January 2, 2017

I’m sitting here writing this before 7pm and I am exhausted. This past week has seemed like an eternity. The kids have been super hyper, family tensions have exploded, and life has just been down right crazy. There have been many times this past week that, even in the midst of all the chaos, I have felt so lonely.

That’s how life goes though. We have to have the bad to know what the good is. We need the craziness to keep us on our toes. It all works together to mold us and shape us into who we need to be.

There have been some really good moments and some funny ones too. Today DS3 asked me for a piece of ‘turned over cake’ aka Pineapple Upside-Down Cake. He was so happy to get a piece after dinner. It’s amazing how the simplest things can bring a smile to a child’s face.

Then there was this little couple at the grocery store today. They were older, reminded me a bit of my mom-mom and pop-pop, but they were so cute. I wanted to snap a picture but I didn’t want them to think I was completely off my rocker so I didn’t. I was happy to see them but also a little sad.

Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever have that. That’s what I signed up for, not once or twice, but three times now. Three times it hasn’t worked out. It seems that every time I see a little glimpse of that it slips away from me and feels like it was just a figment of my imagination.

That’s when the Devil slips in and tries to tell me that I’m not good enough or that I’ll never be enough for anyone. He reminds me of my past failures and he points out my kids. He tells me that noone would ever be crazy enough to sign up for all of this.

Well, he is WRONG! I know he is. How do I know? Because God has said that I am His daughter and He is the KING! If it is God’s best for me then I will have it. So, I will try my best to be content where I am right now. Even though where I am right now is not where I thought I was a week or so ago. It is so hard to keep the faith sometimes but I will trust in His promises.

Even when times are hard God is there. We may not see Him or feel Him but He is there. When it seems like the dead of winter is upon us, He is with us. He is working on us, pruning us, shaping us, molding us for the plans He has for us. We may not see the fruits of our labors right now but we will see them in the future. He is so good!

Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls;

Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. 

The Lord God is my strength, and He will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.

— Habakkuk 3: 17-19

Getting Routines Started 101

‘Your first obligation as a parent is to not bring chaos into your kids’ lives.’

OK, I should’ve written this before I started on the other posts about routines. I didn’t realize until I was writing another post, how complicated and daunting routines can seem. Truth be told we all have some kind of routine already. Continue reading “Getting Routines Started 101”

December 1, 2016

Well, today started early, like 1:30 am early. I went to bed last night with a headache and woke up sick. No fun at all. I turned my phone on and had all kinds of messages that I had missed during the night. (I almost never turn my phone off but my headache was really bad.) I did feel better after I took a shower though.

After my shower I did have almost a whole hour of ‘quiet time’. I spent that time going through my prayer journal and thanking God for the answered prayers. I also added a few new ones. I read my devotional and worked on a study that I had out. I also let my Bible fall open and read out of Psalms. It was just what I needed to help calm my soul and renew my strength this morning.

After messaging my best friend I had a long talk with God and had to hand something over to Him, something I should’ve immediately handed over last night, but stubbornly thought I could handle it on my own. (Which is how I ended up with a headache.) I felt such a relief and got the answer I needed once I let go. God is so good!

I am so thankful to have friends who can make me feel better when I’m down and who remind me that I don’t need to stress over things.

The kids were up super early and started tattling right away. My one son was in a grumpy kind of mood which did improve a little but not much. In fact, he is grumpier right now than he was this morning  He is currently voicing his opinion about bedtime through his bedroom door.

Then I remembered it was December 1st which meant that I needed to change out our school calendar. This lead to me realizing that I had forgot to print out the new calendar stuff for December (I admit I forgot last year too). So I grabbed the laminator and the paper cutter. I printed off the pages I needed and got to work laminating them.

My 3 year old loves to watch the laminator. He gets so excited to see what we are making. He was also my little helper and helped me to carry everything over to the playroom and get it all set up. We had a card left over, St. Nicholas day, and I didn’t know what day it was for sure.

