Tuesday, April 28, 2009

20 Years of Wisdom

I just recently began reading Raising Unselfish Children in a Self-Absorbed World by Jill Rigby.

Mercy, I'm only 30 pages in and to quote the famous Voddie Baucham, "If you can't say Amen, you'd better say Ouch," Yes, sir. The ouch is her steppin' all OVER my toes and gettin' all UP in my bin'ness.

Chapter 2 is titled Enough is Never Enough which basically highlights how we, as Americans, want what we want when we want it.... Not because it needs replacing, but because we want it. This tied in nicely as I explained the concept of 'Wants and Needs' to my son's 2nd grade class as I taught Junior Achievement last Friday. You should have seen the blank stares...I'm not sure those kiddos really know what it is like to want for anything. Not blaming them, just stating a fact. Why did it take an economic recession for all of us to final accept that the concept that we can do without?

Let's just say this isn't going to be one of those quick-fix parenting books. Nope. This type of book requires that I reassess my goal of parenting and then move forward. Dern. Why limit it to a parenting book? It seems the first person who gets to change is me. I knew I should have stuck with reading brainless Chick Lit.

I'd love to let you in on what I'm learning from this little treasure, but unfortunately, you'll only learn from your own toes getting stepped on. I have a feeling it'll be worth it.

But I will leave you with her 'Twenty Years of Wisdom' list. Find your season and see if it doesn't ring true. I have to say it did for me.

Twenty Years of Wisdom

1st year- I won't die from sleep deprivation.

2nd year- Tomorrow will be a better day.

3rd year- I can run faster than my child.

4th year- When I say 'No', only once with conviction, I win every time.

5th year- God gave children to parents, not parents to children.

6th year- Mom and Dad, not the children, set the rules.

7th year- If I listen with my eyes, my children will listen to me.

8th year- I really do need help in the kitchen with every meal.

9th year- I'm not perfect, so I cannot possibly raise a perfect child.

10th year- My children will handle stress the way that I do.

11th year- My children mimic what I do, not what I say.

12th year- Boundaries keep pests out and children in.

13th year- I encourage the best, praise the accomplishment, and forgive the mistakes.

14th year- My children will gain wisdom from their failures.

15th year- I am a capable, intelligent human being, no matter what my children think.

16th year- Maybe it is time for a cell-phone.

17th year- I won't die from sleep deprivation during this stage either.

18th year- I cannot expect more of my almost-adult than I do of myself.

19th year- I have to listen more, preach less.

20th year- It's time to let go with confident hope (and lots of prayer).

Here's to continuing to learn and making changes a long the way.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Building Up, Not Tearing Down


How can something so small have such power?

Poorly chosen words can squelch enthusiasm, impact self-esteem, lower expectations and hold people back. Well chosen ones can motivate, offer hope, create vision, impact thinking and alter the way a person lives. And sometimes, words possess the ability to make someone's day or to completely ruin it.

A few Sundays back, we were heading home from church and '20 The Countdown Magazine' was on the radio. Some of the commentary is a bit cheeseball, but often they give the background of why bands choose their names. As unique as some artists' names are, that is a giant help. That particular day, Building 429 was featured and they revealed the inspiration for their name.

'429' is from Ephesians 4:29 which says "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."

Ephesians 4:29 is huge in our home. When you have kiddos, they aren't always so nice to their siblings or even other friends. Heck, why even limited it to kids...couldn't everyone benefit from this gem? How many times have you carelessly said something that you wish you could take back? It's just like toothpaste....you can't stuff it back in the tube. How 'bout that? I did listen to the children's sermons growing up.

Stick with me....here's the cool part. After the band revealed how their name came to be, they also shared a way to put this verse into practice. When someone utters words that are less than kind, they are called out with a '429' violation for tearing that person down. They then have to say something to build that person back up. Love it! It's being put into practice at the Mounce home as we speak. Young and old alike. That sarcasm thing is a tough one to manage, isn't it?

