Where the Bruised Cucumber meets the Sippy Cup!

A Loud Mama with a loud family, living imperfect lives glorified through God and breaking free of the bondage of politically correct Religion. We do things differently around the Viking Homestead, and hope that, by sharing our lives, we can help others feel more comfortable with their differences as well.

21 January, 2014

How to deal when you hate grocery shopping, OR, my one month meal plan and grocery list!

Ok, so, I *seriously* dislike grocery shopping.  To the point that I will poke around in the pantry and try to figure out if I can make something with dried black eyed peas and grape jam rather than get off my behind and head to the soul-sucking experience that is *shudder* grocery shopping.  If I didn't have children to feed(and an incredibly strict budget)I wouldn't even go to the grocery store.  It would be all restaurants, all the time.  However, if there's one thing I hate more than grocery shopping, it's getting my kids loaded into the car, so doing that for at least 3 extra trips, just to eat, is enough to convince me that grocery shopping is the way to go.  So, for everyone that hates it as much as I do, I have written up a ONE MONTH meal plan and grocery list!  Now, this may not work for you, but it's just a guideline.  Also, if you have a chest freezer(you lucky son of a gun), then you can stock up on more meat, milk, cheese, bread, etc.  Also, you can do this VERY cheaply if you don't have any type of food restrictions.  I can't have gluten. Period. dealbreaker because I don't like damage being done to my intestines and autoimmune disease sucks pretty hard anyhow.  It's all 'real' food(I hate that term....I mean....food...it's food...like, I don't eat imaginary cheetos, they are real cheetos), and my picky eater kids will eat most of it.  Also, this plan is based on a family of 6(because there needs to be leftovers to send with cranky pirate for lunch)BIG eaters. Four average eaters at your house? You could cut all of this down by half, easily! Now, I should add the disclaimer that if you don't have a deep freezer, you will probably need to schlep back to the store at some point, for a gallon of milk or something like that.  Or, if you have kids like mine, all of the sudden, they will decide they need to eat ALL.THE.BANANAS. All of them, and you will need to hit up the store for whatever fruit and veg they have cleared you out of.

Breakfast and Lunch are *not* included on the calendar because I keep those options pretty limited to stay on a budget and keep the chaos to a minimum.  
Breakfast choices are as follows: Oatmeal(either hot oatmeal packets or refrigerator oatmeal from this site), slow cooker oatmeal, gluten free toast with chocolate peanut butter, gluten free toast or corn tortillas with fried eggs, gluten free banana bread, or a random smoothie or chia pudding.  
Lunch is fairly easy as well.  I always keep lunch vegetarian to save money. Monday through Friday, Little Valkyrie goes to school and takes a lunch, which is always a chocolate pb sandwich, fruit, yogurt, and a drink.  Two days a week, Little Viking does to mothers day out, and his lunch is always a chocolate pb sandwich, an apple, gluten free homemade cinnamon sugar baked tortilla strips, chocolate pb for dipping, and juice or water.  Easy peasy.  The rest of the week it is simple, vegetarian options, such a grilled cheese sandwiches with soup, pizza soup with cheesy dunkers, err....basically, it's either some kind of vegetarian soup with gluten free cheesy bread/sandwich, leftovers, or 'breakfast' foods, like pancakes and eggs. Snacks are kept to a minimum, and the ONLY snacks on offer are fruit, vegetables, and yogurt.  I will grab things like fruit cups and applesauce if they are on sale and I have a coupon to help stretch foods out toward the end of the month.

Here is my one month dinner plan
Here is the grocery list to go along with it!
So, PHEW!  There it is!!  I hope it's helpful for y'all, and maybe can help you avoid the store, while also saving maybe a bit of money!!  

Much Love, 

Mama Viking

23 December, 2013

Why you're a good mom....especially if you think you've got it ALL wrong!

Maybe you're pregnant with your first child.

