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Monday, November 29, 2010

Multi tasking at it's worst

As a homeschooling mommy of three, I am often asked the question, "How do you do it all?"  Well, lately it has been very apparent that I don't. I either have a clean house or educated children for the day. I either get to do my devotions, or have my workout time. It is very hard to actually do it all, and I often wonder who in the world does...for very long????. I can keep it up for awhile, but it  starts to wear on me.

This past week I really felt the pressure to make sure each child was receiving what she needed from me in her schooling. I paid attention to detail and tried to see how far and how fast we were progressing. It is hard. I go back and forth. I can see they are learning lots of stuff, but is it enough? I think every home school mom probably struggles with wondering if they are doing enough. There are always so many interruptions. The phone rings, you get an email you really need to take care of, the neighbor dog is trying to eat your chickens, (you mean that doesn't happen at your house?), viruses pass back and forth between family members for what seems like an eternity, lunch time rolls around and you realize you need to go to the store, doctor apts, dentist apts, orthodontist apts etc.....Arrrrrrrrgh

The other night I broke down and told Sweet Man what a hard time I was having. That is huge for me. I am not one to admit that I can't handle something. I'm a country girl, we can handle anything, I tell myself. Apparently not. 

There are so many options out there for homeschooling, one being a computer based program with lessons, tests and report cards. I had used it awhile back, but I really didn't feel like I wanted my child growing up staring at a computer all day. Now I am thinking it might be the answer to my prayers :-) As I type, Sweet Man is working on building the girls their own little computers for their desks, so they can do their lessons while I work out.  I am ecstatic!!! I will still have to do some hands on stuff for sure, and I like too. It's just hard feeling like it all falls on me to explain, motivate, and assign. It was easy enough to handle with one child, but three is a bit more of a challenge.  

Shhhhh....this morning we even had pop tarts ;-)
Hopefully tomorrow these shoes will get some much needed time, while the girls are learning up a storm!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving day!

Over the gravel, and through the subdivision
oh, how the sun does shine!
It warms the skin and brings out good friends,
as over the road we go.

Up the driveway  and through the wood
and straight through the front yard gate.
We seem to go extremely slow-
it is so hard to wait!

Over the gravel, and through the subdivision
when Grandmother sees us come,
She will say, "o, dear, the children are here,
bring some turkey  for every one."

Over the gravel, and through the subdivision
now Grandmothers house I spy!
Hurrah for the fun! Is the cooking done?
Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!

 Did you hear about those crazy people who stayed up ALL night, just to get a good deal on something they didn't really need? Well...that would be us. Second people in line at Kohl's at midnight. Everyone should  have a special friend to do crazy stuff with, just cause ya can! :-)
Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

An attitude of gratitude

It is so hard to complain about the things that aren't going right or things I don't have, when I stop and look at all that is going right, and all that the Lord has blessed me with. I have so much....not just worldly things mind you, but the greatest treasure of all is mine. I have hope that the Lord is working every day on my behalf to better me and my surroundings, to use me in ways that I can't imagine. I want to live as everyday is Thanksgiving, and have my eyes open to all that I have.

This year one of the things I am truly thankful for is my daddy. This past March our families lives were changed drastically when I got a phone call. The phone, it can bring such wonderful news, or it can stop you dead in your tracks. The Doctors here in Charleston said that my Dad's heart was failing and there was nothing more they could do for him. And in a sense that was so true...but then there's God. His heart was working between 5-10percent.  My Mom wanted them to take him to Cleveland Clinic to see a specialist, but the waiting list was too long. There wasn't time to wait. I have never in my whole entire life felt so close to God. To be in a situation that you feel totally helpless and know that only He can "fix" this, was the scariest thing I had ever been through. I didn't eat for days, and literally prayed without ceasing. I kept feeling a peace that the Lord was saying, "it's ok sweetie. I'm here"...but my faith being as weak as it is, just didn't really know, if He would pull through for me. I know that sometimes He brings tragedies in our lives for a reason, to use in some way. I didn't want tragedy, I wanted  Him to work a miracle. He did. That 3-4 month waiting list for Cleveland turned into 3 days. My parents were flown in a helicopter while my Aunt (dad's sister) and me and my sister drove to meet them there. We were in awe at how the Lord was working things out for us, and I felt like it was a test for me. To see if I would really trust like I should. Upon  further testing it was shown that his organs were shutting down and it was not a promising situation. I tried to trust. That first night he started to have streaks running up and down his arm where the IV had been put while he was at the hospital in Charleston. It looked like he might have a staff infection. It was getting hard to trust.  It was not  a good "problem" for anyone, but one with a failing heart, definitely not. My Mom stayed with him in his room all night and us 3 ladies headed over to our hotel exhausted and very quiet. I felt like I was watching my Dad die. A man that I loved more than life itself. Had I told him I loved him enough? Had I spent enough time with him? I just wasn't ready for this! That was one of the longest nights of my life, sitting, waiting in that hotel room. We cried together, prayed together and read our bibles  together. That morning I mentally was trying to prepare myself for what the day might greet me with. You can't really prepare... The streaks had "magically" disappeared and his organs started functioning again. I felt the reassurance from the Lord, that He indeed did care about us and even though he was super busy working out everyone else's details, He still had time for mine.

