2021: A Year of Change

2021: A Year of Change
This year has been a year of change for my family.  I'm not big on new year's resolutions, so this year I thought I'd choose a word.  To be honest, I totally forgot I had done that until I was looking things over and deciding on a word for 2022.  But, I also realized that the word I chose for 2021 was always on my mind.  The word was "balance".  Wow...did I achieve it?  Well, that's all a matter of opinion. What I do know is that I was working towards finding more balance in my life and I did...almost...just not without a bit of extra chaos along the way.

We found out in August that the time had come for us to make another move.  This move, by far, was one of the hardest moves yet.  For one, the house we were living in was the house I had lived in the longest...ever.  We had been there for just under 9 years.  The record before that was 6 (and that was before I was married).  Always before we just followed the next job.  This time, we decided to stay put...well, at least in the same town.  We still had to move to a different house since the other one was a parsonage.  

We did things the hard way.  Since my husband has been a full time pulpit minister for the past 13 years, getting back into the secular world wasn't easy.  So why did we choose this route?  Because of our kids.  We now have 3 teens.  Our oldest just graduated last May (another "new" for our family this year) and was still attending the area Vo-Tech.  Our younger 2 and I are still a part of an active (and amazing!) co-op group for homeschool.  We have several friends in the area that we just weren't ready to let go of.

On top of it all, I have also been working on truly launching my coaching programs.  My goal is to help as many moms as I can by helping them rediscover who they are meant to be.  This better allows them to follow the path God has for them and helps them present their best self to their family and all those around them.  It truly is a win-win for everyone!

These changes weren't easy, they weren't what we had planned.  But God always has a better plan in mind and if we let him, he will guide us and we will be so much happier!  So, while this year has seen its fair share of ups and downs, job changes and financial changes, me needing to find a new version of what "balance" means for me right smack in the middle of the year, it has been a year of good changes.  Though it wasn't what we had in mind, it has lead us where we need to go.  

All in all, I'd say that the whole year was bringing me to a better balance...mission accomplished!  I can't wait to see what the coming year has for us.  

The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon
My family and I, along with 2 of my nephews, went on a mission trip to New Mexico.  We were able to do some volunteer work helping out a children's home, followed by a VBS in the evenings.  The kids had a lot of fun working with the home, being servants (ripping out old carpet!) and getting to know the kids there.

At the end of the week we had some time to do some exploring.  We put in a 16 hour day, a 4 hour drive from our hotel and several site-seeing and shopping spots in between.  It was well worth it!  Why?  Because we were able to experience the Grand Canyon. My kids and I had never been before.  To say that it was amazing is an understatement.  You've probably heard it said before that pictures just don't do it justice.  I agree.  We tried to capture it's beauty, but when I look back on the pictures it just doesn't quite compare.

Some of the kids (and men) were a little more adventurous and went out on some ledges.  The views they captured were awe inspiring.  

My hubby even met a friendly squirrel!  He sat on his lap, allowed them to pet him, and begged for food.  I know, not the way wild animals should be, but it was still a neat adventure for him and the boys who were with him.

On the way back that evening, we stopped at the painted desert.  Talk about some amazing views!  Not only did it have the variations of the colors of rock, it also had a beautiful lake and stream at the bottom.  One area had benches where you could sit and look over it.  What I wouldn't give to have that spot for my home office!

Psalm 95: 1-5

Oh come, let us sing to the Lord;
    let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
    let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
For the Lord is a great God,
    and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth;
    the heights of the mountains are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it,
    and his hands formed the dry land.

If you are a mom who finds herself struggling to find peace and balance around the home, I'd love to help!  If you would like to know about some of the things I'm implementing in my life to help me chose happiness, please send me a message!  
I'd also like to invite you to my free group where we encourage each other in the day-to-day. You can find it here

Holiday Shopping With Small Businesses

Holiday Shopping With Small Businesses
Tis the season!  By this time of year shopping for gifts seems to be in full swing.  That's why I was super excited when I was invited to join a One Stop MultiShop vendor event.  There are so many goodies in this group, you won't want to miss out!
So, let me take a moment to introduce some of the vendors who are involved.  There will be a few more joining us, so be sure to check out the group (linked above).

Kacie Schunk  is with KlaySmith Handmade. She is a wife, dog mom, and preschool teacher from Ohio. Kaci makes clay earrings. Her clay earrings are light weight with a variety of different styles, colors, and shapes. 

