|Thanksgiving 2013 with my husband's family|
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
Friday, November 29, 2013
|My family with friend Heidi|
Usually I have Thanksgiving in my house and invite family over. We also try to invite people over that don't have any family so that they aren't just sitting home. This year, since we'll be gone for Christmas, we agreed to change things up and have Thanksgiving with Charles' family. Usually we do Thanksgiving at our house and then Christmas Eve with Charles family. Then Christmas day with my family.
I was a little sad not cooking the full Thanksgiving meal myself. I enjoy every single bit of it. It's even hard for me to let my mom help out because I love to cook it so much! Some day I hope its a big affair at my house. As my kids grow up and have their own families, I hope to host it! It's such an important day to me. I actually prefer it over Christmas because presents aren't expected. We just visit together and maybe play board games after.
To be fair though, I don't get a chance to see Charles' family often. It's definitely hard when you're married because you have to be sure to split the holidays up without anyone getting offended. It was good to see all his family. Charles' grandma had 10 children so you can imagine how the family has gotten huge. I love it and am excited about my own large family. I hope, I hope, I hope we all stay near when they are grown. It would break my heart to have a kid move away.
Friday, November 22, 2013
Being that I've been needing to get a better Chicken coop together I decided to have fun and use the old playhouse. No one plays in it anymore. I heard rain was coming so I quickly worked on a couple of shelters to keep the bedding dry. However, I need to work on a much larger coup being I want to add about 20 more chickens soon. This last summer was tough for most people with chickens in my area. The heat was bad and I lost about 10 chickens. I would have 10 more egg layers now! Out of all the chickens still alive, which is eight, I have three roosters. Argh. That leaves only five egg layers. For our size family we need at least 20. So, here I go again getting some adorable baby chicks and raising them up again. This time, not in the heat of the summer. ;)
I'm gonna get a sign made next to the luxury playhouse for the chickens that says...
"If you lay you stay,
If no you go."
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
I had the weirdest thing happen about a week and a half ago which is why I hadn't posted for a bit. I mean, it's so odd that I don't know how to say it without making you scratch your head.
There is a church I have my kids play sports at. Sometimes we even go to fun events that they host for families. I had recently thought about paying for my kids to attend AWANA there as well each week. Until recently.
I had set up a guy with my friend that I met while my kids were playing sports. He's in a ministry position. A lady said to me that she had no idea why he was single. He owned his own company, was in his 30's, nice guy, good Christian. Bing! I instantly thought about a single friend of mine. Well, stupid me didn't know anything about this guy and just trusted the word of someone else that knew him. Or thought they knew him.
My friend and the guy went on a few dates. It didn't turn out like my friend hoped because the guy wasn't the same Christian type of guy that he portrayed on church grounds. In fact, he was pretty aggressive in his manner in general. I quickly regretted the set up. I was actually alarmed by some things since twice a week he prayed and did devotions with kids. With MY kid. Knowing there are probably church standards I took the matter to his pastor and set up a meeting. I explained AND showed him proof from my phone that someone gave me that he is not the guy he was portraying and I was worried about him teaching my kid. The pastor said he was truly surprised since they were accountability partners. He said he would definitely look into it. Come to find out later, they are not accountability partners, the pastor and this guy are best friends. They are both young and often hang out. I didn't know what the pastor would do with the info. I just figured he could do what he wanted with it. I wasn't gonna go blast it to everyone. It was private and I wanted to keep it private.
We'll, because I brought the matter to this guy's best friend, the pastor, both were angry. The pastor immediately demanded that the girl have a meeting with the guy I set up with her. Little did she know she was just being set up to be recorded. After he was done with her, the pastor told me I then have to meet them at Starbucks. Well, I'm not comfortable meeting two guys I barely know at a Starbucks far from the church location. He was very, very demanding I meet and also demanded my pastor's number. What? This was extremely strange behavior and the pastor even accused me of defamation of character. I looked up the definition of that. It's where you spread false info of someone to hurt their reputation. Well, I went to the privacy of a pastor's office and I absolutely told no one else. I won't even tell you here because of that very reason. It's private.
