Category Archives: Family

Are you needy?

My God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.  – Philippians 4:19 

We all have needs every day. Sometimes our needs are great like looking for a new place to live or a dependable vehicle to get us back and forth to work. Sometimes our needs are small like finding a clean sheet of paper that hasn’t been scribbled on. Whatever our needs are we must remember to have faith in God that He will supply each and every one of these needs. Continue reading Are you needy?

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God uses cracked pots

And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.  -Jeremiah 18:4

I know that often times we get caught up in things we believe we ought to be doing, the way we should look, or where we should be in life. Sometimes we wonder if we are too damaged or flawed to be of use anymore or to be able to do what we need to do. Maybe we have things in our past that we are not proud of, things that have chipped away at our self confidence, esteem and maybe even our reputation. Continue reading God uses cracked pots

It’s hard being a peacemaker

Matthew 5:9  Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

I’m sure you’ve probably read this verse before as I know I have read it. I came across again it a few days ago and began to wonder ‘What exactly is a peacemaker?’ I looked up the definition and this is what I found:

peace·mak·er
ˈpēsˌmākər/
noun
1. a person who brings about peace, especially by reconciling adversaries.

What is peace? I know that most of us strive to find it but many times fall short. We want to be free from the conflict that surrounds us in every day life.

peace
pēs/
noun
1. freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility.
“you can while away an hour or two in peace and seclusion”
synonmyms: tranquility, calm, restfulness, peace and quiet, peacefulness, quiet, quietness
2. freedom from or the cessation of war or violence.”the Straits were to be open to warships in time of peace”
synonyms: law and order, lawfulness, order, peacefulness, peaceableness, harmony,nonviolence;
So it appears that a peacemaker would be someone who brings about peace. Someone who tries to facilitate an environment of tranquility and harmony. They may do this in a number of ways. They could offer their homes as a safe haven or refuge to others.
They could just offer to listen to others and help them with situations that are distressing them. They could be the one who is constantly trying to help others reconcile arguments or acting as a go between among feuding parties.
Peacemakers are constantly looking for ways to bring about harmony to every situation. They will often be the first one to admit they were wrong in a situation and they will do whatever is needed to right the wrong.
A peacemaker will most always seek ways to promote peace in every circumstance. They attempt to make careful decisions about everything they do and consider how they can prevent a potentially bad situation from becoming worse. When things don’t go well they will not blow things out of proportion and they will be quick to forgive minor offenses.
They will also be quick to show others appreciation. They will show displays of gratitude, humility, and grace that can and will immediately dissolve feelings of tension and discord. We are all called to peacemakers, just as Jesus was a peacemaker, as followers of Jesus.
Sometimes though the peacemaker can begin to feel run down, drained, and depressed. Maybe they feel like they keep getting caught up in other people’s drama. They may retreat into themselves because they feel like they can’t open up to others. Maybe they don’t want to feel like they are ‘gossiping’ if they try to talk about what is bothering them. Then again maybe their desire for peace keeps them from confronting others about bad behaviors and/or attitudes that are having a negative impact on their relationships.

If you find yourself feeling like this then turn to God. In order to be a true peacemaker you must continually ask God for guidance. You must be able to experience the peace of God in your own life before you can truly live in peace with others. When others can see the peace you have and the joy it brings to your life they will also have a desire to become a peacemaker.

If you happen to know someone who is a peacemaker then you should thank God for them. Pray for them and ask God to supply them with wisdom, strength, patience. Maybe you could say a little ‘Thank you’ and encourage them on their walk so that they can continue in their good work.

If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. (Romans 12:18 KJV)

Enjoy your season

We all know that there are four seasons in every year. We have Spring which brings new life and lots of energy. Everything is young and vibrant and ready to explore the world around them.

Then comes Summer. Those long, hot, lazy days that are sometimes spent on the beach taking in the wondrous beauty of the vast oceans. Watermelons and ice cream are sure favorites to help beat the heat.

