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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

OUR LITTLE PEANUT

Just wanted to share our first pictures of our newest addition. Heart rate was 173 and it was moving all around. I am over the moon with excitement. I'm just still in awe that God is really giving me the desires of my heart and that is to have four children of my own. It's something I've dreamed of since I was a teenager and the doctors told me that they didn't know if I would ever be able to have any children. Thank you Jesus for my children!


Be blessed my friends!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

BIG NEWS FOR OUR FAMILY

I can't believe (once again) how long it's been since I wrote anything on here. I usually have good excuses though. This time I am writing to share some exciting news for our family.


That's right! We are expecting our 4th blessing! Arriving some time early in June of 2015. I'm so excited and of course hoping for a girl since we have got to experience boyhood 3 times already. Of course, I sure love my boys and wouldn't ever even think of life without them. God knows what He's doing so I trust that He's giving me what He knows I can handle. This has been the easiest pregnancy so far! I have had some nausea and I've gagged a lot, but never actually thrown up. I don't think I ever threw up with my last two either. God is awesome! I'm praying hard over this pregnancy. 

My parents are thousands of miles away from me now, so for their sake, I will make a better effort to post on here to keep them updated. I know they miss their grand babies and I sure miss them too! Thanks for stopping by!

Be blessed my friends! (I know I am.)

Friday, September 26, 2014

ORGANIZING HOMESCHOOL CURRICULUM

Today I want to share how we organize our curriculum for our 1st grader. This year we are doing Abeka and I couldn't be more pleased with it. My son is learning so much! He's becoming and excellent reader and writing with great penmanship. I have found a great way to organize all of his daily work. I had this cart in my closet, not being used and it just happened to work out perfectly. There are just enough drawers for each subject.



 At the top of the cart (on picture below) you can see my teacher manuals. I keep them there for easy access. I also keep my binder on top. As I grade his work, I hole punch each page and then put it in my binder where I also keep other records like field trips, attendance, and so on. The top drawer says Bible, but this is also where I keep my small supplies like dry-erase markers, the hole puncher, stickers, etc.



I have labeled each drawer in the order that we do each subject. This really helps us both know what to do next. The only thing that varies is the seat work drawer. Sometimes he does that out of order because I usually assign that whenever I can go take a shower, so he can be working on his work independently.



I try to make it a point to take about 15 minutes or so each night to prepare for the next day. This means writing things on our dry-erase board, tearing out pages and adding only those pages to his drawers, and gathering together any other objects that are needed. This is a huge help for me when we do school the next day. When preparing for the next day, I go to my front hall closet where I keep a bookshelf. This is where I store all of the books and cards that are not currently in use. I have bags hanging above the shelf. Inside the bags are things that I have already cut out or prepared, but I'm not currently using.


It's messy and has some extra things on it,
but this is our shelf and it works for us!

I hope this has helped you get some ideas to make organizing your homeschool curriculum easier. I think that without this system I would be going crazy every single day, trying to figure out what comes next. I imagine that I would also be misplacing things and I sure don't need to add anymore chaos to our days. If you have organizing tips, please share them in the comments!

Be blessed my friends!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

FINDING JOY IN THE LITTLE THINGS

It's so funny to me how often I hear the words, "I could never do that". It's usually mentioned when talking about being a stay at home mom or especially homeschooling my kids. I never thought I could do it either, but God doesn't call the qualified. He calls those who will listen to Him and then He equips them with everything they need. This has been an 8 year journey for us and it's never really been easy. But God never promised easy. He did promise that He would never leave or forsake me and that He'll never give me more than I can bare. Some days I question Him on that. I wonder, "Do you really think I can handle all of this God?". This week has been a perfect example. We have no extra money right now. We have a leak in our roof and our heat and air completely stopped working. Our 6 year old has been having major behavior issues and I can't figure out exactly what's going on with him. The baby wants no one but me. On one hand I really love that, but on the other hand, my back hurts and sometimes I just need a break. I could go on and on about other issues going on right now, but I'll spare you the details. It's just been rough!

I've tried to make things better. I've added more games to my 6 year old's school work and I tried helping our teenager with his science project. The only thing that got me was a blister on my finger from the glue gun.

Here he is working on a glider:


Today was the worst day of all. It's almost 4 in the evening and I haven't really done any school with the 6 year old. I had such a stressful morning that I decided to just get us all ready and head to Chick-fil-a. I just had to get out of the house. I think the kids needed it too.

Here's a couple of pictures I took of the youngest two in the playroom:





















And so here I am, back at the house feeling so unaccomplished. I feel like I'm barely surviving. So when you think that you can't do it, just remember, it's not all rose petals and daisies. Some days I think that I can't do it either. I'm sure no matter what your life consists of, you too have days where you think that you just can't go on.



