Category Archives: Family

Nights Are The Hardest

Today has been a bad day, a really bad day. I won’t go into detail except to say that my heart is very heavy and sad right now. Sometimes people come into our lives unexpectedly and they make such an impact on us that we can’t imagine life without them. Sometimes we tend to overlook the bad things and choose not to see what we should be seeing because they mean so much to us.

Sometimes these things come back to haunt us. The little things we had been ignoring and choosing not to see. The little things that we just didn’t ask about or the things that just didn’t make sense and weren’t questioned suddenly turn into an erupting volcano. Sometimes there’s a warning that things are about to take a sudden turn but often times it just happens out of the blue.

Then we are left wondering what we could’ve and should’ve done differently. Did we handle the situation correctly or maybe we should have given them just one more chance. While we don’t want them to feel like we’ve given we know that we can’t just keep letting things slide either. We have to stand up for our values and beliefs and instead of clinging to the hopes that someone will change, we may just need to let them go.

We can’t force someone to change, change must come from within. Sometimes we need to distance ourselves from others so that everyone involved can see the problem more clearly. It also helps us to get our thoughts straight. When we can see and think clearly we may see the solution come to light. While others may feel like we have abandoned them when the going got tough, we are really just trying to protect ourselves from getting hurt even more.

The downfall is that we may start to dwell on the problems and our thoughts may run rampant. For me, I can keep myself pretty busy and occupied during the day, if I try. I must find something else to focus on and I have to pray, really pray hard. If I don’t, I find that the problem can become an obsession which is not good for anyone. Luckily I have a few little people who can keep me occupied and busy.

However, once night falls and the kids are in bed I start to settle down. I will take the dog out for her last walk before bed and the stillness of the night gets to me. I put her in her bed and switch off the lights before heading to bed myself. I will get up a couple of times to double check the doors, the lights, and the loft gate. I will listen to my sleeping babes and listen to the sounds of the night on our little pond.

I hear the animals calling out for their mates and I feel so lonely. All I can think about is how lonely I am. Really I was lonely before this as we had stopped communicating a while back. I don’t know what caused it for sure but I did try to fix it. Could I have done more? Did I try too hard? Who knows what I could’ve done.

My mind replays the good times and then it replays the bad times, both of which bring tears to my eyes. I lay here and wonder what the future holds. I am comforted because I know that God has a plan and a purpose for everything. I also know that He can bring some of the greatest blessings out of our hardest trials. This helps to calm me and bring me peace about the situation but it is still hard to accept that this person is gone, maybe forever.

Love can be such a crazy fickle thing but it can also be one of the greatest feelings in the whole world. I am reminded that my God loves me more than anyone here on earth can and that He is looking out for me. I know that He will provide me with all that I need and I can find rest in His arms when I am ready to let go and give my problems over to Him.

Why not join me? If you have something that is bothering you and keeping you up then please join me in asking God to take care of it and leave it in His hands.

Right now, Heavenly Father I pray that You will touch anyone reading this and help them with whatever their situation is, that You will bring them the healing they need for whatever they are going through, that You will give them the strength and courage to face tomorrow because it is a new day, a day full of blessings unknown. Please Lord take our worries and cares and deal with them as You see fit. In Jesus name, Amen.

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Weekend Wrap Up: April 20, 2019

Hey there! It’s been a bit of a crazy week here. Last weekend I had a crazy reaction to some gun cleaner… crazy like I thought I was going to need an ER visit but thankfully a double dose of Zyrtec did the trick. However, after that, I was pretty much useless for a couple of days as I really truly felt like a walking zombie mom. This was truly not something I had expected or planned for so it kind of threw a wrench in my carefully laid out plans.

I had so many things planned that I wanted to get done before Easter and almost none of them have happened. The ones I did manage to get accomplished, like weeding the flower bed and picking up the yard, have been messed up and really don’t look like anything had been done. Instead of getting stressed like I sometimes too I’ve really just tried to go with the flow this week.

