Saturday, July 02, 2016

Too Much Minecraft

I had to share this.  Jedidiah's birthday was yesterday.  Can you believe he turned TEN!?!  Our first double digit boy!  Normally by this age they are having friends over for birthdays.  Well, at the moment our boys only have one friend, and he moved across the state.  So I decided to try to make Jed's birthday a bit more fun by getting some small toys/prizes for the festivities.

My new favorite store is the Dollar Tree, where everything in the store is $1.  Moira says that I should not be allowed to go into that store alone.  I don't know what she is talking about!  Ha, ha.  So one of the toys I picked up was a Rubik cube.  I actually got 3 of them, one for all the boys since they were obsessed with it when one of the girls' friends came over with one.  Ever since they wanted one of their own.  And here they were, only for one dollar each.

This particular cube has shiny/metallic colored squares.  Jedidiah was out and about with Jeremiah and was not home at the time the other kids saw the fun stuff I had bought.  I wanted everything to be kept up high until that evening, but before I put everything up Merida got a hold of one of the cubes.  Ok, no biggie, I thought.  She will tire of it quickly and then I'll just put it up.  There were 1,000 things needing to be done around the house, and dealing with a crying baby wasn't one of them!

About 30 minutes later Merida is crying.  She comes over to me and cries, "I want my diamond back!"  Diamond?  What diamond?  But she keeps crying the same thing over and over, until I realize that the 'diamond' she is talking about is the Rubik cube!  Ha, ha!

The only place or setting she has heard about the word "diamond" is from Minecraft!  I'm not sure why that was so funny to me, but it was.

Hopefully I will have some pictures of Jed's birthday.  We only got pics on a cell phone, and I am hoping that they came out ok.  

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Still here!

Wow, time flies when you are trying to catch up!!  So, so, so much going on over here.  After that bought of illness things just haven't been the same.  And that really needs to change because we are getting nowhere in life....very quickly I might add.

So for many years now I've wanted technology to take a back seat in my kids life.  But, as it stood, I was the only one who wanted that.  We had a go at it some 7 or so years ago, and it was an amazing time.  After the first two weeks of tech detox, which means there was weeping and gnashing of teeth, my kids actually discovered that life was possible without a computer.  They were reading a ton, fiction and how-to books, they were being creative in ways they never had been before. They actually interacted with each other as well!  It was great.  BUT, that all ended when everyone kept badgering me about watching a movie here or there.  And that was the end of that.

Fast forward 6 years later, and my boys do not know how to think for themselves.  They can't be still and thoughtful for more than a few minutes at a time before their brains hurt.  And my girls think that they can not live without a cell phone.  Between being in survival mode for the past year, and the house falling apart, I knew it was time for things to change.  And this post, from Facebook, totally inspired me:

Childhood in the Raw

You can visit her page from this article.  There was a news story on this family and the newscasters were concerned about the kids living without computers since we live in a tech entrenched world.  Really?  I mean, REALLY?  The one newscaster was saying how his 5 year old knew how to download apps already.

Sooooo, if a 5 year old can do it, don't you suppose that when these kids get older that they could figure it out too?  And there is abundant, I mean **abundant**, studies out there about how children's brains work.  News Flash:  Kids need REAL, HANDS ON experience for their brains to develop appropriately.  Computers are NOT real nor hands on experience.

This is one of the reasons we chose the type of educational philosophy that we did.  But the world crept in.  And it is sad to see.  So I wanted that to change.  I decided to have a:



The 'screen free' is obvious.  The 'junk free' is being free of junk food.  With this past year being one of survival mode our nutrition has totally gone down the tubes!  Now, it didn't get sooo bad that we were buying boxed cereal, but it got close :-)  We need to clean up our diets as I am seeing a direct result in poor quality diet and the kids health, behavior and energy levels.

I am not sure if we'll survive it all, but I need to make an effort at least!  I mean, just 3 months (90 days) without screens or junk.   There are a TON of projects that need doing around here.  A ton!!!  I made a video of that, and once it's edited, I'll post it, or link to it.  I'm not sure if I can embedded videos on here anymore.

