Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Rhythm of life ...

Every time I think we are getting into a good rhythm in our life, it seems like something happens!
I suppose what I really need to learn is to be more flexible with things and accept changes and hiccups without worrying so much about it all. But it's true that's one thing I struggle with - if I have a plan for the day and it goes awry, it just makes me feel out of sorts.
I need to learn to handle that better and not let things bother me so much!

Today my son spent much time crying. It was in fact very hard on me. I'm sure it was rough on him as well, but really by the end of the night I needed to hear NO more crying or whining. I was done with it all. Thankfully Big Man put him to bed (4 different times no less) and I could finally breath and relax.

The next few days will be fun - I'll have 2 extra little ones to keep track of. Okay, they are 4, so not too little, but it will be fun to add another 2 girls into the mix and see what happens LOL! I think my girls will have a blast with it all honestly and I'm looking forward to everyone entertaining each other =) Of course, this is also helpful since well, at this point, every single dollar coming into this helps a lot so yeah for a few extra dollars coming in! I have an adult friend coming over tomorrow too (along with her little boy) and amidst all the chaos of children we will try to get some scrapbooking in. I hope that we will be a bit successful LOL!

Anyway, I am really going to try hard to not little things bother me so much from now on. I do believe my days will go smoother if I can just learn to relax a little bit more!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I will! I will!

Little Man has quickly turned into a typical toddler. His day is filled with shouts of "mine" or "my truck" he has even said to me while I am puttering on the computer "my puter!"
Ah yes, he thinks everything is his, everyone comes over to visit him and now he thinks he can do anything. All day long I here "I will!"
For instance if I say "I'm going to turn off the TV" he races ahead of me yelling "I will" and turns off the TV. If I say I'm going to go get his blanket he yells "I will" and gets it himself. If I ask Little Miss or Little Mama to do something, yep, he yells "I will" and tries to beat them to it.
Now this extends to other things. For instance, if I say "I have to make dinner now!" he will run to the kitchen shouting "I will!"
Silly Little Man I think. Now really, he can't make dinner. He's not even two! But he has no sense of that. He thinks he can do anything he wants to do. He knows no limits and no bounds. So he doesn't know how to cook? That doesn't matter. I think he believes once he gets in the kitchen the knowledge will come to him - or maybe he has faith that his father or I will help him with the things that he needs to do. That we will reach in, lend a helping hand and he will get the task done.
And really, is that such a bad outlook to have on life? To dream of reaching the stars, to accept help when you need it from others, to have faith that someone is out there wanting the best for you (in my case that would be my faith in God) - really, I think I should start taking lessons from him. I think my son is probably a pretty smart guy and I will try to mimic his enthusiasm for life.

Friday, August 24, 2007


Power is back up ...
Of course 2 hours till we are supposed to be hit by major storms again. Crossing my fingers they are wrong about it LOL!

It's raining ...

It's raining
It's pouring
The tornado sirens
are roaring

The lightning flashed
And the thunder crashed
And now we don't have power!

Yeah, yeah, power doesn't rhyme, but it's the truth!

Yesterday started out as any normal day.
But it all became quite crazy after surviving 2 tornado sirens, 2 powerful storms, and one normal storm - which knocked the power out!

But between neighbors checking on us, us checking on them, getting help, borrowing a generator, and feeling we did all we could do, dh and I finally managed to hop into bed at 2 am.

We woke up to the power still out, but my husband plugged in the internet service for me anyway!

So now with the generator, I don't have to worry about the basement flooding, the food going bad, and I can check weather and pass the time checking e-mails! LOL!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Trying to find time ...

to run in and do a quick update.
Thank you so much for good thoughts yesterday and some kind words.
When I wrote last night, things still had that raw feeling to them. Dh went to bed feeling defeated - and he is not typically a person who feels that way. I stayed up to write and was also feeling very defeated.
After writing and then laying on the couch to veg in front of the TV, a few good ideas did come to me as to how I can help earn a bit of income for my family - because even if it was just a bit here and there, we are at a point where every thing helps.
So I began to write an e-mail to my then slumbering husband to read at work today. As I typed that letter more ideas came to me. Each one was small, but when put together it could start to make an impact.
Today I sat down with my girls and I told them that things were tight and we will be making changes around here. We talked about no more fast food, how birthdays and Christmas would be smaller this year, we talked about spending our money wisely, we even talked about how we might have to cancel the cable (which would be big for them since 90% of their tv viewing is disney channel).
I am proud to say my girls said okay to everything I talked about. They asked what they could do to help us. My 7 year old offered to have a lemonade stand and to share money with the family. I was blown away by how they didn't get upset or sad but merely said okay and wanted a plan! (And slightly embarrassed that I didn't react more like them last night but only a little bit and of course I didn't give them the complete doomsday report either LOL!)
So we talked about the ways they could help us - by remembering to turn off lights and not waste water and to not let clean clothes get into the laundry pile because even if we did all that and saved 10 dollars a month on the electric bill that would be very nice.
I feel better today for several reasons -
1. I've had a decent night's rest. Life will go on, even if we have to make changes. Really, we will still have food, shelter clothing and I am SO grateful we don't have to worry about any of that. I mean compared to the rest of the world, that makes us so extremely lucky.
2. As I mentioned a few days ago, I really feel there are a lot of positive things going on my life right now - in my family's life. How quickly I forgot that for a while last night. But I remembered and maybe this is just a part of the bigger picture of all that is going on right now. Maybe in 10 years I will look back and laugh about how sad I was last night and how it turned out to be one of the best things to happen to us. I mean really, how great would that be? And even if it doesn't turn out to be one of the best things, it doesn't mean we can't survive. Perspective. I have to keep some perspective here (which also applies to point 1 because perspective will show that I am still luckier than most).
3. I have faith. I do believe there is a God up there who loves me and cares about me. I do believe that things will be okay. We might not be millionaires, but we can still be happy and do lots of great things in this world. And maybe God has a plan that I am not privy to yet, but it might turn out to be better than I can even imagine at this moment.
4. I have lots of good friends who will be there for me!
For instance, Kris, when you said
Dear Hubby and I went thru a similar time back when I was pregnant with our son. We had to sell our home to stay 'above water'. It was such a hard thing to do, such a difficult time in our lives, but we survived and we look back on it now as a time of very valuable Life Lessons that we learned because of it. We were around 25/26 at the time. It's not the end of the world. As you say, a house is a house. HOME is wherever you are together as a family. I will certainly pray the Lord gives you peace in all this. Just remember, this too shall pass. You won't be stuck in this Valley forever.

I remember you talking about times you've been down and things have worked out. I'm so glad you are there to share these things with me. Because I can take comfort that one, I'm not the first (and I know I won't be the last person) with these struggles. And two, you made it through it all and if going through it will make as wonderful a person as you, then it's worth it! =)

And Ornery's Wife,
A new "lurker" here, and I have enjoyed reading your blog. As a fellow believer, I urge you to remember the following things about our Father

Thank you for your reminder of those things. You are right! And stop lurking! LOL! Comment more often =)

And Sallie, thank you too!
We wanted to pay off our debt before we bought a house so we used this calculator to give us an idea of what to do. It was helpful for us
What a wonderful feeling to be debt free! I hope I'm there with you soon LOL!!

