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!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Getting back to the SIMPLE!

Today my husband was home its his one day off and they will be few and far between in the next month. Owning an old home we have lots of projects that will probably never stop but I still very much love this home and like that my husband helps make it "perty".

The weather was wonderful today, my Ellianna "got" her preschool lessons today. Our counting has come so much further! I can't believe after all the money that I spent on curriculum my favorite thing that I bought was a set of seven books for $19.95 from the Amish community that gives her everything she needs from the Rod and Staff publishing company...it made me think...the "basics" is what everyone needs to get back to. Her workbooks are simple but she "gets" them and funny....they still teach the SAME things that her other ones do but in a much "simpler" way. It made me kind of think about other things as being "simple." I wonder what else I could make simple...

Well, about four years ago we did the Dave Ramsey thing and even though I grumbled constantly about "the envelopes" I have come to love my envelopes. There is "safety" in those envelopes. When the envelopes are empty it tells me that we are "done". No more groceries, no more movies, no more clothes until the next time the envelopes are filled...so SIMPLE but yet....do I always do it that well???? I try very hard to but I must confess not always. I look longingly at the kitchen tables (yes, I know would I just be quiet about that already!) and the lovely patio furniture but my "envelope" is still empty there was a tree that had to be cut down and a window that was broken and...you get the idea.

Wouldn't life be so much easier if we could go back to the simple. Do you all remember simple? I do! I was about six and the biggest problem I had at that time was that my Mom made me wear a shirt and brush my hair (yes, I wasn't always the prim and proper person you see before you...QUIT laughing!) but my parents taught us to live within our means, she canned our food, she even went on a bit of a health kick where we got goats and got to name them that was fun for awhile until I realized we had to drink the goats milk....YUCK YUCK YUCK!!!!! However, they taught me to work in the garden and run a thingy bopper that plows the ground and I could even run a tractor (yep yep yep) but somehow along the way life got yucky and complicated and downright hard.

Lately, I've started purging a lot from my life: bad food (no chips or twinkies here folks!) bad music, television is very limited, and trying to only buy what we NEED as far as clothing and other things (yeah, gonna be awhile on that one sister!) so as I work towards the "simple" and the purging that must be done may I also look at the spiritual purging and when all of that comes together wouldn't that be.....oh SOO SIMPLE!!!!!! Can everyone say AHHHHHHHHH! Makes you want to put your toes in the dirt right now right??? Ok, maybe NOT that simple!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What's My Motivation?

When I first started blogging it was with reluctance and quite frankly fear. I didn't really want to do it and then I just kept feeling the push that I "should". So, I did and all of you have been so very kind with the words that you have written to me. So much so that I begin to become very fearful in what my real motivation was each time that I wrote something. I was afraid that each time I would put a new post in and no one would write something..."Oh no, I've hurt someones feelings, or that was stupid I shouldn't have written that at all." So many mornings I would wake up getting ready to delete it when one of you would write how much that very thing meant to you and all I could say was "thank you Lord, so much for that." However, I don't want to become prideful and have my spirit be that of pride. I hate pride but that is one of my biggest vices to overcome.

My biggest fear is that I will not be open to the Holy Spirit's calling. That I will only write what I think others want to hear not what I'm learning (which is the purpose of this blog) I am afraid that the sin of....PRIDE will come into my life.

Don't get me wrong girls....I love to hear the comments that you all make...pretty please DON'T stop but it really got me thinking about every aspect of my life. Recently I have felt convicted that I know how to play the piano and really haven't played in front of church since I was in my late teens. Lately, I have become motivated to do so and as I was practicing the song the other day "It is Well with my soul," my mind went back all the way to when I played it for the first time. I know the meaning of the song of course but do I really? I have changed quite a lot since I first played that song. I have had that song follow me through a lot of changes in life. I had that song sung at my first husbands funeral....he left this earth with lots of questions and few answers but one thing I never was unsure of is where he went when he died. I know that as I stood by his bedside that he knew I forgave him and that is all he needed to go home to heaven. As I played that song in that church I wanted everyone to know that just because you sin on this earth doesn't mean there isn't forgiveness....I wanted people to make sure that everything was right with their soul so that they didn't have to go through what we went through but at the same time let them know that Ron did leave this earth with hurt but he was still God's child. When I play that song that is where I go...I always want to make sure that my heart stays there but sometimes I fear that I'm thinking "I'm so good, listen to me play ha ha ha." Oh my goodness can you imagine? Can you even imagine how ridiculous that would be? As a young adult I would listen to the A-mens of the church after I played and if there were lots I "done good" but if not too many "oh man!"

Here I am getting ready for this fall bash at my house and I keep wondering to myself as my mind keeps creating more and more elaborate things to do and decorate and eat and driving myself crazy.....I think? What's my motivation? Do I want everyone to say "Your so amazing at decorating and cooking and blah blah blah..." Do I want my children to panic every time I have a huge gathering by saying "oh great, here we go again, Mom's going to want everything perfect and we can't touch anything and she's going to be grouchy YUCK I hate parties," or are they going to remember just that we had a party and that it was fun and they look back on them with great memories not a crazed Mom that has had to have so much caffeine during the day that she really shouldn't be driving her nerves are so frayed?