Wish me luck!  I'm gonna need it.  

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Finally recovering!

This was one long winded illness.  It looks like we are *all* finally on the up and up. I am ready to move on to better things :-)

It took using my new machine to get Aubrey over his illness.  Poor guy.  I knew he must have been dealing with a secondary infection, I just wasn't sure which one (though I suspected it would go to his lungs).  When he woke up the next morning it became apparent that it was going to his lungs.  The first thought that came to me was, 'bronchitis'.  So that is what I ran my machine for, and by the end of his session he was finally fever free!!  Phew!  I ran it a couple more times that day to be sure he didn't relapse.  I finally have my Aubrey back.

Even though the kids have been sick, I tried to get them outside if they were able.  In Aubrey's case, he just sat in the stroller the whole time.


Aubrey loves spending time with the cats.  He doesn't look sick here, but he certainly was.



 What does one do when they do not have a sidewalk to color on?  Color on your house's foundation, of course!



Merida insists on wearing a hat when I do.  It was quite warm out, but she chose this hat to wear.  I wear my hat for bug protection (I **hate** when bugs fly in my hair and face!!).



 Jed wanted in on the photo action.  He was drawing Minecraft stuff on his side of the wall.



Being goofy.



Jonah wanted to help color in my sign.



The baby had other ideas of people helping HER color in my sign.  Here she is trying to stop Jonah from coloring in this letter.



Meanwhile, I noticed that Aubrey was still hanging out in the stroller, and went to check up on him.  Knocked out!  He took another 4 naps that day.



Merida walked away from the wall giving Jed an opportunity to color in my sign.



Sleds are still useful in the spring.  I suppose that is good, since we only get to use them for about 3 days during the winter.



Merida still in her pj's.  Outside is fun if you are dressed or not :-)



The boys, particularily Jonah, are enamored with our new (to us) van.  For one thing, it has a *working* radio!  As soon as we get in the van, that is their first request....Put the music on!!  Today we opened up the back door of the van to let the music pour out for some hooping.



Merida is able to get the hoop going around her a few times!



Yours truly.  I was attempting to hoop as well.  It was sunny out, and I was hoping we were soaking in some vitamin D.



The finished sign.

Friday, April 15, 2016

And Then....

So my last post had us outside enjoying a fine spring day.  Though we have been outside most days since then, we've also been dealing with some sort of flu type illness. And not the stomach kind. I was worried when it got to certain children as they do not do as well as some of my others with flu type illnesses.  One night we thought we were gong to have to take Moira to the ER (only because it was the weekend and urgent care was closed).  We didn't, as I found a homeopathic remedy that did the trick, and she was over the flu by the next day (though it took a few more days for her to regain her strength).

So a couple of days ago the last two kids came down with this munge (Bella and Flannery).  The day after Jonah started up with a fever.  Hmmm, didn't he go through this already?  I must have been 'off' in keeping track of who had it.  But then, a couple of days later (today) Aubrey comes up to me saying his eyes hurt. he had been eating an orange, so I thought he had gotten some juice in them.  But minutes later I see him lying on the couch...looking sick!  He just came up to me saying his head really hurts, and is now running a fever.  Seriously?  I KNOW he had this already.  Though he had more of a fever and cough, but not much of a headache.  The older kids have gotten a headache and fever first, then a cough added on.  Not sure if this is the same bug going around for the second time or something different, but I know one thing for sure....I'm DONE with the sickies!!!

I think we started this two weeks ago?!  I did run a program on my new 'health' machine for Flannery for her headache and within a couple of minutes her headache was gone.  This allowed her to stop taking meds, so her body could let the fever do it's job.  I was reading up on muscle testing for remedy choices (in homeopathy).  I tried it out on Flannery.  In the almost 8 years of using homeopathy I have only gotten the right remedy for Flannery *once*!!!  She is so hard to get the correct one, something having to do with her 'taking on other people's symptoms' as another homeopath told me.  Either way, she is doing better, though not back to health yet.  But she feels a whole lot better.

