About Me

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Saint Joseph, MO, United States
I'm a stay at home Mom of two children and I have the unique privilege of being able to homeschool both of them. I am a stepmother to two older daughters one who is going to college. I enjoy shopping, baking, cooking, cleaning, organizing, running, clowning, making soap, playing piano and lately painting with ASCP paint! I am learning to enjoy the little things in life and make the most of it...clinging to my Savior through the tears that life brings and enjoying his GRACE He gives us every day! Thanks for stopping by!

Blog Archive

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Has Anyone Seen My Routine?

I don't know about you but at the Segrist house my kids thrive on routine. We have been battling Ellianna's sickness for over three weeks and still have one more box of steroids for the nebulizer left,but am happy to say that she has slept through the night TWICE and since I haven't done that but once in the last three weeks that's such a happy thing to say! Today we did find out that one of her tubes was on the way out and its now in a happy shiny cup for us to look at and the doctor said that her ears look fabulous! Tonsils are a bit big he said but at this point something to just watch. As for her asthma? He thinks that colds are going to set it off....so....guess that means we'll be staying away from sick kids....see ya all this spring?

This week my Trey is visiting my sister in Green Bay with my parents and I've been able to get some organizing done (as you have seen in previous posts). Tomorrow, I get to get my labelmaker gun out and that's about the only thing keeping me cheery since I'll be putting away Christmas decorations all day long..... but it will be nice to gain control over the home again.

ANYWAY, today Ellianna looked at me and asked if we could do preschool. A sure sign that she is ready for routine once again. When she said that to me I realized how much I myself have missed my routine. We are all creatures of habit and not eating the same things, doing the same things, even being around the same people start to get old and not be as fun as we once thought...don't get me wrong I don't think my son is biting at the bit to have me get our schoolbooks out but deep down I know that he will be once we start our routine up again....just like I know I will be once I get that great exercise dvd back in the blue ray player again....ugghh...but at the same time....I do miss it...strangely so!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Merry Christmas - Holiday Photo Book

Merry Christmas - Holiday Photo Book

Tame your coats, and cell phones please and your SHOES!

We have a huge problem with clutter if we don't manage it well. I have a coat rack where we hang Ellie's stuff as soon as we get home. The black storage thing you see on the wall is for c. phones and keys. I have another one on the other wall for the kids c. phones. I also have a rule that all c. phones must be there by 8pm so its a great way to check and monitor also.

Here you see my bucket o shoes. This is wonderful. As soon as we get home, you put your shoes in the bucket. I have a nice basket in the front entrance of our homes for the teens in our home who enter from the street side of our house.

Junk drawer! No hope for it unless you use little baskets! This is much better! I'm sure that some of you could put me to shame...but this is so much better you have no IDEA!

I cook a lot and I buy most of my spices at Sam's. This is the easiest and prettiest way I have found to use my large bulk spices.

Our little central zone shall we say. The green papers on the cabinets are Trey and Ellianna's schedule. If I'm gone or we have a babysitter they always know what they are supposed to do. The erase calendar on the back of the wall is normally full but NOT this week!!!! These keeps everyone from asking me what's going on this week! Just look at the calendar and you will know!

Well, that's all for now! Off to finish cleaning!

Organization Continues Part 2

Under the kitchen sink! As you can see I have new paper down which makes it sooo much FRESHER looking. I have ordered the door racks in which I will put my cleaner in that I use constantly and then I will be able to take out the big basket and put candles, etc. under here.

Also, the biggest mistake that I had made was having cleaners that I just don't use anymore. Cleaners that are too harsh. I have downsized considerably. I have just switched over to some shaklee products and am waiting to get those. However, Method products from Target are awesome and I have used those and are quite environmentally friendly...not to mention smell soo GOOD! I also had a million dish towels under here! It was ridiculous! So, I would say get rid of what you don't use every single day!

doraboots.png - Dora Coloring Pages - ColoringBookFun.com - Free Printable Pages - Holiday Printables

doraboots.png - Dora Coloring Pages - ColoringBookFun.com - Free Printable Pages - Holiday Printables

For those of you who love free things and have kids! This site is FABULOUS! Enjoy your FREE coloring pages!

My Favorite Things

Side Note: I tried to change my blog last night but that was a HUGE waste of time and no one could view it...so, I'm back to my blog...I wanted something different, something easier for people to follow...oh well...I will keep searching but for now I will use my good old blogger.

So, this morning it hit me of all the things that I have to accomplish in the next couple of days to make things run more smoothly. I have to take all decorations down for house and store and most importantly I have to get ALL bills taken care of for end of year for the store. So, that got me thinking as to all the things that make my life easier and how much I LOVE them all. So, here is my list....feel free to give your favorite things....but these are mine!

1. Bod 4 God Bible Study-I know it sounds crazy but this book, along with my new friends (some old) have helped me eat better, exercise more and drink WATER and how very important water is. I have lost about 8 pounds and several inches...hoping to keep going and lose ten more!

2. Don't Panic Dinners in the Freezer Book 1 and Book2-I can't even begin to tell you how this has changed my cooking life. To be able to make one big meal and freeze two more to have on hand is so simple yet sooooo brilliant,cookies, etc! Fabulous, Fabulous!

3. My new Foodsaver-can't tell you how grateful I am for my friend Kerry getting me to get one of these. TRULY a need since I freeze cook so much. I LOVE watching all my hard work get totally "shrink wrapped" so to speak and know that it is being saved from the scary "freezer burn".

4. My labelmaker-seriously can't wait until I put Christmas decorations away and can finally label all my boxes without worrying about sharpies anymore! Seriously am looking forward to that!

5. My KitchenAid mixer-need I say more...unless you own one you are not able to understand the amazing amount of work this machine does. We made fresh homemade beautiful bread the other night in seven minutes....no, not baking it but mixing it...and that included Ellianna helping us. TRULY can't wait to make more bread and more everything with this awesome machine.

6. Swiffer wetjet-if you have wood floors throughout your house and a big kitchen this is a MUST have. I use it almost everyday and its divine!

7. Finally...my newest purchase----my wireless printer! Seriously, why did I wait so long! To be able to be downstairs and hit print without running my laptop all the way upstairs....ahhhhhhhh! So nice!

8. Oh, forgot! I used to scrapboook but that was sooo expensive and so time consuming. I have four children that I'm responsible for! So, I have made all my photobooks on shutterfly and have just started using MixBook. MixBook seems a bit more complicated for my brain but right now have the same size books thirty dollars cheaper than shutterfly so it is sooooo worth it to figure it out! Shutterfly also has shares sites (which I do have) and that way everyone can see my photo books or photos and usually shutterfly will send me free prints just for using it!

9. How can I forget my dear beloved front loader washer and dryer....seriously I will never have a top loader again....so much laundry, so little time...now if only they can invent one to fold and put away??????

What will #10 be in the new year? Perhaps a Roomba? Stay tuned, or be friends with my buddy Kerry....she'll straighten you out in a jiffy!

Have a great day and I'll let ya know how my cleaning, organizing overhaul is going...may take me a few days....I'm TRYING!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Let's Start The Organization Process!

I'm ashamed to say it but today was not the amazing cleaning, organization day that I had in mind. Ellianna was up again from 3-5 or somewhere in there off and on....so our "waking" up time definitely is off shall we say. So, today unfortunately, consisted of some shopping, some bills for the store and setting up a new wireless printer and now dinner. It was not the "stellar" day that I planned for but....tomorrow we hopefully will get farther.

Now, despite my poor accomplishments from today I did purchase the materials to be used in my organization feats and that perhaps may be HALF the battle.

I cracked myself up today because I purchased the long time product that I have always made fun of my Mother for. I purchased the starter package from Shaklee...growing up that is what my mother used...you had a stain...."go get some basic H" she would say....dirty hands?......"go wash with basic H" You name it and "basic H" was the answer! So, today along with other purchases with Shaklee...basic H will now be coming to my home:)

So, until I get all my purchases and projects completed I did want to show you one thing that my sister Ronda told me about two years ago when we moved in and I use them every day!

I use regular shoe organizers for batteries, snacks, tape....anything that the kids need to get and is individually wrapped. I also have one at the front door for the kids hats, gloves, scarves. It saves space and in old homes space is not always at a premium.

So, happy organizing in the new year and there's just one little tip I thought you might enjoy!

Tim on Hand Sanitizer

Those of you who know me well, know I live and DIE by the hand sanitizer! I cracked up at this! Thought you might enjoy as well!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Now for the SLOW DOWN!

I trust that all of you had a wonderful Christmas. I have to say that our family certainly did! For the first time in I don't know how long our whole family on the Segrist side was able to have dinner on Christmas Day. The day was filled with food, presents, laughter and fun. It was good to be safe and warm and very FULL in a house filled with Ellianna going from one thing to the next that it almost made her dizzy to Trey wearing his army hat....all day! Of course the older girls wearing their new jackets from the moment they opened them to our cousin finding our her new electronic device fit perfectly into her new Vera! My husband completely suprised me with his gifts to me as I did to him. It was so much fun to give...and yes...to receive!

