Monday, August 30, 2010


I have the BEST post. A story that touches the heart (I think)...I'm just waiting on a picture to go with the (already written) post!!!! I can't wait to post it! Can't wait!!

It's Monday around here. Truly a Monday.
I was up a couple times to feed Nathan in the night (which I find to be no big deal because he goes right back to sleep usually). But right after the 4:30am feeding...Haley woke up. And she does NOT go back to sleep peacefully. She wanted to be in our bed. We don't want her in our bed. Because then she is there EVERY.SINGLE.NIGHT. And it took a long time to break her of that in the first place. So, she whined. And ordered us to let her in our bed. And cried (loudly). And *almost* woke Nathan back up. She wakes Nathan often. It does not make me a happy camper.
Daddy finally gave up and left the room at 6am. In disgust. She got in the bed. Sigh. Two points for the three-year old. Zero for us. And *yawn*...a bad start to the day and the week.

And then...I got to face both sides of my sink...FULL of dishes. On both sides. Oh the joy. I worked out first (yay me!) and then tackled them. The dishes. I won. They're DONE.

Now, it's lunch time. The kids are hungry. So am I. But I'm tired more than I'm hungry. Mentally tired. Physically tired (30 Day Shred is a tough workout!)

Did I tell you yet, that Haley doesn't take naps anymore? And that it makes me very sad?

Off to make lunch. And once again fill the sink with dishes. Sigh...

Monday, August 23, 2010

(not) Back to School-A Day in the Life

Over at
Heart of the Matter
there's a little "thing" going on! It's kind of an online conference about Homeschooling. I have yet to have actually entered any of my posts. One was the whole schoolroom thing, but by the time I posted it on my blog it was too late to link up (yeah, a day late and a dollar short). And I didn't do the student pictures/introductions. (I will though!)
But I'm going to attempt to get this one in on time! ;)
It's supposed to be an outline of our daily routine.
*Note that I'm fully aware that if I plan something it won't work out for one reason or another, so this is going to be a basic guideline, not a hard and fast schedule!

7:00am-Mommy up and exercising
7:45am-wake kids up (they can begin their personal care/bedmaking, breakfast,etc) Computer time for me
8:30am-chores (thinking of using an idea I found from another mom's day in the life and doing "zone" housekeeping. One room per day...Not sure though.
9:00am-school begins!
1:00pm-rest time!!! Yay!!! Little ones to nap and bigger ones to read. I may read or nap (ideally should do some quiet time with God to keep me centered) or we may still need to work on school...depending on how the morning went.
3:00pm-tv time for the older kids
4:00pm-prep dinner/finish any school work that didn't get done
Evenings will be devoted to practice (baseball/soccer), church, American Heritage Girl meetings every other get the idea. And Family time! I hope to have it work out more often than not. It seems, too often, during the "school year" we are all running in different directions. And I'm afraid it will only get worse as the two little ones get older and have their own activities. (Each kid is allowed 2 things-scouts and a sport/physical activity)
The most important parts of this "routine" are the wake up times and the "to bed" times...I think if we can get those under control...everything else will work out.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Balance is something that is very hard for me. In every area of life I tend to be all or nothing.
-->I'm either counting every.single.calorie and exercising like crazy (no pain no gain anyone?) or stuffing my face and lazing around like a sow (well, as much as one can do that with 4 kids).
-->I'm either counting every penny that gets spent and budgeting every cent. No eating out. If we're going to be out at meal time, we must be armed with PB&Js. Or I'm spending it like there is no tomorrow (as much as one can with limited income)
-->I'm either cleaning every square inch of my house or it's a sty (see above, the sow's only fitting right? If I'm acting like a sow, I have to have a sty to live in.)
-->I'm either disciplining every misbehavior in my children or I'm letting everything that doesn't cause physical harm go "un-noticed" (read: ignored)!

I think the thing is, because I'm so spastic when I am doing the right things that I get worn out. Tired. Run down. Can' If I could find some balance in life and watch what I eat moderately and exercise the same way!? I would never feel overwhelmed by a "diet". The discipline thing? My kids would be in check. I wouldn't have to go around for periods like a DRILL SERGEANT. Cleaning? Keep it clean a little at a time and do deep cleaning every now and then.