Dh and I haven't had a chance to talk much today, but we did share a few words. He has a plan. He is running a side business. We have personally loaned the business most of the money it is using to run. The business runs from about April-November. He will aggressively try to market it in order to sell it, or come April he will liquidate the business and pay us back as much as we loaned as possible. He is set on doing this. I am feeling torn.
On one hand - doing that will give us some savings and might be enough to pay off our second mortgage. Although it really is a small payment each month, that would be one less payment to make each month. Also I will get him back over the summer. The business gives us a bit of income each year and gives us some tax write-offs (all legally I might add) but I'm not sure the money is equal to the time dh puts into it. And truthfully I have been ready for him to sell it for about a year now!
But I feel sad for him. He worked so hard to get this business going. He has put so much time, money and energy into it. I am so proud of what he has accomplished. He started this business when we were in a similar position - we needed more money to survive and so he did this to get us another income. And I appreciate it so much. And he has so much time and energy invested into it. I'll be sad that he has to lose that.

But this makes me love and appreciate my husband even more. Because I woke up ready to move. Don't get me wrong, I was sad about it - but I'll do it if I need to, you know? But my guy, my great guy, decided to give up his little business instead of moving the whole family. And I know it was hard for him to decide to do that, but I appreciate it. And I know our kids will appreciate it as well.

Anyway, on top of all of that, something else very exciting happened today. Something that only helped me to remember that there is a plan out there. That things will be okay. And I'm actually happy and excited about it.

No matter what happens, I am going to work hard to keep my attitude in check. Things will happen. Afterall, we are human. Things happen - both good and bad. This is just another part of our journey through life!

Edited to add:
After I posted this, I read this over at Shalee's Diner. Yes. I needed that read today! And you should read it too! =)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I think I might be sick ...

Dh and I went over the budget tonight. I mean we really went over it and dissected it and crunched numbers.
It is not a pretty picture at all. In fact, things look positively awful. Something has to give soon or else.
I am so terribly upset and sad right now I can't believe it.

And I feel pretty damn stupid for not seeing what was coming sooner - as in before we decided to buy a house. Really, someone needs to come in here and ask me what the hell we were thinking when we did this. And why, please tell me why, were we approved for this loan? Actually, we were proved for a much larger loan - really? I can't even imagine right now what we would have done with an even larger loan.

Anyway, all that aside. I'm kind of pretty sure that we might have to in fact sell this house and move. Which leaves me so torn. I know, I know, it's just a house. We can't take it with us. But I love my house and I love my neighborhood, and the kids are so happy here and when we bought the house I was just filled with a feeling that was the house for us.

Ugh. I guess the good news in all of this is we are figuring all of this out before things got really bad (as in lots of debt or losing the house or whatever). The good news is that a house is a house - as long as my family is in it we can make it through. We theoretically could stay in this house. However, to do it without going further into debt each month, we would have to: cancel our cable, cancel the landline, spend nothing on entertainment, hobbies or fun. We'd have to drive my van as little as possible (essentially pretend we only had one vehicle except for very important things), we'd have to become VERY good bargain shoppers and pretty much not save money at all each month. So basically, we'd have this great house but nothing else. Well, frankly, if that is what it takes to stay here, I don't want to stay here. I want to have fun in my life. I want my kids to have fun. I'm not saying I want to vacation in Europe twice a year, but people, I need some money to spend on fun, not needed items.

Of course, as my hubby told me tonight, we can't make any rash decisions. We need to really take a week and make sure we have all the info we need to make any decisions at all. He also said to give him a few days to make a plan. Okay. Unless he has a secret stash somewhere, well, I'm not sure what sort of plan he might come up with! LOL!

Anyway, we are walking a tough path here for a while. I know, I just know it will all work out. I also know that it won't be easy.

So blessed ...

I've been feeling extremely blessed lately - which is great but has left me wondering why me? and well now what?
It seems that opportunities are just falling at dh's and my feet. It's also very strange. And I can't help but wondering why me? why us? where is it all coming from?
See, I look around and sometimes wonder if all these opportunities and good things wouldn't be better for someone else to get? Maybe someone else could take them farther and do more with them then me. Not that I think I'm a terrible person, but I know there are people out there who are smarter than me, wiser than me, have more experience than me, and do a lot more than I do! And I wonder if there opportunities made a wrong turn some where and ended up at my door! Is that weird of me or what?

I am also left to wonder well now what? What do I do with all these opportunities? Well, I am following up on each and every one of them! They have all been so great and things that make me feel all excited and happy and wonderful inside! I feel like I'm being given the ability to change my life in so many grand and positive ways here folks. All of it is almost over-whelming! Tonight dh and I started the FPU classes I won not that long ago. Over the weekend I was asked to teach knitting classes this winter (it's almost a fluke how that happened, maybe I'll explain another day). I feel like I've had some changes in my heart lately and am really learning some valuable life lessons here (especially with my whole learning to live with less thing going on and the Bible study I am participating in).

It's almost as if I am caught up in the perfect storm, but it's not a storm so much as it's all sunshine and butterflies and laughter and happiness. And so I'm really thinking and searching and praying about what comes next? Because I hope there is something next. I hope it's something fun and exciting and challenging. I hope it's something I can do to give back and/or pay it forward. I hope that maybe all of this is going on right now to prepare me for something I can do to make a difference in this world. Because, really, how amazing would that be?

And really, when it comes down to it, what I am really hoping is that all this goodness and opportunity is not being wasted on me. I just don't want to waste it and throw it all away. Although I am quite determined to not let that happen.

But I feel like there is a part of me, holding my breath, just waiting to see what awesome things will follow everything going on right now. So I have been doing a lot of praying lately about this. Just praying that my heart is open, my eyes are open, and my ears are open. And that somehow I can give back in a positive way and do something good for others. And that I won't waste all that is going on right now. Because it just feels like there is something around the bend, something exciting and wonderful and I want to be prepared for it!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Cost of homeschooling?

Today our local paper ran an article about homeschooling. You can read it here.

Just a little blurb:

“Home schooling is far more costly,” Janik says, adding, “As long as the government stays off my back, I’m happy with it.”

Home-schooler parents pay for complete curriculums for each student. At Heritage, the parents also pay the workshop teachers. And just because a kid is schooling at home doesn’t mean he doesn’t need pencils, paper, a calculator, books, a computer and the usual list of supplies.

It adds up.

Just for Janik’s six kids, including the 3-year-old twins who take only two preschool classes each, the cost of teaching her kids at home and through the one-day-a-week instruction at the workshops is about seven grand a year, she says.

“Home schooling families that do not choose to use a co-op have less expense, but probably spend money in private lessons or park district-sponsored classes such as gym and swim at the Rec Center in Elgin,” Janik says in an e-mail. “There are many programs available to home schoolers, but it all costs money that is over and above what we pay in taxes.”.

