Striving Mom

my life as I strive to live for Christ and be the woman, wife and mother He has called me to be

Recycling … An Effort, but Worth It! October 1, 2008

Filed under: personal — jennlynnprin @ 8:47 pm
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Okay, I will admit first off that I am NOT a “treehugger” as some of my friends have lovingly called me, but I do feel that we need to take care of what God has given us … that includes being good stewards of our time, money, body AND the earth.  I will also admit that recycling is a pain!

 

A couple of years ago, I made a New Year’s resolution to recycle, but I chose a very bad time of year to start.  Like my other resolutions, it fell to the wayside … mostly because I was not used to recycling, and I did not want to stand in the cold and sort (wimpy, I know … I’m just not a cold weather gal! 🙂 ).

Within the past year, though, my family has made a HUGE effort to start recycling, and I mean effort.  It is so much easier to throw everything into the same trash bag and haul it off to the dump or let the garbage men come and get it, but I was determined not to do that anymore.  I live in an area where there is no mandatory or curb side recycling pickup, so we need to lug our recyclables to the local trash dump (which I have actually come to prefer because I can choose when the unwanted items leave our house instead of waiting on someone to come and get them). 

All of that aside, my main motivation was the fact that we were filling our trash can with mostly recyclable materials that did not need to fill up a landfill.  It consisted of aluminum cans, water bottles and “mixed paper” (cereal boxes and such).  Since then, I set up a system of small trash cans in our garage that enable me to sort the different items into cans (#1 “pete” plastic, #2 plastic, glass, mixed paper, aluminum and miscellaneous).  It is amazing to me how many times those trash bins need to be taken to the recycling center, but it makes me SO thankful that we are doing something to reverse the filling of landfills.

So, today my encouragement to you is to start recycling if you do not already, and if you do … kudos to you!  I have a friend who says in so many words that most things that are really worth doing take effort, and I definitely think that it applies here.  Happy recycling … it really does make a difference! 🙂

 

A Snack for My Little “Monkeys”! September 26, 2008

Filed under: food,recipes — jennlynnprin @ 8:04 pm
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My three little monkeys!

My three little monkeys!

I was looking for a great after-school snack for my kids … you know, the quick-easy kind with ingredients you can easily keep on hand?  Well, I found one that tastes yummy, although it may not be healthy :).  My friend mentioned that she makes something called “Monkey Munch”, so I looked it up and made it with my kids … what a hit it was!  It takes like crunchy Reeses … what could be better than that?  Enjoy! 🙂

MONKEY MUNCH

9 cups Chex (I actually used an off brand in the rice flavor)

1 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/4 cup butter

1/4 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups powedered sugar

Put the Chex into a LARGE bowl.  Melt the chips, peanut butter and butter in a mirco-safe bowl (it took me about a minute, but keep an eye on it).  Stir melted mixture and add vanilla.  Pour over cereal and evenly coat Chex.  Put the coated cereal in a LARGE ziploc, pour confectioner’s/powdered sugar over the cereal, and shake away (the kids love this! 🙂 ).  You can put it onto waxed paper to dry, or eat it right away … we prefer the latter.  Have fun … this really is quick and easy!

 

Being a Neighbor September 24, 2008

Filed under: family,personal — jennlynnprin @ 1:00 pm
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Our neighbor's tree went right through the center of our playhouse!

Our neighbor's tree went right through the center of our playset!

Hi!  I know that it has been a long time since I have posted, and thank you to those who were concerned about me!  Literally, life happened, and September was a VERY busy month with the startup of two MOPS groups (www.timberlakebaptist.org/mops), a big concert for the missions organization we are a part of (www.allowthechildren.org), the start of school and activities and a HUGE yard sale … I will put that into a future post, though.

Last night, we were able to go over to a friend’s house for dinner (so fun! 🙂 ), and I happened to check messages on the way home … our neighbor prepared us for the sight we were to see when we got home (it made me SO thankful that I checked the messages! 🙂 ).  Needless to say, we were a bit shocked because it was not a natural occurance.  Someone (not our neighbor) was taking the tree down and obviously did not correctly plan for its placement upon falling (he was not even a tree expert, but just a man who needed some wood who took the trees down for free). 

My first reaction was “oh no”!  My son could not wait to see it because he thought it was SO cool (typical 7 year old boy stuff), and my 5 year old daughter was concerned because she was not sure if she could play on it anymore (answer … no! 😦 ).

Anyway, I know that dealing with neighbors is tricky, but I am more concerned about our Christian testimony than anything else … seriously.  Our playset can be fixed/replaced, and my children can find something else to do; yet, the relationship that we are trying to build with our neighbors can either be permanently damaged or continue to flow along smoothly. 

Here are some verses that come to my mind immediately …

Matthew 22:37-39 – “Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment.  And the second it like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”   That is what I am here for anyway, right?  I am here to honor and glorify the Lord, and I am to be an example of what he would do.  I can exhibit that my loving my “neighbor” as myself is a Christlike thing to do.  Also, my “neighbor” in this instance is truly a neighbor, but Jesus was not just talking about your physical next-door neighbors :).

Luke 6:31 – “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.”  Huh?  It’s the “golden rule” … to do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  Would I like my neighbors to rant and rave and get angry?  Of course not!  Would I like them to deal graciously and have them be understanding and kind?  Yes!

