Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!
This year we actually made our own dinner! The last time we did this was 1997! We usually get a turkey dinner from a local restaurant. But I decided to save money (lots of it actually) by doing it ourselves. I did alot of the prep work yesterday. I made 3 pies (2 pumpkin and 1 double layer pumpkin pie), mashed sweet potatoes, mashed carrots and turnips, chopped up the onions and celery for the stuffing (which Chris made last night) and cut up the potatoes for mashed potatoes. Chris already put the bird in the oven. Now it is time to relax and enjoy the morning.

Chris' sister and 2 kids will be joining us. So there will be 11 of us all together. Last year we had to bring Emily to the ER because she had a high fever. I am hoping to stay away from that place this year : )

I hope everyone enjoys the day.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Homeschool Song

Found this through one of the blogs I follow. Thought it was funny.


CJ made the newspaper today. The highschool he plays for is highlighted today for the Thanksgiving Day game tomorrow. In a separate article they talk about the improvement the JV team has made. About CJ the paper says "With (another student's name) called to the varsity, sophomore CJ (last name) has handled the quarterback duties. The coach noted that CJ is a hard running quarterback." It also has an individual picture of him (along with 11 others---3 in total being sophomores).

What a testimony to God. Here he is not even going to the school but getting recognized. He is in a play at church over the first weekend in December. Do you know what he did. He personally invited each of his coaches, he handed out tickets to the football players, put a poster up on his locker for the play and gave a ticket to the to the athletic director and his secretory. Of all his accomplishments, telling others about God makes me the most proud.

Ready, Set.......Shop?

Can you believe Christmas Eve is 4 weeks from today!!?? Unbelievable. This year has just flown by. Black Friday is (of course) this Friday. Do you go? I try to avoid crowds as much as possible so I will not be heading out at 4 am in hopes of a great deal. 2 years in a row I did do the mad dash and I will have to admit, there is a certain excitement of being at a store that early trying to get the hot item. That was about 6 years, 3 kids ago. You know what I have found.....except for a few spectacular deals, you can get some great deals throughout the whole season.

So for the last 5 years we have used a new system for Christmas shopping and it works great for us. First we make a list of all the people we will be buying for. We have cut our list way down. It consists of our children, 2 nieces and 2 nephews, parents, and angel tree gift. That's about it. I may get a gift card for the mailman.

Next we brainstorm some ideas for each of them. Each of our children get 5 gifts, 3 from us and 2 from Santa. We look over the budget and we are ready to go. Since Chris' days off fall in the middle of the week it works out great. We pick 1 day (usually a Wednesday) and book my mother WAY in advance to sleepover the night before. On this 1 day we do ALL our shopping minus shopping for each other. We start off the day going out for breakfast just the two of us. We make the game plan of what stores and in what order. Then we shop, and shop and shop. We will stop for lunch.

This works out great for us. For one thing it is all done. Than it is the added bonus that we got to spend the day together just the 2 of us.

This works for us. What do you do for Christmas shopping?

Monday, November 24, 2008

It's Monday!!

It's Monday!!! I decided to go crazy and take this week off from school after all. YIPPY!!! I am going to use this week to do crafts with the 3 middle kids, cleaning and organizing (the hallway closet is high on my list), and enjoy the break with the kids. This is a busy time of year and it is only going to be getting busier.

Emily's birthday is 3 weeks from tomorrow. Her adoption is suppose to be that day too. We plan on having a celebration that day to celebrate both. Zachary's birthday is on December 29th. So time to organize will make things easier in the upcoming 5 weeks.

I am feeling much better today. Saturday was awful (as you can probably tell if you read the previous post). Yesterday we went to church and I came home and watch a movie. I usually don't take the time to sit and watch one....but you know what....IT FELT GREAT!!!! I then cleaned the black hole (my room). After dinner I watched the Amazing Race.

I am taking a step back right now in homeschooling. I am my worst critic. I know the kids are progressing in their education. I think I need to chill out. Instead of being worried about what might happen years from now I am just going to concentrate on this year.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Okay, so I went MIA (again). I seem to be doing that alot lately. I have to be honest.....this has been the toughest and most emotionally draining school year to date (this is year number 7). When I am feeling upset and down I figure the last thing people want to read about is me boo-hooing. So instead, I retreat, and go missing for awhile.

Last night I went to my homeschool support group meeting. I head it up with 2 other ladies. I was very excited to hear a friend of mine, Pam, speak. Oh she was good. She has 5 daughters ranging in age from 10 to 26. She has been homeschooling for 17 years. She honestly is one of my favorite people to just talk to and listen to. There is so much wisdom in that head of hers. And what a servant's heart she has.

