Tag Archives: thankful

It’s The Day Before Thanksgiving and My House Is A Wreck!

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It’s true, our little house on the pond is a wreck and I don’t know where we will put all of our guests that are coming tomorrow. Anybody else feel the same way right now?

The past couple of weeks have been super crazy. I guess everyone has been trying to fit everything in before the holiday season. Then we had the time change which is always so much fun around here… can you hear the sarcasm?

Continue reading It’s The Day Before Thanksgiving and My House Is A Wreck!

Weekly Challenge

I know a lot of us are busy making our holiday plans but my heart is heavy. As I was surveying my pantry for items I need for our Thanksgiving dinner I was hit with just how blessed we are. There are many families, here in our own country, states, and cities, that don’t have food for tonight much less food for Thanksgiving.

So I am going to pick out some items from my pantry and maybe pick up a couple of things at the grocery store to donate to a food pantry or church who is giving out Thanksgiving baskets.

I have been the recipient of these gifts before and I know how much I appreciated it. I know there have been times, as a single momma, that I wasn’t sure if we would have a special dinner for Thanksgiving or not. I am so thankful for all those that did give when it was needed.

So my challenge, for those that can, is to participate in a food drive this holiday season. It doesn’t take much, you don’t need to buy a whole meal (unless you feel led to), nor do you need to buy the most expensive things. Each item would be greatly appreciated. Maybe you have an elderly neighbor or coworker that you could invite for dinner. Your reward will be so much greater than what you give.

If you are having trouble this time of year and you are in need there are many local resources available. Many churches, schools, and other organizations are there to help.

God Bless!

One Year Anniversary

Time has flown by so fast. It’s hard to believe that it’s been a whole year since I started this blog!

I just want to thank each and every one of my family, friends, and followers. Without your support I probably would have just given up on this. I hope that each of you may find a little bit of useful information or inspiration from my posts.

I hope to be a bit more dedicated as time goes on. Thank you all for sharing in our wonderful adventure that we call life!

Blogger Recognition Award

I am so excited as I just received my first ever Blogger Recognition Award nomination! I feel so blessed to have received this and it motivates me to continue on this path.

I want to thank Camie at Camie’s Cozy Corner for the nomination. I love reading her blog and always find encouragement from her posts. I also love reading about her travels and seeing all of her interesting and unique photos. If you get a chance please be sure to check out her blog! Continue reading Blogger Recognition Award

Thank you!

I just received my ‘100 followers’ notifications and shortly after it went to 101! I am so excited that so many people have followed my blog in the short time I’ve had it up.

I pray that I can continue to help encourage others in their day to day life. Each and every one of you have encouraged me to continue on with this blog even when sometimes I’ve wondered if it even makes a difference to anyone. Continue reading Thank you!

Momma, come sit with me.

‘Momma, come sit with me.’ That’s what my 3 year old said today at lunchtime. He had been picking at his sandwich and sticking around the table after everyone else had went to their rooms for lunch. He gave me that sweet smile with those little blue eyes just a sparkling. Who could resist that smile?

Not me! The neverending To-Do list can wait. The basket of unfolded laundry can wait. The dirty dishes in the sink can wait. The chores that need finished can wait. The millions of other things running through my mind,at any given moment, can wait.

Right now he needs me and he is asking me for my time. I admit that sometimes I feel like I am spread pretty thin. I feel like I just can’t do anything more than what I am doing right now. It’s hard being a Momma.It’s hard being a single Momma. It’s hard being a special needs Momma. It’s hard being a single special needs Momma! Yes, I said it’s hard. It’s almost downright impossible on some days. But then there are the good days or the little moments like this.

The house is quiet-ish as everyone is settling down for naps and/or quiet time. The school work has been finished and put away. He continues to nibble at his sandwich while I grab my glass of watered down iced tea. I sit in the chair next to him and he smiles. A genuinely lit up ear to ear kind of smile. Those little eyes are just dancing with ideas that he wants to tell me.

So he begins by informing me that my feet are in the water. I laugh and pull my feet up and sit cross legged in the chair.

‘Is that better?’, I ask.

‘Yes, Momma, now the sharks can’t get you.’

