Wednesday, March 26, 2014

No Time to Waste- Learning How to Say No

I have been blogging for 8 years!  Wowee!!! 
 Here is a picture of my son Chaz (who is now 13) six months after I started blogging.  Soooo little!  Haha. 

My days have been so filled with homeschool, chores, laundry, dishes, cooking, and playing that I can scarcely think to even sit down and blog.  However, after a few days pass I get this longing to write again.  It's strong!  I've always journaled my life since I was in elementary school.  Always privately in a book but writing is writing.  To me I write this blog just because I love to write.  I don't write for an audience.  I have to say though that in the process of blogging for 8 years I have met some amazing bloggers!!!  I never would of thought I would blog so infrequently just because I have seven kids.  I think the difference is my priorities have changed extremely.  I just have an order to my day that I don't mess with and change for no one.  Well, most of the time.  Lately, I have been having to fight for our school time.  I guarantee you, and I bet a lot of stay at home moms get this, the whole world seems to think I have all this free time because I'm at home.  People think I have it so easy and I can always take on all this extra stuff for every one.  Lately I have been fighting for my kids and family.  School at home absolutely comes first no matter what.  Unless someone is in desperate need and it's a true emergency.  
My first Christmas blogging and this is Kyle at 3 years old (2006). We lived in a tiny two bedroom apartment with three kids while our house was getting built.

As of right now I only have three kids that will be done with their homeschool by May.  The other two will not be done on time.  My rule is that you do not move forward in the lesson unless you completely understand it.  I have to say though that the other reason is I've taken off so many days to help other people.  I just can't do it anymore.  My kids' schooling can't suffer in the process.  I use my summers free of homeschooling to do some extreme couponing and organization with my extra time.  Not happening this summer.  We will be schooling completely through the summer with the last two.  I'm gonna give it some serious thought to put my two older boys through Connections Academy online this upcoming school year.  They would have a teacher and online meetings with them.  I need my boys to step it up in the Junior High grades and I think maybe we'll try it out.  We absolutely HATED K12 and their domineering ways so we are a bit gun shy about trying another version.  A few years ago when we were trying out K12, they were encouraging me to drop my kids off at a local YMCA for 4-6 hours to learn with a teacher.  I asked, "You call that homeschool?  You're kidding me, right?"  They talked down to me like I was the idiot.  I can't believe how many homeschool moms were falling for it.  To me it was basically another public school.  I was astonished that they also wanted school to start at 6am.  Yeeeeah right!  Hopefully they changed that. 
An old photo of our house (2006) getting built in first year of blogging

I'm starting to learn what night owls all my family is and we are adjusting our schedules.  We used to put our kids to bed at 7:30pm every night.  I have to admit it was heavenly.  It works good when your kids sleep almost 12 hours straight through.  Well, my older ones don't now.  The only ones that do that now are Ashley (6), Caleb (4), and Juliet (almost 2).  They actually put themselves to sleep at that time.  They all just climb right into their beds and pass out.  Gee, I wish it was that easy with my first four kids.  Kids have to be in their rooms by 9pm but I don't expect them to fall asleep.  As long as they are quiet and stay in their rooms.  We all like to wake up around 8:30am.  Late mornings at 9am.  Yay!  Charles says he wishes he could do the same!  Ha.  Poor Charles.  :D  He's always been a night owl as well. 

Little Ivy 2006. I was newly pregnant with Ashley here.  Needing bigger house! 

My silly three boys with diapers on their head December 2006

Thursday, March 13, 2014

14 Kids and Pregnant Again! Duggar's Original Documentary

The hardest part about being so in tune to my body and knowing I was pregnant since I was only one week along is... I'm only at 6 weeks!  Haha!  It's going by so slow! That's okay.  I think there is a reason a woman's body takes 9 months.  Not only does their body get ready but mommy's mind has to get ready.  I have 8 more months to process the fact that I'll no longer sleep good yet again at night.  I'll be nursing a lot and getting adjusted.  Not that big of deal though.  :)  Done it a few times.  It actually gets more and more enjoyable because the selfishness has died soooo long ago.  At least it should!