AS I thought of this I thought about the other areas of my life. I thought of this with the issue of my children when they misbehave...am I interested in their spiritual welfare or am I concerned that they have just made me "look" bad? Why do I clown, why do I do all the different things that I do? I dare say that for today my motivations seem pure but I always want to make sure that they stay that way.

I cannot go back to the sin of pride ever again...it scares me that I will...it terrifies me that I will go back. It's like an old crutch, so familiar, so easy to get caught back up in..feels right somehow. I dare say that if Jesus would walk the streets of St. Joseph would He call me a ...Pharisee?? Would I be helping the "ugly" part of society the way He would? Would I be reaching out to those who aren't "pretty" in our society. Or would I be standing there in Target with my starbucks coffee shaking my head in disapproval that they used a "bad" word and think to myself that if they would have tried harder that they could "be" better. Again, I'm not for people who say bad words in front of my kids and I'm not going to endanger my children's lives but dare I say.....there are "people" that visit our church that I think "how nice they are here.....so ANYWAY!"

So, I say all of that to say that I'm going on record as saying that I would appreciate it if you would knock me off my high horse if you see that I am on one. I am trying and praying for my motivation to be only "God approved" and just so not everyone panics a little feedback is nice for my soul but if one should see that my head is getting to big that they get a "needle" out and POP it!

Some Days are Just like that I guess!

Today was a beautiful sunny day. Started off well. The alarm went off and then....well it went kinda off track after that. Today I decided that I was going to get up 30 minutes early than I do normally. I was very excited about this adventure and then I would work my way up to rising a full hour before that. I had BIG dreams! To those of you who awake singing I'm so glad for you. To those of you who your family has your shower running and coffee ready when you get out I salute you because THAT is exactly the kind of woman I am sister and I have NEVER been a morning person (ask my college friends) I once was responsible for turning off our freshman roommates alarm clock when her snooze went off FOUR times! I unplugged the darn thing and yes she was LATE for class but I was NOT about to listen to her alarm go off again and again!

So...... my husband was still using the bathroom so that got me off track and then today was ballet and Ellianna's nose is running like crazy because of the wonderful allergies that we are dealing with and of course this is making her cranky. We just finished her day of preschool and it was a discouraging whiny day. She didn't want to do anything but CUT CUT CUT and then she didn't want to even do that (I'm sure you mothers understand) and for Trey's chemistry experiment someone drank the last bottle of pop so there is nothing to do his experiment with...not to mention that Ellianna wet the bed twice (once for nap and this morning) so I have laundry out the you know what AND I have a ton of cleaning, cooking today. We have a big fall party coming up we have it every year and this is our fifth one. Its always a great time but the work that goes into it my family doesn't even understand! I have grand ideas for this one and I have about six lists going in my kitchen of things that need to be done by Saturday. Plus I also need a new bigger kitchen table, furniture for the music room, new patio furniture for under the gazebo and while I'm at it I think I need to lose at least 15 lbs really fast! So, any hopes that new furniture and a radical change in appearance is going to happen by Saturday? NOT A CHANCE!!! I will be happy if today I'm able to teach piano to three and get Trey through school and still put a meal on the table.

Why do we hold ourselves to such high expectations as home school Moms and as Moms period? Why do I feel that since I had a goal of getting up and my husband DARED to be in the bathroom at that time that I've already failed for the day? Why do I feel that since Ellie doesn't seem to be "getting" counting and coloring and all the wonderful things you teach your children that I'm not teaching her well enough that I've failed as a mother and that I'm a horrible teacher even though yesterday was PERFECT! She got it, we screamed we shouted we did the happy dance! Why can I go back so quickly to being discouraged? Why do I stress myself about having parties and people and what they are going to THINK if.....my music room isn't furnished like a page out of Nell Hill? Why do I get so discouraged at why my house isn't this or this or I don't look like this or this or my kids don't get this or this....

Yesterday I met with three homeschool Mom's during our enrichment classes for our kids and they are.....well....they are amazing Mothers. One of these Moms was talking about a trip to DC that she had just taken with her family and her two sons and how close they had become and how that it all tied in with their studies and studying american history and how she encouraged me to continue on and...well...there was so much information and encouragement in those three ladies that if I could squeeze them I'm sure that you would just be amazed at the goodness that lay before you! They were simply that sweet, and that amazing! So, here I was encouraged and ready to continue on and you know what Satan whispered in my ear? "You aren't like them....look at these women...what ever would make you think that you could ever be like them." and today I'm shouting back..."No, I'm not like that them but I refuse to be discouraged with the things in my life that I cannot change...and I refuse to give up on the things that I can." With God's help I will be the Godly woman He wants me to be and no longer compare myself, my home, my children to anyone but God.

