MamaCreates

Behind the Scenes of One Mama's Life

2018 in 2018 – March Update

 

It’s time for an update on my progress to eliminate 2,018 items from my house this year – hence the title 2018 in 2018! It can be done!

I was able to do it last year, but then I was also moving so I had an additional incentive. But I also think that moving into a smaller house is another incentive to reduce what I keep here.

The ‘rules’ are simple:

  • Items can be trashed or recycled, donated, or sold.
  • Items that are part of a set count as one item: salt & pepper shaker set counts as one item; each book or magazine counts as one item.
  • “Long lost” items that are found and finally used up also count.

That’s it. Anything that permanantly leaves the house counts. After all, the goal is to de-clutter, reduce, and/or simplify.

While I haven’t sold anything yet this year, I do have plenty of things set aside for either ebay, facebook sale pages, or a yard sale or two.

I have been working on some organizing in the house and have found many things to trash or recycle. It’s really quite freeing to eliminate handfuls, or even piles of things I no longer need or use.

In January, I trashed/recycled 14 items.

In February, I trashed/recycled 19 items.

But in March, I got busy! I was able to trash/recycle 56 items! Not only that, I donated 57 books to a book drive at my daughter’s school!

As much as I love books – and it has always been a motto of mine that one can never have too many books – it was time to allow other children to enjoy some of the books my children enjoyed when they were younger. Now that they’re growing up, they need room for more young adult titles.

That brings my total items eliminated in March to 113! My most productive month yet!

For the first quarter of 2018 then, there are 146 items that no longer live at my house!

As great as that is though, it’s really not anywhere close to what I need to be doing. If you divide 2,018 by twelve months, the goal should be 169 items each month. Since I haven’t even done that in three months, I am seriously behind.

So re-working the plan…  If I subtract my 146 from 2,018, I have 1,872 more items to eliminate. Then if I divide that by the nine months remaining this year, I now need to focus on 208 items per month. That. Is. A. Lot.

It’s daunting!

I guess I need to be a bit more ruthless…

Hopefully, I’ll be back at the end of next month with some better news!

It’s not too late to get started; if you come across this post, you can start at any time. The goal is to simplify your life; any time is a good time to get started!

Just keep letting go!

Fifty Weeks – Weeks Three & Four

 

Well, that didn’t take long! I skipped the Week Three post, but I didn’t skip the kindness.

And I had a good reason too.

I went to the doctor for an odd symptom, which led to urgent tests, which led to a biopsy…

Praise God that it was benign; but they’re not sure what it is, so it needs to be removed. Yay; surgery!

So my blog post got delayed, but I still tried to be kind through out the last two weeks. I modeled this time after St. Terese of Lisieux and her “Little Way” – which means that I tried to do little things with love.

You can learn more about St. Terese here and here.

So… what did I do over the last two weeks?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Moved over on the highway so someone else could go around me
  • Slowed down to allow a car, stuck behind a parked car, to enter my lane
  • Allowed people to cross the street, even though I had the right of way (did not inconvenience anyone behind me by doing this)
  • Complimented my son in a way that made him very happy
  • Offered to pick up another student from rehearsal so her mother wouldn’t have to drive as far
  • Picked up this student multiple times; and will continue to do so until rehearsal ends
  • Complimented an employee in front of his manager
  • Saw my daughter’s frustration with a mess she’d made and cleaned it up for her
  • Took another student home with us on a half day and kept her until her father was able to come get her
  • Completed some of the kids’ chores for them
  • Said prayers for the homeless I saw on the streets
  • Shared a special treat I received with my son
  • Remained calm and did not react when I had justification to be angry
  • Took my daughter somewhere she wanted to go even though I would have preferred to be at home
  • Drove an hour to take my daughter to a new activity, sat and waited for two hours, then drove an hour home, with love
  • Laughed off a frustrating one hour wait time on hold; joking with the customer service representative who probably heard her share of complaints throughout her shift
  • Hid the tests & biopsy from my kids in order to spare them worry & anxiety (some may argue that it’s not right to keep things from them like that, but I disagree in this case)
  • Prayed for a friend’s son who was encountering a difficult situation
  • Deliberately waved ‘thank you’ to all drivers who slowed down for me, allowed me in their lane, and one who entered a lane to stop traffic in order to allow me to cross
  • Picked up two neighbors’ trash cans that had blown into the street
  • Used a freebie I received to order some prints for my daughter (Shhhh! It’s a surprise!)
  • Wished a stranger good luck when I noticed she was studying for a test
  • Looked for a home remedy for a friend and texted her photos of it
  • Did something for my daughter that would embarrass her if I provided details
  • Went through some books and created a pile to donate to a book drive
  • Went through some clothes and decided to donate some
  • Modeled praying for those who hate & persecute by praying for my ex-husband in front of the children
  • Chose one person who used to pray & attend church, but no longer does, to pray for throughout Lent; and prayed for her daily

