Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Calling all Prayer Warriors!!

Hello my fellow Prayer Warriors.
I come to you with mixed emotions. As some of you may know from reading my blog, Emily needs to be evaluate for seizures. Back in July/August Chris and I noticed that she would have blank staring episodes. We would call her, wave our hands in front of her, clap, make noise and even touch her and she wouldn't respond. This past week, I have noticed on 3 separate occasions her having shaking episodes. All 3 episodes I would notice she was in a bad mood previous to it, shake (all 4 limbs) and then after it stops she is all smiley and in a great mood. This has gotten me nervous because I don't know if this means things are progressing.

I want her evaluated by Children's Hospital. They have satellite offices. I had appointment at 2 different sites. One appointment was set for March 18th and the other April 29 with the hopes that by being on the cancellation list for both we could get in sooner. Believe it or not that was the earliest appointment either had.
But GOD IS GOOD!! He knows are needs. I just didn't feel right about waiting so long for her to be seen since the new situation. I called one of the offices today and they told me they couldn't get me in any earlier but suggested I call another satellite site I have yet to try. Well I am excited to say, the office I called just had a cancellation for tomorrow at 10 a.m.!!! The woman said she just got it and was trying to fill it. I told her that this was a God sent for us and gave Him all the glory.

So now I am dealing with a bag of emotions. Excited that she going to be seen and get to the bottom of what is going on. Sadden that my little darling even has to deal with anything. And ANXIETY over the drive---it is well over an hour away. For anyone that knows me, they will tell you I HATE TO TRAVEL!! I get anxiety over traveling out of my comfort zone (which is about a 30 minute radius).
I come to you with this and ask that you will keep us in your prayers. Wisdom for the medical staff, Emily would handle all this fine (she is not a people person yet), for Me for anxiety over travel, Chris for dealing with listening to me on the drive and for both of us that God will give us peace with the whole situation.

I will update you when we get home tomorrow and know more.
Thank you,

Monday, January 28, 2008

I'm here!

It had been a few days since I posted and I don't like to let too much time go by. I have been trying to cut down my computer time some (I really needed to). I notice it does make a big difference in my homeschool day. I can get so distracted with the computer and phone. I did read something over the weekend. On the blog the person was talking about how they school from 9-1 and she doesn't let anything interrupt that time because it is important that her kids know that they and school are a priority during that time (I honestly can't remember which blog I read it on, because I would like to give that person their due credit). WOW!!! Isn't that true. I know all to well that my kids take their lead with homeschooling from me. This is something that God really brought to light with me last year (He is still working on me). How can I expect the kids to take homeschooling seriously and see how important it is if they see ME put it at the bottom of my list. It is not a good example to them if they are trying to get help for a math problem and mommy is too busy on the computer or phone. So I am trying.

I have been praying for some very special people from some of my favorite blogs. I would love for you to pop on over to their blogs and give them some encouragement.

Heather--- http://www.especiallyheather.com/ She had a cancerous brain tumor removed in May. She cycles her chemo (pill form) about every 4 weeks. She is very real in her struggles and inspiring too.

Karen----- http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/SALT She is close to delivering her precious baby girl. She needs prayer that the baby will be born healthy and safe. Go on over to her blog and read her story. She has some anxiety nearing the end of her pregnancy. She is set to be induced Feb. 5th. She goes for an ultrasound on Thursday and she said if they have any concerns they will induce then.

Kate------ http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/ourquiverfull/ She is set to delivery tomorrow!!! This is her 8th child (isn't that fantastic!) I have been praying constantly for her little boy, Noah (I believe he is not quite 2). He has mitochondrial disease and with it it brings alot of medical problems (and inpatient stays to the hospital). He had a tough week. But today's post said he is "happy, goofy and silly." You have to go over to this blog and see how adorable he is. Kate posted some pictures from this last admission. As sick as she was telling us he was---some of the pictures cracked me up.

These are the ones I can think of off the top of my head. If I forgot someone I appologize. Feel free to leave me any prayer requests you may have and I will be sure to put it in my prayer journal.

I am off to bed now. I will take prayers too! I have fibromyalgia and it can play havoc with my sleep. There are times I wake up just as tired in the morning as when I went to bed. Thanks,


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Movie Review--Juno--and adoption

Goodmorning! What a fun time I had last night. Went out with Wendy for Tai food (yummy) and then we headed over to the mall to see the movie Juno. I didn't know to much about the movie going into it. I knew that it had just been nominated for an Oscar, Jennifer Garner and Jason Batman are in it and the teenager in the movie gets pregnant. I didn't know really anything more than that. Usually I go on Plug-in Online (which gives movie reviews from a christian perspective) but I didn't this time. So I was a little shocked after only being at the movies for 3 minutes.

