New Year New Goals for 2018

I am not one to really buy into the whole resolution business but I do know when it’s time to change habits. I can  realize when it’s time to start improving myself. I think after living a year of so much pain, both mental and physical, I am ready for a good year. I am determined that 2018 has to be better.

My first goal is that I will get a diagnosis for my migraines and headaches. I will get answers . I am my biggest advocate and I am not going to let things fall to the wayside. My Graves Disease is in remission which means this is the perfect time to resolve all my other medical issues. I want my life back and I am willing to fight for it.

The next goal is a Bible challenge. My friend, Steve asked me if I would like to do a Bible study. I thought that was a great idea. I have lacked in studying the Bible and growing closer to Jesus is a good thing. So after some research I found the 5x5x5 reading plan and this 1 year plan  .  I thought a good start would be the 5x5x5 reading plan. We agreed to read according to the reading plan, jot down some things we’d like to discuss and chat every Sunday night about what we read that week.

The third goal I have is keeping a food diary. I have tried to use my fitness pal or other websites and techniques to try and help me keep track. It started to make myself feel really guilty for the bad days when I didn’t eat well because I didn’t feel well. Plus with not feeling well means I haven’t been exercising at all. So with keeping a food diary and getting a better hold of my health I am hoping I can get back on track to taking better care of myself.

My last goal is a thankful journal. I decided on this for a couple of reasons. It’s easy to do and only takes a few minutes a day. I already try to write down key details of what happens each day so this would be a good addition. I also wanted to find a way to catch hints of depression or anxiety before they happen. I’m pretty sure I can tell by what I write and how I word things what kind of mood I am in.  Plus I’m hoping it will help me appreciate the small things just a little bit more.

I am very happy to have made these goals for 2018. I am choosing to trust God and keep the faith this year. I think it will make it that much better. Happy New Years and happy goal setting as well as resolving.

 

Advertisements

Encouraged by God

I woke up that morning with the best ah-ha. It was a quiet ah-ha as George was still sleeping but it was the best.

Since our move I have also had some of the most beautiful words come from a friend I made in DC. Here’s some of the things she told me: “Oh precious friend if I could wrap you up in a huge hug and somehow let you feel and experience the love God has for you I would.  I pray now as I’m typing that you feel His comfort, his light, his love. It takes strength and courage to share what you shared today. It may take some strength to hold in what you’ve been holding in, but it took more strength to share it.  Being vulnerable and asking for help or opening up to others is always the bravest and hardest thing to do. And yet I wonder how many dozens or hundreds of people walk past us everyday holding and shouldering the burden of such tear pain and we have no idea?  No, sharing is always the bravest and scariest thing to do.  You are a warrior Kim – a brave, courageous, beloved warrior princess of the God who loves you with a capacity we will never fully understand or fully experience on this side of heaven. But goodness I pray that God surround you with so much love and comfort and hugs of protection right now, this night, that you can’t help but be comforted by the One who holds us during our worst pains.”

We have been going through kind of a rough patch and I was starting to lose hope. I needed a friend to talk to but I wasn’t sure whose advice, encouragement and love I was suppose to seek. Facebook is still an odd creature that I don’t understand but I decided to use it. I decided to just out right post that I needed a friend to talk to. By doing this I was agreeing to being very open to whomever God sent me.

