Sunday, June 30, 2013

New Homeschool Curriculum for The New School Year

I was just telling my husband today about the homeschool burnout that some of us moms go through. I can't tell you how many times I thought in my head how much easier it would be to have the yellow bus come and take my kids to school.  Thank God for summers!  I am seriously needing this summer break.  I haven't even recovered yet. Ha.  I'm finally starting to really feel this much needed rest and now am going to start some organizing of my house and much needed painting.  We are in need of bunk beds, lockers, new dining table that fits our family, and a couch that also fits us.  So much to acquire!  We only buy things with cash so it just can't be done overnight. 

During normal homeschool days I'm just really focused on them doing their work and training them in lots of different life skills.  The house gets a pick up but not anything really deep.  This week I'm doing another sweep through the house.  Normal people probably only need to do this a couple times a year.  Well, I have to do it a lot.  There are lots of people in this house.  When it gets to where I can't keep up on the housework I know it's time to do another sweep of declutter.  So you don't think I'm extreme about it, until you see my house and how messy my kids are you won't understand why I really do HAVE to do it. 

See link on right

If you are just swirling and swirling around with the doubts of homeschooling yet another year, I'd love to encourage you to read this book called So You're Thinking About Homeschooling.  Amazing!  15 families that all homeschool differently.  I've already found the next curriculum that I think will fit best for my family size and we can keep up with.  The back of the book gives all the resources of what each family talked about.  I'm loving it!  Man, it really just takes a huge burden off my shoulders finding something that I feel will work for us better.  :D

This last week was a bit tough because my family was sick with the flu.  It started out with me and then each day has been a different person getting sick.  Instead of it just getting it over with, it's going slowly. Thankfully, it's passed over each person really fast.  It's only a 24 hour bug.  Yay! 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Mom's Don't Get a Sick Day

Yesterday I woke up really, really sick and could hardly walk around.  It is soooooo hard for moms to be the one that's sick.  I just had to put up a baby gate in the living room and lay down on the couch.  Thankfully, the little ones were contained in just that area with me so I didn't have to worry.  Man, moms sure don't get sick days.  I kind of ended up with one later.

 We needed some van repairs and yesterday I was supposed to be the one to take the van in with the kids to get worked on for several hours.  Since I couldn't, Charles got off work early and took four kids with him to take care of the van.  Then I had just the baby and some older ones plus a friend.  Juliet got into everything possible that you can get into even though I had her in the living room with me.  A good friend came to pick up the kids I had for Vacation Bible School.  Thank goodness for them!  Once Juliet went to sleep I finally could just peacefully lay down without hopping up to rescue her from something.  It was so quiet for several hours.  It was soooooo nice but later it felt a little lonely.  :P

This morning I woke up and felt my old self again.  Thank goodness!!!! I can't afford to be sick with all the kiddos to take care of.  So it was just a 24 hour flu.  Phew!  Back to cleaning, laundry, and taking care of the babies.  With a large family this house falls apart extremely fast. 

Summer has felt so weird not having as much of a schedule.  The kids have had more time to just goof off.  I don't mind but when it's time to do chores they complain more.  I knew it was from just having no schedule.  So we all had a family meeting and voted on a new summer schedule.  Basically no games till noon and chore time starts at 4pm.  Off all devices by 8pm and be in bed by 9pm.  They were getting to where they felt entitlesdto just party, party, party because it's summer and forgot about their regular responsibilities.  When I was sick though that all went out the window.  I think they were surprised when mom got better in one day.  Ha ha.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Amazing Souperman Detox Recipe

Here is the amazing Souperman recipe that I fell in love with during my 48 hour detox.  Wanted to share!  This lasted me 3 days and it worked!  NOT sure about adding the chicken broth and chicken as far as detoxing but it DID work for me in weight loss so I wanted to share.

