Monday, January 16, 2017

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song...

...above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world." 
~ J. R. R. Tolkien

Today hasn't been my day. I ate terribly (and feel the affects of it) and have just felt sad and *blah*...it's quite terrible. I even went to the post office to mail something (totally forgetting it is Martin Luther King Jr. Day...thus the PO isn't open). I just feel so discombobulated. Instead of making a sad-sounding post, I thought I would just share a few pictures from the past week...


I made some veggie beef soup in the crock pot and some easy homemade bread last week.


 The boys and I worked at checking their school work one evening...



A look in my planner...


I made myself some new planner dividers. :)


Winnie...


and Stella...


So, that's all I've got! :) I've tried to do another Plan with Me (in an Erin Condren Hourly Planner ~ you can watch it HERE if you would like!)...but it's a lot of work...plus, I feel like I sound silly and just don't do well at it. So I am not sure that I will continue making them. I feel like I am making myself too busy and then I am not focusing on what is *most* important. I need to take a step back, slow down and breathe a bit.

Thanks for visiting me here. I'm sorry this is a less-than-joy-filled post!
Kindly,
Katy

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Personal Planner / Bullet Journal Plan with Me Video

Hello friends! :)

For those who are interested ~ I made another plan with me...this time in my personal sized planner. This one is sped up and I did a voice over for it. It is under 10 minutes long! :) If you enjoy it, I hope you will consider subscribing to my youtube channel. I hope to post more! Planning can be fun and I know I enjoy watching other people plan...so I thought maybe others would enjoy my videos as well..? We'll see...I am trying to get better each time I video! :o) I'm still such a goof and sound silly but oh well! Here's the video if you are interesed:



If you want to see how I plan in *pictures* you can see my previous post HERE! I have been keeping really busy with housework, homeschooling, exercise, my etsy shop and life in general! I hope you all are doing really well! It's getting late and I need to head to bed soon...so I hope you guys have a lovely rest of your week! Thanks *so* much for stopping by! 

Warmly,
Katy

Linked up at Strangers & Pilgrims

Saturday, January 7, 2017

How I Plan in My Personal Planner


Last evening I was planning out the week ahead and thought I would *take you along with me*. I have shared previous posts on how I plan...and also some videos (you can find them linked in the sidebar). I have always used bigger planners (which I LIKE)...however, I wanted to try and downsize so I could have a planner that fit right into my bag for when I go places. I like to always have my planner with me. If I wasn't needing my planner with me, I would probably go back to the larger sized planners again! Then it could just stay at home! :o)

First, I want to say that planning/organizing your days does *not* have to be time consuming or expensive. You can get pre-printed pages (such as with the Erin Condren Planner or else inserts for your binder) and just keep running lists of the tasks you want to accomplish as well as appointments/special dates. Your planner has to work for you! Your planner doesn't have to be pretty. It doesn't have to look like anyone else's. It has to be something that helps you and keeps you organized and less stressed so you can spend your day accomplishing what the Lord has for you...and not stressing about the next thing. A planner must be functional for you or else it is just a glorified scrapbook.


I have used pre-printed pages before (with the dates already on them) and they work just fine. However, I never found a layout that worked *just* as I wanted it to. I wanted to be able to customize it. That's when I discovered bullet journaling. I have done it for a while now. You can see previous posts HERE and HERE. It is a way for me to be able to create my own set up...one that works perfectly for how I need it to. I'll show you the set up that I use (that works for me) and maybe it will give you ideas that can work for you too! I found that in my larger pages I had wasted space...so I decided to see if I could make my system work in a personal sized planner (I only purchase planners inexpensively on ebay or if they are on sale/clearance on another site. They can be pretty pricey. I really only ever buy things that are on sale or clearance...ever! haha! I always try to find good quality things as decent prices!)

It's hard to see in the photos but the pages I have are a dot-grid. This helps to keep things neat and straight. I start out by using my ruler and drawing two straight lines horizontally. Then I write times from 5am to 9pm between them. (I used to free hand the lines and try to stay along the dots...but it wasn't quite neat enough for me...so I went back to using my ruler!). Then I draw a header of some sort...usually a banner with the day in it and the date below...


**By the way...I like to sit on the floor so I can have all my stuff out and around me when I set up my pages. The book I like to use to plan *on* is a Martha Stewart Homemaking book. It's nice and thick and just my go-to "table"! ;)

The next thing I do is place a TODAY sticker along the top and a TO DO sticker beside it. I draw lines down from the TODAY sticker to form a box. I put the weather at the bottom. This box is my place to mark events, appointments etc. in chronological order. I like to see things vertically. Under the TO DO list I just make a simple list of things I would like to get done for the day...