After resting Saturday afternoon and most of Sunday morning I did manage to muster up a bit of energy as we had an appointment to go to. We went to visit a place that does a lot of activities for the community. We may be doing some square dancing there next month and we needed to give it a quick look over so we knew what to expect. It was so cool and the kids really enjoyed the huge swing set that they had there.

Then we had our usual Monday dance but I was not able to go to that because my back had been bothering me and I was having some old issues flare up. My feet and hands were just so numb and tingling that it made getting around a bit difficult. I pretty much sat in the recliner most of the day. I was so glad that I had been able to do as meal prep as I did on Saturday morning. For dinner, we had some Red & White Pasta with some diced grilled chicken added into it. The kids loved it even more than the normal version.

Tuesday afternoon I did manage to get dressed and head to a dance where Mr. Awesome was filling in. I was glad that we went because it was so much fun to see all the young dancers. My kiddos also had a lot of fun watching them and it motivated them a bit more to want to take lessons soon. My lack of activity really showed through as I could myself getting winded after a tip. For dinner that night I had made a Shepherd’s Pie in a Skillet which was super easy to throw together with the browned hamburger from the freezer.

I don’t even remember what we did on Wednesday. Hmmm… what did we do on Wednesday? I know we had Tortellini Soup and some Quick Garlic Bread that Mr. Jacob had helped me prep for the freezer last week but I don’t think anyone did a whole lot of anything. That combination was so good together! I might have caught up on some email but I couldn’t sit at the computer for very long so getting any work done was almost a lost cause.

I didn’t even get to the washing until Thursday because I couldn’t lift anything and walking out to the wash shed seemed like an impossibility if I had to carry a load of laundry with me. Although the kids were kind of enjoying the lazy zombie mom, I was ready to get something done around here. I mean Easter was fast approaching and we had a small dinner planned but I hadn’t been able to do much of anything.

I finally decided that something seriously had to get done around here so I just had the girls bring me some laundry baskets and I sorted the clothes in the house and carried the baskets out one at a time with was a lot less strenuous. Once I finished up my laundry the kids did a load and we were back on track. Feeling a bit ambitious, I decided to make a Chicken Cordon Casserole which was more labor intensive than I had remembered (or maybe I’m just getting lazy with all the meal prep) but it was so good!

I also made a phone call that I hadn’t expected to make and cleared the air between a family member. There had been an incident last year that had really hurt me and I had chosen to distance myself and my family from the situation. Now things seem to have calmed down a bit and we are taking things slowly to see how they go. Christmas and Easter a couple of times in the year when most of do seem to have softer hearts and people seem to be able to forgive easier. It wasn’t that I wasn’t able to forgive, I just didn’t want to forget what had happened. All that did was to keep the hurt going.

So Friday we had a visit from this same family member and everyone got caught up on the past few months. The kids really enjoyed the visit and probably overwhelmed then with Minecraft facts but it was a good visit for the most part.

Midway through the visit, we had some terrible storms come through and we were under a tornado watch. We also lost power for a good while. The scariest part came when the winds were howling around our little cabin and all of a sudden there was a loud bang. The back door flew open and the wind was blowing pond water all over the bedroom. Things were swirling around and flying off the walls… it was crazy! I kept pushing the door shut only to have to fly open again. Then while I was dealing with that the front door burst open and the kids rushed to shut it.

The worst part of the storm passed quickly and we were able to keep the doors closed without assistance. My bedroom still has a ton of peacock feathers scattered here and there but things are almost back to normal in the house. There is a ton of stuff to get cleaned up in the yard. The picnic table had been thrown across the yard but seems to be okay. A neighbor had a big tree come down but we only had a bunch of branches. Whew, I know we had someone watching over us and I am so thankful for that.

After all that excitement, I was ready for an easy meal. We had some Sweet and Sour Meatballs, boxed mac n cheese, and some Super Easy Power Cooker Potatoes. Mr. Awesome, however, wasn’t feeling like having meatballs and had brought home a couple of steaks to cook. (Click here for my recipe.)

