..........Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com.........

Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Organizing Tips For Bringing In The New Year

It's Saturday, the first Saturday of 2014! Today would be a good day to begin organizing for 2014. Here are some organization suggestions that you can do while watching those football bowl games:

* If you kept your Christmas cards and envelopes, go through your address books or contact lists and update any new addresses. Then you can toss the cards. Or cut them up to make gift tags for next year. Or bundle them together and store in a tin or plastic box where you keep your cards. I don't keep all of mine. But I do keep extra special ones that mean a lot to me. I have several tins. One is just for Christmas cards, one is just for Lovey Dovey cards (like Valentine's Day) and one is for any other special cards. The ones I keep usually have family photos or special messages. I also keep wedding invitations from family members, shower invitations, funeral cards, etc.

* Update a new calendar (whether a paper one on the refrigerator or your digital one) with all the family birthdays, anniversaries and other events you know about that's coming up. You might want to make a reminder list of all the cards and gifts you need to get for the beginning of every month.

* Label your 2014 file folders. It's hard to believe but it's time to store the 2013 folders and make your 2014 file folders. Examples: 2014 American Express, 2014 Electricity, 2014 Water, 2014 Property Taxes, 2014 Car Expenses, etc.

* Sort your 2013 receipts and file them. Make a list of tax deductible items while you sort. Use a spreadsheet or make a pencil list.

* If you haven't by now, why not go online and set up billpay at your bank and start entering bills to pay. Or if you have been meaning to use financial software like Quicken, why not start today. Create your accounts and categories today. Ex: Accounts are like your bank accounts, savings accounts, 401k accounts, investment accounts, mortgage accounts, loan and credit card accounts, etc. Categories are for sorting transactions by categories like Interest, Insurance, Groceries, Gas, Charity, etc.

* If you still use paper checks then now is a good time to sort them and store them along with your bank statements. If you are paperless, at least print out end of year statements from your bank. If possible print all your transactions for the year from your bank. Or save them to a .pdf document.

* Make a household notebook. Whether you use a binder or software, today would be a great day to make that household notebook. It's basically a tickler file for important stuff. You can get free apps to use for all your devices like Springpad or Evernote. You can also use a spreadsheet or word processing software like Excel and Word. Or use Microsoft's Notebook software. I created one 3 years ago in Excel. Each tabbed page is something that I need access to all the time. Here are some of my tabbed pages: Website Passwords & Security (alphabetical listing of websites with the passwords, usernames, security questions, etc), Medical Expenses, Home Mortgage, Utilities, Bank Accounts, Computer (info like serial #'s, warranty information, contact info, utility software info, etc,), Same for cameras, TVs, Bluray players, net streamers, printers, scanners, etc. I even keep my DAR and UDC membership information on tabbed pages. Family SS #'s, vaccination lists, anything that you need or want to keep track of. I'm trying to decide whether to switch to Evernote. It's available on all my devices but it's not as manipulitable (is that a word?) as an Excel spreadsheet. For instance, I can sort my data by date and sum it for quick tabulations in a spreadsheet. For instance I have one tabbed sheet for home repairs and remodeling. As we spend money on the house I document it in this spreadsheet along with a category. That way I can sort by date and see what we've spent each year or sort by category to see what we've spent for painting, windows, etc.

* Make lists today. Decide what you need to spring clean, declutter and clean out. For instance, it's time to clean out the garage and this is the year you are going to do it! Make a list of what you want to do in that garage. Paint the floor? Buy some new shelving? Declutter and have a yard sale? etc. Or maybe this year you plan to empty out your closets and paint them before re-organizing them. Make a list of freeze-able meals so that you can take your grocery list to the market and spend one day making meals that will last for a month. Just make them up, freeze them, pop them out as you need them and heat and serve. Make your lists and be as detailed as you need to be.

I pray this will be a blessed New Year for you all! And may 2014 be a year of organization.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Our New Year's Eve Girl

Our niece, Jenny, and her husband, Kyle, welcomed their third child into the world at 1:21am, 12/31/2013. Little Brooke Ann was 8 lbs 2 oz, 20 inches long with a head full of blonde hair. Mama and baby did wonderful during the birth and they are already home. Their two older sons, Brett and Ryan, are gleefully welcoming her. Little Ryan doesn't know what to do with her. He pokes her and laughs. We got to facetime with Jenny yesterday and see the baby. Meanwhile Ryan was imping around in the background. He's going to be 2 on his next birthday so this is all new to him. Brett is going to be 5 and it's old hat to him.

What a blessing to bring the new year in on. God is good!!!!!!

