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Monday, February 14, 2011


I often struggle with Valentines day because I want everything to be perfect. Over the years, when people fail to meet my soaring expectations, I get disappointed and frustrated... even angry. This year, I still struggled, but I decided to try to focus on making this day special for others instead of worrying about it being special for me.

Yesterday, my sisters and I made chocolate covered strawberries. Besides the beautiful result (yummy gifts for friends and family), we had lots of fun making them. I wish I had taken pictures. Then today, we went to the homeschool valentines skating party... a Stablein/Tinsley tradition. Okay, so I'm not officially homeschooling yet, but we have connections. ;-) Everyone in my family came to the party except for Russell and my dad. Hooray for flexible schedules! David had so much fun skating, playing skeeball, getting and giving valentines, and eating snacks. I posted photos on Facebook, so be sure to check them out there.

In preparation for the party, we decorated a shoebox with lots of Spiderman stickers (David's favorite superhero). Today, David gave each of my sisters, my mom, and Felicia a rose and a box of candy. My mom got me a gorgeous rose and Mike got me some beautiful roses and candy and made me a really sweet card. After going to Zumba with Shannon, I made a yummy dinner and used my nice china and turned the TV off while we ate.

All in all, it turned out to be a really nice day. Turns out that you can create your own happiness instead of expecting to get it from others. (Imagine that!) =) Taking the time and finding ways to bless others is often the best way to find peace and happiness. I love my family SO much. My mom was so encouraging to me today and I'm so glad to have so many wonderful people in my life who love me! I couldn't ask for more wonderful children, husband, and family. Happy Valentines Day to EVERYONE!!!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

To thine own self be true...

It's hard to do, but to be true to your foundational beliefs, the essence of who you are, is important. It's especially hard when the person you are isn't the same (or even close to the same) as everyone else. It's a challenge not to go on the defense or the offense when other people misunderstand, or even mock and attack the fundamental core of your being. Being true to yourself and allowing the external things to fly past without a reaction from you is almost impossible. But that is true confidence.

Don't be mistaken in what I mean, however. Being true to yourself doesn't mean you have the right to force your beliefs and opinions on others. The same confidence that allows you to be true to you requires you to be harmless to others and to understand that each person comes from a different place. You must allow for perspectives other than your own. Perspective in art is a great example... Depending on where the artist stands in the room, the outcome of the piece of art changes.

The important thing in all of this being true is not to attack or hate each other. Respect others, listen to others, consider others, and do to others what you would want them to do to you. Humility is essential to true confidence.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Memphis Area Consignment Sales

This year, I'm gonna try to find clothes for my children at consignment sales in Memphis. You can get great, gently used clothing for good prices. These sales have lots of name brand clothes and beautiful smocked dresses. Since I did the research to find the sales myself, I thought I'd share the info about dates, locations and websites for 2011 Spring/Summer sales. Remember that if you volunteer at the sales, you generally get more money for the clothes you sell and you get first pick of the great stuff. Also, if you want to volunteer or sell clothes, you must sign up ahead of time, so check dates for dropping off clothes and volunteer meetings on the website of the sale you're interested in.

February 10-12, 2011
KidsTown Kids Consignment
Memphis, TN

February 17-19, 2011
Kiddie Land Consignment
Cordova, TN

March 3-6, 2011
Children's Clothing Exchange
Memphis, TN

March 4-5, 2011
Sycamore View Children's Clothing Sale
Memphis, TN

March 4-5, 2011
Germantown United Methodist Consignment
Germantown, TN

March 10-12, 2011
Oh Baby! Consignment Event
Southaven, MS

March 25-26, 2011
Everything for Kids Sale
Memphis, TN

April 1-2, 2011
Faith Baptist Consignment
Memphis, TN

April 1-2, 2011
Highland Clothing Sale
Cordova, TN

April 4-9, 2011
Emmanuel Children's Clothing Sale
Memphis, TN

April 9-11, 2011
Mommy's Secret Consignment
Southaven, MS

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


As frustrated (and even depressed) as I sometimes get with this adjustment to staying home, I am beginning to find things that I really enjoy about it. There are times when I feel like there is something wrong with me because I haven't been enjoying being a stay-at-home mom. But perhaps I was just looking in the wrong places. With this opportunity I have been given, I really want to find ways to bless others and be productive. I was watching an episode of Extreme Home Makeover recently and one of the guys on there was talking about how (in the middle of his misfortune) he never felt sorry for himself and even kept a list of things he and his family wanted to do for other people. When asked about it, he basically said that life is not about helping ourselves (with entertainment, money, status, power, etc.), it is about helping other people. That keeps coming back to me and I have started to consider how much time I put into just surviving and entertaining myself. I want to find ways to spend my time investing in things that are more important (and eternal)! That doesn't mean that I have to neglect myself and I certainly can't spend so much time doing things for others that I don't have time for my family. But I think that I can start with some small things, like bringing a meal to someone who needs it. When I get to the point where I don't have a baby attached to my breast 24/7, I'd like to find some volunteering opportunities. It would also be good to find ways to just build relationships with other people. I'm happiest when I am in a community of people and just hanging out with others. Mike and the kids and I have had some great times as we have been having friends over more often and developing better relationships with them. I love it!

One of the things I am learning to do is SPEND LESS MONEY! Boy, is that hard! Since my job paid for almost all of the extra things in our life (like entertainment, parties, eating out, etc.), I am learning what a dollar is really worth. At first, I kicked against the idea of limitations and restrictions, but I'm finding that limitations really help your creativity! I have had fun finding ways to save money at the grocery store, finding free or cheap fun things to do, cooking and baking, and learning to budget (for real this time).

I'm also getting to spend more time with my wonderful children. I have been working with David on his colors, counting, shapes, etc. I get to just sit and look at Keeley for a while. She's starting to make sounds I think I'll be able to report her first smile soon! Since my day is filled with children, staying at home all day hasn't afforded me much more time to spend with Mike, but I'm hoping that as Keeley gets more independent, I'll get things done during the day so I can spend more time in the evenings with Mike. Right now, I can't wait for him to get home so he can help out with one kid while I get something done. I have to tell myself that this is just a phase so I don't get too discouraged with my inability to get things done the way that I'm used to getting them done.

Some of the things I'm considering doing as I adjust:
Make a folder of pictures of the way I want to decorate my house
Work more on writing my book about common sense business
Build a website for a business I'm considering starting
Build a blog/website with info about events and things to do around Memphis
Be more creative with cooking and baking
Take photos with the awesome camera Mike got me for Christmas
Do more crafty/artsy projects
Study real estate (maybe go to school to study real estate)
Read more
Plant and maintain a vegetable garden and do some landscaping

This week, I want to:
Find a good book to start
Write more on my book
Take some photos of Keeley and David and edit them
Take some photos at playgroup on Friday
Make a menu and some yummy meals
Find some photos on for building a website
Put more music on my iPhone

Okay, before I go, I have to tell you what my David did yesterday. Hannah (my sister) asked him how much he loved her and he said "This much!" as he held his arms out. Then, when my sister, Berakkah, asked how much David loved her, he said... "A little less." The funniest part is that Berakkah is his favorite person in the world and he seemed to just be messing with her. When Mike asked him about it that evening, David said "kiddin!" Hilarious! David is so much fun!