Today finds me content and happy...I know most people are sad due to the fact that...its over! This is usually my favorite week. The hard work is over...the organization for the year is soon to begin! Yes, I dislike putting up the tons of Christmas decorations but it is so wonderful to re-organize and get ready for the month of January....which has become my favorite month!

January is a month of slow downs, gymnastics won't start for at least two weeks, Upward is still a month away, soccer is a couple months away. It's a time to reflect, be still, organize the year, get the budget back on track. It's time to slow down!

It is wonderful to take time to be able to reflect, read books that I haven't been able to finish and spend time with my Savior in the QUIET! I hope in the next few weeks you will be able to sit, be still and REST.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Don't Panic MORE Dinners in the Freezer--Chipotle Choc Chili

I have been asked from a couple of people about this so I decided to post this on my blog. As you know I do the freezer cooking and this particular recipe came from the second book which I have just now decided to start exploring.

Last night I made this and it went over very well. My husband and son had two bowls each and it served a family of four plus I was able to put away two large freezer bags full of it for later!

I tripled the recipe:

Chipotle-Chocolate Chili

1 lb ground beef or turkey
1 cup diced onion
1 c chopped red bell pepper (I used green)
1 t minced garlic
3 T brown sugar
2 T chili powder
1 T unsweetened cocoa
1 t ground cumin
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
1/4 t salt
1-15 oz can pinto beans drained
1-15 oz can kidney beans, drained
2-14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes, undrained (when I make this again I will use less tomatoes)
1-14oz can low sodium chicken broth
1/2 c roasted chipotle salsa (I used pace no big deal!)

Add ground beef or turkey, onion, bell pepper, and garlic to stockpot. Cook over medium high heat until meat is browned and vegetables are tender, approximately 8 min. Drain. Add sugar, chili powder, cocoa, cumin, black pepper, salt, pinto beans, kidney beans, tomatoes, broth and salsa. Stir to blend; bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 min. or until slightly thickened.

There ya go! Then I let it cool put it in freezer bags and laid flat and now I have two large freezer bags full of it that are in files in my freezer! YEAH!

Enjoy! We had sour cream and tortilla chips with it and it was YUMMO!


Just wanted to make sure to tell everyone Merry Christmas! Hopefully tonight if it doesn't snow we will be getting a visit from "Santa". We try and do this for each child when they are around 3ish. Ellianna will either run away and hide or enjoy it. She did make a melting snowman cookie yesterday for her and Santa to enjoy. We haven't told her that he is coming so not sure when she thought that she could eat it with him. She did ask me last night if she could go with him on his sleigh.

Today is cleaning day and wrapping every last present I could think of to wrap along with ironing my "S" napkins. This year I only have to make one big meal since the first time ever we are just going to have to have ONE meal!!!! So, I've been asked for a long time to share this green bean casserole recipe that I have that was given to me by my sister n law Terri. So, here it is and Merry Christmas!

Green Bean Casserole

16 oz fren cut green beans
16 oz can shoe peg white corn
1 can cream of celery soup
1 lg ctn sour cream
3/4 c shredded cheddar cheese
1/8 c shredded onion
pepper to taste

Place most of ingredients in casserole dish. Sprinkle the cheese on top. Mix 1 stick of butter, 1 stack of ritz crackers crumbled and 1 pkg of slivered almonds. Plance on top of cheddar cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 to 35 minutes.

Note:I always double the recipe. I made this for my six employees and made two helpings. All of them are PENCIL thin and there was NOT ONE DROP left! I have never seen them eat so much in my entire life! It was THAT good!

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My Melting Snowman

Today was a day that I felt didn't accomplish much but looking back I think it did. First of all with Ellie and these constant nebulizer treatments our mornings have been slow going...which cause the whole day to get off course.

ANYWAY, today I decided that we were going to make our cookies, go see Tangled and get some shopping finished up. That's exactly what I did. I even left my beds unmade...yes, before I could think about going to sleep tonight when we got home I went upstairs and made all beds and put clean sheets on them. SO....now I can go on!

The snowman cookies turned out pretty good and I was happy about that but what totally made my day and started turning it around were the two friends who came to say hi and bring me some goodies, and all of you who were so sweet to comment on such a silly cookie.

Sometimes a word of praise and encouragment is all it takes to get you out of the "pit".

Thank the Lord for the wonderful friends He has brought to me!!!

May His name be praised!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

To Who It May Concern

This past week, this past month...perhaps this past year....I have felt the tug of wanting to quit. I really want to quit right now. Yep! In the middle of the fun festivities and the joy of the season I find my joy being stolen, taken hostage and being ripped from me. Yes, I know there are a million verses that say what I'm supposed to do for that. There are a million things that are supposed to keep me from feeling this way...what can I say???

I will just say...right now I'm being attacked...in my ministry, in my relationships, even in my church....I'm being attacked.

Just want you to know...I do hurt, I do bleed, I'm not perfect, I have scars and I'm sure that there are times I deserve hurt.

So, there ya go! That's today.....praying for the healing of my heart today.

Praying that others that are hurting today or just feeling down will realize like me...Satan wants us to feel this way, we are making him happy....but part of me at times....doesn't care.

Doesn't ANYONE know I'm trying to have CHRISTMAS HERE!

Why I am still up at 1am? I have no idea! Perhaps its because I can't sleep....which is funny since I've been up for almost a week every single night from anywhere between two to four hours dealing with nebulizers, ring pops (don't ask) and throw up!

This week I'm trying to fit in everything I couldn't do last week plus remember to do everything for this week because you know....its all coming to a head in five days! By the time I'm done with this blog it will be four days!

I woke up this morning (seems long ago) and found that someone had hacked into one of my accounts and taken a large sum of money for a game that I've never even heard of...after questioning my son and looking at his ipod, and facebook account and realizing the purchase was made when he was asleep he was allowed to go on living! That put a major GRRRR in my day. Then of course the added stresses of children sick, children whiny, husband stressed to the max and trying to make sure that I can remember what in the world I need to do next! I found myself almost in a crying fit and for no reason that I could really think of...just wondering how in heavens name am I going to get the cookies done, the candies done, everything delivered to the neighbors, make sure that everything is together for the dinner, make sure that no one has been forgotten and that everything looks amazing for the Christmas breakfast and the Christmas dinner and.....and.....and.....is your brain spinning like mine?

So, when we had sickness this week, a wreck, a hacker, Grandma needing extra assistance, my husband totally stressed at work, and a million other things going on I wanted to scream.."SERIOUSLY, NOT this week! I'm trying to have a Merry Christmas here" as I say that all through gritted teeth! Then it hit me......and yes we have all heard it a million times...its not about the presents or the dinner or the way the house looks its all about our Lord being born...but lets be honest girls......its STILL about the presents, the house, the EVERYTHING! I say to myself...without Jesus there would be no Christmas and that's exactly right but HOW do I get to focusing on that more and NOT the table, the gifts, the EVERYTHING ELSE!

I hope I learn soon!

Selah - Silent Night

This is my favorite Christmas carol...and has been for quite some time. I'm an alto and I love the way this songs harmonizes. It's pure heaven to me.

I like you have a lot going on right now. I like many of you have lots of things that I wish I could erase but can't. I still suffer with feelings of guilt, fear, rejection.

However, listen to these words....silent night, holy night, ALL is calm, ALL is bright. When I hear this song I only think of Peace and joy. Rejoice, the Lord has come!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Michael W Smith Let it Rain Worship Video with Lyrics

Today my heart was hurting and didn't know why....I'm happy...My children are well...Ellianna is almost all better....store is doing well.

No matter how long its been since someone you love has gone to heaven this time of year is always hurtful and sometimes we don't know why....the hole cannot be filled...never.

When Ron died and I couldn't sleep this song gave me hope, gave me comfort, gave me strength. I remember....laying prostrate before him....praying for his comfort...and it came, it rained....healing came!

May those of you hurting with the loss of a loved one or the pain of life.....listen to this song and remember...He is always there! Always!

May His name be praised!

Sunday, December 19, 2010


For the past five days I have had a very sick Ellie. I've been very discouraged in this because its the last week before Christmas. We wanted to go see Santa, go see Tangled, go see lights and Ellianna told Daddy that she wanted to go shopping for Mommy (how sweet is that?) Plus the fact that tonight is the Awana Happy Birthday Jesus Party that my poor baby can't go to and me (Miss Dot) is going and have been planning this for a long time.

My husband was supposed to play one of his favorite songs for church today and I had to miss it. I haven't slept through the night since Tuesday and to say I'm tired would be an understatement. I keep thinking why in the world is it that every time I try to make plans that are GOOD plans, plans that are helpful to others that my Ellie gets sick or something happens that doesn't allow me to do the very thing that I felt that God wanted me to do.

I've been so discouraged, and a little angry at why we have to be "stuck" at home for this time. I have been dealing with oral steroids, nebulizer treatments and a child who is whiny and downright mean due to the side effects of her medicine. Then last night my husband came home could see how tired I was and told me....that we have a lot to be thankful for....I felt like slapping him I thought that that sounded so easy to say since he's been sleeping through the nights, and haven't had to deal with being thrown up on etc. However, he's right....as big of a pain as it is.....however bad the timing is.....its not the end of the world. We haven't been told our child has a rare disease for which there is no cure....we just have to deal with the inconvience of a really bad cold/asthma issues so I decided to focus on the positive on my recent "homebound" status.

