Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Waiting for my glimpse

I don't have anything too interesting to blog about today.  But I thought it would be good to blog anyway.  Maybe I can talk about some things I have been feeling lately.

Our life is in this limbo now.  It is a hard place to be.  You want to have the assurance of a paycheck in two weeks when in all actuality you know that in a week and 2 days you could potentially be getting the last one.  It is scary that I have $88 in my savings account and although there is a severance it needs to last long enough for Troy to get a job.  It is scary when others in our situation crush your positive attitude about things because they are in the fire and it is really hot...and they are letting you know just how hot it can be.  Then there are those that seem to be getting it all.  It just all falls into their laps (at least that is they way it looks from the outside looking in).  I find myself wondering what the plan is.  Why is all of this happening?  What am I supposed to do.  So far the only thing I am getting is nothing.  Which means I need to keep doing what I am doing and wait.

Many do not seem to get this.  There are some that have asked when I am going to go back to work.  I would do it tomorrow if I had to.  But I have been prayerful in this decision and so far I have not heard God tell me to stop homeschooling my kids.  If anything I feel like when I pray this prayer more doors and resources open up to just solidify the decision in homeschooling.  I know that is hard for many to understand.

I can honestly say that I am not worried about God providing but I am really anxious to know what the plan is.  I know it is unrealistic to think that He would tell me, but sometimes he gives us glimpses.  I guess I will just have to wait and see.  Waiting...I seem to do that a lot these days.  I pray that He will let me capture a glimpse sooner rather then later.

Wow for someone that has nothing to say I was able to get some stuff out!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

first test

So right after I blogged about wants and needs I got suckered in to an infomercial.  I was going to buy it.  I went to the website and started filling out the form. My dear friend on facebook made a comment about my blog post and then me rushing to buy this thing.  I stopped what I was doing and decided to wait.  The more I have thought about it the more I realize that I don't NEED this thing. 

The night after I finished the 5k Troy was talking to me and telling me how proud he was of me and how well I was doing with the running thing.  He also said he would like to buy me an iPod if this is something I wanted to really pursue; and it is.  I would much rather save our money for an iPod then something from an infomercial no matter how cool I think it is!  I know I will get a lot of use out of the iPod.  So that being said I think I passed the first test with help from friends! :) Thanks B!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


In 2006 I started blogging on a different site.  I don't know how to merge the two together but you can go here if you would like to read it!

In anticipation for the day that we can afford to get new floors I have convinced my wonderful husband to tear up the ones we have.  They are dirty and smelly and I am over them.  He has been a great sport and has done this task for me.  I would do it myself but I am not that great with a crow-bar.  (I made some holes in the drywall when doing it myself).  Anyway, in this process I have just felt like we have too much stuff.  Now by the typical American standard we don't have enough, but I don't feel as though we should be living by the American standard. 

I know someone who at the beginning of the school year buys 6 shirts, 4 pairs of pants, 4 pairs of shorts, 2 pairs of shoes, socks and underwear for her four children.  These are the ONLY clothes they have for the year.  Imagine that? Surveying my girls closet they each have at least (not an exaggeration) 12 dresses a piece.  They each have at least 10 pairs of shorts and about as many skirts. Forget about the shirts; there have got to be at least 25 each.  They both have 5+ pairs of shoes and Ellie has about 15 pairs of panties.  I bet you have only seen them in about a 1/4 of those outfits.  Today Ellie wore a dress that my neighbor thought was new, she has had it forever just hardly ever wears it.  To top it all off I have only purchased about 10% of the items.  They are all hand-me-downs.  (I am so thankful for every single piece!)

Here's the thing; as much as I love that others are looking out for us and I love that we are being taken care of I don't NEED all of this stuff.  My girls cannot possibly wear every single piece of clothing in their closet.  There is just no way.  And really, did the children of the person(s) giving me the stuff wear all of it too?  I would have to think not.  It is just crazy.  So in all of this craziness I have been thinking about what is a want and what is a need.  Troy and I want a lot of things.  We buy a lot of those wants.  We don't NEED about 95% of them.  Someone or something has told us that we do but in reality we don't.  Troy was even a bit nervous about the amount of clothes we are getting rid of.  I just looked at him and said there is enough! 

