Tag Archives: stressed

Homeschooling Through The Unexpected

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We’ve all been there… or some of us have. I was once a very efficient, organized, multitasking homeschooling Momma. I still am for the most part but I have learned that you also need a lot of flexibility and patience.

There will be times when your plans go perfectly and everything seems to be so easy. But then there will be times when your homeschool is complete CHAOS! This can happen in the blink of an eye and without warning. Continue reading Homeschooling Through The Unexpected

13 Fun First Day Back To HomeSchool Ideas

**This post does contain some affiliate links which could possibly earn me a small commission if a purchase was made through them. These links help to support our blog and our family.

I can remember how excited I always was on my first day back to school. I loved school as a kid and I was always so eager to learn. My best memories were of the teachers who let us play games or gave us special treats on that first day. Maybe they were just trying to bribe us but it was something I remember.

As a homeschooling Momma I can find ways to bring that excitement into our homeschool. I try to keep things fun and interesting and sometimes do something a little crazy. Check out my new Pinterest board, Homeschool: First Day Activities. Continue reading 13 Fun First Day Back To HomeSchool Ideas

December 27, 2016

It’s been a long day, a very long day. Actually it’s been a couple of long days, one right after another. I’m exhausted, I’m worn out, I’ve been pushed to my limits time and time again. But somehow I keep finding the strength to keep going to keep putting one foot in front of another and just to keep doing what needs to be done. 

The holidays are a fun and exciting time for everyone. So many different things going on but sometimes it can get overwhelming for everyone. Especially when you have young kids or kids with special needs. They can get so easily overstimulated or hyped up on sugar. Then when they come crashing down that’s the not so fun part. 

So yesterday was pretty hard, it’s been pretty wild and crazy here and today wasn’t a whole lot better. Plus we’ve had some other issues going on that I’ve been trying to deal with and haven’t had much success at all. I really feel like I’m just spinning my wheels. 

To top it all off I’m not feeling very well, not sure if it’s just stress or maybe I’m coming down with something. 

But I know that when  I lay down that I’ll wake refreshed and ready to make a fresh start in the morning. He will give me the strength and the courage to face another day. He will give me the patience and the wisdom I will need to handle whatever situation comes my way. I thank him so much for that. 

So for now I’m going to say good night and pray that sleep comes quickly. 

Remember that if you are weary or heavy laden you too can find rest if you only take your worries and cares to your Heavenly Father. 

December 6, 2016

What you did see…

Today was St. Nicholas Day and it was the first time we have celebrated this at our home. My kids were so excited as I had let them put their stockings out last night. They have also been anxiously waiting to put up the Christmas tree which was something I had promised we would do today. I posted some pictures of our St. Nicholas day so everyone could see how much fun we had. We did have fun and we made some memories that are sure to last.

What you didn’t see though was the chaos behind the scene.

You didn’t see me trying to stay calm while dealing with several issues  like a bad case of vertigo for the second or third day in a row.

You didn’t see how I spent several minutes trying to calm down a temperamental child who was upset because I had not come into the kitchen by 7:00.

You didn’t see how I dripped cool whip all over the floor while making the special Santa Pancakes for breakfast.

You didn’t see the drain that overflowed all over the carpeted bathroom floor.

You didn’t see when I spilled tea all over the freshly mopped floor and all over the fridge I had just wiped out.

You didn’t see when I dropped my lunch in the floor as well.

You didn’t see when my second attempt at lunch was a chocolate Santa.

You didn’t see when the chicken scraps got dumped before I even reached the chicken pen because the handle came off the pail I was carrying.

You didn’t see how close I came to just calling it a day, giving up, and going back to bed.

You didn’t see how DD17 and I worked hard to set up the train set under the tree only to find that the train was missing. (The kids didn’t mind as toy trucks work well on train tracks too.)

You didn’t see how frustrated and aggravated I got because of the slow internet when I had an important matter to take care of.

You didn’t see how I confided in one of my friends about how frustrated and aggravated I was feeling.

You didn’t see how I had to rush to finish dinner because I had an emergency errand to run.

You didn’t see me rush to the hardware store for some plumbing supplies 5 minutes before they closed only to find that they didn’t have what I needed.

You didn’t see me have to drive 30 minutes in the opposite direction to the next nearest hardware store.

