Reflections On The Past Year And Hopes For the New!

This post may contain Affiliate Links. Thank you for your support!

Reflections on the past year and hopes for the new year!

I could sugar coat this post and tell you the year has been fantastic. I could tell you that I have an amazing family with perfectly behaved children, a house that is always clean and a homeschool schedule that works for us. I might even say I’m ending this year perfectly content and happy.

But that would be far from the truth. It’s been a really rough year for me personally. I’m not sure if I should say it’s been a hard year for our whole family, but I know I’ve struggled a lot and so has my husband. I read the post from Raising Arrows on her hopes for the new year, and could relate to so many things she said.

So here goes. A look at the old year and what I hope to change for this coming year.

I should start by saying I’ve picked my one word for 2016. I have chosen the word Focus for the coming year.  If you are not familiar with the one word concept, you basically pick a work you’d like to build your entire year around.

This year I need to focus on one thing at a time, instead of trying to do 50 thousand things in one day. I’m picking different days to focus on certain things. 3 days of the week I will focus on business (I’ll listen to business podcasts, take training courses, work on creating new products, etc). 2 days of the week will be devoted to my home.

My Walk With God

This has not been a good year for spending quiet time with God. How can I stay a peaceful, rested wife and mother if I’m not constantly at the feet of my Maker? I started doing my first ever Good Morning Girls Challenge, and we are going through the book of Job! I bought the study guide book to use, and it’s so cheery and inviting.

Good Morning Girls Book of Job

Marriage

The first year of having a baby is always rough on our marriage. I’m so distracted with trying to keep up on nursing the baby, and exhausted from being up in the middle of the night with the baby that it leaves little time or energy for nurturing my marriage the way I would like to. This year has been particularly difficult because we were given a very fussy, needy baby in March and it’s only been the last few weeks that I’m starting to see light at the end of the tunnel. If I am in the room, she screams non stop until I hold her.

All.Day.Long.

And did I mention that she’s up at least 3-4 times a night?

Every. Single. Night.

It’s been draining, mentally and physically and has definitely led to me being an irritated and grumpy wife at times.

Juggling businesses, homeschooling, Sean being the Pastor at our church, six children, and living in a small rental house is a lot for us to keep up with. We are now house hunting, which is another (hopeful) adventure!

I’m going to work on having better communication with Sean, and plan on reading more marriage books this year. Whenever I read something on marriage I get super recharged to be a romantic, incredibly wonderful wife. 🙂

Mothering

I have a 12 year old. Where did the last 12 years go? It’s going so fast and my goal this year is to soak up more time with my children. They constantly ask me to play a game with them and more often then not my answer is “not now.” I’m hoping to turn this the year into saying Yes! Within reason of course. 🙂

We also have several areas of child training to focus hard on this year, more specifically character traits, like humility, preferring one another…the kind of traits that adults need to work on as well!

Sean and I have been talking about the consequence chart we use with our Character Badges system and have come up with some more consistent punishments that should be good to use. We decided a long time ago that being consistent is far better then being harsh, and that if stricter correction needs to take place it will be above and beyond the consequence chart. This will help things be, well, consistent! 🙂

Character Badges is a creative child training program

 

Homeschool

The children are not excited to dive back into school after our Christmas break, but I’m hoping that getting back into Tapestry of Grace will excite them more than the math lessons! They love read aloud time, and we are working on making our morning time happen every single morning. Right now our morning time consists of:

Prayer – Every child rotates getting a day to pray for devotions and meal time.

Devotions – We read a Bible Story book together

Literature – We just got done with the last Little House book. We are going to start a fun book like Mr. Poppers Penguins for a change!.

History – This is the time we do our Tapestry of Grace together, and I read the main history book that fits all the ages.

I’d like to include hymn singing (we used to do this every morning but got out of the habit), Scripture memorization, poetry, classical music appreciation, and art appreciation in this time, just using a loop schedule.