After I started to feel some serious harassment I decided to call my pastor for advice. I told him the information from start to finish. He was confused as to why a pastor would be angry since I went to him in private about something so serious. Especially when I had proof of the offense. I explained that I wasn't trying to hurt the guy. Just hoped that their could be repentance and restoration. Importantly, he was ministering to my kids. My pastor said it was beginning to sound like harassment and I didn't need to give him any info.
The texting to my phone from both guys continued on my phone for a few days. The pastor again demanded I give him my pastor's number. I followed my pastors advice and did not give it. This angered the pastor so he did some Internet digging on me. He found my blog and supposedly my former pastor's number. He texted info he found to my friend about me. He also said he spoke with my former pastor and quoted some pretty harsh things to her. My friend asked to verify the info herself and asked for the name of my former pastor. He refused to give it. I'm not sure how truthful this is since we've been catching the pastor in several lies. He would text one thing to my friend and say it completely opposite to me. Also, I'm not sure how he spoke to my former pastor since he was out of town and does not give out his cell.
I've had to seek help because of the harassment. This whole thing has me scratching my head. I mean, it breaks my heart. I absolutely believe this church has amazing people in leadership for children. They just have no idea who their leader is. I know for a fact that if anyone else tries to go to him about the same issue, they will regret they did. He's even mocked me to my friend via texting for trying to alert the board of elders about the harassment. Laughing how nothing will be done because he is executive pastor. The behavior of the pastor is more bizarre than the original issue I brought to him. He's only been a pastor of the mega church for 5 years and he's quite young. I'm still scratching my head. I really would still love for my kids to play sports there and attend AWANA but I don't know. If the standards of people are not upheld, then who will be teaching my kids? I'm in children's ministry myself and I have standards as well. I have to live by then in order to stay in that leadership position.
Even sadder about all this is my friend who was set up has serious medical issues. She will be going in for surgery to remove a tumor in her brain. The harassment she was receiving is finally dying down but the damage is done. I profusely apologized to her for setting up for this guy. I will never do that again unless I truly know someone. I'm sad they were insensitive to her and trying to get her to keep talking and meeting them when she's in constant pain.
(shaking my head...)
Sunday, November 10, 2013
Today at church my family went up for prayer. My son Chaz who is 13 got a word. That God hears his prayers every day. That he delights in him and has favor on him. That God not only loves him but likes him just as he is. I tried so hard not to cry hearing that. Chaz DOES talk to God every day. Without asking he will pray, do his homeschool, chores, and without complaint. I mean, he amazes me. Okay, one down, six more to go! Ha!
I had been battling depression for quite some time and really tried not to show it on my blog. I worked so hard to put God and my family first. In the process of that I was not always able to throw myself into ministries. I always knew my family was my first ministry. I just felt like I was on full blown burnout because I felt pressured to do more, more, more. I couldn't! I knew I was at my limit. A homeschooling mama is no joke. It's hard work. I've gone to college and worked before. Looking back, those jobs I had were a vacation compared to what I do now. However, no matter how hard I worked at home training my kids up in Christ and academically, I felt like I wasn't doing enough for God. I felt like I could never pray enough, read my bible enough, go to enough services. I felt guilty if I was on burnout and had to skip a service. Almost like I was displeasing God and that it meant I wasn't "faithful". That's further from the truth. God sees our heart. God saw those times that I would gather up my little ones in the morning and read the bible and pray with them. He saw the tears of prayer. He saw the witness in secret to someone who didn't know Christ. He sees those things that no one else does. I've learned that just because others might perceive me a certain way, they aren't God. They aren't the judge. He is. I live to please Him and Him alone. Yes, it's good to have accountability but that can be abused when it's used to spy or make someone feel guilty.
I've always seen God as someone who is watching me and just waiting for me to slip up. Waiting to knock me into hell if I mess up too much. There is a scripture that jumped out at me while I was sitting in church.
"Not a single person on earth is always good and never sins." Ecclesiastes 7:20
You probably think what's the big deal. Ohhhh, that's a big deal for me. I always put down myself for not being perfect enough. I hated that I made mistakes. Or that I gossiped when I shouldn't have. Or that I thought a bad word. I just hated that I couldn't be good enough.