Building 429 is just one example of artists desiring to use their God-given talents to further the Kingdom. They know people aren't just looking for a catchy song....they are looking for life. And life can only come out of an overflow of your relationship with Christ. Building 429's newest song, "Always" tells of God's faithfulness, even when all hope seems gone and you feel like you are living out a situation that is beyond what you can bear. The story behind the song is shared here.

Building each other up, not tearing down. Who couldn't use a little help in that area today?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Public Service Announcement

We interrupt this perfectly wonderful Monday to inform you that bathing suit season is less than a month away.

Apparently my neighborhood association believes May 16th is the new Memorial Day and they thought it'd be a blessing to open the pools 2 weeks early.


No more excuses.

Have two legs? Get to walkin'.

No weights or equipment to speak of? Pushups, walking lunges, situps and jumping jacks are just dandy. Yes, even girl-pushups work wonders.

Not a self-starter? The library has numerous dvds to check out and Netflix or Blockbuster are happy to oblige as well.

I've still got a bee in my bonnet about the Chalene Extreme Workout System (read below). What is it about informericals? Bane of my existence. I've held out 4 months. Snaps for me!

Did I mention self tanner hides a multitude of sins? My personal fave is L'Oreal Sublime. Remember, exfoliation is the key to even tanning, ladies.

30 days and counting. Step away from the Easter Candy and get moving'. Today can be that day!

Today is THAT Day (originally posted 1/09)

Does the site of Target unveiling their 2009 bathing suit collection make you break out into a cold sweat?

Have your comfy jeans become your favorites?

It's time, girls. It's time to get movin'.

I am not sure I have revealed one of my biggest weaknesses besides Salt Grass Steakhouse's Two Fork Cheesecake... Fitness Equipment Informercials

I know! How ridiculous, right? And this isn't a new thing, people! I fell prey to The Firm back in the day when they bragged of the Fanny Lifter...which was a 14" particle board step. That was back in '95 and I couldn't walk down the stairs for a week. But that same company is still around today minus the leotards, leg warmers and Janet Jones-Gretsky. Side ponytails, rule! And I STILL get sucked in anytime their infomericals are on TV. They are marketing this wacky thing called The Wave. Luckily, I have my eye on another one at this time and am hip to their schemes.

My lastest infomercial obsession features one of my favorite instructors, Charlene Johnson. You best know her for her leading actress role in Turbo Jam, but her latest is Chalene Extreme. Now, let's just ignore the fact the program is $120 plus shipping AND let's also put aside the fact that if you order anything from Beach Body.com, they'll keep sending you stuff and charging you for it even after you don't want it or need it (luckily, I know this not from experience, but reading reviews). There is just a part of me that believes I can have arms and abs like those actors in those informercials.

And I CAN...if I do the work.

You see, last February I teamed up with the bestest workout partner and lost 25 lbs. Was it easy? HECK NO! Did I sweat a lot! YOU BETCHA! I never knew I could sweat so much, but mountain climbers and squat thrusts demand everything you have and then some. No gimmicks, no pills, no pre-packaged food. Just cardio, resistance training, and eating more real food and less out of a box. And the kicker....it is an every day kinda committment or it doesn't last.

A saying often spoken in our house around snacktime is "Choose something that grows on a tree or out of the ground". Works for them, works for me. And by the way....all those companies that say their program will produce rock hard abs. Bogus. All the ab work in the world won't deliver those abs. You have to change your diet and remove that layer of fat. You should have seen the Body Worlds exhibit. All the displays looked like amazing athletes when in fact, many were obese when alive.

