Relishing Life

Focusing on the Blessings in My Life

MOVED to RelishingLife.Net March 9, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Relishing Life @ 11:29 pm

I have moved to where I have taken up permanent residence.  Please come visit me in my new home!!

Please excuse the boxes as I am still unpacking and trying to find a home for everything!


Happiness March 7, 2009

Filed under: family,habits,Homemaking,marriage,musing,nature,raising children — Relishing Life @ 12:02 am

What is your definition of happiness?

When you have more than enough money to fulfill your needs?
When your soul mate smiles at you?
When your child tells you that he loves you?
When an friend calls to just to say “hi?”
When your pet cuddles with you?
When you are traveling?
When you curled up with a good book?
When you receive a hand-written letter in the mail?
When the traffic was light on the way to work?
When you nailed the presentation?

There are so many aspects of life which we can base our happiness upon. Yet, it is a choice as to what we allow to affect our moods. We all have things go wrong during our day:

We just can’t get up when the alarm buzzes the first time putting us behind for the ENTIRE DAY…
Traffic was horrid making us irritable…
The boss picks the other guy for the special project…
The kids make a mess and are fussing about everything…
Our spouse had a bad day and all household tasks are left for us to handle…
The cat threw up on the carpet AGAIN…

The list goes on and on. But are these really reasons not to be happy? Yes, they put a damper on that moment, but happiness is a state of mind. One which we have control over. We can choose to let these things bring us down for the rest of the day OR we can focus on the blessings of the situation or other blessings in our life.

Many – okay, most – of my days are rout with minor irritants that dampen my mood:

The kids don’t want to get dressed…
Now, they want to get dressed, but refuse to actually put the cloths on their bodies or let me do so…
The boys are arguing over a toy…
The house is a mess…
The ability to put DH’s dirty cloths in the hamper has eluded him – although our 2 year old and 4 year old do so without prompting…
The cat has thrown up on the carpet AGAIN…
It is five o’clock and I still haven’t even considered what to make for supper…
DH is irritable after a long day of work and traffic…
Did I mention that the cat has thrown up yet again???

But, these things are only minor nuisances. They might cause me a bit of additional work and definitely help me to develop more patience and tolerance, but they aren’t life-threatening although our attitudes can be. So, when something annoys me, I try my best – which quite often is not good enough – to remain calm and focus the blessings:

The kids are learning to assert their independence…
The boys are learning the art of negotiation…
We are blessed with an abundance of earthly things…
The boys love being Mommy’s helper and taking care of Daddy’s cloths for him…
Our purring cats…
McD’s is on DH way home from work (LOL!)…
DH comes home to be with us most every night and enjoys his work…

Happiness is a conglomeration of all of the little blessings in life that we choose to focus on.  As I continue on my journey, I work on my patience and understanding. I try not to become angered by the little ones’ blatant disobedience (most often failing). I try not to impose my expectations on others (DH) unduly. And, each night I pray that God will grant me the patience and skills to be the best mom and wife I can be. It is a blessing to know that I don’t have to be perfect!  With God’s help and my determination to try to choose to be happy as much as I can by recalling my blessings and the small joys that bring me so much pleasure instead of fixating on the nuisances, I am beginning to be a much happier person!  Please remind me of that it is up to me to remember my blessing the next time I start focusing on the negative, okay?


Natural Beauty March 6, 2009

Filed under: nature — Relishing Life @ 1:31 am

The birds are singing me a sweet song.
The sun is kissing my forehead from between the clouds.
The breeze is ruffling my hair.
The squeals of delight from my little ones enjoying their outdoor play is filling my heart with pure joy.
The wind is playing a melody for me as it rushes through the trees.
The squirrel even come up close to bid me good afternoon while he indulges on a lunch of peanut butter and jelly crusts.

Ah, the pleasures and beauty bestowed upon us by the natural world around us!

Join Amy for Finer Things Friday to see what is shining in others people’s worlds.


Date Night at Home March 4, 2009

Filed under: marriage — Relishing Life @ 9:27 pm

The Happy Housewife asked for ideas for date night at home. Seeing as we are living very frugally (although occasionally treat ourselves to a date that includes paying for a sitter (we don’t have any family nearby)), we have been embracing date nights at home for a while now. But, having date nights – at home or otherwise – requires more than just planning something that isn’t part of the normal doldrums. We have to keep in mind why we were “dating” each other. Our top priority in dating one another was reconnecting – sharing something that we both enjoy. The cool thing is that we can do any activity that we wish, including ones that we hate, as long as we have the correct mindset. How? Well, aren’t we marriage because we enjoy (or at least at one point in time did) our spouse? As we spend our special date nights together, we focus on seeing the blessings of each other. The things that we like about the other person. As it is human nature to dwell on the negative, sometimes I have to stop and remind myself of all of the wonderful things that DH is and does. When we are focusing on the positives in each other, our relationship is strengthen and we feel a greater depth of love for one another.