Here is Ellie's list: I get to have ring pops all the time lately because it helps me quit coughing, lots of snuggle time with Mommy, I get to play my DS any time I want lately and I get to watch movies!

Mommy's list: I get to use Hy-Vee delivery with absolutely no guilt, I'm able to spend more time cooking and doing my blog then ever before. I'm able to sit down and be still and I have to say its been very nice.

Tonight my hubby gets to stay with Ellianna while Miss Dot goes to minister and I'm very excited and praying that everything goes well and looking forward to this coming week. I'm hoping that we are able to get everything done and be able to enjoy our Christmas celebrations. Thankful that we know the true meaning of Christmas!

Merry Christmas! Celebrate the Lord has come!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Crazy Domestic: Melted Snowman Cookies

Crazy Domestic: Melted Snowman Cookies: "I saw a picture of these the other day on Allrecipes.com and thought it was such a cute idea, I had to try it. After googleing it, I fou..."

Every year I put off the cookie making because its like do I really need another thing to eat? This year....we are totally making these!

A Merry Little Christmas Time!

So, I am finally sitting down after a very long night and day and listening to my Ellie still coughing...but not as bad and I'm praying for a night that has no interruptions in sleep!

Tonight, I was reading for a quick moment at a book that was written by Beth Moore called Praying God's Word Day by Day...and I came across the following:

"No matter what kind of rejection you may have suffered, praying the scripture can be used by God to bring you strength.

For at one time I too was foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kind of passions and pleasures. I lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating others (Titus 3:3) I acknowledge the misery of living outside of you.

Lord, I want it to be said of me that my many sins have been forgiven---for I have loved much. The person who has been forgiven little loves little (lk 7:47)"

As I read that I felt a large dose of conviction. It seems the people that drive me crazy the most in my life are the very people I can't seem to shake off. It seems like I keep trying to run away or go away and they keep sticking to me like a piece of toilet paper on the bottom of my shoe...just gets worse the more I try to run!

The holidays bring out the best and the worst in people. For many of us its wonderful to be around family and many of us are blessed with wonderful, loving families...but then there are those that aren't bad...just distant from each other...not going the same direction....it doesn't FEEL like the people there really CARE about each other and that we are all put together because the blood running through our veins is connected somehow but if it wasn't we wouldn't be friends with any of the people in the room? Does anyone have family like that? I'm not here to discuss the ends and outs of my family. My family has some work to do but I'm not to sure of too many that don't. For those of us who have marvelous families that do everything together it may seem strange that other people don't enjoy the "family time" of the holidays as others but that's probably a good thing that you don't. For others we have to deal with hurt feelings, anxiety that there will be drama and why in the world did they buy me that awful sweater in that size? For our immediate family we have to deal with my stepdaughters who this year will not be here on Christmas Eve but will be here on Christmas Day around 11am so they miss my big Christmas breakfast where everyone opens their Christmas breakfast present...which is always an ornament...and yet they are always suprised and they will of course miss their Christmas Eve present...which is always pj's...they are no longer suprised by this and well....it just doesn't FEEL the same.

All of us have to deal with relationships that we had rather not deal with. Unfortunately, we can't run away from these things....we can't NOT deal with it. We have to face it head on and for me that is just not an easy task. I'd rather text it, facebook it, delete it....but to have actual face to face CONTACT....YUCK! In my life I still have a relationship that I have to set right....the problem is I don't know what the "right" is. There is such unbelievable hurt and grief in that situation that to peel that all away hurts so very much that the thought of starting it makes me want to run for the hills. So much easier to try to forget, try to act like it never happened.

However, God doesn't call us to a life of avoidance. He calls us to minister to others, to get along!

Somewhere along the way in my upbringing I dealt with "disagreeable" people in a manner that I now find confusing....but its what I did. If there was someone who was of this world and not living the way they should....I walked away...turned my nose up.....acted like I was better. I'm ashamed to say those words but its true. There are still times that there are certain people in my lives that I don't think "deserve" my love, my patience, my forgiveness....TRUE forgiveness. Not the I guess I'll forgive you but I'll make you pay forever forgiveness. That's not how God forgave us! He's not up in heaven waiting for you to mess up and when you do pointing to his ledger and #1079. Jamie blows her temper again? I don't know why I can pray to my Heavenly, PERFECT Father asking for forgiveness......expecting it....receiving it and THEN....here comes someone that offended, someone who isn't living their life right and I find hatred, resentment, anger, and downright bitterness over their very existence....what is that? Why do I think that I'm more worthy than they of God's perfect love.

Please hear me that I'm not saying that God condones sin that He is not a JUST God who hates sin but He is a forgiving God, one that wants us all to love and honor Him.

So, I say all that to say.....this Christmas when someone pulls their car in your parking space, when they cut in front of you at Sam's, when they tell you your hair looks bad, when they say that you shouldn't homeschool your kids your not worthy enough (can you tell I've had some people chewing my ear) or that they think your GAINING weight.... or when you have sent out Christmas cards and it seems that no one has sent you any? don't sit there and come up with a list of who has offended....oh and don't act like you don't either....everybody gets annoyed by that or has hurt feelings....respond with a heart of LOVE...not of anger but with LOVE. Now, this is something I'm really bad at so don't watch me but I'm really trying....really hoping that someday I will look at others the way my Heavenly Father does instead of wanting to say..."WAH....I don't care if I'm being mean I don't FEEL like being nice!" God doesn't care how I FEEL!

Now, go out and have a Merry Christmas! Don't keep saying you can't wait until its over....focus on the amazing miracle of Jesus birth and the spectacular desserts that we get to eat:) O.k. maybe not just the food....but hey! whatever gets you through!

May His name be praised!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

If I ever prayed more.....

Many of you that have children have been in a situation like I was last night. Ellianna doesn't "technically" have asthma but every prescription we get lately says in the fold "for severe asthma or allergies..." the doctors are safely saying "it's a possibility and we have no way to test for it." I'm not complaining God has blessed me with a great pediatrician and nurse practioner and they always find a way to get us in.

I'm not trying to tell anyone that have children that have severe health issues that I understand...because I don't. My experience with emergency rooms hasn't been vast but I have.....had to say goodbye to my first husband there. However, I haven't had to take my kids there hardly ever but last night was a night that we were actually in our clothes, in our car and drove by it and would have gone in if her breathing wouldn't have significantly improved.

There is a completely helpless feeling when your child can't get their breath. When they are terrified because even though they are very small they understand that this is NOT good. Last night I found myself praying and praying for God to get us through. Her little lips seemed to be almost purple....her oxygen is fine today they said she wasn't losing any oxygen. However, I don't have a medical background and to me I was fearful that the worse could come true. As I prayed to my Heavenly Father to heal her to help her sleep to give us wisdom on what to do...I must admit I felt helpless that that is all I was doing....in reality that was the MOST important thing I could do.

Right now she is resting comfortably...she's on two steroids....and one of them I've been warned will make her quite cranky to say the least but it will heal her and that's the important thing. We are not at a hospital and we are safe and warm in our homes and I'm so thankful to the Lord for that answer to prayer.

I'm trying more and more to rely on Him for everything. I even find myself praying for parking spots when there are none....my children think I'm nuts....until they see one come available....just coincidence eh? I want my children to learn to talk to God about everything, not just when we are terrified but about all sorts of things. Should we take this job, should we go talk to this friend, should we buy that car.....that dining room set, who needs our help Lord? These are all things that I'm praying about....should we let certain relationships go, should we pursue others, what Lord would you have me to do? He will answer always, He will make it clear....and sometimes it comes in a "drive by" of the emergency room.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Music Class Still Continues

Just wanted you all to know that we are very much enjoying our music classes. We finished the study of Mozart and now we are studying the music of Beethoven. I find it very interesting! My music theory was long ago and I can't really remember to much about the studies but I really am enjoying learning them again.

I was amazed as we read about Mozart how that he was taught by his father when he was sooo very young and then basically just had a natural "knack" or shall we say "genius knack." I thought though if his father would have never introduced him to music would things have added up to the same? Would we enjoy some of the lovely music that he wrote if his parents would have not done all that they could to expose him to music?

Obviously, we have much more to learn on all of these great composers we are getting ready to go over. WE just started Beethoven today. I am very excited to learn about Bach.........ANYWAY, it occurred to me today while reading out loud how influential the parents were in BOTH of these great composers lives.

As I homeschool I constantly worry that I'm not doing enough. If someone asks my son a question and he doesn't know the answer to it I constantly worry about doing a new study on the subject he wasn't to sure about. I worry about all sorts of things it seems. THEN the other day he acted like he never knew how to divide! So, back to the worksheets we went...my point being this....its very important that we as parents do our best to encourage our children in all areas of their lives....music, sports, chess, you get it......always trying to make sure that my son and daughter get the education that they need but knowing in the end.....my children will not always make the right choices....my hope and my prayer continually is for them to walk with the Lord always and if they grow up to do that than I will find them quite successful no matter what they chose to do for a career. There is nothing in this world that matters more to me than their spiritual walk.