Oh look! While I was busy creating this post, something did get accomplished. My son finished his glider!


It's things like this that helps me get through these tough days! It's these little things that are so huge to me and bring me so much joy. Thank you to my oldest son for working hard on your own to accomplish what needs to be done. 

Be blessed my friends!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

JUST WALK AWAY

I've decided to start blogging more about my homeschool journey. Too often, I see other mothers who are ready to throw in the towel after having a bad day (or many bad days). 

I want these moms to know:

A. They are not alone.

B. There will be bad days, but it happens to all of us.

C. It doesn't have to stay bad.

This is our 8th year of homeschooling. That's so hard to believe. In no way do I consider myself an expert, but I do hope that I can help and encourage newer homeschoolers by sharing my journey with them.

Most of the moms who are having a difficult time are mothers with small children in the house. As you can see by this picture, I too have a small child and he is into EVERYTHING! He's very demanding and he's very much a momma's boy. One thing I do have working in my advantage though, is a teenage son who helps me out a lot.
(I will share with you in a later post just how we manage our homeschool.)


Even though I have my oldest son's help, I still have MANY days where I feel swallowed up by homeschool. I forget about the positive reasons for homeschooling and I just want to run away. The picture above was taken yesterday. It was one of those days where I felt very overwhelmed. So I got my youngest two dressed and went for a walk. The walk was mostly for me, but it was really good for them too. By the time I made it around the block, the baby was asleep. Thank God he stayed asleep when we got home! I put him in his crib and he took a 2 hour nap. 

Sometimes we just need to step away from the situation and get a change of scenery. This goes for many situations in life, not just homeschool. So the next time you feel like you just can't take anymore, get out of the house. Take in some fresh air. Talk to God. Love on your kids and thank God for them. Until next time...

Be blessed my friends!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

I AM NOT PERFECT, BUT THAT'S OKAY

Already FIVE whole days have gone by since my last post! I just don't understand how to make the time to write. Currently my husband is holding our baby; the child who won't let us put him down lately without screaming and crying and throwing himself backwards on the floor. He is dealing with a bug bite on his ankle that made his ankle and foot swell up pretty big and turn a reddish-purple color. He's also dealing with teething and bowel problems. And aside from all of that, he's definitely a momma's boy. I usually don't mind. I love cuddling with him. But too often, I just can't. I have two other boys who need my attention and help with school work. Not to mention housework and other responsibilities. Still, I try holding him as often as I can because I know that these days are passing by so quickly and soon enough he won't want to be held. 

A pic from a better school day!
Today felt like a complete fail, besides the fact that we finished all of our homeschool work (even if it was around 7:30 in the evening). 

Here's just a bit of how the day went: 

We got a late start, I changed TEN poopy diapers, all 3 boys were acting up in one way or another, I never got my shower or even got to wipe yesterday's makeup off of my face. I'm still sitting here in my pajamas at 9:30 in the evening. I had a major headache and felt tired most of the day. I'm sad to admit that I raised my voice much more than I should have. I'm really working on trying to be a gentle parent. Today was definitely a challenge for me in that area!

On days like today I really need God to speak to me in a loud, clear voice because it's just too noisy to hear His whispers. I am a perfectionist. I'm not perfect, but I expect things to be great. I hold myself to very high expectations. I've struggled in comparing myself to the Proverbs 31 woman and today I felt very far from being that woman I strive to be! Thankfully, as I sat down eating dinner, I read something that really stood out to me. What I read today was this, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God." Jesus said this in Matthew 5:8. Thank God that He didn't say, "Blessed are the perfect." Instead, blessed are those who seek after His heart and desire to make good choices. Blessed are those who walk with Him and try to apply His Word to their daily lives.

God knows my heart! He knows that He means the world to me. He knows that I strive to be the best mother and wife that I can be. He knows my deep desires to be a gentle, patient mommy to my boys. He knows that even on days like today, when I didn't make the time to study my Bible, that I still love Him and want to walk in His ways. Sometimes we just need to remind ourselves that we are not perfect! But we are pure in heart! That's all that matters! Jesus was the only perfect one and where we fall short, He fills in the gaps and offers His grace and mercy.

I'm so glad that His mercies are new every morning. All I can do is to try to not expect perfection and continue to draw near to Him. I'm looking forward to a new start tomorrow.

Be blessed my friends!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

WRITING



God has convicted me yet again about my writing. Most of the time I feel like I'm just writing for myself. It's something that I really enjoy doing, when I can find the time. My time lately has been taken up by homeschooling, taking care of the house, making sure bills are paid, and chasing after the baby. He's in to everything these days! 

But God keeps whispering to me that my writing really isn't just for me. Someone out there needs to hear what I say. They need the encouragement. They need to know that they are not alone. So here again I find myself at the computer, asking God what it is that He wants me to write. 