So I was right, the lead character Juno, 16 y.o., finds out she is pregnant and at first decides to have an abortion. She gets to the clinic and while filling out papers decides she can't go through with it and would rather give the baby to someone. Jennifer Garner and Jason Batman are the couple that Juno finds herself (in the penny-saver ad) to adopt the baby. So you may be wondering what I was shocked about. Basically the language used...and I am not talking necessarily about swearing. Juno sounds like how a REAL 16 y.o. might talk, slang used, and thoughts they might have. That is why I said in the first 3 minutes I was shocked because she said something that threw me (and I am not posting it).

But I will have to say, as an adoptive mother this movie touched me. I could relate to the adoptive mother's desire for a child and feeling like she was meant to always be a mother. The nervous anticipation. But with this movie I got to see it from the birthmother's view too. I was holding back the tears in the end when she gave the baby up. Juno's father is sitting by her bedside trying to comfort her and tells her "don't worry hun, someday you'll be back here on your terms." I was thinking about Emily's birthmother. Emily entered foster care right at the hospital. I was wondering how she might have felt leaving the hospital and leaving her baby. I sometimes don't understand how....Emily's birthmother did have a choice and she decided not to straighten out her life. I sometimes just don't get it, especially when I look down into those beautiful brown eyes of hers. One thing I do get: I know that God hand-picked her for us (and my other 2 adopted children too).

I related so much with the adoptive mother in the movie when she held the child for the first time. She was outside of the hospital nursery and a nurse came out and asked if she would like to meet her son (sniffle, sniffle), and she goes in and the nurse places him in her arms. They instantly click...they need each other. She turns around and sees a woman in the doorway (not knowing it's Juno's stepmom) and asks how she looks. "Like a new mom" she is told. They show a scene after of the new mom home in bed holding the baby--she's thrilled. That was me 7 months ago...actually, I just realized the date, it is exactly 7 months ago we picked Emily Grace up from the foster family to come and live with us. I love her so much. She truly is mine, through and through.

If you have ever considered adoption I highly recommend going through your state's foster care system. Both times we have adopted we have had great experiences.

Well I am off to get ready for co-op. I hope you have a great day.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Girl's Night Out!

Yippy!! It's girls' night out! All I can say is "it's about time!" LoL. No seriously, I am very excited to be going out. Can you guess who I am going with? Wendy of course! We use to go out once a month for a girls night but she had a baby a 14 months ago and then I got Emily in June...life just got VERY busy. But we made it a point to make time for this (actually, she is very funny. One day over the weekend she called me and asked me my availability this week at night. She said she was asking me out on a date.) Most of the time when we make these nights it is just the two of us (it can get complicated to get too many people to get their schedules all lined up, where do we then go, who's driving...ect., ect.) We go for dinner and then do something else (ex. shopping, movies, stuff like that). No pressure. Just a night out. Tonight we are planning on going for Tai food and then go and see the movie Juno---I'll let you know what I think about the movie tomorrow.

School is going better. This is our 3rd week back after taking such a long break. Every week is getting better and there are areas that I know I can work on myself. Atleast I can say that we have been getting through the 3 R's daily and a couple of times I have been able to do some reading for history. I think I know what we are laking though....we are lacking F-U-N! I read a post today on Sprittibee and it reminded me of 3 things.
1. Flexibility!! One of the reasons I home school.
2. It is NORMAL to homeschool past lunchtime. I have this awful nagging feeling that my day is blown if I don't get it ALL done before lunch. I think I am setting myself up for failure that way (especially since I have to occupy a 1 y.o. until she takes her nap at 10 a.m.)
3. FUN!! LAUGHTER!! I think we are in desperate need of that around here. I spend so much time working on getting the 3 R's done that I forget about FUN!

I would LOVE to hear what others do for curriculum that is fun (and easy too)! Please leave a comment and let me know.

Well I am off to go and get beautiful. Check out Sprittibee's blog at http://sbees.blogspot.com/ . Sorry I haven't figured out how to link things yet so all you have to do is click on it and it brings you there. If anyone wants to share with me how to do that..please SHARE!


Friday, January 18, 2008

Happy Anniversary!!!!

Chris and Judy

Mom and Me

Us with Chris' Mom

Me and the girls (by the way...that is a black veil on the back of their heads)

Chris and the guys

Us with Chris' grandparents

Leaving for our Honeymoon.