This morning has been super busy as I’ve been making up for lost time earlier in the week. I have in fact been so productive that I’ve amazed myself. Before 9:00 am I had already picked up my vegetable order from Southwestern Produce Company and my grocery order from Walmart! I was so happy that the frozen veggies are back as our freezer supplies were getting low and as always our Walmart grocery pickup went smoothly. Chad was super helpful and got my order out to me quickly and loaded it up all up like a pro!

I even managed to sneak into the store alone, as Mr. Awesome was keeping an eye on the kiddos, and grab a few things for the Easter basket. Yes, the Easter Basket, only one basket for everyone to share and it’s not going to be chocked full of candies but it does have a lot of fun things like bubbles, slinkies, and even some Hatchimals that they can play with together. I did grab a couple of packages of candy for them to share but I know that other family will be bringing candy so I don’t want to deal with meltdowns after the overdose on sugar-laden treats. Trust me, we’ve been there several times this week and I’m not wanting to go there again anytime soon.

Honestly, my kids don’t really miss the sugary treats and such because this is what we’ve pretty much always done. Their favorite part of Easter is the Empty Tomb Rolls and the story that I tell them along with it. They do like to help make the Chocolate Covered Eggs to give to family and friends too but most of all they remember the time we spend with family and the conversations we have about Jesus which, to me, are the most important things.

This week I’ve seen, once again, that even though things haven’t gone as planned and/or my plans have not happened because of one thing or another, that God has a plan and His plan is always so much more than what I could have ever imagined. I just want you to remember this too because I know how much we can stress sometimes when we really want things to perfectly and they just don’t. Remember that your kids are watching and looking up to you. They are learning so many valuable lessons from you and everyone that they are around.

That’s all I have for now as I have a few more things left to get put away. Plus we have some chocolate eggs to make and I’m praying that my ham thaws out in time for tomorrow’s dinner as I forgot to get it out of the freezer earlier in the week. That’s how life goes though so I won’t let it get me discouraged because I know it’ll all work out in the end.

Happy Easter from our family to yours!

Have a blessed weekend!

**This post may contain affiliate links to products we use. We may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if a purchase is made through links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission. Thank you!

 

 

 

Empty Tomb Rolls

via Empty Tomb Rolls

I may have forgotten to get the ingredients for the Chocolate Covered Eggs but I did remember everything for the Empty Tomb Rolls as my kiddos have been dying to make these again. They are so easy and make such a great way to teach your kids about the real reason for Easter.

Be The Parent You’ve Always Wanted To Be

Some of you may remember that I’ve mentioned I have a couple of special needs kiddos. These two have been quite challenging and I have faced many parenting issues that have been quite difficult to get through… I mean like heart wrenching issues that made me doubt my abilities to parent them at all.

Well, a lot of those doubts, fears, and worries have vanished and faded away after I started taking the Positive Parenting Solutions Course. Just the first course made me feel more confident in my abilities and gave me some tools to put to use right away. The changes have been amazing and I only wish I had found out about this course sooner.

You’ve tried everything: Time-outs. Reward charts. Counting to three. Punishments. Nothing works.

If you or someone you know has been facing parenting difficulties then you need to check this out, NOW! Don’t wait because you are losing precious time… stop the yelling, stop the threatening, stop feeling defeated and give this a try.

Guaranteed to transform your family… or your money back!

Cozi: 10 Best Volunteer Opportunities for Teens, According to Parents

Are you looking for volunteer experiences for your child? It’s a great way for kids to feel involved in the community, and some schools even require volunteer hours to graduate.
Even if you are homeschooling you can add volunteer hours to your child’s transcripts and these make a really good impression on prospective colleges and/or employers.
To help get you started, here’s a list of organizations and local opportunities for volunteering – all recommended by parents who Cozi.

Click Here to read more about these great volunteer ideas.

Tigers, Gardens, and Portfolios… oh My!

Have you checked out the great products over at UnitStudy.com? What are unit studies? They are a great way to help kids learn about a topic in a fun way that they will remember.

My kiddos love unit studies and they have so much fun learning about so many different topics. Units studies have made my life easier as I can take things that my kids are interested in today and let them learn about it in a way that encourages them to keep learning.

