Tuesday, July 30, 2013

As Our Caterpillar Grows

Just some things to remember as our caterpillar, Friendship, grows.

- He is big enough now for the cats to notice him.

- A milkweed plant can last in water for three days, maybe four.  Definitely not five.

- Caterpillars need fresh milkweed or they get this angry look on their face. 
  (This is based on my emotional observation, not actual scientific research.)

- As our caterpillar grows, so does his poop.

These photos were taken of Friendship on Tuesday, July 30, 2013
He is 11 days old.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Trades of Hope Giveaway Update

I received the beautiful scarf from Trades of Hope to give away.  There are no comments on the original post and I'm not sure what's going on and so, I am changing the steps on how to enter.

1) Visit my original post to find the link to the Trades of Hope Website.


2) Visit the Trades of Hope Website.

3) E-mail me a comment about Trades of Hope.

My e-mail address is-  seekhispurpose@gmail.com

I will hold the drawing on August 2, 2013 and let the winner know on Saturday, August 3, 2013.

The beautiful scarf one lucky winner will receive.

The funny things they say...

I don't know if I think my family is hilarious because I love them, because I spend too much time around them or because my standards have been twisted.  But, they are.  And, they make me laugh.  (Sorry to all the English majors out there for beginning a sentence with but and another one with and.)

These are two conversations we had at dinner tonight.

Looking at his plate, Matthew said "This looks gross."

(In his defense, dinner did look gross.  I had added two extra cups of water to the crockpot dinner this morning so the rice didn't get dry.  I can say with total and complete confidence that the rice was NOT dry.)

I said, "If you can't say anything nice about my cooking, don't say anything at all.  Or I just may never feed you again."

Ten minutes later, Matthew must have tried his rice.  I wasn't even going to ask him to because I was having a hard time eating it myself.

Matthew, "Yum!  This rice is good mom!  I'm so sorry that I discomplimented you earlier.  It really is good."

Me, "Did you say discompliment?

Matthew, "Yes.  I didn't compliment you and so, I discomplimented you."

Me, "Well, thank you for the compliment." 

(Later we went over what the opposite of the word compliment was.)

After the boys had been excused.

Me, "Sorry, dinner was so gross."

Chuck, "It was okay.  I've had worse."

very long, drawn out pause...

Chuck, "Not your cooking of course.  Just saying that I've had worse."

Nice recovery, my dear.  Nice recovery.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Weekly Goals July 29, 2013

Weekly goals for 7-22-13

1) Pick up a few treats for Matt's belated birthday celebration with his friends.  Check.  Matthew had a great time with friends when I took them to see the movie "Turbo."  I gave myself a small pat on the shoulder for getting the b-day party done before his next birthday.  When I told him that I would have owed him 2 birthday parties, he said "No, mom.  Only one.  I can miss a birthday party, it's okay."  Very sweet, but I don't think he knows what he's talking about. 

Or, maybe he does...

 2) Water plant, every day.  4 out of 7 days.  I only did one of these days and the other days I got Matthew to do it for me.  Needless to say, my plant is still very sad.

 3) Make Laundry Soap.  Check.  I made it before I left for work Tuesday morning and my husband put it in to the gallon containers after it had cooled.

4) Enlist the help of my family to straighten up the house for the friends we have coming to visit.  Check.  The house was not spotless but I wasn't horribly embarrassed.  I figured they were coming to see us and not our house anyway.

5) Go to the library.  I never found time.  :-(

Weekly goals for 7-29-13

1) Have my husband take the boys to the library.
2) Sort through Liam's clothes.  Replace all the 2T shirts and pajamas with 4T shirts and pajamas.

We're going to be moving starting in about 4 weeks.  It's to a small town just south of where we live now, about a 20 minute drive.  I've been putting off making plans until things were official and I got word this week that it's as official as we're going to get until we sign the-- home purchased/it's officially yours/your prayers have been answered --papers.

Now, I need a plan.  A loose, flexible, don't flip out on me plan.  So, here's where I'll start:

Organize and pack the following areas-

1) Coat Closet
2) Entertainment Center
3) The Table Where We Sort Our Mail
4) Laundry Room
5) Den

I'm going to be working 60-70 hours this week (60 definitely, the additional 10 depends on home visits).  I'm going to take 15 minutes here, 20 minutes there and 5 minutes somewhere else and just see what I can get done.