I think I will try it for Aubrey.  On his first go around, there really was no need for a remedy as he was handling the illness just fine.  Even though he just started, he is really upset about feeling so horrible.  Poor guy.

I was just catching up on my kitchen too :-(  I had been doing great with keeping the kitchen clean every day, all day long.  But multiple kids sick....well, that started to slide, and slide, and...well mess exploded.  If I didn't have to do shopping, a chiropractor appointment, and help two girls get ready for a Ball, I am sure it would have gotten all cleaned up today.

Try, try again.  Please pray for healing.  When the littles get sick, that means they get little sleep, and that means mama  little sleep.  

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Outdoors

I am attempting to make an effort to get my kids outside more.  It is not difficult for the older girls to get out, and not to much of a problem for the boys (they are allowed in the backyard, which is fenced), but baby girl....well, that is more of a problem.  She doesn't go out unless I go out, or if I have an older girl take her out back.  So each day I take a break from the work that needs doing and soak in the sun and fresh air.







There are more pictures of Merida only because I have to follow her around.  Jed was outside with us, but he spent his time chasing down chickens or rounding up baby goats.  The other two boys hung out a bit with us as well, though they had their turn chasing some chickens as well.  

Monday, March 14, 2016

Battling Ringworm

  Not one of the more pleasant topics to write about.  I've mentioned quite a few times that I had been battling 'stuff' for a while now.  Well, I think I am ready to share what I've learned so far.  I am not 100% clear.  I have a couple of 'hot spots' that may be left over fungus, OR some scarring from some of the more extreme things I tried to get rid of it!

Back in June (2015), I spied the horrid red "O".  At that time I had two or three, all under my arms.  Having dealt with this on two other occasions with various children, I knew right off the bat some things that would NOT work.  After our last episode (years ago) we gotten a hold of some Nystatin.  That cleared things up within a couple of days!

We did not have insurance at the time, so I was going to have to make do tackling this on my own.  I tried all sorts of things.  Tea Tree oil, oregano oil (that will burn!), neem oil, and even bleach.  I found that leaving things on contact with a wipe did better than just rubbing some on.  This was taking a tole on me since I had to do this multiple times a day.

We finally got insurance, and had the money for a doctors visit.  This was sometime around Sept. or Oct.  By then I had multiple rashes over my body.  He wanted to give me an oral medication, but I am still nursing, so we decided using a topical would be best.  He gave me two prescriptions.  He told me the first one he gave me was going to be more expensive, so I asked for Nystatin, since it worked so great the last time.

I went with the Nystatin because the other medicine, with insurance, was going to cost $140!!  I can't begin to tell you how excited I was to drive home with that bottle of cream!  The last thing I needed was a house full of children with ringworm.  So I had been very careful in how I bathed, using baby wipes, so I could throw them away.  I had to dry off in a certain order in hopes to avoid spreading this on myself any more than it already had.  Then I had to wash all my clothing and towels in hot water (I increased our water heaters base temp. so that it would be hot enough to kill it off in the washer, but not hot enough for anyone to get burned if they were using the sink/tub.).

After about 4 or 5 days my rashes started to itch like crazy!!!  I knew that this meant either really good things, or really bad things!  In my case, it meant bad things.  My rashes were going into hyper mode and growing!  So back to my other natural, or in the case of the bleach, not so natural options, since it seemed to be keeping things at bay.  However, that one week of using the prescription led to things spreading :-(

I was at the feed store one day when I asked if they had anything for ringworm, that may prove safe for humans. I have heard that a lot of meds for animals (not all!!) are made for humans and animals in the same facility, split at the end to go into different packaging.  Anyways, they had something.  I looked up online, and they do indeed have a human version, but the animal version is just cheaper.  What I got was called Vetericyn.  Now this did make a big difference.

Things started to clear up.  As an aside, I knew this would be a battle, due to the mold in our house.  My immune system is down because of that, which is why I probably caught ringworm in the first place.  Again, I noticed bigger improvements if I held wipes sprayed down with the Vetericyn on my skin for 30 minutes at a time.  But again, though it was improving, it wouldn't clear up.