WOW!! I can't believe it....I REALLY can't believe it!!! Today is our 16th Wedding Anniversary!! Today is the day we became a family. Oh I just love it! (Can you tell I am a little excited!!). With every year I get more and more excited because it is a testament to God. You see, Chris and I got married when I was 18 and he was 19...BABIES!!! (I can say that now looking back since I am a mature 34 now). And I would have to say that if at our wedding you polled people and asked them if they thought we were going to make it....oh I bet at least 75% of the people would have said NO. People thought we were crazy. They thought our mothers were crazy for letting us get married so young (noticed I didn't say fathers...neither was there). In some ways looking back I can understand NOW how crazy we must have seemed...but you know what...it was right for us.

Chris and I both came from divorced homes. He hasn't seen his father since around 3 maybe 5...I just know he has no real memories of him. He grew up with a mom who did the best she could but he wasn't going to listen to. He lived in the city and he was street smart through and through. He skipped school so much in jr. high that the state stepped in. The choice was he either go and live with a family member or reform school. He went and live with his Uncle and Aunt at 15. Things weren't totally picture perfect there...but it got him to start straighten out.

My parents were married 23 years when they split...yup, 23! I was 11 when it happened. I went from living in a 2 parent middle-class home in a very small rural town to living with my mother, poor as a church mouse (I think at times the church mouse had more) in the city. This was my choice. I loved my Mom and I was NOT abandoning her then. Dad tried tempting me though...I wouldn't stand for it. We might not have had much, but she loved me and she loved the Lord. The first couple of years after the divorce were the toughest. As Dad drove around in a Porche, Mom and I were living in house at on time with no electric or running water. We moved in with a woman from church...basically a total stranger. She was a God sent. Things got better. Mom was even able to get a good job and send me to our church school for high school (except for $100 once my father paid, my mother paid for it). I was pretty good as a kid. Didn't get it really any trouble as a teen. I became at one point very active in teen group at church and became the little preacher of the group. I preached 2 times in for our church (when we did Teen-take over the service) of a few hundred, a few times at chapel at school and I believe I did something at teens itself once.

When Chris and I started dating (again) at 17 (I originally met him when I was 14. We did the 14 y.o.--your my boyfriend for about 2 weeks) people weren't exactly thrilled. They didn't understand it. But I did. I only started dating Chris because I knew he was the one. I know it sounds crazy, but at 17 I knew he was the one. We have been together ever since July 27, 1990. The church at one time even tried making us "take a break" from being together (they thought we were too serious for each other and blah-blah-blah). SSHHH....don't tell anyone, but we snuck around to see each other that month. My mother wasn't stupid though. She even has a very funny story to go with that, but I will save it for another day.

Chris joined the Marines (that is another story of God stepping in) as a way to provide for us. One of the best things he ever did. When I said good-bye to him that October day when he left for boot-camp I said good-bye to a boy. When he came back I was looking at a man. It put the disciple he lacked at a kid in him. He..no WE did 4 years in the Marines. We packed up 2 suited cases and moved to Camp LeJeune, North Carolina 3 months after we got married. Being that far from home was one of the best things for us just starting out and being so young. We only had each other and God.

So here we are....16 years later. Celebrating. Celebrating what God has done. We both believe that God brought the two of us together at such an early age to heal us and have us grow together (I am crying right now just thinking about all of it). Over these 16 years we have had our share of dips (not downs)and times of sadness (losing 2 pregnancies). I couldn't think of anyone else I would want to go through all of it with. Chris is truly my BEST-BEST Friend. I can ALWAYS go to him (even when I mess up really bad) and I know that he is going to love me through it. He is my all-in-all. We have grown together beautifully over these years. I believe that God has blessed us due to our faithfulness to each other and to him.

I hope you enjoy the pics I put up (I think you can click on them to make them bigger). Have a great day!!!


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Heart of the Matter Contest

I love contests...I haven't won one yet but just the idea that I could...I LOVE! This is a good one too. The Heart of the Matter is the NEW online homeschooling magazine. This contest is for a homeschool care package. It is packed with all kids of goodies:
loose leaf binders (2)
paint can w/ number magnets
Oxford Index Card w/ring
index card binder
4 posters
small chalk board
easy view reader
modeling clay
water paint
Lowe's apron (great for art)
365 Days of Celebration & Praise book
Graphic Organizers book
plus more!

I would love to win this. We have had a wee-bit of a hard time getting back in the grove since taking so much time off for all the festivities in December. This could bring a little excitement to our homeschool. Today is the last day for the contest so head of over and enter. http://heartofthematteronline.com/


Wordless Wednesday

Tea Party for Emily---Kids all decided to play with Emily. It was awfully cute.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Update on day

What a difference a day can make. It wasn't perfect...but boy, if everyday could be like this I would take it. Lots of academics got done, attitudes were in the right place (the kids and mine) and ....well it was just great!