I am sure there are other things, but silly me forgot to write them down. I guess I can be kind to myself and cut me some slack…

Barring any other surprises, I’ll be back again next week!

Keep being kind; even if it’s just in the little things ~ Especially in the little things!

 

Fifty Weeks – Week One

 

Well, Week 1 is behind me…

What I did involves a website, a family business. And it made me think about how I wanted to handle links and other people’s businesses. So I’m going to add a disclaimer:

While I do use affiliate links on this site, I will not use any on my “50 Weeks til Fifty” blog posts. It is not my intention to gain financially through these acts of kindness. If I link to a website, it’s because I’ve used it and/or I think it will be beneficial to someone else. Clicking on it will not earn me a commission. If I decide to do anything with either of my businesses along this journey, I will not link to their websites within the post. The purpose of this series is to bless and inspire others, not to make money off of it. That said, let’s get on to the Random Acts of Kindness (RAKs)!

We are fast approaching the season of Lent (Ash Wednesday is February 14, 2018); the time when Christians all over the world commemorate the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert, praying and being tempted by the devil.

Sometimes this season is difficult for children to understand – it can be difficult for adults too! We call it the 40 Days of Lent, but there are actually 46 days from Ash Wednesday until Holy Saturday. To help kids understand how Lent works, a Catholic family created an interactive adventure called Holy Heroes Lenten Adventure. It’s a completely free service; with activities, videos, projects, prayers, Bible stories, and more. All from one family! And it’s mostly done by the kids themselves. My kids did this adventure for several years; not only did they enjoy it, but they learned so much about their faith along the way. You can sign up for free here.

One of the optional products that can accompany the Holy Heroes Lenten Adventure is a Lenten Road map called “Road to Easter

So for this week’s RAK, I purchased a couple of these and had them sent anonymously to my church so they could be handed out to kids who would enjoy using them. While it’s not necessary to use the maps for the Adventure, it is a nice little addition to it. Hopefully, some of the younger children in my parish will learn a little more about the 40 Days of Lent.

Note: The Holy Heroes Lenten Adventure, according to the website, is geared towards children aged 5-12.

2017 in 2017

I keep this tab open in my browser.

I click on it every once in a while and promise to come back to write.

I even have several post ideas bouncing around in my head at any given moment.

 

Yet, it’s been over a year since I posted last. Though you might think it’s been longer, looking at my last post. Apparently, the last time wordpress updated, it deleted posts from the last three years! This is why you’re supposed to back things up. So I guess it’s good thing that there weren’t too many posts during those years to lose.

It’s been extremely busy and my children are no longer children (though they’ll always be my babies). LEGOFan and Diva, as I used to call them to protect their young identities, have become teenagers with social media accounts of their own. Their lives have become filled with activity; which means mine has too.

But busy can sometimes mean too much clutter; too many forgotten things. About six years ago, I was introduced to a concept called 2012 in 2012. You can read about my first foray into that here. I was not completely successful, but I did remove a lot of things from my home. And each year, I have attempted to do some conscious purging. Yet last year was different. We moved. We have finally – after five years – brought everything out of storage. With the kids growing up, there was much to purge.

 

Clothes were too small.

Toys were too young.

Things I saved no longer held meaning.

 

It began with packing everything to move from a 2,600 sq. ft. house (where things never got unpacked because we decided to move shortly after buying the house – I would not advise this!) to an 1,100 sq. ft. townhouse. The ‘stuff” needed to go. And much of it did.

