Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Boys and Girls

Its raining. It rains every afternoon lately. My children enjoy sitting by the window and watching it rain. It brings me such joy to see this peace and contentment in thier young lives that they are fascinated by rain. Of course my four year old little boy uses his imagination and sees clouds rolling down from the sky and tornados. My five year old little girl sees flowers getting a drink of water. Its amazing how differently they think.
We enjoyed wandering through Toys R Us the other day and the girls and I oohed and ahed over the craft kits and the baby dolls and the dollhouses and the boys oohed and ahed over the science kits and the dump trucks and remote controlled cars. My husband took great delight in showing the four year old the volcano kit. Hmm.. I might just see about getting the two of them a Science Kit for Christmas so they can play together and explore. My hubby found this "cool" gadget that vacuums bugs into this canister and then you can examine them through the clear class before transferring them to this little bug kingdom. Of course C thought this was the neatest thing he ever saw. I dont know if that is what I will purchase for Christmas! :)
I love my little family. I love being with them and serving them. I love making my children smile and making my husband smile. I can truly say right now I am CONTENT! This brings tears to my eyes because I have struggled so long with contentment. I knew it was something I was supposed to have but oh my how I kept missing the mark. I always wanted just one more thing.... No more (at least not today). Today I sit in awe of the rain and how it has captivated my children. Today I sit and snuggle my two year old close as he sighs "Mommy I love you!". Today I watch my five year old put together a puzzle and then smile at me because it had 40 pieces and she did it herself. Today I watch my three year old snuggle her baby in her arms and rock her in her own rocking chair. Today I watch my four year old defeat an invisible dragon and smile and say he saved me! Today my husband will come home and walk around in awe at the changes I have made around the house while he was at work. He will be pleased. I know him well enough to know he will like the changes and the path towards organization they are leading to. My heart is overflowing with love and contentment and joy. Yes I feel joy in there as well. Praise God for all He has allowed me to have. All He has given me. Oh how He has blessed me beyond anything I could ever imagine.
Its a good day!

Around the house:
The school room/Library is almost complete. The books are up. The desk is up. The children's table is in place. Now all I have to do is move in my reading chair and two more bookcases. Little ones. One holds my stero and all right now but will soon hold devotional books and Bibles and the other is the kids craft bookcase, with crayons, scissors, markers, chalk, coloring books, and puzzles.
The playroom/TV room is together. The toys line the walls and behind the couch and the videos are safely tucked away in the closet.
I have given away tons of toys, books, household decor, and clothing. My home is coming together! I am so excited.
Almost all the dishes are done.
The children's laundry is at a managable place.
Beds are made.
Dinner is in the crockpot.
I feel like a homemaker!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


Yesterday we had a nice surprise. Prince Charming had taken the day off to spend time with us. We slept late and then loaded the children up for a trip to the zoo. It was raining a little on the way there but in Florida when it rains you never know if its an all day rain or just a short summer shower. We decided to wait in the parking lot and see what transpired. After 30 minutes we decided that today was not a zoo day. We then drove to a mall across town and let the children play in the indoor play area. Then we walked around some and then we took the children to Toys R Us and let them play. We walked out of there with not a single purchase! I was so proud of my children they did not whine or beg or plead for anything. After that we took them to Cici's pizza an all you can eat pizza buffet that is very cheap. We had a lot of fun although my daily schedule was shot. But I really think that we should sometimes let the schedule go especially when daddy takes time off from his job for family time! :)
Today I am running to catch up though. I have a play date that I scheduled weeks ago so I am trying to get the basics done around here so I can still go to my friends house and our children can play together. They have not seen each other in three weeks so I know they are anxious to share all thier little girl secrets! :)
Yesterday as we watched all the children playing I was disturbed at some of the behaviors I saw. There were many children that when told not to do something would turn around and do it again and mom would simply roll her eyes. There were two little boys running full speed around the play area and the mother told them to stop because they were going to run over the little ones roaming around. The boys kept running and soon the did knock over a toddler. Mom just stared at them and said, "See I told you." then went back to reading her magazine. My husband and I stared wide eyed and open mouthed at a lot of the stuff going on around us.
When we tell our children to do something we expect immediate compliance. There are no threats or bribes. Its do it or face the consequences. When my two older ones pushed each other trying to get to the slide they had to come and sit by me for a few minutes. I did not even give them a warning because they know this is something they are not to do. Self control and discipline are so important to our children as we raise them up. I want my children to have a special ongoing strong relationship with God as they grow older. How will they be able to do that if they dont learn to be obediant? I want them to be able to sit and worship the Lord during thier day, to live in His word, to overflow with His joy because they are so close to Him. My husband and I have read and prayed and we believe that we are to train our children to have this relationship with God and that means training them to be self disciplined, have self control, and be obedient. We deal with this alot at church as well. Our children all the way down to the 2 year old are expected to sit and listen and be still and quiet during Preaching. It does not kill them.. I promise. We practice at home by having family Bible reading every night where they are expected to sit still. People are always amazed at how well the children do. Its expected of them so they do it. If you expect something of your children and make it known that you expect it your children will amaze you EVERY TIME! Now I will admit. I have a "look". My children know it and they know that when mommy gives the look she has had enough and you better stop whatever you are doing. If I give the look and get immediate compliance a nice smile follows. Before you can expect your children to meet your expectations they have to know you love them. I have been accused of being too strict but my children are almost always smiling and outgoing and friendly. They love to be held and cuddled by me. I think if I saw distress on my children's faces or sadness I would worry. But I dont. They are happy well behaved children. Thier social workers comment on it, our family and friends comment on it, and strangers comment on it. My children are happy. I still reevaluate all the time my methods of training. And if my husband sees an area that needs work then I move it straight to the top. I love the No Greater Joy website and Raising Godly Tomatoes. Do I agree 100% with everything? No, but then no one agrees 100% with me either. But these two websites have given my husband and I a glimpse into real , working training techniques. They are extreme by the world's standards but I want my children to be different from the world. Like I said we are striving to raise godly children, with godly values and beliefs. Maybe I am too strict by the world's standards but I am confident that when God calls my children to stand they will be there front and center. I will take great joy in knowing one day that my children walk in truth! :)