May His name be praised!

Zima - "Mom My Ride"

When your having a hard day! THIS video you need! This cracks me up!!!

Gray Days are starting to get me down!

Today started unlike most. My Ellianna was up a lot last night with the coughing and when she has a cold I panic because out comes the nebulizer always. Most kids coughing is fine for Ellianna it almost always turns into a trip to the doctor. So far so good but I feel one may be in our future!

So, I got up late since I was up at 1am and 4 am and the day just started...well like I was behind from the get go! Luckily for me, my son has been doing homeschool work long enough that he understands what subjects he can do by himself and what ones he needs to wait for me on and luckily for me he was well on his way to being done with the work he could do on his own. Still, Ellianna needed preschool done and piano needed to be done with Trey and I had to make other plans since Miss Dot couldn't go to a function this evening and I had to move piano lessons to other night and well....then my husband called looking for an invoice and the fedex man dropped off my long awaited FOODSAVER package that DOESNT WORK!!! and strangely enough it was sent in NO box just the foodsaver box AND my sister's Christmas present was delivered but hidden and she didn't discover her used to be "live" plant until this morning and yes....it was five BELOW last night can you say grrrrrrr?

When I sit back and think about it I have to laugh. My life is so bizarre I don't think you could even TRY and make this stuff up. I'm the fifth daughter of five girls. I'm the baby of the family! I am eight years apart from my fourth sister. My oldest sister had a two year old when I was born. I was raised with my nieces and nephews not my sisters. I had to learn early to be loud to get noticed! I wasn't the most beautiful, most intelligent, most gifted at anything. I worked very hard to be good at anything I ever did.

Today I struggle with family dynamics and how I should fit in this "crazy" thing called my life. From my late husbands family and all the drama that goes with that to my husbands previous marriage and all the drama that goes with that and then just normal family things and the drama that goes with that. I find myself wanting to check into the "funny farm" at times. AT least there no one will ask me anything...they will just shake their heads and walk around quietly! I know that this is not an option but for a moment....sounds nice!

So, as you go through this CRAZY but wonderful Chrismas season.....try to circle yourself with those that love you the most....those that can let you vent...and not make you feel like an evil person for it. Surround yourself with people that point you towards the Almighty always and know that no matter how "yucky" your heart feels towards the people causing you pain during this stressful time...remember He's there....He's right there and you can always feel His love and sometimes....it comes through those that love you most like your girlfriends who want to go out and have a...latte!

Have a very Merry Christmas and remember.....it won't always be this way. Someday we will walk the streets of gold and the things that overwhelmed us here will be gone and for eternity we will praise HIM.....so......go ahead...have a cookie...call a sister...go for a latte...its going to be alright!

May His name be praised!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Monkey See Monkey Do

Lately I've been in a cooking, cleaning, labelmaker, foodsaver kind of mood. I love to find ways to improve things around the home and make my life in the end easier! To make things awesome and look like I spent a ton of money and time and effort but really....didn't!

I've learned to freeze meals ahead of time from friends. I've learned about the labelmaker and foodsaver....from a friend:) I've learned about scrapbooking through shutterfly....from a friend who first showed me hers about three years ago...Marcia:) I learned about clowning from a friend.....Dan and Sue:) I learned about homeschooling from a sister and many friends:) I've learned about decorating and the joy of Nell Hill from LOTS of friends but Pam Shroyer....you took me to my first trip to Nell Hill....oh what a day! I've learned about Beth Moore from ladies and amazing Bible studies about Esther and even more involved Bible studies about losing weight for the good of our health and families, I've learned about gardening and canning and so many things in the seven years that I've lived here.

I've been encouraged in learning how to deal with stepfamilies, learning how to deal with owning our own business, learning how to deal with teens,preteens and toddlers. Being the right kind of wife when there is NO way he deserves it and having the courage to ask for forgiveness when I have been wrong. Learning how to truly serve by watching and then DOING right along side others. Learning how to serve in the church and balancing that with home and family.....and it came to me!

Godly mothers, teachers, sisters and wives.....listening to Godly music, learning the word, encouraging one another constantly, striving to do better, helping each other up constantly, having the strength to tell someone they are wrong and need to change without fear of that person not hating them forever......that is the kind of friends I want and the kind of friends I need.

It's so nice to have facebook, to have so many ways to be able to communicate with all of you throughout the day. It makes me feel that I'm not alone and that I'm going to be o.k. because I have friends helping me through. I have friends pointing me in the way I should go.

It made me stop and think....If I didn't have the RIGHT kind of friends than what would I be encouraged to do? Funny how quickly my ideas about what would be right and wholesome would change. It made me realize that even at the age of....umm....36...that I still have to be very careful who I let influence me. Because it only takes a minute to go down the wrong road and the journey back could take years......always remember my friends are so important....glad I have chosen WISELY!

May His name be praised!

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Weather Outside is Frightful!

Friday, the weather here was fantastic. It was an unheard of fifty some degree day in December! I got the car washed, ran errands, went to a little Christmas party! It was a fabulous day! THEN, the winds came blowing in and with that came SNOW! Most of us living in the midwest love snow and are used to the cold. Most of us love when we have a white Christmas and love to see falling snow and snuggling up warm beside the fire.

However, this girl (that's me) DOES NOT! First of all before you get all your little comments ready at how God's creation is beautiful and we all should enjoy every aspect of it let me just say this......I KNOW that already! However, this is my PERSONAL opinion. I KNOW that it is not the perfect attitude and I'm really striving to work on that....back to me though K?

I drove to church this morning as most of you did that live around here saying "BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR" and being thankful for heat and fleece, and anything that is warm! It was a wonderful eight degrees on the way to church and Ellianna had to sing this morning. I had just washed my car on Friday and of course today its covered in YUCK! However, as I got to church and started to thaw out I became a bit convicted of my "yucky" attitude.

I hate snow for many reasons: the mess it creates, driving in it, shoveling, REPEAT! I don't find it lovely, when I see it falling I just think of all that needs to be done to clean it up. One might say I look at it as falling "ash" YEP! I know....that almost sounds...unamerican! I just think we could enjoy Christmas on a sandy beach just as well as building snowmen!

However, one of the deacons this morning stood up and before offering was being taken he reminded us of all we had to be thankful for and I felt a bit of...GUILT. Here I am whining about my car being dirty but I have a warm home, I have children who are well, my husband's business is well and I get the privilege of homeschooling my children. I was still a bit "GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR" about the cold but I realized as I looked at my son who was now complaining about it and heard my daughter tell Daddy "Mommy said she hates the snow!" I realized that perhaps keeping my mouth shut about the negative would be a much better idea than the complaining part....because really ......there's nothing to complain about! So, yes, I'll be happy when spring is here and my bones thaw but from now on I'll be keeping my lips tightly closed when it comes to my negative attitude on the snow because soon enough I will be warm again.

As I have heard from some of you reading this who are NOT happy with me.... so I'm trying to be VERY clear! I'm no happy about my BAD attitude. I believe that it is wrong. There are other people who really have things to complain about and being cold isn't really MUCH of a complaint...I'm sorry that some of you didn't realize that in reading this. SO, just to be clear...I was trying to be transparent on how BAD my thoughts were being. So, there ya go! I hope that clears it up! I thought I made that clear but I guess I didn't.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

For my sister Ronda Rehn

Today was a day that I thought that you would appreciate.

Remember when I was working at your store and my life was in shambles? Remember when I had to go to work and leave my sweet baby boy with you while he stood at the door crying but I knew that it would be o.k. because you would take really good care of him? Remember when you had Ethan and Landon keep it a secret that Trey was walking because you wanted me to see him do it for what I thought would be the first time? Do you remember when we would go out shopping together and your head was too small to fit ALL the hats in the whole entire store?

I remember all of them and then some....today though as I was sitting at the kitchen table with my two children and reading Mozart and teaching them and sitting in my warm home and am married to a man that takes care of us and supports me staying home I remembered how sometimes in life we take little detours....we sometimes don't think we will ever make it out....we don't think we will ever smile again....and we don't think that we and by that I meant ME. I remember watching you teach your kids and read to them and how you were so happy to just make a home for your family and I thought......TODAY I got it...I totally understand and can tell you how truly content that I am now and how much I appreciate you and your true love for your family and all that you have done and how important you believe the job of homemaker and motherhood to be.

I love you so much and I'm so thankful for you paving the way for me and showing me how....to NOT give up!

Make a Big Difference!

Does it ever seem to occur to everyone that we can make a big difference right here, right now, right where you are?

This thought occurred to me the other day. This week I'm involved in a couple of different things that usually include some serving going on. As I made the plans to make these things happen....and keep in mind I homeschool and I have Ellianna (which should count for two kids by the way just herself!) so when I go to serve others...."others" have to help me out so I can get to the "serving". However, in saying all that I realized just how important we can be in making big differences in the lives of many.