Me and my beloved coffee
Maybe you're a mom of "only" one or two
children.  You might be a weary mom who
has fallen pregnant unexpectedly.  You may
be a burnt out mom of many children.  Well, 
here's some news for all of you.  You're doing 
something right!  Being a mom is hard.  It's 
incredible, yes.  It's amazing and miraculous and can make you feel wonderful things that you never thought possible.  You will love another person SO much more than you ever thought you could.  Motherhood is also brutal. It will break your heart a million times over with the reality of it all.  It is hard.  It is exhausting. You will find yourself pulled and challenged and dragged in all ways you never thought possible either.  Most people don't talk about any of the negatives(aside from lack of sleep or maybe the lack of intimacy after baby arrives), because they fear that admitting certain things may make them a 'bad' mom.  Nope.  It makes you human, which works out, since you gave birth to humans and so they need a decent human mom.  Sometimes, being a good mom will force you to give up certain things you never thought about, like the idea of what you thought your relationship with your children would look like. When I was 22, I fell pregnant with Little Valkyrie.  I had NO idea what the heck to think or expect or feel.  I figured that life would pretty much continue as usual, with a kid in tow.  Throughout the pregnancy, I heard about maternal instinct and how much women bonded with their unborn babies.  I never felt that way.  There was no wonderful kicking when I would poke my tummy.  She would stop moving every time I touched my bump.  I worried that something was wrong, but also worried that having a baby was a HUGE mistake.  Little Valkyrie would happily kick and roll anytime Cranky Pirate touched my bump.  Once she was born, She would scream when I tried to hold her or nurse her.  If her dad was in the house, she would scream until he held her, then she would happily eat and sleep for amazingly long stretches.  I thought that at some point, things would kick in and I would feel this overwhelming adoration and love for her.  However, she constantly made it clear that, even though I was her mother, that I carried and gave birth to her, that something in our personalities, made that gushy, overwhelming type of love something that was never going to be. I do love Little Valkyrie. Very much.  However, she shut herself off to me, preferring her father, grandmothers and aunt for comfort and bonding.  When I was pregnant with Little Viking, I was worried about the same thing happening.  Fast forward through a stressful pregnancy, and I thought it was happening all over again. Then I eventually realized that it wasn't me.  He simply didn't like to be rocked or cuddled. Of course, now I know that he's autistic, so it explains so much of the odd things that happened when he was a baby.  Add in to that the fact that he spend much of his first 6 months quite 6.  I shortly absolutely fell head over smooshy heels in love with my baby boy.  All of the maternal things I'd heard about were finally starting to kick in, even with my postpartum depression.  By the time he was 3 months old, I'd returned to work, and everything settled into a routine.  Little Valkyrie preferred to spend all her free time with grandparents and while things were hectic, it worked. The house was no longer perfectly clean and plans got disrupted all the time. It wasn't perfect but it was wonderful.  Then, when Little Viking was 2 1/2, I fell pregnant with Little Birdie.  I freaked out.  I remember standing by Little Viking's crib one night early in my pregnancy thinking "what the hell have I done?!  I can't have another baby!  I just can't do this"!  I really felt that way.  I wasn't happy to be pregnant.  I was distraught.  At that point I didn't know Little Viking was autistic.  We didn't find that out until Baby Birdie was 15 months old!  Here I was, newly homeschooling Little Valkyrie, trying to send Little Viking to mother's day out 2 days a week to get a break, and now I was pregnant with a NEW kid when I couldn't even handle the two I had!  How in the hell was THAT going to work out.  Add in to that the traumatic labor and delivery with Little Valkyrie, and the horrible pregnancy I had with Little Viking and I was terrified of how crappy this time around would be, if I even managed to carry the pregnancy(I don't count losses in my pregnancy #s...it's too depressing). I had a hard time finding a care provider and didn't actually a permanent care provider until 20 weeks.  In fact, my first appointment with my midwives was a 20 week ultrasound...where I was referred out for a level two ultrasound to recheck Baby Birdie's heart and get more measurements.  I was already feeling bummed and uncertain and detached.  That news sent me into a massive panic!  What if my baby had a heart defect?  How could I handle a sick baby? or a special needs baby? I really just kind of shut down at that point.  I didn't enjoy being pregnant.  It's VERY hard on me physically.  I can't walk by the end, nor can I drive due to episodes I have while heavily pregnant.  So there I was.  At the level two ultrasound, and the follow up with my midwives, they assured me that everything looked good and the baby looked very healthy.  They were wonderful and very hands off.  At nearly 41 weeks I had my Baby Birdie.  The very second I laid her on my chest, I just looked at her and thought "oh.my.God!  this is is.  THIS is what moms talk about."!  I was absolutely smitten with her, when I was worried that it just wouldn't be possible.  Which wasn't just healing for me, but for everyone. Little Valkyrie and Little Viking love her.  Little Viking calls her "his baby".  He helps her get dressed, and she goes to all of his therapy appointments with him.  I love all of my children more than anything.  Liking them? That's another story. Do I enjoy them? absolutely!  Do I regret having them? absolutely not! Are there some I'm looking forward to going off to college more than others? Oh yeah.  And, I always feel like a huge hypocrite when pregnant...all of the sudden, the kids are living on mac n cheese and cereal while I lay very still and try not to throw up everywhere.  After I give birth, we move on to stouffer's casseroles while I try to feed people and not sacrifice any extra sleep that may afford me.  Right now, as I type this, I have the flu. I've been sick since last Friday.  Everyone decided to spread the love around and Mama Viking caught it last.  We're eating off of paper plates, and I have styrofoam coffee cups.  I also have a sink full of dishes, piles of laundry, and JUST got the Christmas tree up!  I have no wrapping up finished and my kids have been living off of mac n cheese, cereal, peanut butter toast and takeout. And I wouldn't trade it for anything.  I love them.  I love the chaos.  I'd like a clean kitchen, but I know that's not the most important thing.  Sometimes it's just about putting out the fires as they pop up, and then going from there.  Because, no matter what it looks like, or how odd it may seem from the outside, I do love my children more than anything.  More than I thought I ever could, more that ever thought possible, and enough to let go of what I want, to embrace a relationship that works for all of us.  The perfect house, with the perfect decor, that is perfectly clean, with perfect pictures to put on facebook doesn't equal love. Love is about getting your tired butt out of bed and doing things for your children that you know they will appreciate, or trying to make sure you have their favorite peanut butter, or going to activities with them(even though it does your head it). It's about your intentions and actions. Not some fake perfect only on facebook existence.  So, dear mama's, cut yourselves some slack.  We ALL deserve that!