Around the house:
Phew! Well I have all the books put in the bookshelves. I am actually boxing up a few that would not fit because we are getting two more bookcases in the next month. I did get box up one whole box that will be freecycled. Yeah me!
I have to go through the house tonight and box up some other stuff that someone is coming to pick up tomorrow. This is going to drastically reduce the amount of clutter around my house right now. Phase 1! I need to do this probably five more times and then my house will not look like a knick knack factory. :) I have to do it in stages though.
The kitchen was clean. I just finished making some soft breadsticks for dinner. They are sitting now. I have never made breadsticks before.... Im not sure these are right... they are awfully skinny. We shall see. I have to go clean up after myself but I rolled out forty breadsticks and I needed to sit down so I decided to come work on my blog some.. :)
My table is still not moved and the toys are still all over the house. I am hoping to finish my library/homeschool room tonight and can start early AM moving my table and the toys. Im also relocating our television. Right now it is in the closet of what will soon by my playroom and I LOVE having it in the closet but I need the closet for storage so I am moving it to the corner of the playroom. I will move our TV couch over as well and then store the toys behind the couch. Since the playroom is close to the homeschool room I will store extra homeschool stuff in the closet and thats also where our videos will be stored.
I have washed almost all the bed linens. I still have to do mine and hubby's.
I am working on my Home Management notebook and hope to post my schedules and all soon. Thanks Candy for the inspiration!
I am supposed to be getting another four drawer dresser for the girl's room before K moves in. I have a ton of clothes that I got off of freecycle for her and I really want to put them up but no matter how I arrange them they will not fit in with her sister's clothes. So when we get our foster care check for this month we are going to go buy another dresser. They are only $29.99 at KMart or maybe a little bit more but not much.
My neighbor brought over some cucumbers from her garden the other night so I wanted to make some cookies to take to her. I need to finish that project.
Well I am off to finish getting dinner on the table!

Friday, June 24, 2005

ADHD and my children

Candy over at Life with Christ has an interesting viewpoint on the ADHD phenomena thats sweeping the nation. Supposedly our eight year old has been diagnosed with it. Here is what the diagnosis has done for my girl. We went out to a restaurant for lunch and she wanted to bounce around and run around the restaurant. Her three year old and five year old sisters were sitting nicely and quietly. When I told her to sit down or she would spend the rest of the day right by my side she looked me dead in the eye and informed me, that she could not sit still she has a illness that makes her hyper. : 0 What!? Someone has informed the child of this and given her an excuse for the way she is. :( She also brings with her when she comes to visit at least one new medicine. At last count she was on a total of four prescription medications and complaining of another ailment that will probably warrant another one. The child is a true hypochondriac.
Regardless of her "issues" the child must learn self control and I tell you when she is here visiting I am 100% consistent with her. Not wavering for an instant and guess what? She is happy, she is calm (mostly), and she is excited about her responsibilities. AND she can now sit still and quiet at least through a whole church service! :)
I cant wait until she is mine. She is such a sweet child who has had a rough life. I believe in our home with some consistency, routine, and order and of course unconditional love she will thrive and we are already praying that she will be able to be weaned off of her medicine eventually.
I have mentioned before that the week she spent here she loved helping around the house and doing her "school"work. She loved having a routine.
I remember commenting to her social worker at one time that regardless of the "ADHD" she has been diagnosed with she MUST learn self control and self discipline. Im sorry no police officer is going to care that you are ADHD when he pulls you over for a ticket or catches you stealing or you attack someone. The Court of Law should not care either. We should not be giving our children excuses for the bad behavior we should be training them up to know right from wrong and to exhibit self control. And to be responsible for what they do!
Funny thing I see in the foster care system is plenty of people who dont want to take responsibility for thier actions. Many parents dont want to work on case plans because they dont think they did anything wrong. It was all the "baby snatchers". They want to know why they cant have thier children back. I always tell them to look in the mirror. Until they can come face to face with that person the life cycle will continue. I dread the day 20 years from now (or sooner) when one of my foster children belongs to a child that lived in my home for a short time. I know this will happen because the thing that these "lost" parents will pass onto thier children is take no responsibility. Live however you want.
Im just so frustrated with the whole thing. :(