I was able to sort through things and Let. It. Go. (cue ice princess song…)

I threw things away or recycled where I could. I donated a lot of clothing and toys that could finally be worn or played with again. And I sold several things.

In the end, I had not only met, but exceeded, my goal of purging 2,017 things in the year 2017. Before moving, I eliminated 1,055 items, though I didn’t save the breakdown. It was great not to have to move them! But after the move; and unpacking boxes I hadn’t opened in years, I trashed 352 items, I donated 1,135 items, and I sold 25 items. That’s 1,515 things gone after moving. Boy, do I wish I hadn’t moved them, but I am glad they’re gone now! That’s a total of 2,570 items gone from my house in one year’s time!

But there’s still more to do. So guess what? 2,018 in 2018 has begun! As I unpacked over the last few months I’ve designated a shelf for things I’d like to sell; and I’d like to focus on that this year. It never hurts to bring in a little extra cash to pay those bills!

I know that I don’t have a large following here on the blog, if anyone’s left at all! However, I’m hoping that this post will be seen eventually and that someone – several someones – will join me in this endeavor to rid our homes of clutter.

Clutter costs us time and money. It steals our space, and sometimes our joy. One of the last posts I wrote that’s left in my archives was one about a book called Clutter Free by Kathi Lipp. I really enjoyed reading the book and learned a lot from Kathi. I need to start putting it into practice again.

 

Who’s with me this year?

Clutter Free

I think I have always lived with clutter; I’ve never been accused of being a neat-freak!

Actually, I’ve always described it as an organized mess and most of the time I could still find what I was seeking. But recently my children and I were required to move into a very small space and clutter very quickly took its toll. It’s difficult to find places for things; and then equally difficult to find them again.

We are trying to find a new place to live; however, we must live in the allotted space until that new place is found. It is getting bad trying to make space for myself and two pre-teens, but Kathi Lipp has come to the rescue with her book Clutter Free and her 21 Day Challenge.

 

So I began today; and I invite you to join me on this journey. Will you? Will you take the challenge to be Clutter Free in 2015? You can start here: http://www.kathilipp.com/clutter-free-21-day-challenge

Here is some of what I’m working on…

 

Box ClutterGames & Crafts Clutter

 

The top image is of Box Clutter. Like I said, we are trying to move, so I am collecting boxes in anticipation. However, we don’t know when that’s going to happen, so the pile of boxes, bubble wrap, paper, air pockets, etc. continues to grow and take over the room.

The bottom image is that of games, craft supplies, bags of items I need when I take my Lilla Rose business to vendor events, etc. This is definitely a case of too much stuff and not enough space. It’s also a result of a bit of laziness on both me and Diva. Granted, given our current living situation, the containers lining the wall are necessary evils, but the clutter on top, around the bottom, hanging out, etc. is not necessary.

I decided to begin with the box clutter. I figured that once the boxes were sorted and organized; once the miscellany around the boxes is cleaned up, perhaps we can assign homes to some of the stuff in the other room (or at least begin to pack it in the boxes – ya know, the whole ‘kill two birds with one stone’ thing).

I was able to spend a little time on it this afternoon and it does look better. It’s not done yet, but things are more organized; and better yet? Some things are G-O-N-E!

Yep, gone. I assigned one of the boxes to be for those items I no longer want and can either sell or donate. I put some items in there, but I won’t count them until they actually leave the house. I also threw some things into the recycling bag. Those I counted and noted for later.

Wait. Why am I counting these things? Well, Kathi has challenged us to get rid of 2000 things over the course of the next year. Dare I attempt 2015 in 2015? I did this back in 2012 and was pretty successful at it. It can be challenging, but that’s what this process is all about, right?

And moving time is a perfect opportunity to start fresh. The only problem is that most of my ‘stuff’ is in storage and won’t be accessible until the move happens; but I will do my best with what I have. Too bad I didn’t count before I sent that bag off to ThredUp two weeks ago – but, wait, they will send me an itemized list, so maybe I will count that once I get that…

After one day’s work, I can sate that I eliminated (via the recycle bag) 28 items, plus a few crumpled up receipts that I didn’t count. Not bad.