Right now my biggest challenge is the day to day doldrums...not the BIG things in life. I'm convinced that the big things in life are easier to get through then the little things called life. I'm sure that the path He chooses for us is not always about the large valleys or the big mountaintops but about the daily path the daily life....FAITHFULNESS in the little things.

I pray that I will look at each day as a new day with lessons in it to learn and overcome NOT as a day full of failures! May His name be praised!

Monday, September 27, 2010


I was brought up in a church and a school where perfection was desired in just about every aspect of life. The way you dressed, the way you performed, grades everything was about perfection. We were encouraged to always do our best for the glory of God. There is nothing wrong with this idea except that "perfection" is not at all what God requires. It has taken me several years to be o.k. with this idea and even now as an adult I will tell you that I don't have this down AT ALL!

I will tell you that I still worry if I'm home schooling my kids the excellence that they deserve. Am I committed enough? Am I explaining it well enough? I worry that my house isn't decorated enough, I don't cook well enough. Why can't I say no to food better? Why can't this weight fall off faster? By the way why do I always see cobwebs when guests are HERE and NOT when they are NOT here.

I live in a town that is NOT perfect. In fact some outsiders may say that we are a bit of a "cow town." When I first moved here I will tell you that I went to the park and cried A LOT. There was only a Wal-MArt here and some grocery stores. I was a stepmother to two girls that didn't really like me very much at first and I was in a town that I knew no one. It was a recipe for DISASTER!!!! However, I will tell you now that there is no other place I'd rather be......most of the time....I still really miss the south. However, I have a church that is fantastic....they have made me feel much love. When Mark had his surgery that waiting room was full with friends that loved the two of us and knew how hard it was for me. We even had customers come and show their support. I have women that I call on for all sorts of things and you have never met better cooks, better gardeners in your life that will tell you how to can just about everything and cook anything. I have learned much! I can also go to a Target store with my hair in a pony tail and track pants and not feel that I'm totally out of place. I'm very happy with raising my kids here and hope that they become very close to this community. When Mark and I go out for dinner there is never a time that people aren't saying hello.

Despite my love for this town, perfection still haunts me. I'm involved in a Beth Moore study on Esther and one of the questions was "On a scale of 1 to 10 how haunted are you by the pictures of physical perfection that loom nearby?" My response was a seven but before I raised my hands I found that no one talking felt the way that I did. They simply where not caught up by that they were very happy with who they were and I thought to myself "Wow! I really wish I was like that!" I hope that someday I will see myself the way that my perfect Heavenly Fahter sees me but I'm scared that that day might not come. I will keep trying and working and praying that I will see that and that I will be used the way God would like me to be used!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What should I say?

Today was a typical crazy Wednesday. Nothing to write about here except the craziness that comes from life with soccer, ballet, home school, and teaching three piano. Add to that a dash of things coming up that can't be avoided and we have "craziness". There is absolutely NOTHING that went horribly wrong today, nothing was broken, no one in my immediate family is sick and we all slept through the night last night. I truly have NOTHING to complain about....but I'm sure I'll find someting.

Today at ballet I encountered the same thing I have dealt with since having another child. I looked at all the ladies there and they have 2.5 children exactly 2.5 years apart from each other and inside I'm grumbling "oh how happy for you! How nice to have all your ducks in a row!" So, as we are standing there watching our "darlings" dance and praying our child doesn't do something ridiculous (which so far that hasn't happened) the question that I hate comes up! "Sooooo, is that your son over there?" I'm thinking this will be a hit on home schooling...NOPE! (awwww relief!) He was doing his work and NOT playing with a Nintendo DS I might add. So, there I was with the awkward silence and then....."how far apart are your children?" Oh goody, this is my favorite question of all time. Should I go for the "my husband died story, or the part where I couldn't get pregnant part. Seems unfair to give them both at the same time I hardly know them." (thoughts to myself) So I go for the we tried three years to have Ellianna.....then the..."Oh, I'm so sorry.....they really aren't that far apart! My sister is blah blah blah"

Now, in case you think that I'm being hard on these women please forgive me. They had no idea and still have no idea how hard it is for me. What I really wanted to say was: "Yes, when my son was two and a half I was burying my husband when most people were planning their second child.....I was just trying to survive.....then I got remarried and wanted another child but......I couldn't do that either" and every time someone asks me about it I want to scream....."I KNOW, YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW MUCH I WOULD LIKE THAT FILLED."

It reminded me of so many christian songs I hear and one of my favorites by a group called Point of Grace...."heal the wound but leave the scar, a reminder of how wonderful you are...I am weak and torn apart....heal the wound but leave the scar." There is obviously way more to that song than I just wrote but I know that God knows my hurt.