I've been studying Proverbs this entire month and ironically our preacher been preaching on Proverbs too. I love it when God does stuff like that! I've learned a lot and will probably do the Proverbs study again next month, but be more diligent in sharing my thoughts with you. That is, unless God takes me in a new direction with my writing. I've also been reading through the old testament and I'm currently in the book of 1 Kings.

I'm a tenderhearted person who has gone through a lot of changes in my life. I wear my heart on my sleeve, so you'll probably see more about my personal struggles. I hope that when I share my heart, you won't judge me. I'm human just like you and I will share my heart in hopes of helping others.

So, until next time (hopefully in the very near future)......


Be blessed my friends!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

TAKING TIME OUT TO LOVE ON THEM IS OKAY


See this cute face!

           Ever have days where you think, "They're lucky they're so cute."?

                       Today has been one of those days. This poor thing has had constipation issues all day and of course it was my very first day homeschooling both of my other boys with no one to help me with him. It went worse than I had expected.  :(   But in the midst of it all, I calmed down and just took the time out that this little guy needed to be loved on. I've held him so much today that my back and arms hurt. But I can't get these moments back. I hate him feeling so miserable, but I love that he wants his mommy. He knows that I love him and will do whatever I can to comfort him. I love just holding him and rubbing my hand through his soft, messy hair. I love staring into his big, beautiful blue eyes; those eyes that look to me for the answers. I just hold him and whisper that it's okay.

So my first full day of homeschool didn't go as planned, but my boys all know that when they really need me, I'll stop whatever I'm doing to be there for them. Sometimes we need to see the bigger picture. It's not always about checking things off of our list. Trust God with all the details, do your best, and let the rest go. Sometimes you just have to remember to breathe. But God will get us through all the ups and downs in life. Here's hoping for a more productive tomorrow. But if it's another day spent holding my baby, that will be okay too.

Be blessed my friends! 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A LESSON FROM THE ANT, PROVERBS CHAPTER 6

Looking at the lessons from an ant (vs. 6-11) makes me realize what I need to do to make my homeschool run more effectively. It's not going to be an easy task because I'm not a morning person. 

So far homeschool has been mostly easy, but I think that will change tomorrow. You see, I started with my 1st grader on Monday and had my oldest son watch the baby while we did our work. The same happened on Tuesday. Today was my husband's day off, and my teen's 1st day of ninth grade. So, today I had my husband home to watch the baby. Tomorrow will be my 1st day where I will be teaching both of my older boys AND have the baby to take care of. This just isn't going to work out if I try to do it all at once, but I really want my kids to have their school work finished before the public school kids get home.

So...I've decided that I need to wake up early and get started on school work with my 1st grader and then have the rest of the time to focus on my high schooler while also taking care of the baby. *sigh* I just dread the thought of waking up earlier. But, here's a part of Proverbs 6:6-11 (MSG), 
A LESSON FROM THE ANT




"You lazy fool, look at an ant. Watch it closely; let it teach you a thing or two. Nobody has to tell it what to do. All summer it stores up food; at harvest it stockpiles provisions. So how long are you going to laze around doing nothing? How long before you get out of bed? A nap here, a nap there, a day off here, a day off there, sit back, take it easy - do you know what comes next? Just this: You can look forward to a dirt-poor life, poverty your permanent house guest!"

I may have to revisit this scripture often to help me remember the lessons learned from an ant.

Be blessed my friends!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

PRINT-MAKING ART PROJECT

On our first day of homeschool, it went so well that we even had time to do a fun art project. (We got this kit from KellyKits.com, but it's so simple that you can do it yourself.) We made a Koi fish and seaweed print. It was so simple and fun that we plan on doing it again. This time for simplicity, we only used black paint. Next time we will experiment with other colors. Here are all the things you need:
Cardboard, foam piece with sticky backing, and manila paper are shown in this picture.
You will also need cotton balls, scissors, tempera paint, and a ball point pen

Step 1 ~ Figure out what you want to design. 

Step 2 ~ Draw your design on the impressionable foam with your ball point pen. If you have a younger child, it might help to cut out a template and help them trace around the picture and then add details. It's very important that you press deeply into the foam. 

Step 3 ~ Cut out your design and place it on cardboard or chipboard. If your foam doesn't have sticky backing, then you will need to glue it onto the cardboard.

Step 4 ~ Using a cotton ball, blot an even amount of tempera paint over your new printing plate that you just created. Immediately place a sheet of manila paper over it. Smooth the paper evenly and firmly to ensure good contact.

Step 5 ~ Gently remove the paper and allow your print to dry.|

Here's what our printing plate looked like after we used it a couple of times.