In all of this, we will work things out with the neighbors and hopefully get the repairs done or a new playset ordered in time for our kids to have fun, but I just wanted to remind myself that our attitude in a situation is sometimes more important in the situation itself.   Take care! 🙂

 

Friday Focus ~ Time August 29, 2008

Filed under: personal — jennlynnprin @ 6:42 pm
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Time management is so hard for me!

Time management is so hard for me!

Currently I am trying to finish up a book that the ladies at our church went through on a Wednesday night.  The topic was “self-control” (one of the fruits of the spirit), and I thought that I had self control, of course.  Then, when I found out that the study talked about time, emotions, habits, tongue, anger … wow! I knew that I needed to be a part of that study for sure.

I learned a ton from the book, which is a self-study (and a Bible study of sorts).  It is entitled The Fruit of the Spirit is Self-Control by Lynn Stanley, and I HIGHLY recommend it.  I am reading the section on time, and it was really convicting this week.  Here are a few highlights of some of the books wisdom …

~ “Instead of wasting time trying to invent ways out of circumstances or tasks we don’t like, we could ask God for a creative solution in order to get things done in such a way that He will be glorified.”  I definitely need help with that one.  It is so easy for me to get busy doing other “important” things so that I do not get my real duties out of the way.

~ “Instead of fretting and fussing about the toys strewn all over, we can take a child in our arms and tell him how much Jesus loves him.”  How many times do I really spend time playing with my children … I often seem to be “too busy”.

~ “Instead of complaining that we need more hours in the day, we can ask God for the wisdom and endurance to maximize the hours He gives us.  When we have worked as diligently as possible, we can trust Him for the outcome.” I definitely need to focus my days on the Lord and ask Him for the ability to do everything that I need to.

~ “Instead of falling into bed exhausted each night, we can eliminate all that is not necessary.  If our labor does not honor God completely, if our effort cannot – in any way – be helpful in expanding His kingdom, it is probably a waste of time.” YIKES … that one was really convicting!  What am I doing that I could eliminate?  Is there anything I am doing that does not further God’s kingdom that I can discontinue doing?  You bet! 

I hope that this has been an encouragement to you as these words have been to me.  Enjoy your long weekend … I am taking a break and be back on Monday or Tuesday! 🙂

How about you?  Do you have any great time management tips to share?  We can all use what seems to be more time in our day! 🙂

 

FREE GIVEAWAY!! August 27, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — jennlynnprin @ 12:27 am
Becoming a Woman of Purpose by Cynthia Heald

Becoming a Woman of Purpose by Cynthia Heald

It is time for another free giveaway!  I think that as women we all struggle for purpose in our lives … the book states, “All of us wonder, at one time or another, who we are and why we’re here.”  If you are interested in finding out, just answer one of the questions below by commenting on this post.  This giveaway will end on Tuesday, September 3, and I will announce the winner on the 4th.

How have you found purpose in life? or What makes you feel fulfilled in life? or What struggles do you have in finding purpose? 

Lots to think about, I know!  The ones who answer one of the questions above will be entered into a random drawing for the book … happy commenting! 🙂 

 

Swiffers, Seasons & Surprises August 26, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — jennlynnprin @ 5:44 pm

Yesterday I had a little surprise, but I want to give you a little background first.  I was expecting company, and my kitchen floor was a mess.  I proceeded to get out my Swiffer mop, and I found that I did not have the right kind of refills … yikes!  I even had refills for a different kind of Swiffer, but I did not have the Swiffer it went with b/c it became a playtoy (meaning my kids played with it and eventually broke it).  I actually hand mopped (how ancient is that?!?! 🙂 ) my kitchen floor, but I was not ready to tackle the job for the rest of the hardwood first floor. 

I did vacuum, and then I noticed that the floor vents were GROSS!  How do you clean those, anyway?  One of them I was able to pop off, and I found the following … a bee, pine needles (hello, it is August!), a leaf and a flower petal … what a perfect representation of the 4 seasons … in my vent!!! Lovely :).

Anyway, the floor still had some gross spots that really needed to be mopped, and then the doorbell rang.  It was my kids bringing the mail in.  I received a box, and I had no clue what was in it.  Can you guess what it was??!?!  A SWIFFER complete with MOPPING PADS!!! I was astonished at how the Lord could take such a little problem that I had and answer my dilemma when I did not even think about asking Him to bring a Swiffer to my door.  Simply amazing.  I had signed up for a free Swiffer a couple of weeks ago, and I had totally forgotten about it.  I do not think that it was a coincidence that it arrived yesterday … on the exact day that I needed it.

I am thankful for God who gives us even the little blessings and surprises … at just the right time! 🙂

What about you?  Do you have any stories of God’s faithfulness that others could have viewed as “coincidence”?

 

Idea Center ~ What to do with old greeting cards? August 25, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — jennlynnprin @ 1:08 am
We all have a stash of cards somewhere.

We all have a stash of cards somewhere.

Do you have a creative way to display cards?  Does your family still have cards that your grandfather gave your grandmother, and they have been kept in a creative way?  Did you have a new baby, and you made a memento for him/her out of cards they received?  If you have any suggestions, you can either e-mail me (jennifer.prince@odal-inc.com), or you can just comment on this post.

I have searched the internet and read portions of books, and I am looking for fresh, new ideas.  Thank you so much … I know there are creative ideas out there! 🙂