Around the House:
The books are almost all in the bookcases. I vowed that I would start with my very favorite/most useful books and work down and whatever did not fit was getting freecycled. Almost done.
The kitchen is clean though I still have to do the dishes.
The playroom is a disaster due to relocating it and the kids not being able to properly pick up thier toys and put them away. I hope to have that remedied by Monday afternoon at the latest.
I want to get my table moved out of the kitchen this weekend but that too may wait until Monday.
My mom and I went out to Walmart. I found some nice silk flowers and two rubbermaid containers on sale. I like to use silk because A) they are so low maintence and B) I dont have the added job of cleaning up cat vomit after they have eaten the real flowers. :)
I worked in my yard some today. I had to cut back the little saplings from around my oak tree and while I was doing that I decided to trim my lantanas back because they were taking over the flower bed. Im still soooo new to this gardening thing. My great aunt up in Alabama sent me home with some seeds for next spring I cant wait to try them out. My aunt here in Florida has offered me a Rose of Sharon cutting from her yard. Hubby and I were thinking of doing a Florida garden with native plants surronded by rocks. It would sure save us some water bill money and help us out because our yard truly needs to be resodded and we sure dont have the money for that. *sigh* Praise the Lord for my aunts though who are willing to share thier knowledge with me. My mom had horrible hayfever when I was growing up so she never really got into the yard to work and now that she is semi-rich :) she had her yard professionally landscaped and it looks beautiful.
My ultimate dream is to have a productive efficient garden that will produce herbs, vegetables, and flowers that can be cut and used around the house or as gifts. I really really want to try my hand at a rosebush one day too though the thought makes me nervous. :) Imagine having fresh roses all over the place! MMM...!
Well I better get started on those dishes!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

What about your friends...

Not much going on today. Our van is broken. My brother says he thinks it is the starter switch and he said he could probably replace it this weekend if we get the part. I think he and my hubby dear will go tomorrow night to get the part since its payday. There is some sort of something where you pay extra for the part and then if you bring the broken one back they give you some money back because they will recycle it. Im praying thats true because we could sure use the money we are putting out for this.
I read a great article at LAF about friendship. It had a check list of how to act around other ladies and I have to say it was a real eye opener. I am thinking about priting it out and passing it around to other ladies in my church. We could sure use a reminder to keep our mouths shut sometimes.
Hubby had to reformat our hard drive while I was gone and was thouhtful enough to save some of my more important stuff stored on the computer. Like my blog for instance... :) Last time he reformated the hard drive he lost a picture of my grandaddy. The very last one of him ever taken at Christmas. He died unexpetedly a few short weeks later. I know hubby felt awful about it though no one blamed him. This time he was extra careful though saving things that made me laugh. Kinda like when you move 15 times and find you have carried freezer food with you from every house! :) I am so grateful for this wonderful man who thinks of things like saving my info before reformatting! Could I have a sweeter guy???
One thing missing is our Bible on the computer. We have to find the disk for that and load it... it is essential to my blogging as I am always searching for verses with it. :)
We are going to Central Florida for the Fourth of July and hope to take our other daughter with us. K should be moving in near the end of July and we want her to meet the family. I know hubby's sister and her family from Illinois will be there and I am hoping his sister from Atlanta will pop down too. His sister in Illinois has two boys. Ryan is ohmigosh... almost 15??? No way! Hmm.. maybe... and Matt is 7 or 8 I think. He might be 9 though. They live so far away and we only see them once a year. Although I am really really hoping to go up there this fall for a visit. Hubby and I were wondering if we should get a hotel when we go see his parents. It will be an awful lot of people in his parents two bedroom mobile home if we dont. Praying about it because we really dont have the money for three nights in a hotel. He has another sister who lives here in town with us but refuses to speak to us so I dont think she will be there. I would love it if she was but well... we shall see. :)
Our girls' worker was here today. We have started talking about the adoption process. We have thirty days from June 7 to see if thier mother will appeal her termination. If she does not then can start the adoption process 3 months after K moves in with us. Our target date is June 2006 though. Works for me as long as they are mine by next school year. I dread dread dread sending my babies off to school when I know they should be here with me. But I have to leave them in God's hands and watch over them very carefully.