Chris is at CJ's basketball game, the 3 middle kids are playing play-doo and Emily is walking---yes walking all over. Dinner is done (I had to switch dinner around between yesterday and today). I put it in the crockpot at 11. I am going to go and straighten up the house for when Chris makes it home.


Off days--New beginnings

Yesterday was such an off day. It started out fine. I had such high hopes for the day. It was snowing and all the local schools were closed. When I was working that use to be the running joke every time it snowed "do your kids get snow days?" always asked with a laugh. It always made them speechless when I would tell them "we don't waste our days off on snow days. We are home anyway. We take Sunshine Days. The first 70 degree day we have we take off and do something fun outside as a family (last year was mini-golf)." Sorry...I get off on bunny trails sometimes. So back to the day.

The day started out fine even though I have been fighting a migraine for 3 days (it is dull today). But the day just seemed to turn on a dime and our homeschool day ended before it even began. Days like this make me feel like such a loser and failure as a hs mom. But then last night it came to me....what if yesterdays lesson wasn't about academics but something else? I had prayed in the morning and in my prayers I gave the day over to God. I told Him I wanted His schedule not mine. You know..it's funny. I pray it and then when He does use the day to teach something other than academics I feel like a loser. Why is this? I think that I lost sight of the big picture. I always TELL people that homeschooling is so much more than academics. I tell them character training is more important than math...but do I really believe it? Well yes I do...but I need to be reminded of it sometimes. When you are in the midst of things it is sometimes hard to look at things as a "learning experience". But yesterday was. Not only the kids but me too.

One lesson particular--The kids at different times came up to me to apologize and I was just so upset that I kind of just blew them off. But then at night after dinner Alex (my 5 year old) came up to me to apologize for the day. At first I was going to blow it off but then I was quickly reminded of God's forgiveness. He doesn't sit there when I ask for forgiveness and say "here we go again..yeah whatever". No HE FORGIVES ME! If my Father in heaven is so quick to forgive me who am I NOT to forgive. By the way...I told Alex I forgave him.

So yesterday we only got Math done academically...but I do believe we learned a much bigger lesson. Even I learned a lesson or two. I have said it before but I will say it again...a wise-veteran homeschooler has told me many-many times...homeschooling is as much for the mom as it is for the kids. Isn't that true.

Today WILL be a better day. It is fresh and new. Old things have passed away.


Monday, January 14, 2008

Monday Meanderings

I haven't done this in a couple of weeks and I have to tell you....the difference in the way my house ran was noticeable. I made it a point to get back on track with it this week.

Proverbs 8-14. One a day.

Must do:
Stay on track (and keeping track) with finances.
Thank you cards from Emily's birthday.

Laundry. It just seems out of control right now. I can name multiply rooms that have clean laundry in them either waiting to be folded or be put away. I plan on putting all the baskets in one room (which will make my room look great) and having a folding party!!! : )

Character Training/ Homeschool:
Laziness and work ethic. I have had some children, when asked to do chores, straight out tell me "I hate doing work".....LIKE I ENJOY IT! I will be working on doing the job RIGHT the first time, doing it without complaining "As unto the Lord", with no crying or talking back.

Last week we started back up to school after having over a month off...it was tough but we got stuff done. This week I want to kick it up a notch and get MFW done atleast 3 days.


Monday: Portuguese Chicken with potatoes and carrots in the crockpot

Tuesday: Taco Tuesday! Tacos, Rice and Veggies

Wednesday: Hot Chicken with Rice and corn

Thursday: Meatloaf (I saw a recipe for turkey meatloaf on Food Network. Going to try to sneak this one past the family) potatoes, green beans

Friday: It's our Wedding Anniversary (16 years!!!). It will be a surprise for dinner. Not sure if we will go out just the two of us or get take out (like Chinese) for all of us.

Saturday: Chicken Bowl with corn

Sunday: Chicken casserole (by request from my sister-in-law Liza) with egg noodles

Prayer Request:
Chris' cousin Stephanie just lost her husband (she is only 35) to murder on Sunday morning. They own a bar in Florida and Saturday night her husband, Rick, got into a fight with a patron. The patron had to go to the hospital for stitches and while there he called his 17 y.o. daughter to tell her what happened. Well she, along with another girl (19 y.o.) and 3 boys (17, 19 and 21) decided to take care of the situation themselves. The girls stayed in the car and the boys went and beat Rick. Stephanie came home about 4 a.m. and found him. It is a very sad situation all around. For all the families involved---from Stephanie to Rick's family all the way to the kids and their families that now all have their lives changed forever.

It made me last night thank the Lord for my salvation. I know if something happened to me or my husband we would be with the Lord.