What program did we follow? A combination of 3: Body for Life, Jillian Michael's Winning By Losing and Gunner Peterson's The Workout. All three have set workouts in their books and all three can be checked out from your local library. Jillian Michaels is my FAVE because she does interval training: upper body, lower body and then cardio. And her program gave me results. Proof. I dig that about her program.
If the idea of working out seems boring or overwhelming, I totally understand. But hear me... you need to move in some way each day. Walking is great! Start there, but please consider resistance training. As women, we are losing bone mass daily and the way to combat that is resistance training. You can use weights, resistance bands or your natural body weight. Pushups and triceps dips are some of the BEST exercises because they work so many muscles. Pilates and Yoga count too! There are hundreds of videos on YouTube that you can watch for FREE. There are also DVDs at the library you can check out. Netflix has an amazing selection as well. 30 Day Shred is my FAVE from Netflix. I checked it out, wrote down the exercises and still do it today. This one is a time-saver as she combines lower body exercises with upper body (shoulder presses with lunges). And finally, Women's Health Magazine offers an amazing email newsletter than includes most of the workouts they feature in their magazine. They are killer!

Today is the day. It's a Monday. Get movin'.

originally posted January '09

Friday, April 17, 2009

Keeping Current

I love mail.

Don't lie. You know it brings a slight elevation in your heart rate when you see a letter with a real stamp instead of the usual solicitations and Dominoes Pizza coupons.

I also really enjoy catalogs that come in the mail. Sure, some are from previous owners and have no relevance to me but it's always fun just to flip through them to make sure there isn't something out there that just has to be had. It's a shame to miss a blessing.

One catalog that has been around for almost my entire life is Current. Current Catalog prides itself on celebrating life's special moments. Snaps for a marketing slogan that pulls at the heart strings. They are best known for wrapping paper and greeting cards, but over the years they have expanded their inventory to include bunches of unique, and some times quirky items.

I don't think I realized how much I was dating myself to still order from this catalog until I received blank stares one day when mentioning Current. It's not that MeMaw y'all. I like to describe it as multi-generational. Layin' it on thick today, girls.

But seriously, when I dog-eared 8 pages, I knew it was time to share the love.

Your welcome.

Need help watering your household plants? Aqua Globes are the answer! And who doesn't need some darn cute gift bags on hand for last minute giving?

Lights out and somebody's still home? This Sylvania Power Failure Light will have you prepared for future hurricane seasons. And while you're at it, why not purchase a Color-Changing Patio Umbrella Light. You know this is on my list with my new-to-me patio furniture from Craigslist.

Kids' Birthday parties in the future? I'm sure a Flingshot would be a hit...with the kids at least.

Their Spring Event Catalog has 80 pages of must-have items....some up to 75% off!

You know you're a teansy bit curious about what you've been missin'. And perhaps you do have a weakness for Greeting Card Value Packs....it'll be our little secret. Promise.

Someone would love a real stamp in their mail today, too.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

No Water Required

The front door of a home is the first opportunity to make a statement.

My oh-so-talented friend, Jennifer Doremus of Silk Accents, has an extraordinary gift of choosing just the right florals and greenery to create a unique arrangement to compliment your style and taste. My favorite aspect of her design? The containers she chooses. Take a look below and see if you agree.

Don't you just love them? Her arrangements will truly set you apart in your neighborhood. If only they gave awards for door design in addition to Yard of The Month, right?

She also specializes in interior arrangements. I don't think I've ever seen her create the same combination of container and florals twice.

Can I hear a huge Amen for not having to keep these beauties alive? I'm not so gifted in the live plant area.

This is just a smattering of her collection. She also creates custom arrangements to compliment your colors and home decorating style.

Jennifer will be at the Longwood Gift Market on Thursday April 23rd from 9-6. Your missin' a blessing if you don't drop by and see all she has created for Spring.

Silk Accents
Jennifer Doremus

Monday, April 6, 2009

More Beautiful You

I have said before I'm a music gal.

It motivates me, makes me think and often can turn a not-so-great-day totally around. It also is the way God chooses to speak to me the loudest...when He really wants to get my attention.

Several years back, Stephen Curtis Chapman wrote Fingerprints of God, and it touched the hearts of many a gal who in some way felt inadequate, no matter what her age. It was a song born out of the emotions of his daughter, Emily, and her desire to look like somebody else. My favorite part? "Your a masterpiece that all creation quietly applauds, and you're covered with the fingerprints of God." Do you know how many times I sang that while rocking two little men in my house that will soon be 9 and 7? I could just bawl my eyes out right here.