Around the House:
Still trying to jump back in. I veered way off from the schedule today but am proud to say I cleaned the carpets where my bookshelves will go and finished emptying the bookshelves.
The bookshelves have been moved and I finally devoted one whole three shelf bookcase to the children. Thier books were so totally taking over the house. I put thier school books on top so they wont be tempted to play with them. I am going to have a desk set up in there and thier little table so thats where the school books should be.
Tommorrow I hope to finish the bookshelves and then move into the playroom and kitchen. Im excited about the rearranging going on here.
I also listed some stuff on Freecycle. Things I thought I would never get rid of are getting ready to head out the door and I am quiet excited about it! We had three cheese lasagna rice for dinner and it was so yummy. I got the recipe from one of my Light and Tasty cookbooks. I love Light and Tasty they have real ingredient that taste real good! :)
Well I am off to do the dishes.. the wonderful dishes from dinner... (sung to the tune of we're off to see the Wizard..) :) I have made a goal to do my dishes everynight before I go to bed. Even if I have to do them at 12am.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Im Home

Im home safe and sound. I had a great trip with my mom and a good time getting to see family members we dont get to see to often. I am already planning a trip to take my family up there soon. I cant wait for everyone to meet my children. My very favorite part of the whole trip was on Monday. Right before the funeral we were at my papa's sister's house sitting on her porch and listening to her talk about her yard and days gone by. She is a true Southern lady. The funeral was lovely and what a testimony this man left behind. I am so sad that I did not have more time to get to know him here on earth. I was so excited though to think of him walking with Jesus.
I was a little sad at the funeral about something else. I met one of my mom's cousins and he looked and acted just like her younger brother who went home to be with the Lord so many years ago now. I wanted to weep with longing for my uncle whom I miss so much. He never got to meet my husband or dear children but somehow I think he knows all about them and how happy I am.
My mom and I had a nice drive home though we did end up stopping right outside of Atlanta for the night. We got a phone call on the way home that my uncle was involved in a motorcycle accident and after many many many more research calls we found out that he had to have a complete hip replacement. We were really worried about my grandparents. Would they try to drive straight from Alabama to West Florida where my uncle was? They did not. They decided to come home and rest and then when my uncle goes into rehab they will go over there and be with him. It was a very trying weekend for my family to say the least. But once again God was with us.
I am so thankful for my godly heritage. Both sets of my grandparents are saved.. two living in Glory already and my mom and dad are saved. I know my dad's father's, parents were saved not sure about my dad's mom's family. On my mom's side my mom's dads parents were saved not too sure about her mom's parents. My husband struggles sometimes because he is a first generation Christian. He did not have parents and grandparents praying over him as he was coming up the way I did. As I mentioned before hubby has come up with a vision for our family so that we will not perish. Our children will have the reassurance knowing they were well prayed for.

Around the house:
Today was a day of just trying to get back in the swing of things. Hubby was home as he took three days off not knowing when I would be back. He did a great job keeping the kitchen clean so I only did a few dishes in there. Im still working on getting my bookshelves moved. Maybe tomorrow.
Oh here is something great! We did not have any tea in the house and Prince Charming and I were both craving some tea so he took some packs of green tea and made sweet tea out of those. It tasted wonderful and is so much more healthy than just regular tea.
I was a bit frustrated as hubby wanted chicken and dumplings for dinner and I could not find a recipe for dumplings. Everything said use baking mix or canned biscuits. I wanted to do it from scratch with some flour. So after a desperate search through all my millions of cookbooks I found a recipe but was dismayed to see shortening listed. I hate working with shortening and wondered if there was anyway around it. I signed on to All Recipes. This is the greatest website. You can search using inredients you want and ingredients you dont want. So I put in the ingredients I want, flour (so I would not get baking mix dumplings) and the one I did not want was shortening. I got a lot of recipes. I was not impressed with the ones I made last night. I will try some of the others and find one that we all enjoy.
I walked around the neighborhood with my mom today. We were delivering invitations to a Southern Living At Home party she is having. I have been a consultant for a little over a year now. I enjoy it and only do about four parties a month so Im not gone from home a lot. Hubby likes that I get a little extra money every month. :) I know some dont like the at home party system they say it is a farce. But I tell everyone I will do it until it becomes a burden to me.
Well I better turn in. I need to get back on schedule tomorrow and that means getting up early.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Black and White