"His anger lasts only a moment, but His favor lasts a lifetime!..." Psalms 30:5
What? That was news to me too! Well, I guess that makes sense. A GOOD father would forgive his son if he came to him and admitted a mistake. A dad isn't gonna berate him for weeks on end and turn his back on him because of it. (A normal, sane, God seeking dad of course). He will be happy his child repented! It's not the other way around where He can't wait for you to make a mistake so He can flick you into hell. Because of this thinking I just really had a bad view of God. I feared him, which I should, but it was a very, very unhealthy fear. A kind that kept me extremely depressed at times. Since being delivered of that earning my way to heaven mentality, I feel such a freedom I have never felt before. In that freedom comes joy. Not a single day of that depression has come back in two months. THAT IS A MIRACLE. My husband has seen the difference. Praise God!
Thank you, Jesus, for not giving up on my even though I was beginning to. Even though I was beginning to turn my back because I didn't believe you could love someone like me. Forgive me for being incredibly judgmental of others when I had no right to. You have forgiven so much of me and continue to do so. Forgive me for my ungrateful heart in everything you have revealed to me in the past. Not believing you when you revealed how much you loved. I feel like I was going around the desert grumbling and never believing in Your promise. I love you!
Friday, November 08, 2013
I've never had one of those parties in my house. I figured I'd force myself to have one. Seriously, I so much love to just have my family to myself that I rarely ever invite anyone over. I get out a lot but I don't always bring people in. I need to change that.
I just bought a dining room table to fit 10 people. We had a table that seated eight but even though we bought it new, it was slowly falling apart. It completely fell on my daughter one day. Never going back to that furniture place! This table isn't a high one this time so it's more kid friendly. I redid my whole living room so we are so excited! Wheeeee!
My kids are traveling tonight with their church youth group so I'm excited for them. They are going to a kid conference. I'm excited to see them making friends again. Ryans having to start all over since losing his best friend. I can tell he is really broken hearted about it. I feel bad but when we changed churches I warned him in advance that would happen. He still voted for the change even with the risk. It's hard on kids when parents make big changes because they make friends and are dependent on the parents to keep the contact.
Tuesday, November 05, 2013
We had such a bad experience at the fair about 8 or so years ago that we hadn't gone back. It was super crowded and there were some scary fights that would break out right next to us. Fearing my little ones would get hurt, we just stayed away. Finally we thought it might be time to try again and so we planned it. This time we had added 4 more to the family and knew the cost would be much higher.
It seems impossible sometimes to get our family out the door quick so we lost out on the $2 entrance fee if you're there by 2pm. So instead of our cost being $14 dollars it was $45. That's just to get in. I had found out how to get each of my kids free rides. Five of my kids filled out three book reports each so they each got three free rides. We told them to used them on the biggest rides because they cost more and then we paid for the rest. Saved us lots!
My little Caleb is 4 years old and he loves, loves trucks. We took everyone to see the monster truck rally but especially for Caleb. He was sooooo happy! Then we took him to ride on one and race around these obstacles. It was so cute to see how happy he was!
As I've gotten older I've gotten more chicken of scary rides. I don't know why. Maybe because I understand danger better. Haha. All I rode was Gravitron, which almost made me barf, and a kid roller coaster. Well, I grabbed my two girls and since it was almost closing time I thought I'd try it with them. We didn't have many tickets left but the worker told me to have my whole family ride. I was figuring it'd be a safe and cute ride. Well, I screamed the entire time! When I got off the ride my husband asked, Babe, was that you screaming?" Ummmmm.... I loved it so much I asked the worker if I had enough time to go buy more tickets. He said, you still have enough for your whole family. What? Yes!!! (We didn't really. He was being kind again). So we went on it again and us girls in our car laughed the entire time. (I screamed). Ivy at the end said, "man, mom screams loud." That's guy saved us $50 by doing that. It was the last night of the fair and they were closing so I think he was just dealing out some kindness. We loved it! Wowee!