Now, I don't keep track (yet but will start now) of costs of schooling my children at home, but I am pretty sure we don't spend 1,150.00 a year to do it either.
Now, I do spend money at the park district - but my kids would take classes there homeschooled or not. So I don't see that as a homeschooling cost so much as I see it as a parenting cost (if that makes sense). My oldest was in a co-op the last three years (however, we will not be in one this year). The first year we paid 200 as she took one class for the year. The last two years we paid 600 for three classes she participated in. As far as curriculum, well, most of it I buy used. The math program we are using I bought off of e-bay 3 years ago for 110.00. It is for preschool through 6th grade math. A lot of our reading books I bought used from other homeschooling moms.
So far this year, I spent 20.00 in purchasing items and we will be doing no co-ops. We have, however, already checked out more books from the library than I can keep track of. I plan on spending about 100-200 dollars more. [Which means, even if we used the co-op, the cost to homeschool my oldest would be about 800-900 dollars.] My 4 year old will be doing some activities. Most books are things her sister used or workbook type things people have given us. Just for fun, I'll say I'm going to spend 100 dollars to do "preschool" with her.
I did buy some new folders/notebooks/etc this year. I spent about 30.00 on them with all the sales going on, that 30.00 went a long way as well.
I am going to guess that we will still need to buy some miscellaneous arts, crafts, handiwork supplies and that might be 100.00 (again, I'm going high here on my estimates).
For fun, I'm going to pretend that I might have forgotten something and might have to spend another 100.00.
That puts the high end of the estimates at 550.00 to do 2nd grade and preschool with my girls.
If I pretend that my 7 year old was taking co-op classes and for fun, I'll pretend to let my 4 year old to take one class as if we stayed she would have been eligible. That would add an addition 1000.00 and so I'd pay 1550.00 for two students this year MOST.

I do, however, realize that as my oldest gets higher up, we will be spending more money on her. But I also know that books I have already bought for her to use, will not cost anything when her sister and brother begin to use them.

It might be more than fees the public school parents pay (although a relative of mine just paid 200 in fees, another 205 in athletic fees, 300 for the rental fee for her high schooler's books, and then lunch fees, gym uniforms, etc - I think we aren't paying a whole lot more than some people in the Chicago suburbs are truthfully) but I don't think it's too expensive. Private schools around us would cost a lot more per year per child!

If you homeschool and don't mind sharing, how much do you think you will spend this year homeschooling with your children?

Go read!

This has to be one of the neatest blog posts I've read in a while.
Rita created a post with lots of links to other blogs, but it's written in such an interesting way.
Anyway, go here and read!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Waiting ...

There might be a phone call coming in tonight that might contain some exciting information.
And so I'm pacing the house, waiting for the phone to ring.
Now, our phone hardly ever rings. Of course, we've had 2 phone calls tonight already! LOL! Every time I hear the ring I jump about a mile high. I think my dh things it's a bit funny, and really, it is.
Here's hoping the phone call I am waiting for comes soon!

Update: It's now quarter after nine. The phone call didn't come. I'll admit I'm a bit bummed. Hopefully the call will just come later. Or I'll get an e-mail instead!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

On a roll over here ...

Over here at the skipping house, we are on a roll with this whole "clean out the clutter" campaign that I am running.
Today we tackled the toys. Now, we just did the toys in April, but it has been clear to dh and I that we needed to do more in the toy area. Mostly because we just feel like in general our kids have too many things and secondly between now and December 25 we will have a birthday for all 3 of our kids and Christmas to deal with. Our families are so extremely generous - which we are grateful for, but sometimes I wish they would scale back as well. My kids are given so many toys. They can't possibly play with them all. I'd rather have money for the college fund or really, I'd just rather they spent time with them. Wouldn't that be the nicest gift of all - a trip to the movies, or taking them to the park. My kids are simple - they don't need much truthfully. I think they would rather have time/attention over things. The trouble is now my kids are used to getting a ton of things and they know which relative to ask for all the things from. They are smart. They see advertising and think that they want them right then.
Anyway, we did such a good job today! I am extremely proud of my girls. We took 5 boxes of toys and got it down to 2 1/2. We emptied out a small bookcase and left a bit of space in the another bookcase as well.
Interestingly enough, when we got towards the end of the sort, my 7 year old out of the blue shouted "Oh no!" I thought maybe she was missing a toy, but no. She told me I didn't take pictures when we started and what in the world would I share on my blog! LOL! I laughed so hard when she said that, and so at the end, we pulled out the camera to show you our work:

The two boxes of kept toys (okay, so they are a bit overflowing - so were 3 of the original 5 we started with LOL!)

The first bookcase. All 4 shelves were packed with books earlier. Now, one shelf is empty and two shelves have spare room!

The other two bookcases. One is completely empty now! Woo-hoo! And the other one looks a lot more organized than when we started.

These are the toys I kept for Little Man. This basket was not completely empty when we started but I knew I wanted to keep what I kept for him to fit in this basket and it does. Very nice =)

Here is what we decided to donate:

We also had one bag of garbage to throw away.

Now, we didn't go though anything in the girls' room yet. So we still need to do that. And we could probably get rid of a few more books if I pushed them, but after all they did earlier today, I don't want to push them.

This week I will begin to go through my items and starting to part with some of them. ::sigh:: If I can do it as well as my girls did their work today then it will all turn out wonderful in the end!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

First steps ..

Monday I wrote about learning to live with less. I even said I was going to get rid of things in my house.
We started today - the entire family (well, minus the little guy). We went through our videos. They now all fit into one spot. So when we want to watch a movie, we can see all that own at one glance.

(well, the bottom shelf might have to be moved below because the little guy thinks the movies there are now toys, but I'm hoping after a few days he'll lose interest and stop trying to open them all up! But, I won't have to move them because they don't all fit and that's exciting!) I would like to point out, there is a bit of room there to grow. We could acquire a few more videos and fit them in nicely.

I should have taken before pictures, but I didn't think about it. Needless to say this cabinet:

was full of videos before. The few in there now are blank tapes to be recorded on or homemade movies we don't want the kids getting into by accident. Both shelves had too many movies on them and they were all kind of thrown in there.

Here is the pile of movies that will be going to good will soon (and in case you are wondering why they look oh so neat, well, that was dh's way to "stack" them up. I think that was his way to toss them in a pile LOL!)

The kids did a good job of really picking movies to toss! And they had to both agree to toss them for them to end up in the pile, but I was proud of the girls. They got rid of the right amount.

I do think that this was a good item to start with. One because the whole family was involved. Two because after we were done it was nice to step back and just see it all so nice, in one spot, with no digging involved to find movies anymore. I mean, really, it just felt good! And now I have an empty cabinet in the house - which is completely nice because we've been trying to find a nice place to keep our library books. I'm pretty sure we found it tonight!

Anyway, that's my first step. Things that need to be done next:
kids clothes
kids toys
kids books
adult books
my fabric stash
my yarn stash
kitchen items
craft supplies

Here's hoping we can get it done!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Recalls ...