Other people have wonderful date nights that include a special dinner after the kids go to bed, but by the time we get the kids to bed, I am worn out and would rather just skip the date if I am starving and still have to get everything laid out to create the date atmosphere that is enjoyed by other couples. I wish that weren’t the case, but I just don’t have the energy for it. (Okay, and it seems to me to be more work for me – more dishes, more prettying the house up, etc. Yes, I can be very lazy!) But, we do enjoy our date nights at home. Some of the activities for a date night at home that we enjoy are:

  • Playing Guitar Hero together. We both enjoy it, and as we are working as a team for a common pursuit, we have fun cheering each other on. Okay, and the occasional good-humored teasing helps us to relax a bit.
  • Snuggling on the couch together while watching a good movie (one that we already own or that we borrow from the library) or television program. It is nice to just have the physical closeness without thinking about some chore that needs to be completed. We rarely take the time to sit down and watch television of any sort together as by the time the kids are in bed, we are usually trying to unwind in our own ways. So, it is special when we take the time to watch something together.
  • Laying on our bed (fully clothed! – or not) and talking about our true desires and thoughts. As I said in an earlier post, there is just something comforting and intimate that allows us to talk easier while laying on our bed.
  • Playing a board game together. We don’t do this nearly enough, but it is fun when we do.
  • Gazing into a burning fire – either in the fireplace or on the patio in the fire pit. There is something about an open fire on a clear night that brings great peace to us both. We then share our intimate thoughts and dreams within this special cloud of tranquility.

I can’t wait to read what great ideas other people have of incorporating date night into their frugal lifestyles. We will have to try to implement some of them. And, maybe I will even plan far enough ahead that I could cook us a special date night at home dinner with some candles. But, we might just have to settle with a special dessert shared by candlelight.


Recovering February 19, 2009

Filed under: family,raising children — Relishing Life @ 10:27 pm

The little ones have been ill for the past week now. I have been a bit under the weather, but the poor boys have been in hit pretty hard. It turns out that our older son is fighting (with the help of antibiotics) a double ear infection as well as the flu while our younger son is combating the flu alone. This is actually the second round in our house since last Friday which began with the younger one and has come back around again. I feel so sorry for them. The blessing is that everyone seems to be on the up-swing of it all (and they could have been inflected with much worse – a HUGE blessing as that was not the case!) and hopefully not be sharing it again. The second blessing is that our oldest can blow his own nose. Now, I just have to convince Mr. You-Need-to-Do-Everything-For-Me-Unless-I-WANT-to-Do-It that he is quite capable of accomplishing this task on his own as well. LOL! But, it is nice to be needed even if it is to wipe slime off.


The Homeschool Freebie of the Day February 16, 2009

Filed under: education,frugal living — Relishing Life @ 6:01 am

I have been very blessed to have found several different sites that offer free homeschooling resources. (Lori at Freely Educate has been my greatest source of free homeschooling information and referred me to this terrific resource!) One of my favorites is the Homeschool Freebie of the Day. I have it set as my home page so that I don’t miss a single resource!

The Homeschool Freebie of the Day provides a different homeschooling resource to download every week day for free! The resources are only available on the day that they are posted, so stop by every day to download your free resource! And, if you sign up for their weekly reminder, you receive an additional free resource to download every week. This week they are featuring:

Monday, Feb 16th:
Great President’s Day Resource Links! (links)
Want to make the most of President’s Day? Check out these Lesson Plans, virtual tours, poetry & the actual papers of presidents Washington & Lincoln! You have to check out the Highlight’s link as it has 10 ebooks to download free!

Tuesday, Feb 17th:
A Chinese Wonder Book (PDF ebook)
This fascinating collection of Chinese stories and legends, edited by Maggie Hogan of Bright Ideas Press, is a great literature-based introduction to the rich history and culture of China. Includes a read-aloud guide.

Wednesday, Feb 18th:
“Harriet Tubman & the Railway to Freedom” (MP3 audio)
A classic old time radio dramatization of the story of Harriet Tubman and the activities of the “underground railroad” during slave years.

Thursday, Feb 19th:
Blessed Is The Man: High School Unit Study Sampler (PDF ebook)
“Blessed is the Man” is a wonderful High School Unit Study geared to Christian young men, and based on Psalm 1. Thursday’s resource is this extensive 74 page preview of the complete four year curriculum – normally $10 on the publisher’s website – but yours to download today! If you have growing boys in your household, DON’T MISS THIS!

Friday, Feb 20th:
Creatively Simple: How to Make Butter in the Blender (PDF ebook)
Learning to make butter is something everyone should do at least once. This simple ebook by Penny Raine can teach you how, using items you probably already have in your kitchen. Detailed instructions and lots of pictures.

Remember, to go every week day to enjoy the most benefit from this great free homeschooling resource. All of these are free on their respective days at


A Day of Growth February 13, 2009

Filed under: raising children — Relishing Life @ 12:01 am

Growing my resolve that I will not give into the bad behavior of my toddler who keep openly defying me.
Growing patience as I repeatedly put K back in the corner as he refused to “do his time.”
Growing a deeper gratitude for the time and effort that my mom put into my “child training” helping me to be one of those children that parents comment on their good behavior (at least that is how I remember it…).
Growing my repertoire of skills which to use in my child training.
Growing a greater appreciation of my husband’s ability to handle the children’s misbehavior in a manner that gets results without the backtalk. There is something about Daddy that just makes them straighten up.