To make exactly without the chicken broth or chicken here is recipe:
Makes 5 servings

2 red onions, roughly chopped
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
1 fennel bulb, fronds and stalks included, roughly chopped
2 tsp caraway seeds
2 tsp sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 cup sliced shitake caps
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 cabbage, roughly chopped
2 quarts water
2 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
8 sprigs parsley, chopped stems and leaves
1/2 cup parsley, chopped

Combine all ingredients, except for the chopped parsley, in a pot. Add 2 quarts of water.

Bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Simmer covered for about 1 hour. Adjust seasoning.

Remove whole parsley sprigs and serve topped with some freshly chopped parsley.

Serve with a side of traditionally fermented sauerkraut and chopped apples (warm or room temperature).
I wasn't super excited about the flavor so I decided to cook a whole chicken in a separate pot.  Once cooked I combined both the vegetable broth and the chicken broth.  Half and half.  I shredded the chicken and added to the soup.  Much better!  Add Sea Salt for taste if desired.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Working Super Hard on Weightloss

I tried a 48 hour detox and it went fantastic. My only regret was not doing it for at least a week. I didn't really have much guidance on the detox so I didn't know it was normal to feel so foggy and out of sorts. I got worried. After watching the documentary Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead I found out it was normal for everything I felt. In just five days I lost 5lbs but the key note is I kept it off. Since I'm doing lots of weight training I'm gaining some pounds in muscle so it's hard to tell by the scale. The crazy thing is I've gotten rid of some of the mommy lumpiness and get shocked when I pass by a mirror and see myself. I'm lovin' it!  Before I was doing a lot of working out but not changing my eating habits.  They really do go hand in hand.
It's sooooo much more than wanting to be skinny. I'm changing a lot of things like understanding micronutrients and healing our bodies naturally through God's creation. The way He designed it before all this processed garbage! I've had some really serious illnesses and I realized how poorly I was treating my body. I can work out all I want but if I'm eating pizza, macaroni, and burgers all the time, where are the vitamins?
Charles and I are thinking about a 10 day reboot (detox) but I know I'll not get much done around the house the first few days. Last time I was good for nothing the first two days. I wasn't tired but was just foggy. It can be a bit expensive too but so worth it. God gave us one body, right? I need to act like I'm grateful for it and not trash it.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I'm No Supermom...Not by a Long Shot

I'm doing some research before I make a final decision about this upcoming school year. Basically, my kids are spoiled.  I think they are spoiled rotten at times.  Deprived you say?  Bwahaha!  My kids have memberships to the huge 3 story science center, a zoo membership, gym membership.  They don't have to wake up at the crack of dawn and they get to leasurely eat breakfast every morning.  While they lazily sip on their morning hot tea, they are either listening to a family bible study by me or watching an educational video.  School comes some time around 10am or maybe starts at 11am.  Depends on when mom's brain wakes up.  That only comes after a good dose of coffee.  They get done in a few hours, maybe only two if they really concentrate, and then they start their chores.  If they are lazy about it they finish in an hour.  When they are really good at it they are done in only a half hour.  Yeah, young ones have dissected and learned the insides of some animals before most kids ever get to.  It's weird having a five year old depressed because her older brother got to dissect a frog before she could.  Yeah, my kids have it amazingly good.  I don't have to worry about late nights at church and having to rush them to bed because of school in the morning.  We have such a good life. 

Do you think my kids would be at my feet thanking me for the good life they have?  Noooooo.... they think schooling takes too long and chores take to long.  They've completely forgotten their days of public school that they hated, hated, hated.  They hated the long days, hunger, and bullying. They hated getting lost in the system because the teacher had moved on before they were ready.  They hated the hurried lunches and the lame 5 minute recess.  Did you know they've cut recess waaaaaay down?  When I was a kid we had a good 20 minutes-30 minutes of recess.  I needed to get all that energy out.  I'm sure my teacher begged the principal to give me Benadryl each day.  Something to knock me out so she could peacefully teach the rest of the class.  A week ago I told them I wasn't sure about another year of homeschooling because they aren't appreciating it.  They all cried and hung on my leg.  Please noooooo!  I took a deep breath.  I thought about it while doing cardio at the gym, I thought about it while lifting weights.  I thought about it while swimming my midnight laps.  I thought about it while showering, eating, and just before dozing off.  I ran into a book that just made my heart leap for joy....