I'm soooo excited that a new season of the Duggar's 19 Kids and Counting is coming out on April 1st.  It's such an encouraging show to me.  I've seen them since it was just 14 Kids and Pregnant again.  It's such a cool video and their style has changed so much I'm gonna post it here!  Haha.

I always figure if what they do can work for 19 kids then it can definitely work for my 7 kids.  Often I've taken organizational ideas and homeschooling tips from them.  They are the reason I use Switched on Schoolhouse with some of my kids.  It is such a good program for a large amount of kids homeschooling.  It's expensive to buy at first but you can use it for each kid after.  I love those old vidoes!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Noah - The Movie!

Have you noticed all the amazing movies that have been coming out lately?  As a Christian and someone who's grown up hearing these stories times after time again, it's neat to see it come alive in film!  Here is a featurette about the film Noah. It's a must see!  Yes, there is a lot of knowns and unknowns about the details in the bible of this story.  I'm sure in this movie they took some artistic license to fill in some of the what we don't know.  Rather than be quick to criticize, let's see for ourselves.


Directed by Darren Aronofsky. Starring Russell Crowe, Emma Watson, Jennifer Connelly and Sir Anthony Hopkins. In theaters everywhere March 28, 2014.

"While artistic license has been taken, we believe that this film is true to the essence, values and integrity of a story that is a cornerstone of faith for millions of people worldwide."

Slavery to the Law- Falling Away from God's Grace

Lord, for so long I believed You loved me but with condition.  I thought that You waited impatiently to see when I'd slip up so you can flick me into hell.  I always saw you as a disapproving Savior who was always angry.  I thought I had to show through my works that I was saved and the more I did the more You approved of me.  If it's true in Your Word, that we are saved by grace and not by works, please plant this assurance in my heart.  I know, I know, I know it says it.  I am trying so hard to make my heart believe it.  I feel like this immature child asking You to teach me how to tie my shoes for the hundredth time.  I know it's so simple for others.  It's not simple to me when for so long I lived in fear I would displease people around me and displease you. 

"Not a single person on earth is always good and never sins." Ecclesiastes 7:20

Okay, I get that.  Everyone knows that's true.  How come it took me 34 years to find that scripture when I've been reading the bible ever since I could read?  Why is it that I try so hard to live for you yet I always feel like I'm looking over my shoulder?  That I'm about to get caught for doing something that I'm not doing wrong?  Feeling like I always have to be perfect or be kicked out?  When I have to stay home from church, the guilt eats me alive.  Don't we go to church to be taught and refreshed?  To learn more about You but not because we are trying to earn points with you?  Why is it that I feel like I've let you down when I can't do it all perfect?   Jesus, more than ever I need Your peace.  I pray for wisdom, discernment, and need to really, really know You.  Not what I thought I knew about You.  But to know Your heart.  I want to know You like never before.  Not as the punisher in the skies looking to see if I've earned enough points to maintain my salvation status.  I need to see clearly.
Recently a friend pointed out to me that the Christians are one body of Christ.  That we are not separated by fellowship of churches.  We are all ONE body of Christ.  Makes me sad when I hear Christians point the finger at each other and accuse the other church of not being as holy.  If a body attacks itself, won't there be less accomplished?  Won't there be injury to the body?  I wish we could work together and realize we have the same goals.  To make heaven our home and share the gospel message of Jesus Christ.  I'm going to leave the church judging of who is better and who is more righteous up to God.

"So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free and don't get tied up again in slavery to the law. Listen! I, Paul, tell you this: If you are counting on circumcision to make you right with God, then Christ will be of no benefit to you.  I'll say it again.  If you are trying to find favor with God by being circumcised, you must obey every regulation in the whole law of Moses.  For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ!  You have fallen away from God's grace.  But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive by faith the righteousness God has promised to us.  For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised.  What is important is faith expressing itself in love." Galatians 5:1-6

I know this is talking a lot about earning our way.  I don't want to be a slave to the law.  I realize I am saved by God's grace.  Robert Morris said it really well in one of his sermons.  He said we don't earn our way to heaven but once we are saved by grace we do earn rewards in Heaven through our works.  Makes a lot of sense.  We sew seeds here and reap rewards in Heaven.  We are happy to do things for Christ, Jesus said to preach the gospel to the world.  That's important!  How selfish can I be to forget that at times?  I have heard God's message my whole life.  I need, need, need to spread the message.  But I know I wouldn't be doing it to KEEP my salvation.  I already am!  But how selfish would that be if I didn't? 