After Summer comes Fall and things seem to start fading away. There are moments to enjoy like the changing of the leaves and harvests to bring in. The animals rush here and there to make last minute preparations for hibernation. Of course, we have lots of great foods like pumpkin pies and candy apples to enjoy.

Winter comes along and everything seems to grow dormant. The days seem darker and sometimes the cold is more than we can bear. If you are lucky enough to see the snow you can witness the miracle of those tiny snowflakes, each with their own unique design. Or maybe cuddle up with someone in front of the fire with a cup of hot cocoa in hand.

Just like the four seasons of the year we go through seasons also. We start as newborn babes. When we are young we are eager and curious to explore our surroundings. Taking in everything, asking a million and one ‘whys’, and taking in as much knowledge as we can from those around us.

We then go through our teenage years as we grow into young adults. We learn from our experiences. We also learn that there are consequences to be had from making bad choices. Some people struggle in this season more than others as they move on to the next season.

We become more mature. Many of us will marry and start families. It is often in this season that we begin to question our identities and our purpose in life. Let me tell that I have at times. Just remember to pray carefully over your life and what God would have you to do. Raising littles can be hard but God considers this important work and we should take it seriously.

This is probably the season where we can each learn and grow the most.Whether we have children or not we will learn to put the needs of others before our own needs. We will learn the joy of serving others and of seeing the joy we can bring to others.

If we have children it can also be one of the most terrifying seasons of our lives. When they place that child in your arms for the first time and you suddenly realize that you are responsible for that tiny life. That tiny little person will be totally dependent upon you for the first few years of their life.

This season of life can be very demanding. You can find yourself cycling through emotions of complete bliss, sadness, full of energy, or complete exhaustion. This is normal when you are raising kids, trying to balance a household, and maybe even working a job. Don’t give up as there is a purpose for every season.

Slow down and try your best to enjoy this season of sticky kisses and dirty hands. These days will pass by too quickly and you will end up looking back wondering how they grew up so fast. You will be watching your kids as they progress through their own seasons of their lives. Stop and look for something to be thankful for when the days seem difficult.

Before you know it your hair will be turning gray and your joints will be creaking and popping. You will yearn for the laughter of little ones when your house grows quiet. You will long for the days you held a sleeping baby in your arms or the smell of a newborn after a bath.

So when you are mopping your sticky floors, rocking that baby in the middle of the night, shopping for groceries, or driving the kids back and forth from practice be encouraged that this is just a season. I know how hard this season can be but please pray for patience and strength. Ask for wisdom and knowledge and he will supply you with more than enough.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (KJV)

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;  A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

Its been one of those days

I think all of us has had ‘one of those days’. Well it’s a Monday, and it’s a Monday after a time change so I have a strong feeling it will be one of those days everyday for the next week or so. If you have young kids, special needs kids, or maybe even no kids then you know what I mean. That one hour time difference can wreck havoc to your normal routines.

My kids don’t understand what is going on except that they are more tired and cranky than usual. Their stomachs are telling them it’s time to eat and Momma is making them wait which makes them irritable beyond belief. When you multiply that by 5 (the youngest ones) then things can get rough, really rough. The nonstop bickering and squabbling before lunch time had me threatening to send everyone back to bed for the day. Sigh, it was pretty awful.

The littles were up before 6:00! They had gotten themselves dressed and came to my bedroom asking for breakfast. Well, Momma was in the shower and they posted themselves by the bathroom door and made sure I knew they were there. They were all excited when I opened the door and they went and turned on the kitchen light, which is the signal that everyone can get up, and began making their rounds to wake everyone up. I had to explain to them that it wasn’t time yet and that Momma needed a few minutes to herself. I sent them back to their room to play quietly until 7:00, which I am certain seemed like it would be an eternity to them.

Momma really needed her ‘quiet time’ this morning. I knew from past experience that things can get rough and hairy after Daylight Savings Time so I wanted to prepare myself. I was able to get through my morning prayer and some of my devotional before being interrupted again by some very impatient and hungry little boys. The little time I had was well worth it and it did help to sustain me through the morning.