Unit studies don’t have to be a ‘homeschool only’ kind of thing either. Summer vacation is coming up and maybe you need some fun ways to keep your kids entertained. By using unit studies you can help them to learn about new topics and help prevent that dreaded ‘Summer Slide’.

Terrific Tigers will be marked down to just $5 for National Zoo Lovers Day
 
April 12-14 – Gardens will be marked down to just $9 for National Gardening Day
 
And it’s that time of year to make your portfolios so check out those products too!
 
Have fun!
**This post does contain affiliate links for products that we use and love in our home.
We may earn a teeny tiny commission if a purchase is made through one of our links.
These commissions help to support our blog, our family, and our homeschooling mission.
-Thank you!

Puddin’ Cake Time!

We were gifted with some fresh juicy strawberries earlier in the week. After eating a couple bowls of them the kids wanted to make something special. I knew just the recipe to pull out… Strawberry Pudding Poke Cake.

Here’s a few pictures of all the fun they had making it…

They had a ton of fun poking holes with the wooden spoon handle:

Then they had to pour on the jello:

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Next comes the strawberries (I think a few didn’t make it into the bowl):

Now a layer of pudding and then cool whip:

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Repeat the layers and make it pretty:

 

I tried to catch a few of them eating it but they gobbled it up way too fast!

I’m thinking the next time I might just give it a try without the vanilla pudding as I think that might taste more like a traditional shortcake… yummy!

Do you need some inspiration on how to get your kids helping out in the kitchen? Check out the Kids Can Cook Real Foods website for lots of helpful ideas!

** This post contains affiliate links which help to support our blog and our family. We may receive a small commission if a purchase is made through one of our links.

When God Says No, Not Yet…

A couple of weeks ago I posted about some BIG NEWS that we might have to share… well, unfortunately that big news is no news a this time. Yes, I’m a little heartbroken, well maybe more than a just a little.

Once again we had set out to look for a house but this time we had found the PERFECT one! It wasn’t too big or too small… in fact it was the only one we’ve seen that felt like HOME the moment I walked in the front door. I was afraid to say anything because I didn’t want to ‘jinx it’. I prayed and had some of my family and close friends praying about it. I also knew in my heart that I needed to be prepared for any outcome.

Everyone seemed pretty optimistic as we filled out the paperwork and submitted it for approval. Let me tell you that waiting, with fingers and toes crossed, is very agonizing. Then we got word that the loan was not approved… my heart sank. We tried again with a co-signer, then again with another company, and another with the same answer. I knew that GOD was saying NO, Not yet my child.

However now we know what the problem(s) are and we are taking steps to fix this in the future. These issues have probably caused us to miss out on this PERFECT house but I know that in the future there will be a time when GOD does say YES and it will be more than we ever expected.

Unfortunately when you are self-employed it can be rather difficult to prove your income and had we realized the issues earlier we could have made changes. One of those changes was that last month I worked on getting my Notary/Wedding Officiant Business up and going. I haven’t had any clients yet but hopefully that will change soon as I have placed a couple of ads here and there.

Although I have been paying down debts that were incurred before, during, and after my divorce my income-to-debt ratio was a couple of numbers above what they really wanted to see. I have been doing a few other miscellaneous side jobs to bring in a little bit of income to help pay down these debts a little faster.

The disappointment still hurts and I have been a bit disheartened by the whole experience. I had already gotten my hopes up, counted my chickens before they had hatched you could say, and was saving Pins and screenshots left and right. I could picture us in that house and it seemed so PERFECT. The view of the pond would’ve been the best thing to wake up to every morning and I was so looking forward to it.

I have really been missing the fact that I haven’t had my own space here… a place where I can just relax and have a time out every now and then. That house had plenty of space where I could chill out and blog or work on one of the many projects I have laying around. It would have also had the perfect area for homeschooling… sigh… it also had two bathrooms and two bath tubs!

Now bringing myself back to reality and out of my daydreams has been hard. Have I questioned GOD? No, honestly I haven’t because I know from past experiences that I must trust HIS plan and not question it because HE knows our future and HE knows what is in store for us down the road. It is a hard thing to accept that HE has said NO to this when it all felt so right.