‘Well that’s a good thing! Thank you so much for warning me.’, I say.

He laughs and then he proceeds to explain to me how a T-Rex would catch a fish. He imitates the T-Rex while eating his fish (peanut butter sandwich) and he laughs a lot. He tells me what he wants for snack later, a dinosaur cupcake from yesterday, and he asks if he and ‘all my friends’ can go outside after naps. He always refers to his brothers and sisters as ‘all my friends’ and he draws a big circle in the air when he says it. It is so cute!

He eats a few more bites and declares he is full. Then he grabs his napkin and attempts to wipe the peanut butter off his face. I help him and he takes off running back to his room before I can finish. He jumps into his bed and curls up with a stuffed toy and his favorite dinosaur toy. Then he closes his eyes and pretends to be asleep. I lean over and give him a quick kiss on the cheek and he giggles.

These are the moments that make my day and give me the momentum I need to get through the tough days. I get a little sad as I know they are all growing up so fast. I know that before long he won’t be asking me to come sit with him anymore. I want to take the time to cherish these little moments and enjoy them while I can.

I walked back to the kitchen to jot down this post so I will have it to look back on in the future. I think about how blessed I am and how precious life is. I am so thankful that God has put me where I am right now. He has given me more than I ever deserved and I know He has so many plans in store for me and my family.

He always knows what we need and when we need it. This morning I read Proverbs 13:4:

It reminds me that I need to keep pressing on towards my goals. I can’t give up and let myself get lazy. I can have hope in knowing that if I stay diligent there will be a reward for all of the hard work I put in here on earth. This little moment with my son was just a taste of that and it was so beautiful! I can’t even begin to imagine what the future may hold for us.

Thank you Lord for your blessings on me and my family!

December 5, 2017

Good morning ya’ll! Today is a work in progress for me. I woke up with a bad case of vertigo and then both of my legs were asleep! This made it quite a difficult, and probably hilarious, trip to the bathroom as I really had to pee. Anyway I am feeling much better now, Thank you Jesus!, and our morning is going along quite smoothly. I am almost afraid to say that as I don’t want to jinx myself.

I have the Christmas music playing, the kids have had breakfast and are playing quietly in the play room, there has been no tattling, and the kitchen is clean. DS4 brought the hamper to the laundry room (without being asked), loaded the washer, and took the hamper back to his closet. What is happening here? Did I mention that DS21 was home and carried the trash out to the road? I really hate doing that task and I am so thankful he was here and that he took care of it.

Instead of questioning, I will just thank the good Lord for his blessings and enjoy this moment of blissful peace. These moments are few and far between but I am thankful for each and every one of them. What are you thankful for today? Take a few moments and think of at least five things to thank God right now for. You will feel so much better. Often times we remember Him when we need something but we forget to thank Him when things are going good.

Is there someone in your life that you are truly blessed to have? Let them know how much they mean to you. Do a little something special to show them how much you appreciate them. This will not only make you feel better but it will also encourage them and lift them up. The holidays can be really stressful for everyone for a variety of different reasons and you never know when your actions or words can be just what they need to go from having a bad day to having a great day!

In another note, I am also working with a couple of different companies to receive some products for our homeschool activities and for my special needs son. I will be reviewing these items and hopefully showing how we use them in our daily life here. I am so excited for these opportunities and pray the God will continue to bless our family and use our lives to bless others.

 

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.

**Please note this post does contain affiliate links to which I may, possibly, earn a small commission from if you click on and purchase an item. For full disclosure click here. 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!

 

 

 

Dancing barefoot in the kitchen

Yep, that’s how I am most days, barefoot, and that’s where I am most of the time, the kitchen. Why? Well that’s how I am most comfortable and that is where most of the activities in our house are centered around. I do keep a pair of flip flops at each door in case I need to run out for something like the mail man or chasing a pig outta the yard. For the most part I am barefooted though.

I’ve heard all the barefoot and pregnant jokes when I was married and pregnant. I’ve read the ‘dangers’ of going barefooted, especially the stuff you can catch from the ground. (I do usually wear shoes outside.) I have broken a few toes because of being barefooted and I’ve stepped on more Legos than you could ever imagine. The fact that there are still Legos in my house is a true testimony to the power of forgiveness!