My computer has been zonked these past few days and I am hating it. Isnt it funny how dependent we get on these things? Yesterday while the kids were napping I wandered around the house aimlessly. Usually I take some time when the kids are down for computer time if my daily chores are all done. Its probably a good thing to go without computer for a little while. I read some, did some little projects, read some cook books... little stuff I normally dont find time for.
I just started scrapbooking not too long ago and my mom has asked me to do up three albums for a birthday party she went to in Alabama a couple of months ago. She wants to give the three women celebrated these books. Well I could only use some of the pics but I am making a little headway. They wont be fancy thats for sure but I think they will be nice.
We are still waiting on the call about my aunt's husband. I know its stressful for us here at home not able to do anything and jumping every time the phone rings I can only imagine what it must be like for my two aunts up there watching this and being helpless. All I can say on this blog because I believe that some of the details of what he is going through are too personal to share is it is getting bad and every report I get breaks my heart a little more. The pain just seems unbearable to me.
Oh, the other day I mentioned breakfast out with the girls? Well when I checked my email there was a email newsletter I get from Pamela at Welcome Home. Guess what the subject was..... respecting our husbands! It was so awesome that I shot a quick email off to her about our breakfast and forwarded her email to our group. I got an email back yesterday from one of the ladies in our group the one that actually started the discussion and she was so thankful. We were so excited about the Lord's timing. Im so happy when the Lord confirms things for me. I am 26 years old and have been married for 4.5 years. Technically I am the youngest adult at church and the one married the least amount of time so I am amazed when the Lord uses me to pass on His marital wisdom and people actually benefit from it. It blesses my heart immensly.
Im having some difficulty in this area to though because I see so much in black and white. Especially things that come from the Bible. I want others to see what we are missing out on by not following God's plan as outlined in the Bible. My loving sweet supportive husband is always reminding me that I am at a different place in my spiritual walk then those around me. I take things literally. He keeps me grounded because I would proabably become a crazed street preacher if he was not here. I would literally be beating people over the head with my Bible because I believe it is the one True Word of God and I dont understand what is so hard for others to grasp. There are so many areas that God is still working in me on and I feel unworthy at times to try to teach others but I believe that there is a future for me in helping other women out. I truly want to help women find peace and hope through Jesus Christ. There are many times I am going through a struggle and I think, "Ok Lord what is up with this?" and then I begin thinking of how I can share this struggle with others and use it to stregthen my words to women in the same struggle I am in. I dont know if that makes sense but I believe that God uses our struggles and trials so that we can minister to others around us when they face that same trial.

Around the House:
Here is a verse I am thinking about today
Proverbs 31:11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
My husband's best friend is coming to visit this weekend. He has had a rough week and I need to make sure that my man has a nice comfortable place to entertain, uplift and encourage his friend.
The house actually looks pretty good. The floors were vacuumed today and all the stuff is picked up off the floor.
I still need to finish the kitchen. Hmm... it seems that that room is never done. I have to declutter and straighten my baker's rack and my white wire shelf that holds all my appliances and of course... sweep and mop! :)
I have been emptying my bookshelves because I am moving them to another room. Right now they are in the great room but they are going into a front room in our house that is supposedly supposed to be the dining room. The only problem is the dining room is not really big enough for more than a six person table.. so I am moving my kitchen table into the great room where the bookshelves were and then one day I will have my HUGE table and it will go in there. Im a little nervous about how Im going to make it work and look but I usually do pretty good at stuff like this. ... We will see. :)
I dont know if they will want to go into our bedroom to play on the computer so I need to pick up in here and straighten up so they can if they like. I need to wash some sheets and blankets so he will have a nice fresh bed. And last but not least some cookies so they can have a snack! :)
Im off to help with the munchkins... bed time ya know.