It is a very hard thing on some days more than others. I can remember when I first walked in and I saw the kids faces… they were so excited! They actually had plenty of room to roll around and play in the floor. The whole layout was just so wonderful… if we ever had the opportunity to build our own house I would probably want a similar layout with just a few minor tweaks here and there.

That will be sometime in the future… maybe. But for today I have to just accept that it isn’t in the plans right now and trust that something will come along in the future. We will keep working towards our goals and hopefully be better prepared when the next opportunity comes around. We do have one more loan request out to a private lender but it may be a little while before we hear back so I will wait as patiently as I can.

The past few weeks have been stressful to say the least. All of the waiting and such had made me quite irritable. Not too mention that we kept putting things off because we were ‘waiting to see’ what would happen. This meant a lot of things kept piling up around us as we were kind of in a limbo. Our little cabin was beginning to look and feel a bit cluttered.

The clutter was really affecting me because I just don’t function well with the clutter. I knew that I couldn’t control what happens with the housing situation but there are some things that I can control. Things like the way our current house looks and feels.

Today I decided that we needed to do a quick spring cleaning of sorts. Earlier in the week I had decided that we would go back to our old cleaning routine as the new one was not working out quite as well as I had hoped it would. Today we got caught up on some of the other chores and moved the furniture to clean thoroughly. We also managed to find a few things that had gone missing.

While our house is still small it definitely looks and feels better right now. I still have a pile of things that I need to work on and I did manage to make a small space to work even though it isn’t really separate from anything. I had to move our ‘Google‘ to another location as the kids love using it to answer questions, play games, and watch videos. Now I have the island pretty much to myself and my numerous projects which have been piling up. For a stay at home I stay pretty busy with a wide variety of tasks.

I think this weekend I will also be getting back to journaling as that helped me so much when I was going through some difficult times before. I will also be going through the school supplies I have stored in the shed to find the supplies I had bought to go with our next Little House on The Prairie Book, On The Banks of Plum Creek.

I had put everything in totes back when we planned to build a new book shelf but like I said everything has been in limbo waiting to see about the new house and now I need to go find my stuff in the shed. I have made up a basic set of lesson plans that I’m really excited about and the kids have been begging to start the next book so this needs to happen this weekend!

Anyways… just remember not to lose hope when things don’t go as planned. Remember that GOD has a plan and HIS plan is ALWAYS better than anything we could imagine. I know its hard to do sometimes but have FAITH and try not to be discouraged.

*Any links in this post can be assumed to be affliate links and we may earn a small commission if a purchase is made through these links. These help to support our blog and our family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Made From Scratch Monkey Bread

My kids love monkey bread and they love helping to make it! Check out the slide show for some pics:

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It’s so easy and those cute knives help them feel like real chefs will easing my mind. Those mixing bowls have been a life saver too and the lids make them perfect for this recipe. I can’t always find the 4-pack of canned biscuits (and I’ve been trying to make more things from scratch) so i have used our regular biscuit recipe at times. You just need to divide the dough into 1 inch balls and continue on if you decide to do make your own biscuit dough.

As you can see from the last picture, it goes really fast around here… so fast I didn’t have time to catch a picture of the whole thing!

Monkey bread

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2-3 t. of cinnamon
  • 4 cans biscuits or use this biscuit recipe (add 1/4 c. sugar to the flour before mixing in the shortening for a little extra sweetness)
  • 1/2 cup of butter or margarine, melted
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

Grease  or spray a 12-cup bundt cake pan. ** see below for alternate directions.

Combine the white sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl, bag, or container with a tight fitting lid.

Cut each basket into quarters and then shake the pieces in the cinnamon sugar mixture.

Place the sugar coated pieces into your greased pan.

Mix together the remaining cinnamon sugar, melted butter and the brown sugar.

Pour this mixture over top of the biscuit pieces in the pan.

Bake at 350 for 40 -45 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes and turn upside down.

Best served warm. The kids like to eat it with bananas… I usually make some scrambled eggs and grits to go along with it too.