When everyone was up they just wanted to argue and complain about everything from making their beds (which they do everyday before breakfast) to putting their dirty dishes up. The littles didn’t want to help with their laundry or straightening their room. The older ones didn’t want to their morning chores and really weren’t interested in school work at all.

I had put some calming oil in our diffuser and some quiet music on to no avail. It did not seem to have any affect on the crankiness or irritability today.  I wish I had taken some photos of all the grumpy faces at the table this morning.

On top of cranky kids I had to make some phone calls to try to straighten out a problem with one of our phones. Well, this was the 3rd or 4th time I’ve called and I couldn’t get anyone on the other end of the phone to understand the problem. When I ask for a manager they just hang up on me. I guess I’ll be trying again tomorrow.

Then we had an issue with one of the sites we use for lessons. Not sure if it was all technical problems or more user error. Both of my younger girls seem to have lost the ability to read directions and work independently today. So, while attempting to do a reading lesson with my special needs son, and then some hands on work with the littles both of the girls kept interrupting with silly things.

However, we did make to lunch time with all but one of the kids finished with their school work. The one who didn’t will just have to finish it tomorrow as he has been in meltdown mode all day. He likes his schedule, if anything messes with his schedule then he gets mad, upset, angry at the world (which is everyone in the house right now). He was certain he would starve to death before lunch time got here, even after a mid-morning snack, but I am pleased to say that he did survive and so did I!

After lunch was nap time, Hallelujah! I’m not kidding, I was thanking God for letting me make it to nap time without completely losing all patience. Did I mention that I’ve been feeling a little puny the past few days? Well, 1 sick momma + 5 cranky kids = lots of unhappy people. Not a happy equation at all. It took a lot of prayers to keep my sanity and patience this morning.

So, finally everyone went down for a nap and I finished up with my house blessing aka cleaning. Mr. Starving refused be quiet, he has been talking almost non-stop for 2 days in a row! He wants to make sure everyone knows that he is not happy with this change of routine.

When my teenage daughter was up and about I left to run some errands and have some ‘me’ time… grocery shopping. Yep, I consider grocery shopping as ‘me’ time. At least it wasn’t too busy but I do believe there were quite a few other people who were not liking this time change either.

So, I am home again. Dinner is in the crock pot, thank goodness, and it smells wonderful. I was going to make some rolls, I still might, but we may end up just buttering some bread to go with it. I’ve sent the kids out to play, hoping they will get rid of some of that pent up energy.

I sat down to check my site and I hear one of the kids screaming which isn’t unusual when they are playing. Then another says someone is bleeding, I get up to go see and big sister already had little man with her. He had blood on his head, don’t panic, as a fairly seasoned Momma of 9 I know that it is usually worse than it first looks.

I escort little man to the bathroom and explain to him that we need to clean it up and check it out. He wants to know if he needs to go to the doctor or if he can go back outside to play. That’s a boy for you. He stayed amazingly calm through the whole process and as it turns out it was just a little scratch on the top of his head. After a kiss and a few minutes of rest he was ready to play again. I thank God again for keeping him safe.

I think I’m going to finish up here and go have a few ‘quiet’ minutes to myself in my room before dinner time gets here. Maybe I can finish up my devotional for today? I will sit by my window and watch my kiddos playing in the yard and just try to enjoy the rest of the day and pray that it will go smoother than this morning did. (If it doesn’t get better we may have an early bed time.)

When it’s all said and done though I am thankful for everyday, good or bad, because I know that God is working in our midst. He is using days like today to teach us patience and understanding. He is making us stronger and wiser and preparing us for things that lie ahead. He is there for us and will give us what we need, if we will only seek his word and ask him for his help.

Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

Our ever changing homeschool routine

Original Blog Post April 15, 2016
I just posted about the beginnings of our homeschooling journey. We have made several changes and continue to make changes as needed to keep everything running as smoothly as possible. When we first started this school year I was a bit overambitious and I was stressed.
I must thank the FlyLady for helping get my routines set up and keeping me motivated! There is also a FB group for anyone who is interested in learning more about this method. With that being said a routine is very important also. At least for our family that is. We have one child who has Down’s Syndrome and ADHD as well as some other issues and another child who has ADHD and ODD (oppositional defiant disorder).
Routine is the key to helping everyone stay on track. With a routine they know what is expected and when it is expected. We have tried various charts and methods for posting our routine. It was pretty strict at first but I have relaxed a lot since we first started. We do have a few things posted as a general outline of the day.
I have some visual learners and they really need to see it every day. Then we also have a HUGE calendar that we keep things on also. This has made a tremendous difference with my kids. We did have another schedule board posted in the kitchen. It had our morning chores and morning school activities on it. The kids would move a clothespin down to each activity and they really enjoyed it. The only problem was that occasionally we wouldn’t do something in the order it was on the chart and my one son would get really upset about it. Now its just more of a general ‘To-Do’ list that we need to complete for the morning, afternoon and evening.
I usually get up about 6:00 am and take my quick shower. I will get dressed and fix my hair. Then I head to the kitchen and try to sneak in a little ‘Mommy Time’ before the pitter-patter of little feet. I will fix my coffee and go over my daily schedule on my online calendar. I have been known to forget about a doctor’s appointment or such. I also try to look at the menu and get started on dinner if it is a crockpot meal. (Menus will be another post.) I will usually unload the dishwasher and put away the dishes that go in the top cupboards. I leave the lower cupboard items on the counter for the girls to put up when they get up.
I have been trying to keep the kids in their rooms until 7:00 am to give me a little time but sometimes the little guys find their way to the kitchen before then. I will fix breakfast and usually have it on the table when the kids make it to the kitchen. The basic morning routines for the kids include:
Wake up
Make your bed
Get dressed
Brush your hair
Go potty (I have a few who still need to be reminded of this on a pretty consistent basis.)
Eat breakfast
Brush your teeth
I keep it fairly simple and we do have a small sheet posted with pictures (for those who can’t read yet) and words to help remind them of what needs done.
After breakfast everyone helps with a quick clean up and some chores which vary day by day. We even include these on our school schedule as ‘Life Skills’ as they are learning how to care for a home. While the kids are cleaning up I get the laptops set up for school and get everyone’s work out for the day. (I have a multi-tabbed color coded folder which helps me stay organized. Each child has a different color.)I usually just open up tabs on the laptops with each assignment for the day. When they finish the assignment they leave the tab open until I come around and check.
We then have our ‘Morning Time/Circle Time’, not sure what to call it, where we go over patterns, calendar, counting, money/time, weather, bible, and whatever extra materials I have set out for the day. (Again I have a 3-ring binder with different activities organized by the day. Sometimes we get to them and sometimes we don’t. I used to stress over making sure I covered it all but now I don’t.) We sometimes include a quick workout/dance video or other activity to get the wiggles out. Then we will have a quick snack around 9:30 am. This usually takes us 15-30 minutes.
My 7 & 9 year old will sit at the kitchen island while the boys sit at the kitchen table. When everyone gets settled in to doing their work I will check the bedrooms and make sure the beds are made. (I don’t make their beds for them or do any unfinished chores but will have them go back and do it if needs done.) I also clean the back bathroom and check the second bathroom to make sure the kids have cleaned it. This usually takes 5-10 minutes tops.
I will check on the girls and see if they need help with anything and see if they need help with anything. (My high schooler works independently and she will ask for help when she needs it.) Then I will sit with the boys and we will work with our hands on activities and/or crafts. We will also go through their lessons online and watch a few YouTube videos of their choosing, lately they just want to watch dinosaur videos.