Jonny Diaz, a new Contemporary Christian Artist, has a new release titled More Beautiful You that no only is wonderful lyrically but musically unique in its own rite.

It's brand spankin' new, not available in stores, but the single can purchased on iTunes. The video clip below is a rough version that he sang on a radio morning show. The lyrics below are also below as the audio ain't the best, but it was the best we got.

Let them really sink in. God created each of us just the way we are...so there could never be a more beautiful you.

Little girl fourteen flipping through a magazine
Says she wants to look that way
But her hair isn’t straight her body isn’t fake
And she’s always felt overweight

Well little girl fourteen I wish that you could see
That beauty is within your heart
And you were made with such care your skin your body and your hair
Are perfect just the way they are

There could never be a more beautiful you
Don’t buy the lies disguises and hoops they make you jump through
You were made to fill a purpose that only you could do
So there could never be a more beautiful you

Little girl twenty-one the things that you’ve already done
Anything to get ahead
And you say you’ve got a man but he’s got another plan
Only wants what you will do instead

Well little girl twenty-one you never thought that this would come
You starve yourself to play the part
But I can promise you there’s a man whose love is true
And he’ll treat you like the jewel you are

So turn around you’re not too far
To back away be who you are
To change your path go another way
It’s not too late you can be saved
If you feel depressed with past regrets
The shameful nights hope to forget
Can disappear they can all be washed away
By the one who’s strong can right your wrongs
Can rid your fears dry all your tears
And change the way you look at this big world
He will take your dark distorted view
And with His light He will show you truth
And again you’ll see through the eyes of a little girl

Pray for Baby Witt

You might have noticed the 'Pray for Witt' square on the sidebar of my blog. Witt is the precious 5-month-old grandson of a sweet friend of mine.

As a family, they have been through quite a journey that only God knew in advance. They have never stopped trusting Him, seeking Him, following Him, praising Him. If you haven't read their story, I encourage you to visit Witt's blog. You will never be the same.

They received some discouraging news today and they are in need of your prayers. Please read the newest update here.

Please join me in praying for strength for the family, wisdom for the doctors and healing for sweet Witt.

Friday, April 3, 2009

It Doesn't Grow on Trees

Saving money is making me lose my mind.

I pride myself on keeping up with a lot of information on various topics. I can remember insane amounts of minute details and sometimes, absolutely useless information. I know, I'm a freak of nature...it goes beyond my ability to smell freakyness from miles away.

But this saving money thing just flat makes my brain hurt.

There are 5 bazillion blogs out there trying to help families tighten their belts in a joyful way. I SO dig that about them! Isn't that just like women? And I want to get on board, I really do. But dern if I can't even figure out how to begin, without getting in a pit about how much money I've wasted by NOT doing all the things they are telling me to do. Then I end up in my pantry eating 100-calorie packs of chocolate, in the dark, to cope. Um, did I just say that outloud?

So, in an effort to share the money-saving' love, I'll pass along the information that has caused me to have a funny twitch. I feel some dessert therapy coming on again.....and it's only 9:45 am. But it's Friday..so anything goes! That's how we roll in the Mounce household. Sugar cereal for breakfast? Sure! It's Friday. See, fun Laurie 2009 is making an appearance every once in awhile.

Coupon Cravings

Deal Catcher

Dealicious Mom

Free Birthday Treats

The Free Shipping Blog: has had a Go Frugal blog-carnival all week.

Gotta Deal

Money Saving Methods:This is a step-by-step guide to get started. Music to my Type-A ears!

Money Saving Mom

Price Drop Alerts: The monitor prices, they drop, you save!

Slick Deals

and finally...Heather, over at Sit A Spell, covered a lot of ground in one post.

It's a lot of information, I know. But just pick and choose what you want to try and save the rest for later or ditch it. Every little bit helps and baby steps will keep you out of therapy.....or the pantry, in my case.