** You can bake this in a greased casserole for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.

For more ideas on how to let your kids help in the kitchen be sure to check out the Kids Cook Real Foods site.

Affiliate links for items mentioned in this post:

Elite Gourmet EBS-0012 Maxi-Matic

12-Piece Stainless Steel Colored Mixing Bowls with Lids,

7.25 Qt. – 6 Qt. – 3.5 Qt. – 3 Qt. – 2.25 Qt. – 2 Qt.

Tovla Knives for Kids 3-Piece Nylon Knife Set 

Now They Call Me Teacher

Here is the second part to our adoption story. If you haven’t read the first part check it out HERE.

First published August 9, 2018

Not long after the adoptions we were surprised again by another little miracle. Mr. Jacob came into this world in the spring of 2013. His arrival was a little bit rough as he was quite a bit bigger than his brother (both were 9lbs +) and we spent a little extra time in the hospital. Everyone was ecstatic to have their baby brother join them at home.

Not long after this joyous occasion was when my marriage really began to crumble. The stress of a large family coupled with the extraordinary needs of our special needs children was taking its toll on our little family and soon afterwards my husband walked out on us. He did eventually come back, for a little while, and then left again.

Round and round on that chaotic merry-go-round we went.  Then In the Spring of 2014 , just before Jacob’s 1st birthday, he walked away for the last time. It was a very hard time for all of us but once again we made it through. It took us a little bit to find our new ‘normal’ as I wasn’t really sure what normal was anymore.

Then that fall William moved schools. That was a major catastrophe! He did not adjust and we just didn’t know what to do to help him make the adjustment. The teachers couldn’t handle him so we would go to the doctor. The doctor would prescribe more medications.

The medications would make him sick or have crazy side effects. Then we would go back to the doctor to eventually find something that worked.

The problem was that each medication would only work for a short period of time before it needed to be increased or changed out. The side effects were scary but I trusted the doctors and their knowledge.By Christmas of 2014 I was worn to a frazzle from the impending divorce, the issues William was having at school, and then Caitlyn was experiencing some behavioral issues and was put on medication as well.

Momma was one crazy mess! In fact everyone was a crazy mess. It was at this time I began to experiment with essential oils to help calm and relax everyone. We eventually got everyone squared away and over the Christmas break I had decided to do a ‘medication vacation’. I discussed it with the doctor beforehand and he encouraged me to make an appointment if I needed him for anything. I think he was a bit curious as to what the outcome would be.

Surprisingly enough everyone did very well and the oils seemed to help at least until school started back.The kids started back on their medications after I received several notice from the teachers about their behavior. I had made appointments with the doctor and we both felt that they ‘needed’ the medications to go to school. Read the last part of that sentence again… they ‘needed’ the medications to go to school. Yeah, when that hit me I realized that I wasn’t the one having the issues when they weren’t on medications.

However when they were on medication I had to deal with the mood swings, tantrums, and everything else that they had been holding in all day long! No wonder they were so grumpy with me after school. In January of 2015 I made the decision to pull William out of public school with his doctor’s support. (There were several reasons that the decision was made as he also had dietary restrictions that weren’t being adhered to at school as well as the reactions to the medications.)

The change in him was instant. He was back to being his fun loving little self again and that made my heart happy.Now trying to teach him was another matter but after doing a TON of research we finally figured it out. We found so many resources that have helped us along the way and we are so thankful for each and every one of them. There was some trial and error though but with every failure we were learning what did and didn’t work.

By Spring he was off all of his prescription medications and doing wonderfully! This change encouraged me to make the leap and pull the girls out of school before the school year ended. I still didn’t really feel like I knew what I was doing at all but I kept trying. Half the battle is won by just showing up and every morning I showed up ready to try again.