We had a change in medical insurance so I asked for my doctor to prescribe me another cream, and an oral (I wanted that as a back up).  This time our insurance had better coverage, so I didn't have to pay so much.  I talked to the pharmacist about the oral medication and the fact that I was still nursing.  She was surprised that the doctor had prescribed it since she says it isn't considered safe.  Though she said it is prescribed as a last resort, and if I waited 5 hours after nursing, things should be ok.  Ugh, not what I wanted to hear.

I went home and slathered on the cream (ok, not really, as you are only supposed to put a thin layer on).  And, you might be able to guess this by now, but 4 or 5 days later, big time itching all over again!!!!  I cried.  I really, really did.  I remember staring at the oral medication bottle and praying.  I knew that with the track record I just had with using the creams, AND after reading online that many women find that once they stop the oral antifungal, their rashes just come right back, the oral medication would probably be a failure as well. I felt that the risk to my own health, let alone that of Merida's wasn't worth it.

But then I remembered something I had read in a homesteading book, written by Ben Hewitt, called Nourishing Homestead.  He wrote how each winter his cows would get ringworm.  After a few years of this, and learning more on how to take care of his animals, he figured it was a nutrient deficiency.  He started giving them free choice kelp.  Ever since then his cows have been ringworm free.  I looked in my pantry stock of herbs.  There on the shelf was a glass jar of spirulina.  I had bought it two years ago, hoping to add it to my goats feed.  For some reason that never happened.

I started adding almost 2 tsp of the spirulina to my morning smoothie.  Well, the morning smoothies started because I needed something to put my spirulina in :-)  I add other greens like kale, spinach and chard.  Needless to say, besides those couple of 'hot spots' EVERYTHING cleared up within that first week!!  In the week before I started to spirulina, I had 5 new rashes develop, FIVE!  So the fact that all those, and my other ones are totally gone, is nothing short of miraculous.

My next step is to purchase some more spirulina (I'm running low) and some kelp.  We've started on another supplement that is supposed to help heal your gut lining, and I will be having my alternative health 'machine' showing up on my doorstep this week.  But those things will be to help my overall health, and not so much the ringworm, as that is not an issue at this point.  Again, my body still needs a bit more, since I have these couple of hot spots left, but I am certain that the added spirulina is what finally helped me.

One very BIG step we need to take is to get rid of the mold in our house.  Jeremiah killed it off as recommended to us by the mold removal company.  But we need to go through the attic and get rid of all sources of dead mold, and then do a major cleaning downstairs.  I am sure with all of those things checked off those hot spots will be a thing of the past.  (These hot spots do not itch, are not actual "O"s, --though there are two that are light pink in the shape of a filled in circle--. and anyone who wasn't told I had ringworm would even consider those areas to be ringworm.  I just know that is where some of my ringworm rashes were, so they are areas I am keeping an eye on.)

All I know is that it was very refreshing to use an actual cloth washcloth in the shower and to be able to towel off without having to do so in a certain order.

I try to tell myself that I've gone through all these things with these different types of "bugs" for a reason, but it's not always pleasant to deal with it on a daily basis.  As a side note, ringworm, is NOT a worm, it is a fugal rash, just like athlete's foot.

Now for my disclaimer:  This is what worked (or didn't work) for me!  I am sharing this information with those who may be interested.  Please do your own homework, and talk to a trusted health care professional to see what your situation warrants.


My new BFF :-)  It may be two years old, but it is still potent.  It will be interesting to see how green the new batch will be compared to this batch.


You can see I keep a child's liquid medicine cup in here to measure out what I need.  This stuff is so powdery that it gets ALL over when trying to get a scoop.  And since we are always loosing our regular teaspoons, I went for the medicine up.

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Groceries for our family of 10

I hope I am not the only one who loves to see not only how other people feed their families, but what it costs.  I can NEVER figure out how some people can have a grocery budget of about $300 for the **month** (family of 5 that I am thinking of).  Um, how is that possible?  Because my **weekly** budget is $450!!

Well, I decided to share what our groceries for the week look like, and their cost.  Because, maybe I'm missing something!