Homemaking

I was convicted of something recently. I spend money on business courses, take the time to go through them, read business books, but I haven’t spent much time in the last few years really diving in deep on any homemaking training.

Is there such a thing? Sure there is! It might be books, courses, asking an older woman to mentor you, or simply making a homemaking schedule and sticking with it.

After thinking about getting this course for a year now, I finally just did it during a sale. The Simplified Organization course looks amazing, and after listening to the first module I’m really glad I got it. It’s like she is talking to me personally! I didn’t realize that I should have gotten Work the Plan first, so I’ll probably go through that as well.
Learn to love what must be done

I’m convinced that homemaking is one of those things you are either a natural at or it feels incredibly overwhelming to do. It really doesn’t matter where you fall in that category though, it must be done. I work best when the children are asleep, just because I can think through how I’m going to clean the room. Yes, it requires a lot of brain power to get in and clean a room. I’m not sure why, maybe because we live in a small house and I’m constantly asking myself where I should put something or if I could just get rid of it?

Health

I went grocery shopping last night and didn’t buy one single thing that was bad. Hurray! Now if I can follow through with that the rest of the year. 😉 I love chocolate, and it loves me! I didn’t stress about trying to lose weight last year as I have learned my baby weight doesn’t come off easily (or at all) when I’m nursing. I am going to get back to exercising though, as I feel horribly weak and flabby.

My goals this year with health are to simply eat less sugar, eat more vegetables and fruit, and take all the Plexus products and see my health be strengthened by all the above. 🙂

My Short List

If you want just a very short, specific list of my goals, here they are!

Buy a house and move in 2016 (Yippee! Thankfully this is a goal our whole family has and not just me!)

Go through the Homemaking Course

Be extremely consistent in the consequences that come with Character Badges

Stay focused on the important things in homeschooling, and to keep the lessons in mind that I learned from Homeschool Made Simple DVD’s.

Eat healthy (less sugar!), exercise and take Plexus for energy and health.

I would love to hear what your goals for the year are! If you still need to write out your goals, don’t forget about our free goal planning journal

 

 

 

 

 

My Plexus Review ~ An Honest Look!

This post may contain Affiliate Links. Thank you for your support!

An honest look at Plexus and how it is helping me!

If you had told me I’d be writing a post telling you all how much I love Plexus six months ago, I would have laughed in your face.

Seriously.

I’m very, very careful and skeptical about what health products I take. I love natural products and always reach for them first, but I also don’t believe all the claims out there. The only reason I even looked into Plexus is because I first heard about it from Shoshanna, the owner of The Bulk Herb Store who I really respect when it comes to herbs. I couldn’t believe that she was raving about these products, but I was still skeptical.

Plexus is a company that advertises the famous Slim, (the pink drink) as well as other products and when you first look at the company you think it’s all about weight loss. It’s actually so much more than that. One reason you can have trouble losing weight is if your blood sugar is not balanced. Plexus offers products that can help balance your blood sugar, which then might lead to weight loss. I don’t take these products for weight loss, but for the health benefit of them.

I won’t complain if I happen to lose some baby weight though (I normally don’t lose my baby weight until I’m done breastfeeding, so I’m not expecting it to happen).

I briefly tried Plexus when I was pregnant, but I couldn’t tell any difference and stopped taking them. Honestly, nothing could have made me feel better during my last pregnancy, it was just a very difficult time and it wasn’t the best time to start new products.

After my sister told me that she had been trying Plexus (I about fell over on that one, if you think I’m skeptical you haven’t met my sister!), I decided to give it one last try. Thinking I was wasting my money, I ordered the Tri-Plex which contains the Slim drink, ProBio-5 and the Bio Cleanse.

After being on them 3 months now, I can tell a big difference in how I feel and plan on staying on these products! Even though I am up in the middle of the night nursing, I sleep much better in-between getting up to nurse, I have more energy, my blood sugar is staying balanced better, and some tummy problems are being helped tremendously. My naturally minded MD has even said these are good quality supplements, so I feel super knowing he approves!