It also makes me realize to watch my tongue and be sensitive to others. I know some that have children with birth defects, I know people that can't have children, or can't seem to get pregnant. Some have never married, some have illnesses where they can't function as they once did. The point is, we all have scars, we all have things we wish we could change and for whatever reason they are meant for good. May I always be quick to remember that...but I'm not...I forget all the GOOD He has done for me. The blonde hair, curly hair, blue eyed precious daughter I prayed for for three years is asleep and healthy in her bedroom and her blonde hair, blue eyed brother who drives me crazy in the room right next door. How many people in this world wish they had that??? I would say quite a few...May God's name ALWAYS be praised!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What am I doing????

I'm not going to go into detail because I don't want my children to hate me when they grow up but I will just tell you that so far today has been one of those days that I just wonder WHAT AM I DOING???

Teaching Ellie today was great! Watching her learn to use scissors is fun even though she still tries to do it with both hands. Trying to get her to learn her lessons and count properly at times I wonder when I will break through. Then she will recite a poem on one of the letters that we are reviewing??? Crazy!

Then there is my dear Trey. I have a schedule and I have consequences but it seems today was the day he wanted to test me and all I could think of wanting to do is making his voice be silent. I was wishing I had a mute button controller that worked for his mouth but there isn't such a thing...YET! I hate ten...I hate that he is slowly pulling away from me and that is the natural course of things in becoming a man pulling away from your Mother but at the same time I won't stand for disrespect! I won't stand for the "Eyore complex" and my personal favorite "It's not MY fault!" Trying to teach children to take responsibility for their actions and to understand boundaries seems to me to be the hardest part of parenting.

Hoping and praying that they will follow those things when your not looking. How do we know that they get it? Why do some children seem to "get it" while others don't speak, or speak to much and you never seem to get through??

What is the magic potion for getting through to our kids. I keep reminding myself that three months ago I thought Ellianna would never learn to go potty....now we don't even think about it. I also try to remember the good things that my children do hoping and praying that they are doing for "heart" reasons not because they hope that everyone can see them and doing it for man's glory.

Praying for Mommies today and especially those that have chosen to home school. Today......I am discouraged....I know that it will be o.k. but inside I'm saying "GRRRRRRRR!" Why can't they understand I'm trying to save them from difficulties???

Monday, September 20, 2010


O.k. girls, I keep having people ask me about this and I have to give all the credit to my friend Faith and then to my sister Ronda.

I love to cook! I love to have a meal prepared for me that is good for my family. It makes me feel good that I can do that and I love the money that it saves us and the nutrition that it gives us. However, I was stuck in a rut and the food we were eating had lots of cheese sauces, lots of bread (I love bread!) So, I did a life change of eating and that included obviously what I cooked.

The book I use is "Don't Panic Dinner's in the Freezer." This topic came up when I was at a enrichment class for home school and was chatting with my friends about how Tuesday and Wednesdays are insane! So, she was telling me about her "31 days of cooking book." which I do have but haven't used. So, when talking with my sister she told me about the particular book that I'm now using.

It is so obviously easy that I find myself saying DUH DUH DUH!!!! Why in the world didn't i think of this before??? So, here goes: You take the dinner that your making and either double it or triple it. You can do that for two weeks and have about a month or so depending on your family of meals that are ready to go. The beauty of the book is you can do it with everything! Cookies you name it at a moments notice I'm ready to go.

I recently went to Sam's purchased two rot. chickens, carrots, etc and made four huge batches of chicken noodle soup, broccoli cheese soup etc. I like it that when people come over I have cookies that I just have to run to the freezer pop them in the oven and WOW Fresh baked cookies. I also enjoy it if I have someone who had surgery, an accident whatever (because those things aren't planned) I just run down to the freezer and I have a meal to take to them. Also, if I'm running late or something goes crazy my husband just has to go downstairs to the freezer and grab something out. The book tells you about "flash freezing" It talks about diff ways to freeze different things so that your not using up dishes.

I did take a picture of my freezer so you all could see what I'm talking about! I lay my soups flat in a freezer bag and put in a casserole dish in case there are drips and when it is frozen I file the soups like files. I want to eventually get wire racks to put them in and organize them better but for now that's what I do. So, there you go. Enjoy! Get the book its really helpful and its soo easy! I even sometimes go downstairs and stare at my freezer and say...oooh that is SOOOO nice! (yes you knew I was weird right?) Happy cooking girls!!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Filling the ?

Many of you know that for a very long time I have desired another child. It has been so painfully obvious the hole that stretches across from Trey to Ellie. Every time I look at my children I'm so thankful for them but wish there was something to fill the very evident blank space in between them.

Lately, I've become very convicted of why I might really want this "hole" filled. The idea that this might possibly be true cuts me to the core. I breathe sharply every time i think of it. I keep telling myself this is surely not true but I feel I must confess it, must pour out my soul, must search His word to be sure. Sometimes I feel that no matter how true I think I'm being that maybe some part of my heart still wants to try to deceive God no matter how impossible I know that is.