My plan last night for the meeting was to go and just listen. I didn't plan on saying very much, if anything at all (which is unusual for me). But Pam challenged us with a question "Why did you start homeschooling and why are you still doing it. Has the reasons changed". I thought is was just a question for each of us to ponder. Well next thing I know, everyone was going around saying their answer. It got to me. The first part of the question was easy. Why did I start. I knew that. But why am I continuing to homeschool. Well I lost it. The flood gates opened. Honestly, at this point I am homeschooling out of pure obedience to my husband and God. The flesh part of me felt done. I am tired and find no joy in it...AT ALL. The Mom part of me knows I would be dealing with a whole other set of problems if they were in PS. Then there is the part of me that wants to do it not because I have to but because I want to.

It just so hard right now. I feel like I am running a race and I am just not fast enough. Last year was my first year ever hsing with a infant/toddler. I slacked off on somethings in school. Long story short, I would say my younger kids are doing a level lower in their reading, spelling, math books than their "school grade". Now I am trying to play catch-up and basically going at a pace to catch them up by next year. I keep telling myself that if I could just go a little faster now, than once they catch up I will slow down then. But in the meantime, I am burning out and I lost all joy for homeschooling. The kids hardly do a craft project. We hardly ever read together. And fun kinds of activites just don't fit into my neat-little check off the box kind of thinking right now. And character issues or attitudes......they just get me angry because now I am really taken back. IT'S AWFUL!!! This is NOT the mom or homeschooler that I wanted to be.

The Ladies at the meeting were all so encouraging. But you know what...I am usually the one doing the encouraging and it is a much easier place to be in. I feel so unworthy right now. I feel the kids deserve so much better than what they got stuck with (me that is). The Ladies were telling me those were all lies from the creator of lies. It is easier right now to believe those lies because of the way I feel. I am in a valley right now and it is hard to believe that there will ever be at peak again.

If you have ever felt this way or have any advice I am open. Please keep me in your prayers right now. Thanks.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Jessica!!!

Today is Jessica's 8th birthday!!!

Let's Hear it for the Boy!!

CJ made Red-Team Player of the week this week for the high school football team!!! Now I know you must be wondering what that I'll try to explain (from what I know). Like most high school football teams, varsity is where it is at. In our area we have a freshman team, JV and varsity. Our varsity does not have any starter who aren't seniors (except for when the varsity QB was hurt than they called the JV QB up). For JV, you have your starters--mostly Juniors with a handful of Sophomores). They now take these starters from JV, called the red team, and they practice with varsity. The idea is for red team to be the opposing team. When varsity wins (which they do most of time) their real game, red team is recognized. It is felt that they have prepared them sufficiently. One player on the red team gets recognized as player of the week. This week it was CJ.

His coaches had some really great things to say. It has already been said that they expect him to be a starter next year for varsity (he's a sophomore this year). This is a little funny considering this summer he didn't expect to get any playing time this year. He had it all figured out. Varsity had there star QB. JV 's QB was already picked out too from the year before. He went into this year figuring he would get no playing time at all during a game. But see, that just goes to show you that with God, anything is possible.

After the first real game of the year the Varsity QB got hurt and was going to be out for some time. When this happened everyone moved up in the line. The JV starter now became the Varsity starter and CJ moved into starting QB for JV. He expected this to last only a few games...2 at the most. However, the Varsity star stayed out longer than expected. 2 weeks turned into 4. When the varsity starter came back to practice CJ thought for sure he was done with starting himself...but do you know what happened....PRIDE.

No, not pride on the part of CJ, but Pride on the part of the original JV starter. He got a taste of varsity and he didn't want to go back. He would rather sit on the sidelines during a varsity game and have no playing time at all than play a full game at JV!!! He said so himself. He said he had "better things to do on a Saturday than play JV". Well you don't have to ask CJ twice to step in. He was more than happy to stay doing what he loves. Playing the game.

Last night was a special night for CJ. He got to have 6 plays in last nights varsity game!!! He played a few different positions. HE LOVED IT!!! He came home very excited to play under Friday Night Lights.....and I think it helped that he played against the city that we use to live in. Oh, BTW, he really couldn't play anymore than he did in Varsity. State rule is if you play 10 plays at the varsity level you are ineligible to play that week at the JV level.