So there was another recall issued today for toys.
This is the third recall that has personally affected us this year (which seems odd since I think until this point we've only been affected by 1 recall in about 8 years!).

Anyway, the recall sucks. And it's lead again. And it's magnets again. And I had to take away toys that are played with almost on a daily basis from my girls. ::sigh::

And everywhere I look I keep reading why don't these companies just have the toys made in the good old USA where standards are (apparently) higher and the toys would then be (apparently) safer for our children.

I would like to say that I am pretty sure there have been recalls in the past that affected things made in the good old US of A. But that aside, I'm pretty sure I can tell you why these toys are coming to us from other places (mostly places that are not as developed/industrialized as the US). It's all about money.

Really, I truly in my heart believe this.

The US has a pretty decent minimum wage (despite the fact that people constantly lobby to get it higher saying it's not good enough for Americans). But if you compare our minimum wage to some other countries, you will see, even those making minimum wage are making a TON of money! And if the purchase cost of the toys were based on people making that minimum wage to make them, my guess is, most kids would own fewer toys and parents would moan and complain about how expensive toys are these days. I think this applies to most things sold here - not just toys.

We want as much as we can get for as little money as possible. Wouldn't a lot of people be in for a shock if all of a sudden product prices jumped up because they were made in the USA instead of some little old factory on the other side of the world that didn't have to provide health insurance, lunch breaks, fair wages, and other such things we get here. We would all freak. Wal-mart would probably shut down - because frankly, people want 3 shirts for 10 dollars! Not 1 shirt for 20.

I get trying to protect our children. I understand how frustrating it is to think our kids have dangerous toys in their hands and then having to take them away from them. I'm doing it too.
But I'm not really sure Americans are ready to stop using places like China to make our products. We are too cheap. We like low prices. We like good discounts. We shop at stores that promise to sell us things are super-low prices. And we get all excited at how little we paid for something! And so, we buy two of them, or three of them. And soon we have a houseful of things that we probably don't need.

Anyway, just my 2 cents on the topic!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Learning to live with less ...

This is a lesson I think I need to learn. And well, I'm going to learn it very quickly! However, I might be kicking and screaming a bit while learning it.
I am the type of person who wants more - more things, more money, better cable packages, more toys for the kids, more clothes for everyone, more yarn, more fabric, more living space, more time, more, more, more. And I have to wonder, when will it end? When can I sit back and be content with all that I have? Will I ever reach a point where I say "Wow. I have enough. I'm content." I'm gonna guess the answer is no. Because if I was able to sit back and feel that, I would have done it a long time ago.
I look around my house. We have stuff everywhere! We can't even put it all away there is so much of it! Really, it's sad. I have tons of stuff, my kids have tons of stuff, the kitchen is packed, the bedrooms are packed, the basement is packed, even the laundry room is full of stuff! Honestly, it's disgusting. And it's distracting.
I think being surrounded by so much tricks my mind into thinking I need more. And the truth is, if we had less things, that would mean less clutter, and then I think I would feel more content and relaxed.
But, on the other hand, it's really hard! ::said in my best whining voice!::
I like all my stuff. I use some of it a lot. I use most of it often enough and some of it, I just might need one day!
I read recently that kids really only need 10 toys (and if I remember the blog I will link back). My kids probably have 10 times 10 toys each. Ugh.
And as we face a cash flow shortage, the buying, the spending, the constant getting more will have to end. And it will be hard. I'm also thinking, really, not only do we need to not get more but maybe get rid of some things we already have. (yes, it hurt to type that. because I like my stuff and I don't want to get rid of it! wah!)
::sigh:: I think it's what needs to be done though. Because we need to learn to appreciate what we have instead of always desiring more. And right now, there is just too much here to really appreciate what we have. It will be hard. I will drag my feet. I probably will take too much time picking what to keep and what to say good-bye too, but I think in the end it will be worth it.
And I do wonder if the money crunch is to force us to do this. (Well, by us I mean me. My dh could survive on very little and thinks I keep too much anyway. My girls are definitely taking after me though!) Not that I am going to enjoy budgeting and spending wisely, but hey, I gotta find the lesson in it. It makes the sting feel a little less painful.

With that in mind, look for updates on me actually following through with this.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

God is good!

Yeah, yeah, I know. Some will read the title and shake their heads up and down in agreement and others might read it and do a little eye roll, but really, God is good.
So when I prayed the other night and felt God talked to me through the radio. And I felt awesome after that conversation. The rest of the week has gone along fantastically - it has felt like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders, there is a spring in my step, I've been less worried about everything because I've just believed no matter what we will survive (not that everything will be perfect along the way, but we will survive).
Today I've had not one, but two answers to prayer! Now really, I just might have to go buy a lotto ticket or something tonight LOL!
No, first of all, I've been struggling to parent my oldest child. Who is 7 going on 17 with the attitude of hers. I have been lost in dealing with it. Sometimes I just cringe at the things that come out of her mouth, how she "jokes" all the time (despite the fact that no one around her is laughing at all and usually people are mad or sad due to hurt feelings), just this cocky attitude she has so much of the time and how it completely frustrating me. And most days, I really want to just slap her across the face for some of what she says. I don't slap her though. I usually start to yell at her and send her to her room - which is hardly helping at all. And I'm at a loss.
Today the church announced they are hosting a parenting seminar next month entitled "Cooperation, consequences and keeping your sanity." Um, yes, sounds like exactly what I need LOL! So tomorrow I will be signing up dh and I.
Secondly, I have mentioned the financial struggles we are having (basically we have a lot of material things around us but not a lot of money. And although we like all our things we'd like to keep all our things and not have the bank take our house away!). Today I found out that I won this contest over at Hyperactive Lu. It's for a Financial Peace University Membership Kit! The other day I said
And then I started moving to the point that maybe I was expecting too much from God. Let's face it. Chances of me getting a check tomorrow for about 10,000 dollars is pretty slim (not that I don't think God could do that) but I'm sure dh and I will weather this latest round of having to really control spending and my guess is when it is all said and done, we won't lose our house or lose our ability to feed the family so really, with that set, well, the extras we can live without.

And although I didn't get a check today for 10,000 dollars, well, the truth is, that it feels like I did get that check! It is just so wonderful. I can't believe it ... earlier this week I was in tears - so sad and down and just feeling completely overwhelmed and beaten and ready to just give up. And today, today, I feel on-top of the world! The diet is going well, I have a wonderful family that I love (even with some of the attitude problems we face LOL!). Rough days are going to come again. I will be sad and in tears some day. But it will be okay. I know I can cry, get the tears out, then move on with what needs to be done. Because sitting around crying and whining, well, yeah, doesn't do much to help out now does it?

As if we needed more proof ...