Click here to see on Amazon

Wow!  This is about 15 different families that are all in different situations and all homeschool differently.  I needed a way to keep the attention of my kids and it seems what I'm doing isn't working.  It's just not as exciting for them.  I've been devouring this book and can hardly put it down.  There are those perfect parents who seem like they have it all together and their three year old is learning calculus and then there are the ones.... like me.... that give so much to the kids that I'm just happy to shower that day.  Do you know why I go to workout at the gym after the kids are asleep?  Because that's when I have the time.  When I go it's usually 9:30pm-12:30am.  No, I don't sleep in all day.  Heck, I'm writing this at 2am because it's the only time I've had yet I still have to get up with the early risers.

I woke up to this the other day. Juliet trying to figure out how to get
out of her crib.  Okay, she's 12 months! Help!

I get excited when I find a book that just lifts my spirits when I'm lagging inside.  I don't have a homeschool co-op or a support group.  I wish I could have those cheer leaders on the sidelines but I don't.  I have to just keep my faith in God, relying on His strength, my mind in constant study, and my heart resting in God's grace.  That is the only way I can give sooooooooooo much of myself every day without cracking.  I'm no supermom.  Ha...  By a long shot.  I'm related to some but I'm not one.  I just have to work super hard.

Good news!  I'm down 10lbs!!!  Aaaaaagh!  NO CARBS and lots and lots of juicing and vegetables.  White meat more than red meat.  I'm learning to make really yummy food and I can eat LOTS of it!  I will share soon on a great Souperman food I now make. Get it?  It's a soup but man, oh man, is it packed of good stuff.  Superman himself might be knocking on my door soon for the recipe. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

How I Made Myself Sick and Changing It

Wow, the past few days have been super busy that I couldn't even sit down to blog.  I have to tell you why! 

Friday I turned 34!  Wow, time sure flies.  I've been through some serious illnesses in the last year.  One would be Occipital Neuralgia.  This is like a headache in the nerves.  Medicine through the Neurologist cured that.  Expensive. I had thryoid issues.  Big bills for Urgent Care and testing.  I've even dealt with arthritis.  For the first 10 years of my marriage I had major UTI problems that led to kidney damage.  I was one baby away from kidney dialysis. in fact, while pregnant with my sixth, I landed in the hospital for a week completely unconscious. Why did I have my 7th baby after I was told it would kill me?  Complete healing of God.  In  four years, not only have I not had any kidney problems since a pastor praying for me, but I've only had one UTI from dehydration that healed quickly and never returned since.  I've NEVER had a UTI that didn't go to my kidneys.  The next test was having a baby.  I had her free and clear.  Not ONE issue.  In fact, I no longer need a high risk doctor for having babies.  Kinda sad about that because I have one of the best doctors in the state that is hard to get.  So if God is a healer, I have began to look into His very own creation.  Eating better, and exercising more.  He made the plants and the animals.  Why am I going to so much processed foods?  Am I the cause of alllllll my health issues I've had in 14 years?  YES!!!  When I found out I had arthritis I looked up vitamins that could cure it. Well, I found fish oil and glucosamine, calcium, and vitamin D would do the trick.  Sure enough, I am not walking funny in the morning and biting my lip from the pain.  I no longer need my handicap hang tag for my van mirror.  That was embarrassing for me.  I'm in my early thirties and should not be dealing with arthritis. 

My kids visiting sick mommy in the hospital.  I couldn't even talk to them because I was completely out.  Was very sick and could have died that week.

This weekend Charles and I tried a 48 hour detox.  ON MY BIRTHDAY.  (What was I thinking?)  No cake!  We took the kids to Whole Foods and used the recipe from Doctor Oz's website.  Be prepared because its a bit expensive.  WHY does a burger from McDonalds only cost $1 when my healthy vegetables cost me a fortune?  This is sooooo twisted.  It cost $120 for 2 days worth of vegetables.  Whoa!  I did not go to a regular grocery store where I might have gotten a better deal for a good reason.  Plus, some items would not be available at a regular store. 