Have a great week,

Friday, January 11, 2008

Inside Date Night

Last night was inside date night. "What is inside date night?" you may be asking. Basically, it's a night we set aside when we can't get out for a date but we are in desperate need of time together. The plan is simple: feed the kids, put kids to bed, take out for the two of us and a movie. Last night was great. By the time Chris got home with the food I had the 3 youngest in bed. CJ and Zachary watch tv and played DS in the family room. Chris and I went up to our room and enjoyed dinner and a movie. I was very surprised with the movie...it was more of a "chick flick"---and hubby picked it out! He got The Nanny Diaries. How relaxing, lying there in bed watching a movie with my honey. We even held hands. Of course the boys came up few times (mostly CJ looking for leftovers) but that was alright. It was funny though, every time they came to the door I told them they couldn't see us because we were on a date. They would laugh and cover their eyes.

The movie: I enjoyed it. A couple of words I could have done with out but besides that it was good. Watching it made me actually think about how glad I am that I am raising my children...ME not anyone else. The premise of the movie is about a girl, Annie, who comes out of college not knowing who she is or what she wants to do. While at the park she get mistaken for a Nanny. So she figures that she would be a nanny until she can figure out what she wants to do. The family she works for are a richy-richy family from the Upper East Side of New York. The mothers have very little interaction with the children and the fathers have even less. The mother loves to leave the nanny notes telling her what to do (or not to do) like the time she asked her to take the kid to a museum because she needed to sleep until atleast noon so keep the kid quiet. The saddest was when the mother decided (at the drop of a hat) she needed a break so she was going to the spa for a few days. While there the child ended up really sick with a high fever and the nanny couldn't get a hold of the mother.

You know what is sad....I know that this was only a movie BUT children REALLY DO LIVE THIS WAY! Can you imagine? I know I couldn't. Yes, my children drive me crazy at times---but I wouldn't want it any other way.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Wordless Wednesday--FINALLY some Christmas Pictures

Our Tree

Emily...our little package under our tree

Zachary opening some presents

My beautiful niece Laura


Emily going for a ride

One of my favorite Christmas presents....Two families I know came carolling at my house. They even did a special song for me "I'm getting nothin' for Christmas"

Jessica, Alex and Zachary at the Christmas play.

My version of homemade cookies....take out the refrigerated cookie dough!! I let them put sprinkles on it!

There are no words....

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Quick update

I just wanted to leave a quick update about Emily. I ended up cancelling her neurology appointment today. It was just not sitting right with me the doctor's office they set her for her. Living in New England I do have the opportunity to have available some of the finest hospitals in Boston (which is a ride, but well worth it). So I have a request put in for her to be seen at Children's Hospital. I will update when I know more.

Early Intervention came today. She told me that they recommend and send their clients to Children's. That confirmed in me that I was making the right decision. As far as EI is going....she said Emily is doing excellent. We have noticed a big leap in the last few weeks. She is babbling more and trying to walk. She takes on average 4 steps before she falls---sometimes more. Chris and I work on this daily with her.
I must run now....I am doing the joys of Algebra tonight with CJ (we are doing it right now and it is already pass 9 pm)
Thanks for all those who have been praying.


Monday, January 7, 2008

Testing 1-2-3, Testing

I don't know about you, but I HATE tests. Now, I am not talking about math or science here....I am talking about tests from God. I would rather help someone else through theirs (like encouraging or praying for them) than go through my own. They are just no fun!!

I know that God is working on me----constantly. And I am okay with that. But it is not always comfortable and it can down right hurt sometimes. I find that He will be working on an issue with me and then BAM! He wants to see if I REALLY have given over the situation to Him. Sometimes I do GREAT with the test, sometimes not so hot.

I will even open myself up here and give you 2 examples:
I have been reading a good book called "Passionate Housewives, Desperate for God". It is put out by Vision Forum. A friend of mine, Connie, gave it to me for Christmas. When I was in the second chapter, I almost gave up on it. Stacy McDonald is one of the authors and she talks about "me time" and how it is selfish to think we need it. She goes on to talk about how she has never had a massage, visited a spa or had a pedicure and she hasn't had a breakdown. You see, I like "me time". I don't find anything wrong with it. I have gone for a massage (not in quite some time) and a pedicure or two. I like to go to the market by myself to think or go up to my room for a time and let hubby have the kids to himself. I don't find anything selfish about this. This has kept me sain (even if at times my sanity was in question). I put the book down for a couple of days to think this over. Was I really being selfish? I decided at this point that I WOULD keep reading the book. There must be a reason why it was given to me. WELL I AM GLAD I KEPT READING!! Some of the things I have read have straight up challenged me while other things were so freeing. As I mentioned before, I just recently became a S.A.H.M. again and I definitely had some challenges with being home full-time.