You didn’t see how my dinner consisted of a leftover cookie and a Coca-Cola. (I hadn’t had a soda in over a month.)

You didn’t see how long it took to clean up the mess from the backed up drain, the piles of dirty towels I had from cleaning up the mess, or the overflowing sink of dirty dishes because we couldn’t wash anything until the drain was fixed.

What’s important is that my kids didn’t see me frustrated, aggravated, or upset either. They didn’t see me lose my temper over things that happened.

They did see me keep promises even though unexpected disruptions kept occurring. They did see me staying calm and taking care of said disruptions as they came along.

I am human, I make mistakes, I get upset, and things happen that I have no control over. I can’t always control what happens to me but I can control how I react to them. I am not perfect and I don’t ever want anyone to think that I am or that I try to portray my life as being perfect.

When you look at the pictures on social media and you think about how perfect things look just remind yourself that you aren’t seeing the whole picture. You are just seeing one small moment of time. Don’t compare yourself, your family, your house or anything else with what you think you see in someone else’s picture.

Enjoy each moment and make the best of every situation good or bad. Life is so much easier if you do.

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.

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Evening Routines

I know by the time the kids are in bed the last thing you really want to do is think about any more routines. However the success of tomorrow morning will greatly depend on your evening routine. I try to keep it fairly simple and if I have checked off the tasks on my Morning Routines and Afternoon Routines then it doesn’t take me long at all.

Below are the screenshots of my current Evening Routine:

evening.jpg

Once the kids are in bed it is time for me to finish up the day so I can relax a little and have a bit of quiet time. I may sit in my room or watch a movie with DD17. Sometimes I just chat with some of my friends who are night owls as well.

First thing I do is check to make sure the coffee pot is ready to go in the morning. I also check our bread basket, which is more of a bread box now, and I will pull a loaf or two of bread out of the freezer if I need too.

Then if the dishwasher is full I will make sure it has been started and if it has already finished I will crack the door a bit. I have DS14 and DD9 hang their glasses on the bulletin board so they don’t misplace them. I will clean them and get them ready for the next day.

I will also wash out the water bottles, if they didn’t make it into the dishwasher, and refill them so they are ready for the morning. I have some really thirsty kids here and they love water!

Shining the sink is a FlyLady term and it simply means cleaning up your sink and making it shine. Nothing like coming into a clean kitchen with a shiny sink! I will also take the dirty wash rag and dish towel to the hamper and set out clean, fresh towels and rags.

I check to make sure the porch lights are on, and that the doors are locked, while going from room to room to double check that everything is pretty much in order. (2 minutes or less for this task.)

Before I put my computer away I will double check my calendar for the next day to make sure of any appointments or activities we may have planned. I will also review the menu and see if there is anything I need to prepare for them.

evening1.jpg

I will also double check my FlyHelper app for any other tasks that may still need to be completed for the current week and/or month. Those will go on my To-Do list, if they haven’t been completed.

When I go to check on the little ones I will set their outfits out for the next day. (I usually hang a pair of bottoms with a top to make it easier.) Then I try to set out my outfit for the next day as well so I can just grab it really quick in the morning.

Ahhh…. the day is almost done and it is time for some ‘me time’. I will fix me a cup of tea or cocoa and take a few minutes just to relax. When I get ready for bed I remind myself to take out my contacts, I am guilty of forgetting this, and then I wash my face, put on moisturizer, and brush my teeth and hair.

I try to spend a little time reading my bible or devotional. I remind myself to go to bed at a decent hour but for me a decent hour could be 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning. I do normally try to go to bed by 10:00 but often times I just can’t sleep.

I hope these routines will help you to set up and maintain your routines. I can promise you that your house will run more smoothly and your stress levels will go down tremendously. Don’t try to just copy mine unless you also have 6 kids at home, a dog, a cat, and 50+ chickens and a few geese…. I’m just kidding. But in reality what works for me may not work for you. My priorities will not be the same as Mrs. Smith’s who lives down the road.

Remember that what looks good on paper isn’t always right. So if you try to set up a routine and it isn’t working then don’t be afraid to revise and revise again until it does work.

If getting up and exercising at 5:30 isn’t your cup of tea then don’t do it. Maybe it is better for you to exercise later in the day or every other day. If you don’t like cocoa then that wouldn’t be the best way for you to relax in the evening.