Here is an idea of what we did.  Just two of them.

1/2 cup pineapple
2 large cucumbers
1 bunch of kale, stems removed (4 cups chopped)
1/2 lemon squeezed
1/4 inch of ginger
1 bunch of mint (1/2 cup)
Put in juicer!

1/2 cup almond or hemp milk (plain/unsweetened)
1 tbsp ground flaxseed or chia
1/4 frozen blueberries
1/4 banana
1/2 ice
It wasn't too bad at first but then by the second day I felt really foggy.  I could hardly do simple tasks.  Turns out it was because my body is getting rid of the toxins.  If I had kept going, the energy and clear mind would of came.  The frustrations of forgetting a few items and having to getting ready for church on the weekend made me give up on the last part of the second day.  Charles and I were just hungry and at least only ate some meat and nothing else bad.  Very costly to do this!  However, I dropped three pounds over night like it was nothing.  Had I kept going, it would have been more and more.  I might not ONLY do a detox for 2-10 days but I would like to do this for breakfast every morning. 
3 really good documentaries I would recommend:
Hungry for Change
Food Matters
If you were to pick just one, please watch Hungry for Change!  I'm learning so much about why I made myself sick and how.  Pretty obvious since I'm a fast food junkie.  You can rent it on Amazon to watch for only $3 or if you have Netflix it's available on there. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

One Good Reason to Love My Fat - JUST ONE!

You'll see what I mean in a few. Yesterday I had the most amazing day.  I had gotten some test done to see what's going on inside of me.  You know, blood tests to show how I've been eating and measure other things in my body.  Basically, my stress levels were really high but it's obvious I eat well.  Those are the only two I remember.  The nutritionist told me that my body is not allowing me to lose weight because of my stress and I had to destress.  Okaaaay..... where to start?

At around 9pm Charles told me I could go to the gym and just workout alone and swim.  He said don't worry about the time.  So I didn't.  I didn't come home till 1:30am.  So what did I do all that time?  I had a protein shake in the restaurant.  Amazingly yummy.  The one I got is called Strawberry Sunrise.  I got to talk to a friend I don't get to talk to often while sipping my drink in the healthy restaurant.  No hiding in the bathroom so she can hear me.  Heh heh.  Then I went up to the gym and did some serious cardio for 45 minutes, lifted weights for another 45 minutes.  Then I went down to the pool and swam 10 laps.  I discovered something AMAZING that I've NEVER been able to do.  I floated and I accidentally discovered it!  You see, when you are bone skinny all your life you can't float.  No fat hardly!  So I was just doing some backstrokes and noticed I was floating.  I realized that the hated fat I had finally made it possible to float on my back in water.  YES!


I just wanted to float forever because I felt so light.  Ha ha.  For once I was thanking my fat. THANK YOU, FAT!  Okay, I can't be TOO okay with that because I'd like to lose some.  Turns out, the reason my tummy especially is holding onto some fat is because my cortisol levels are so high from stress.  It makes your body go into a fight or flight mode.  Holds onto fat around your belly.  I thought it was from having babies but in a way I can still call it BABY FAT.  Ha!  Stress from kids. 

After 3 hours of working out I picked up a good book called The Birth Order Book that I've read 5 years ago but needed to read again and got in the jacuzzi.  It felt amazing!!  Letting all my muscles just relax.

I decided to go into the steam room but I'm scared of rooms where you can't see anything beyond your own hand.  Well, even though it was only for women I was scared!  I opened the door and let it close behind me but held onto the handle.  I figured I was totally alone and HOPED I really was.  Finally, I was too scared so I opened the door and just let allllllll the steam out. I still couldn't see well but just a little better.  I was relieved not to see anyone and figured maybe I would be safe enough.  Just as I was closing the door behind me I heard a voice in the fog that said, "Could you turn the steam back on?"  I jumped so high I ran out of there like a crazy lady.  Aaaaaaagh!  Just glad I didn't fall.  I got home around 1:30, felt amazing, and just crashed.