He had a pacemaker and defibrillator installed and is doing very well. My heart just swells with joy and thankfulness, when I see him drive up my driveway in his four wheeler, or hear him working on his sawmill. He is an awesome man and father. He taught me to work hard, be kind and to not take life too serious. I can remember many a family dinners around our kitchen table with him cracking jokes and making us laugh. He has never been caught up in making people see how special he is. He doesn't have too. It just shows.

I know full and well that we wouldn't have our little farm and house if it wasn't for him. He spent everyday and evening here for 2 years, with Mike building our house and giving advice. When I look around our place there are so many stories to tell. Stories of my dad helping us with 'this'or helping with 'that'. After our house was finished he bought a piece of land off of us, and even built a house for he and my mom. We are very thankful that we have them so close!

No, I wasn't ready to loose him. We never are, but the things is, I know that if the Lord didn't save my Dad, He still would have been a just God, who was still looking out for me and working all things to better me. I am just so thankful that we have him this Thanksgiving, and that I have a mom who tirelessly didn't give up when the Dr. said that there wasn't anything they could do. You see, we might be a little stubborn in our family, but God has plans for that as well! I love my heavenly father and my earthly one as well. Trying to not take for granted that there will be a tomorrow...cause ya never know.
My dad went with me and my girls to the pumpkin festival this year. Here he is talking with his friend and bee supplier. 

This was this past summer (after his surgery), he is building a cabin and picnic shelter on top of our properties.

Working on the chimney for the cabin.

My dad's faithful loving dog Grady. 

Hope playing in the fireplace that Dad was working on.

Do I have things that I would like to change? Of course. We all do. But I want to remember to be thankful for what I do have, and right now, I have my daddy!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Favorite things

A saw a commercial awhile back, of an Oprah show where she was going to showcase her favorite things. I thought it would be nice to showcase a few of my favorite things.
First on that list has to be my washer and dryer.
With a well that runs dry, just about every morning by 10:00a.m., a water saver washing machine is the way to go. With my old one it would take two days to do a load of laundry. I would start the load in the afternoon, and have to wait till the next morning to finish the rinse cycle. With this pair, I can do two loads a day. Isn't that exciting?

Next would have to be my vacuum.
With so many animals in the house, it is very appropriate that our vacuum is called the Animal! This baby sucks up so much junk off my floor, it's just awesome!

Of course my phone has to be on this list.
I's not as fancy as some, but the people on the other end sound the exact same as they do on the fancy phones. ;-)

I love my little corner in the family room.
To be honest, the only reason this made it on my list, is because of what it allows me to do. Sweet Man and I have a habit of putting the girls in bed, and then pulling out some serious junk food and chowing down late at night. The only way I can do that and not feel totally guilty, is to spend some time in my corner ;-)

The only way I can get motivation to use that corner is with one of these.
I can't tell if I love this iPod so much because of the super cool music it plays, or the fact that the girls think I can't hear a word they say when I wear them. When I first got these they would often try to have deep conversations with me while I was running. I would just look at them and say, "I can't hear ya sweetie. Go tell Daddy". They have learned to not even try anymore. I have seriously thought about just wearing them all the time. They wouldn't have to know that they weren't on. ;-)

Closets. They have to be on everyone's list. 
You know, that space you pile everything that you have no idea where to put or what to do with. It takes great skill to pile things this high, and not have someone injured when opening the door. I've been practicing for years. ;-)

My coveralls
Sure, I like to feel pretty. But these things are magic. When you put these on, things get done. Coops get cleaned out. Fences get mended. Firewood gets stacked. Porches get painted. Dress clothes can't compare to these!

Foggy mornings.
I love em!!!