See also:

Getting Routines Started 101

Morning Routines

Afternoon Routines

 

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.

What I do want to point out is that she is in the news again, in a more positive light. She is using her experience for the good and so many of us can learn a lot from her transformation.

She admits that she had turned to stripping, pornography, and adult films to earn income to support her family. She has also admitted to being addicted to Xanax. She was receiving public assistance, which is not a bad thing, but failed to report the earnings she had made. This caused her some legal problems.

Think about the situation she was in. Can you imagine what she was going through? Can you imagine the shame and disgust that must have went through her mind at times? This could’ve have been part of the reasoning for the drug addiction. Can you imagine not having anyone to support you during such a hard time? She had so much negative publicity surrounding her that it was probably hard to find a ‘decent’ job.

As a mom of many I can only imagine how overwhelmed she must’ve felt at sometimes. I have six kiddos underfoot all day, I have had as many as eleven at one when I was fostering. From some of the articles I’ve read she didn’t seem to have a lot of support coming in. She was also going through family issues and dealing with the death of her mother.

She seems to feel that she deserved at least some of the judgement and negative publicity she received but she decided she didn’t want that to haunt her family. She has apparently decided to make some big life changes. I, for one, am encouraged to see this. She also owns up and accepts responsibility for the bad choices she has made and she doesn’t want her past to be a reflection on her children’s futures.

She has left the adult film industry and is now working as a counselor. She is still receiving some public assistance but is trying to better herself. I admire her for going public about her struggles and especially for admitting what she has done and not placing the blame on others.

I also admire and respect the fact that she has not put her children (at least to my knowledge) in the spotlight and has tried to protect them from as much of the negativity as she could. I know that being a single parent is hard and being a single parent to 14 must be extremely hard. When you are constantly surrounded by negativity and drama that does put an almost unbearable weight on your shoulders.

For all those moms (or anyone else) who are feeling down and discouraged please don’t give up! Sometimes we have to hit rock bottom before we ever look up to see where we are. Just remember to take it one step at a time and keep pushing forward. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. It takes a strong person to admit they need help and to ask for it. If someone offers to help then please don’t push them away.

Always remember that GOD loves you! Nothing you have done, are doing, or will do can separate you from His love!

You may also like to read:

Turning I Can’ts into I Cans

God uses cracked pots

We need mentors

Open Doors

 

Additional credit to:

‘It’s haunted us’: Octomom Nadya Suleman changed her name and found a regular job in effort to escape criticism for having 14 kids while on government help 

‘I WAS ADDICTED TO XANAX’

Who Am I?