Here you can see how I started filling in my TODAY section. (Stickers aren't necessary...but they are fun and give it a little *something*!). I teach spin early in the morning...then we have our homeschooling and housework. There is some open space there that may get something added if necessary or may stay blank depending on Monday's responsibilities. Then I teach an evening spin class. (Many people don't know what spinning is. HERE is a description!)...


See how I like to have everything around me when I am planning?


Ok...back to the page...I filled in some of my TO DO List (I make an X over the dot when I have finished a task. I put half and X through it if it is partially done). I also filled in the weather forecast. Then, as another help I color code along the top bar under the date...with the times. I use green to mark off exercise times and orange or pink to mark off schooling times. It helps give a visual of my day at a glance. I may use blue to color code an appointment or purple for church. :)


I put my pages back into my binder and *voila* ~ All ready for the week!

Here's a look at the past couple of days...


Today and tomorrow (I don't really fill in my TO DO lists usually until the day before)...


At the bottom of the page I will decorate a little, mark a birthday with special stickers or keep track of the supper menu!

Monday and Tuesday...


 Here is my pre-loved personal filofax in gold. It's really pretty (the picture doesn't do it justice). I got it inexpensively on ebay (you just have to keep a watch out and find one cheap!). A simple binder will do, though, if you prefer. I'm telling you....planning truly doesn't have to cost you. It's adding the extras that can cost....


Top view...I did purchase the MONTH and TODAY dividers. I like to support small businesses on Etsy when I can. This girl had a small shop and I purchased them from her...but you could definitely make your own if you wanted to! You can use a laminator or even clear contact paper! The cute paper clip cupcake I made! Not the actual top part....I bought a few in bulk at wholesale price. Then I hot glued them to paper clips! I considered selling a few in my shop but the backs have visible clips hot glued to them and don't look *pretty*. I tried to put a backing on a couple of them but couldn't get the exact felt color to match so it doesn't look perfect. I didn't want to sell something that wasn't excellent...


So there you have it! How I plan! Katy Planning 101! If you need help being organized this year...I encourage you to keep a calendar and a TO DO list. Even if you don't keep it in a planner...maybe you just like sticky notes! Whatever works for you is what is best! Just help yourself stay organized, make it to appointments on time, and get those tasks accomplished! I am *far* from perfect....seriously....I'm even really far from excellent...but I *do* try my best with things and I have to tell you that checking things off as you get them done is such a great feeling! It pushes you to want to get the *next* thing done too! I will even admit: I write in things *after* I have done them sometimes (if it wasn't already on my list) and then check them off! It's a great feeling! Start this new year right and get organized!!! And if you *do* want stickers...there are a ton of great small shops on etsy! You can browse mine HERE.

You can watch this during a quick plan with me video: HERE

I hope you found this post helpful! If you have any questions...please comment below or email me!
Have a great weekend and week ahead friends!

Warmly,
Katy

Linked up at: Strangers & Pilgrims

Thursday, January 5, 2017

“The grandest fact under heaven is this...



—that Christ by His precious blood does actually put away sin, and that God, for Christ’s sake, dealing with men on terms of divine mercy, forgives the guilty and justifies them, not according to anything that He sees in them, or foresees will be in them, but according to the riches of His mercy that lie in His own heart.”


~ Charles Spurgeon, All of Grace

If you sit and truly fathom the truth of this quote by Spurgeon...you will realize how truly miraculous and unfathomable it really is. *The* God of the universe....*The* Creator of all things chooses to cancel our debt, putting His Son in *our* place ~ not because of our goodness...but because of His! His goodness and love is truly incomprehensible. 

Many people do not realize that they are sinners. They don't see their need for a Savior. They consider themselves "good". People assume if they haven't murdered anyone or cheated on their spouse that they aren't "bad". The truth is that one little lie makes you a liar. An ounce of hate in your heart makes you a murderer and one lust-filled thought makes you an adulterer. People use the Lord's name as a cuss word....not even realizing they are blaspheming the God of the universe (or maybe they do realize it and just don't care?). 

I really enjoy watching Ray Comfort evangelizing. He inspires and encourages me! Have you watched his videos from Living Waters? You can see some of them HERE. He is loving, gentle, truthful and always pointing people to Christ! 