Have you ever wanted to be involved in something BIG? Oh, I have! I've thought to myself wouldn't it be so great to have this amazing singing voice and stand in front of millions and watch people just fall all over the fact that you are sooooo good. Or perhaps a gorgeous model, or skater, or gymnast, or movie star? Yes, I have moved PAST those "dreams" but I still believe that we can all be involved in something BIG! Perhaps we will never get a standing ovation....do you REALLY want one though? Think of the pressure of walking to the front of a huge crowd and wondering the whole time..."Did I for sure make sure that my skirt was pulled down, I do feel a draft?" Seriously, who needs that kind of pressure! By "BIG" I mean, when God tells you to do something you just DO it. I've started doing this recently. I "feel" God moving me to do something, I pray about it, He continues the tug....its usually pretty CLEAR and I just DO it! I don't try to get everyone involved with me...unless its a bigger thing than I can do...I just DO it.

Now, I know that some of you might be thinking that I'm bragging and talking about what an amazing person I am that I have such a servants heart. That is so NOT true. However, recently I have discovered the JOY of listening and then doing and thought that you all might like very much to hear what I have learned.

Lately, I have felt the call for different ways that Miss Dot could minister to other churches, to our church and to others in our community. God has blessed me with a "clown sister" that now makes that possible to do. Tonight we had around forty kids or so maybe less...but not a whole lot less. If I didn't have someone helping me there would be no way that I could have even gone in the first place. To be able to clown for two hours requires a lot of time of preparing beforehand and figuring out what to do with my children in the meantime. While clowning I need someone to watch my children. My point is, it takes a lot of people to help me "serve" and I just want you to know how much I appreciate them. I also want you to know that their act of service in helping me help others is just as important as the "act" itself.

I feel that we as a church have a long way to go in helping our church members who have real needs to meet them. I think we've come a long way and we are making great strides to accomplish more.

I just want you to know that I'm actively seeking right now the TRUE act of services without the bells and whistles without people KNOWING what I'm doing without all the gushing of my goodness. To want to SERVE because that's what we should be doing....that's the kind of heart I want....that's what will start the little difference into a BIG difference. When "we" meaning ME learns to step in and MEET the need without worrying whether someone saw in order to give me credit...because in the end if that's what I'm seeking...then my "reward" has already been given...and the applause is all the "empty" reward I will receive.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Music Class Continues

I absolutely love, love, love our new music class. Right now we are studying Mozart and its fascinating. I looked on Vision Forum and they have this whole study for all the great composers. It was wonderful because each book has a workbook and they also have color pages and the actual sheet music. I read a chapter each day while Trey and Ellianna color. I then ask Trey the questions and then we listen to the music. The beautiful thing about it is even though Ellie just says Mozart, Mozart and has no idea about the connection, I know that we are planting a seed. I enjoy this because there is an age difference in my children and we can't do a lot of read alouds but this we can do together.

I enjoy music since I have played the piano since I was seven and very much want to have my children love music as well. I want them to appreciate the fine arts and this study helps me do so.

The study is a bit pricey but I can teach two students and its fabulous. It's cheaper than a month of preschool for Ellie for the whole curriculum.


Monday, December 6, 2010


Just wanted you all to know that in homeschool land I have finally found a curriculum that has all the composers with cds of their work along with a study guide.

I'm so excited to start this study I can hardly contain myself. Tomorrow we will start with Beethoven. As I looked at the books I decided to do read alouds with them and then ask Trey questions. The beauty of it is the Ellianna can definitely listen to the music and listen to me reading to.....I know she won't get as much out of it as Trey but certainly she will get some.

I will let you know how we are doing with that!

Need a Lift Sister?

Tonight was our annual Lift Ladies Christmas Secret Sister's Reveal Party...I'm sure that the title there can be rearranged a bit but that's the idea. It's always a fun time. We eat tons, laugh a lot, get to find out whose been giving us goodies all year and really get to enjoy being with Godly women.

There are no kiddos...we have childcare and its LOVELY! I enjoy eating my food without getting up a million times and talking to real live adults in person and not on facebook and email to have that true human contact is a TRUE joy! Being in the house of God gives us strength to continue on.

In that time that we had to tonight I looked around the room at others.....the older that I get the more that I like to watch people. You can really see a lot by just watching and keeping your mouth closed....a new concept for me....I'm enjoying the learning process. As I looked around I saw hurt, loneliness, and weariness. I also saw joy, laughter, sympathy, empathy, support for one another.

I guess as I attend church and am involved in more things with the church I'm reminded how easy it is to get lost....to pull away....to stack things up in front of yourself so that others can't get to you and I wonder how do we pull that down...how do we as Christian women make sure that those who need love the most but won't let us in how do we overcome that and pull them back in?

The only answer I can come up with is perseverance....we keep asking questions, we keep helping, we keep putting ourselves out there because tonight it was pure JOY to be laughing and eating and laughing and eating and laughing and eating......I hope that soon everyone there can be laughing and eating to!

Nothing to FEAR?

Today at church I was in nursery which always is sorta difficult....you know that whole "serving" thing can get really old:) I was sad because I haven't had a chance to be in church lately and I "hear" that my Pastor has had some really awesome sermons! So, today I found myself a little bit attacked and have now found myself in "fear" mode.

As you all know our economy is suffering...as you further know they SAY its getting better...but there's OTHERS that say the worst is yet to come. As a business owner I can't tell you how much this frightens me. I know that God promises to take care of us and we have "emergency funds" available which helps me sleep at night but that can't carry us forever! So, as I sit her and worry about the bills and the store and the "what ifs" I'm reminded that there is absolutely nothing to fear for my God is in control. I can feel Satan now circling around me....I FEEL him this week in the verbal attacks I've received from some and the self-doubt that I've started feeling and NOW the ongoing fear of things I have absolutely NO control over.

This week I have a new clowning adventure and last week I was totally elated! This week three days before my new adventure I find myself terrified and filled with worry! Right now I'm in serious "Eeyore" mode. I keep thinking..."What if the kids hate it? What if they hate me? What if they run away and cry?" This is when I feel Satan the strongest he attacks me from the inside out...I find myself even at times shouting out loud (despite the STARES....ok I don't do this in public!) GO AWAY! I know that those thoughts of self- doubt are from Satan...I know he doesn't want me to succeed! So, I ask you for your prayers for me this day and for my ministry this week because I so feel Satan circling me on every side.

Praying for the Lord's strength this week...knowing He will give it and help me through it all!

May His name be praised!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Pat on the BACK!!!!

Ever have a day that your like...."Hey, I'm good!" then the next day...you feel like the bird that runs into the shiny clean glass patio door???? Kinda makes you wantta say.."O.k. I'm sorta good maybe?"

Well, I had a day like that yesterday...going along..minding my own business...then BAM! SLAM! Thank you maam someone is telling me that I'M FALLING SHORT!

Today, I woke with a heavy heart...didn't help much that the wind was blowing so hard in my big ol house that the very house seemed to shudder with the cool winds and keep me awake at 4 am! As I drank my coffee and ran my one errand in peace I began to pray, I prayed and prayed and prayed all day. I asked the Lord to reveal to me if what this person had said was valid. My heart was sad and I was depressed that this is what this person thought of me.

So, today I worked on getting the dinner ready for the party and making sure that everything was so so. It was balm to my soul when my employees were gushing at our decorations and food. I don't think they realized how much my weary soul needed a little pat on the back. So, I say all that to say.....even when you don't think someone cares about what your thinking....if its good...say it! It may be just the pat on the back that they need!!!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Check, Check, Check....Check!

Well, the decorations are up..check...figured out what to do for clients...check. Figured out what to buy for two teenage girls and one tween boy...check, check. Ordered Christmas cards and actually got a cute photo for the card...sent packages out, got cookies etc for the store...check, check. Caught up on homeschooling TODAY! am getting ready for a work party tomorrow.....check, check!

Do you feel like I do right now? My life has become a constant list with check check. If I could I put a dry erase board in my shower because there it is SILENT and I think of the most amazing things! Lately, I almost seem to be having to write myself a post-it of why I'm walking into the other room! Does anyone else feel this way?

Despite the craziness...I found myself asking for MORE! Have I completely LOST my mind? One would think. This week I found myself asking to do MORE....I KNOW it makes no sense but I couldn't help it! I found my heart being tugged by the Almighty and when He tugs...well, you might as well just listen because its going to happen.

So, I will let you all know how it goes with my "more" and hoping that despite the "crazy" of your week that you take time to really be "aware" of the Holy Spirit's tugging....Sometimes you might just be in for a COOL surprise....and sit back and laugh at how He decides to use YOU! It's really quite exciting!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmas Food Court Flash Mob, Hallelujah Chorus - Must See!

As I watched this my heart was filled with....joy, with praise...with unmistakeable PRIDE! I watched this bawling so hard my children were asking me what was wrong.

I wanted to shout "HE REIGNS FOREVER...NOTHING and No ONE can ever stop it!"

I love this, I know most of you have seen it but HE SHALL REIGN FOREVER!

May HIS name be praised!