And here's the finished project!




Be blessed my friends!

Proverbs Study, Chapter 4

Let's take a look at Proverbs 4:23-27 from the Message Bible.  It says, 

"Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that's where life starts. Don't talk out of both sides of your mouth; avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip.


Keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions. Watch your step, and the road will stretch out smooth before you. Look neither right nor left; leave evil in the dust."

In all of chapter 4, this is what stood out to me the most because I absolutely can't stand gossip and people who lie. I try to teach my children that even a tiny lie is just as bad as a huge lie. It's all sin! I'm not perfect by any means and I sometimes find myself saying things to other people that I realize later I probably shouldn't have said. I then have to repent, asking God to forgive me and then I have to make things right with the one whom I was talking about. When we are talking about other people, to other people in a non-edifying way, it's gossip

As Christians we are called to build each other up, not tear each other down. When you go behind someones back and you are talking about them, you are tearing them down. Even if they don't know about it! 

Let's focus on how God tells us to live in these verses! Keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions. When someone starts talking about someone else, RUN in the other direction! Okay, maybe not run, but make up some excuse that you need to leave and then get out of there as fast as you can. I'm trying to practice this more and more. I know a lot of people don't even realize they are gossiping. But when I recognize it, I become very uncomfortable because I know it displeases God. 

Continue to keep your eyes on God and turn away from evil and He will make your path smooth and wide!

Be blessed my friends!

Proverbs Study Chapter 3

Chapter 3 of the book of Proverbs is an awesome chapter to me. I have underlined and highlighted many points throughout the years that have helped me along this life's journey. 

The verses highlighted below couldn't have come at a better time for me. I was having some relationship issues the night that I read this. I was crying because I just don't understand why certain people treat me the way they do. They must not know the real me! I'm such a giving, caring person. I would do anything for anyone, yet one person in particular who I thought was my friend has shown me absolutely nothing in return. I don't give in expectancy to get back. But when you've been trying to work on a relationship for years and it's always seemed very one-sided, it's really hard to understand. So these verses immediately popped out at me:


God says to just trust Him. Don't try to figure it all out. Acknowledge Him in everything that you do and He will direct your paths. I know that my God is bigger than the situations I find myself in. And I know that by continuing to love this particular person (because that's what Jesus would want me to do), her heart and eyes will someday be opened to the truth about who I am. We don't have to be best friends. She doesn't even have to consider me her friend at all. All I care about is that she sees Christ through me. She can never say that I failed to try or that I was a bad person.

The next set of verses that speaks deeply to me is about giving. I actually have it written on an index card and I carry it around in my Bible to remind me to always give God my best, whether it's financially or physically.


When I really think about this, it touches my heart at the works God has done in my life. My barns really are full. I'm constantly trying to "de-clutter". I just have too much stuff. But really, all of that stuff is a blessing from the Lord! And why? It's because my husband and I have always tried our best to honor Him with our possessions and our first fruits. We are faithful tithers, even when that tithing money could go to pay a bill that we otherwise don't have the money for. God has always been faithful to meet our needs. We have had many years of struggling, but He has always brought us through and moved us on to bigger and better things. I challenge you that if you don't already tithe, test God, try it, see what happens in your life. It may be a huge sacrifice, but just think of the sacrifices that Jesus paid for us. Our giving a tenth of our income will never compare!

Lastly, there is one other group of verses that speaks to me so much that I also have it written on an index card too. I keep this one right next to my bed and I look at it often.

Proverbs 3:24-25 says,
"When you lie down, you will not be afraid;

Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet. 
Do not be afraid of sudden terror, 
Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes."

These verses just remind me that no matter what is going on at night, God is watching over me, keeping me safe. I have much more peaceful sleep when I remember that he tells me to lie down and not be afraid. He promises me sweet sleep! 

I hope you are enjoying this study on Proverbs! Feel free to chime in and let me know what you are learning.

Be blessed my friends!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Proverbs Chapter 2

*This study is already proving challenging for me. I have been keeping up with my reading, but not my writing and in keeping in touch with you. This started on Saturday when a storm knocked our internet out. Service wasn't restored until today (our 1st day back to homeschooling). So, I'm going to back up to Chapter 2 and try to catch up in sharing my thoughts with you.*


Chapter 2

Today I want to share with you the verses that meant the most to me. Something immediately stood out to me in chapter 2 and that is the 3 "ifs" mentioned in verses 1-5 (NKJ). The "ifs" in these verses show the importance of our choices. We are instructed to do our part in seeking wisdom in order to reap the wonderful, promised results.

My son, if you receive my words,
And treasure my commands within you, 
So that you incline your ear to wisdom,
And apply your heart to understanding;

Yes, if you cry out for discernment,
And lift up your voice for understanding, 
If you seek her as silver,
And search for her as for hidden treasures;

Then you will understand the fear of the Lord,
And find the knowledge of God.

