Sunday, January 30, 2011

When your floundering

Before I start this post I just wanted to tell you that the pictures are of my little Jonathan. He just turned 5. He is growing up so much!!
I know I was supposed to come back last week with menus. I was hoping it would jump start me back into blogging. Not so much. Things kept coming up that kept me too busy to get back here. Mostly things that are opening my eyes up more and more to the need to get back to basics around here. When I started this journey so many years ago now, I had passion and vision. I believed in myself and God. I just knew that I could accomplish great things in my home. I knew where I was headed.
I still believe in God and slowly but surely I am clawing my way back to where I left Him. I don't know if that's the right wording. I still believe that God is totally in control and will provide all my needs! I have faith, but as I said before that faith is weak. I am climbing back to that place where I had passion and purpose and vision. I keep slipping and sliding backwards but I KNOW that I am headed in the right direction. I am climbing into His arms for a time of regrouping.

As I reflected this year on how much I wanted pure beauty in my life and in my home I realized I need to start with simplicity. I have to simplify my life more. I need to get rid of the clutter, physically and mentally, that is clogging up my life. Robbing me of being able to focus on the important things in life.
My vision of a rigorous Classical Education for my kids is being put aside for a simpler, gentle Charlotte Mason type education for my kids.
My vision of a great organized home is being replaced with a clean, efficient home. One that is simple and neat and peaceful.
My vision of the perfect family with obedient ,compliant children all the time is being replaced with a family that loves together, laughs together, and lives together. Not that I won't expect obedience but maybe a little less tightly controlled in some areas.
I'm letting go. I'm going to stop floundering and start floating.
Be Blessed!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

In the kitchen

I'm sure I'm double posting pictures but they are so darn cute! Also, I just did not feel like downloading more pictures. LOL
Last year I started couponing. Just a little at a time and it was hit or miss. When I did coupon I could usually feed our family for the week with $50 - $70 out of pocket for that week. I like Southern Savers because she puts all of the sale items on her website not just the ones with coupons.
She uses her price book and when she sees an item go to the lowest price she will post it on a shopping list. She will also post all of the coupon deals with matchups and links to any printable coupons.
I do clip all of my coupons and keep them in a binder. I tried just clipping them as they came up but it was too overwhelming for me so I clip them one night a week while I watch a movie on Netflix.

We shop at Costco about every two months or so. We spend about $300 though if I went alone I could spend as little as $100. I can get 2 months worth of meat for $100. Ground beef and chicken breast only.

When I really stretch I can feed our family for about $80 a week. I don't buy a lot of junk food even though coupons are for junk food. Once I get back to making some stuff from scratch it will be even less. I had to give that up for awhile so I can get back on track with my kids.
This week I will chronicle what we eat. I think it's a soup heavy menu this week.
Be Blessed!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Lily's Journey to our family

Sarah noticed that it took 9 years for our family to be blessed with a biological child. She wondered about what we did to conceive this baby. In one word, Faith! I knew God had promised a baby to us. I still think he promised a little boy so we have at least one more on the way. :) In the meantime we kept busy bringing in the children who did not have a home. We both believed that this was God's way of kick starting our family. Lily Grace is so blessed to have such wonderful, loving brothers and sisters.
I cried out to God over and over for a baby born of our love. My husband told me over and over that he could not find one time in scripture that this prayer was not honored. Sarah, Hannah, Elizabeth.. to name a few. We both continued to pray.

At one time we did see a fertility specialist. I was diagnosed with PCOS with that diagnosis came Diabetes testing. I was started on oral meds to control my blood sugar. We did not pursue further fertility appointments. We decided to just go with the flow. Around that time we decided to become foster parents. Then we started getting kids who were coming up for adoption. Before we knew it we had five kids to call our own. It would be four more years before Lily entered the picture.