Once people realize that they are sinners and separated from God *then* you can share the truth of what Christ did! Christ's perfect life (He was absolutely sinless ~ the God-Man), suffering, death and resurrection in *our* place secured our relationship with Him. We must repent (turn from our sins) and believe! Christ is the *only* answer to our problem...but when people don't realize they have a problem...they don't realize they need an answer. This is why we bring up sin as Christians. I don't say homosexuality is wrong because I am "homophobic" (I am certainly not afraid of homosexuals nor do I hate them!). I say it is wrong because it is biblical. Their behavior is sin against God. I *want* them to be saved and so I want them to see their sin against God....see the answer is Christ...repent (turn away from their sin and live no longer in it) and believe!! :o) 

The same goes when I stand against abortion, false teachers, divorce, abuse and more! I do not stand as a perfect person in judgment. I stand humbled that God would love me and save me despite of my sin. I stand in love desiring others to know the God I serve and desire for them to be saved. Do I still sin? Yes...but I strive not to because I love Him. I no longer make a practice of sinning. I make mistakes and will never be perfect this side of heaven...but He justified me and declares me *not guilty* in front of Him (through Christ). 

I am sad that the sin of this world is being accepted as right and to stand against it because you want people to live righteous, God-glorifying, Christ-exalting lives is labeled "intolerance". People can live as they want...but because I love them I want them to know that there *is* punishment coming one day. God is not just loving. He is full of justice and wrath against those who sin against Him. This is even ingrained in *us*...we have a need for justice. An unjust God wouldn't be a God at all. Isn't it amazing that He would choose *any* of us to be saved from eternal misery? We, undeserving wretches, don't deserve his mercy...and yet, He grants it to us through faith! 

If you don't know Christ as your Savior...please, either watch the videos I linked above or email me. Let's talk. It doesn't matter how sinful you have been...how wretched you are. You can be loved, forgiven and born again through Jesus Christ our Lord! That's what it means to be "born again". All are dead in their sin...but when the Lord saves us He gives us new life in Him! Life doesn't become easy...but getting rid of that burden of sin we carry around daily and communing with the God of the universe is one of the greatest joys in life! Do you have questions...email me and ask! I don't have all the answers but I will be in the Word and prayer and will seek out help from trusted theologians. Do you need prayer? Email me! I can and *will* pray for you! My heart's desire is to see as many people come to the Lord as possible! 

If you *do* know Christ and are saved...how is your walk with Him? Are you in prayer daily? Are you in the Word daily? Is your daily walk glorifying Him? These are not things to weigh you down. They are your lifeline. They are what keep you close to Him...growing in the faith. He must be your *ALL*. 

Sending grace and peace to each of you! May you find love, encouragement and admonition here!
Lovingly,
Katy

Linked up at: Strangers & Pilgrims

Monday, January 2, 2017

Happy New Year 2017!

Happy New Year friends! I can hardly believe it is 2017! I remember being 17 or 18 and waiting for it to turn from the year 1999 to 2000 and for the whole Y2K scare! Ha! I must not have been too worried as I fell asleep before midnight even then! I have never been a late-night gal. 

We spent New Year's Eve day at my sister's home. Due to sickness we weren't able to get together with them on Christmas Eve (as per our tradition) so we got together on New Year's Eve instead. That evening we fellowshipped with friends and loved ones (fellow Christians and homeschooling family friends of ours). I didn't take photos of that...but we had a nice time. We had to head home around 9pm that night though because I was near tears from exhaustion (I had been up early, taught an hour spin class then we were at my sister's a good portion of the day and then to the NYE gathering with friends....I was just pooped!). 

I *do* have a few fun photos from the time at my sister's house. :) Here they are!

Madelyn had her hair braided by the *braiding-pro* Eloise (who isn't even quite six years old yet!)...


El did a great job! Goodness, I know *adults* who can't even braid! :)


 Xavier layed on my lap...


My aunt brought her dog, Spencer, (who my nieces LOVE) to visit! He was *such* a hoot sitting on the couch like this! I was so glad to be able to capture it on camera!



My three with my sister's three children (and the wee one in her belly will be added to this bunch this year! Yay!)...




Opening some gifts (look at Audra's little piggies...aren't they so cute!?)...



Eloise, Audra, and Aunt Ginny...



There's my guy opening one of his gifts!


Xavier wanted me to photograph Spencer laying between his leg and my aunt's. I went to snap the picture and Jaxson did bunny ears (and got *caught* by X at the SAME time!)!!!


My sister's family found this Darth Vader (from Star Wars) Snuggie for Jaxson...


Grammie got the girls mermaid tails...



X with another cute shot of Spencer...



 Jax got a face mask to match his Snuggie....so he is all warm and snug...in his *snuggie* teehee...


Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while have watched my children (as well as my sister's children) grow up! Are you as amazed as I am at how fast they are growing!? I *need* time to slow down!