Part of the problem we weren’t having the results that I expected was because I didn’t know that homeschool looks different for every family and every home. I was trying to recreate ‘school’ at home and that didn’t work for us. It was at this time I really started getting involved with some of the groups on Facebook and taking advice from more seasoned homeschool Mommas. Boy did we see a change in our attitudes around the house.
Everyone was having fun! The biggest problem I had was affording the materials that we wanted to use. Luckily I stumbled across the Easy Peasy All-In-One Homeschool. It was just what we needed. The lessons were simple and already planned out. You really didn’t need to do much of anything except print out a few things here and there.
That fall big sister also decided she wanted to homeschool much to my surprise. She was able to help out with the younger kids as well. This allowed me more time to research other things that I hoped to incorporate into our learning experience. Again I kept running into the MONEY issue. That’s when I remembered the Florida Gardiner Scholarship I had applied to earlier in the year. It has been such a lifesaver for helping to purchase materials and supplies to help William have an exceptional educational experience right here at home where he is most comfortable.
With new materials and a new zeal for teaching we started on our homeschool journey which is going on its fifth year here and has seen one graduate already. Over the past few years I have grown in leaps and bounds in my knowledge of homeschooling. We have also learned to homeschool through the good days as well as the bad. Every day is a learning experience and we can make the most of every minute that we have,
We have also had several life changes over the past year which have resulted in the addition of 3 new family members, Mr. Awesome and his two sons, and a move where we did a drastic downsize. In the midst of all the chaos, which can often times spell DISASTER in our home, we try to keep calm and carry on. We do this with some simple, and not so simple, routines that I started way back when my nine was only four.
We have also found a lot of resources, tips, life hacks, and gadgets to help us get through those tough times and keep school entertaining. Some of these tools are so much fun the kids don’t have a clue that they are actually learning and they would probably still love them just as much if you told them Momma’s trick.
I encourage a lot of ‘free learning’ so we are always looking for new resources. I am excited to share these with you and your family so you too can provide your children with the most personalized and exceptional education to fit their needs.
I look forward to sharing a lot more with you all in the days, weeks, months, and years to come. Maybe, just maybe, we can help someone else’s walk down this path a little easier.

 

And Now He Calls Me Momma

Hey ya’ll I know we’ve been really quiet here at Kirby’s Kabin but we haven’t forgotten about everyone. Things have been really busy and crazy. We have a couple of BIG things going on and hoping to share some big news soon… so please say a prayer for us as we are awaiting some news to let us know which direction we will be taking in the future.

I realized a while back that I’ve never really told our story to you and I have posted it on another blog I started a while back… that one hasn’t gotten very far at all with our crazy schedules but here is a quick start to our craziness…

First published August 2, 2018

kids swing

What you are about to read has never been published on any site before. It is not meant to be a pity party or anything of that nature just a background of who we are and how we came to be where we are now. It is a bit lengthy so be prepared.

 

Our special needs journey began in the Fall of 2010. We had just learned we were expecting after being told by a doctor I would never carry another baby again because of health issues. It was late one evening when I got the call saying that Child Services needed a place for my nieces and nephew to stay.

‘It is only temporary’, the voice on the line said, ‘just until she can get herself straight’. I took a deep breath and agreed to let them come stay with me not having a clue of the chaos I was getting my family into.

I informed my four children ages 11, 13, 15, and 17 of what was going on so they would know what to expect. The girls were super excited as they loved their little cousins. The boys were not so excited but were happy that we were in a position to help. I was a little unsure that our house was even big enough to ‘pass inspection’.

Later that night the worker appeared with 2 of the 3 babies and some McDonalds in hand. It was kind of a blur as she went through form after form and so many instructions! I signed and initialed and signed some more. I added contact numbers to my phone and wrote down many reminders before she left.

Then later that night I had to break the news to my husband who wasn’t quite as excited as I was as he had been through this scenario a time or two before. (I wasn’t able to reach him beforehand as he was at work.) The next few days and weeks were full of running here and there, filling out more paperwork, going to doctor visits, specialist visits, and many interviews of all sorts.​​