Much Love, 
Mama Viking

11 December, 2013

It's the most wonderful time of the year, except when it isn't

Ah, the holiday season.  It's supposed to be a wonderful, magical time with twinkling lights, family, parties, good food, Santa, Church events, and so on.  Good times to be had by all.  However, there are many families that just can't get into the holiday spirit.  Moms who, in their hearts, are grieving the spot at the table that should be occcupied by a newborn babe, a rambunctious toddler, a precocious preschooler....that doesn't stop.  Every year gives them pause to think about their baby, their child, what that child would be doing, what might they be like?  Families hurt silently, because no one talks about this.  About miscarriage. About stillbirth.  About SIDS or SUCD(the 'older kid' version of SIDS).  About how time goes on in an almost cruel manner. The days keep coming and going, and you still have to wake up and take care of things, but a piece of you is forever anchored to the day you lost your child.  Part of you can't move forward.  Everything is now divided and defined by life BD and AD(before death and after death).  The holidays can bring devastating reminders of just exactly what you're missing out on.  People become awkward and uncomfortable around you and offer up such gems as "Well, God won't give you more than you can handle", "God has wonderful plans for you", "oh, it's ok, I understand(word to the wise....don't say this!), or(my LEAST favorite) "at least it happened NOW, and not ______(insert arbitrary date at which the death of your child is apparently easier)!!! So, as a service to everyone ahead of the busyness of the season, here are some things you can do and say for families that are coping with loss and grieving through the season.