It was so much better this time. A fight almost broke out right next to my kids. Seriously, these were grown adults. It's so shocking to see the immaturity at times adults display. This is where kids learn it from. Not always from their peers but from the parents. My family has experienced a lot of bullying and I've really started to notice that the kids were acting a lot like their parents. Parents just bully without their fist with how they handle their authority position over others. Kids bully verbally and physically. It's a learned behavior often. Thankfully that was a short fight. I had to shove my kids out of the way of the argument. Was scared for a moment there. It was short lived and we went on to enjoy the rest of the time there. ;)
Tip for the fair. Maybe, possibly think about adding five point harnesses to your seats. Skinny kids and only loose bars to protect them aren't cool. Especially when the ride goes upside down. We would spend the money to ride many more rides.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
I'm NOT saying anything is gonna happen. But not even a job is guaranteed these days. We've been there where we were living high and my husband's whole career crashed under him. We were NOT prepared. Yeah, he wasn't lazy but the only jobs available were looooow paying. Four years of learning to be grateful we had each other and grateful he HAD A JOB. Those were good years and I'm glad he's back in his field. However, I don't want to be caught off guard again.
Lately I've been thinking a lot about how to take care of my family if there is any sort of food crisis. What if we need to live off basics? I know there are lots of easy foods out there and packaged stuff we just pull from the freezer. So, the last week I made myself (and enjoyed it) learn how to cook from the bare basics. I have chickens, which is so easy and awesome. I need to have at the minimum 18 chickens to have enough eggs each day for all of us. We lost a few chickens thru the heat of the summer. I would've met my goal. Now I only have 8. :P I am buying 10 gallon buckets worth of flour, sugar, and Krusteaz mix. I have 10 gallons of powdered milk. The really, really good kind. So, I am building up my supply. Don't worry, we drink regular dairy milk every day. But what if milk became a scarcity? So, I'm not trying to overreact about anything. I just feel it's wise not to live paycheck to paycheck thinking money is always guaranteed.
I did so much baking these last 2 weeks I gained 8lbs! Agh! Yikes! Whyyyyyy? Man, I cooked killer good. Even made my own pasta and homemade sauce. I felt like I was going waaaaay back. Just need my own vegetable garden again and we'll be set!
Saturday, October 26, 2013
I kind of got caught up in life and forgot how much I love to bake. I mean, it truly is a love of mine. Back in the day I had plans to try and go into culinary school but got a little distracted. I had met a boy and lost focus on that. It's always been a desire and maybe someday I can fulfill that dream. For now, my husband and kids 100% have all my attention. Not too long ago a pastor came up to me that knew me from years ago and asked if I ever got to go. I told him no. He asked what happened and I replied that I got married! Ha. Now I'm earning the marriage and parenting degree. When I graduate somewhat I'll focus some elsewhere. Knowing me, my grandkids will be a huge part of my life. I hope!!
I don't really like cooking but more like baking. To me, cooking is kind of just putting together ingredients. Well, it's still a talent! However, I love baking because it feels like creating something from the very, very bare basics! That's fun! I could create all day but I have soooo many other responsibilities. While I'm baking in the kitchen, the rest of the house is falling apart. :P
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Our living room couch has been seriously falling apart for some time now. I don't worship furniture so since it didn't hold up for our family then it was never good enough anyway. We have to be able to flip over and flop down without worrying it's gonna fall apart. So next time we'll have to pick our couches a little better. ;)
I absolutely don't want to go into debt for couches so I had been eyeing Charles' gameroom futon for some time. He was saying it's his, his, his. But I'm saying how much I despise the large falling apart couch and it's annoying to keep picking up the white stuff that falls out. So one day while he was at work I asked my big boys help me to make the switch. I just had to say how much I needed some really strong boys and they came running to help. Heh heh. That's the key, ladies. No nagging needed. Just point out the muscle factor. In no time we had it switched. Charles came home that night and was like, "Hey, that's my couch!" It's only temporary so he was cool with it after about a minute. So much simpler this way for now. Eventually hoping to get a sectional. ;)
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
I feel like every year we are homeschooling the closer I've gotten to understanding how some of it works better. I know one thing is for sure.