Monday, June 13, 2005

My Children My Helpers

Happy Monday! I thought I would write a little about how my children help me out around the house. Growing up I did not take a lot of time to help around the house or learn how to take care of hearth and home. I remember a few weeks before I got married I rushed to my mom and asked her to teach me to sew on a button. I was almost 22 years old and had no clue how to sew on a button! The first few months of marriage we either ate out.. ALOT or had boxed/frozen dinners. One day I tried a recipe and found it extremely easy to follow and the dish actually turned out pretty good. I was hooked. I started collecting recipes from anywhere I could find them and trying them out. By the time we moved into our house a little over a year later I discovered menu planning! I was on a role. The house was pretty clean (mainly cause neither one of us was ever home) and everything seemed to be going well. Fast forward a few years. I quit my job and came home full time. I thought, "Wow now Im home I will learn so much". We did not have any foster children yet so I was one of the dreaded "wives at home". Guess what? The house went way down!! Fortunatly I enjoyed cooking so that lasted... for awhile. When the children came everything changed. The house went further into the abyss and cooking was not as much fun for me. I decided to do only the bare minimum and usually that meant throwing different ingredients into the pot and hoping it turned out well. I remember well one day looking around and saying, "this is not what I envisioned" and I know its not what Prince Charming had in mind when he agreed I could stay home. I have committed to teaching my children (especially my girls) home management skills whether they want them or not. I have been fortunate thus far that they are enthusiatic and want to learn. Here is what we have accomplished so far. My five year old can wash the dishes.My five year old, four year old, three year old, and to a lesser extent my two year old can load them in the dishwasher.All of the children can empty the dishwasher as well. These are performed with BARE minimum help from me. I put the things that go up high up after they bring them to me. When someone asks for help trying to figure out how to get the big pot in the dishwasher I help. When there are a lot of dishes I help by teaching them a good order to wash and load in. But while two of them are perfoming the task of washing and loading I can walk away and tend to something else staying within ear shot. All of the children can clean up thier toys and books. They can all pick up trash around the house.They can all put thier dirty clothes in the hamper. When the eight year old is here she can do all of the above AND run a mean vacuum. She is very good with the vacuum. They can all help with laundry.And with the exception of the 2 year old who is still in a crib they can all make thier own beds. I just keep adding responsibilities until I see they can do no more or they get distressed. Right now they enjoy everything they do and I want to continue to foster that attitude. I keep them at thier tasks for one month and then we rotate. This way you have had almost 30 days to learn something and I also encourage them to help each other out with thier various tasks. They dont get paid for these chores. They do however get a lot of praise and occasionally a non monatary reward... like a sticker or a piece of candy or something. Hubby and I are thinking of instituting a money management program soon and I will blog on that more later. We have only been doing this for the month of June. So far the kids are eating it up. When the eight year old stayed with us for a week at the beginning of June she loved having different responsibilities. One of hers was to do dishes. One day we had a ton of dishes so I decided to help her out and started them. Well she came bounding into the kitchen grabbed her stool and stared at me. I just had to laugh. I conceded and handed over the scrub brush. :)The Bible tells us to, Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. I believe that. I believe that by giving my children responsibility now I am teaching them self discipline and self control. Also in the Bible we see, Ecclesiastes 10:18 By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through. I want to teach my children to build up thier houses not tear them down! Also there is an old saying, "Idle hands are the devil's workshop." If my children are busy then they have less time to get into trouble. :) Of course one thing I have to remember is it took my house awhile to become the danger zone it is today and it wont become House Beautiful overnight.. BUT... with diligent and consistent work from my helpers and I the house will become a comfortable home. :)

Around the House:
* We have done two loads of dishes after slacking over the weekend. (Not recommended!)
*I have done about 5 loads of mine and hubby's laundry. Trying desperatly to get our closet cleaned out.
*I worked on my schedule a bit making notes of things I need to tweak a bit.
*I am on my way to clean up the bathroom because Monday is bathroom day.
*I am reheating spaghetti we had for lunch yesterday for dinner tonight. I am also going to take the remaining homemade bread and put butter and garlic powder on it and broil for a couple of minutes to make garlic bread.
*I mailed off our mortgage check. Hubby asked me all last week to do it and I forgot so I mailed it today. Not late if it is postmarked by the 15th. I like our mortgage company. :)
*I need to sweep the kitchen and spot clean the floor. I usually do that while hubby gives the kids baths so that way I dont sit and cringe at supper when food is flying all over the place. :P
*I am working on an apron for my five year old. I have had the pattern and all but one piece cut out since March so I finally set up my machine and pulled it all out last night. I plan to work on it after the children are in bed and hubby is on his computer. We can still be close together when I do it that way.
*I have to straighten up the living room (with the kids of course).
Thats all for now!