So now to test #1. I was feeling real good about reading this book. I can see what she means by saying "me time" and how we need to die to self with serving our family. Tuesday (New Year's day) I had spent a good amount of time in the school room cleaning and organizing. It wasn't done yet, but close to it. I couldn't work on it anymore because Emily was up. A while later I had to talk (very loudly) to the boys to chill out playing Nerf gun. They came up stairs and I went down to my schoolroom and low and behold....that is where they were playing Nerf. I called the 3 boys down and....oh lets just say I did not have the reaction I should have. I not only blew it---I BLEW IT BIG TIME!! I was awful. I was walking in the flesh so much at the point and the "I am not appreciate" that I couldn't see beyond myself. I spent the rest of the night in "time out" in my room. By the morning I felt like such a fool. I knew that I had been given this test in front of me to see if I truly believed what I had been reading about and I failed. I started on a pity-party of "what an awful mother I am" and "the kids don't deserve to be stuck with me for a mother". The devil was having a field day with my mind. Then in a quite moment I thought of Terry Maxwell. I don't know if you know who she is but she has written many books. I was able to actually see her speak (along with her whole family minus one son)in September. While I didn't agree with 100% of what they had to say, I gleaned so much from her (you can check her out at http://titus2.com/ ). She went through a time of depression. From the sounds of it, it sounded much worse then the seasonal depression I use to get. At the conference she spoke about how she felt like she messed up bad with the kids at times. But then one day she asked her older children what they remember about there childhood (expecting to hear about all the times she messed up). To her surprise not one of them mentioned her times of failing. This thought on Wednesday brought me comfort. I also remembered something else....we are ALL sinners. It's true!! We all mess up now and then (some of us more than others) and the only thing that saves us is God's mercy and grace. Jesus died on the cross for moments like this. To be able to wipe clean my slate...and boy did I need it then. So I cried out to Him and asked for forgiveness. Too bad I didn't cry out to him BEFORE I reacted to the room (which by the way, the room was just the last straw that day. Many other things had happened. I don't want you think I am a crazy lady).

Test #2. This test came today. Today we were going to start back to school after having all of December off. I had very high expectations of how I wanted the day to go. I had planned to get up at 6 a.m. (even though the last month I have been getting up closer to 8), do my devotions, computer time and some straighten up before anyone got up. I was going to get CJ up at 6:30 and the other 3 at 7 (Emily is the only one who I would let sleep in). Next would be chores, breakfast, hygiene and ready to start school promptly at 8 a.m.. Healthy snack break is scheduled for 10 and Lunch for 1 pm. We were going to get so much done. I would read to the kids, play outside and maybe even do a craft. Oh it was a nice fantasy. Now for how the real day. Emily decided at 4:30 or so this morning to start crying. She would cry for about 30 seconds and then quiet for a couple of minutes and then start all over again. I went into her room multiple times, hold her, reassure her, put her back to bed, give her blankey and put her music on. One time I even put some teething lotion on just in case her teeth were bothering her. What I really felt was the problem was she wanted to come and sleep with Mommy. Ever since she was sick at Christmas time (I did alot of holding throughout the night) she has woken up a few times doing this. Finally at 5:30 I couldn't take it anymore and put her in bed with me. Not a peep out of her. She feel back to sleep about 10-15 minutes later IN MY BED. Now I couldn't get up like planned because I couldn't leave her alone. I figured that if I was awake during all the crying the kids had probably been awake too. I figured a little extra sleep for everyone would be fine. 8 a.m. rolled around and Emily and I were both just waking back up. At first I wanted to freak, but instead I put her in her crib (had Zachary entertain her while she was there) and I headed off to my office---I mean bathroom (it is one of the only places I can go and they won't follow me in). I prayed right then and there. I gave the day over to God and told Him that my plan was gone. For Him to use the day how He seemed fit. I chilled out and went with the flow. School didn't officially start until around 10:30 (and I was okay with that). No healthy snack at 10. No reading to the kids, no playing outside...it just didn't happen. And I was okay with all of it. It was a day of getting the kids back on track. Then Chris called me on his way home (like he always does). His day was busy but good. Hung up with him and a short time later he called back. He had broken down on the highway. He was able to get the car safely to the side of the road (thank you Jesus) but now he needed me to come and pick him up--another "not planned" moment in my day. So off I went. I was just so thankful that he was alright that it didn't bother me to go and get him...in fact, I felt like the Calvary coming to save him (except instead of a horse I rode a blue minivan). On the way there the thoughts started coming into my mind "how on earth are we going to pay for a tow and car repairs now!" I knew this was a test. Just this morning while I was laying in bed trying to get Emily asleep I was thinking about how I haven't worked in 4 months---so far, so good. My mind was now racing ahead of me with all the "what ifs". This is one of my problems...stress and anxiety about $$. But on that ride to save my hubby I decided right then and there to give it over to God. He will make a way...He ALWAYS does. By the time I had gotten to Chris I had a smile on my face. When we got home I felt like I was being pulled in many directions at once. Trying to figure out how we were going to do to get the car off the highway, Emily was up, lunch needed to be made and CJ's shirt needed to be ironed so he could get ready to go his game. Chris (who is a tremendous help) was outside washing the van. When he worries--he cleans. I knew he had alot on his mind so I didn't want to bother him. At first I wanted to scream inside. I felt overwhelmed. Instead, I took one job at a time and did what I could when I could. Everything got done---kids feed, baby changed, CJ to his game and the car towed to our house. All of it AND I went and did some more school with Jessie and Zachary while Chris was talking with one of our neighbors who is a mechanic. This day was full of tests I would have to say I PASSED!!! I passed with flying colors!