Here's a side note in my Bible that helps us understand more about the Fear of the Lord that these verses say we will understand if we do the things He has told us to do.

"Fear of the Lord" is the foundation for wisdom, the prerequisite for obedience, and the accompaniment of love (Deut. 10:12). "Fear" in this sense indicates submissive reverence and not stark terror. To reject this awe, which inspires respectful obedience, is to determine to go your own way (Prov. 1:31) and turn away from God's way (Is. 55:8).


The promised results of fearing Him are goodness, riches, honor and satisfaction (Ps. 31:19), a right relationship with others (Lev. 25:17), long life (Deut. 6:2), mercy (Ps. 103:17), strong confidence (Prov. 14:26), and God's constant attention (Ps. 34:7).

I don't know about you, but I sure want all of those promises. That is a huge reason why I try so hard to read my Bible daily and listen for God's voice in all that I do. 

Be blessed my friends!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Proverbs Study, Day 1

Proverbs Chapter 1 Study


I have to admit that it was hard for me to dive into this first day. I read chapter 1 in the NKJ version and the MSG, just trying to get more out of it. 

Here are the main points that I walked away with from this chapter:

  1. Start with God. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Vs. 7
  2. Remember what your parents taught you.
  3. Don't follow the wrong crowd. It will lead to destruction.
  4. Don't wait for a catastrophe to strike to call out to the Lord. Vs. 25-28
  5. Listen to the Lord and you will be safe. vs. 33

Two verses stood out to me the most. "My son, hear the instruction of your father, And do not forsake the law of your mother." ~ Proverbs 1:8 (NKJ) Perhaps this one stood out because I am raising 3 boys and trying to get them to understand how much more wisdom their dad and I have than they do right now. I think this is one that children should definitely learn. 

The second verse that stood out was the very last one, Proverbs 1:33 (NKJ), "But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, And will be secure, without fear of evil." If we would just listen to Him! I recently wrote a post called "Wisdom Waits". It basically sums up the fact that God has been trying to tell me something for over 2 years and I just wasn't listening to Him. Thank God for His mercy and grace!

How did you do with our fist day? Share your thoughts in the comments.


Be blessed my friends!

STUDYING PROVERBS THROUGH AUGUST


Today is the first day of August, a month that has 31 days, just like the book of Proverbs. Proverbs are brief but vivid statements taken from everyday life and used as practical guidelines for successful living. Please join me on this 31 day journey of studying the book of Proverbs. I may not post on the blog every day, but readers will be sharing their thoughts on my facebook page, Bible Momma. Please like my page and check back daily if you would like to join us and share your thoughts on what you are learning as you read the Bible with us.

Monday, July 28, 2014

GOD'S LITTLE REMINDER

God’s Little Reminder
This is one of the many songs I have written.
Finished on March 12, 2008 while waiting on the birth of our 2nd son.


I was down and out
all worried about
all the bills we had to pay
I wondered how we'd make it
in this little home
with a baby on the way

I hung my head down
and I started to cry
All I could do is ask
God...why?

In a moment when
all hope seemed gone
that tiny little baby
started kicking up a storm

and I knew right then...
that it was God's little reminder
to cling to HIM a little bit tighter
   And He will see us through

Six years later
he overheard me talkin
on the phone one night
saying I was a horrible mom
and a worthless wife

I hung up the phone
and I started to cry
All I could do is ask
God...why?

In a moment when
all hope seemed gone
my little boy hugged me
and asked, "mom what's wrong"

And I knew right then...
that he was God's little reminder
to cling to HIM a little bit tighter
   And He will see us through
   Yeah, He will see us through

Thank God for little reminders.

MY HUSBAND'S WORTH

I want my husband to know that he is full of worth to our family. His worth is not determined by the money (or lack thereof) in our bank account. His worth is not defined by the hours he spends away from us each day. After all, I know he gives 110% at work just like he does here. So when doors of opportunity open, he will be ready to walk through them.