 I refuse to stress out...  I will remain calm...  I will not buckle under pressure.

ABOVE ALL ELSE, Read my devotion every day.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Trying To Do It All

About a month ago, my husband approached me about going to a baseball game with our church.  I was so happy that he was taking initiative to be a part of our new to us church, I jumped at the chance.  Plus, the game was on his birthday.  Birthdays for the children in our home = awesome.  Birthdays in our home for the adults = just another day.  This made the game plan even better!

We purchased tickets and my husband even took the day off. 

As the event grew closer, I wondered how awesome this event was going to be.

 I've been waking up at 5:00 a.m. and working 10 1/2 hour days.  Needless to say, I'm kind of weary.

Sitting and watching something has never been an easy skill for my seven year old... unless it's something he chooses and it involves a screen.

They have a wonderful park, splash pad and bouncy houses at the stadium... but I'll be the one who takes them.  No relaxing for me.

The evening for the game came.  I packed a blanket in case it got chilly and umbrellas because it was raining.  I had cash for the bouncy houses and snacks.  We ate dinner before we went so we didn't spend this week's grocery money at the ball park. 

Should have been great...

Except that it poured down rain at times...

Except that I had worked all day and was tired...

Except that the boys had only seen me for about an hour total each day and our relationships were off balance...

Except my seven year old was hanging on me, pulling on me, squeezing me and stepping on me...

Except my husband, who deserved to relax on his birthday and watch the game, didn't really pay attention to what his family needed (I had to yell to him that Liam, 2 1/2, was LICKING the seat in front of him)...

Except it was too cold to play on the splash pad...

I took the boys to the park for a couple of innings, we got a snack and sat huddled at the top of the steps because it was pouring down rain.

Then we left.  4 innings into the game, we left.  I was not having fun.  I was so tired that I couldn't even fake my involvement, an interest, or love and patience for my children.  So, we left.

Tears flowed down my face on the ride home as I listened to my two boys cry that they wanted to go back to the ball game. 

Tears for my husband's very memorable birthday. 

Tears because I wasn't capable of doing it all.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Caterpillar Update

When I went to bed last night, both caterpillars were happily munching on the milkweed.  This morning, Friendship was still munching away but Baby's munching hole was the same size.  I gently touched Baby and found that he was no longer alive.

A moment of panic washed over me.  Matt's caterpillar had died.  Had this milkweed been sprayed with a chemical and killed it?  No, because Friendship was still busy eating.  Then I wondered if leaving them both on the same milkweed leaf had been a mistake.  It was a big leaf, but I don't know how territorial caterpillars are with their leaf.  Friendship might have murdered Baby.  Not very friendly and just a little ironic. (If this is the case.)

Ahh... 7:00 a.m. drama in the Daly Household. 

Matt decided he wanted to give Baby a proper burial and we decided that we'll have to go out caterpillar hunting this weekend.  This time, I'm getting an extra milkweed plant.

Bye-bye, Baby.  :-(

Baby the monarch butterfly caterpillar.
Hatched, 7-22-13  -  Died, 7-25-13
"He was a munchin' kind of fellow that brought children joy."

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Monarch Butterfly Caterpillars

Every summer, the boys and I hunt for caterpillars.  Usually, we have to ask my sister to help because she and her three children have a knack when it comes to finding them.  This year, we were able to find some on our own.  Meet Friendship and Baby.  Friendship we found and Baby came later as an added surprise.

Friendship is the larger caterpillar and Baby is the smaller one.
Liam (2 1/2 yrs. old) named Friendship and Matthew (7 yrs. old) named baby.



Monday, July 22, 2013

The Woman Who Fears the Lord #6

The Woman Who Fears the Lord
A Study of Proverbs 31
Verse 15

"She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls."

It's a good thing that this verse is about a woman who lived in the biblical days because if she was my next door neighbor, I think I would strongly dislike her.  Can you just imagine having a cup of coffee with her? 