We were to start our ten week classes this past Thursday but as we have told our social worker a million times before Thursday is the absolute worst day for us to do it and right now I'm not sure what night would even be possible for us to attend anything in anyway. At first I was so sad, so mad, so distraught! How can this be that God would give me this desire so badly if He didn't want it to happen? How could I have dreams of this little boy, long for him, pray for him if there wasn't a little boy that he wanted me to have? My husband does not feel the call right now...he doesn't feel strongly either way which to me is even more frustrating. I keep wanting to yell at him and say "Your just distracted! Your not listening to God because He has told me that we should!!!" In writing that I realize how that may sound but please understand that my intentions have only been pure.

Lately though God has been whispering in my ear something I really don't care to hear "Are you sure its what I want? Are you sure your not trying to FIX something?" Honestly I will tell you I had never been that honest with myself before. That thought had never crossed my mind! When I saw the blank between Trey and Ellie I saw many things: pain from Ron's death, pain, pain, pain, pain! I think that perhaps that blaring question mark, that empty space was a marker to me forever of what was going on in my life and for me filling that was about "perfection" Trying to fix something that wasn't perfect. Trying to fix something that has made me who I am. That has made me be able to minister to women that have buried their husbands like no one else can! I've stood there thinking "What am I going to do NOW?" as I've stared at a casket! To fill this question mark would be to say that that part of my life never happened and that I was just like every other young woman who had their kids 3, 4, or 5 years apart from each other....but you know what???

I'm NOT every other woman! I'm me, I'm weird...I'm a lot of other things but I can't erase, I can't fill, I can't make it go away and become this perfect person that God didn't mean for me to be! I am a woman with scars that has found my way with the help of Godly women, prayer, hard work, and yes....my ALMIGHTY GOD!!!

So, I'm not giving up on filling the question mark. I'm praying for the desire to be taken away or filled somehow, someway...for this one! Waiting and watching to see how God can fill this desire or take it away is what I must do....finding contentment in what is and not trying to make my life perfect is what God requires. So for now, I'm waiting....and that's something I'm HORRIBLE at!!!!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

When In Clown

This morning I awoke with a "Grrr attitude" I had a lot to accomplish and just really wanted to get all of it done. I had a mental checklist going from the moment I woke up! Let's do this and this and this and this! Now "let's go!" Even now as I write this I'm still in this mindset!

First, Trey had soccer pictures with his team and his soccer game. I and ten other parents were able to be there at the right time but there was one....you know how that goes. The coach was even annoyed because the boys weren't able to practice at all before the game. Inside I was like "too bad for you, there will be NO picture for you!" but I'm not in charge so I just stood there chewing my gum annoyed like the other parents. So I instead told my son goodbye as I went off to get ready for clowning already making arrangements with the coach and making sure that his father knew when to come and get him.

SOO, there I was on my way home trying to get there as fast as I could so that I could go clown for some children who have cancer and get this day going. GREAT attitude wouldn't you say??? Of course EVERYONE on the road was taking their SWEET time looking at the signs on the road and inside I'm screaming "It's just a GAS STATION SERIOUSLY!!!!" Finally home, getting ready for clowning o.k. DONE!!! Then my trusty sidekick shows up and off we go in the van and of course my son helped me load the van and I said to him "Are you sure that that is everything?" Normally I check but of course today I didn't. As I'm walking at the door I start barking at my children because Trey is talking nonstop, Ellie is whining and I'm trying to get out the DOOR PEOPLE!!!! So, I stop and say "I can't be yelling at you when I'm in clown so please cooperate with me!" Off we go to the church for the event and as we go we get honked at, stared at and of course we can't have a reaction that is negative even though after awhile you want to because again I'm in "clown" and can you imagine seeing a clown go off on somebody? Talk about a bad impression! So, after getting to the church and getting everything set up guess what I realized? You guessed it, my dear beloved boy had left a very important bag including my face painting stencils, etc. So, I once again got in the van, drove across town, got my bag, drove back all the while being stared at, honked at, laughed at...again I realize this is normal but today I was in NO MOOD! The whole time I kept saying to myself..."your in clown, just smile."

Then it occurred to me after the event today and by the way we didn't have a huge crowd for Camp Quality but we did make some great new friends and now we have actually been invited by the director to the Camp itself so we made some great contacts! They even took pictures of Bubbles and I doing the giant slide which they said would probably be in their publications??? Wouldn't that be hilarious?ANYWAY.....as I was saying...

It occurred to me how that I reacted being in "clown" I thought to myself...if this is how I'm supposed to act when being a clown then why is it so hard for me and others to act the right way when we have the holy spirit living within us? Here I am a dressed up character but how many times with my fish on my car do I yell at people who can't seem to drive the way I see fit, or yell at my kids because they do something stupid, or get mad at my friends because they are not doing what I think they should? How often do others look at me and say "she's a christian?"

This day didn't go as planned. I missed my son's soccer game because I made a prior important commitment I missed a birthday party of a very special boy because of things that were out of my control but the saddest part for me was I seem to be a better "clown" than a christian. My heart was saddened that at the age of..um... thirty six that I still haven't learned to control my temper better than I do...I'm so glad that we serve a God who loves us despite ourselves and even though I fail constantly I know that I'm still a work in progress and I'm made in his Image. Thank you Father for loving me and guiding me may I be sensitive to His leading always and keep my attitude in check, check, check!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Slow Down!