His value at home is extremely high. He works all day and then comes home and almost immediately takes over. He understands how exhausted I am from spending my day with our three boys. We both love our boys immensely, but they do have a way of wearing us out.
  • He is my encourager. Whatever task God places on my life and I choose to accept, my husband is there cheering me on and giving me creative ideas. When I just can't figure out how to move forward, he's there to help.
  • He's a good listener. Sometimes he's the only adult I have who will let me talk about my day. And I tell him everything! 
  • He's my helper (and I am his). Occasionally he'll ask me if I have any projects that need to be done. No matter what it is that I tell him I need his help with, he just does it. He knows I wouldn't ask him to do something that wasn't important to me. And most of the time it's stuff that I just can't do on my own, like making a garden area for our plants, or hanging pictures on the wall. Well, I could do that, but it wouldn't be as straight as he makes it. If he's running low on clothes, he usually just does laundry himself. He knows that if I haven't gotten to the laundry, there's a reason.
  • He's a great dad! I know he doesn't think so most of the time, but he is. He's always thinking of things to do for our boys. He makes sure to take our oldest to the video game store to spend his money before coupons expire. He wants to take our older boys to see movies together; you know, the ones that I wouldn't be interested in anyway. He helps our 6 year old with projects and he plays with our baby all of the time. Anytime he finds stuff at the store that we can afford for our boys that he knows they will love, he doesn't hesitate to buy it for them.
My hubby with our youngest boys.
  • He has a heart for God! He may not get to read his Bible as much as he desires, but I know (and God knows) that he loves the Lord with all of his heart. He's ready for church every single time he can make it there and he loves working with the youth and serving wherever he's needed.
  • He's a giver! Even when we barely had the money to make our tithes, he has never once suggested that we keep our tithe money to use for something else. He gives with a cheerful heart. If there is ever a need for anyone, you can count on him to give his time and energy to help.
  • He's a lot of fun! Again, here's another area that he may not agree with, but I want him to know how I feel. Because of him, we've had some of the greatest traditions. Stuff that most families don't have. Like, the Grinch coming to our house each Christmas, our growing collection of snowflakes that we hang from the ceilings in the winter time, and the most awesome Halloween costumes!

    This is my favorite Halloween costume he made. He used a shopping cart to make a hospital bed for our oldest son and made it look like our younger son was popping up through his stomach.
    He loves to go hiking with us and exploring new places, playing games, taking walks, playing in the back yard, and sometimes doing things out in public to embarrass us. Deep down, I think he's hilarious! 
A silly moment on a hay ride. Don't worry, no one was actually harmed!
So, this post is to my hubby. I love you with all of my heart. Don't let anything else define you except for who God says you are! You are valuable to Him and you are valuable to me and our boys, no matter what!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

WISDOM WAITS


Have you been praying about a decision you need to make? Maybe even fasting, believing to hear from God for your answer? But, you're just not getting the green light from Him. Maybe it's something that you really believe would benefit your family, like a job opportunity or moving to a new area. Maybe it's even something that will benefit others like starting a ministry or going on a mission trip.



Well, I've been dealing with this issue for about a month. I've been going back and forth, trying to decide if I should rejoin a business that I was in before; a business that I was very successful in and I really enjoyed...until it just became too overwhelming. For some reason lately I've gotten it in my head that I could do it again, and even better than the last time. I even started asking people if they would support me again. And I got a lot of positive responses. I thought it was going to be so easy because so many would support me. Then I found out that I could even rejoin for free! 


Today God finally gave me my answer that I've been praying for.  It's not a yes or a no, but for now, it is WAIT! He caught my attention today when I was reading a paragraph from Elizabeth George's book, A Woman After God's Own Heart.
This is what she said: 

"It's impossible to read the book of Proverbs and not get the message that wisdom waits. As a general principle for practicing your priorities, know that it is safer to wait and do nothing than to rush in and do the wrong thing. One of the many proverbs that expresses this biblical truth says, 'He sins who hastens with his feet' (Proverbs 19:2)."

Now that God has finally given me clarity, I'm thinking, "What was I thinking?". It's not like I have less responsibilities now than I had before. Now I'm homeschooling two children while also taking care of a toddler and we live in a bigger home, which requires more upkeep. 

Once I learned that He really wants me to wait, I feel in my heart that it's actually a no. This doesn't mean that if He tells you to wait, it's an automatic no. I just think He's been trying to get my attention all along and telling me to wait was His way of telling me to stop going after what I thought would work and just trust Him. I just needed to really stop for a minute and stop chasing my desires. It was my desire to make more income for my family and this business is the quickest way I knew how. I knew that I did it before and it worked, so I could do it again. Even though God kept whispering, "Just write.", I continued to pray about this other opportunity. I have known for a long time that I'm supposed to write books that will bring healing and deliverance to others. And I know that God wants to use me through this blog. While I love to write, I mostly write for you, my reader. I want to pass on my experiences in hopes that it will help you in some way.

So, once again I will ask you, have you been praying about a decision that you need to make? Maybe God wants you to just wait! Or maybe, like me, He's already been whispering to you about something else that needs to be done. 



Be blessed my friends!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

REMOVE NAIL POLISH WITHOUT THE SCRUBBING

I don't mind putting on nail polish, but I don't wear it often because I can't stand how hard it is to get off. That was, until I found this fantastic tip! 