 He sent me a friend from high school that I have talked to on and off throughout the years. Here are some of the kindest and most encouraging things she said: “ I know that this is not what we like to hear in times of struggle and pain and worry. But God has his hand on your precious family and no matter what storms come, He will be the Rock of your stability. He does nothing without already knowing what is coming next. Nothing is a surprise to Him. He loves you and has great plans for your life. Cast your cares upon him, for he cares for you. Sometimes we have to remember that our happiness isn’t contingent upon our situation but is rooted in Christ. And our feelings aren’t always gonna be happy and joyous. Sometimes you feel like throwing your hands up and quitting. Especially when the money isn’t there or things are just crashing in around you. On the days when you just want to cry and let depression and anxiety overtake you, it’s easy to see the bad side of things. I’m not gonna give you the whole “God is in control” speech because that is never helpful and to be honest, it doesn’t make anyone feel better. I do know that depression is a hard thing to deal with and many people say “just shake it off” because they equate depression and sadness as the same thing when it’s not.
God will definitely give us storms that are too big for us to handle. I don’t subscribe to the “He will never give us more than we can handle” theory. He wants us to learn to lean on Him. I don’t know why you’re going,through this and I’m sorry that you are. Kick, scream, cry if you must. There are times when I need to do,that. Asking God why is sometimes helpful. Not in a way of blaming Him, but seeking direction.
Most of all, I love you. And I know that we don’t speak often but you cross,my mind often. I will be praying for you all.
And tell the devil and his demons that they have no place in your home, because you are a child of the Most High King.”
I fully believe because of these words I was able to finally understand my biggest and best talent.
The days leading up to the point I was comforting and encouraging my best friend. When someone dies: a close friend or an acquaintance it makes us stop and take stock. We wonder why we are here and does it get better. I told him that life is short and doing the right thing and using our talents to help others is what we’re here for.
  I’ve had alot of trouble sleeping between the sinus infection and sleep interruptions caused by anxiety and worry. I wake up most mornings worried that I’ll screw it up. I’ll screw them up (the kids). Mostly that I’m failing at life. This morning I woke up feeling over joyed. For the last couple of years I have struggled with depression and anxiety that I come in and out of. The biggest thing I question during that time is my purpose. What am I here to do? How am I useful? What is this talent that God gave me? Besides being a mom and taking care of my family is there more to me? Does this make me feel whole?
 I’ve known for a while that being a Mom and Wife is a blessing. I love it! But I woke up that morning and knew the answer. I’m here to help people with my resourcefulness. MY RESOURCEFULNESS. (It feels amazing to say it out loud.) I know how to make something out of nothing. We can be in-between grocery trips:I can pull a great meal from minimal ingredients. We have no money and I need to buy shoes: I can figure it out. Someone asks me how to entertain little people during Mass: I have lots of suggestions. A friend is having trouble with homeschooling and I can help. If you want to know how you can volunteer: I can give you many ideas. I’m here to use my talent of resourcefulness to share my knowledge and love with others. I’m here to use the gift God gave to me to help others.
  This day was one of my best because not only did I find meaning but I found forgiveness. I am the type of person that hopes for the best but prepares and expects the worst. I let myself get to the point where I feel so badly that I start to believe I’m not worth loving. I believe the things I’ve done or not done are the worst sins ever committed. But on this day I found a light and was not only able to receive Gods forgiveness but also forgive myself. I was so happy to feel Gods presence again.
 We are still struggling with life as is normal. Money, work, school, and all the rest. I still spend a huge chunk of my day teaching my children all the things they need to know to become the best adults they can.  I may have to yell at the kiddos to do their chores pretty much everyday. I miss my Dad more than usual lately. But today and yesterday I could feel Gods presence encouraging me to keep trying and to not lose hope. I can feel the precious words said to me by those 2 sweet ladies whom have blessed me in a dark time. I am loved!
“There is nothing I cannot do in the One who strengthens me.”
Philippians 4:13

Baptism Dinner 2017

I always start planning for our special dinner by asking the kids what they would like to eat. Jem will always ask for Lasagna with a few of the kids agreeing. Thankfully this year Bubbles and Pippi had other ideas.  Bubbles first thought was ribs. This kid defintely takes after her Dad. She is the one who will order ribs when we go to a steak house or bbq restuarant. It doesn’t take much to get Duke on board. Then I had to come up with another meat that the rest of us could enjoy. I’m a huge fan of bbq chicken. I also thought it would be an easy thing to cook. Pippi’s big request was homemade crockpot macaroni and cheese. I also thought it might be nice to have some fresh corn on the cob. We also like to take the chance to try out a new recipe or two.

We came up with a full menu:

Ribs

BBQ Chicken

Mac and Cheese

Corn on the cob

Green beans

Pretzel Bites

Chocolate Peanut Butter Dream Bars

The thing I love most about this meal is that it’s become a family tradition in a couple of ways. Yes, We sing Happy Birthday to each kid and they blow out their Baptism candle. Yes, we celebrate in August/September because there aren’t any major holidays. But my favorite is that most of us work together to cook the meal. I’m sure that doesn’t sound like a big deal to most. I have 3 girls who are more than capable of cooking/baking and they love to do it.

A couple days before our dinner we came up with a plan:

Jem: Make Chocolate PB Dream Bars Saturday morning,  4pm cook green beans,  4pm Help Mom shuck and cook corn on the cob

Pippi: 2-3 hours before 5pm put Macaroni and Cheese in the crockpot, 11am put BBQ Chicken in crockpot (it’s so nice to have 2 crockpots)

Bubbles: Make Pretzel Bites with Mom Friday Night, Help Dad make Ribs 2-3 hours before 5pm

This plan worked out really well. The girls are becoming really good cooks/bakers. It really helps on those days when I’m feeling really bad. The girls are great to step in and cook dinner.

We invited our friend Leslie and her girls over to enjoy the fruits of our labor and to see what a Montee tradition looks like. The food was delicious. The girls and George did a great job. The Pretzel Bites were very popular. The kids had a great time running around and playing. I am very thankful we were able to share such a fun and special tradition with our amazing new friends.