Now… Who is going to join me? Who is going to take up Kathi’s challenge? Comment below and share your commitment to go Clutter Free. If you write up your own post about your participation, put your link in the comments and I’ll stop by.

C’Mon Ladies; We Can Do This!

 

* Disclaimer: If you make a purchase at Lilla Rose through my link, I will earn commission; if you sign up for ThredUp, I will earn clothing credit. As for Kathi’s book (Clutter Free), I received a free advance copy in order for my honest and willing participation (the link to amazon is an affiliate link).

 

I Am A Rebel

I am divorced.

And although I am the one who filed the paperwork, it wasn’t my choice.

And, I know this goes against popular thinking, but I was an abused wife who didn’t want the divorce.

Yes, that revelation is a tough pill to swallow personally, but it’s also tough to admit. I’ve always been shy, but living in an abusive marriage took away any bravery that I may have had. (Let me just state up front that the majority of my abuse wasn’t physical.) My daily life was filled with words and experiences designed to let me know that I wasn’t good enough; that I was less than acceptable.

I learned that nothing I did was good enough, so I had to try harder to be perfect. Maybe then the words would soften and I would be good enough for him.

I learned that I had to try harder to make him, and subsequently others, like me so I could please them. Maybe then the affairs and pornography would stop.

I learned that I had to try harder to get everything done that he wanted done. I started making lists of everything I did during the day so he would know I wasn’t lazy. Maybe then I’d be performing better so he wouldn’t be so embarrassed and maybe take me out, involve me with his co-workers, or let me invite people over.

Then I learned that trying harder to be perfect didn’t help. Neither did trying to please him or performing better. So I learned something else: procrastination. If none of these things helped anyway, why even try? I was going to get yelled at and called names anyway, why try?

My kids were going to hear me called names and put down regardless of what everyone did all day. They were going to see me in tears no matter what. So…

WHY

EVEN

TRY?

All of my years of trying harder to be what someone else wanted, which was unreasonable and unattainable, made me fall victim to several bullies. The first and foremost bully was my ex-husband. And it took a long time to re-learn that I was a valued and loved Child of God and that I was not the “things’ he told me I was.

But while that bully was one over which I have absolutely no control, the other bullies are ones I used myself. They were tools, and I use that word loosely, handed to me by the enemy to knock me down to a point where I would ultimately give up and not live out the life with which I have been blessed.

Now some may look at my life and ask, “How is your life blessed?” And from the outside they may have a point…

  • I’m a single mom.
  • I take care of two kids, one with special needs.
  • I homeschool my kids and their father rarely sees them, so I’m rarely alone.
  • Since I homeschool, I don’t have a full-time job, which means I don’t have full-time income.
  • I work four direct sales companies from home, so when I’m not teaching, I’m usually working in some capacity.
  • I’m living in someone’s living room. On. A. Couch.
  • It’s next to impossible to find an affordable place to rent in a safe area.
  • It’s almost impossible to to get a mortgage; again an affordable in a safe area.
  • There is no money, no extras.

So HOW is my life blessed? My God, through various people, helped me escape that abusive life and find the hope and love that was there all along. I have a family member who is willing to help. I have my kids! I get to watch them grow up; educate them; make sure my son gets everything he needs; show them what bravery looks like.

And here lies another blessing: friends! I have never really had friends. Like I mentioned earlier, I am relatively shy. I had a few friends growing up, but being a military family, I never had time to allow those friendships to become solid. But since my divorce, God has showered me with friendships with some amazing women – some I’ve met and some I haven’t. But I know that several of these women, even those I haven’t met, support me, pray for me, love me. I can’t believe that I am finally learning what friendship is in my 40s! This is one of the best blessings lately.

Two of the ladies I have had a chance only to ‘meet’ online have written a book on this very subject. And they blessed me with the opportunity to be a part of their Braver Living Rebellion. That’s right. I’m a rebel.

Rebel Princess

Yep, I AM A REBEL! I can kick Performancism, People-Pleasing, Perfectionism, and Procrastination to the curb! Buh-Bye!