Things have been going along very nicely with my 4 year old and her new diet.
And dh and I both convinced we have finally hit the nail on the head with her digestion issues.
And to add more proof to that, this morning, on accident, dh gave her milk - which is on her no-no list - and wouldn't you know it, this afternoon we had an issue (albeit a small one, but it was there). And in my mind it only goes to reinforce the notion that diet is, and really probably always will be, an issue for her.
But she is loving her new diet really. The entire family has fallen in love with quinoa. Really, you should try it. It is awesome. Tomorrow we are even going to try a cold quinoa cereal recipe I dug up on-line (if it's good I will share it!).
Tonight we had chicken - we dipped half of it in bisquix and half the chicken in brown rice flour for my 4 year old and she really liked it! Then we made ice cream with our new ice cream maker. Seriously, it was DELICIOUS! The entire family had some and we all wanted more LOL! Even if no one in your family has dairy issues, you should try it. And it's not even made with sugar and it still tastes good. Really, does it get any better?

Vanilla Coconut Ice Cream
non-dairy, naturally sweetened

makes 2 quarts

  • 1-1/2 cups cold unsweetened raw nut milk (such as almond, hazelnut or cashew)*
  • 3 cups cold coconut milk (not light)
  • 3/4 cup raw agave syrup
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • optional add-ins: shaved & unsweetened dark chocolate; toasted, unsweetened coconut; finely chopped nuts; small brownie chunks; a multitude of other possibilities

Combine all ingredients (except add-ins) in blender. Blend thoroughly. Chill in the freezer to make sure it is all quite cold.

Add to ice cream maker, following manufacturer’s directions for churning. Add the add-ins during the last few minutes of churning.

For soft serve ice cream, eat immediately. For harder ice cream, transfer to an airtight container and freeze for several hours to a day, depending on degree of hardness desired.

*My ice cream maker only makes 1.5 L, so next time I will cut the recipe in half. We used unsweetened almond milk (which I bought at Whole Foods along with the Agave syrup). We ate it right out of the ice cream maker - we could have frozen it a bit more but we were all anxious to try it LOL!

(the recipe came from Such Treasures and can be found here)

Tomorrow will be M's first real test with this diet. They give juice and snacks at Sunday School. We will be bringing her a drink (rice milk which they do sell in the juice box containers) and some snack (I'll figure out in the am) to eat. So far she hasn't minded any substitutions, but I imagine when she's watching a bunch of kids get something different, it might bother her a bit. Then again, maybe not. She's been a champ with it all so far and dh says it seems to him she understands she has to have a special diet to make her feel good inside. She hasn't mentioned anything to us, but we are assuming she might notice she is feeling different but she never did complain of stomach aches before or anything like that so who knows!

Anyway, 3 more weeks on the very restricted diet and then we'll reintroduce the banned foods slowly and see what happens with her. My money was on wheat before, but after today I'm thinking maybe diary is the culprit or it's both of them that were causing some issues. We'll have more of an idea in a month. And I am so thankful that we went and saw this chiro and she suggested these food allergies/sensitivities. And I'm so very thankful it is all working!

And next time, I promise to talk about something other than my middle daughter! Although I might be sharing some more tasty recipes! =)

Thursday, August 09, 2007

I <3 Whole Foods

And my 4 year old does as well - although she doesn't know it.
I found there tonight a bread that she can eat - yeah! I found a cookie mix she can have - double yeah! I found all the ingredients for ice cream there as well - triple yeah!
Now, I know I just listed mostly junk food, however, I also would like to point out I dropped 90 dollars on fresh fruits and veggies tonight - and that does not include the fruits and veggies my parents sell at their farm, because my dad brings me lots of freebies (things that are good to eat but yet might have a bruise on them that keep others from buying them. Which is sad, because a lot goes to waste that way - but I get a lot of free stuff that way too!). My dad is coming over tomorrow to bring me some goodies.
I bought 6 or 7 kinds of flower, 2 kinds of starches, and a whole lot of other goodies for her! As if finding all those items weren't great enough, the lady who helped me was phenomenal! She helped me find lots of things on my list, chatted with me for a while about food allergies in general, pointed out the bread they had that was okay for my dd to eat (I didn't know one even existed! LOL!) and was just sweet! She didn't look at me like I was an idiot when I admitted I didn't even know what some of the things I was looking for were, she didn't laugh when I pronounced quinoa wrong (well, can you say it correctly? I was saying qui-noy-ya and it's keen-ywa), and was just awesome over all! She even told me that Whole Foods has a policy that if you buy something and don't like the taste, you can bring it back opened and get a refund on it! She said a lot of costumers are there looking to try new things and chances are we won't like one of the new things we like so they will just take it back. Seriously? Nice! (Although so far almonds are the only thing my dd has preferred not to eat and they didn't come from there!).

Today was another good day for my daughter too! I called dh at work and told him that. He decided this diet must be helping her and told me "Go. Go shopping. Buy the foods she needs to help her. Don't worry about the price. I will figure all of that out later. You don't worry about it."

Well, the truth is I am worried about it. But we have to buy what we have to buy to keep her healthy. I know we will survive. Christmas may not be as grand as other years, but I know we can make it special anyway. And we'll see what other things we can do to tighten the budget.

Anyway, my whole point tonight, Whole Foods rocks. I love them now! LOL!

Talking to God ...

Okay, so I do pray. Maybe not as often as I should, but yet often enough.
I've never really felt like I have had a conversation with God though. I know some people pray and they say they hear/feel God talking back to them - with a feeling or something happens right away or some meaningful animal walks/flies/something by them. I've never felt that way. (Although one time I prayed about being so exhausted I thought I would die and was just in tears wanting to get some good sleep and I did instantly feel relaxed and calm and was able to sleep - and as much as I loved it and was so thankful, it felt like God did me a favor and was not conversing with me).
So, maybe this will seem weird to some one, but tonight I think I had a conversation with God. I was praying while I was driving but I still had the radio on. And I was sort of babbling along and having a hard time articulating what I was trying to say. So I finally just said well, I can't get the right words but You know my heart so that's okay. And then this song came on and when I listened I thought those lyrics are EXACTLY what I am trying to say and isn't that just a coincidence! And so I started talking again, using the words to the song as a help point. And then I started moving to the point that maybe I was expecting too much from God. Let's face it. Chances of me getting a check tomorrow for about 10,000 dollars is pretty slim (not that I don't think God could do that) but I'm sure dh and I will weather this latest round of having to really control spending and my guess is when it is all said and done, we won't lose our house or lose our ability to feed the family so really, with that set, well, the extras we can live without. Then this commercial for some conference came on and they played a clip of the guy who would be talking and he said something like
I told my neighbor that Jesus did love her. And she said, 'yeah, well if he loves me, then he needs to show me' And I thought he is showing you through the kindness of others and she just hasn't realized it yet
And I thought - YES! That is what I'm thinking. I'm moping around waiting for Jesus to show me he loves me by instantly making my dd better, sending us big fat checks, and making my life happily ever after! And really, is that so realistic! So I am in the process of learning to find His love in the other things in life, through the everyday "miracles" that might not make the news miracles, but are important enough to our lives to be miracles to us.
At this point I thought, wow, that's two coincidences, maybe I should turn up the radio ...
And so then I prayed how I was scared about how to go forward from here and how I felt I was in this huge storm and this out of control tornado and everything was just raining down on me and I was just going to drown and although I could say I know things will be okay in the future, I wasn't sure how to get to that future. And this song came on the radio ...