Lately I have noticed that there is a lot going out (money) and we really don't have anything to show for it.  I added up the amount of expenditures that we thought we "needed" over the last month that were really "wants".  We are going to take that amount in cash and put it in a jar.  The rule is that the money cannot leave the jar unless Troy and I both agree that it is a necessity and not just a want.  It is okay to have wants and to even get them but we both have to agree that it is worth it.  I think this will be a great visual for us. We are horrible savers and I think that we will be able to have a rather large savings account after doing this project.  I will let you know how it goes.  I want to try it for 6 months.

I don't know what to do with all of the clothes.  Someone suggested that I hand it all down too.  I can't do that to someone.  It is so overwhelming. I could have participated in Tot2Tot but this was not the right time for so many reasons.  I think I might have a garage sale and then donate the rest. Either way it needs to leave my home for good!  For those of you that read this and are the ones that hand stuff down to me, I am not saying don't do it anymore but I will not promise it will all stay with me.  I am going to have a strict 10 piece rule from now on.  I will take out my favorite 10 pieces and then pass the rest on to someone else!  That way the next person doesn't have to be so overwhelmed and the clothing can be a blessing to them too.

The girls clothes that we are getting rid of. 

The clothes from our closet.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Running it out for the Generations...

Today I participated in my first ever 5K.  That is 3.2 miles if you don't know.  I have been training for this for a while.  I actually injured myself 3 weeks ago and have not been able to run until today.  It was really hard.  I didn't run the whole time but I would say that I ran about half. Not bad I'd say.

When I crossed the finish line I lost it.  I started to cry and couldn't stop.  Several friends ran up and hugged me (sweat, stink, tears and all).  Even little Charlotte came up and grabbed my leg.  I was hurting.  The arch in my foot was so sore that I think I may have bruised it.  My groin felt like I had pulled a muscle.  Why was I crying though?  The pastor's wife came up to me and made the comment that it was a pretty emotional moment.  She wanted to know why.  I said because it was so hard.  But now that I have had time to process it all I realize that I was so emotional because this has been an emotional journey.

At the end of May I decided that I needed to seek counseling.  I was struggling with some relationships with friends, my marriage was less then desirable and I was just plain exhausted.  I was angry all the time too and this was so unlike me.  I went and saw a counselor at church and she had some really good things to say.  One was that I did not have clear boundaries set for myself and for others around me and the other was that I was wrapped up in some Generational Sin. (I will go into generational sin in another post, it is too long for this one!).  Anyway, I had put all of this pressure on myself and had decided that I was not important.  Everyone else around me was.  This is a pattern of sorts that other women in my family have, and maybe even still do, struggled with. I was not aware of some of it but my mom was able to bring some things to light.  The thing with GS (like my abbreviation!) is that it gets stuck to us and we may not even know about it.  We walk around paying for wrongs in the past, and many times we continue those wrongs.  We are held down by the bondage that GS brings.

Anyway, at the time I admitted that I did not pray for myself. Never. Not ever.  I knew that this was not a good way to live but I felt that I did not need to bother God with my problems.  After seeing the counselor and having a few revelations of my own I realized that I had a problem.  One was I was extremely overweight.  I had ballooned up to a weight that I had not seen in a non-pregnant state.  I was eating for 5 and not thinking twice about it.  I couldn't walk up the stairs at my friends house with out being so winded that I thought I might just have asthma.

I decided to join Weight Watchers and I have lost 15 lbs so far.  I also decided to run.  Something that even my husband said I shouldn't do because of my knees.  I started praying for myself and asking God for specific things.