Monday, November 29, 2010

It was Worth IT!

Well, I'm sitting around looking at my four days of hard work...five if you count the time I spent at the store. This year I really enjoyed myself decorating...it helps when you have a new kitchen table where everyone can FINALLY settle around and be comfortable. After the millions of boxes have been brought down and then put back up again...after the exhaustion of the two Thanksgiving dinners, two birthday parties and now the aftermath...cleaning, grocery shopping, getting ready for more parties I'm reminded how attitude can change it all!

This week I have a lot going on, as well as next week, and the next week! Suprisingly I'm not stressed...YET....I say knowing that soon I'll feel my heart racing and this amazing urge to RUN around like a crazy person making sure that there are no "accidents" in the bathroom and that the toilet paper is filled in all three baths and that the napkins are so so and oh my goodness don't even stress about your food for the parties your going to or the decorations that your in charge of...and I'm thinking "Why did I say yes to that again".

In saying all that do you know what I'm happiest about doing? The part where I get to go clowning....yep! The part where I'm totally out there being "imperfect" in front of little kids...telling them about Christ's love with the fun of the balloon candy cane, facepainting and just TALKING to them and finding out what's going on. You see, they don't think of me as an adult and some of them tell me very INTERESTING things! Christmas time isn't the "normal" time you think of clowning but I have about two to three opportunities this month to do so and I'm thrilled to do each one because....its not about the FOOD, the DECORATIONS, how beautiful your house looks, or your Christmas card or how beautiful your children sang at the Christmas Eve service...don't get me wrong....those are WONDERFUL things! However, I think our Heavenly Father is happiest and we are used in the most unique ways when we step OUT of the way and let our Savior "use us" in ways that we don't normally think of being used. When we allow Him to lead us to help others who need it most, to look at others who are hurting, to always be aware of OTHERS!

I find myself stressing as I try to figure out the "perfect" gift for my children. Stressing as we Christmas shop and Ellianna runs the cart into a another shopper (yes, that did happen) the lady was gracious! Instead, I'm trying to remind myself to laugh, to enjoy, to remember that this Christmas I can't re-do, I can't say "DO OVER!". Ellianna will never be three again, Trey will never be 11 again and opportunities to serve certain people may be gone if we don't act...so, I guess what I'm asking is this.....Is it WORTH it to stress over a holiday that is a celebration of the Savior who came to save us ALL or do we want to stress over a table arrangement, a meal, the perfect house.....I just can't do that anymore. I want to be able to say "It was WORTH IT!" It was worth putting myself out there as Miss Dot. It was worth it to plunge deep in my pockets so that someone can have a Merry Christmas and see the love of Jesus through US! It was so worth it!!!

May His name be praised!

Friday, November 26, 2010

To Give and To Receive

Today has been a day filled with boxes, boxes and more boxes. I have heard grumbling from three children and the fact that we have SOOO many boxes of Christmas decorations. The results thus far is the front porch is decorated and the rest of the first floor is dressed except the kitchen and I haven't even begun on the trees. My house was in such disorder today that even my bassett hound looked at me in disgust and followed me for awhile...(you see her bed was by a ton of boxes and she was just wondering what was going on?) Finally in disgust she lay down under the dining room table and even she rolled her eyes at me!

As I continued to dig through the boxes I found more and more decorations that I don't use any more but for whatever reason can't bring myself to even let go of. They remind me of places I've been, memories I've made, milestones that I've crossed. You can't just throw those things away can you? Well, maybe the ugly cookie plate somebody gave us a million years ago...some things are better left forgotten.

I continued to decorate this entire day and as the day went by and I listened to my children playing outside I remembered how far we have come and how lucky we are. I remember the first Christmas that I learned to RECEIVE.

Receiving a gift for me was always easy because it came from someone that loved me, or liked me...and usually I had one sitting there beside me to give back to them. However, when I was a single Mom and I came back from living with my sister in Michigan I learned how hard receiving can be. The first realization came to me standing in a Target line with my parents. You see, I no longer had a car...couldn't afford one and was saving up money to get one but I had to find a job first and it took me TWO very long weeks. In the meantime I had very little left in my savings to buy diapers or food and was eeking by on "gas fumes." Still, I had my pride...generic diapers, some baby food and deoderant and razors is what I had on the belt ready to be rung up. My parents were in front of me and my father asked me quietly how much I had...I told him, I had enough to cover it but after that? Well, then I would be living on "fumes" My Dad took the divider and held it...he paid my bill....I bit my lip to fight back the tears...knowing I was proud my Dad said.."Don't worry, when you get your job you can pay me back." I nodded, bit my lip harder and told him thank you...by the way I did pay him back and he knew I would. There was also the apartment that he built for me and Trey to live in...yeah...that's a pretty big one to swallow...and there were the people from the church that I attended who brought cookie supplies for me to make cookies with Trey for Christmas. They knew I probably didn't feel like celebrating that year but what two year old doesn't love making cookies?

Those are memories that will stay with me forever. Those are hard times that not many people know about. Those at the time were hard for me to take, here I was trying to hold it all together and here were people meeting my needs. At first I felt embarrassed....I felt that everyone now KNEW what a loser I was and here was the proof! However, at the same time the burden that was lifted because I knew I was doing all that I could physically do and it wasn't enough to provide for my child and the frustration that came with that! To have your brother n law buy formula, diapers for your baby, to give you a job at his grocery store even though banking was what I knew and truth be told I was a HORRIBLE grocery cashier....so confusing the fruit, the tobacco and I NEVER drank alcohol so why in the world would I know the difference between hard liquor and wine coolers??? This was a world that I knew nothing of! I didn't want to know anything about it!

I can't even begin to tell you the people that have lifted me up in prayer, in monetary gifts, in babysitting my son and taking him to a pumpkin patch because I never would get the time to do that because I was working. THOSE are the things that are life changing! I will never forget those that helped us during those rough three years. I hope that I will never quit looking for those that are need that were like me....I will never forget!

I pray I will always give with a heart of love and knowing how hard it is to be on the other side of that gift. May we always love one another with a perfect love and when we see a need may we "meet" it without a second thought for that is what God has called us to do.

May His name be praised!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Monogramming Anyone?

Lately, I've been getting into a monogramming "thing". It first started with a box of beautiful tissues that I was given by a friend while Mark was in the hospital. It had her initial on it and I just loved it. So, I went to my local Hobby Lobby and found that there were all SORTS of choices! Imagine my glee!!!!! So, I bought a couple with my lovely "S" initial and any time someone needed one (and it seemed that people seem to cry a lot around me lately) I wasn't embarassed to pull out my tissues that were practically rolled in a ball and pray there wasn't a piece of gum stuck to it...can you say..."No thanks, I'm FINE!" However, I noticed that every time I would pull them out my friends would give me a hard time...like...I'm so perfect my tissues even have an "S" on them. So, I decided to buy my friends some and then they enjoyed their tissues and so on and so forth...just something fun!

THEN, the sickness began....I got the "S" pillows, the "S" flag outside our home...attempting to bring myself to get the monogram rug. THEN, I brought it upstairs to the bedroom and got Ellianna's initials and then mine and THEN Trey's and Now I'm thinking I have two chairs that are new in the music room that should need them...so?

So, you ask what's up with my fascination? I guess it began with the tissues but then it became more of a.....answer almost a screaming reply to my son. For many children who lose their father's at very young ages their identity begins to get lost...they don't know who they are. For the longest time Trey couldn't even really tell you what his name was. So, I guess my monogramming "fascination" began with that. For him to be able to look at the pillow and trace the "S" and know that is where he comes from.....and that he should be proud of that....that he belongs and that its o.k.

So, I guess I'll be getting those pillows for the music room eh?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Britt Nicole - Hanging On (Slideshow With Lyrics)

If you've been riding in the van with me lately you know I can't stop singing this song. Even Ellie sings "ooooh ooooh oh" pretty good actually!

Today I found a Picture

This week for Trey's handwriting I am making him write his thank you notes to his dear friends who came to his party almost two weeks ago. In looking for more thank you notes I found an old picture that made me stop in my tracks! Don't you just love it when your going about your day and then BOOM! it's almost like a slap in the face.

The picture was of Trey who was one month old being held by me (who still had not lost the pregnancy weight) and his father Ron. There we were the perfect little family...frozen in time. I showed it to Trey so he could see how little he was and didn't realize that this would upset him....but it did. I said "you can have it, unless you think it will make you sad?" He handed it back to me without a word....I felt my heart tug but felt my mouth shut and figured that that probably should be where I left it.

This time 11 years ago I was in a hospital being induced for the birth of my very first child. After almost 24 hours of labor out into this world came Ronald Lee Hohman III also known as Trey....all 9lbs 2 1/2 inches of him 22 1/2 inches long! Yes, he was a big one! That is where our adventure began.

My sister called him "baby perfect". He slept beautifully, ate wonderfully, was so happy...hardly ever cried...completely content. He was PERFECT! Then of course he became a toddler and it all came to a screeching halt.

Trey and I are very close...I guess that's why it hurts me so deeply when I see him going in a direction that will only lead to destruction.