One last thing to say. I am proud of my son. He works hard to keep his body in shape and takes his sports seriously. But you know what I am even more proud of.....his new found perspective of it all. A few years a go all he did was think about sports morning, noon and night. He got up watching Sports Center and went to sleep listening to sports radio. He wanted to be a professional sports player in either football or baseball. But something has changed in him over the last year. He is now open to God's direction in his life. Now don't get me wrong. He STILL wants to be a professional sports player but he is open to the possibility that he might not be. This is HUGE...VERY HUGE!!! He knows that God may take this all away from him someday....and he is okay with that. My boy is growing up. Not just age wise but growing in the Lord. Not too long ago he sent me an email and I noticed his signature quote at the bottom.

"If I'm only remembered as a good athlete, I've done a bad job with the rest of my life."

I am proud of you CJ for the young man of God you are turning into. Love ya!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Well yesterday's little upset stomach turned into much more. I had the whole 9 yards...fever, body aches, stomach pain and get the idea. Today I am feeling better...not 100%, but better. Chris is now in bed sick. Same symptoms. I think Emily had something too. Last night Chris told me she wouldn't eat much and she wasn't herself. This morning when I got up there was vomit in her crib. Talk about feeling like an awful mother!! The one night I fall asleep with my bedroom door closed and no monitor that happens. I have no idea if she woke up and did it or did it in her sleep. This morning she goes between cranky and big smiles.

CJ is helping out as much as he can. He has lots of work school work he has to do so he doesn't fall behind. Zachary has decided he is going to be daddy's special helper. He is carrying around Chris' cell phone. He told Chris just to call him on it if he needs anything. He looks so proud carrying around the phone---waiting for it to ring.

Jessica's birthday is Saturday. This has been a tough week. This will be her 4 birthday with us and true to form, the week leading up to her birthday is always a challenging one. She is pushing every button she can. I am trying my best to stay calm but it can be hard. Atleast it is down to just her birthday. For the first 3 years we had her EVERY birthday (no matter who's it was) and holiday she went out of her way to try to ruin. She has come along way. I need to keep reminding myself of that.

Well I am hoping to get some school done today since we ended up taking yesterday off unexpectedly. Have a great day.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Still Here

Just wanted to say a quick hello. I haven't been feeling very well over the last week so my computer time has been way down. I have had a hard enough time doing the thing I need to do (like school, grocery shop and preparing meals) that the energy just hasn't been here mentally or physically to blog. Chris has done a marvelous job doing the things I just couldn't (like TONS of laundry).

Yesterday was the first day in a week that I felt almost like myself. Today I woke up with an upset stomach. I am hoping it will pass because Chris and I are suppose to go and see Fireproof tonight with another couple.

So if you think of it, please keep me in your prayers. What I really need at this point is a good, restful night sleep. The last time I had a night that happened was about 9 days ago. This is all coming about because of Fibromyalgia. It is a vicious circle.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

New Hair Do

I believe I have mentioned it before but I will just in case you are new to the blog. I have 3 beautiful children that are adopted. I feel truly blessed and I KNOW each one was picked out by God Himself.

My oldest daughter has a stubbornness about her (I don't know where she gets that from ; )
She can be told something over and over but until she experiences it herself she isn't going to believe you.

Well today she got a lesson on disobedience. Jessica is biracial...her birth father was black and her birth mother was spanish and white (so I guess that is tri-racial). To look at her you won't automatically say she was black....except for the hair. The hair gives it away (not that it a secret or anything). She has extremely thick hair with tight curls.

With ethnic hair you do not need to wash it as often. In fact, there was a time a few years ago that I would bring her to the hairdresser once a month and they would wash and straighten it. That would last her the whole month. The place I was going to closed and since then I have been doing it at home.

Well my little darling likes to do her own thing. As many times as I would hide the shampoo or tell her not to wash her hair she would. Let's face it....who can resist the delicious smell of the shampoo. So after fighting endless wars on this I told her if she was going to wash it she needed to brush it out (not an easy task). I would remind her over and over. Long story short.....she has NOT been brushing it out. She washes it and puts it right back in a ponytail. Today I went to take the scrunchy out and the hair was so knotted it stayed right it that position. There was only one thing to do......cut it.

I didn't want to cut it. In fact, I tried my hardest to brush it out but it was BAD! But this brought about some great learning opportunities. First off, before I even started Jessica's hair she had an upset face. I asked her what the problem was. She said "I have just wish right now, that is to have straight hair." This has been a sore spot for her for 3 years now. Many of her friends have long, straight hair. She use to wish for it. Today I told her "You know Honey, God gave you that beautiful curly hair. And by saying that you wish you had straight hair it is like saying that you think God made a mistake. God doesn't make mistakes. But you did make a mistake. You decided not to take care of it. Wishing for straight hair isn't going to solve this, but you realizing you did something wrong will."