The weather is starting to change and of course I'm wondering if I should change out the clothes already. I keep thinking today is the day and then it turns into seventy degrees so I guess I will just keep wearing shorts and a sweatshirt.

I was looking at the calendar the other day and told my husband I need one more weekend! I need to do a garage sale, we are getting ready for our big fall bash and then our church will be doing our yearly drama. I NEED another weekend! I need more hours in the day I need MORE MORE MORE!!!

I have to have a weekly calendar because the monthly one overwhelmes me and I don't know what I'm doing if I see it all at the same time. My brain does a certain "meltdown" of denial and I just want to go crawl in the covers and forget that I'm a Mom. I keep singing the song to myself lately "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming."

Lately, I've gotten discouraged with always walking around trying to keep everything picked up the kids in line, the house in line, what's breaking now and who broke it and "WHY ARE WE WRITING ON THE DOOR AND THE WALLS WITH THAT MARKER!!!!!!" I keep telling myself that these days are fast and fleeing that someday soon my house will be empty and nice and neat and I will long for the....dirty clippings of nails that someone has left for me on the end table of the family room (how nice they thought of me!) I will miss not sticking to the floor in the kitchen and when I ask "who spilled something?" "NOT ME, not me, it certainly wasn't me!"

Lately, I find myself more melancholy. As my son was driving me crazy in homeschooling the other day I realized that he was halfway through his time with me. Only seven more years and he's on his way. Ellianna is already taking ballet and cubbies at church...its going so fast!

This week a police officer was killed in our town. An accidental shooting during training. My husband said that he was in our store recently and was talking about his little girl and how proud he was of her and then just like that.....he's gone.

It made me think back to my tragedy. How the sun didn't shine as bright, how the world stopped. How I wanted to stop everyone on the street and say "DO you know what I lost? Do you know how sad I am?" I thought of this mother, this wife and her heartache and the long road of grief and I just keep thinking...this life is so hard, this life is soo fast and so quickly gone but thank heavens this is not our home! This is not the end! Heaven is my final home and there are days I wish we could all be there and just worship at His feet and see all the ones that we have missed and just SLOW DOWN!!!!

Wow! Can you imagine worshipping THE KING forever?? For eternity? It will be awesome!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I've Been There

Motherhood....such an absolute amazing thing and scary at the same time. I remember how I felt the first time I found out I was going to be a mother and the strange way I felt after I gave birth. Some mothers immediately reach for their babies and with crying and kissing they accept their newborns and start breastfeeding immediately. I on the other hand.....well I had been in labor for about 29 hours and my son was born weighing 9 lbs and 2 1/2 oz. The only thing I wanted was relief from pain and that Sprite that the nurse held in her hand trying to coax me to push my baby out. Isn't that pathetic? I was so exhausted and so completely out of it that in my small brain I thought that there was no way that I was really going to ever push this baby out that everyone was lying to me that there was no way he was really EVER going to come out! He did and he was perfect and after I had my Sprite (don't ever tell him that) my "motherly" insticts finally kicked in and have been in gear ever since!

I have been through many phases of Mom. I've been the happily married Mom with baby working part time oh the bliss that it was! I have been the single Mom that had to move in with my sister and her family and then back with her parents. Working full time, having to go on WIC to feed my child handing those checks to the cashier made me feel as small as one can possibly get. It was official, I felt that I was on the bottom bracket of society. I worked at a bank and did o.k. when my income was combined with my husbands but alone...well...I used to make forty bucks last a week and somehow...don't know how, it did. Then I became the widow and had no idea what t to do with a boy. I was always the cheerleader type and a OCD neat freak. My son would scream when giving him a bubblebath because he was all "messy with bubbles". Yes, I'm sure that's my fault too and don't even ask me about the time my Dad took him to dig out potatoes! There is a reason people why boys should have their DAD's o.k.!!!!

Now I'm a stay at home Mom who does the unthinkable....I HOMESCHOOL! Have you ever said that you would never ever do something and then in some way, you almost think it a cruel way God has a way of making you eat your words? It seems He makes you do the things you said you would never do. It only works if its true by the way! I've tried to say "Oh Lord, whatever you do please don't make me be as thin as I was before I had kids or let me drive a Mercedes! I would hate to do that Lord!" It doesn't work unless you really don't want to do it! Well, that's what happened to me! I not only homeschool I drive a minivan! Those are two things that I said I would NEVER do!!!

I would first like to say that there are people like my sister Ronda who are perfect for homeschooling. She's the kind of person that if would have been allowed to go to college would have been the elementary education major that everyone would have loved to hate. I could see her now with her perfectly organized filed and gorgeous bulletin boards with students piling out of her class proclaiming her brilliance and how that they could not wait until the next day to be under her teaching again. If you know my sister you know this is true. She makes you interested in whatever it is you are learning about...try as you might you get sucked into her love of learning even though you might be screaming NOOOOO...I really don't care...you will she's just that good!