After Ron died and it was just Trey and I, I remember fighting with myself...."get out of bed...you have to take care of Trey!"

I remember my little boy putting his little hands on my face and saying "Don't cry today Mommy, its o.k!" I shook my head but inside I wanted to scream..."it doesn't FEEL o.k.!"

So, as I celebrate Trey turning eleven and that we have passed those horrible days but not forgotten who they have made us I'm thankful that God gave me a son like Trey, because without him I'm not sure I would have made it through. There were days that I just had to dig in inside and say GRRRRR and keep right on fighting. It was a strength I never knew that I had but I did. God gave me the strength to make it through when I had nothing left to give. He helped me see that this was a mountaintop but I could climb it and it would be o.k. He gave me a son who put his little hands on my face as a 2 1/2 yr old precious boy and say "It's gonna be o.k. Mamma...don't cry!"

I thank the Lord for my precious boy....even though lately there are days where I wonder...."where did he go?" but he's still in there....I'm still fighting and we will get up this next mountain to!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Dear Lord...I'm weary!

Tomorrow is my son's 11th birthday. I can tell you that I'm so happy to see the age of 10 go by I can hardly stand it. This year has been a difficult year to say the least.

Today is.....not going well and its not even lunch. I struggle, I hold back the tears, I confess I have no idea what to do. I don't understand men....I truly don't. I don't know what boys think...truly I have no idea. The whining from girls is annoying but at least THAT I understand.

I used to be annoyed that when Mark came home he could just take Trey into the other room and he would have a "talk" with Trey and then everything seemed to go well for a couple of days....and then...here we are!

I can tell you that today I threw Trey a curve ball. I have to decorate the store this week so we have three days of school to get done in two. Lest you think that's insane we do five days of school in four every week. Well, I have him doing several subjects today that he doesn't normally do....you would have thought I wrote the lesson plans in Chinese! He just can't learn to be FLEXIBLE! Its spinning his little head into orbit....throw in his birthday is his tomorrow....he just got a game system he has saved his money up for forever to buy.....and Thanksgiving is this week, followed by another birthday party and then decorating for Christmas and you have a boy who is.....well....out of sorts BIG TIME!

So today, I'm saying to myself..."hand me more coffee and the chocolate"......and most importantly..."Do NOT engage!" Part of me wants to whine.."Why do I always have to be the bad guy?" I want to be the "fun" parent, but these are lessons I must get through his head if I'm going to teach him how to be a good Christian young man and today I feel like a great big failure! I feel that I'm in a tug of war and Satan is winning! I'm trying to muster up the strength to keep fighting but I feel it slipping!

Last week I had another mother who I adore and has five children of her own and she had a "Trey". She told me that I have got to find the "good" in some of the things that he does and really focus on that...obviously tackle the bad and punish it severely but TRY to focus on what he does well. So, I'm getting back "out" there and I've got my game face on! I'm praying to the Lord for strength and for Him to continue to change Trey's heart towards Him.

Gear up girls! Gear up!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

How Time Does Go By

Here we are....the week of Thanksgiving! For me, one of the busiest weeks of the season. Most of you have your house to decorate and can obsess about it for a whole month...don't worry I do that to! However, this week I host Thanksgiving at my house (twice I might add) and celebrate Trey's bday (twice I might say again) and I have to decorate our store.

In decorating our store comes my insecurity...worrying about what others think as they walk in. Have I made a good impression to the community...am I helping my husband and painting him in the best light by the decorations that I have put out...am I reflecting all that I need to be?

As I started to go into panic as I realized all that this week would entail I decided to approach it completely different than I have before. This will be the first Thanksgiving/Christmas that Ellianna will truly start to understand. I can't tell you how thrilled I am about this prospect because this is my favorite time of year. Seeing her eyes light up and talk to me matter of factly reminds me of....well me frankly!

As Ellianna started getting excited about lights we saw up and all the decorations everywhere and talking about her pink Christmas tree it reminded me of when I was a little girl. I LOVE Christmas. My Mom is an amazing seamstress. She made the tree skirt, redid the ornaments so that everything would match (starting to see where my OCD came from) Our house always looked gorgeous on Christmas...candles everywhere, music playing and my very favorite memory.....our manger scene.

I would always play with this and never remember how exactly it was supposed to go back and always got into trouble for touching it....but I still always did...I couldn't help myself. I have the greatest memories with that manger scene and still feel myself as an adult being drawn to it every year trying to play with it...I have restrained myself thus far. I'm sure that the set probably isn't worth a ton but to me it is....I've danced in front of that manger scene, I've sang at the top of my lungs in my most dramatic voice singing "Away in the Manger". It's completely full of happy memories. It was right by the tree when I opened my first kitchen set and my stroller and buggy for my dolls along with my handmade crib my Dad made (he always made awesome things for me...don't ask me about my playhouse my older sisters get mad:)) it was right by the tree when I got my Barbie McDonalds, when I had to give my sister my brand new Barbie right after I opened it because I on purpose wrote on my sister's Barbie's legs with Sharpie (I'm sure she deserved it!) It was there the first Christmas I decided that I only wanted clothes (what was I thinking?) It was there when my son was born and enjoying his first Christmas when he was only a month old. It's always been there!

This year as I hear the grumbling of the children for the family photo and try to get the dog to cooperate at the same time as the kids for the annual Christmas card...I wonder what memories am I making for them? Are they enjoying the traditions that I set forth for them. Will they remember me having a "cow" because the house and the store aren't PERFECT or will they remember the warmth, the love, the joy that they had at Christmas time especially and the joy of celebrating our Savior's birth. Will they remember what we did for strangers or just what we got? Will they be the kind of adults that look to help others during this season or be the kind of adults always looking out for ME ME ME!!!!!!??? I certainly pray not!

As we get ready to bring on the PANIC....I can't find enough tinsel!!!!! Breathe in, Breathe out......remember how our Savior came.....it wasn't into supposed perfect surroundings.

This year as we come together as family and friends and continue traditions, and start new ones may we truly remember that its not about the decorations, the tinsel, the parties, the PERFECTION! It's about celebrating what the Lord has done for us and rejoicing together as family and friends.

I'm interested in hearing ya all's favorite Christmas memories!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Is there ever a good time?

This week I realized how much there really is to be done. My mind by 8am was going a bit crazy trying to figure out what should be done when and of course our lovely dog has an ear infection in BOTH ears and she also has an infection so she has to take medication twice a day and for those of you familiar with basset hounds....not an easy task. Needless to say with Thanksgiving day comes Trey's birthday and then decorating our store and our home and this year my husband said he wants the store to look REALLY NICE? Yes, I was a bit confused on that one thinking that perhaps is he saying it didn't look nice last year? I know that's not what he's saying its just code word for he wants BIG this year.

So, tonight I had everything planned just so so and tomorrow I had everything planned just perfectly...I even had two backups...but.....there was a hiccup I hadn't planned on. My dear Ellianna has been fine all week and in fact I have marveled at the absolute success we have had this week. Today I had got all cleaning done and painting done and was ready to have some kids over for play dates so that their Mom's and G-ma's should have a night that they could get things done but Ellianna had other plans....it first started with the gingerbread playdoh that smelled too good and she ate some of it and then she threw up....FABULOUS....I have three extra kids here and now I have one that has a bug of some kind...why don't I do them MORE favors????? So, phone calls to parents and then here we are trying to pick up the pieces and rearrange for tomorrow with chess tournament and I was going to be clowning but lets see.....blow on balloons when you might have a bug or facepainting on kids when you might have a bug....boy, I just keep doing people favors don't I?

So, my good intentions that I had planned for others don't get to be followed through and I'm feeling rather bummed. I'm also annoyed because I was planning on visiting with friends during a chess tournament tomorrow and I was totally excited about clowning tomorrow....even got a new wig and eyelashes and facepaints. So, here we are instead....laundry, clorox wipes, disinfecting wipes, purell and did I say laundry? Oh and did I mention Thanksgiving is a few days away as well as Trey's birthday? So, obviously my spirit is not in the right condition for being thankful is it? This surely couldn't be what He meant when He said be thankful in ALL things?

I assure you that right now I am not only irritated at my child being sick(not her of course, but the situation) and annoyed that there are people that I really wanted to minister to and now can't, and not being able to visit with friends and have some much needed "adult conversation" time just really is hard for me to swallow right now. I'm saying a great big HUGE GRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

However, I'm thankful there is no fever. I'm thankful that Ellianna is only throwing up a little bit and is able to rest. I'm thankful she's in her bed upstairs and not in a hospital bed. I'm thankful that we have a roof over our head and not sleeping under a bridge. I'm thankful for the heat we are able to have coming out of our vents and I'm thankful for the friends and family that I have and most of all I'm so very thankful to be a Christian living in a free country.

So, there ya go...now to get it from my head to my heart when I so desperately want to yell......WAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Loud Silence: Write that Note when you feel that tug!

The Loud Silence: Write that Note when you feel that tug!: "Today I received a very special blessing. I was given a very large hug by someone who had been having a very bad, awful, no good week. My ..."

Write that Note when you feel that tug!