Right now, I'm trying to clean up all my messes from quite some time ago...(before Nathan??) The weight I've gained, the money I've spent, the house EVERYONE has messed but only I care enough to clean, the kids that are watching too much tv and getting away with leaving their rooms WORSE than the rest of the sty house. Oh, and I'm in my exercise clothes. Get the picture?

**P.S. I had this post ready, just needed a "balancing" picture. So, while we were at the mall I had the kids get on there. It was quite the joke with them having their arms out like that...they could've run on that little wall. LOL Oh well, it served my purpose. And BOOOOOOO to the man that yelled at my child from inside of his little rinky dink store about being on the "planter". Bah to him. We just moved on down the mall a tiny bit and found a new place! Take that.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Financial Peace

Ok, I know that sounds like some kind of an oxymoron. I hope that after we complete this course byDave Ramseywe will not feel that way.
We signed up for the Financial Peace University course through our church. The cost is $100. I almost didn't sign up. Then our pastor said that any church member that wanted to do it need not worry about the cost-we could pay whenever we could, on time, whatever it took.
My hubby and I decided that we should give this a go. A real go. We're tired of the struggle of the American Dream. You know the dream.

It involves lots of these:
Criminal Attorneys

And leads to lots of this:

And the lie that you can have anything you want instantly. Microwave. And you can (*WAC) but there is a price. There is no (financial) peace of mind. So, we are going to learn to work the system. To get out of debt. And live in (financial) peace.

Honestly, I was kind of skeptical. Maybe a little bitter. Of course Dave Ramsey has financial peace. He sells lots of books about how to have it. And, I figured, he'd never had no money to work with. It's really easy to preach financial peace that way, isn't it? But, when I went to the Introduction class/video, I learned something. He's been at the top (made a lot of money with Real Estate) and lost it ALL. Every stinkin' penny of it. And everything came due. And he was bankrupt. So, I figure he's had less than us. Right? Maybe he knows a thing or two about getting out of a bind.

I'd like to leave these:

more than debt. Not just money-an inheritance. More than that, I'd like for them to know the principles of living (financially) right. It will take some sacrifice. It will take some discipline. And some self-denial.

And a big pair of these:

By the way, our class is paid for in full by a church member who donated some money just for people like us. Wow. I found that out on the day that hubby got his overtime back. The overtime he lost right about the time I got pregnant with Nathan. I think God might have something for us here! I'm so excited to give this a real go!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

{Not} Back to School in our School Room

So, this past week I was inspired to start re-vamping our school room. And because I'm a consummate nerd...I love that kind of thing. School/office supplies are some of my favorite things! But, it's been such a hot, lazy summer that I have just left the school room to grow mold or whatever it grows when we're not using it. So, over the past few days, after being inspired by looking at tons of great school rooms over at
Not Back to School Blog Hop
I've been working on ours. Getting it ready for September 14. That is our official back to school date for this year. I am pretty proud of what I did in our little room. I think it's looking pretty nice.
To give you some perspective, this used to be almost 1/2 of our 2 car garage. We closed it in, leaving only a small space between the wall and the garage door so that bikes and toys could be stored there rather than the half of garage we had left. My dad is our contractor (thank God!) and did all this because he loves us. :) He built almost an entire wall of bookshelves (floor to ceiling). The dimensions of our learning space are: 11 feet x 8 feet,
but it feels more open because of the half walls/open door way to the laundry area. The kids have a long countertop that is installed in the doorway for their workspace. We found that desks didn't really appeal to them. I have a rocking chair right now, only because I needed that last year while hugely pregnant and unable to sit anywhere else comfortably. Okay, truly? I couldn't sit even there comfortably. I plan to replace it with a barstool and my dad is going to install a pullout that will attach to a shelf that I can work on-kind of like a computer desk has for your keyboard!? That way I won't take up any space! Brilliant if I do say so myself-I'm humble too.
Oh, and I plan to cover the floor with a rug to make it less noisy. Other than that? We LOVE our school room. We didn't always have one. We did the dining room table thing for about 5 years. And it was okay. Except when you have to clear off the table to eat lunch and get everything out again. Or if you miss a spot of jelly or syrup from breakfast and an expensive school book sticks in it. Oh, and the fact that several of my kitchen cabinets were housing school supplies/books! So, I'm very thankful for dedicated space! :)
The Student Work Area (a countertop installed on the wall at desk level!) to the left of our Armor of God poster is Lindsay's spot and Jared's is on the right. Linds likes her bulletin board messy and her desk neat. Jared likes his bulletin board sparse and his desk a mess!:

Awesome Book Shelves (Curriculum as well as non-Curriculum-fun, learning, reference.....)

White Board, World Map and Letters for my Little Ones (ie: print)

This is actually the back of our built-in entertainment center (living room) and it creates a little shelf/ledge that we can keep things like the globe and butterfly habitat on. I'm thinking the blank space next to Lindsay's chair will be the spot for our timeline for History. Either that or on the half wall behind my rocking chair.

P.S. to the above picture: I think you can see where the lower ceiling is above the kids' workspace (actually that is a "pocket" of sorts for the garage door to come open all the way for our bike/toy space). I think that will be THE perfect spot for Jared to put his planets! We are doing Apologia's Astronomy book! We'll hang it right there!

Haley's Space:

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Big Fat Lie

We were all told this big fat lie at one point or another in our childhood years. I know our parents (and grandparents) were just trying to minimize how we felt about what was happening to us. I know there was nothing they could really do about what was happening to us. So, they told us this "Sticks and stones will break your bones. But words will never hurt you." Not.

Anyone who has been on the receiving end of a caustic or mean word knows that words can not only hurt you but they can destroy you. And, sometimes even more obvious, is if you're on the GIVING end of ugly words. You can see the hurt, the devastation on the face of your victim. There is no salve. It can't be taken back. Or bandaged. Sometimes you don't even specifically remember the words that wounded you so mortally. But you remember the hurt.

::Ask the young girl that has heard someone say she's "fat". She will never, ever look at herself the same again.
::Ask the boy that overheard someone (especially a parent) say that he is "just not athletically inclined" with a shake of the head. He has been dropped down a notch in his own eyes. Even if he didn't like sports anyway.
::Ask the child whose (rotten) parent has called him or her dumb. Oh yeah. That arrow hits it's mark. And it's deadly.
::And the wife whose husband puts her down?
::And the husband whose wife emasculates him with words?

Those people will never be the same again. Ever. Just as a small example of what I'm saying, I was told by another child on the school bus when I was about 9 years old that my nose was big. Seriously. And I know that if you've ever ridden a school bus or spent any amount of time around other are not surprised. Because kids can be cruel. Beyond cruel. I spent the next 15 or so years being so self-conscious of my nose. A nose that, while not perfect certainly, is an okay nose. A little crooked maybe. Not tiny. But certainly not "big". I believe the child called me "Pinnochio". (Really, I know it. I heard it in my mind for years. Echoing.) Sometime in my mid-twenties I looked into the mirror and had a revelation. One of those light bulb moments. My nose was fine. It wasn't big. I no longer needed to cover it and try to hide it.
See what I'm saying? I don't remember that kid's name. I truly don't. But his hurtful words damaged a part of me for many years. Made me self-conscious.

As parents, we have to be especially careful. What we say is so vital to the well-being of our children. It's stressful. It's scary. I guess it goes along with the old saying "The hand that rocks the cradle...". Because we really do, as parents, rule a lot of things-if not the world.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Teeny Tiny Baby Love

Yesterday I had to take Lindsay to the doctor and while we were waiting, there was a tiny little red-faced newborn in the waiting room. And my heart melted. Of course I had to get the details from her mama and she only weighed 7 lbs 1 oz. I wouldn't even know what to do with one that tiny. But I sure did itch to hold that little bundle of pink sweetness. (No, I did not ask to, lest her parents think I was a nutty woman and run screaming from the waiting room.)I've come to the realization that as a woman I will never, ever lose the awe that leads to "awwwww" when I'm looking at a newborn. For just a moment (okay, it was a little longer than that) I wished with all of my being that Nathan wasn't my last. I know. I know. Four is enough for me. And I've had my turn. And all that. Yada yada. But still...