Things you can do:

  • Offer to take them meals
  • Offer to do holiday shopping
  • Offer to go pick up any 'direct-to-store' items for them
  • Offer to help with the clearing away
  • Ask if they need any specific help, then PLEASE follow through
Things NOT to do:

  • Put away their deceased child's belongings, or, in the case of miscarriage/stillbirth, put away or ask to have anything they purchased for the baby.
  • Get terse with them when they excuse themselves from holiday functions.

Things to say:

  • I'm sorry.
  • I don't know what to say.
  • I'm here if you need me(but be able to back that up).
  • Would you like to talk about your baby(or, even better, use their child's name if you know it).
  • If you've had a loss yourself, then you can ask if they would like to meet up for coffee and talk, or if they would like info about support groups and such.  
  • Remember, their child was a person, no matter how young their child was, they will always feel the ache of that loss.  Don't refer to their baby as 'it'.  The worst thing is thinking that your baby didn't matter to anyone.  Please, address their child by name.  They may cry.  Be compassionate enough to understand why, and console them.  Let them know that you value their child, no matter how brief their life was.  It's so cruelly unfair to lose a child....and then it feels like you get dealt another blow when people refuse to acknowledge your child.  

  • Well, it was just God's will(throat punch)!
  • God has great plans for you....and continuing on through the verse(kidney punch)!
  • God won't give you more than you can handle(temple stab)!
  • Well, at least it happened now, and not when they were_____(I'll rip your heart out for saying this because there is never an age at which it is easy for a mother to lose her baby)!
  • In fact, aside from praying for God to give them peace and the ability to endure this tragedy, leave the God 'sayings' out of it.  I don't think of God that way.  God is my father, my creator.  He is not a celestial bubblegum machine that you put a quarter into and then get your wish.  He's not some magical man in the sky that wanders around granting desires for some, while cruelly snatching things away from those that are the most deserving.  Like any parent, God loves us.  Unconditionally, regardless of our bad behavior. He will lift us up from our suffering, and rejoice in our happiness.  I'm not a great mom, but I love my children more than anything.  I would never LET them get hurt, but they have gotten hurt with me sitting right there with them, because I can't prevent life from happening and I can't protect them from everything, no matter how hard I try.  God would never let one of his children be hurt, but we can't be protected from everything, especially how frail and fleeting life can actually be.  
  • So, at least you know you can HAVE children/when will you be trying again/are you having this baby to 'replace' the one you lost?  There are so many things wrong with all of those, that , suffice to say, the death stare is the nicest thing you'll get!
Also, there are many families that are struggling or mourning with a completely empty table.  They are struggling with infertility and the holidays can be impossibly hard for them as well. Do not tell them you are jealous, or how much fun it must be without children.  The would gladly take your chaos, your minivan, and your permanently stained yoga pants for the chance to hear a child call them 'mommy'.  Also, the pull for a biological child is amazing...the biological clock is a crazy thing.  Don't fault someone for wanting biological children or being hesistant about adoption(especially when adoption can cost crazy money....and the biological parents can back out leaving parents heartbroken). Also, for some, adoption makes itself available in a way that they decide to forgo fertility treatments in favor of adoption.  Do NOT fault them for deciding that they don't need to pass on their DNA and would prefer to adopt!

I know this wasn't a particularly 'fun' post. It's not a fun subject.  But this does need to be talked about.  The holidays can be a constant reminder of what some people are missing out on, whether it's a caring family, friends, and even a child.  We're all fighting, we're all struggling, but we're all in this together.  So, if you're out, and you see a woman struggling to keep it together(or anyone for that matter)offer them a kind word or a cup of coffee.  Little things really are huge and can make a big difference for EVERYONE.  That's what the holidays are really all about!  

Much Love, 
Mama Viking

06 May, 2013

Hello Fatness, My name is Jaime, and it's time to....