Unfortunately, my parents decided to spend the money to send me to college and the business major that I held onto was not probably the prize that they had hoped for...sorry...what can I say? So, this whole idea of homeschooling and love of learning was not something that I was a "natural" at. Go ahead ask my college roommates they will tell you books were not my thing. I studied and worked hard but it didn't come easy. I had to re-teach myself how to learn, my brain didn't work like others did so this whole homeschooling idea was a "NO GO" thank you very much, when others would ask me about it

However, God had a way of pointing me in a direction that has led me to where I am today. Lest you think that I'm telling all people that they should homeschool understand that that is NOT what I'm saying. I'm simply stating why I homeschool and that is because I believe without a doubt that that is what God has told ME to do. Not preaching at anyone, not trying to make anyone feel guilty for their decisions this is simply MY belief for MY family. Also, lest you think I'm against teachers please know that I have several friends who teach and each and everyone of them is spectacular! This is just my choice for my family.

My son Trey started experiencing some difficulties in his last year at a private school that we sent him to. When it comes to my son I'm very sensitive. I'm always worrying about how he feels about the death of his father, how this has affected him if it has affected him...I've always just been very scared. My main concern is for his heart to be tender toward the things of God and I was becoming scared that he was no longer sensitive to that. His whole entire personality was changing. He no longer cared for school and he disliked subjects that previously were his favorites. So, when behavioral issues arose and I was spending so much time helping him with his homework at night I decided through much prayer and much argument with God that this was the way for me to go.

I can tell you that a year later we have found our groove and that now I'm very fulfilled in my new role. I actually can't wait to buy new curriculum for the following year and squeal with delight when new books come and then think to myself "Who ARE YOU???" I find no greater joy than being able to help mold my son and daughter's character to help them learn, to have them with me always...yes I said always! At the store not long ago my children where not getting along very well and the cashier said "aren't you so glad when spring break is over?" Can you imagine what she would have done if she would have known I voluntarily keep them all the time? She might have had me committed! Lest you think I have it all together and my children never get on my nerves please don't misunderstsand! Homeschooling is very difficult. You have to completely reorganize your life. You have to be very strict with your schedule and conflicts that may arise during the course of your day but you also have to be flexible because otherwise you will go insane. You have to roll with the punches while at the same time keeping everyone and everything on track.

Today while at the soccer game and apple orchard I took lots of pictures and couldn't believe the difference in height since last year but I also couldn't get over the huge gaping hole that i see every time I take a picture of my two kids. To me there is a huge question mark sitting in between them. I keep asking for the Lord to feel this ache of mine....this past summer when we sat down with the social worker she told us that there is a real possibility that we would get at least two and would that be possible? Now, as i think of that my mind goes into a million different directions? How could I possibly keep my house in the OCD condition that I require at least some of the week? How could I possibly handle that many kids and homeschool them properly? How could I give that much love to that many kids? I know, those of you who have that many are laughing at me but to me the idea seems so overwhelming but my heart aches for that question mark for just one more maybe two...that ache that only motherhood can fill....that hurt that only mothers understand. Until that day my question mark is filled I will keep doing what God has required of me and pray that I will be the kind of Mother and teacher that God wants me to be. Always looking to Him for the example that I should set for my children and grateful for the opportunity that I have to be able to stay home with them. Thanking God every day for the little things and not being upset about the things...like checklists that aren't completely crossed off every single number!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Learning Patience?

I knew that it was going to be an interesting night when I laid my Ellianna down for the night. She was hacking and nose was running as most are right now with ragweed being absolutely ridiculous. I was hoping that it would be an uneventful evening with me starting the first day of school the next day with both children but that was not the case.

I prepared myself for a long night but comforted myself with the idea that if worse comes to worse we could adjust the schedule. About 4am I realized that no adjusting was going to make this day go well. I was just going to have to really drink the caffeine to get through the day. As the morning came I realized that Ellie was going to have to go to the doctor AGAIN. I called and they could get her in and I was thrilled (still in my mind adjusting my schedule) that is what you do when you homeschool you constantly adjust your schedule to make it all miraculously "happen" Getting out to the car with my trusty ballcap and as I get ready to put Ellie in her carseat I notice a HUGE STINKIN GAPING HOLE IN MY VAN WINDOW!!!! I'm so annoyed I don't even have time to react. I just pick up my cell and tell my husband I need him home now because we now officially need a ride to the doctor.

Two hours later as I'm finally on the way home driving my husband's car and now I have wonderful marvelous meds and the doctor has now told me that he thinks Ellianna is developing asthma I start to become very irritated. How does one even get glass out of a completely shattered window and sweep the huge pile of broken glass off the street without getting ran over (let me tell you don't try wearing flip flops) O.k. before you all say "duh" let me just say that this was my first time with vandalism and such so I was a little "out of it shall we say" I did however get it done without getting ran over but I certainly was stared at and people were a bit annoyed but trust me they would NOT want to have stopped and given me a hard time I was so angry I think I would have taken ANYONE on!!!!