I woke up to a delivery of flowers.  I didn't see a name on it and only the words MY LOVE.  Um, who is this from?  I got a little worried but was just hoping it was from Charles.  Ha ha.  I got the hint when I got a text from my husband that said, "Good morning, my love!"  Ohhhhhh, so it was my very own stalker.  My husband who's been following me for 14 years!  Lovin' it too. Not perfect but perfect for me.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Finding Time Alone With One Child for a Date

I had a GREAT night!  I took my second son out on a date.  Just him and I.  You know how you can just tell that a kid needs some time alone?  I have been going through some behavior issues with three of my kids so those three are the ones I am focusing on.  That doesn't mean the good ones are being ignored because they earn really awesome things for their good behavior. 

Over time I've loved observing how large families operate.  I even watch smaller families.  One of the biggest frustrations to me is mom making their kids doing EVERYTHING.  Sitting down while their kids do the work.  I remember when I had a lot more time for reading and I had read some advice from James Dobson.  He said that kids will resent watching their mom sit down while giving out orders to their kids to clean.  Every since I read that I've made it a point to be working on my chores the same time as them.  Even if I've finished my chores, I'll get up and find something to work on.  Our job never ends anyway.  I remind the kids when they complain about their chores that I'm always working alongside them.  Never standing over them.  I know exampleship is really important to my kids and they aren't slow to point out discrepency in things.  I'm glad we all hold each other accountable.  ;)

Over the last few years, maybe 3 or 4, I have worked on and perfected a chore list for my kids.  One that I feel is fair per age.  I've had to switch them around many times in order to find which chore fit which kid.  I feel like I have to assign chores because if I just tell everyone to clean then some of the kids, particulary one I can think of, will hide somewhere.  Or I'll have the kids that work ultra fast while the others are turtle slow and get away with picking up very little.  When I assign chores, I'm able to see each of their work and know who didn't do theirs.  Works great!  I was one of those kids that would hide somewhere while my older kids did the work.  I tell my kids that I tried getting away with a lot as a kid so they aren't gonna get things passed me very easy. 

There is one kid I have who is generally pretty good but he is like a volcano.  If he erupts and starts being very naughty and defiant then there is a reason behind it.  After I figure out what's really going on, I try to find what their needs are and fix them.  At least what I am able to do.  I took Ryan out to dinner tonight.  We had dinner and then shared an oreo shake.  I took him out alone to pick out a new pair of shoes and a couple other treats.  He left very happy.  So did I with my New Balance Heart Rate Monitor S4.  Heh heh.  I also got Charles his Father's Day gift but shhhhhh.... don't say anything.  Ryan and I did a little couponing at the store and had a fun time goofing off.  I couponed for very little since the night was supposed to be for Ryan.  However, since some of the couponing benefited him, he walked out with a smile.  On the ride home he told me what a wonderful time it was together and that made my heart happy. 

Friday, June 07, 2013

Living in an Unwanted Fish Bowl- Large Families in Public

Today I got a chance to talk to my dad and that doesn't happen often.  So naturally when he calls I run to the phone as fast as I can.  Otherwise I won't talk to him or another 4 or 5 days or so.  He's a hard worker for sure.  I've never in my life seen anyone work as hard as him with little or no complaint.  Today we were talking about personality types and how there are four different types.  He said there is the social extrovert, the demanding (something like that), the analytical, and something else (can't remember).  I asked what I am and he quickly said the social extrovert.  I'm not sure that's me anymore. 

Alllll growing up I loved being social with anyone, any animal, anything that moved.  Ha ha.  I had no problem talking in front of big crowds of people, singing, acting on a stage, or getting to know any person and was very comfortable making new friends.  Then.... my rose colored glasses began to be lifted.  Kids, if handled with care, wear rose colored glasses.  They don't imagine that walking down the street could bring harm or that terrible things can happen.  Everywhere they go is an adventure and they don't have the worries us parents have. 