Both of these days were used by God to work on me. I will have to admit...today was easier and hurt less than last week. If only I could run to God every moment instead of thinking that "I can handle it".

Test #1 F
Test #2 A-----who doesn't like to get an "A"


New Online Homeschool Magazine!

THOM Magazine

Tomorrow is the debut of a new online homeschool magazine---The Heart of the Matter.
You can click on the link above to see a sneak peak. Some of my favorite bloggers are contributors. I hope you enjoy!


Sunday, January 6, 2008

Godly Tomatoes

There is a new book out that I just heard about....it sounds great so I thought I would pass it along. It is called Raising Godly Tomatoes by L. Elizabeth Krueger. I found out about this book through Less of Me--More of Him's blog. She is actually having a contest to give away one of these books for FREE! You can go and enter the contest at http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/Tiany/ . Also, you can check out the author's website at http://www.raisinggodlytomatoes.com/order.asp . Good Luck!


Saturday, January 5, 2008

A Few of My Favorite Things

Happy Blogoversary to Tiany at Less of Me--More of Him! She has been blogging for 2 years now. This is one of my favorite blogs to check in on daily. To celebrate her blogoversary she is do a contest---can you believe it! She is GIVING something away in celebration. She put together a basket FULL of her favorite things. To enter, go to her blog http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/Tiany/ . From there, she will tell you the rules to enter. Basically, you list on your blog YOUR favorite things, post it on your blog with a link back to her. It's that simple!!

So a few of my favorite things (whenever I say that I think of Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music):

1. Chocolate! I LOVE chocolate. I need to have some form of it daily. I don't go for the expensive stuff either. Give me a a bag of Hershey Kisses and I am good to go.
2. My Computer. I rather be on my comptuer than watch t.v.. I love to read other blogs, research homeschool things and email.
3. Blistex. I have to have this. My lips have been chapped for as long as I can remember. I usually have a few throughout the house, one in my sweatshirt or pocket of my pants and Chris hides a few. I have a terrible habit of putting them down and not remembering where I put them.
4. Lisa Whelchel books. Anything she rights. I have almost ALL her stuff. I find her very down to earth and real with issues she has faced. Her books are very encourging and easy reading (which, lets face it...with 5 kids I need that sometimes).
5. CBD. I love to order things through them. I live in Massachusetts and CBD is located in Peabody. Whenever I order, if I do it before noon and chose UPS delivery I ALWAYS get it the next day. I LOVE that!

Those are all materialist Favorite things. Then I have favorite things that you can't buy..which mean more to me:
1. I love when Emily wakes up in the morning and I go into her room and she is sitting up with this HUGE smile! It is the best! It is like she is saying "I missed you all night, I am so glad you are here."
2. Kisses from my kids. I have never counted how many kisses I actually get in a day...but it is alot! Even my 14 y.o. son comes over every once in a while and gives me peck on the forehead or check. There are times when Zachary gets up before I do and I can feel his soft little lips kiss my nose while I am sleeping.
3. "I love you" notes left by my hubby.
4. When it is cold or rainy outside and I have no place to go. I can stay in my sweats and just snuggle up.


Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Prayer Request

Hello fellow prayer warriors----I need you!
Next week, Tuesday, Jan. 8th, we are taking our precious little Emily to see a Pedi-Neurologist. We got Emily on June 24, 2007. We noticed not to long after getting her that she would sometimes have tremors and at other times she would just stare blankly for what seemed like forever but was really for less than 30 seconds. The tremors have seemed to stop but she still has the episodes that she will stop what she is doing and just stare. You try talking to her, wave your hands in front of her and even touch her---and NOTHING. She then snaps out of it and continues on. The Nurse Practitioner (NP) that we see said at first she wanted to give it some time to see if she keeps doing it. As we approached her birthday, Chris and I along with the social workers and the NP have all decided it is time to look further into this (esp. with her prenatal history). Being a nurse my mind runs at 100 mph with things like this. I know what it could be. I know it could be seizures. I HATE even speaking it out there. When I see her having her "episodes" it reminds me of a childhood friend, Barbara. I remember being in the middle of playing with her and her doing the same thing. She got diagnosed with Epilepsy as a child.

So my prayer: that God will lead us to the right Dr's, the right test, the right diagnosis. Also, that God would help Chris and I to deal with it too. As a parent, you don't want you child to be sick or have a chronic medical condition. You rather carry it yourself then see them suffer. This is where I am at. Her having a possible medical problem doesn't make us love her any less or think any differently about her. When I told my father yesterday what is going on and how the social worker want us to find out what it is going on BEFORE we finalize he said "it is too late..you can't give her back now!" Honestly, that WASN'T even a thought. They just want us to find out before we finalize because if something is wrong they can apply for more things for us (our social workers are great, always looking out for us). It was nice to see my father (who is usually a very cold person) show how much he loves her by his comment.

Thank you. I will keep you all up to date.


Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

Happy 2008!
I look forward to the new year. I don't make New Year's resolutions. To me, that has a tone of failure...how many people REALLY keep them. Rather, I look at my life and think of areas to work on or things I want to do.

1. I want to get HEALTHY (did you notice I did NOT use the words diet or lose weight). I want to be able to walk from my bottom floor up the 2 flights of stairs to the bedrooms with out feeling like I need some oxygen. So to do this I will add more fruits and veggies and less chocolate and junk food. See, my problem isn't eating TONS of food. In fact, most of my skinny friends eat much more than me. I however eat all the wrong foods. I would rather pick at Hershey Kisses all morning than sit down and eat a bowl of cereal and some juice. THIS NEEDS TO CHANGE. Also, I need to exercise more than my fingers on a keyboard. I need to get my cholesterol to a healthy level. I will be starting Red Yeast Rice tomorrow. This has been used in asian medicine for centuries. My NP that I see said it can reduce my levels by 30%...that would be fantastic!

2. I need to step it up a notch with homeschooling. I need to plan things out. Also, at the beginning of the school year I was doing great with ignoring the computer and phone during school time. That has gone by the waist side. Need to get back on track with that. No more phone calls unless it is Hubby checking in on the day (or me making an SOS call to him).

3. I need to do some bible studies this year. I am pretty good with doing my devotions in the morning however, I need some meat. I have had a Beth Moore study on my shelf for well over a year. I had started it when I got it and.... well, I need to make this a priority. Also, I would like to start memorizing scripture.

4. Church. I need to go to church more consistently. My hubby has a job that his days off are Wednesday and Thursday. There is no way around it. This will be the way it is until he wins the bid for Sunday off and that won't be probably for a few more years---state job with LOTS of people senior to him. So I am by myself trying to get the 5 of them out the door. And I don't know about you, but that is the time we are in spiritual warfare the most. I swear I can hear the devil laughing some Sundays at my frustration just waiting for me to give up. Unfortunately, I give up much more than I should. Chris has mentioned going to church mid-week as a family. Still tossing this one around. If we did this then he would be getting fed too.

5. I want to get financially healthy too. I worked part-time for 5 years as a surgical nurse. I started homeschooling the same year I finished nursing school and started working. That first year I only had one child school-age and another that was a toddler. I worked 4 evenings (3 pm to 1130 pm) a week. Looking back---I HAVE NO IDEA HOW I DID IT! Slowly but surely God has made a way for me to be home. The second year of hsing I cut down to 3 evenings a week. Did that for 2 1/2 years. Then I cut down to per-diem (as needed, but I still filled out the schedule) 2 evenings a week. Did that for 6 or so months and then started scheduling myself 1 day a week. In September, I finally broke free. Each time that I went to my husband and asked for me to work less it was a lesson in faith. Each time we could not see with OUR eyes how we were going to afford for me not to work. But we kept stepping out in faith and God has always met our needs...and some of our wants too. I think we bring in enough money a month to live comfortable, but, and this is a BIG BUT, we aren't so great with budgeting it. I want that to change. I want to be able to sleep at night without worry about $$ or the Would've, Should've, Could'ves that can happen.

I think that is a good start. What about you. I would love to hear some of the things you want to work on in the new year. Leave it to me in the comments or a link to your blog for me to check it out.