While the little boys watch a short video or two I work with my older son on his reading lessons. On good days he will get finished really quickly and then there are bad days where he says he doesn’t know any of the words. He knows that we won’t go to the next activity until he finishes his reading so I try to keep something he enjoys for last. Sometimes it is ABC mouse or Teach Your Monster to Read and other times it may be a puzzle or game.
Before lunch time we usually have our ‘Independent Work’ completed. This includes reading, language arts, and math. When everyone is finishing up they will begin cleaning up their workspaces. Each child will put their completed work into a color coded folder so Mommy can find it later and decide what to keep for their portfolio. Ideally I like to go through these once a week but right now their folders are overflowing. (This would have driven me nuts a couple of months ago but now I know I will get to it, eventually.)
After cleaning up we will get started on lunch. This is usually around 11:30 am. Sometimes I have lunch boxes prepared with leftovers from the night before or sometimes I just make lunches in the morning and put the boxes in the refrigerator for later. Most days everyone eats lunch together.
While eating lunch I will do some reading with them. (Right now we are reading from Uncle Tom’s Cabin for history.) When they are finished with lunch we have a quick clean up and everyone takes a potty break. I will start the dishwasher and check on my menu if I haven’t already put something in the crockpot for dinner.
Until just this past month everyone would go lie down for ‘Quiet Time’ after lunch. I found that they really didn’t want to finish their work after they got up and it would just drag the afternoon on and on and on. So now after lunch we just go right into our ‘Group Studies’ which are History, Science, Art, Music and PE/Health. Everyone works together on these subjects. We do a lot of lapbooks and sometimes we will look up videos for areas they are interested in. If the work is complicated I will give the little ones coloring pages or another activity to work on while the older ones do their work. This little change has been working much better for us.
After ‘Group Studies’ all of the kids have some ‘Quiet Time’. This is usually over around 2:00 pm. Then they can go outside and play or go to our playroom to play depending on the weather. We just have one rule at ‘Quiet Time’ which is ‘No Feet on the Floor!’. This gives me a chance to work on my grocery list, couponing, or entering grades and checking over our daily schedule to make sure I haven’t missed something.
Once ‘Quiet Time’ is over we will have a quick snack. I will go outside, usually with a kid or two following, and feed the pigs and check for eggs. We will also check the garden and pick any veggies that are ready or anything that we may need for dinner. We come in and wash the goodies we have found.
I will start on dinner between 4:00 – 5:00 pm. This is another thing I changed recently. I ALWAYS had dinner ready by 5:00 pm. That’s another story for another day though. Our family has had some major changes in the past couple of years and I have just had to make adjustments to help us all through it. Life happens and now dinner will be ready sometime between 5:30 – 6:30 pm. Today it was ready by 5:00 pm but that has been a rarity lately. Once 5:30 pm rolls around I will have kids complaining that they are starving and must eat so I try to have it ready close to that time.
After dinner we clean up and do some quick chores. The kids will have some quiet play or reading time and then the kids will take baths and put on PJs. They are usually in bed around 7:30 pm except for the oldest and the youngest. I will sit with the younger ones until they are sleepy and then help them to bed. My oldest will finish up her school work and I will finish up any desk work I have left for the day. I am usually exhausted and in bed by 9:00 pm. Exciting isn’t it?
Now you may notice that we do have chores a couple of times during the day. Our chores only take 5-15 minutes at a time. I have found by having a few ‘quick pickups’ spaced out through the day it keeps us from having a major mess at the end of the day. Even the little ones can help with clean ups. Not every day goes very smooth or ends with a clean house.
With a routine you need to decide what will work for your family. Don’t be too strict about it but it may also be wise not to be too relaxed either. Start simple and as things slowly. Sit down and decide what you would like to accomplish each day/week and decide what the important things are. Assign a general time to have these things completed. I have found that by breaking the day up into smaller chunks of time it really keeps me from being overwhelmed.
Remember that you can change your routine if it isn’t working. With our family what works today may not work tomorrow and may need a complete overhaul to get everyone back on track again. Don’t be afraid of change!
Good luck!