Somehow over time my rose colored glasses were lifted and I saw life in a harsher light and so I had to wear my shades.  I saw how vicious girls (women) can be as far as judging each other's bodies, homemaking skills, talents, etc.  Instead of accepting each other for differences and seeing the beauty in it, judgements are made. 

Large family mamas fall into a special category because of being put into a fishbowl.  It doesn't matter where we go we have people staring at us, watching our ability to handle our children, and seeing how the kids interact with each other.  I don't blame them because I would do the same.  I love to watch how mamas do it with so many kids.  It's fascinating.  The hard part is hearing the comments.  You don't know whether you're gonna hear harsh words or kind words.  Over the years I've begun to pull myself into a protective shell.  I'm not sure how healthy it's been.  I don't like being watched and this week was particularly hard because I had extra kids.  I went to IKEA with 10 kids and I felt like I was part of a circus I didn't want to be in.  I like to SEE the circus but not be part of the act.  It's easy to want attention when you never get it because you have a couple of kids but I get it every little place I go.  My old friends from the past have no idea how shy I've become.  They are used to loud Jenny who doesn't mind the spotlight.  However, when you are hurt, whether attacked in person, online, through anonymous hate mail, by family, or what used to be good friends, it's easy to slide into a shell like a turtle for protection.  I hate that I've become this person. 

I know people say, "Well, you're the one that has a blog.  That's what put you in a fish bowl."  True.  However, I meant it as a journal escape for myself and also a way to document changes in my life.  I just love to write whether I had no followers or 1,000.  I love followers!  Mostly I have amazing followers.  Whether they are stalker followers.  People that visit secretly but never let me know they came.  Admirers that have this vision I'm the perfect homemaker but don't really know me as a person.  Friends that know me in real life and come to visit every now and then.  Haters that come just to have something to fume about.  Then I have the faithful followers, blogging friends I met online years ago that I've enjoyed hearing from and love to also visit their blog.  ;)  I've helped to put myself in a fish bowl because of blogging and I know that.  However, that's not a bother.  Mostly it's just being out in public... in real life. 

I promise you that I never intend to make myself appear as someone different.  I might withhold things to protect myself and my kids and because some things are just no one's business.  I have been accused of pretending to show a perfect side but believe me, I just blog because I love to blog.  I don't blog for applause, or a show.  I blog about what I love and care about.  I blog about our adventures or misadventures.  I don't blog because I need to air out my dirty laundry nor do I look for sympathy or praise.  You know you are a true blogger when you can't imagine going a day without getting things off your mind and onto your blog. I have a secret blog no ones knows about.  Not even my bestest of friends. :) 

I think it's time I ask God for help in opening up my heart again and not being so afraid to be watched.  After all, about 80% of comments I get are positive when in public.  "The kids are respectful, well behaved, act good in a restaurant, and can sit still."  It's those few weirdos that are just angry I have more than 3 kids and have to give the evil eye or say something.  I can't let the small percentage get to me.  I know I say that but I need to practice it.  Having a tough shell without it being a hard shell if you know what I mean.  After all, I'd rather have smile wrinkles than sad ones. 

Like it or not, I am in a fish bowl.  "God, can you just paint it a little rose colored... for me?" 

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Back From a Long Internet Break

This week I am watching an extra 3 kids and I've never seen my house so wrecked! No joke.  It's a mess.  That doesn't mean we don't clean.  It just means that we clean and clean and it goes right back.  I have chores set out for the kids that are here for the week and they do them but it all goes right back to the mess.  Yesterday we even cleaned for 3 hours.  I went into boot camp mama mode and said whatever is on the floor goes in the trash.  I wasn't joking because 2 very large black bags later, the floor was picked up.  Believe me, I gave plenty of warning.  Moms don't have to live their lives as cleaning slaves.  We are so much more than that.  So, I'll get off my box now. 

Other than the constant messes we have been having fun going swimming at our new gym, rock climbing, and just hanging out places.  Ryan's been having fun shooting off fireworks in the area and I think it's time we launch our huge rocket we bought awhile back.  Heh heh.  Well, I'm able to bring the extra kids to my gym but I'm not allowed to check them into the child watch which means no working out this week.  Phooey.  This fat will have to sit for a bit longer.