When it came time for the cut she cried BUCKETS! Yes, I did cut it myself. I used this opportunity to talk to her about disobedience and consequences. I have told her many times that everything we do has an affect, whether good or bad. This was a result of her wanting to do her own thing (like I said, this is an area we are working on consistently). I did call Chris and the boys up (they were out getting their own haircuts) and told them that they need to use compassion when they come in. Jessica was upset enough.

Well to all our surprise, her hair came out pretty cute. I say surprise for 2 reason...1 I did it and 2 the horrible mess it was in. I took off at least 8-10 inches in spots---if not more. So what do you think?
Jessica's new do. The front is pinned up.

We did show compassion and love too. Her Daddy picked her up a sundae to cheer her up. Who would have thought that one haircut could bring about some many of life lessons.

Tuesday Review

Over at Homeschooling and Loving It Angela has been doing a Tuesday Review. Basically, find something you love and write a review. I have been wanting to do a review for a while, but was stumped on what to write about. What would people find interesting? What do people want to know about? These are the questions that stump me all the time with my blog in general. I don't want to bore or offend anyone.

Well the last few times I have vacuumed I have said to myself "I love this vacuum. I should tell people about it." So here I am : )

In September Chris surprised me with a new vacuum (and Rug cleaner too). It is funny how our perspective changes. I remember our first Christmas married Chris got me a vacuum and I wanted to cry. Needless to say, it went back. Well 16 years later I was thrilled to get one! Seriously...I had wanting a new one and when he walked through the door I couldn't wait to play with my new toy.

I am now the proud owner of a Hoover Deluxe Elite Rewind. It has 12 amps, Lifetime Hepa Filter, automatic cord rewind and is bagless. I never thought of getting a bagless vacuum before this. Now I love it. Why you may ask...because of this.

Gross isn't it? YES!!! That is why I now love get to see the dirt right away. Now here is the shocking part. I vacuumed Sunday night! It is now Tuesday morning (I usually vacuum the main floor daily, bedrooms once a week and family room atleast 4 times a week. I actually enjoying vacuuming. It is my favorite household job). Also, this came only from my main floor---living room, hallway, dining room and spare room. (You should have seen the pile the first time I did my whole house with this vacuum). It really pulls the dirt out of the rug. In fact, the week before I got the vacuum we were all sick. After I vacuumed each room for the first time I would show everyone the canister and how much dirt there was. Chris looked at it and said "why wonder we were all sick!"

It comes with 3 attachements plus a hose in the back that comes out so you can do stairs or furniture. Emptying is a snap and cleaning the filter is easy. Just snap off the canister in the front, open the top (1/4 turn counter-clockwise) and the filter is in the top.

One of the best things of all....the price. We got it at Best Buy. Regular price is $130. He did get it on sale. I have also seen it online for about $100.

I hope this helps. And please know....we are not dirty people. We are just a normal family with 5 kids, 1 inside dog and a powerful vacuum
: )


Don't forget to vote today. BTW, Starbucks will give you a free cup of coffee today if you vote. All you have to do is go in and tell them you voted and you will get a Tall cup of coffee.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Co-Worker Vs. Friend

Yesterday, when I was out and about, I ran into a former co-worker. She still works on the same floor I worked on for 5 years. You know what she asked me..."Are you still working there?" I was shocked to say the least. I looked at her with a puzzled look on my face and said "I LEFT 14 months ago!" She didn't believe me at first. She thought I was kidding. But I told her it was no joke. It is sad to say, but this isn't the first time this has happened. Back in the spring I ran in someone and she asked the same thing (I had already been gone for atleast 6 months). They both tried making up reasons why they didn't know I was gone: We worked different shifts, I worked usually only on Saturdays, Things get so busy at change of shift....blah, blah, blah. The truth is, they were only work acquaintances, not friends. I knew the difference and kept it that way. Sure, we'd talk sitting around the breakroom or the nurse's station but I would be careful at what I would say. They never knew the real me. I knew that once I left that job so would end the "friendship". I have had enough jobs to know how it works. Now don't get me wrong, I know there are some people that really are friends with co-workers and continue there friendship after one of them leaves their job. I have NEVER had that experience. I also never went out with anyone from work other than stopping for a coffee on the way home a few times. My free time was too busy. Also, hanging around with a majority of my co-workers would have meant I would have had to compromise in what I believe in. That wasn't happening. I guess what I am trying to say is the word "friend" is just too special to me and I don't like to give it to just anybody.