Summer Break

Original Blog Post June 6, 2016
It’s ‘Summer Break’ at our house… more like ‘Wedding Break’ as I had originally planned on schooling through the year. We took a break off to finish up big sister’s wedding and then we were scheduled to start back today. That’s not happening though as I am exhausted.
I bought ‘The Prairie Primer’ to use for the summer but I haven’t actually started it yet. It goes along with ‘The Little House on The Prairie’ series. I loved these books when I was a kid and I kind of want to pass these on to my kids.
I plan to buy some other books to go along with the studies like:
The Little House Cookbook: Frontier Foods from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Classic Stories
My Little House Crafts Book: 18 Projects from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House Stories
My Book of Little House Paper Dolls: The Big Woods Collection
My Little House Sewing Book
There are other books and materials that I could get also but I’m just not sure how in depth I want to go with it. I guess it all depends on how interested the kids get into the study.
I think this will be fun and big sister has been recording the series on the DVR so they can watch some of them also.
For now though they have been learning about different crafts and activities and also learning some social skills. We will also continue to go to the zoo, museums (which reminds me of a really neat dinosaur exhibit I need to check in to), camping, fishing and other outings as the opportunities come up.
What plans do you have for your ‘Summer Break’?

Beware of the Jezebels

Recently I was doing a study on being a help meet. I have done this same study before when I was married and I just needed something to occupy my mind. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to refresh myself on it in the event that the good Lord may send someone my way.

As I was reading there was a section on Jezebel. It concerned me greatly because of recent events going on around us.You can read more about her in 1 Kings. There is also mention of her in Revelation 2:20. (As I write this I am referring to Jezebel as a woman but men can also have this evil spirit within them too.)

She will prey on people who are smart and intelligent. She will want to be friends with those in power like the pastor, the boss, or other people with positions of leadership and power. She will gradually corrupt their visions and thoughts. She will poison them and everyone around them. She can and will destroy them and everything around them. This includes marriages, families and churches.

She will prey on those who are weak. She will find weaknesses where there seem to be none. She may start out as being a follower to these individuals only to assert her power over them at a later time. She will use her followers like puppets to spread her poison throughout.

Jezebel will often appear to be a very spiritual person. She will appear to be more religiously devoted than others and will often claim to be inspired by God, a prophetess. People will follow her advice only to find themselves deceived in the end.

She will defend and become confrontational if accused of doing something. No matter how horrible, sick, or perverted the act she will never admit any wrongdoing and will never repent. She will justify everything she does by her ‘visions’ or by her spiritual insights. She will never show any true humility.

She will challenge authority figures and will attempt to be a leader in every situation. She will go to extremes to discredit the leaders and to cause them to fall. She will be very critical and judgmental and will be so convincing that others will fall victim to their lies and believe them as well. Jezebel will constantly eat away at their victim’s self confidence until there is nothing left. Jezebel will constantly play mind games and create situations that cause themselves to be the center of attention.

The Jezebel spirit is an extremely powerful demonic spirit of perversion, lust, manipulation, mind control, witchcraft and the occult. It can manifest itself in various forms such as lies, rumors, strife, adultery, fornication, homosexuality, competition, bitterness and hatred.

We can see these traits in many women of power. These women claim to be working for the good and may seem to be charming, friendly, trustworthy and generous but they will and have deceived us.

When we use them as role models we see our lives falling apart, our families, our marriages, our communities, our churches and our country will also fall apart.

When a Jezebel is in a position of leadership then she will bring shame to her position. She will cause the downfall of whatever endeavor she is involved in.

If a Jezebel is trying to control her marriage then it can be devastating. She will attack her husband’s role as head of the family. This spirit will undermine her husband and make him lose interest in his responsibility to his family. He will become distant with her and will not feel that he can trust her with his feelings.

Eventually it will cause all kinds of chaos and strife in the family. Parents and kids will constantly be fighting and arguing over everything. There will be no peace to be found.

If you can relate to any of these traits then you can begin by asking God to forgive you. Ask God to show you the way out of the darkness and he will begin to make the change.

If you see this in your church or somewhere around you then be prepared for a fight as this spirit is very powerful and it will take a great battle to rid this spirit.

Who can you count on?