Nathan is just growing up too fast (never mind the others that are crazy big!). And I can't fathom that I will never again hold a newborn that is MINE. And take him or her home from the hospital and be completely responsible for that little tiny being. Never again will I beg God for sleep because a newborn won't let me. And cry when it doesn't happen. That is just too much. Never will I snuggle up in my bed with my newborn-just so I can be close to him or her. Never is a long time....

The practical part of me is so ready to move on to the next phase. The phase where I get to enjoy my big kids. The time of life where I get to sit back (for the most part) while we're camping at the river and WATCH my kids. Rather than jumping up and down...running back to the camper to put a sleepy baby down for nap. Getting drinks, snacks. Constantly NEEDED. But that mommy's heart inside of me will sure miss it.

I guess I'll just have to wait for grandbabies. And that makes me smile really big.

Clothes Shopping

is never good. And really never good if you just ate at a pizza buffet. Seriously. Don't do it. But, like most lessons I had to learn this the hard way. I've needed to get a couple of things to wear that I feel "decent" in but haven't had the time. Or maybe it's the gumption I was lacking. The gumption to try to squeeze 10 lbs....well, you know that saying. And the gumption to take my 4 children along with me while I do this. Sounds like a suicide mission. Like I could blow up all over the store-taking out all the poor unsuspecting shoppers. I would be sorry for their families...but it would not be something I could help. It would be simply spontaneous combustion.
But, I didn't. Combust that is. Despite my dear husband's lack of cooperation tonight (thanks Honey. I hope you enjoyed your time at home while I had all 4 of the children shopping with me. We did fine, thanks.) I started off at Target, leaving the husband and 4 children in the car-thinking it was better for all concerned. The kids had a great story to listen to while they sat. So, feeling only slightly rushed, I ran into Target to search all their racks until I found something suitable. I looked and looked. Tried on. No. Not good. Thought about buying maternity shorts-YES I DID think about it. No, I didn't do it. I called my mom and she convinced me that was not the best plan. Then suggested another store. After dropping my hubby off at his car (left at the scene of the crime-the buffet) I headed to Academy where I managed to find a couple of things that I could squeeze into with minimal overhang. Yuck.
Capris. I like them. They are the new shorts in my life I think. I never understood when my mom would say "Don't you think I'm too old to wear [such and such]?" And I would say, "What do you mean? If it's comfy and you like it...wear it!" I get it now. I feel like a wanna-be teeny-bopper if I wear anything that goes much above my knee. Maybe I'll feel better when I get busy working out (I do have a plan...really I do) and there's not so much mashed potato consistency to said region-above the knee. Or maybe it's just age. I do know that I am also much more concerned with modesty as a virtue than I used to be-and not just because I'm no longer thin. Because the more I learn...the more I realize that it is God's desire for us to be modest.
I found some capris that, if they don't flatter, they don't scream "Look at me!!! I'm fat but I don't know it!!!"
And did you know that Academy (yes, the Sports and Outdoor store) has a dressing room big enough for a shopping cart holding a baby, one mama and 3 other chillen's to go in together? So my children were my fashion helpers. They helped me choose my pants. Good kids. They didn't even announce anything embarrassing where everyone in this UNISEX dressing room could hear. (You know the comments kids can make. "Mom, why is your tummy lumpy like that?" "Mom, were your boobs always that squishy?" "Mom, did you know your underwear has a hole in it?"-yes, those comments. The ones that keep us moms humble.)

Oh, and my plan? Don't worry. It does not include the pizza buffet. I will have to attend a 12-step program but I think I can give it up. Seriously, did you know food is an addiction? As sure as heroin or alcohol? Only not illegal! So, you can "do" it to your heart's content. Until you are a fatty in the fattest city. (Yes, my city has that distinction! Yay us!) And you have to have it...and that's my problem, once I start eating? I can't stop. But that's a different post.

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