  1. Soak a cotton ball in nail polish remover.
  2. Place the soaked side on your nail.
  3. Wrap aluminum foil around the cotton ball.
  4. Wait at least 5 minutes.
  5. Remove cotton balls by pressing firmly as you remove them.
  6. TaDa  (You may have to take a Q-tip to get a tiny bit left on the sides. No big deal!)




It may look silly, but I would do almost anything to not have to scrub, and scrub, and scrub to get the polish off. Not to mention the stinky smell that's left on your fingers because of all that scrubbing.

Be blessed my friends!

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Monsters Have a New Home Outside

The monster pumpkins and watermelons have found a new home out back. We have way too many planted in this space, but we will just have to weed some out as they grow bigger and bigger. I love watching these plants grow. It makes me happy! Every time I look at them, I remember the day that my boys and I planted them together. It was such a fun time. If you want to read more about these plants, click HERE for my first post, and HERE for the 2nd post.


Be blessed my friends!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Nightmares Continue

About a week ago I had a dream that I was walking out on a pier with my two oldest sons. I told my oldest son as I was walking away, to keep a really close eye on his younger brother. I looked back over my shoulder and yelled at him and told him that he was too far away from his brother and wasn't even looking in his direction. As I was talking, I saw my 5 year old son calmly walk to the edge of the pier and then he stepped into the water and went under. I screamed my oldest son's name. He turned and ran towards the water to try to save his brother...and then woke up.

I found this picture from our last vacation. It's really creepy to me now because it's very similar to the scene at the end of my dream. Only there wasn't any railing where Stinky Face fell into the water. 

As I was telling my husband about this dream, he said that was strange because he also had a dream that involved a pier.

Fast forward to last night and I had another nightmare concerning my little Stinky Face again. Here's the dream:

I was at a park with two of my friends. Stinky Face was having a blast in the distance, but I was keeping a close eye on him. I noticed this woman with dark hair looking at him and I told my friends that she was going to try to steal him. Sure enough, I hear her call him by name. Then she tells him that his mommy wanted him to come with her. He came up to her vehicle. It was an older, maroon SUV. She went to the passenger side as my friends and I ducked down on the drivers side. We were waiting for her to put him in the car so we could actually report it as kidnapping.

She put him in the back seat and put headphones on him so he couldn't hear anything. I told one of my friends to get the license plate number. I started slowly dialing 911. After she put him in his seat, she climbed though the passenger side of the car and quickly locked the door on us. I started yelling and banging on her window. I still had my phone in my hand, dialing 911, but the call wasn't going through.

The woman who stole my son had become a man at this point of the dream. He drove off. I yelled at my friends to follow him. I got in my car trying to chase him too. I quickly lost him and I heard a voice, "All circuits are busy." from my phone. I frantically kept trying to call for help, but my call just wouldn't go through. I had lost the man and my friends in my pursuit.

Somehow in my dream I figured out where the man was. I think I saw the vehicle parked somewhere. I go up to this huge, white house and just barge in. It was like Halloween or something. There were a lot of scary people figures throughout the house. One of them was slouched over a chair with his butt facing me. Just as I was noticing this particular figure, he stood up and turned around and started coming towards me. It was the man! I was frantic!

At that very moment, someone finally answered my call for help. I was very quickly telling them that my son had been kidnapped and I found the man who did it. I looked at the door to my right and there happened to be an address label on the door. I read the address to them as fast as I could. The man was still coming towards me. I remembered the address was 90 Longsworth Way.

At that point, I was off of the phone with 911 and the man told me that we need to talk about the money. Then I woke up and couldn't go back to sleep.

I told my husband about this dream and he said that he had a nightmare also. It was also very long and detailed, but basically it involved people from college holding him hostage. He was eventually able to escape. I think it's crazy how our dreams have had similarities. 

I don't know if these dreams about my Stinky Face are warnings from God, or if they are from the devil. I am praying about them and also praying that they stop. They are very disturbing. God promised me that He would give me the meanings of my dreams, so I am just waiting on Him to reveal the reason behind these terrible nightmares about my little man. I do know that in the mean time, I will be keeping a very close eye on him!


To read about my 1st bad dream involving Stinky Face, click HERE. This happened about a month ago.

Be blessed my friends! 

Monday, July 7, 2014

WHAT KIND OF MOM ARE YOU?

Have you seen the latest terms for mothers? Silky, Crunchy, and Scrunchy? Basically it puts mothers in these 3 categories. 


  • Silky is supposed to be a "modern" mother who prefers a medicated hospital birth, disposable diapers, bottle feeding, crib sleeping, etc. 



  • Crunchy in my opinion is like a modern day hippie; breast feeding, cloth diapering, co-sleeping, natural, home births, etc.



  • Scrunchy would be a combination of silky and crunchy.