Well I did it!  I ran my first 5K today and although I walked some I crossed that finish line. As I ran and the pain started to overwhelm me and the enemy started to whisper lies in my ear, I cried to the Almighty.  He got me through it.  When I thought I was done there was scripture and there were photos of girls that are held in bondage. The outpour of emotions, at the end of the race, was because today was just another broken chain of the bondage that the women before me and myself were smothered by.  This was a chain that will not be able to hold down the generations that will follow me and that includes my girls!

The motto for Kingsland Baptist Church is "Love God, Love People, and equipping the generations one home at a time".  I tell you that today some powerful things happened with the beginning and the completion of that run and I am so glad it did.

Friday, September 17, 2010

My Girls

*Warning still no no cute pics to update!*

My girls are really so very special to me.  They have really started playing with each other over the last week.  It will be very quiet and I will go looking for them only to find that they have shut the door to their room and are playing vet with all of their animals.  I know Ellie likes it because she can tell Charlotte what to do and Charlotte likes it because Ellie will play with her.  There is a time when toddlers stop playing by themselves and actually want to engage in play with others.  Charlotte has finally started to really make the transition. 

Today I realized it was 1:30 and I had not put Charlotte down for her nap yet.  This is very unusual because I am ready for her nap by then.  I found her and Ellie sharing a blanket in the gameroom watching Olivia and looking at books together.  They were so sweet and I hated to break it up.  When I told Charlotte is was time to go to be she jumped up and yelled, "Night, Hellie." She loves her sister!

Ellie is starting to tolerate Charlotte a lot more too.  I think that she is realizing that Char can play too it is just a little differently.  They have truly spent hours upon hours this week just playing together.  What a blessing. I am sure the cat-fights are sure to ensue but for now I am enjoying this time of sisterly love!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Work Bags

So with the never ending struggle that we are having with homeschooling I have decided to try something new with Jackson.  He has a hard time being motivated and although he is only 7 he still gets the concept of cause and effect and he knows his actions always have a consequence (good or bad).   I know that he is overwhelmed by the work load.  He is a lot like me in that aspect. If something is going to be really time consuming and even a bit challenging, I do not start it.  I wait. Sometimes I wait too long.  None the less I am a procrastinator and my son is starting, at a very young age, to show the same traits. So how can we fix this?  My friend, Emily, suggested that I let him work at his own pace.  Let him know what he has to get done by Friday and then let him work it out.  There is a system called the "work-box" system that, when it boils down to it, is your entire day planned out into little boxes, down to breaks, lunch and even nap time. 

Now I admit that I am obsessed with having things all organized.  I love to buy containers, baskets and boxes but really I do not have room for anymore in my school room.  So I decided to come up with work-bags that he can just put in his cubby everyday.  Also, instead of filling each bag daily I have decided to fill them for the week.  I apologize that I do not have photos yet, my batteries are dead in the camera (I will get some tonight).

Here is how I set them up for Week One:

SSRW book and Assessment Book
Book 9 Reader (SSRW)
Instructions for the week written as a check list so that he can mark off each assignment as he finishes them.  There are certain assignments that require my assistance and those assignments are indicated.

We are working on fast facts.  I noticed that he was struggling without a number line.  As his curriculum has been progressing he is beginning to really fall behind and his confidence in a subject that he is good at is dwindling.  So the beauty of homeschool is that we can stop and spend two weeks, or however long for that matter, on whatever he is struggling with.
So, 5 fast fact sheets
Flash Cards
Math Bingo game to be played with Mom.

With SSRW we have one spelling test per day with 3 dictation sentences.  I admit that we have not been doing this like we should and his spelling words are super easy. 
Obviously I give the tests.

Handwriting without Tears Workbook
Instruction for the pages that need to be done. (We normally do 2/day so that would be 10 pages for the week).