Ronnie's Biscuits

Ronnie's Biscuits

2 cups self rising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup of oil or shortening

Put flour and oil (or shortening) in bowl and mix. Slowly add milk until it gets to dough consistency. You don't want a wet dough. Don't overwork the dough. Sprinkle flour on clean countertop and place dough. Sprinkle more flour on top of dough and roll out. Cut into biscuit and place on greased cookie sheet. Place in oven and bake on 350 for about 12 mins. Then keep a watch out until they are done. Take out and immediately remove from hot cookie sheet so that they don't continue cooking.

Ronnie's No-Fail Cornbread

Ronnie's Cornbread

2 cups self-rising cornmeal
1 egg
1/4 cup oil
1 cup milk

Mix all ingredients, pur into a greased iron frying pan and bake on 375 for 30 mins. Check to see if it's browning on top. Once it's browning, it's done.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Praise and Worship

Praise and Worship

Before I start, let me preface this by saying that these are photos I found on the Internet. I don't know any of these people personally and cannot judge the condition of their hearts. I was merely looking for visual aids, a visual picture of what I'm talking about. I tried to be careful not to show anyone's face.

What is real praise and worship? When we go to church se say we are attending the "worship service". But what does it mean?
If we think it means pulling out the hymnal, looking up the page number and following the "worship" leader by singing, then sitting back down and listening to a soloist and finally repeating some prayers that are written in the prayer book we may be missing the whole point!

If we think it means having a professional, slick, entertaining, sound-board, light-show musical entertainment we are missing the point!

All the matching outfits, Barbie doll clothes, Ken doll hair cuts, well modulated harmonies, dentist smiles, professional musicians make up an entertainment band and not the praise and worship that God wants. The singing may be professional and beautiful but it's about as meaningful as dry dust. Those smiles they shine when they turn and look at each other and then up to the ceiling are about as real as billboard signs. The pretty faces and makeup, the hairdos and fancy, sequin clothes are about as deep as paint on a barn. It's entertainment. They aren't leading you to worship God, they are leading you to pay them some attention and think they are great! It's about pride and self. They are only too happy to present their talent and their pretty faces and their canned "testimonies" in order to get their egos stroked. They want to be stars!

I sound harsh don't I? I'm so tired of fake, canned entertainment full of self and pride. My heart hungers for true worship, true praise, true communion with God. I like going to my local church where I know those people around me. Of course, I can't know their deepest heart and what goes on day to day but I know them as much as a community can know each other. I know if they are up on that stage because they really want to lead others towards God or they want their egos stroked by the clapping, whooping audience. I like to close my eyes and get alone with God. The best way to do that is for the Praise and Worship leaders to lead us (point the way, show us the way, go there first) to God and that place where we commune with Him. I may be in a congregation full of people but, for that time, I'm alone with God in my heart. Then I worship and praise Him with everything that I have, spontaneously. It may be that I fall on my knees or on my face, or shout with praise, jump up and down, wave my hands, tears falling down my face or laughter, dancing, rejoicing...whatever! It's just me and God! The Praise and Worship leaders lead us to that place and provide the evironment of music and song lyrics. But mostly by their own example, they show us how to worship freely and deeply.

If all they do is lead the choir and tell us which hymn to turn to, they are just musical artists and not true Praise and Worship leaders. Of course, we must always know they are human beings just like us. They have their sins, their faults, their bad days. And musical people can have an artistic temperament that God has to work on. Just like us, they aren't perfected yet and God has to draw out pride, pettiness, temperamental moodiness just like He has to draw out our sins and work us through to the other side. If you are stuck with worship leaders like that, it's up to you to take yourself to that place of communion with God despite the worship leaders.

Psalm 69: 30
I will praise the name of God with a song, And will magnify Him with thanksgiving.

Psalm 95: 1-2
Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.

Colossian 4: 2
Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving;

Psalm 9: 1-2
I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works.
I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.

Psalm 33: 1-3
Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous! For praise from the upright is beautiful.
Praise the Lord with the harp; Make melody to Him with an instrument of ten strings.
Sing to Him a new song; Play skillfully with a shout of joy.

Psalm 40: 3
He has put a new song in my mouth-Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, And will trust in the Lord.

Psalm 98: 4-6
Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth; Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises.Sing to the Lord with the harp, With the harp and the sound of a psalm,
With trumpets and the sound of a horn; Shout joyfully before the Lord, the King.

Psalm 111: 1
Praise the Lord! I will praise the Lord with my whole heart, In the assembly of the upright and in the congregation.

Psalm 150 :3-6
Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; Praise Him with the lute and harp!
Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes!
Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with clashing cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!

Hebrews 13: 15
Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.

Nehemiah 8: 6
And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. Then all the people answered, "Amen, Amen!" while lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.

Psalm 95: 6
Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.

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