Let’s just say that the next few months (and years) have been a roller coaster in more ways than one. The oldest, William, was born with Down’s Syndrome and had been diagnosed with ADHD along with several other issues. He was 8 at them time and had not been potty trained and was not very verbal at all.
The next in line, Caitlyn, was 3 at the time. She was diagnosed with ODD (Oppostional Defiant Disorder) and later diagnosed with ADHD like her brother. She was not immediately placed with me for reasons unknown but eventually made her voice known and was reunited with her siblings on full time basis later on.
The littlest of the bunch, Isabella, was just shy of being 2. She was extremely shy and labeled as ’emotionally disturbed’ by some of the specialists. To say we had our hands full was an understatement. Then we had to deal with a lot of emotional relatives while trying to keep the children’s best interest in mind at all times. It did get quite confusing, stressful, and overwhelming at times along the way.
Just a couple of months after having the precious kiddos placed in our care I suffered a miscarriage which was the fourth one I had had since my then young child had been born. This was a very traumatic event as EMS had to be called and I spent a bit of time in the hospital but my older kids all pitched in and helped out.
We made it through that event and lo and behold a few months later we found out we were expecting again. All the while I was so busy trying to figure out the special needs of our special needs children. I had to take a crash course and gather as much information as I could from the doctors, teachers, and specialists.
With a lot of hard work and dedication we had some major triumphs in helping each of the kiddos flourish. William became Mr. Personality and was potty trained in a matter or months.
Ms. Caitlyn became a very spunky young lady which earned her the title of Ms. Attitude. Little Bella quickly found her voice and we couldn’t get her to stop talking!  The changes in just a few short months were unreal!

Then in early 2012  I delivered a baby boy who we call Joey. This again proved to be a very trying time as we spent several days in the NICU which was over an hour away from where we called home. Soon enough he was able to come home and join his 7 other siblings. Somewhere around this time we were offered the chance to officially adopt the three little ones who were now calling me Momma.
During the Spring we worked hard to get all of our paperwork submitted for adoptions. There were more doctors appointments, specialist, psychologists, and tons of interviews to complete before were could be officially approved. We also worked hard on the place that was to be our home for the next several years.
Then in the Summer of 2012 all three of them were made official members of the ‘Kirby’ family. We were all so excited. It was a very special occasion for us but a sad event for others.
There were some family members who didn’t agree with our decision and made it known. Part of the reason we moved before the adoption was due to circumstances related to the way some relatives felt.
While this event brought some of others closer together it also caused a huge rift with some of our extended family.
Looking back on it I know that we did what was in the best interest of my children, all of them, and I wouldn’t change a thing. OK, well maybe I would have changed a couple of things but we won’t discuss that here.

Pine Tree or Palmetto Bug?

When I first tried Grove products I was on a mission to try to use healthier products in our home. I believe one of the first scents I tried was the Iowa Pine… I was in love! It reminded me of fresh cut pine trees in the mountains. It had been a while since I had ordered this scent and I decided to try it out again because I loved it so much.

Image result for pine trees in the mountains

I cleaned the house one day and was again amazed at the fresh scent and felt good knowing that these products are better for us than a lot of others out there. Well, Mr. Awesome happened to come by about then and he kind of crinkled up his nose. He asked what happened? I told him I had just finished cleaning and he said it smelled like I had crushed a giant Palmetto bug in the house… Ewwww. Not the reaction I was hoping for.

Yuck… just seeing this picture gives me the Heevy Jeevies… I really do despise these little pests and they are abundant here in Florida. Now that Mr. Awesome has made this connection I won’t ever think about Pine Scent the same way… sniffle. That doesn’t change the fact that I have an ample amount of pine scented cleaner already so I’ll have to use it up or find somewhere else to use it… maybe I can donate it somewhere?

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His favorite scent so far has been the Gernamium… crazy huh? My favorite scent that I use most often is the Lavender… oh how I love my Lavender! Best thing is that these are all great and they all meet the Grove Standard which means everything available at Grove has met their standards for non-toxicity, efficacy, and sustainability, and is cruelty-free. What more can you ask for?

My next scent to try is Mrs. Meyers Rain Water… it sounds so refreshing, doesn’t it? Have you tried out Grove products yet? If so what is your favorite scent and/or product. If not why don’t you give them a try right now and get a little something special too when you use my referral link.

Click Here To Try Out Grove Today!