I got chills ... the chorus:
So stand in the rain
Stand your ground
Stand up when it's all crashing down
You stand through the pain
You won't drown
And one day, whats lost can be found
You stand in the rain

I mean really. How can I come to this blog and not tell you that God spoke to me today through my radio? I know. It sounds crazy. God spoke to me today through my radio. I swear I am not crazy. But I know, I just know He was talking to me. And I know that I can get through this. And I will get through this. I just have to stand firm, but really I need to stand in Him. (I'll admit though it feels sort of cheesy to type that, but I don't know how else to say it!)
Really though, how amazingly cool is that?

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Some updates ...

Well, emotions are a little less raw today, so that's good. Honestly, it's mostly because my 16 year old sister came over yesterday and we found lots of silly things to laugh about and that helped a lot. It's also a little bit because, well, I'm armed with a bit more knowledge (which is something I love having) and of course I had a little talk with myself about how really it's not the end of the world and we will survive this (we might be a little battle-worn but we will survive!)

Anyway, I am armed today with lots of shopping to do, to buy a lot of foods I've never bought before (okay some of them I've never heard of before either LOL!) We have already been to a Trader Joes store. Sadly, though, they didn't have most of what was on my list. Even more frustrating was the cost of what they did have. The timing of this diet coincides with the timing of not being able to pay off the monthly credit card bill for the first time in many years. Of course what I bought there today was some already prepared food that ran on the high side. The soup cans I bought were 2.00 each - and they are about the size of the Campbell's soups, but they aren't even condensed! There is just enough for M for one meal in there. The brown rice pasta was also more expensive, but not quite the gap as the soup. A lot of what I have left to buy is ingredients to make a lot of food from scratch, and a TON of fruits and veggies. However, this is going to hit our pocket book hard. But what can we do? Nothing but suck it up and make it work really. But I have a feeling a lot of extras will have to be given up soon. Well, more about that later ....

Anyway, I think M will be eating lots of chicken over the 3 weeks, so I guess it's good she likes it so much! Dh is also going to prepare a turkey for dinner for us and all the leftovers will go for M. I will probably take the actual turkey and do a soup for her with it. So that should give us a few meals for her - and a few meals that we can ALL eat too!

Bonus for me was finding a recipe for ice cream that she can eat - it has no dairy or sugar in it! Although I need to find coconut milk, and that is going to be a bit tough I think.
I think we've found a few breakfast items and a few lunch items and a lot of dinner items. So although she will eat a lot of repeats, there will be enough variety to get us through the 3 weeks.

I still am feeling worried about it all. And I'm still anxious about how it will all work out (the diet, the money, my dh's business). I hear people say to not worry, to let it all go, etc, etc. But I don't know how to do that. And with me carrying around all this stress, is it any wonder that I got hit last night and today with a very bad headache? Probably not. I want to let it go. I want to lower my worry and my anxiety. I just don't know how. Maybe if I just tell myself to worry less and pray about it, that will help?

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Last night ..

I cried. I just cried. For so many reasons.
I cried because life is tough (I know, nice that after 28 years this still gets to me)
I cried because I feel bad for my Little M
I cried because I was afraid this new diet wouldn't help her.
I cried because I was afraid this new diet would help her.
I cried because dh works too much and I miss him a lot.
I cried because my dd A is kind of a brat and I don't know how to change it.
I cried because I yell at my son too much.
I cried because I yell at all my kids so much.
I cried because right now it feels like I'm stuck in a tornado - just spinning around and around and around but I can't control which direction the tornado turns and I'm just waiting for it to spit me out so that I can brush it off and move on with life the way I want to go.
I cried because I feel so inadequate as a wife and mother.
I cried because my dh tells me that I am a fabulous mother.
I cried because my dh doesn't understand all that goes on inside this head of mine.
I cried because there is just too much going on and it feels like I've lost control.
I cried because I don't know how to behave when I can't control everything.
I cried because it's impossible to control everything.
I cried because frankly, that sucks.
I cried because I'm afraid that things will never get better.
I cried because I'm afraid I will never get better.

And today another day rolls on and that tornado just keeps spinning me around ...

Monday, August 06, 2007

I need help!

My dear internet, I need help!
My dd has been put on a special diet. Here are the things she can not eat:
orange juice
soy milk products
cow's milk products (i.e. milk, cheese, cottage cheese, cream, yogurt, butter, ice cream, frozen yogurt)
corn and corn products
all wheat products (most breads, many deserts, cereals, crackers, pasta, certain soup)
processed meats such as cold cuts
soy products
peanut and peanut butter
high-glycemic-index vegetables
creamed vegetables
store-bought salad dressings
soda pop or soft drinks
white/brown sugars
maple syrup
high fructose corn syrup
barbecue sauce
soy sauce

So, I got this huge lit from the doctor. And the book came with about 10 recipes to give me an idea of what to feed her. Um, yeah, some of them contain orange juice and quite a few have eggs. So, yeah. I am feeling sort of stuck here people. And I need help on figuring out what to feed her. I bought two gluten-free cookbooks today - but many of their recipes have eggs and other items on her not allowed to eat list.

I am so sad for her. She needs to be on this diet for 3 weeks. Then (assuming of course we have noticed changes for the better) we can slowly begin to add things back in to see which of them is causing her problems. Part of me hopes this works -according to what we were told not only can this diet help her digestive issues (which trust me would be enough) it could also help with her neurological issues which would be like a huge bonus! Anyway, I am hoping this will help her. But yet, we went to the store tonight (of course it was just Target but they did just put out an organic line of food) and I had a very hard time finding things she can eat. (I've been told to get to a Trader's Joe ASAP for many of the things that she can eat.) And wow, I am having a hard time finding things I can feed her aside from from fruits and veggies. And this will really put a strain on me for the net 3 weeks - Although rest assured, if there is hope it can help her I will do it. I just might whine and complain here about it LOL!

Anyway, is there someone out there who has had to do this for a child or for them self that can give me links or tips or recipes?
And thank you very much for any advice/suggestions/or just even hugs and prayers you can offer!

Get some great software ...

Head on over to Lindsey's Blog (Enjoy the Journey) to find out about some great software you can get for hardly anything at all.
I ordered mine earlier today and will be stalking the mailman until it comes in! =)

From Lindsey's site:
Softbasics is offering a BACK TO HOME SCHOOL special, just for my readers. You will receive a FULL copy of the 7 program Softbasics Soft-Pak for just $4.50 shipping and handling. At present, the softbasics folks generally offer the 4 math programs in the Soft-Pak for a shipping and handling fee, with the other 3 language arts and testing programs optionally available for an extra payment. However, for this special offer, you get all 7 for just the $4.50 shipping and handling fee.