Original Blog Post June 6, 2016
I haven’t posted in a bit as I have been super busy around here. My oldest daughter got married last Friday!
Last minute struggles, cancellations and changes had us all running a little crazy around here. Lucky for us we have a BIG family and a few very loyal friends.
The week before the wedding the photographer had cancelled and the catering plans were changed. There were other issues like no one had finished the music, dresses still needed altering and other last minute things. We dealt with each issue one at a time.

Continue reading Who can you count on?

Life

Original Blog Post April 5, 2016
As we live our lives we learn that sometimes things don’t always turn out as we planned. Things don’t stay the same and forever doesn’t always mean forever. Life is not always easy but we as long as we learn from our mistakes and keep getting back up then we will be successful.
The past few years have been hard for our family. Dealing with many issues like adoptions, births, and family members moving out of the house to start new lives. We have also made the decision to begin homeschooling our children and that in itself has had resulted in its own set of challenges but it has also been a blessing to us in so many ways.
We have many challenges in life and we just have to learn to adjust and find ways to work around them or sometimes to work with them. Today’s burden may become tomorrow’s blessing.
I am starting this blog with the hopes of helping other families, as well as my own, with some of life’s problems and disappointments. I pray that we can be a blessing to others who may be going through similar situations.
Keep checking back in with us and I’m sure that my posts will get better with time. May God bless each and everyone who reads and follows us on this journey called LIFE.

Its Not About Me.

Original Blog Post July 12, 2016
Over the past few weeks I have had my feelings hurt quite a bit by someone close to me. I couldn’t understand what I had done to deserve the treatment I was receiving. It brought back so many painful childhood memories and was making me think about making some major life changes.
I didn’t confide in many people about how I was feeling and those people didn’t believe what was going on could be as bad as I felt it was until they saw it for their own eyes. Feeling justified in my feelings didn’t help anything. It didn’t change the behavior either.
Then things kind of blew up a few days ago. This person was being more annoying than ever. This person had to be the center of attention at ALL times. They demanded the attention and if they didn’t get it then they would make up something to get it. I kept feeling like I was being reprimanded for things that they imagined had happened. I noticed that problems were being instigated by these imaginary events. This person was becoming increasingly arrogant and rude to everyone around them.
Finally myself and someone else just told them that we were tired of it. Apparently one after another we let him know how we felt. Did that stop the behavior? No, because it got turned around that we were the ones with the problem. They were the innocent party in the whole mess and couldn’t understand why people were upset with them. Things were a bit tense for a bit but eventually cooled down.
I had lost my temper, which takes a lot, because this person kept accusing me of causing something. Finally after beating myself up over this I had enough. The next time they got in my face about it then I just told them to ‘Stop!’, and I walked away but I ended up looking like the dramatic one.
As I’ve thought about the events I realize that this has been an ongoing problem. When I was younger I never felt like anything I did was ever good enough. No matter what award or achievement I reached this person always had something to top it. No matter how much stuff this person has they always need more. If the neighbor gets something then they have to have one bigger and better too. (Even if they have 10 of them not being used already.) They were always quick to dole out criticism but angered if someone gave it back to them. These are just a few of the things that I have been reminded of.
As I’ve thought about the events I realize that this has been an ongoing problem. When I was younger I never felt like anything I did was ever good enough. No matter what award or achievement I reached this person always had something to top it. No matter how much stuff this person has they always need more. If the neighbor gets something then they have to have one bigger and better too. (Even if they have 10 of them not being used already.) They were always quick to dole out criticism but angered if someone gave it back to them. These are just a few of the things that I have been reminded of.
When it boils down to it this person is selfish and doesn’t truly care about the feelings of the people around them. They only look at what they can gain from being around others and don’t take into account how others will feel about being used.
This person was robbing me of my joy. I no longer wanted to even be around them. They even had me questioning my own memories about past events.
Well I say enough is enough. I refuse to be a doormat for the rude and degrading behaviors that have been going on lately. Is this going to be easy? Probably not, but I am determined that things will change or other changes will have to be made.