I usually go shopping at BJ's and Walmart.  Two years ago Aldis popped up, right in front of the Walmart I shop at!!!  But I never really made it there, unless they had avocados on sale.  Aldis has added a lot of good food items in those two years, and I have finally made the time to compare prices.  In my defense, Merida was born just two years ago, and shopping with an infant is an IN and OUT as FAST as you can affair!

Aldis does have some great prices.  Some are not too far off what I normally buy, but savings is savings.  For example I save just ten cents on applesauce at Aldis compared to Walmart.  However, for almond milk, Aldis is about 50 cents cheaper.  After Jeremiah came home from BJ's I was able to see that Aldis mozzarella cheese, for the same amount would be 71 cents cheaper.  It all adds up!


 Here is the whole of Aldis, except for a 24 count box of gummies, which my children devoured the moment I got home :-)  All of this cost: $82.05  Is it just me, or does that NOT look like 80 bucks of food!



 Aldis broken down a bit more.  Here are the fresh and frozen items I bought.  Oranges for snacking; the frozen spinach, celery and one of the cucumbers are for my daily green smoothies; the two bags of peppers for two recipes; and the tomatoes, lettuce, and avocados, plus the other cucumber are for salads.



From the back, we have four cans of diced tomatoes for a couple of recipes; two jars of applesauce for snacking and for Merida to take her D-Mannose powder; one can of cashews for a recipe, a splurge, but they were only $2.99; two boxes of baggies; popcorn kernels (popcorn is a favorite snack around here); two blocks of cheese for snacking; two packages of cold cut meat and the sliced cheese, they are for sandwiches intended for Bella, though everyone dug in once I got home;  one bag of shredded cheddar cheese for recipes.



 Three loaves of bread (though I could make my own, I am taking some short cuts at this time in my life!); I bought two almond milks (just one pictured); peanut butter; salsa for chips; and two jars of jelly.



 Two 12 count packages of Ramen (yes, I know they are unhealthy, but I try to grant them a couple of unhealhy food items, plus these cook up extremely fast if we are in a rush to get out the door); two packages of hamburger buns for a bbq chicken dinner this week; and two 10 count packages of tortillas for two different dinners this week.



The whole of Walmart's grocery haul.  I actually went over the receipt because *all* of this cost $86.32!  Not pictured is a 16 pound bag of cat food.  I forgot to mention we also have to feed 1 dog, 2 ponies, 4 goats, 5 cats, 8 rabbits (though tomorrow we are selling them), and 30 some chickens on our grocery budget as well.




 A close up look at Walmart items:  One box of mashed potatoes, stir fry sauce and rice vinegar for recipes; three packages of noodles; spaghetti squash for tonight's dinner; radishes for my green smoothies.




From the back, 4 tubs of yogurt (one will be used to make two gallons of homemade yogurt); 4 cans of soft dog food; mandarin oranges for chicken salad this week; two cans of coconut milk for my smoothies (I can not have dairy or eggs); 4 cans of Walmart brand Rotel; two cans of chunk pineapple for a recipe; two bags of bacon bits (for potatoes); black beans; razors, medicines and bandaids; a bunch of silverware since ours seem to walk off all on their own!



Jeremiah makes the BJ's run on Saturdays, and this is what we bought for the week, though some items last longer than one week.  For example the cocoa will last longer than a week.  Last week we bought baby wipes, but this week we needed diapers.  The total for all of this came to: $195.24



A close up look, from the back, two packages of 2 count whole chickens; three gallons of milk; Italian sausage; ground beef; two tubs of sour cream; bacon and pepperoni (can't wait for pizza night!)



Next up we have 6 packages of bananas (aprox. 3lb. each); children's Ibuprofen; cocoa.



Large bag of corn chips; 2-5lb packages of apples; 6 pack of romaine lettuce; two packages of mozzarella cheese; and cherries.



The package of diapers.



A quick stop to Whole Foods for some kimchi.  I usually make my own, but needed some to try to knock out a sinus infection I have.  These were about $13.