If you are interested in any of the recipes please email me at adventureswithsix@gmail.com

New Phototastic Collage200 copyNew Phototastic Collage199 copyNew Phototastic Collage198 copyNew Phototastic Collage197 copy

A Successful Lent 2017

This has been the most successful Lent for me in a couple of years. I feel like I was finally able to fully let go and let God. This Lent felt different. I started out pessimistic about meeting any goals or guilt ridden from all the things I was doing wrong. It’s hard to explain but Lent happened when I needed it to even though I didn’t want it to.

As a family we gave up eating out. We made a special provision that if we found ourselves in a situation of needing quick food it had to come from a grocery store. You never realize how much you take eating out for granted until you give it up. Eating out is a convince for those times when I don’t feel like cooking and not always as a special treat. We did save some money but it was more than that. It was realizing that taking the time to make lunch before we went out for the day was worth it. Putting dinner in the crockpot earlier in the day when we have plans for the day became a must. It made me re-access my diet and the things I really shouldn’t eat. It was a good reminder of how blessed I am to have great kiddos who love to help make dinner.

We did not successfully finish the Mother Teresa book. It just got too hard to make sure we were doing everything. It just doesn’t fit our family. I think for us it works better to have 1 main family goal and everyone has their own personal goal. Next year we will try Lentopoly and see how that goes.

Resisting Happiness is what made my Lent so successful. It hits on the hard realities in a way that makes you want to try. They are easy tips that we all know but fight. It’s a video and a chapter in the book. There is also a study guide if you want more. I think I’ll use the study guide next time. It was that little push that I needed to do the things I keep saying I need to do. It also made me take inventory of things. The things I should do more and the ones I should do less. It got me to reach out to a friend I haven’t talked to much. I can’t even begin to express the many blessing I got from her emails. Her words were what I needed to hear. It was like I was finally listening to what God had been trying to get me to hear. I shed many tears but they helped me to heal and see things the way I once did. I was able to see what I needed to do more clearly. Thank you again Dear Friend!

We also made a point to go to confession as a family. It was one of those things that I had been missing. Carrying all my guilt as well as all the emotions from trying to be a good friend can sometimes be a lot to carry. Don’t think for a second that I will ever give up trying to help others. I’m not complaining. I’m just saying sometimes I let myself feel too much hurt and I need some extra help carrying the load. I’m very blessed to have people open their hearts to me.  I was happiest to get rid of the guilt. It was really holding me back.

The other amazing thing that reading Resisting Happiness did for me was to help me to see the Facebook was holding me down. It was wasting too much of my time, causing too much hurt, and making me worry too much about what people thought of me. I am very happy to say that there is a way to download all of your Facebook data. I can still use Facebook chat and I am already a much happier person after a week of my account being deactivated. I have all the memories I was so worried about losing and if someone on Facebook still wants to contact me they can. I know that some people will try to remind me of the things I am missing but those things aren’t worth the damage they were doing. Because of letting Facebook go I can spend alot more focused time on revamping the blog as well as the other things that keep me grounded.

If you want to continue our journey through pictures make sure to follow us on Instagram: Adventureswithsix

If you want to see some more kewl stuff check us out on pinterest: CrafteeKim

Happy Wednesday!

Lent 2017-Mother Teresa and Resisting Happiness

It’s that time of year when my feelings of guilt run high and the anxiety of not being able to achieve my Lenten goals seem to get the best of me.This year we will be following the guidance of one of our favorite saints, Mother Teresa. We will be using the book Bringing Lent Home with Mother Teresa by Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle. Last year we used the St. Therese of Liseux version of the book.
We have also decided to give up eating out. This means delivery and carry out too. I think it will be harder than I can imagine. It will do good for us to appreciate being able to eat out as well as each other for making dinner. We will also be looking for a project to do in our area to help others. We have found our new parish but it will take us a little time to get to know everyone and find our places. I know there is something we can do to help others, we just have to find it.

The final thing I have decided to do is to sign up for the Best Lent Ever. It’s a video based email program by Matthew Kelly that’s FREE. Matthew Kelly is one of my favorite Catholic authors. My favorite so far is The Rhythm of Life: Living Everyday with Passion & Purpose. The Best Lent Ever program is on Matthew Kelly’s book Resisting Happiness. While attending Mass at a Church during our hunt for our new Parish I received a coveted copy of Resisting Happiness. When I started making my plan for Lent I knew this has to be part of it. So I will be watching the videos, reading, and praying for the Best Lent Ever.

Well wishes and prayers as you begin planning for Lent. Remember that Lent isn’t just about giving something up something but about making improvements so that you can better serve God and his people. Happy Wednesday!