Dear Special Needs Parent

Original Blog Post on July 12, 2016
Dear Special Needs Parent, I see you in the grocery store, at the doctor’s office, and at the park. I see the smiles that hide the tears. I see the tired look you try to hide. I hear the little sigh you let out when another mom talks about ‘date night’ or a milestone their child has reached. How do I see and hear all of this? I am a special needs mom, a single parent, a homeschooling mom, and so much more.
I know how hard it is to get up at the crack of dawn because your kid is already up and calling for you, even though they didn’t fall asleep until late. I know how hard it is to divide your attention between the kids, the chores, and all that has to be done. Much less finding time to do things for yourself like shower.
Honestly, I can’t remember the last ‘date night’ I’ve had or even the last time I was away from my kids for a night. (Maybe when the 3 year old was born?) I know that when you try to plan an outing it drains you because of all the things you have to be prepared for. You are exhausted by the time you get everything and everyone packed and ready.
Things that were once fun can still be fun but they are oh so exhausting now days. We have our good days when nobody has a melt down (or maybe just a couple of melt downs for the day), nobody wets the bed, and everyone eats what you made for dinner.
Then we have the bad days. The days when everything causes a meltdown, from the French Toast you make every Tuesday to keep things on a simple routine, to the thunder they thought they heard, or the little brother who is stuck on singing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star (which was big brother’s favorite song yesterday but is irritating him today). Sigh, I know.
Then we have the really bad days were we just want to go back to bed. The days when you have done 3 loads of laundry before 6 am. When you have showered your 13 year old 4 times before 7am and stripped his room (and the bathroom) and completely disinfected and sanitized it for the 3rd day in a row. The days when he has forgotten/refuses to do anything for himself and calls you every bad name he can think of and then some that you can’t and don’t want to understand. I’ve been there. Sometimes these phases last a day or two or sometimes a week or two.
I can remember a few years ago when I had to clean my son’s room. It was a horrible mess. I grabbed rubber gloves and trash bags. I went to his room and opened the window. I filled those bags and started tossing them out the window because it was so nasty and I just couldn’t bear the thought of cleaning the stuff again just to have him repeat this scene again in a day or two. I was about 3 weeks from my due date with our 8th child. While cleaning I started throwing up because it was so bad. I ended up in the hospital for 3 days, at one point they thought I would be delivering the baby early. This was a week before Christmas and we had already planned a party for friends and family. The timing couldn’t have been worse. The party was cancelled and all last minute Christmas shopping went undone. But we made it through that and you will make it through whatever it is that you are going through right now too. (A very healthy baby boy was born 2 weeks later.)
I have my kids 24/7 with only a slight reprieve two times a week (when he feels like coming or something else doesn’t come up in his schedule) for maybe 2 hours a time (which was scheduled to be 5 hours each time but he never makes it that long). I can’t leave because something always happens. Sometimes I go to my bedroom or sit outside but the kids usually wander away and end up with me so I really have almost no ‘Me time’.
I know the brave front you put on when you are out and about. I know the fear when the kid next to you wipes their snotty nose on their hand and then goes to play with your kid. I know that if my kid catches whatever that is that life will be miserable for the next week or two. Not too mention the fact that it will eventually spread through the house and I’ll end up sick trying to tend to 6 kids by myself too. Yep, I know.
I also know that we need to be there for each other. We need to be a support system for each other. Whether by joining blogs or Facebook groups. If someone offers to help then let them. They can do dishes, wash laundry or just sit with the kids while you nap. Maybe when you the kids get comfortable you can even sneak away to do the grocery shopping by yourself.
Don’t keep trying to do it by yourself as you will just crash and burn. Trust me, I know.
If you are a friend or neighbor, maybe a parent or sibling of someone who has a special needs child please know that they do need you and they need your support. I can’t tell you how much it means just to chat for a minute on Messenger or a couple of texts when I am having a hard day. Let me tell you that I will never turn down food, especially ready to eat food. When someone shows up unexpectedly at the door with an armload of pizzas it is a wonderful feeling to know they were thinking about you.