At the time that Lily was conceived I had started a new diet. I was eating a more whole foods diet. Healthy fats that others said were harmful, coconut oil, whole milk (raw when we could get it), real butter, olive oil. Whole grains like brown rice, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat bread, and oatmeal. Also we were not eating hardly any processed foods. I had lost about 12 pounds. My primary care Dr. upped some of my oral medication because my blood sugar was still a little high but my blood tests were coming back great. Almost as if I did not have high blood sugar. I felt pretty good and was exercising.

On December 23 I took a pregnancy test on a whim. I'd been tired and my blood sugar was shooting up for no reason. I thought it was the stress of loosing my papa and MIL in just a few short months. Looking back I do remember not being able to eat any of the freezer meals we'd prepared because they all had chicken. I thought it was just some type of freezer burn or something though the rest of my family said there was nothing wrong with the food. I was not sick. I'd had some light bleeding throughout the months but with PCOS sometimes you skip a month here and there so I thought nothing of it.
The pregnancy test was pure whim. LOL When the two pink lines appeared I fell apart. When your used to one pink line it's a little disconcerting when the second one appears. I don't think I will ever forget that feeling.
I made it into the OB on January 7th I think. That's when we heard her heart beat. He also gave me a EDD of July since we had no idea when I'd gotten pregnant. He sent me to a high risk OB for sonograms. On January 20th the sweet sonogram tech said, "Oh there is too much baby here for July. Your going to have this baby in June." She then asked if we wanted to know the sex of the baby. I knew it was a boy. That's what God had promised. Nope, the sonogram tech said, "It's a precious baby girl!"
On June 18th Lily Grace joined our family and it has not been the same since!
Be Blessed!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

My day off

Today I took the day off. The kids are vegged out in front of the T.V. The baby is nestled in someoneelses lap until it's time to eat again. Yeah, I think she is watching the movie as well. I asked sweetly for the computer to veg in front of, or maybe not so sweetly, who knows? Roy pulled out Karly's netbook and he is busy changing the world via Reddit. Yep, it's that kind of day.
I have been reading the blogs on my sidebar. Yes, all of them. It's been fun catching up. It's also been fun getting some ideas for the New Year. I think that this years theme will be staying home and making beautiful happen. I want to stay home as much as I can this year and work on getting the kids back on track with school, reading aloud as much as we can, and learning to be content with one another. That being said, I did sign up for co-op through our group this year. We will be meeting every other week and our co-op will be a 4-H group focusing on Gardening. The kids have piano and dance on Tuesday. It's Upward Soccer time again and I am going to sign up Adrian and Jonathan. So I do have some outside commitments. I have to plan five birthday parties this year as well. Of course we have to see Michelle and the boys occasionally. :)
So, yes, I will not be a complete homebody, but I will not look for excuses to leave the house either.

As far as make beautiful I want to focus on many areas. I want to make my relationship with my family beautiful. I want to make our home beautiful. I want to make our life beautiful. I am so not talking about magazine beautiful or worldly standard beautiful.
I am talking about the beauty of a mother and child sitting together over a cup of coco talking about something important in that child's life. I am talking about the beauty of a home filled with joy and laughter. A refuge from this crazy world. I am talking about the beauty of a brother and sister cuddled into the big chair reading a book together.
Of course there is also the beauty of changing a diaper and just being glad there is a baby in the home that needs to be changed. The beauty of correcting something in a loved one that will help them grow and mature into a beautiful adult.
It's not all fun and games, but we can find the beauty in the everyday.
Be Blessed!

Friday, January 7, 2011

I fully intended to come back on Monday and follow up that last post. Sorry. It made it seem as if I was letting the negativity take over. There were so many blessings in the last two years. I hate to not dwell on those. Mainly, I was just trying to get a grip on what was weighing me down.

There was the blessing of friends stepping in to help us out during all of these hardships. There was the blessing of God's provision during the lean times. There was the blessing of our family becoming closer as we all learned to lean on God. Of course there was the blessing of my sweet baby girl. There was the blessing of knowing that we could rely on God.