The kitchen is the heart of our home. I really enjoy cooking so I am always trying out new recipes or letting the kids help me fix a snack or a meal. It is usually filled with good aromas coming from the crock pot or the oven. I always have sweet tea or hot coffee ready for anyone who comes to visit. Most days we can even rustle up a piece of pie or slice of cake too. If you come hungry I’m sure can find something in the fridge that can satisfy your hunger too.

The island is fairly good size for an older mobile home and it is used for everything from schoolwork, bread making, sewing projects, and vacuum repair. It is also the place where a lot of visiting takes place. The younger kids and Grandpa have claimed the playroom and the older kids have pretty much claimed the living room. So Momma has claimed the kitchen. When I have visitors, which isn’t that often, we usually sit or stand around the island to chat.

This island was also the center of activity during wedding preparations for my oldest daughter’s wedding in June. (See Who can you count on? for more about that.) My family and friends all gathered around this island to prepare the food and decorations for the wedding and reception. We shared lots of stories, caught up on news, and had a wonderful time. We made many memories around this old island with its peeling cabinets and chipped counter-top.

Our kitchen is a dine-in kitchen as we converted the formal dining area to a bedroom for my special needs son. We have a big kitchen table with benches. I love this table and I had prayed for a table big enough for all of us to sit around. My then husband and I went to the flea market, the first and only time I’ve been, and on our way out I spotted this table back in a corner. We found the seller and asked about the price and the cost to deliver it. Well, it was way more than what we had on us and over the budget I had set for a table. I was sure that it would be gone before we saved the money so reluctantly we left and came home.

A few weeks later he had went back to the flea market. He came home sooner than I had expected and he was really excited. He asked me to help him carry out the two tables we had in the kitchen. I wondered what he had gotten and soon I found out. A pickup pulled in with the most beautiful kitchen table on the back. (Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.) The man had seen him walking around and had asked him if we had found a table yet. Within a few minutes the table was bought for the exact amount that I had saved and set back for our table.The kids were so excited to eat their first meal together. Before this we had two smaller tables for the kids to eat at.

That is a good memory and when I look at this table I am reminded of that day and how happy we were. It also reminds me of how God always provides us with what we need and many things we want. (See Are you needy? for more examples.)

Now the table is used for school work, art projects, meals, dinosaur adventures, monster truck rallies, play-dough sculpting, and so much more. It has the marks of being well-used and sometimes I contemplate having it refinished but I kinda like the character it has.

Our kitchen also has my roll top desk which is where I happen to be sitting, barefooted, at the moment. This is where a lot of my work gets done. I do a lot of planning for meals, school, budgets, outings, and other activities that must happen. I also take care of the bills and other household related things here too.

My kitchen is pretty much open to the playroom where the kids spend a good amount of time. I can cook, work on projects, make a grocery list, or just browse the internet for my next project while keeping an eye on them. I can also hear everything going on in the play yard from the kitchen.

If my kids come in looking for me they will usually come to the kitchen first. They know that is where Momma can normally be found. They also know that is where snacks and other goodies can be found. Unfortunately our cat knows this too and has developed the bad habit of jumping on the counters which we have been trying to discourage with a spray bottle of water.

When my kids have made some discovery outside or have created some interesting architectural structure that I need to come see they will come looking for me. They will bring my flip flops with them because they know Momma probably won’t have her shoes on. They keep me from having an excuse.

Another thing we have been doing is playing music throughout the day. There is just something about music that can calm the soul. It can reach deep inside a person and make their heart happy. It is not uncommon to walk in to the kitchen and find me dancing around while cooking or cleaning. If the kids come in and laugh then I will grab them and ‘force’ them to dance also. Sometimes a whiny kid will be ‘forced’ into dancing, as well. This has become a fun outlet that is an immediate cure for the ‘grouchies’. We all know that grouchies can’t survive for long around music, dancing, or laughter.

I want my kids to have good, consistent memories of their childhood. If seeing Momma dancing barefoot in the kitchen is a memory that is forever etched in their minds then I’m happy. If they break into a smile every time they hear ‘Walking in the Sunshine’ then I’ve succeeded at this mission. (This is also a proven cure for the grouchies that was passed along to me by a dear friend.)