As the day progressed and I had to take my car into the autobody shop I became more annoyed (what a waste of time and money this was!) My whole first day of school completely wasted all because someone threw a beer bottle out the window and then I went on my own little tyriad in my head...went like this "first of all why in the world aren't beer bottles made up of plastic? YOu don't even hear of someone breaking a window by throwing a bottle of Dr. Pepper at it do you? Second, why did they have to aim it at my van? ARen't I nice, don't I let people go in front of me who are waiting with one item while I have 50? Why did someone have to pick on me? Then I moved on to blame and the horrible parenting this person must have received "who teaches their kids to throw things out the window? Who teaches their kids to drink and drive? Who teaches their kids to do all those things at the SAME STINKING TIME AND HIT a minivan that is owned by a homeschool Mom who has only had four hours of sleep and just wanted today to be a great first day of school? Huh what about that?

However, on the outside I was cool. Saying thank you to the people at the autobody shop and almost crying with gratefulness when they said that it would be done today (which it was and all shiny and clean I might add:)) Just telling my kids that tomorrow was a new day and even though we missed enrichment classes I would get Trey to soccer somehow......THEN the unthinkable happened.....my husband called and told me while I was at soccer with Trey that the lettuce we had just bought at Sam's on Sunday was frozen on the bottom level of our fridge and what did I suggest they eat for a veggie instead. THAT WAS IT!!! THAT WAS THE LAST STRAW!!! I completely lost it! You would have thought that I was told that someone had come by and blown out all the windows on all three of our cars I went CRAZY!!!!!

Today however has been a very good day. Car fixed, answered prayers of a friend, Ellianna is better and did well in preschool today and ballet and Miss Dot got to do a very fun thing for some great kids tonight. So, why in heaven's name did I lose it at such a little thing after all the big things seemed to just glaze me over?? REAlly, I believe I was just brewing inside waiting to blow trying to handle everything on my own as usual and realized that there is no one waiting with a great big list to see if I completed my whole list today. The sun will shine, the world will spin if I leave a few things uncrossed for a day and in all reality a broken window is such a little thing compared to some really devastating things people go through every day. I was grateful however for the sun rising today and my "bad day" being erased and God giving me a new beautiful day with "no mistakes in it...well, not yet anyway"

May I remember on my bad days that God knows what is going on He is not suprised by what happens and He was testing me in my "pressure cooker" I did better than before but still.....I have a way to go.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Making Chicken Soup

This week has been a whirlwind for me. We have dealt with sickness and sleepless nights. Days with nebulizer treatments and the coughing and sneezing and fun that comes with ragweed days. It occurred to me the other day that I will miss these days and it will be soon.

My sister Ronda sent her oldest son off to military boot camp and it was a terrible experience for her. She would call me crying so hard I thought for sure that Landon had been killed but her "Momma's heart" was hurting and she was suffering from a wound of her baby boy being taken away that only a Momma that is going through the same thing can understand. I have several friends going through that right now and I know my day is coming...

As I stood in my kitchen and my ten year old son was complaining because I was making him help me make banana bread (I knew he would enjoy it once he got going) and my little Ellianna saying "I wanna help me stir, get hands off Mommy me do!" I thought of my friends who had done the same thing with their little ones once and knew that I was taking a "memory picture". Right then and right there I was content. I had my two children that I had always wanted and my "Momma heart" was happy.

Tonight as I watched my son play soccer (he has begged us for years) and after four years of basketball we decided to let him go for it. I found myself looking past him thinking that tall boy couldn't possibly be mine where was my little boy? The way he ran I remember seeing another young man during his college days run with his soccer ball just like that and wondering if he could see Trey? Then I heard my Ellie say "daddy's here Mommy!" and there my husband was coming to watch his son Trey play soccer for the first time and I thought how quickly time passes. Soon, much too soon this day will only be a memory so I decided to once again take a "memory picture".

I also thought about the "missing child" that I have and wondered what he was doing today and as the MBCH worker called today to tell me what day the ten week classes were I wondered how I would ever be able to work all that out to get to my "missing child". How could I want to adopt so badly if God couldn't work that all out. I also thought of my dear friends trying to have another child and ones that have cried over that just like I did when I was trying to have my Ellie and the prayers that He answered for me and what does it mean when He doesn't answer for them? What does it mean when He doesn't "fill that hole of their missing child?"

I don't know what God has in store for all of us who are "Momma's" Why He allows some of our children to be taken to heaven, why some of us who desperately want to become a Momma can't and why others that don't do.

It's very difficult to be a Mother. I'm constantly worrying and praying and trying and hoping that my children walk with God always. That they let Him guide them always that He keeps them safe ALWAYS but I can't worry, I can't fret because God loves them even more than my human heart can so I guess I'll enjoy them being little as long as I can and take my "memory pictures" often and for now just keep making my homemade chicken soup with my little ones helping beside me!