Ugh...When did THAT happen?!
Serve you your damn eviction notice.  That's right!!  Here's your walking papers now get the heck outta mah life!  Ugh...if only it were that easy!  I SO wish it was.  Let me give a little back story.  I gained a LOT of weight with each of my three successful pregnancies.  Due to several complications with the first two, I was unable to successfully breastfeed.  So, I was able to do some hard core dieting(yes, very unhealthy, I KNOW!!) and get back to a comfortable weight quickly.  I also have a horrible habit of turning to food for comfort...like food gives a crap about me! Everyone ALWAYS said that breastfeeding was like a workout in and of itself.  It burns calories, they said.  Well, I didn't realize, until breastfeeding WORKED with Birdie(HUZZAH!! TURNING CARTWHEELS EXCITED!!) that, for SOME women, yeah, it encourages that extra padding to stick around and then some.  I lost all the weight I gained by 2 months.  We finally got the hang of breastfeeding at 3 months.  Birdie is NOW 13 months old and I'm heavier than I've ever been!! :(  I'm honestly miserable and ashamed that I've let myself get to this point.  How can I teach my children about being fit and healthy when I've obviously let that all slide.  This past year, rocking the mostly single mom gig, coping with a new baby, and dealing with getting my older children's issues dealt with have meant lots of comfort eating and convenience food.  Here's the kicker.  I was also recently diagnosed with celiac disease.  I have GOT to get my stuff straight!  I'm done.  My daughter wants to participate in a triathlon.  So do I.  I want to look and FEEL like those super strong crossfit women.  I have been there before and KNOW how uh-mazing it feels.  So, Fat, it's been stupid, and now it's time to say goodbye!!

Buh-Bye Fatness meal plan
Grain free muffins with Almond butter
Bacon and Egg cups
Paleo breakfast casserole

Leftovers, Meat and Veg Stir fry with cauliflower rice, greek yogurt with berries and a sweet potato with meat and cranberries.

crockpot bbq chicken
pot roast
pulled pork
crockpot beef stew
crockpot mongolian beef
fajita bowls
pork apple stir fry

My workout plan for the week:

There are SEVERAL mini workouts on pinterest.  I will be doing a new one every day, that I will post on facebook!!  Join me if you feel so inclined. Or, just keep up to watch me looking about as graceful as a baby giraffe while trying to accomplish this!

In My Weakness, He Is Strong,
Mama Viking

26 February, 2013

Weekly Meal Plan 2/26-3/4

Ok, so, I just have to say that I honestly HATE meal planning! Yup! I said it!  It feels like a big ol' necessary evil to me and, honestly, I've slacked off in this area a bit.  And, by slacked off, I mean I schlep all three kids to the closest store and just toss stuff into the buggy and hope for the best...then end up eating take out several times during the week.  Our budget(and my waistline!!)has suffered GREATLY for this. However, right now we're also in a period of transition.  I'm trying to sort out what type of nutritional intervention or plan I want Little Viking on.  Also, I'm trying to sort out everyone's food intolerances, while keeping within our budget.  For now, it's just mostly getting back in the habit of planning, whilst thinking ahead to what I want our diet to look like as well I where I want to be, fitness wise.  To that, I would like to add, I used to be a cross country runner in addition to playing volleyball, basketball and cycling.  So, I know what my body has the potential to do.  However, I have a fitness level of the average couch potato now, which is completely depressing.  I've hit a weight that I didn't know existed(It certainly never existed in my world!) and I'm absolutely appalled by it.  So, it's time to do something about it!!  Every week, in addition to meal plans, I'll also be sharing my fitness goals for the week.  They may seem VERY meager to some, but I'm starting out from literally NO activity!  I've gotten VERY lazy and am having to build myself back up and go slowly so as not to compromise my milk supply.  I have got to get in shape and drop the weight, but I also have to ensure my baby's health so it may make my road a little longer(all the better for a run, yes?)!  So, lets get on with it, shall we?  