We are back to our routine again...which is nice. I like a nice rhythm to the days. We are schooling again, keeping up with housework and I even made some more stickers to add to my shop! I should hand draw some of my own stickers and scan them and make them into stickers...that would be cute. But as of now, I found and bought some *super* cute gnome graphics and made them into stickers! You can see them below or find them in my etsy shop (HERE).


Thank you for always visiting me here. I truly appreciate your comments and emails. :)

Here's to a lovely, God-honoring, Christ-exalting 2017!

Cheerfully,
Katy

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

A Cheerful *Hello* & Healthy Banana Bread Recipe


Hello friends! It's been a bit since I last posted. Despite my scroogie-ness of Christmas...we are still super busy this time of year. We still get together with family, exchange gifts and fellowship. There is just *no* way around it...and I don't want to be a *complete* scrooge (it sure is difficult to stand by your convictions when traditions are so rooted in everyone). Anyway...I just didn't have the time to post. We have taken this week off from our schoolwork though so while I filled a couple sticker orders, I thought I would sit down and post quickly!

Chris and the children (as well as a couple of our nephews who are spending the night) are in the living room watching Tim Hawkins (Christian comedian). It makes me smile to hear the laughter and giggles coming from the other room! :)

Although I *did* eat too many sweets this holiday season I also continued exercising (although I haven't stepped on the scale ~ EEK!) and even made a healthy banana bread to share with family. It is moist and super tasty!

Below is the recipe I found on thechalkboardmag.com (Sorry...I forgot to take a picture after it was done!):


Quick and Easy Healthy Banana Bread

* 1/4 c. butter
* 1/2 c. greek yogurt (I used 0%)
* 1 c. honey
* 2 eggs, beaten
* 3 very ripe bananas
* 1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
* 1 t. baking soda
* 1/4 t. baking powder
* 1/2 t. salt
* 1 t. vanilla
* 1/2 c. walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350*.

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the butter, greek yogurt, honey, bananas, eggs and vanilla. Set aside walnuts. Beat the wet ingredients thoroughly. Pour wet ingredients into flour mixture. Beat again. Fold in walnuts.

Pour batter into greased loaf pan.

Bake for 60 minutes at 350*.


It's that time of year again....lots of candles are lit throughout the house daily. The warmth, smell and cozy feel of the candles are just so enjoyable in contrast to the cold outside. Our snow and ice have melted (for the most part) though and temperatures have been in the 30's. I think it is suppose to snow again later this week though. Although I am not a huge fan of the cold and snow, I *am* thankful it gives the ground a time for rest. Plus, it seems my push-mower has broken (I tried to use it one nice day in the fall for a *last mowing of the year* day...and it wouldn't work.). Since it can't be used...I'm glad the grass isn't growing! Ha! :) Hopefully Chris will be able to fix it by next spring so I can continue to use it!


Since we had church and some other family get-togethers this past Sunday, we did our little gift exchange with the children Saturday evening. Chris's brother came over and had supper with us (beef roast, mashed potatoes and corn ~ frozen from the garden) and stayed to watch the children open a few gifts. We don't do a ton...but we do some and what totally warms my heart is my children's gratitude for what they receive (as they know their daddy worked hard to earn the money to pay for the items and I took the time to find them things they would enjoy or need). They were also so generous with their giving to each other and loved watching each other open gifts! :) Here are just a few photos I took...



I know what you are thinking...Christmas lovers are like: "YAY! A Tree!" and Christmas Scrooges such as myself are like: "What? A tree!?" Hahaha....It's just a decorative tree (up year-round). The children put a few ornaments on it that they had...for fun. I don't consider it a Christmas tree at all...the kiddos actually put the ornaments on in October or November...and I just didn't mind them or bother to do anything about them. I just love having the white lights on the tree in the evenings throughout the year. It's pretty!






For supper tonight I made up some rolls, chipped steak, sauteed onions and some homemade oven fries.What did you have for supper? Anything tasty? 



I hope you are all doing well! Thank you for stopping by. Can you believe it's almost 2017!? The wheel of time just keeps spinning and I can't slow it down! It's crazy and bittersweet! Watching my children grow and mature in the Lord is *such* a blessing...but it just seems like it is happening too fast! Goodness ~ Madelyn will be able to start driving this coming year! How can that even be *possible*...I mean, I just turned 16 last year...right? *snicker*

Hey, if you give that banana bread recipe a try, let me know how you like it! It's a hit in our household! Have a great week friends and may you have a beautiful start to the New Year (I'm not sure if I will be posting a final post for 2016 or not! We'll see!). Thank you for sharing in my journey with me!

Cheerfully,
Katy

Linked up at: Strangers & Pilgrims