I’ll share with you what my favorite products are.

The Slim Drink

Plexus slim can help lose weight, maintain healthy blood sugar levels and help you not be tired!

Known as the famous “pink drink,” this super yummy tasting drink contains no artificial flavors or sweeteners. Among other things, it contains Chromium which is really good for your blood sugar, and is sweetened with Stevia and gets its pink color from beets!

Plexus Slim - an honest review on what I think about Plexus and how it has helped me!

Blood sugar plays a crucial part in how we feel. It can dip high and low causing us to be tired, become irritable, shaky and crave food. I’ve had low blood sugar issues for years now. I took the Slim for 2 months and I could tell it had helped my blood sugar a little bit, but I wasn’t sure if it was dramatic or not. I decided to get off of it and see, and after being off it a week I had a horrible blood sugar crash. I was crying, shaking, and had to go to bed for the afternoon.  I ordered another 30 day supply that night to get back on it. 🙂

The Slim may help you:

  • With safe and effective weight control
  • Maintain healthy blood sugars
  • Maintain healthy blood pressure
  • Maintain healthy cholesterol and lipid levels

BioCleanse 

Bio Cleanse is a blend of Magnesium/ Bioflavonoid Complex.

No, this is not one of those harsh cleansing products that makes you fall into your bed feeling yucky. This is a blend of Magnesium/ Bioflavonoid Complex that might help with the following:

  • Oxygenates the entire body
  • Helps cleanse the gastro-intestinal tract
  • Helps energize the body
  • Supports collagen production
  • Relieves occasional constipation

I’ve found that if I take this at night before I go to bed, I sleep SO much better! Everyone is different, and others take it in the morning because it energizes them, so you just have to test it and see what you think. Since I’ve struggled with adrenal fatigue for years, one of the supplements always recommended is a good vitamin C. I’m thrilled this is in there.

ProBio 5

ProBio 5 is the best probiotic I've found!

I’ve taken several very good probiotics before, but I’ve never taken one where I received such dramatic results. Having had six babies (here is where we get a bit personal!) I knew my gut needed help with constipation and I’ve always known that creating a healthy gut is essential to your health. Within 2 weeks I had amazing results taking this Probiotic, and when I added the BioCleanse it just got even better. These are two products I plan on always taking, and the prices are very comparable, if not cheaper than other good quality probiotics.

XFactor

XFactor is a multivitamin that Plexus offers, and it works great for people who have the MRHFR mutation!

While this sounds like a television series, it’s actually the multivitamin they offer! 🙂 I’ve never mentioned this on here before, but I found out this year that I have MTHFR (a gene mutation) and I can’t take regular multi-vitamins because I need a special kind of folic acid. I was thrilled that just last month Plexus changed the formula to make this safe for me to take!

What makes this different than other multivitamins is the never-before-seen formulation of a patented aloe blend and New Zealand Blackcurrant. This results in vastly improved absorption and assimilation for optimal nutrition.

MegaX

MegaX Omega Vitamin

Mega X is 100% plant based vitamin and has the complete omega’s in it. Plexus MegaX was created using AHIFLOWER® Oil, which contains the omega 3 stearidonic acid (SDA) which your body converts to EPA (the omega-3 fatty acid found in fish oil) at a rate of up to 4 times more efficiently than other plant-based oils which contain no SDA, such as flaxseed.

I just started taking this product so I can’t comment on it much, besides the fact that I’ve known I needed to be on a good Omega vitamin for awhile now. I like that you don’t get a fishy aftertaste!

After all that info, you might be wondering how to get these products to try for yourself! There are actually three options available.

Retail Customer – make a 1 time purchase and get a 60 day money back guarantee. You don’t have to return any products. You just call the company and tell them you don’t like it and they give you your money back.

Preferred Customer – You get a discount on the price and are signed up for a monthly autoship. Most products come in 1 month supply so you don’t have to think about reordering, and you get a discounted price. You still get the 60 day money back guarantee. There are no contracts. You can just order 1 month and cancel the autoship if needed.