Meal Plan for Tuesday 2/26-Monday 3/4
Easiest meal of the day! We usually eat either bacon and eggs with smoothies, granola or paleo muffins and yogurt. I also keep buckwheat blueberry waffles and oatmeal on hand for quick breakfasts for the kids.
Cranky Pirate takes leftovers from supper or a 'snacky' lunch with whatever he grabs from the fridge and pantry.  An example would be a few hard boiled eggs, some string cheese, an apple, a packet of almonds and a can of tuna.  
Little Valkyrie takes her lunch to school daily and she likes to take either soup or a snacky lunch as well.  It's always either soup with a piece of fruit, beef jerky and string cheese with water to drink OR a granola bar, applesauce, string cheese, trail mix and whatever else she can grab out of the pantry.
Little Viking and I are left to 'fend' for ourselves during the day! :)  We are easy to please, however and usually just share a bowl of borracho beans with gluten free muffins or cornbread or a big salad.  Some days, I'll just cut up some meat, cheese, fruit, veg and olives and we'll snack our way through lunch as well.
UGH!  It's so first world, but seriously, I have so many days where I just wish that I could afford a personal chef or to eat out every night, because by the end of the day I'm over it.  So, I'm making it a goal to use the crock pot more so that, when I hit that point that I'm so tired I'm NOT cooking, BAM! Dinner's already done!
2/26-crockpot chili with gluten free cornbread
2/27-pot roast(super easy in the crockpot!)
2/28-BREKKIE!(I LOVE having breakfast for dinnner!)
3/1-orange beef with riced cauliflower, stir fry veg, and veg lo mein(made with glucomannan noodles)
3/2-Pulled Pork with corn tortillas, borracho beans and riced cauliflower

There!  That's out of the way! :)  Now on to my fitness goals!  I'm starting out from sub negative couch potato levels, so I feel like at this point, anything is better than what I'm doing.  so the goals are:
-Walk EVERY day.  Even if it's only around the block(hopefully I can find a stroller the baby likes and and decent bike for Little Viking and we can sort out longer walks!). Just something intentional that gets me in that 'exercise' frame of mind.  
-Stretch EVERY day.  I've got to get back in the habit.  It only takes 10 minutes so why not!  
Also, I'm looking up some 'at home' workouts on pinterest.  Things that are quick, 15 minutes or so, to get me headed in the right direction.  Ultimately, I've got to get back into triathlon shape.  Seriously.  Whatever I have to do to get there, I'm going to do.  This size and this weight is just ridiculous and I can't believe I let myself get this out of shape.  So, onward! :)  See y'all tomorrow!

In my weakness, He is strong

Mama Viking

25 February, 2013

Planning Time!

Wow! Where has the year gone? I'm not talking about the calendar year, however!  I'm talking about the first year of my precious baby Birdie's lide.  I can't believe my baby is fast approaching the one year mark!  It is such a joyous, yet bittersweet, occasion.  Cranky Pirate is pretty set on Birdie being the grand finale....I however am not so certain.  However, that's another story for another day.  I'm here now to sort out planning!! Along with Birdie's big day,  I also have to plan for St.Patricks Day and Easter!  So,  over the next few Mondays, I will be sharing my party and holiday planning adventures with you (along with my crazy rollercoaster emotions about this possibly being the last first birthday party I ever have)!  I'm still working on switching formats and prettying things up for y'all!  It's very slow going right now with three sick kiddos...and a sick mama!  See y'all tomorrow with a meal plan, as well as fitness goals andmaybe a recipe hack! 

In my weakness, He is strong!

Mama Viking

13 February, 2013

(Not So)Wordless Wednesday! Welcoming Lent!

Ah, Lent!!  I'm so excited for this time of year. I say it EVERY year(and this is my third year of welcoming Lent via my blog) but I am STILL so thankful for another reverent, Holy time in which people very intentionally come together to acknowledge the birth and death of Jesus Christ.  So, without further ado, here is my Lent list for the current season as well as resources from others celebrating Lent.