Picture me, in my robe, my hair all crazy, no make up and toothpicks holding my eyes open.  Across from me is my neighbor.  She's telling me about how she got up at 5:00 a.m. to make her hubby breakfast before he went to work.  (I'm sure she was dressed, had her hair all done and makeup on.  She sounds like that kind of gal.)  Then, her nanny arrived, along with the gardener, her personal trainer, and her maid.  They all ate the delicious breakfast that she had prepared as she reviewed the day's agenda with them.  As they scattered off to do their various jobs, her children woke up.  Bleary eyed, the children sat down at the table and chatted about the plans for day and what a wonderful breakfast their mom had made them. 

This would be the first and only time I would have had coffee with this neighbor.  She can just stay home and drink her own coffee.  It probably tastes better than mine, anyway.

I need to refocus...

What can a woman from the 21st century learn from this verse?

The woman from Proverbs 31 got up while it was still dark to make food for her family and their servants.  Considering there was no electricity and everything had to be made from scratch, it's no wonder she got up before the sun!  It would take all morning to make enough food to feed everyone for the whole day.

With the invention of convenience food, crock pots and appliances we don't really have to worry about getting up before the crack of dawn.  Do we?

Does that mean this verse doesn't pertain to us?  No, I think it still does.

Convenience food is not the healthiest choice.  Preparing food from scratch is much better for you.  I would love to get to the point where I grind my own flour, grow all my own veggies and have my children fetch the eggs from the henhouse.  (I'm laughing at myself and the mental images this gives me.)  As a family, we are slowly moving towards doing more and more things from scratch.  Snail's pace slow, but at least we're moving.

For me, dinner is the meal that takes planning and more preparation.  Defrost the chicken, put the roast and potatoes in the crock pot, have all the ingredients needed for the casserole, start the bread machine before I leave, etc.  Sometimes, I have to get up 20 minutes earlier so that dinner time will run smoothly.  (Well, more smoothly.  When you have two boys, a husband and two cats, you can't expect miracles.) 

I've been working a lot of overtime the last few weeks and all my planning has been thrown out the window.  We've been eating a lot of take out and scrambling to come up with meals at the last minute.  Not very Proverbs 31ish.

If I am going to use this verse to guide me to being the woman, wife and mother that God wants me to be, I will need to get back to planning and take the few extra minutes in the morning to get things rolling.

Oh, and I need some servants.

The link to the series "The Woman Who Fears the Lord"

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Weekly Goals 7-22-13

Weekly Goals for 7-15-13

1) Sign boys up for summer reading and enter the books we've read so far.  Check- Matt's doing mostly chapter books, so his is a little slow going.  (He is not fluently reading yet, but I read them to him and he also listens to books on CD.)  Liam already has 10.  If I counted each book every time we read it, he would have had about 36, but I only counted each title once.
2) Return library material and get some new stuff.  Half check.  We returned the stuff but my oldest "gave up" trying to find his books on CD and I had to find them.  The consequence was no library for a week.
3) Water my hanging basket every day.  It's a little sad.  Ummm... it's still really sad.  Not dead, just sad.
4) Practice songs for Sunday's worship service.  Check
5) Relax for a little bit every day.  Even if it's only reading for 15 minutes before bed.  Check, but this ended up hurting instead of helping.  Have you ever been so tired that you don't have the energy to get up and go to bed?  Yep!  That was me last week.  Between the bus routes and home visits, it was a very long week.

Here are just a few highlights from the last week.  Forget the to-do list and enjoy your summer.

We started with one monarch butterfly caterpillar and were surprised to find another one.  Liam's is the bigger one and it's name is Friendship.  Matt's is the smaller one and it's name is Baby.

Liam at the Kennedy Pool on Saturday.

Matthew at the Kennedy Pool on Saturday.

Weekly goals for 7-22-13

1) Pick up a few treats for Matt's belated birthday celebration with his friends.
2) Water plant, every day.
3) Make Laundry Soap.
4) Enlist the help of my family to straighten up the house for the friends we have coming to visit.
5) Go to the library.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Trades of Hope Giveaway

I have a friend whose name is Annie.  Annie is a beautiful person.  I'm not just speaking about her outward beauty, but her inward beauty as well.  She is a compassionate and kind woman, always giving of her time, her resources and the delicious food she makes.  She has inspired me in so many ways and I thank God for sending her to me.

Annie spends much of her time serving others and she found an additional way to help others by becoming a Compassion Entrepreneur with "Trades Of Hope." 