Bible, Science, and Five in a Row are not in work bags because we are doing them as a group.  Today he chose to do all of his spelling.  He got frustrated after the 3rd test and said he was tired of spelling.  I told him he could stop if he wanted.  He was a little shocked that I said that.  I had to explain the concept again.  He is getting it slowly.  The key is that he has to do something everyday (unless he has finished all assignments).  I only sit at the table until 11 am. That is a good 3 hours that he has my attention.  He should be done well before that.  After 11 I am off doing other things.  Now, I will stay and help if he has used his time wisely and truly needs my help.  The other thing is that he must get everything done by the end of the day on Friday or else he is having school on Saturday and Sunday (if need be).  He will also miss out on video games on the weekend. 

We will see if it works.  I know that today was a lot less stressful for me.  As soon as he started to complain I just looked at him and said, "I am sorry that you are having such a tough time with the assignment you chose.  Maybe you should pick something else." He was shocked that I didn't yell! And he chose to just finish!  Who knew?

I will post pics of our work-bag system as soon as I get batteries. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

It's going

Well here it goes.  Homeschooling for us is not something that we do because it is the cool thing to do in our circle of friends.  It is something we do because this is what we feel the Lord wants us to do.  We are doing lots of new things this year including teaching Ellie and Charlotte.  We have also added several more things to our work load.  When someone asks "How is it going?" I have to answer, "It's going".  And it is.  It is just not the way I had planned. 

You see I am a planner.  Sometimes too much.  I had this whole system designed to teach my kids at the same time.  I had it planned out in 20 minute increments.  It was going to be great!  Too bad nobody told them!  The natives are restless and I know a lot of that has to do with not being able to leave the house.

Right now I am praying and asking for guidance.  Last week we missed math the entire week because Jackson's book was lost.  Come to find out, he had been hiding it and did not "find" it until he realized I was serious about the fact that he would have to pay me back.  I was so angry.  Troy wanted to spank him and I just wanted to send him away.  Instead we decided that he would have to get caught up on those 10 lessons (he has 2 per day) on his own time and there would be no reward until then.  He is still lolly-gagging around and frankly I am over it.  Today I told him that I was in a bad mood and that this was his one warning and then I would send him to his room all day until his dad came home. Needless to say he got right on his assignment. He knows I mean business.

Schooling with a two year old is hard and we are trucking along.  I am learning little tricks and so far many of them are working.  Most of the time Charlotte just wants to be held.  She wants to know that she is still important and then she usually runs off.  She loves her new puzzle and the new staking block thing that I got her. Yesterday she actually started putting together one of Ellie's puzzles.  It was a hard one and she actually got a few pieces put together!  I was shocked and proud of my baby all at the same time.

Ellie is the easiest and the most fun to work with.  She just gets it.  She is a perfectionist, though, and she gets frustrated when it is not right.  I am trying not to correct her too much because it puts her in a tizzy.  Really, she is 4 and doesn't need to be writing perfectly.  We are just doing PK activities!  But I do think she may be close to reading by the end of this school year (only because she wants to!).

So if you struggle with yours just know you are not alone!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Tot School

I ordered some new fun things for Charlotte off of Amazon.  I was looking for something fun for her while the big kids were having school time.  This what I got. 

Add caption
Stackable Nesting Blocks by GuideCraft  

Bug Puzzle by Melissa and Doug

These should be fun for her.  She has already played with the puzzle.  She did really well with it.  We are working on the names of the bugs.  We can also talk about the colors of each one.  I have a video of her putting it together but I need to work on it before I can post it. 


We are trying out Lap-books this year.  I did not know what I was doing.  Most of this was by the seat of my pants but I think it was more creative that way! And certainly less stressful.  I decided to make a little video of each lap-book.  We studied the days of creation and made something for each day. I wanted them to really remember each day and be able to recall them. I have to say that even my seven year old that hates to be crafty loved this project.  I am not sure what we will lap-book next but I hope it is as fun!  If you have any ideas I am all for them.  I know that they could be more informative but the way that I chose to do this one was a lot less planning and work for me! :)  I am sorry but the video will not upload.  I will work on it and get it fixed!