Miranda Schwarzen owns
Simply Stitched WI
! She makes handmade headwraps in a variety of patterns and textures. Miranda lives in Wisconsin with her 
boyfriend and their dog, Charlee.  
Megan Taylor is our host for the event.  She and her husband live in Guam.  She is a full time Nurse Practioner and collagen enthusiast who enjoys getting to know people, understanding their needs, and figuring out how she can help them feel better.  Her dream is to quit Nurse Practioning full time and one day open up a clinic with free services. She shares  collagen-based skin care products and results that assist with a wide range of needs.

Kelly Watson is a Zyia Stylist. She's a wife, dog momma, and dental hygienist from Pennsylvania. 
Zyia is for everyBODY! Short, tall, big booty, blessed in the chest, new momma, or expecting, Zia has something you can feel comfortable in!

Amanda Rog (that's me!) with Lavender & Coffee, sells custom mug designs and accessories.  L & C has gift sets available to help make your gift complete.  My husband designs most of our mugs.  He's an amazing artists who does logos, illustrations, and book covers.  Our daughter (who is 15 years old) also has some designs available, she definitely takes after her dad!  I offer some crochet accessories to make the mugs a little more fun and personal.  

As I said above, these are just a few of the amazing talented vendors in our event.  Be sure you check out our One Stop MultiShop.  New posts will be made during the dates listed below.  Of course, you are welcome to shop at any time!
November 25th – 30th
December 3rd – 8th
December 15th – New Years
There is also a cash giveaway for each set of dates that can be used with any of the vendors!

Happy Shopping!

How To Have Balance In Life As A Work From Home, Homeschool Mom

Finding the right balance in life can be quite tricky, especially for stay at home moms who wear many hats.  But there is hope!  You may have seen the "life balance wheel" that has different areas in life that you rate to see where you are off balance.  This helps you determine what areas need more focus so that you can bring them back into balance.

I find this tool very helpful, but in itself it won't tell you how to bring those areas back into balance (more on this later).  I have narrowed the areas down a bit and found what I consider to be the main areas many moms find themselves to be off-balance in.  They are: personal growth, relationships, health, self care, business, and finance.  Everything in your life will likely fit into one of these categories.  

Now, what do you do once you have determined what areas you need to work on?  You hone in on the specific area that needs help and focus on bringing it back into balance.  You make a plan, keeping in mind that you want to maintain balance where you already have it.  This can all seem a bit overwhelming, right?  That's why I'm super excited about my upcoming course to help busy, stressed, overwhelmed moms bring their life of chaos back into balance! Yes, there is hope and I'm here to help you!

If you can relate to this and would like help finding balance in your life, join my email list to stay updated on the course and for weekly encouragement.

If you would like to be a part of a community of moms who are working together to find their balance in life, join this group.  It's so much easier to handle the daily chaos of life when you feel supported by others who share in your struggles and also celebrate your wins along with you!

Being Intentional About Family Time With Teens In The House

Being Intentional About Family Time With Teens In The House
As a stay at home/work from home mom who also homeschools you would think that means we get plenty of family time.  Sometimes I think the opposite is just as true.  We are in the same house (or wherever we go) basically 24/7, which means we tend to *think* we have more than enough family time.  But in truth, we have to put in a special effort to have "real" quality family time.  Just because we are together physically doesn't mean that we are fully interacting and enjoying our time together.

My husband and I have worked hard to ensure we get quality family time as often as we can.  One thing we do is eat our main meal together every night. Yes, there are a few times when our schedules conflict a little and we have to eat in shifts.  But for the most part, we all sit around the dinner table, phones aside, and enjoy each others company over a home cooked meal.  It may only last about 30 minutes, but that's still 30 minutes of focused time together.

We also like to have a family movie/game night every Friday night as we have our dinner.  As the kids get older, this is a bit harder to do because they sometimes get together with their friends.  I consider it growing pains. This whole "letting go" part of parenting isn't my favorite.  It's just one more reason to cherish each family game/movie night we get even more.

Other than meals and family nights, we try to go out hiking, to the zoo, or some other fun outing as often as we can.  Sometimes we have another family join us, sometimes it's just us.  But it's always a great way to get out doors and spend some more quality time together while doing something we all enjoy.

No matter what your schedule is like, whether you work from home or away from home, have little kids or teenagers, being intentional about quality family time is something you will never regret.  After all, our time with our loved ones is so short so let's make the most of it!

If you want to be with a group of moms who work together to find balance among the chaos of daily life, head on over to my free group!