Here is an excerpt from Annie's website...

"I am absolutely thrilled to finally be with a company that truly believes in giving back... What a blessing it is to stand up in front of women and know what your company believes in and know where your products are made. I lived with Mayan people for 18 years and saw with my own eyes what help can do. Since we moved here in 2007 I have been looking for something to feed my soul and I found it . I love that we are not just helping these women. We are coming along side them and giving them an opportunity in life!" 

I took the following paragraph from the Trades of Hope website and you can find their link below.

"We work with the artisans themselves and organizations that are helping women in difficult circumstances. Some women have been rescued from sex slavery. Others are raising handicapped children alone. Some are in war torn countries and others have AIDS. These women have never had the chances we've had, yet they are just like us in so many ways. They love their families and hope and dream of a better life for them."

This is not an ordinary direct selling business.  This is a ministry that is offering HOPE to women who are in need.  Food to eat, a place to call home, medical care and education. 

You can help this ministry through prayer, ordering products from them, hosting a home party or by becoming a Compassion Entrepreneur.

Trades of Hope is holding a drawing for this scarf.  To enter, visit their website, browse through the unique and exceptional items and read more about their mission and story.  Then comment on this post what you like about Trades of Hope, how you are going to get involved or what your favorite product is.

The giveaway ends on July 31, 2013 at 11:59:59 p.m.

For more information,

contact Annie Michele Payne
e-mail: tradesofhopeam@gmail.com
phone: 574.229.4820
website:  mytradesofhope.com/anniemichele


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Everyone has their own story to tell...

I'm taking a 30 minute break before I finish the last 3 hours of my 12 hour shift.  This week has left me missing my husband and our sons, our home in an upheaval, and my emotions beating me down.  I try so hard to keep things in perspective and consider how this is only temporary...

My perspective is limited.  God sees the bigger picture and so I will have faith that He is working all things for His good, including me and my emotional tantrum.

A co-worker asked me today what I believed.  I made sure he was talking about my spiritual beliefs, which he was.   I shared how I believe that God created everything and everyone.  He loves us and has the bigger picture in mind.  I believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that he died on the cross for our sins, leaving us with the Holy Spirit.

I asked him what he believed and he said the same.  I confirmed that he believes in God and then asked him why.  Puzzled, he questioned me.  I repeated myself and asked him WHY he believes in God.

He told an amazing story about going from religion to a personal relationship with God.  How God was still working on him but that he was a changed man.  God saved his marriage and him.  That's why he believes in God.

Everyone has a story to tell.

A story of deliverance and salvation.

What's yours?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Underestimating God

I underestimate God.  I just expect the minimum to avoid disappointment. 

Often, God surprises me with a greater and bigger plan that I could have never seen coming.

Flash back a year and a half ago.  I joined the worship team at our new church to meet people.

Now, come back to the present.  The worship team leader invited everyone who helps out with that part of the service to a cook out and pool party.  I planned on going until my insecurities began to take over.  Then, I hear this small voice remind me why I even joined the team.  To meet people.  Point taken.

So, we went and we had fun.  So much fun, we were the last ones out of the pool.  :-)

Everyone was so kind and I got to meet and talk to people that I normally wouldn't have.  The whole day was just such a wonderful experience and I got to thinking about all the blessings my family and I have received since I started singing on the worship team.

  • I have met new people and can see friendships beginning to form.
  • It's helped me be more comfortable at our church.  If you can get up in front of 400-500 people and sing, you can easily go to church on Sunday morning and talk to people.
  • My level of worship has increased.  Singing is one form of worship that has always made me feel close to God.  It's been amazing to feel an even stronger connection.
  • I research the songs we'll be singing.  When I know the author's story or what they were thinking when they wrote the song, it makes the song more meaningful to me.
  • My children have begun to worship God through music.  When I began practicing and listening to more worship music, my children joined in.  I love to hear my two year old singing "How Great Thou Art."  Matthew, who is seven, enjoys worship music so much he's expressed an interest in working with me to write our own worship song.
  • I am more confident in God.  I may not be Mariah Carey, but God can use what talent I have.
  • My husband is proud of me and that's a good thing.  :-)
  • I am learning to appreciate the encouragement that others offer me.  It has never, ever been an easy thing for me to accept compliments.  I have a huge, enormous, monster sized fear of pride.  After much prayer and a discussion with a friend, I just look at the kind things they say as a form of encouragement.