Fruit that is as confused as I am.
Is it an apple or a pear? They couldn't tell either, so they called it an applepear ;-)

Paper plates and cups.
Fine china has nothing on this baby. You don't have to worry about the kids dropping it. You don't have to stress, over stuck on food being on it when company comes over, and you can let the dogs lick them without any strange looks from that company.

And at the end of the day this is my favorite.
A nice comfy bed with cat hair on it!

Monday, November 22, 2010

A fun frugal day

 So many fun things cost money. Lots of money. Money that we don't have. Mike took off work today to be with the girls, so I could go to my Dr. apt alone. It was actually really weird to not be toting three children around with me. I can't really remember the last time that happened. After my apt. I was able to go visit my great aunt for a bit, which was really nice. I was home shortly after noon and the weather was beautiful. Too beautiful to stay in the house. We were left with a free afternoon and nothing to do, and not a whole lot of spending money.

 We have so many neat things to do around Charleston, but I just never take the time to do it. The girls always ask "when can we do ....?", and I always say "someday". Well, today was that someday. We headed to Magic Island to walk around and enjoy the weather. We skipped rocks on the river and looked for treasure that might have washed up on the rocks. If empty bottles and skoal cans are treasure, we hit the mother load. ;-)
While giving Sadie a private lesson on rock skipping she lost control of her rock and it landed, of course, right upside Grace's head. We decided it was time to move on to another attraction.

  We headed over to the Capitol and toured the grounds. We were in awe of the war memorial and how many people lost their lives so we can be free.  Something about seeing all those names in print humbles you, and makes you realize how much you take for did me anyway. We took a tour of the cultural center and thourougly enjoyed their musuem. They even had little crafts for the girls to do and a reading nook for sweet man and I to hang out in while they crafted away. It was a very nice day. Not a productive day, but who wants that anyway? Sometimes you just need to time to hang out and enjoy each other!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sometimes yes...sometimes no!

This past week was a LONG week. We were sick yet again, and starting to get a little depressed from not being able to go anywhere or see anyone. The one day I started to feel better we woke up to the electricity being out, and with the electric being out at our house, there isn't any water. No water, means no shower. No shower means, going NOwhere. We tried to make the best of it. We baked biscuits on the wood burning stove and only caught 2 completely on fire ;-) made coffee and beans on it as well.

We played board games and just about the time I thought I might go completely mad, I decided we needed to take a hike. Literally. One child refused to go, but was forced anyway. It only took 20 long minutes to get everyone dressed with socks and all, and as soon as we stepped outside to go...the power came back on. Even though I act like I don't like modern technology, I realized that day how much I love it. I let those kids play as many video games that they wanted! It had been a rough day to say the least.

Sometimes as a mom I feel like all I say is NO. Sometimes I have very good reasons. Other times, I think I just say it out of habit. I started thinking about a few things that I had said No to, and couldn't remember why I said it. Sometimes I over think things.....I think. The girls could tell their was a change going on in mommy's brain, and took full advantage of it. :-) One child wanted to know if we could have doughnuts for breakfast..".umm...Yes," I said. I was hungry. One child wanted to know if we could decorate for Christmas a week early...."ummm. Yes", I said. I was bored. One child wanted to know if we could go to Beaches Resort (she saw a commercial)...umm..."that's my girl, aim high. Don't settle for the mediocre. Reach for the stars, but No."

Isn't this the nicest nativity scene? We got this at our church's yard sale this past summer, and this was the first time we had seen all of it. It was like Christmas taking each piece out of it's newspaper wrapping.

One of the things that I had said no to, was letting the girls get their ears pierced. I had wanted them to wait until they were ten, that way they would appreciate it, and be able to take care of it properly. Lately several of their friends have had their ears pierced, and I could see the longing in their eyes. I talked to sweet man about it, and we decided that it really wasn't a big deal or necessary for them to wait any longer. We had family night on Friday, and after the movie we surprised them by telling them the good news. It would be an early Christmas present.  They were ecstatic to say the least. We loaded them up bright and early Saturday, and headed out for breakfast and a day at the mall for the big event. It was a very nice day, and I remembered how special I felt as a little girl when I had mine done. I heard the girls giggling and talking in their room late last night, about how wonderful it was and they just couldn't believe it. I think we made the right decision.

Today we were well enough to go to church, and it was awesome! I had so missed our loving church family and the smiling faces that went with it. It is so easy to get in a funk when I don't have that reminder every Sunday, that God is wonderful and He is working all of life's details to better me as a person and mom.