Jesus, please help me not to be a slave to the law.  Help me to enjoy life as you intended.  There is joy in living for you.  It shouldn't be this mind hassle I go through.  I pray that you would bring Your Word alive in me. Amen.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Simplify Your Life! 40 Bags in 40 Days.

Someone started an idea for 40 bags in 40 days.  Meaning, every day find things to donate and fill up one bad.  Well, that's not hard for me AT ALL.  Nine people in this house means lots of clutter adds up really fast.  Back in my single days I was so simplistic I was probably considered a minimalist.  I get soooo confused when there is just too much stuff in the house.  I don't like figurines or any sort of collectible.  My kids are what I looove to give my time too.  Not things.  So maybe when they're all grown up I'll find something worth collecting.  I don't know.  I was like that when I was single anyway.

Our biggest inspiration when we do a house clean out is from the show Clean House.  No matter how many times we've seen all the episodes from every season, we'll watch it again.  I'll have the show playing somewhere on a monitor, streaming through Netflix, so it encourages the kids and I.  I'm not kidding, it works!!  You can get all the seasons on Netflix.  It just is so motivating to see people clear out their house.  Often you'll see people come to the realization that they've attached memories to junk and it's done nothing but take up space in their house and in their mind. 

Anyway, we are on our second day and working on our second bag!  For us that would be a large bag but for some people maybe it's just a smaller size bag.  Whatever works! Back to work we go!  :D

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Cheapest Pregnancy Test vs. Overpriced. Which One?

Kyle (10) and Juliet (1 1/2)
Wow, I am barely 4 weeks pregnant.  It's hard to believe I've known for a week that I've been pregnant.  Can you believe that it's always the cheapest pregnancy tests that show I'm pregnant the earliest?  I never throw down money on those expensive tests.  Walmart came out with a pregnancy test that cost only 88 cents.  I know, it's crazy.  So, I got 5 of those and 2 expensive pregnancy tests (just for fun).  Guess which ones showed positive and negative?  The cheaper ones right away showed I was positive.  The more expensive ones that tout it can detect early actually told me I was negative.  However, when I used another expensive test a few days later it finally showed positive.  The cheap tests all showed it immediately.  I think it's funny how there are actually $30 tests out there.  Crazy, crazy.  I might've fallen for that with my first pregnancy.  I can't remember.  Haha.

Anyway, baby is the size of a poppy seed at 4 weeks!  Whoa, so tiny!  They have to start somewhere though.  :D  The kids ask me soooo many questions about the baby.  Is it boy or girl?  I tell them, well it's already been decided but we just can't know for quite a bit.  It's a bit nerve wracking they pray for twins but I guess that's already been decided too.  Ha.  It's funny how every one of them it's excited and talks about it so much.  You'd think the older ones would be like "ehhhh....been through this before.  Yawn."  It's a good sign they love their large family life if they are so excited and don't feel burdened by another person in the house coming.  Makes me feel like I'm doing something right.  :D

 We ended up joining back with a gym that's only a mile away from us because they finally, finally lowered the age they are willing to watch kids in the childwatch.  It was soooo silly.  They would only watch kids from ages 2-6.  What was I supposed to do with the kids under 2 and kids older than 6?  I still couldn't work out.  Well, they at least put it from 6 months-6 years old.  I still can't work out because of the ages I have over 6 but under 12.  Only 12 year olds can go around unsupervised.  Well, it's better than nothing!  It's an amazing deal for us compared to our Lifetime membership that was 15 minutes away.  It's less than half the cost so we're saving a ton.  Back to indoor pool fun during the winter!!!  What I love about the place is that every person that joins there has to have a background check.  Any flags at all and they can't join.  Makes me feel a bit safer for me and my kids. :)