So we went to the laptop and asked my dear friend, Google, for the answer. My son was very curious as to who ‘Doogle’ was and where he lived. He wanted to see a picture but forgot about that when I offered to let him put the final card in place. (December 6th in case you were wondering.)

We did manage to get our school work finished by 12. The girls have really been dragging their feet this week. I’m so glad tomorrow is Friday! I tried to get my daily chores finished and pay bills while they were working but that was pretty impossible today.

I did my laundry, as my laundry day is on Thursday, and then I carried my hang-dry items to my room. My oldest daughter was in there working out so I set them on the dresser with the intentions of going back to finish them shortly. The other clothes got dried and I left the ones that needed pressed on the dryer until I could get them. Well, I didn’t remember the wet ones until after lunch and they left a wet mark on my dresser. I just finished pressing the others after dinner. Now though I can say that task is completed for this week. Yay!

I did manage to finish my grocery list this morning, print my sales lists, and clip coupons. I pulled out my big coupon binder and started to get it set up again.One of my goals for 2017 is to be a better steward of what God has blessed me with. I think couponing will help me with this goal. At one time I was doing extremely well but I kinda fell off track with all of the different things I’ve been taking care of this past year.

I set out with $200 and my first stop was to put gas in my truck. Then to make a few more stops. I managed to find a few books to go under the tree and a few for stockings at Dollar Tree. I also picked up a few things to go along with our Advent study which I also confess has not began like I thought it would.  Being sick with the flu last week really did a number on me and I’m still not feeling quite 100%.

At another store I found a great deal on some meat. There was a BOGO sale on ground pork and ground pork patties. Well, I happened to find 4 packs of patties on sale that had been marked down $2 on top of the BOGO making them almost free! Then even better I found some stew beef also marked down $2. I know some people don’t like these sales but I grab them whenever I can unless the meat looks questionable. I have a big freezer and I know that even cheap cuts of meat will become tender in the crock pot or pressure cooker.

After two more stops and saving over $100 in sales and coupons I still had a little cash in my pocket. I stopped by the ‘relaxation station’ aka Island Shack Tanning Salon. I know, tanning isn’t really healthy, but the warm beds really do help my sore muscles a lot. Plus I usually sneak in a little nap in too.

After my quick nap I stopped to put air in my tire as I had found a note on my windshield informing me of a low tire. So sweet of someone to let me know, I really did appreciate that. Then back home to unload my grocery haul.

Upon exiting my vehicle the geese and the cat promptly notified me that I had forgotten to feed them earlier so groceries had to wait. Big sister heard me pull in and came to help. She had unloaded most of them by the time I had finished feeding which was a great help.

The kids all helped me to put away the groceries. They like to help because they can see what goodies and treats I might’ve gotten. They also enjoy trying to guess what Momma is going to make by looking at the groceries that I brought home. After everything was put away I sat down for a moment to try to decide what I needed to do and what was just gonna have to wait until tomorrow.

I still need to dig out our Christmas stuff. Who am I kidding? I still need to put away the Fall decor! (Speaking of which, I did find the cutest little pilgrim salt and pepper shakers today, on clearance!) Christmas is all packed neatly in some large green totes so I know where it is, I just haven’t brought it in.

I did bring in a tote and some boxes with the intentions of packing away the Fall decor but dinner had to be made. Then the clothes were calling me from the top of the dryer. I still haven’t vacuumed the floors either, but I won’t tell anyone if you don’t.

Today was visitation and Daddy had already promised to help them with a craft today. They made some paper Christmas trees. I even broke out the art supplies which included sequins and pom-poms. I wasn’t brave enough to bring out the glitter though. They turned out really well even thought some kids really didn’t want to follow along with the video.

christmas-trees

I love it when he does things like that with them. It helps them to strengthen their bond and also creates memories that will last for a long time. He also made his own tree, that they helped to decorate, to take home with him. The boys made him some ‘presents’ to go under his tree too.