Am I the only mother who is NOT OKAY WITH THIS? 

Don't we have enough pressure on us already? Pressure to keep up with the house, make sure everyone else is taken care of, pressure to fit in Bible time and exercise, disciplining our children, guiding them, and educating them. Pressure to budget and work on our family finances. Pressure to keep up with friendships. We have enough to worry about! It's hard enough just living life in these times. Times where social media is rampant and adds more and more guilt to us mothers. Tell me I'm not alone! Even though I know that I do my best to make life interesting for my kids, I feel pressure to post it on Facebook, just because I want all the other mommies to know that I do stuff with my kids too. 

We already compare ourselves to each other so much! 
Do we really need more titles? 

She homeschools. She bakes great meals all the time for her family. She uses all natural products and cloth diapers. She makes her own baby food. She balances work and family life. She breast feeds. She bottle feeds. Her baby sleeps in his own crib. She had him in a hospital. You know what? I don't care what kind of products you use, whether you work or choose to stay home, whether you bottle feed or breast feed. 

All I care about and all you should care about too, is that you do the very best you can with what God has given you to love your children with all of your heart. 

Many moms, including myself would've loved to parent a certain way, but that's not how it worked out. For example, I wanted natural births, but I ended up with 2 emergency c-sections. Does that make me less of a "crunchy" momma? Better yet, does that make my love for my children any less? No it doesn't!

I refuse to beat myself up over these man (woman)-given titles. God's plans have thankfully prevailed in my life, regardless of how I expected things to turn out. He has a reason for my c-sections. He has a plan for all the pain I went through, just trying to make it one more day with breastfeeding. His plans for calling me to quit my job of 10 years to homeschool my kids is becoming more clear to me each day. I can't wear my baby no matter how many different brands of gear I try. It just doesn't work for me. So, thank God for strollers and strong arms! 

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. ~ Jeremiah 29:11

Let's take more time focusing on God's plans for us, instead of trying to fit into certain categories. Follow His plans and you will prosper in so many ways!

My name is Amanda and I'm a mom! A mom that loves my kids with all of my heart. That's all that matters! I have peace!  



Be blessed my friends!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Summer Fun & Coppertone ClearlySheer Sunscreen

Summer is now in full swing. Yay! I'm so excited about that. This is our first year taking the summer off from homeschooling in about 5 years so I'm trying to fully enjoy it. We bought a pool pass for the local pool. They have a nice kids area, a water slide, a lazy river, a sprinkler playground and of course the rest of the pool area. This will be our main hangout on the really hot days.

Here's my hubby and my little man going down the lazy river!

I also send the kids outdoors as much as possible. One of our favorite things is the awesome trampoline we bought last year. Here's a picture of the big kids playing on the trampoline while the little ones used their grand imaginations with chairs.  :)


Since the kids are outside so much during summer, I was SO excited to be invited to this BzzCampain for Coppertone's ClearlySheer products. (To learn more about becoming a BzzAgent where you can receive free products to review like I do, click HERE.) I received several small samples of the Coppertone ClearlySheer Sunny Days, a couple of mini spray bottles of their Beach & Pool spray, a full sized sample of Sunny Days body lotion, and coupons to pass along to my friends. 


I was a fan of this sunscreen from the moment I first sprayed the Beach & Pool spray on my kids. It sprayed on so thin. It was a really light spray that goes on smooth and doesn't feel greasy. No complaints from them! I take skin protection very seriously (as you can tell by the shirts on my boys below) so it was also important that this sunscreen did what it was meant to do, and that is protect our skin. After trying out the various products that I received samples of, each of them proved to do their job. None of us ever got the slightest tint of redness on our skin.


Another great factor about Coppertone's ClearlySheer products is that it sells at a great price. If you are comparing sunscreen costs, just one look at all the different brands together, and you will find that Coppertone products are some of the least expensive ones. But don't let that discount the quality! 

I absolutely loved the Sunny Days body lotion. The scent is light and refreshing. Its moisturizing formulas go on so soft and smooth that you can wear it underneath your makeup. My teenage son is also very prone to acne. It has gotten to the point that we got a prescription from the doctor. He has it pretty much under control now and I'm very happy to report that the Coppertone ClearlySheer products did not make him break out. It has been clinically tested on acne-prone skin and it doesn't clog pores or cause breakouts! Our family was so happy with Coppertone's ClearlySheer products that we plan to switch from our regular brand. I can't say enough positive things about this awesome new product. You can purchase ClearlySheer products almost anywhere you find regular sunscreen. I was not paid to give you my opinion, however, I did receive the free samples that I mentioned. My opinions are always completely honest. If I don't like a product, I will definitely let you know so you don't waste your time or money on it. Thanks for stopping by. Have a great summer!

Be blessed my friends!