Friday, June 10, 2005

Defining Roles

Today was nice. I went out with some ladies from church to breakfast and we had a great time. SO guess what subject came up?? Come on guess? S-U-M-B-I-S-S-I-O-N. My favorite subject. :) I was able to share some really neat things I have learned from Debi Pearl's book Created To Be His Helpmeet. Hubby and I had a long talk when I got home about what society says is right versus the Bible. I think we have strayed so far from the Bible and its core truth that we dont know right or wrong anymore. We find ourselves looking around church and saying oh well everyone else is doing it so it must be ok. But what does the Bible say?Ok example we spend so much time on God's love and mercy that sometimes we forget there are other sides to God. The other day in my Sunday School class (3-5 grade) one of the girls found a verse that talks about fearing God. Well that cant be right this sweet girl declared. God does not want us to fear Him. I explained that it was a healthy fear. When we sin we should be fearful. We should drop right to our knees and ask forgiveness. Dare we tempt God and think oh He wont care this time or this time. God does care. I explained to the girl that as a parent when my child does something wrong I expect them to be afraid of consequences. You see God forgives but we still have to pay the consequences. When my children do wrong they are still my children and I still love them dearly BUT there are consequences. We MUST MUST MUST respect God. We must fear him, reverence Him, stand in awe of Him. Without this healthy dose of fear in our lives we will live however we want.
2 Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Ecclesiastes 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
This brings me to another point. I believe that God has His plan for your life mapped out in the Bible. If you dont follow the map you may not reap punishment BUT you will miss out on the full blessing for your life. For instance, I think that men's roles and women's roles in the family are established. We as society have tried to redefine these roles to the point where its the "norm" for women to leave thier children and go out and have a career instead of being "keepers at home "Titus 2:5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed and "guiding the house"
1 Timothy 5:14 I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully. Are there instances where the wife has to go to work? Absolutly. I grew up in that house. My dad was severly disabled and my mom had to work full time. But women dont need to "define" themselves through career. They need to look and see how the Bible defines them. Daughter, Wife, Mother, Grandmother. Both of my little girls want to be mommy's when they grow up.. oh yeah and marry daddy's. :) I encourage them in this. When someone tries to tell them they can be a mommy but what else do they want to be I gently cut the person off. Why do they need to be more? The Bible says that children are a heritage from God, children are a blessing, Psalm 127:3-5 3 Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.4 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.5 Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate he maketh the barren woman to have children Psalms 113:9 He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD. Nowhere does it say earn your law degree and turn your children over to someone else. Of course Im going to take it a step further. I think married women in general should be home. We as women are designed to be nurturers and caregivers. Ok young wife you say oh but my work is done by 10am what do I do the rest of the day? Learn a new homemaking skill, volunteer at a nursing home, help a young mother with many children, help at the church, extend hospitality to neighbors and people from church, have a Bible study... oh the choices are endless. Dont spend all day away from home of course but if you dont have children yet and your house is in order and your husband approves find something BIBLICAL to do. I feel so strongly about this that I cant seem to not write about it. I think we as women are being decieved and losing out on such a wonderful blessing by not following God's plan for our lives.

Around the House:
Today was a non day for me pretty much. I went to breakfast with the ladies and came home and settled in with hubby for awhile and then later on we went to some friends house for dinner. Now the children are getting ready for bed and I am working on the computer. We had a nice day. Still nothing new with my uncle. We are everyday being told it could be today. Its a rough situation to be in. Yesterday I had to take my new little guy C to see his mom. She is really nice I think she will do what she has to to get him back. It surprised me how much of my day it took up though. I was able to get a load of dishes in the dishwasher and I think even a load of clothes on to wash. But other then some other general chores thats it! I was disappointed. I forgot to mention that today someone from our LIFE group dropped off a BIG toy box! YEAH! I was just putting down on paper some different things I wanted to do to make the house more "efficient" and some shelves and a toy box were definatly on that list! PRAISE THE LORD!!
Well I need to go help tuck the kiddies into bed.

Wednesday, June 8, 2005

Preparing to leave

Today was a busy day around here. Im preparing to leave any day now to go with my mom to Alabama. I have an uncle up there who is in the final stages of cancer. Its really sad because he and my aunt were married only about a year and a half ago. She was married before to a man who was a paraplegic for thier whole marriage. I thank the Lord for my husbands health but I know that that could change in the blink of an eye. My mom and dad had been married for some years when he was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy. When I think of all the dreams they must have had on thier wedding day and how a few years later they were all changed it floors me. I feel blessed to know though that God has provided me with so many strong Christian women who stand with thier men through sickness and in health. I believe that if God takes you to it then God will take you through it. I dont think He will give us more than we can bear. He is our Strength and our Refuge! I pray so often that my husband, my children, and I will stay healthy but I know that if a day comes when we are not that God will be right there to see us through!
1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
Psalm 59:16 But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble.
Psalm 62:7 In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.
Psalm 62:8 Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.
Psalm 91:2 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
Praise the Lord!!

Around the house:

Ok so I am getting ready to go and leave my sweet sweet capable man with four children ages, 2,3,4, and 5. I have been running around trying to figure out what I can do to make this easier on him. I am going through as much laundry as I can. The kids laundry has been piling up for days now and as of today it is down to half its original size!
Im in the process right now of making two loaves of bread. I will probably make two more tomorrow or the next day if I am still in town because my family can go through some bread. :)
I want to make a batch of cookies for my troops to munch on while Im gone and maybe some breakfast bread. Right now as I wait for my little family to return from Church I have creamy chicken and rice in the oven. It smells divine! I want to post recipes as soon as I have time to type them up. I have found the easiest white bread recipe and it is nothing to make two loaves.
I am giving the kitchen a good cleaning and tiding up our bedroom.
Im working on putting outfits together for the kids for church Sunday because I really think I will be gone and Prince Charming hates trying to figure out what they should wear to church.
We bought a lot of easy meals at Sam's yesterday so he should be ok on food. I may thow together some easy recipes for him just in case.
I still need to clean the bathrooms and vacuum the floors.
I also worked on the 50lb bag of sugar we bought at Sam's. I emptied a lot of it into a container we store the sugar in and some more into a rubbermaid container that sits on our kitchen counter. Hubby said he would do it tonight but I thought I would help him out and take care of it. Plus I really needed it out of my way so I can sweep and mop the kitchen floor. Well at least sweep. No use mopping til kiddos are done with thier supper. :) Im also trying to figure out what I should pack for my trip. Im thinking I should do that now because my mom wants to go as soon as we get the call. I wish I had some more wash and wear skirts they would make the trip great but alas we dont have the funds right now for any additions to the wardrobe. I will probably take a couple of pairs of pants because of the ease with which they travel. And of course a dress for the funeral.
Well the kids are getting baths so now is my time to sneak in and sweep and mop the kitchen floor.