Anyway, I went on a loooong internet break and I decided it's been a good long time.  Man, it felt good too.  That's the longest we have ever done.  It's kind of like going on a food fast and getting cleansed.  There are just so many distractions and my kids were never wanting to play outside.  Today I am working on all the safety features to protect our kids.  We use Safe Eyes and have really loved it. 

*My friends, if you see me doing guest posts or posts for products, I try not to make it excessive.  I do try to earn money for my family on the side through writing.  If it's not something you are interested in seeing, please just scroll right past to the next post.  :)  I write because I love to!

Monday, June 03, 2013

Perfect House or Perfect Facade?

I read a really, really good blog post today and my mouth literally dropped open. I have felt this way for so long but had never said it out loud. I'll explain.

It's easy to put on fronts of our homemaking skills for Facebook, Instagram, blogs, etc. Would we really post that picture of our kid if we had a huge pile of dishes in the background?  Or the picture of the dog if the floor badly needed mopping and the spots were obvious?  I certainly have never had it all together and sometimes I scratch my head wondering why. I'm not lazy, work all the time, and rarely ever sit down. Work to me is not just about cleaning. Here is my idea of working at home.

1. Waking up and giving baby bottle.
2. Changing her diaper and outfit.
3. Getting my much needed coffee for the day and seeing how fast I can load dishwasher before coffee is done brewing.
4. Waking up kids and making them breakfast if we have no cereal around.
5. Bible study with kids and prayer.
6. Kneeling down and listening to my 5 year old tell me all kinds of details about her dream.
7. Throwing clothes in the wash and hoping I'll remember to switch it over since I have a ton of other tasks.
8. Setting up everyone's homeschool for the day and doing flash cards with my little ones.
9. Remembering that if I want to lose weight properly I'd better get myself breakfast so I make a protein shake.
10. Run between 5 kids to answer homeschool questions and finding the time in between to switch clothes to dryer.
11. Getting a bandaid for Caleb's "booboo." Comforting him that his finger isn't gonna fall off. It's just a scratch.
12. Rushing into the living room to see what the argument is between 2 siblings. Taking a few minutes to show how to solve the problem for next time and teach forgiveness.
13. Settling them back down for homeschool. Answering more questions.
14. Put in another load of clothes.

Okay, it's now 10am and day has just begun..... 12 more hours to go.

See what I mean?  It's not ALL about the cleaning. There is soooo much more to homemaking than just the cleaning aspect of it.  A mom is more than someone who cleans and cooks. She's attentive, directive, teaching, coaxing, showing, motivating, disciplining. The list goes on and on and on.

There was one time in my marriage where I just cleaned and cleaned all the time. Well, as the baby of my family I definitely have the birth order traits of someone who's not the best organizer. To combat that, I made up for my lack of it by just cleaning alllll the time.  One day my husband told me he loved the house but asked if I knew my boys. Did I really know them?  Their favorite color, truck, or favorite thing to do. I was surprised and even offended. Of course I knew my boys. Then I really thought about it. I didn't. He was right. I was too busy trying to uphold this image. It's been 10 years since he asked me that question and I promise you I know all seven of my kids favorite color, their dreams, hopes, favorite instrument to play, their best friends, favorite foods, their strengths and weaknesses, their fears, and more.

Okay, so I simply can't do everything. I'm not supermom but I try super hard and I give my absolute 100%.  My kids aren't my personal slaves and no I didn't have kids so someone could clean my house. My house was CLEAN before kids. So if I'm not able to hold up the perfect image for other moms then so be it. My kids and my husband are happy, satisfied, loved, and cherished. I've never heard anyone say they wished their house had been more clean when they were raising their kids. I've ONLY heard regrets that they didn't spend more time to get to know them. "someday I'll do this with them."  Well guess what?  That day is now. Don't waste any more time.

I said all that because this blog post touched my heart and I'd love for you to read it too. :)

Click here to read The Danger of Pretense by Cuppa Grace