The software is best suited for students aged 6-13. What I like about it is that it is good, old-fashioned educational software. It is NOT edu-tainment (edu-tainment=lots of bells and whistles, but very little actual instruction). The folks at Softbasics have done a good job developing a product that focuses on the skills but does not go over the top with graphics and things to distract your learner. It is simple, and straightforward. It does not overstimulate the senses when trying to reinforce concepts. I like that. There's enough "edu-tainment" out there anyway.

It is an excellent supplement to any math curriculum. In fact, the folks at Softbasics have teamed up with in developing this product. And, for only $4.50 you don't have much to lose, really!

Feel free to spread the word to anyone; it is great not just for home schoolers but students of all backgrounds.

Go click here to get it!

You are cordially invited

Please join Kim and I as we continue our study of 1 Timothy...

We meet weekly on “High Places” and join in searching 1 Timothy for the character traits of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. We search out instructions for believers. We also study questions and ideas as written in the study “Be Faithful” by Warren Wiersbe.

We are just now opening the study to others. Brandie and I will remain as the two “authors” in the blog, but hope that you can join us by adding your comments to each section...

This is a new venture for us, but we hope you will be blessed by what God reveals to us.

And, now the nitty gritty:

When: Mondays: questions go up, then throughout the next few days we post the character qualities and directions for believers. By Friday we try to have the selected questions answered.

Where: Simply come to the High Places blog

How: add your ideas in the comments section under the appropriate post. The labels work as follows:

* Bible book and chapter
* Kim or Brandie

* Character Study

* Directions for Believers

* Study Questions

* Nitty Gritty

* Introduction

Please, if you do join in we would love to have a brief introduction.

All answers must be supported by scripture, that way we all have the same “measuring rod” by which to speak.

Who: Any woman who is currently a Christian or seeking to learn about Christianity.

Any comments which malign the word of or character of God will be deleted. Any comments which are gossipy in nature will also be deleted. If you have questions you can email me via the email link on this blog .

Thanks, we look forward to seeing what God reveals to us through the study of His word.
Blessings and Shalom,
Kim (and Brandie)

p.s. I'd like to say to everyone that Kim wrote this up and I simply copy and pasted! So these wonderful words came from her mind, but I thought they were so perfect I simply couldn't say it any better!

Candles from France? Really?

I don't know about TV where you live, but around these parts, Glade has a commercial out for their new fancy candles. The lady lights them, then pulls the wrapper off, and tries to convince her friends that they came from France.
Really - are we that trivial and so busy trying to keep up with the Jones's that we now have to lie about our candles. I mean really? Seriously.
I just can't wrap my head around this commercial. I do not understand why someone would have to lie about candles.
Can someone please explain this to me?

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Homeschool Open House!

I was reading Kelli's blog over at Living in Grace and saw she participating in an open house. It looked fun, so I read hers, and clicked on over to Less of Me ~ More of Him, read the info and decided to play along!

So welcome, everyone, to my Homeschool Open House!

What can I say about us.
I have 3 blessings - they are 1, 4, and 7. We are only formally homeschooling the oldest right now. This will technically be our third year, but our first year was very light! This year I have made a switch and we will be using the Ambleside Online plan for many of the subjects. I am excited to make this switch and hope we can use it effectively. The more I read about Charlotte Mason, the more I really do like her style of education!

We are also using Math-U-See and MCP Phonics. Although the CM guides say to wait on grammar, we are doing a bit of work with that as well!

We are very unstructured thought out our day. Some days we "school" in the morning, some in the afternoon, some in the evenings. I let my dd decide which work to do first and which to save for last. She enjoys having this input, although she knows if she puts it off and doesn't get her work done, then she loses that freedom and I will set the day's activities.
I will say however, that I think I will need to set more of a schedule up this year than for previous years especially with the added music, nature, art, Shakespeare and what not. I know we can't do ALL those things each day so I may assign each one it's own day or let her assign them at the start of the week! We'll see how it goes - which is how a lot of our systems are worked out. We just go with the flow and change it as needed.

This year will be interesting as we adjust to a new way of doing things. I admit, all the emphasis on nature is a bit scary to me. Although it sounds good in theory, I am not an out doorsy kind of person! It will stretch me to be out in nature with the kids SO much (especially with our Chicago winters! I will NOT willingly be out in the 30 degree temps stomping through snow!) Although I have no doubt I will look back on this year and be glad that I did it, I will need that extra push! Also, we're only a week into it, but I believe we can get through some of the reading much quicker than scheduled. I suppose it's because most kids are doing year 1 at 6 and she should probably be in year 2 or 3. So we may work through year 1 in less than 36 weeks and move onto year 2. However, my dd is loving what we have read so far and that is encouraging!

Also, I have yet to purchase any books. I got them all from the library for now! I could probably do that for the next 2 years, but I think (if we still like this curriculum in a month) we will simply purchase them. Some books last for a few years, one gets used for 6 years, and with 2 others coming up behind her, trying to request them all, and then adjust our year based on when they are available for check-out, well, I'd rather just buy them truthfully! I guess the beauty is that I only need to buy what I really want to own and that is nice!

Okay, I think that's enough rambling for now! Thanks for reading! =) And please, if you stop by, say hi so I know who you are =)

Saturday, August 04, 2007

My Brain is Fried ...

Today, the one day my dh was supposed to be home all day, of course, he got called into work. I was out for 90 minutes this am for the chiro appointment for my dd and myself. Then I came home, he was here for about an hour and back to work he went. I had 3 extra kids here, was feeling very stressed out and not ready to deal with all the kids by myself. I didn't have much of a choice though.

Bad news from the chiro - the MRI of my jaw showed that the joint is deteriorated far more than normal for my age. Lovely. That was just what I wanted to hear. Or not. So I'll have to have a copy sent over to my dentist and I'm going to bet he will send me to an oral surgeon. I don't know. I suppose I am way over thinking this. Maybe even though is more than normal for my age, it's not that bad. However, it means we need to get things in my mouth in working order because the stress of my jaw not moving correctly is most likely what is causing all the wear and tear in there. The chiro is positive she can help fix the tracking issue, but of course she can't fix the damage that is currently there. ::sigh:: As my dh said today, well at least now we know more clearly is going on in there. And that can't be a bad thing.

Anyway, the kids were quite overwhelming to me today. I know they weren't trying to be, but there was a lot of arguing and fights and this one is mad at this one and that one said something mean to this one, blah blah, blah. I tried to get them involved in activities that I thought would help, but most of my ideas didn't fly with them. Oh well. I tried. And now they are gone - and not two minutes after they left my oldest dd asked if someone else could come over and spend the night! I very calmly told her that tonight was not a good night for that, when I wanted to scream NO WAY!!!!! NO MORE CHILDREN CAN COME OVER! EVER AGAIN!

For the rest of tonight I am going to try to relax. Tomorrow I have quite a few things that I need to accomplish and I think just not doing anything tonight will go a long way to making me feel more human!

Friday, August 03, 2007

The Silver Lining ...