I have learned much in the past two years. As James tells us, our trials make us stronger. While I feel wiped out right now I know that my spirit is stronger.
This year is going well so far. We have done some school everyday and I think my older girls are actually on schedule. I feel good about this year. I am looking forward to it.
Be Blessed!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

In 2009 we watched as our dear friends marriage began to unravel. Our van broke down and we had to get a "new" van. We went to Disney world with our new 9 year old, the next day Roy was "right-sized" from his job. We went to Disney world twice in one week, once with our new 6 year old and once with our new 12 year old. Roy's dad had hip replacement surgery so we packed up the kids and headed to S. FL to stay with his mom for the LONGEST week of my life. Two days after Roy's dad came home his mom fell and had to go the hospital. Roy and I left the kids with my mom and travelled back to S. Florida to help his dad out, who still was not getting around well and could not drive to go see his wife. Our "new" van broke down and we ended up being able to repair our other van for a lot less than we thought. A week later we got a surprise phone call that Roy's oldest sister would not make it through the night. We left our children again, travelled to S. Florida to get Roy's mom and dad and then drove like lightening to get to Atlanta. We did not make it. We spent a week in Atlanta tying up loose ends. A few days later our A/C quit working. We went to Disney World a fourth time with our new 8 year old. My papa got very sick. We travelled to Philly for a wedding and stopped in D.C. on our way home. I did not have a Philly Cheese steak. It was depressing! My papa died about a week later. We had a family birthday party for my MIL that did not end well. A week later we got a surprise phone call that she'd passed away in the middle of the night. We left the kids AGAIN and went to be with Roy's dad in S. Florida. It was our 9th anniversary. A week later I decided for kicks and giggles to pee on a stick. Where there was usually only one line, for 9 years, a second line appeared. I was stunned. We finished the year on a high note.
2010 Roy was still unemployed. We had one more trip to Disney World with a new 4 year old. I have to say I love all my kids but his was my favorite trip because it was his first time ever. I started Drs. Appointments that would soon run my life. My mom had surgery on her leg. I became her sole source of transportation for 3-4months. I found out that I was actually almost 4m along in my pregnancy. Woohoo! I started insulin and all the fun highs and lows of that. I had monthly sonograms and Dr. appointments. I started a Bradley childbirth class. My oldest turned 13. I started twice weekly Dr. appointments. We went to Orlando for some pool fun before baby. I went into labor a week early. After almost 13 hours in labor and only 6cm I threw the Bradly book out the window and took the dreaded epidural. After 5 more hours of labor I was almost there but there was a problem so they started talking C-Section. I cried and begged God. I laid on one side and felt the epidural wear off. An hour later I was pushing. Two hours after I started pushing my baby was born. Healthy and beautiful. I continued to battle weird blood sugar. I successfully learned to breastfeed. My mom had surgery on her other leg. We never got school started again. My granny got sick and died suddenly. We went to Disney World one last time with our free Volunteer Day. We stayed the week in my mom's condo. Our COBRA subsidy ran out. Our Unemployment ran out. Roy interviewed for a part time position that would pay for him to finish his schooling. He has two years left. It also has potential to be full time soon with benefits.

WHAT does 2011 hold for our family? Oh, please let it be a little more tame than the past two years. A job for Roy? School for Roy? Children learning to read and do math again? A move? Maybe another baby? (No, no announcement, just a hope!) The purchase of an 8-12 passenger vehicle? Walling in a room of our house for another bedroom? More kids getting saved? Five, count them F-I-V-E birthday party's. Two that were supposed to happen last year but did not and three that are supposed to happen this year. Another trip to Orlando with Adrian since he does not get a birthday party. We are taking him to DT Disney to go to the Lego store. Meeting an online friend who I am pretty sure is my sister separated at birth. :)
I look forward to this year, albeit a little apprehensively. I know God holds our future in His hands and He longs to prosper us and not harm us. I believe that. No matter what I am glad that HE is in charge and NEVER surprised.
I hope you are blessed this year!
Just no death or illness this year, please?

Another Year