Today I received a very special blessing. I was given a very large hug by someone who had been having a very bad, awful, no good week.

My heart had been burdened for this special lady all week and I kept praying for her throughout the week but I still felt that I needed to do more....so I wrote her an actual NOTE!

I know, the mind just is almost blown thinking that people still write personal hand notes to others and put an old fashion stamp on it! IT's true, the mail carrier's still like to deliver those! Lest you think I'm writing this to tell you what an amazing person I am.....you must not read this blog often because I'm so NOT!

However, I was struck by how so many of us are so disconnected from people now. I don't answer my phone while we are having school for obvious reasons but at the same time I will text just about anyone with whatever details that need to be known at that time regardless of us being in school...but a ACTUAL conversation? Well, who has TIME for that???

I read the other day that some people think that Christmas cards shouldn't be sent out that we should just email our greetings??? Email our Christmas cards??? I know some people do it and there certainly isn't anything wrong with that but seriously girls don't you super duper LOVE seeing how your friends and loved ones and their families have grown? Don't you enjoy getting an actual handwritten note from those you care about?

Have we become so disconnected from one another that we can't send a note? Have we become such a fast paced society with so many things to do and accomplish that people have become something on a To DO list? I'm GUILTY of this...but every time I decide to fight through it I'm always rewarded because an actual phone call or handwritten card showing someone that you care about them and love them is STILL such a wonderful gesture of human kindness!

I adore getting mail especially when its from those we love writing us to tell us that they are thinking and praying for us.

As I feel the holidays coming in and the stress starting right about NOW I'm reminding myself of an old rule I used to have: Write a note to those in need twice a week. That certainly sounds easy enough and many of us think we don't have time? It probably took me about seven minutes TOPS to write that note and I'm pretty sure that REAL GENUINE PEOPLE are worth that time.

So, am I trying to make you feel guilty???? WELLL.....no, I hate guilt....I just want you to realize that when you get the pull on your ear and you hear " so and so looks down today I should write them..." that yes, you should. You should do it EVERY time you feel "The NUDGE"

May His name be praised!

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Afters - Light Up The Sky

Do you ever have a song that you keep hearing over and over and over again? Right now this song is the one that I can't get out of my head.

Light up the sky show me....you are with me! Just thought that maybe that today some of you may want to hear that....He is with you!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

O.k. I GET IT NOW!!!!

I'm a little behind in my Esther study so I sat down today to finish up some more and was blown away at the things that I read on the page....

I just want to write them down for you and listen to hear your responses and see if they were anything like mine.

These are all from Beth Moore...not my words but hers given to her by the Almighty and they are VERY powerful!

"Spending ourselves for something infintely greater still fans our parched souls with the God-given need to matter, but relieves us of the relentless pain of be the "It" person at the center of it." Can you say...um....thank you for that?

"What if we awakened to what a dream-killer perfectionism is? To how pitifully small and unworthy a goal personal greatness is? We were meant for so much more." HELLOOOOOOOOOO! Is anyone out there wanting to shout yet?

"Every one of us who embraces the glory of God as our purpose will end up doing great things precisely because we do God-things. His holy hand resting on the least act renders the ordinary extraordinary. Spooning soup into the mouth of the weak or manning the nursery so a tired mom can go to church are acts of high worship when offered in the name of Christ. He beholds the sight like a breathtaking work of art, tilting His head to study each subtle detail. "She has done a beautiful thing to me."" WOW! WOW! WOW!

"Those with the presence of mind and semblance of health are called to pour out the drink offering of their lives until the cup is overturned and every drop of energy slips-perhaps unnoticed, uncelebrated-into the bast ocean of earthly need."

These words were balm to my soul. There are so many times I get discouraged in serving.....This is what really matters....It is helping me so much to have that word picture in my head..."He beholds the sight like a breathtaking work of art, tilting His head to study each subtle detail. "She has done a beautiful thing to me."

Don't grow weary sisters!

It all Happens at Once it seems!

This weekend has been a bit of a blur but I'm not complaining it was a great weekend.

I was given the opportunity to take my son Trey along with seven of his friends to go rock climbing at a local gym. I was thrilled to see my son be able to be with his friends, not argue, encourage his friends and share. For some this may be a given, for me it was extra special because we have battled this many days....making friends, keeping friends etc....lots of prayer, lots of crying....

Last night I was given the opportunity to have a rare night with just my stepdaughters and husband. We could go shopping and eat in peace without Trey complaining about shopping, without Ellianna having a melt down that she couldn't run through the streets. Not that I don't enjoy my younger children its just that we are finding that some time away is good for all.

Then tonight my husband and I went shopping locally to a store that we had been told about by a friend and I was able to purchase a kitchen table that I have been looking for, for about six months.

Why in heavens name has this kitchen table consumed me so much lately? Well, its where we do school, art, playdoh, meals....a million things. I needed more room and I was growing frustrated that I couldn't find anything that would hold up well but not be to fussy because we aren't fussy people but still look really nice. The hardest thing for me about this whole process is my husband had decided that if we were going to do SOME of DAve Ramsey, we had to do ALL of Dave Ramsey. I must confess I have been pouting for several months about this very thing. I was upset because I felt...we don't have debt except for our house so WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL I WANT A NEW KITCHEN TABLE WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

So, tonight when we found not only the table that I have been searching for but a BONUS shelf that I will use as my hutch I felt a twinge of guilt....o.k. I felt VERY guilty. For months I had been annoyed at my husband and not being the "submissive" wife that I should be. I grumbled to myself but tonight.....it seemed the universe stopped and I'm pretty sure I heard angels sing and I'm pretty sure there was a BIG STINKING STAR over the table and as I GASPED loudly and tried VERY HARD NOT to scream so that the sales lady would hear me say..."ITS PEERRRRRFEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEECT!" at what my eyes saw before me I also felt guilty.....this is so way more better (did I mention cheaper...and I know way more better is improper but go with me here for a minute)than what I saw six months ago and pouted that I couldn't have.

Then as I have been re-arranging things in my head before my hutch comes and planning everything out it dawned on me.....its kind of like when God asks us to wait and wait and wait and wait and THEN when we least expect it.....ANSWERED PRAYER! For me, tonight it was a kitchen table....silly thing I know......but....what about the big things? Yes, I think He works that way on the big things too!

May His name be praised!

Saturday, November 13, 2010


As this morning came I have been fervently praying to the Lord. I am in a battle right now with my son's heart. For those of you who think that I mean he's just a "typical" boy...you are right...most boys are selfish, rude, and sometimes lie. My son is not BAD so to speak but my heart is so heavy for him.

Since we are able to homeschool I see him in all sorts of situations that when he went away to school I did not see. I see the way he reacts when he's wrong, how he is with his friends, how he is when he plays sports. For about two years this trouble has been brewing. He is a young man that is very smart but doesn't know when to admit he's wrong, brags to others, and thinks of himself first.

There are days I just want to sit down and cry.....I know what will come to him if he continues down this path. I fear the friends he won't make....I fear him being alone. My heart aches for my son. However, lately I'm seeing glimpses of the Lord working in his heart....for instance we bought half a cow the other day and he helped me carry it down to the freezer.....because I asked him to....but then.....he came down later to help me...without my asking...my heart smiled and I thanked the Lord.

I will only tell you that if Trey will listen to the Holy Spirit than he will be capable of great things I believe, but if Satan wins his heart......

I ask that today you join in with me for prayer for our children and teens because I believe we are in a huge battle right now for our children and sometimes Satan wins but if we pray and correct our children....even when its for the 100th time, I believe that God will have the victory and lives will be changed forever for the good.

May His name be praised!

Friday, November 12, 2010

I'm In a Hurry to Get Things Done!

This week I decided that I would take my friends advice and shop online and have the items delivered to my home. I cannot even tell you the true excitement I felt when that little red van came driving up to my home and two employees got out and carried my groceries INSIDE my house!!! Girlfriend it was like...."this must be what its like to be RICH?" o.k....I got carried away but seriously it was such a treat that for days I was on cloud nine telling everyone that I meant what an exciting thing had happened to me. O.k. I'm STILL talking about it!

Now today, I got to stay home ALL DAY! This means, that for one thing.....I was able to clean, relax, and my children were able to play with the toys in their room and be at home which is our "sanctuary". In the blissfulness of staying home today I noticed that my youngest is in a bit of a.....shall we say "funk"? Yes, it has to do with the weather and the sickness going around but I had to ask myself is it because we are just going and going so much that on days that we take to slow down my children seem confused??? I don't normally go somewhere every day but I have noticed that this semester with soccer and now gymnastics and all the things that I crammed in that we were way to busy and now I find myself with soccer over I'm feeling some weird need to "FILL" it????

I guess what you could say is that I'm really wanting and striving to make sure that I've learned to be content and to be STILL.

As I've learned to manage my time more effectively and making sure that I'm saying no to things that are at certain times and then having my GROCERIES DELIVERED I'm having time to do the things that are the most important....taking care of my children and husband and serving those who are hurting in our community....instead of running and running and running....I'm trying...I'll let ya know how it goes!