Dinner consisted of Sloppy Joes, seasoned fries, and some homemade coleslaw (1 bag of slaw, a bit of mayo, a little sugar, and a splash of white vinegar. I’ll have to work on that recipe as I just kinda dump and taste as I go.) One of the little boys got excited when he saw the buns and the cheese. He had been asking for hamburgers but he thought Sloppy Joes were close enough and he actually asked for seconds.

After baths big sister wanted to try her hand at some No Bake Cookies. (Last night she made Easy Sugar Cookies.) She involved everyone in the process and they thoroughly enjoyed themselves. They enjoyed measuring, stirring, and of course the taste testing! I’m not so sure that chocolate right before bedtime was a such a good idea though as little man is refusing to go to bed now.

So all in all we had a great day. Lots of memories were made too. That’s what life is about. We have to do the best we can with what we have. Each and everyday is a new day with a fresh start.

I think my kids will remember these days when they get older. They won’t be worrying about whether or not I vacuumed the floor. They also probably won’t be traumatized by not having a Christmas tree up the day after Thanksgiving. (We’ve agreed that we will set it up on St. Nicholas Day and I drew a picture of a Christmas tree on my desk calendar for them to look at.)

They will also look back on the pictures and hopefully remember how much fun they had making crafts with their dad. We may have our differences but I am so thankful that we have been able to work through them and/or put them aside for the sake of our kids. Even though our relationship as husband and wife is over we are still connected through our kids and will always have that bond. It is important for us to continue to work together to be the best parents we can be for our children.

I am off to bed but first I need to walk little man to his bed. Then I have a few things that I need to add to my prayer list. Have a blessed night!

 

 

 

It’s Natalie not Octomom

I’m sure most of us remember the story about “Octomom’. The single mother of 6 who underwent IVF and gave birth to octuplets. There was a ton of media coverage and backlash on anyone involved in the controversy. It raised a lot of questions about a lot of different issues that I am not going to get into. Continue reading “It’s Natalie not Octomom”

Enjoy your season

Four seasons to a year

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. Continue reading “Enjoy your season”

Don’t feed the lizards!

Continue reading “Don’t feed the lizards!”

Taking out the trash.

Continue reading “Taking out the trash.”

Shattered

This post was from my original blog…

 

Continue reading “Shattered”

So What Now?

Original Blog Post-May 6, 2016
It’s been 10 days since I went to court for the Final Hearing on our divorce. It seemed like a dream. I knew it would eventually be finished but I dreaded the day when it was.
Yesterday my now ex-husband texted and wanted to know, ‘So are we divorced now or what?’
I replied sarcastically, ‘What’s the big hurry?

Continue reading “So What Now?”

Trying to find a new balance

Original Blog Post-May 20, 2016
I haven’t posted in a bit as I’ve been so busy here at home. We went on a camping trip to RELAX… yeah, not a lot of relaxing when you take kids and grandpa with you. It was a very fun and interesting trip though. I will definitely want to do it again soon.

Continue reading “Trying to find a new balance”

Another Day

Another Day Original Blog Post-April 21, 2016
I’m sitting here trying to finish a cup of coffee before anyone else wakes up. After my overwhelming day yesterday… actually the past little bit which has been full of weeks and months of overwhelming days I really need a break. I’m not picky, I’ll take them whenever I can get them.
I hope everyone is a little less stressed and overwhelmed as I am. I am telling myself that today will be better than yesterday and I am determined that it will be.

Continue reading “Another Day”

“Take My Hand, Precious Lord”

When I am sad, even when I am happy for that matter, songs often pop into my head. Today as I sat on the edge of the bathtub waiting for the 3-year-old to go potty for the umpteenth time this morning I sighed, one of those ‘I am so tired’ kind of sighs and this song popped into my head and I prayed right then and there.
This song has always touched my heart and maybe its because I feel like this so often.

Continue reading ““Take My Hand, Precious Lord””