Sign up for a wholesale ambassador account (I signed up for the wholesale account because that’s just how I shop with a large family!).  For $34.99 a year you get your products at a wholesale price, and even share your link with friends and earn money if they decide to purchase!  You don’t get the 60 day money back guarantee when you go this route because you are not only buying the products at a wholesale price, you are buying into a business if you want it. Some people only do this to get their products cheaper. Others want to share about it after they see how well it has helped them.

Shop Plexus Here

Please know, I’m not a doctor. I don’t intend to diagnose, cure, treat, or claim this will work for you. I’m just sharing what has helped me because I know so many of you have wanted an update on my health and what supplements I’m taking.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

This post may contain Affiliate Links. Thank you for your support!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from the Allen Family! We have so many things to be grateful for this year, and all of you are on our list! I’m humbled to have such fantastic blog readers who continue to come to my little space online. It’s exciting to me that a group of women can encourage each other online, and I truly do receive encouragement from you!

I’m off to go spend the day with family. My children always put together a Thanksgiving play for us and I’m looking forward to seeing what they have come up! I’ll leave you with a few favorite quotes on Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action. ~W.J. Cameron

He who thanks but with the lips
Thanks but in part;
The full, the true Thanksgiving
Comes from the heart.
~J.A. Shedd

Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds. ~Theodore Roosevelt

Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving. ~W.T. Purkiser

Taking A Break From Thanksgiving

This post may contain Affiliate Links. Thank you for your support!

Taking a break from Thanksgiving

This year I made a choice. It was not made out of self pity or despair. Rather it was just made from taking an honest look at my life and knowing what I am capable of.

I’m not doing Thanksgiving this year.

Huh?

It sounds bad to actually come out and say it, but I can’t tell you the relief I’ve felt over this decision.

Let me clarify what I mean though.

Normally we spend November reading books on pilgrims and the mayflower, I attempt a craft I found on Pinterest (I’m so not crafty) and we might make a fun treat together. Sean has read the same book on Pilgrims out loud to the children for over 5 years now. We have used this fantastic study on Thanksgiving hymns before. It takes a lot of work for me to pull everything together, and I attempt to add all this additional learning on top of our regular school.

Count Your Blessings Ebook

This year I knew I couldn’t keep up. Instead of it being a joyful time together as a family, it would be a huge stress. I would not be giving thanks, instead I would be counting down the days until November was over.

I made this decision based on our season of life. We have an adorable seven month old little girl that is taking all of our energy. I’m trying to stay on top of the math facts and the girls that are learning to read. The laundry often takes over the living room space, and the baskets waiting to be folded just beat me down to discouragement. We are launching Character Badges, and I’m trying to be present in that business for my husband, as well as keeping up with this blog and Deborah & Co.

Life is busy. Life is good.

This year I’m going to help cook our Thanksgiving dinner that we spend with family, and rest knowing that my children have already been trained in the history of Thanksgiving. I’m going to enjoy the times of going around the table sharing what we are thankful about, knowing that I have many things I can share. I will enjoy attending the Thanksgiving dinner at our church.

The one thing I will do is check out some books from the library on Thanksgiving and leave them out for the children to read if they wish. I won’t win any supermom awards because of that, but I’m totally ok with it. 🙂

My husband already came to me and said we are going to sit down with a calendar soon and plan December out. He loves the family time that December brings, we enjoy caroling and family drives looking at lights, music concerts, etc. We are going to put it all down on the calendar and enjoy the business of December as we celebrate the birth of our savior.

When it comes down to it? I’m most grateful for the gift of Salvation. Without a baby being born in a manger many years ago, I would not be where I am. I’m looking forward to spending the month of December celebrating what eternally matters.

And next year? I’m hoping to enjoy all things Pilgrim.

(Please note, I have nothing against Thanksgiving, I love the holiday and think it can be an amazing month of giving thanks.) 🙂