The Cure for the "Perfect" Life

Sometimes we get so entrenched in our stinkin’ thinkin’ that it’s hard to find a way out. Sometimes it’s hard to know that there is a way out. Cheri Gregory and Kathi Lipp have teamed up to start the Braver Living Rebellion for those of us who are stuck with one or more of these P-Bullies. And honestly, Ladies, I don’t know a single woman who is not encumbered by at least one. Let’s be honest… it’s time to get rid of them!

So where to begin? How about a free chapter to get you started? Then you can purchase your own copy at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, CBD, or Family Christian.

I am grateful to Kathi and Cheri for their honesty in this book, for their friendship (even if we’ve never met face-to-face), for the opportunity to realize that I am brave, for allowing me to be a rebel, and for truly showing me that:

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! (Phil 4:13)

 

From “The Cure for the “Perfect” Life”:

Are you crumbling under the burden of perfection?

You know the expectations are unreasonable–even unreachable.

And when everyone else seems more together than you, where do you turn for help?

Meet Kathi, a disguised perfectionist always looking to put everyone else’s needs above her own, and Cheri, a formerly confused and exhausted poster girl for playing it safe.  They’ve struggled just like you–and found the cure. With unabashed empathy and humor, they invite you to take part in their rebellion against perfection. Step-by-step they’ll teach you how to challenge and change unhealthy beliefs. As they free you from always seeking more or needing the approval of others, you’ll discover a new, braver way of living. At last, you’ll exchange outdated views of who you should be for a clearer vision of who you are in Christ. 

The truth is you don’t have to be perfect.

You just have to be brave enough to read this book.

I received a free copy of this book. My post and endorsement are completely my own. Some of the links are affiliate links so when you purchase I may receive a small amount, but your price will not change.


Answer Me This #2

Alleluia! Christ is Risen! Happy Easter!

Answer Me This

1. What did you and your family wear to Mass on Easter Sunday?

I wore a pink blouse and black slacks, LegoFan wore his new green shirt and tie, and Diva wore a beautiful long, pastel dress with pretty pink flowers on it. She also added some pearl-colored sandals with chunky crystals on them – her new faves!

2. Easter Bunny: Thumbs up or thumbs down?

We never really focused on the bunny and always kept that casual. The kids figured that one out long before they began to question Santa. And we never had any photos taken at the mall. The costumes are never good and they really creep me out! But they still like egg hunts and a few surprises Easter morning; and so I oblige, with pleasure.

3. Do you prefer to celebrate holidays at your own house or at someone else’s house?

I’d prefer to celebrate at my own house – if I had one.

First, I enjoy entertaining. I enjoy having people over and creating a warm, family environment. But a very close second has to do with all LegoFan’s allergies and anxieties. It’s just better for me to have control over the food and lack of furry animals. It’s better for him if he’s in a setting where he’s familiar and comfortable.

4. What is your favorite kind of candy?

Is this a trick question? I think it’s impossible to come up with just one. I’ve always loved Brach’s Jelly Beans – not the Jelly Bird Eggs, not the Spiced Jelly Beans – just the plain ole, regular, original, Jelly Beans. But I really, really, don’t like the black ones and the red ones. Can we get bags made without those two flavors, please?

And then there’s the chocolate… M&Ms, Mounds Bars, York Peppermint Patties… I’m getting hungry!

Lastly, I love the eggs: mint, raspberry, marshmallow, and nougat. Love. Love. Love!

5. Do you like video games?

No. I don’t understand them. I can’t seem to play them. Much to LegoFan’s utter disappointment. He loves them: Mario, Zelda, Pokemon, anything LEGO. I just don’t see the fascination. But he’s good at them. So we have the Wii U in the house, the kids play the games, and I try to understand.

6. Do you speak another language?

I took three years of French in high school. I learned a little Italian when I went to Rome for World Youth Day 2000. And I tried to teach my kids a little Latin. So I guess the actual answer to this question is no. I can say and read a few words in several languages, but I cannot speak any of them other than English. And sometimes I question that ability!

Now join us over at Catholic All Year and play along!

Faith in Practice

I was blessed with the opportunity to model faith for my children today; and to teach them how to put their faith into practice as well.