I am a woman, a wife, a mother, a sister, a friend, a daughter, I am a person just like you. All to often we forget that the people who are subjects of the rumors and gossip flying around are people just like you and I. They are someone’s child, parent, sibling, friend or spouse. They are real and they have feelings. When you listen to the tales spun by someone you should always consider the source and what it is that this person may have to gain from speaking out about another. Remember that you are only hearing the side of the story that they want you to hear.
The ones telling the stories try their best to dehumanize the person they are talking about. They make them out to be a horrid monster with no feelings. A witch or a crazy psycho. They put the blame for their problems on the other person and have a fine tale to explain how the other person is responsible for whatever situation they are in. They never stop to consider how their lies will affect the other person, their friends, or their family. When confronted with the truth they will deny ever having said those nasty comments.
If you are drawn in by someone’s sad story please remember that you may become the target of their next sad story. Trust me, I know this all too well.
Before repeating of commenting on the remarks think about what you would do, or how you would feel if that was you they were talking about. What if it were you mother or father? What if it were your child or grandchild? What if it were friend?
I am a not a monster but a flesh and blood human being just like you! I breathe the same air and my heart beats just like the one beating in your chest. I am not perfect nor will I ever be perfect in this lifetime. I cry, I laugh, I have the same struggles as everyone else, maybe a few more. I lose my temper sometimes, I yell, I scream, and sometimes I say things I don’t mean. I have made my share of mistakes, just as you reading this have, and I try my best to learn from those mistakes. I admit that I haven’t always handled every situation with the best of grace but I try.
I am often too trusting, too selfless, too loving, and too patient. I often bend over backwards to help others and make life easier for them. I try to find the good in every one and every situation. Sometimes I try to hard. I usually expect to be treated the way I have treated others. I forget that we are all human and we will all disappoint one another in some way or another. Sometimes I just expect and anticipate too much from those around me and then I am so disappointed and hurt when things don’t turn out the way I had expected.
Lately I am stressed, overwhelmed, and exhausted. I constantly have to push myself to go further and do more than I feel I can. I try not to complain. I have found strength I didn’t know I had.
I have heard so many things about myself that I know are not true. It hurts, it really does. I have cried so much about these lies and rumors. They have caused me so much heartache and more so because one of the people responsible for starting them was someone I love and care about deeply. I never expected this. I never expected to be constantly harassed and humiliated on an almost daily basis now. Maybe it wouldn’t hurt so bad if I had expected it, I don’t know.
Lately I have felt this bitterness creeping up inside of me and it is the most awful feeling. It chokes out all of your peace and joy. It overshadows everything else and makes it impossible for you to see the beauty of what is in front of you. It is a thief and robber.
It told me that I should be angry and upset. After all, I am the one who was left to be the ‘responsible one’. I am the one who is working 24/7 to keep this family going. I am the one who wakes up several times during the night to help the little ones go back to sleep. I am the one who is here dealing with the day to day needs of a large family and dealing with the extra challenges of special needs children. I am the one who sleeps alone in my bed EVERY night and prays for GOD to heal my broken heart. I ask HIM to wake me from this horrible dream. When I open my eyes I am still alone and I have no shoulder to cry on when I realize again and again that this is not a dream. I am the one who was committed and faithful only to have my heart broken time and time again. I am the one who NEVER gets to take a ‘break’ from it all. When I ask for a break I always get the same response, ‘I’m sorry, I’ve got other plans.’.
Then in the darkness of night I know that GOD is there and HE has my back, always has and always will. HE is the greatest comforter of all and HE has the biggest shoulders of anyone. HE understands me completely and HE listens. Without HIM I can do nothing!
Then I look at our family. It brings me to tears. They are a constant reminder of the dreams we had and the promises we made. They don’t deserve this. I try my best to shield them. They know Mommy is sad but they don’t know why. They don’t see the sacrifices I make, they don’t know the pleading and begging I have done to try to change the outcome.
When all else fails there is nothing left to do but to get rid of the bitterness that haunts me. The only way to get rid of the bitterness is to forgive. How do I forgive when I feel like I can’t? I remember the forgiveness that GOD has shown me. I will be the first to admit that I don’t deserve the mercy and grace that my LORD has shown me so many times. I pray that HE will change my heart and help me to forgive when I feel I can’t. With GOD’s help I can forgive even when it seems impossible. I will grant forgiveness even if it hasn’t been asked for.
So right now, I forgive all those who have gossiped about me. I forgive those who have had a hand (and the ones who won’t admit that they did) in the destruction of our marriage. I have been bitter against everyone who has spoken badly about me, those who have encouraged his addictions and selfishness, those who never supported us. I forgive you all even if you don’t want me to. I forgive him for all the things I have been through these past couple of years. Please understand that just because I forgive does not mean I will forget.
I also ask for forgiveness. I must ask that all of the ‘exes’ please forgive me as I, at one time, believed the stories about you. The stories that are all to similar to the stories being told about me. Please know that I apologize for anything I may have believed without getting your side of the story.
I also ask for forgiveness from those who have been affected by the lies and rumors that have been told. Please know that I am deeply sorry that you may have been affected by what was going on in my life. I also forgive anyone who has believed these lies and rumors and those that have contributed to the spreading of them.
I will remember those who have been there for me. I thank each and everyone one of my friends and family for supporting us through this time. You will never know how much I have appreciated each and every one of your thoughts and prayers. Most importantly I thank GOD for giving me the strength to get through this. Its not over yet and even after the legalities are taken care of it still won’t be ‘over’ as we have a family together.
So, Who am I? I am a mother, a daughter, a sister, and a friend. I am soon to be the dreaded ‘ex-wife’ and that’s OK. I am still a work in progress but I know GOD is not through with me and I have hope and faith that there are better things to come. I pray that GOD will plant a seed of forgiveness in the heart of everyone who reads this so you can experience the fullness of HIS mercy and grace. If you have never experienced HIS forgiveness I pray that you will and you will understand why I must forgive.