Now, for the record, I give a LOT of thought and prayer to Lent.  It is supposed to be a sacrifice...it's SUPPOSED to hurt! To encourage you to deny physical cravings, get past your false idols and to turn to God.  Prayer and fasting, clinging to God with everything you have and submitting your will to Him!  I pray, a LOT, to sort out what lessons I'm supposed to learn and what I have to do in order to prepare myself for the path God has set for me to travel.  I always look forward to the focus and contemplation and prayer and quietness and revelry of the entire season.  This year, as with years past, I will be 'giving up' several things, because I always tend to get caught up in the materialistic and I have to separate my wants from my needs and also, because I need to come to a place where I am completely humbled so that I might be grateful for everything I have and to learn and be reminded of how to be a good steward of ALL that God has blessed me with!  Now that that explanation is out of the way, here is 'The List' for Lent 2013!

1)PALEO diet!!  Yes, that's right! Paleo for Lent.  I was planning on following the autoimmune protocol or sugar detox, however, after discussing it with some more 'seasoned' paleo peeps, I worry that the more extreme restriction would affect my milk supply, and would be too much on my system while breastfeeding.  
2)I will not be purchasing anything new. Let me clarify because I can already hear the "wait, what?!". Obviously, some things have to be traditionally purchased from a store...I'm going to buy toilet paper and such and obviously New Underwear goes without saying! However, if I can borrow something that is my top option. After that, I feel like purchasing from a resale or thrift shop is the next best option.
3)I will engage in daily exercise. This is a routine I have fallen out of, and I'm paying DEARLY for it! I want to do the Norseman Xtreme Triathlon in 2 years time. Therefore, in order to accomplish my goals AND be a better steward of the body God has given me, Its time to get off my behind!!
4)I will limit my time online to 14 hours per week.  This may seem like quite a bit to some people, but since I have an online business and this blog, That is actually quite a small amount.  It will be limited to one hour in the morning before my children get up, and one hour in the evening.
5)I will have 3 no money days a week! In an effort to curb unneccesary spending there will be 3 days a week in which no money can be spent. This includes something as simple as change for a soda machine.
6)I am working on my self-care/hygeine routine. Not giving in to vanity, but focusing on presenting an image that glorifies God, blue hair and all! :D
7)Getting back into the routine of Giving to charity and church.
8)I will engage in Daily Prayer. Real Prayer, not 'oh God, if this traffic doesn't clear up I'm gonna kill someone!'
9)I will make a point to spend special alone time with each kid every day.
10)I will be purging my house of unneccesary clutter! My goal is to take at least 20 FULL industrial sized garbage bags worth of items to goodwill or friends garage sales.
11)I will stop speaking negatively. I will watch my tongue and not let negative words or harsh tones come out of my mouth. Moods and attitudes are contagious, and I don't want to pass negativaty along!
12)I will only use reuseable grocery bags! No more plastic bags!
13)To REALLY try to separate myself from 'keeping up appearances', I'll be doing a little modesty 'challenge'.  Making a point to cover my hair when out and about, as well as keeping covered from collarbone to elbows to knees.  

WHEW!! What a list. I know. The point is to turn things around completely, bring my world to a screeching halt, burn off the fluff and come to what is really important! I hope you all will consider taking part in Lent in SOME form, whether its as simple as being more prayerful or just being nicer to your neighbors.

  As always, I really do this for me!  I need it and it helps me to focus on my relationship with God.  If you would like some other information You can check out THIS great post at Kitchen Stewardship!!  There is loads of information on everything from recipes to decorating to sacrifice and suffering.  Also, this post from Passionate Homemaking has 24 GREAT ideas on making Lent and Easter a complete family affair!  It also has links to even MORE resources!  I hope you all find some way to make Lent and Easter meaningful and reverent for your family! 

In My Weakness, He Is Strong

Mama Viking