Due to the truck being used this morning, and church tomorrow, I have to save our animal feed purchases for Monday.  This week we will only need one 50lb bag of goat feed, and three bales of hay.  That should come to around $45.

That brings us to a grand total of $421.61.  There will be small things that pop up, like I didn't realize we needed some SOS pads, and some tweezers.  

  

One of the great tips I got off of "How Jen Does It", was to put your bag of snacks into smaller bags.  Brilliant!!!!  This has truly cut down on wasted chips.  With that large of a bag, and small children trying to handle said large bag...well, that equals lots of spilled chips.




Saoirse enjoying a baggie of chips :-)



 For any THMers out there, these are the special ingredients I use.  I already had the gelatin on hand way before I started THM.  I bought these neat blue containers at the Dollar Tree.  After a bag of Super Sweet tipped over, which was not closed all the way....well I don't have to tell you that I wanted to make sure that didn't happen again!!  I plan on finding or making some nicer labels, but didn't have anything on hand but plain ole paper and tape.  So far we've been buying our xylitol at Whole Foods.  Not sure if we are saving money or not, it was really a case of "we need some xylitol right now" situation :-)  I did not need to buy any of these this week.  I try to space these purchase out so I am not buying them all at once.



While I was taking these pictures I was sipping on my lovely army green smoothie.  I try to mix up what I use.  The base is the same, either almond milk, or coconut milk (depending on whether I want and "E" or "S" breakfast), a handful of okra, 1/4 pound of frozen spinach and a 1/4 pound of kale, collagen, sweetener, and most importantly for me: powdered spirulina.  Then I add some of the following, all of which is frozen: yellow squash, carrots, cranberries, strawberries, blueberries, raspberris or cherries.  I also may add the following, which are not frozen: radishes, cucumber, avocado or celery.   I would like to get my hand on some beets to try those as well.


Below is my menu.  Moira and I are eating using the Trim Healthy Mama (THM) way.  It is easiest of we can all eat the same, and I try to keep it that way, though as you will see below there are a couple of exceptions.  For breakfast I try to make a large green smoothie, but everyone else eats according to the breakfast items below.  You will also see an S, E, or FP for reference for THM.  For a crash course of what those letters mean:  All meals are supposed to have a protein and then each meal will either fall more towards higher in fat, or higher in carbs.  An "S" stands for, satisfying, a meal that has higher fat.  The "E" is for, energy, those are higher in carbs.  The "FP" stands for, fuel pull, which is neither high in fat or carbs.

You can see I have quite a few "E" meals in here, which means that on the days with lunch and dinner as an "E" I will make an "S" breakfast.  And even though my kiddos will be eating the same meals, they will add cross over items, or have snacks that will be crossovers.  Crossovers, for those that do not know are when you combine both fat and carbs in higher amounts.  Again, this is a VERY simple explanation, but hopefully you get the idea of how it works.

My menu for the week:

Breakfast:
These are not scheduled, but I try to mix it up between smoothies, some type of eggs and possibly bacon, oatmeal or yogurt with fruit.

Lunch:
Sat: hard boiled eggs and roasted veggies *S
Sun: tomato chicken bisque soup *S
Mon: for the kids, cheeseburger rice/ for Moira and I, salad *S or E depending on how we feel that day
Tues: chicken salad *E
Wed: soothe your soul soup *FP
Thurs: rice and veggies, with shredded chicken *E
Fri: left overs

Dinner:
tonight, Fri: pasta with meat sauce, regular noodles for kids, and spaghetti squash as noodles for Moira and I *E 
Sat: cashew chicken *S
Sun: bbq chicken with coleslaw *E
Mon:  beef burritos, tortillas for kids, lettuce leaves for Moira and I *S or E depending on our topping choices
Tues: rice and sausage *E
Wed: slow fajitas, on sprouted homemade tortillas *E (if we felt we needed an "S" meal, we could put our fajita filling on a lettuce leaf and use sour cream, cheese and avocado toppings)
Thurs: pizza made with sprouted wheat *E

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Changing.....direction

So my last post was rather raw.  I was able to get away for a few hours on Sunday to pray, think, and write down some ideas.  Funny thing is that Jeremiah thought I was going to the pottery place to finish my pottery piece, but I changed my mind last minute and headed to the 'walking  park' with my Bible, a notebook, and a bunch of colored pens.