My husband has hardly been at home this week. In fact, you might say our home has merely become a place for him to sleep. He's been busy with work. And although I am pleased he works so hard, frankly it completely and absolutely sucks. I have feeling like a single mom - because I NEED the help he gives me. I crave it. I crave time and space and a break, generally he provides me with these things. But my guess is home will mostly be a bed for him until Halloween - given all the changes at work, the fact that he will start another side job, and a whole list of other reasons. And I hate it.
I mean, I really hate it. I do not know how mothers who do not have husbands/significant others or wives who husbands travel for work often do it. I stand in awe of them and just amazed by what they can accomplish. I'm sure I could survive that lifestyle if I had to, but I'd probably barely survive. And some of you do it so wonderfully and make it look so effortlessly, I applaud you. Because, frankly I am ready to rip my hair out, kick my husband's @ss and send the kids all away to camp for a week.
I was telling my mother all of this yesterday and she said "Well, I think you need to just be grateful that at least you can be home. That is nice, especially for the kids." And I think she is right. I can't imagine how chaotic things would be if both dh and I had to juggle jobs, especially with how chaotic his happens to be. And I know that I should be glad I can stay home. But some days that is the issue. I stay home. And I want to get away. I want to walk a mall without a stroller. I want to sit at a restaurant and not try to entertain the kids. I want to grocery shop without little ones asking for more things than we need to buy. I just want a break. But really what I want is a husband who is home for more than 8 hours a day.
This sucks. It really sucks. And I miss my husband and my kids miss their dad. But unless we'd like to sell the house, stop eating and not wear clothes that fit, this is how it will be for a while. But it's tiring on me. And it wears me out and some days it feels too much to handle it all alone.
But I will try to hold my mom's words in my heart. At least I am home. And at least they have someone who they know will be home when they need a hug or to hear a story or a playmate or a lap to lay upon - even if that someone is crabby some days!

Crazy Day!

Well, it wasn't supposed to be a crazy day, but it turned out to be one.
First of all, the chiropractor visit yesterday was just plain weird! I've never been adjusted before and never heard so many cracking noises from my body before like that. It was just - well, weird I guess! LOL! Although when she did my neck, it really bothered me. And then she did something to the muscles by my jaw and that hurt too (although she did warn that would be painful). She took my back x-rays and should have the film tomorrow.
My 4 year old did good, although about half way through she wanted to be done, but managed to hang in for the rest. She is going back tomorrow happily, but wants me to hold her hand this time. We are also doing a food journal for her for the next few days (and I was put under strict orders to NOT stray from what we normally eat to make it look better than it is. Don't worry, I haven't yet and really, don't have the time or brain power to fake it! LOL!) We are going to explore the possibility of food allergies at work in her system. She told me specifically looking at wheat, which would suck because we buy lots of whole wheat products now. I don't know what I would do if I had to avoid them for her. But if I have to, I will. I don't have any inkling that the allergy will be what it is, but figure it can't hurt to check it all out, kwim?

Anyway, today we went to visit granny and grandpa. It was a lovely visit. I even left with some nice rhubarb to make jam with from the neighbor! One dd went to an aunts house and the other two went to a friends house. I left for my MRI appointment. Got lost and showed up 15 minutes late. So, I lost my spot. Which stunk. Because I ended up finishing at 6:15 and if I had my spot, I would have been home with all the kids by 6:15!

So an MRI is not at all what I expected. First of all, I didn't know they were so freaking noisy! So incredibly loud. It really threw me off. And the space did seem small, but not that small. I was more afraid I would move and make something not work than I was of the small space actually. And I had to keep my jaw clenched, which hurt a lot and took up a lot concentration. For the end, I had to bite this HUGE thing so they could get a picture of the joint open and wow, did that hurt. Which means, my jaw was sore and I was crabby it was so late already. But I am glad to get it out of the way.

So, grab the two kids, grab McDonald's (it was 6:30 - we were an hour from being able to eat at home and I'm guessing that will look grand on M's food journal. But oh well, I won't lie. We get fast food about once a week. May not be the best, but we do and this is exactly what the doctor wanted - a true picture of our eating habits).
Then I go get the third child, make the drive home. Run in and grab clothes for Miss M who is going with my mom in the morning. Then my mom freaks out when I tell her to please keep track of what M eats and drinks. She promises to only give her "good" things so her food journal looks great. To which I explain to her that she should not go out of her way and to just feed her as normal. I don't think she will! I will be interested to see what she writes down. But then I finally make it back home where I can breath - and it was only 8:25. I hate days like today. Mostly because it stinks to run around that much. And even worse, most of it wasn't planned until about 3:00 this afternoon. PLUS, we were going to have tacos for dinner and assuming I wouldn't get home until just at dinner time, I had the meat all browned, ready to go. Tomorrow we have a party so I can't have my tacos until Saturday. Bummer.

But I'm home, the craziness of the day is over. And tomorrow I have to be nowhere until 3:00pm. I plan on doing nothing all morning (well, except things I want to do and would enjoy! LOL!)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Another school year ...

was started in our house yesterday!
Yes, yes, I decided we needed to start now. Mostly because there are some things from last year we have not quite finished up. So to make up for that, we are starting early this year. And also because I am not opposed to the idea of schooling year round frankly and we may just go straight through until summer 2009! We'll see because ...

yesterday, my dd suddenly developed a stomachache. Which she needed to rest on the couch for, with the tv on of course. I told her if her stomach bothered her so much that she couldn't do some reading, well then, she needed to be in her room resting. Amazingly, her stomach began to feel better and she finished up what needed to be done (and frankly, we are not starting with all our subjects and the load is relatively light right now!). Today she begged to be done early to play with the neighbors and promised to do double work tomorrow with what she didn't finish today. I admit, I let her go play. Because, it wasn't going to be in front of the tv or computer screen. And I think playing is important. And because I only planned for 4 days of work this week, but she doesn't know that, so if we have to spread it out over 5, that's fine with me. And I do feel a bit guilty for her since the kids around here haven't started back at school. And I think if other kids are out and she is running around then school for the moment can wait. I have planned most of our weeks to be done completed in 4 days to allow for this flexibility.

Anyway, this year we sort of switched gears and are trying out the Charlotte Mason method of education. I'll admit, I am still reading up on it and so am not positive of how it will play out, but I remember reading about it when I first decided to homeschool and I remember being quite moved by a lot of what was said about it - using living books and not twaddle, not needing to dumb things down for kids (but obviously talking at levels they can understand), etc, etc. And a few weeks ago I came across - which has lots of info. And I decided to follow their plan (of course, I am also in the process of reading several books for parents about this). We are beginning with year 1 and going from there. We'll see. So far I have gotten lots of interesting books from the library that are recommended. I will have to purchase most of them to continue the year smoothly, but I wanted to test it out first before making the monetary plunge! We'll see how it goes. Frankly, I'm guessing most kids my dd's age are onto year 2 right now, but I think it is wise for us to start at year 1 and make up sometime by starting early now and going through next summer. Because really, by the end of August next year I think we can be at elast 1/3rd into year 2 and maybe by the following fall be in year 4 - assuming of course, we stick with this for that long! We'll see ... so far I like the books and the ideas and the materials. But we'll see if any of that changes as I learn more and we get farther into it!