1. IT'S A HUGE SACRIFICE FOR MOM.
Yeah, we don't have all day to clean, wash and do our hair, make phone calls. If anything, I ignore the calls and risk people being mad at me because we can't have the distraction. We wake up, watch a moral teaching video, have bible study and discussion, watch a history video, do homeschool, then chores. By then it's about time to do my chores and then get dinner started. Sometime around 9-10pm, after I've gotten everyone settled for bed, I take my quiet time. Yeah, it's quite a busy day. A lot different when I used to put my kids on the yellow bus and wave goodbye each morning.
2. CONSISTENCY IS KEY
If kids know they can talk mom out of work they will. I thought my kids were the only ones that thought they had it hard. Nope. I meet homeschooling moms all over and often they say the same thing. Every day they have to push their kids to do their work. I know there are those dream kids somewhere that happily wait sitting at the table for their work to be assigned. I just haven't met any yet. If you have one of those, please don't tell me. I would get a little jealous. Sigh.
3. NOT EVERYTHING PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHES IS IMPORTANT .
I used to force my kids to learn history from a textbook. Often I'd catch them nodding off trying to read about the Aztecs. Now, I find videos for them or we visit museums. Sometimes we skip over things that we really feel isn't necessary to cram into their brains. I call them Ramen Noodles. Keeps them stuffed full with a whole lotta nothing. No nutritional value. Just seems like a filler.
That's it for now! Maybe after I raise all my kids I can say I figured it all out. For now, ha! I take each day at a time. For now, I'm just happy they are mine and I get to keep them all day. Once I got past the poor me, I have hardly any time for myself, I started to really enjoy my time with them. Work or just play. They are blessings.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Sometimes I make plans I can't always carry out. I don't know, like organization. This whole week I was gonna go through each room and get rid of stuff. (where does it come from?) Instead I had an extra 5 kids over. So how do I mop with 10-12 kids over? At midnight! On days where I have extra kids over I tend to just clean, clean, clean. By the end of the week I'm completely exhausted from cleaning so much. Why do I throw out my rule of putting kids first during those times? Well, because the kids are all visiting each other and I'm not usually noticed unless someone is hungry. So yeah, either someone is hungry or I gotta prevent things from turning into a complete disaster. :D It's not a problem, just tiring. When a whole tribe is within the same walls, it's just best for me to hold down the fort. Not do anything extraordinary (like organization), just keep some clean dishes available and maybe keep food cooking. Ha. You know, as tough as that can be sometimes, life is short. Visitors are a good thing. Tough days make me appreciate my busy days. I always say if you can't handle it, suck it up, get well rested, and suck it up another day. Where do you think patience comes from? Definitely not from a fairy. It's earned through hard work. Haha.
Well, what's the difference between having seven kids and 12 kids? I thought you wanted a large family? Yeah, I was eeeeeaaased into it with only one new kid at a time. It took an adjustment each time until things worked smoothly. I feel for those quintuplet mamas. Holy cow!
Wednesday, October 09, 2013
Recently my friends and our children went to a fun park just for Frys employees. Wow! Way better atmosphere than there usual because it was closed to the public. I've rarely taken my kids because of what kind of atmosphere there usually is there. I used to work there when I was a teen and it was way more family friendly. Seeing it the way it was the other night reminded me of how it used to be. This is definitely gonna be a yearly event!
Man, I've become such a chicken. What's wrong with me? My friend and I were discussing this and wondering why some adults get more scared as we get older. I think I know why at least for me. There is so much more at stake if an injury would occur! I have seven kids.... We'll, that's about it. I'm a mommy! I don't like to take those crazy risks anymore because of it. I was on the really long and very high zip line. I've never been on such a high one. I CLOSED MY EYES. I was praying he tied my ropes right. Aaagh!
Friday, October 04, 2013
You will NOT be disappointed!!!!
This movie is a must see and I can completely relate with Grace Trey in the story. She grew up in a Christian home. As stated in the movie and the book, we can't live on a borrowed faith. We need to own it.
GO SUPPORT THIS AMAZING CHRISTIAN MOVIE IN THE THEATERS! You won't just be there to support it, you'll be loving it!