This week then is dedicated to all of that paperwork and the bills/filing system, since for me, that is where my clutter typically comes from.

For this job, go on and get a large trash bag out.  I am guessing you will probably need it.

I will also introduce you to one of my favorite office supplies- the paper shredder.  A wonderful invention!  Go get or borrow one- you are going to need it!

Here we go!

  • FIRST- Go through the stacks of papers you have sitting out!  This is everything from bills to receipts to flyers.  Whatever paper you have just sitting around.  Make three piles-

          Throw away
          Move somewhere else (the paper, not you!)

Your goal is to organize now, we will put it where it belongs in a bit.

Yes, shred things as you go, or your pile will grow large.  Very large!

  • NEXT- do the same thing with any paperwork or files you may have hidden in the recesses of your desk.  Or sitting anywhere else they do not belong. (Kitchen counter, anyone?)

  • Once you have left only what you need to keep (do not skip the first two steps, friends!)- establish a system for filing and stick to it!  Each time we love our system changes a bit but for now I have a file box for important papers.  I put stuff on top of that box with the intention to file those papers once a week.  Notice I said intention.  Like you, I am a busy person, so I do the best I can and give myself a little grace when needed.  The point is, have a place to put stuff and then PUT it there!

The goal is to find a system that works for you and use it.  Everyone does things a little differently.  The key is to find a simple solution you love and then stick to it.

A key point.  Papers WILL pile up if you allow them to.  Make your life easy and have the 1 touch rule.  Touch it for the first time and take care of it, whether that means the trash or a file.  If you just lay it down somewhere random, you will simply move it from place to place.  That is not one touch!  It is a time waster, and a counter cluttering habit.  Ask me how I know!

Yes, I realize there is still much work to be done in the office, trust me we will get there!  But for this week your goal is to move through all the paperwork, get rid of the old you no longer need to keep, and organize what you need to.  I KNOW it is a monumental task for some, it was for us, but we can do this.  Once again, if you need to- set a timer for 15 or 20 minutes a day, work until the buzzer rings and then repeat the next day.  You might be surprised at how far you get in 7 days!


Week 4- Fridge, Freezer and Floors
Week 5- Recipes 
Week 6- The Stove and Loose Ends 
Week 7- The Dining Room 
Week 8- The Living Room 
Week 9- Books 
Week 10- Bathrooms  
Week 11- The Foyer
Week 12- The Family Room and DVDs 
Week 13- Pictures and Scrapbooks
Week 14- Arts, Crafts and Hobbies 
Week 15- The Master Bedroom  
Week 16- The Master Closet