We had to go to LegoFan’s Anxiety Disorder Group this afternoon. I had very little money in my account and needed gasoline in order to make it to the group. I left a little early and put $5 in the tank, and this should have brought up my available mileage up to about 35 miles. Knowing I didn’t have much more money and that it was only about 10 miles to the doctor’s, I set out.

However, I didn’t notice that my available miles never changed. When I got back in the car to return home, my available miles read 8. I’ll be honest that my initial reaction was one of a little panic because I thought I somehow didn’t get the gasoline I paid for. But I took some deep breaths – learned that from Anxiety Disorder Group – and started to pray. There were more miles between me and home than there were in my tank, with no gas stations in between.

LegoFan started to get very worried and was counting down the miles for me from the backseat – isn’t he helpful? Diva began to ask what would happen if we ran out of gas? Did I mention that it was cold and raining? I calmly told them how we would handle it if the car ran out of gas, and then I suggested that everyone pray.

I told them that Jesus could get us home. That we needed to have faith. I began to remember how long the oil lasted for the Israelites. I began to repeat to myself that I had faith and that I knew that Jesus would bring us home.

At each major milestone, we gave thanks. We made it around the Beltway – Praise God! We made it to the next stop light – Praise God! We made it to the final stop light before home, at which intersection there was a gas station – Praise God! The light was red, so I pulled out my phone and checked the balance on my account. I had $6.99 left. I was able to pull into the gas station and put $6 in the tank. We had made it.

But when I pulled out of the gas station, the available miles still read zero. I began to play with the buttons and eventually the available miles came around again, and it was 68 miles, more miles than should have been added when I put the $6 in the tank…

God is good – All the time! All the time – God is good!

Today was a great lesson in faith; and in modeling that faith for my children. Not only do I thank God for making it to the gas station, but I thank God for the opportunity (and ability!) to show my children where to turn in such situations. Thank you, Jesus!

Jesus

Answer Me This #1

Starting to get a hang of this link-up thing! I’ll get to more of my own posts soon, I promise!

This is week one of Kendra’s Answer Me This Link-Up – Yay!

Answer Me This

 

In this Link-Up, Kendra asks a few questions, and we answer them – simple as that! So, here goes:

1. What time do you prefer to go to Mass?

I am a night owl, so getting up for an early Mass is just not in the cards at this house! Our current Mass time is 11 am, and I think that’s perfect for us.

2. Would you rather be too hot or too cold?

The logical answer would be cold, because you can always put something else on. You can’t always take something else off… However, I hate being cold. Really, really, hate being cold. So I guess I’m going to have to defy logic and say I’d rather be too hot.

3. How many brothers and sisters do you have?

I have one of each biologically, and I am the oldest. My sister followed me, and my brother brings up the rear. We are very different, but I love them both dearly. I also have two brothers and one sister by marriage. And I’m still the oldest. The next in order of age would be my step-brother; however, he dies a few years back. My other brother and sister are twins, and they were born the year I graduated from high school. Ok, now I feel old! Next!

4. If you were faced with a bogart, what would it turn into?

Ya know, I’m really not sure on this one. I think it could take one of several forms. A big hairy spider might be one… Or maybe Big Brother?

5. Barbie: thumbs up or thumbs down?

Definitely a thumbs down for me. I don’t see how Barbie gives our girls any sense of what it means to be a woman. I do see how unrealistic she is; and how her image gives our girls unrealistic expectations. Diva and I both love the American Girl dolls. Even better are the Saint Dolls from Behold Publications (Ecce Homo Press), I think. She has the St. Therese doll.

St. Therese Doll

 

6. If someone asked you to give them a random piece of advice, what would you tell them?

I would say that love is a verb. It is an action, not a feeling. This is something I wish I had known several years ago; it would have saved me a lot of heartache.

We need to make the decision to love people every day, in both word and deed.

So that wraps it up for Week One of Answer Me This. Head on over to Catholic All Year to read answers from Kendra and her readers!

7 Quick Takes #2

— 1 —

Confession. Reconciliation. Penance. Good things happen there. Especially when you ask God to help you make a good, honest confession. Something enters your mind that you hadn’t considered mentioning. Apparently God had something to tell me.

God nudged me this afternoon; and, believe it or not, this post is part of it.