Tuesday, June 7, 2005

A New Day

Ok... so I have really missed blogging so I have decided to come back. I had to take a break because a lot was going on. We got a van, hubby got a promotion and we got a new little boy. We have stayed pretty busy with four children. We hope to bring the girl's sister over at the end of July. A few weeks before school starts. People are always asking how I do it and all I can say is consistentcy. I say something once and if its not followed I immediatly correct. I dont count to five, I dont repeat myself constantly, I dont whine and nag. If I call you, you come straight to me. If I ask you to do something dont argue just do it. I demand immediate obedience from my children. Especially with four almost five children. I dont have time for anything less. Does it make me a cruel mommy? I dont think so. My children are well adjusted and happy. I have been told many many times that you cant even tell they are foster children. I guess most foster children walk around looking dejected or scared. I can tell you straight up mine dont. They are happy go lucky little people with good boundaries. I love my children and want to see them grow up into responsible hardworking adults with a solid relationship with God. I look over my struggles and know that I want so much more for them. I have been trying to figure out a plan that will work for me. A housekeeping plan I should say. Im also trying to work in an hour a day for "homeschooling". This year my five year old will go off to Kindergarten and my eight year old will explore second grade. All because the state "owns" them right now. Next year though I will embark on the mission God has given me. To teach and train my children like no one else can. I will have two four year olds learning under me this year. Well maybe. I know my T will still be here Im not sure about my new little boy C. I will do preschool work with them. Training them and myself for the following year when I will be an official homeschool mom. Im so excited. Im also a little nervous. Its a huge undertaking. We are doing some stuff this summer. Like I said an hour a day. I have to make sure that my five year old is up to "standard" because they will slap her in special classes so fast it will make your head spin! She is learning how to write and recognize the letters of the alphabet. She can already count to ten and with a little help to twenty. She knows her colors and her shapes. She can follow directions well. I am working on comprehension with her a little more. When we watch a movie or read a book I try to get her to tell me about it. Her sister T who is three will be four in Sept has to learn her colors. She can count to ten and recite her ABCs but we are having some difficulty with colors. She can do some shapes. I did just find out that our school district here does phonetic reading which Im excited about. I have been researching and I think that might be the best way to learn to read. I hate sending my two little girls off to someone else for the whole day but I know that I will pray over them often and keep in close contact with everything that goes on at that school.


Well I am diligently trying to get together a housekeeping schedule that works for me as mentioned above. This week I am testing one out and so far I have not stuck to the schedule but I seem to be getting more stuff done. Im steady freecycling everything I can. The less I have the better my house will look! Today C and I cleaned out the refridgerator. We really cleaned it out. Took all the stuff out and took the shelves out and washed them. Then washed the walls down and the door. Then put everything back in. I threw out a lot of stuff. I felt a little guilty but the way I see it if I can see whats in my fridge then maybe I will use it. Maybe? I also took some time and straightened up the pantry. I did a pantry overhaul and organization day not too long ago but some things were out of place so I just straighted. Took me a minute maybe. K and T did dishes and loaded the dishwasher for me. They are getting very good at it. I only had to help a couple of times. Im also teaching K how to do her own laundry so she has a load in now. When we were all done I gave them a treat of animal crackers and apple juice. Well A got chocolate milk because apple juice does not agree with his two year old tummy. They then went down for a rest. Its nice and quiet in the house right now. I still have to clean up the kitchen and do some more of my laundry and vaccuum but it has been quiet the productive day so far. We went to Sam's warehouse last night and I actually bought some box dinners at Prince Charming's urging. I have tried so hard to be frugal and thrifty and make everything myself but face it there are some nights you just dont want to do it. What then.. you go to Mickey Ds or order a pizza. Frugal flies out the window. I decided to just go and get great tasting easy to make dinners. I have frozen country fried steak, two boxes of frozen chicken and fried rice with veggies, 12 boxes of mac n cheese, and some pizza rolls. I still have chicken breasts for those nights I feel like really cooking a nice dinner. Like tonight I am making creamy chicken and rice and will post the recipe for it soon. We love it and it is easy to cook but is homemade. Tomorrow night we might have another chicken entree or we might heat something up from the box. But we wont be going to McDs for .39 hamburgers like we do most Wed nights. :)Well off to rouse the kiddies from thier naps!