All I wanted was to meet more people but God had bigger plans for me and for my family. 

I think He's awesome.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Weekly Goals, 7-15-13

I'm not going to pretend I was awesome at achieving last weeks goals.  I'm good at acting, but I'm not that good.  Just keepin' it real.

1) Daily Devotion  Score!  I did good at this one... one out of five isn't bad and really, it's the most important one.  Right?

2) Avoid Eating Out  We ate out twice, I think.  Yes, twice.  But I refuse to swear on a bible.

3) Begin knitting a scarf  This did not happen.  I finished my gray scarf over a week ago and thought I would want to start another one right away.  Instead, I read a book and it was funny.  I laughed.  Out loud.  A lot.  (The book I read was by Janet Evanovich.  "Notorious Nineteen")

My last knitting project.

4) Research a vacation to Illinois  Nope

5) Make music shakers for an event on Saturday I waited until the last minute and then my youngest got sick.  I couldn't take him and infect other children, so I was unable to go and did not need the shakers.  :-(

Weekly Goals for 7-15-13

1) Sign boys up for summer reading and enter the books we've read so far.
2) Return library material and get some new stuff.
3) Water my hanging basket every day.  It's a little sad.

My sad, sad, hanging basket.  I am the worst gardener, ever.

4) Practice songs for Sunday's worship service.
5) Relax for a little bit every day.  Even if it's only reading for 15 minutes before bed.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

To Bless My Husband

I read an awesome book last month, "My So Called Life As A Proverb's 31 Wife" by Sara Horn, and wrote a book review about it on this blog.  While researching the author, I came across her blog and her facebook page.  I loved her book and so I "liked" her and began receiving her posts.  Along the way, she offered a chance to be part of a group to help spread the word about her new book, "My So Called Life As A Submissive Wife."  I applied and was accepted!

I've spent the last month getting to know about 80 woman through the group "My Wife-Life Team." I would have never imagined being able to connect with a group of women who were seeking after God to help them become wives who blessed their husbands.  It's amazing. 

I want my husband to rise in the morning and feel blessed to have me as his wife.  Okay, maybe not in the morning.  He's not a morning person.  How about anytime throughout the day he feels blessed to have me as his wife.  A little more practical.

 I love my husband and my love for him grows each day.  I want him to love having me as his wife.  I want to bless him and be the wife that God knows he needs. 

August 1, 2013 is the release date for Sara Horn's new book.  You can pre-order it from her website, which you can find below.  You will also find the link for my book review on the Proverb's 31 book. 

We could make a huge difference by seeking out God's plan for our marriage.  Stronger marriages, stronger families, stronger communities, stronger countries and a stronger world. 

May God bless you and your marriage as He has and continues to bless mine.



Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A Woman Who Fears The Lord #5

The Woman Who Fears the Lord
A Study of Proverbs 31
Verse 14
"She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar."
I should have someone else write about this verse.  Someone who enjoys finding all those awesome sales and knows just where to go and goes to get all the food her family needs. 
 As I write this post, my fridge is full of uneaten leftovers and takeout boxes. 
My pantry is mostly empty. 
My husband is the last one who went to the grocery store. He got milk, almond milk for our youngest who is sensitive to cow's milk and coffee creamer for me because he knows how miserable everyone would be if I didn't get my morning cup of Joe.  We had been out of milk for about three days when he stopped to pick it up. 
I despise grocery shopping... with a passion.
I have tried just giving my husband the list and sending him.  He enjoys shopping and so the plan made sense, until I looked at the receipt.  When my shop 'til you drop, love to spend money and buy things husband goes to the store with a list, he will return with everything on the list, multiples of the items that he thought were a good price, economy sized products, the three things from the clearance isle that he/we can't live without and just a couple of extra things that looked good.
So, that leaves me to do the majority of the grocery shopping.  I spend days avoiding making the menu and the corresponding list, until I force myself to sit down and do it.  Then I make a whole bunch of reasons why I can't go right now.  I worked late, I want to spend time with my children without having to become the one-woman-circus you hear singing three isles over, the two year old is tired, I'm tired, the discount store I shop at is closed, and the list goes on and on and on...
So that leaves me with an empty pantry and a fridge full of takeout leftovers.  Not good.
This is how I picture our Proverbs 31 woman.
She has a plan.  She knows what she needs to make meals for her family.  There's no way she's coming home after a long day visiting relations in the village over without knowing what they're going to have for dinner. 
 If they had had electricity back then, I bet she would have used a crockpot. 
She goes to several market stands to find the healthiest and least expensive food.  If she lived in the 21st century, she would have had a coupon organizer and spent $42.28 for $197.73 worth of food.  She would have price matched and gone to various stores to get the best deals.
Since I'm pretty sure that these verses were meant to guide and inspire us, I'm going to shake off the feeling of total and complete inadequacy. 
What can I learn from this verse? 
I need to make sure my family has healthy, yummy food to eat.  Without blowing our budget.  I need to plan ahead and also have backup plans in place.  For me, it means I consistently need to go to the grocery store, according to the workable plan I have made.  I also need to cut myself a break if I'm having a hard time with things...
 and give my husband cash when he goes to the store.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Weekly Goals, 7-8-13