Crucifix

— 2 —

Psalm 41: 10-14 ~ (10) Even the friend who had my trust, who shared my table, has scorned me. (11) But you, Lord, have mercy and raise me up that I may repay them as they deserve. (12) By this I know you are pleased with me, that my enemy no longer jeers at me. (13) For my integrity you have supported me and let me stand in your presence forever. (14) Blessed be the Lord, God of Israel, from all eternity and forever. Amen. Amen.

Someone whom I trusted hurt me. A lot. This someone still jeers at me. A lot.

When I first read this, I looked at verse 11 and thought it sounded a lot like revenge. However, perhaps it means something a little different. Perhaps it is more about my attitude and outlook. When the Lord has mercy on me and raises me up, that in itself is the repayment this person deserves, in that I am not controlled by that person’s hurts and jeers.

I think there is a secular saying about this: Living well is the best revenge. I don’t wish revenge on this person; however, I do wish to live well. And it is by God’s grace and mercy, as well as my integrity, that I shall.

Decoupage Cross

— 3 —

Legofan saw his pediatrician this week, who was pleased with how well he is doing. He warned me to expect growth of approximately four inches over the next year. Ummm… can we do that all in the summer time so that the length of his pants doesn’t matter??? He’s already coming close to looking me in the eye. How bad does a 40-something year old woman look in these?

High Heel Boot from JustFab.com

— 4 —

One of the things I’ve been doing for LegoFan is giving him Plexus Slim and ProBio5

I actually signed up with the company so I could get the products at wholesale. The ProBio5 is a probiotic, which many doctors suggest for kids on the spectrum. The Slim was actually designed for diabetics, but has improved the lives of many by helping them get off various medications.*

*(Standard disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I cannot diagnose, prescribe, or treat anything. If you are interested in these products, not only will I make a commission, but I would suggest you talk to your doctor before using them. I am only sharing our experiences with them.)

LegoFan has shown some incredible improvements after using these two. In general, he has become more compliant and less argumentative. He has allowed himself to step out of his comfort zone and actually talk to people. And his art has improved! He used to rush through art and barely follow the directions. Now he takes his time and actually puts details into his creations. I love these positive changes we are seeing!

Bowling

— 5 —

Diva has been amazing me with her creativity and sewing ability. She watched a video about how to sew one of the Mario characters out of felt. This video came with a template and she set out to make it. Ever since then, she has been designing her own patterns! She has made Captain Toad, Waccas (your guess is as good as mine!), Benny the 80s Spacesuit Guy and a Micromanager from the LEGO Movie, and the Unknown (don’t ask me which one) from Pokemon. Most recently, she has designed a princess doll, but she’s not finished with this yet, so I don’t have any pictures. This girl is amazing!

LEGO Movie Benny
Sew - Captain Toad
Sew - Micromanager
Sew - Waccas

— 6 —

For me, I am loving that spring is finally here! Despite allergies, I am enjoying having the door open in the house, and the windows down as we drive. Flowers and trees are starting to bloom, and even parts of the city are starting to look pretty.

Flower Up Close

Rose

— 7 —

April is the month for Autism. Given that LegoFan is on the spectrum, and I run four different businesses, I decided to team up with some other vendors to do a fundraiser for an amazing group called Pathfinders for Autism.

LegoFan has benefited directly from their services, and we just love the ladies associated with Pathfinders! To that end, I am donating a percentage of my profits from all of my businesses to Pathfinders this month! So, if you are in the market for…

Hair Jewelry from Lilla Rose
Hair Jewelry from Lilla Rose
Personalized Jewelry from Origami Owl
Personalized Jewelry from Origami Owl
Health & Wellness products from Plexus
Health & Wellness products from Plexus
Essential Oils from Young Living
Essential Oils from Young Living

… please click on the photos and they will take you to my sites. You can order directly from there, and then come back and post your order number in the comments (I can delete order numbers so they don’t stay on the blog). That way I can track things and make my donations accordingly.

* Just in case I wasn’t clear, the links will take you to my websites, where I will make a commission off each sale. In this case, your purchases will not only help me keep my kids home, but they will also help a worthwhile organization, Pathfinders for Autism. Thank you for helping us!

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