So how long has it been since you’ve danced barefoot in the kitchen? Why don’t you give it a try and see what happens?

Letters to Santa’s heart

Yesterday while waiting on breakfast, see November 27, 2016, my kids had decided to write letters to Santa. I didn’t tell them that Santa had already finished his shopping here and I was a little curious to see what they would write.

They got out some scrap paper, their school boxes, and the crayons. Everyone began working on their letters and they started out quietly but got more excited as they smelled the Monkey Bread. When the timer went off that signaled the kids to clear the table and get ready to eat. They brought their letters and left them on the kitchen island. As they ate I opened the letters and was pleasantly surprised. I think my heart was doing a happy dance and probably still is.

I expected to find endless lists of things they wanted. The boys have been into dinosaurs for so long that roaring, growling, and walking like dinosaurs is second nature to them. The girls of course see an occasional commercial when Grandpa has the TV on and they have expressed interests in the latest dolls, shoes, or whatever new toys are advertised. My 14 year old is into Star Wars, robots, and anything his younger brothers are playing with.

The first one I opened was from two of the kids and goes:

For Santa: 

I love you Santa

You are a good man

Your handsome

I love you Santa. The end.

It also had a picture of a colorful igloo on the back side of it.

The second letter I opened was from two more of the kids and goes:

Merry Christmas  

To: Mrs. Claws

North Pole

We love you Mrs. Claws. 

There were lots of colorful drawings of hearts and stars on this one. Also a drawing of the kids all holding hands and with happy faces. That in itself says a lot to my heart and makes me feel like maybe, just maybe, I am doing something right.

These touched me as my kids didn’t ask for anything. Instead they were showing their love and appreciation in more ways than one. The older girls had each helped one of the younger boys without being asked. I can see that they are learning so much and it makes me happy.

Yes, I know the spelling and punctuation need some work but that will come with time. Homeschooling is such a blessing as you can teach them so much more than just reading and writing. I can see so much progress in so many areas and I thank God for allowing me this opportunity.

While they thought they were writing letters to Santa, they were actually writing letters straight to Santa’s heart.

My kids used scrap paper but here are a couple of free printables that I found:

http://www.katesmithdesigns.com/blog/?tag=santa-letter-to-colour-in

http://eventstocelebrate.net/2013/11/letter-to-santa-free-printable/

November 26, 2016

Today is another great and wonderful day! I want to keep the spirit of Thanksgiving alive in my heart and in the hearts of everyone around me. Sometimes it is so much easier to find things to complain about than to be thankful for what we have in front of us.

Looking back on this week I can see how many things that didn’t go as planned. How I reacted to those things greatly changed the whole attitude of those around me and those I interacted with. I tried my best to stay upbeat and positive even when I was sick and having a bad day. (I’m not saying I didn’t have my moments but I tried.)

After making my ‘secret’ (see It’s true, I went to a bar!) public that lifted a big weight off my shoulders too. Even though it wasn’t a grand revelation or life shattering event that others have made it out to be it did help me to just get it out.

I’m not perfect, never have been and never will be on this side of heaven. I fall short every single day. That is the most amazing thing about God. His mercy and grace are there for us and he loves us no matter what we have done.Each and every day is a new opportunity to start fresh. I am so thankful for that!

Today I will be making up a quick grocery list and I may run to town for a bit. I found an article yesterday, A Healthy Diet For $20 A Week, that follows some of the same principles I use on my tight budget weeks.  This would also be a good beginning point for couples just starting out or people who may be wanting to cut back on their food budgets a little. I plan to look over it and try to come up with some ideas for my family menus also.

I guess now that Thanksgiving is over we should probably take down our Fall decor and start putting up Christmas decorations. Of course, that also means we will need to drag the tree out of storage too. I’m not sure I have the energy for that today so I may just concentrate on getting the Fall decor put away. Then we maybe we can at least drag the Christmas decor out of the building. Who knows, maybe seeing all the decorations may motivate me to get them put up.

I hope everyone has a blessed day!

P.S. Did I mention how thankful I am to each and every reader? I pray that you can find some hope, inspiration, and maybe a little laughter to help you get through your day!