Here is the update on last week's goals...

 1) Daily Devotion.  The devotion I am going through right now is "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young.  A friend of mine strongly recommended it about a year ago, I checked it out of the library and never really got into it.  The book was again recommended this spring by a woman in the bible study I was attending.  This time around I am more committed and try to keep the devotion in my thoughts and prayers through out the day.  It's pretty awesome to see things happening during the week that fit my intimate time with Jesus and my Heavenly Father.

 2) Read to the Boys Every Day.  I wasn't able to do this every day but it was a definite improvement from hardly ever doing it.  Matthew and I are reading "Nate The Great" and Liam is devouring ever single picture book we read.

3)  Make a Moving Game Plan. I avoided this one.  Still having a hard time believing it's ever going to happen.  We're having to come up with more paper work for the mortgage company and don't even have an official closing date on the house. 

4)  Encourage my husband, my children and at least one other person, every day.  This is addicting.  It's such a blessing for me to be able to lift someone's spirit.

Waiting for the North Liberty Independence Day Parade to begin.

5) Enjoy a summer activity with my kids. 

Easy as pie.  With the holiday of July 4th, we were able to enjoy a parade, playing at the park, swimming in the my sister's family pool, and fireworks.  On Saturday, we took a trip to the beach and followed up with a cook out at a co-worker's apartment complex.

Fireworks at Newton Park in Lakeville, Indiana

Weekly Goals, 7-8-13

1) Daily Devotion
2) Avoid Eating Out
3) Begin knitting a scarf
4) Research a vacation to Illinois
5) Make music shakers for an event on Saturday.

(I'm working about 47 1/2 hours during the week which only gives me an hour with the boys before it's time for them to go to bed.  My nights are pretty short and I'm typically drained by then.)

Monday, July 1, 2013

Weekly Goals- 7/1/13

Holy Cow!  I can not believe it is July already.  Half of the year is already gone. 

Here are my goals from last week and how it went...

1) Keep the house from falling in around us. Check and double check.  My husband even helped out when our landlord was coming by straightening things up for me/us.

2) Go to bed/sleep by 9:30.  4 out of 5 nights, not bad.

3) Let my husband know if I need him to do a few simple tasks.  Write them down for him.  Check.  Texting is a wonderful tool!

4)  Do my devotion every day.  Even if it's a night.  Check.

5)  Laugh and find joy in the everyday...  Check.

Goals for the Week of 7/1/13:

1) Daily Devotion.  Between doing my devotion every day, getting an adequate amount of sleep and the people I had encouraging me, last week was truly a blessing.  I would love to have a repeat of that!

2) Read to the Boys Every Day.  During my non-work season, we can't read enough.  Lately, it's hit or miss.  It's something both my children and I miss.

3)  Make a Moving Game Plan.  We're in the process of buying a house and I keep telling myself that until we have a closing day, I won't believe it's happening.  I'm praying that we'll have a date this week and things will seem real.

4)  Encourage my husband, my children and at least one other person, every day.

5) Enjoy a summer activity with my kids.