It was a great few hours, time well spent.  I seriously have NO time at home to think straight!  The kids are out of control, the house is a wreck, errands that can not be put off, etc.  Anytime  I wake up early, the baby wakes up minutes later.  I am too exhausted to stay up later than the kids, so it is just go, go, go all the live long day.

I got to the park and I prayed and prayed and PRAYED!!!  There is NO way that this ship can change course without the very needed help of the Lord.

Today I got online to look up 'house cleaning' on youtube.  Awesomeness!!  There are two channels that I have taken the time to watch some of their videos, and plan to continue to watch for more inspiration.  Because here is the thing...I was a BORN messy.  Yup, sad but true.  I grew up in a house with an OCD mom who had everything folded one way, all boxes lined up shortest to tallest, etc.  My sister had this crazy idea that you put things away immediately after using it!  :-)  Needless to say, having me as a roommate was probably hard to deal with.

I am sure I can not be the only one out there whose life feels out of control.  So I plan on doing some videos of my own so that you can follow along.  Because the channels that I will link you to are GREAT, but....how does one go about doing a 'night routine' when it would take ALL day just to clean ONE part of the kitchen?  So join me in the near future to see how I turn my house around.  No, it's not turned around yet, so how can I know that it WILL be?  Well for one thing, I believe God, and there really is no way I can continue to live the way we are.

Go and get some of your own inspiration!  Here are two of the channels that I have been watching (I'm sure there are plenty more too!):
Do It On a Dime
How Jen Does It

Here is one of my pages from my park time.  I'll share the rest of them later.





Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Direction

Just a heads up....this is not going to be a pleasant post.  I am considering starting a new blog, maybe named "Life With Full Hands-Take Two".  Not sure yet.  What I am sure of is that something needs to change.  A lot of somethings.  I had another blog title called "Is He Who He Says He is?".  The "he" being God.  I have come to a point in my life where there needs to be a major, MAJOR shift in all of my thinking and doing.  All of it.  Because things are incredibly horrible over here.

I read things like this: How to Raise a Happy Teen

I have the part about letting them talk while I listen figured out.  But that is about it.  The part about stocking your pantry with a ton of junk food so you will be the most popular house?  Um....not so much.  

I feel like most of my adult life has been spent looking for the 'secret' to being healthy.  I am so sick and tired of being sick and tired.  I am fed up with spending my time researching ways to remain healthy and get my energy back.  All of it requires huge diet changes, and horribly expensive supplements....and that would be just for me, forget about the rest of the family.  It is beyond, BEYOND discouraging to know that I am pathetically weak and susceptible to every scum organism out there. Like having had scabies three times in 4 years.  Or still dealing with ringworm, after two failed prescriptions.  I am on month 8 now of putting crap over 1/4 of my body to deal with it.  I am beyond sick and tired of rubbing this concoction and that product on me multiple times a day...every. single. day for the past 8 months.  

Since I don't have any 'named' disease it is hard to get by without feeling like I am the loser mom.  Trust me, this affects every aspect of my life.  If that wasn't hard enough my marriage is....well, not really a marriage.  There has been an issue that we have been dealing with for the last 20 years.  It cost Jeremiah his job two years ago, and it has had negative impacts on all of us.  Now I am at the point of giving up.  He's finally decided he needs help (and yes, we've had years on and off of counseling, but unless you want to be helped, no amount of counseling is going to help.  And we can't forget some of the horrible counseling we've had as well, which has made things worse). However, I had reached the point of just being DONE.  I am currently trying to focus on healing, but I am over my head, drowning in the chaos that we call family life.  

Things are just trash around here.  The house in and out is always in a state of mess.  Forget the quaint posters about playing with your kids and not worrying about the fingerprints on the walls.  This is so beyond fingerprints on walls that it really isn't funny.  I took some pictures and I can't even bring myself to share them. The walls, floors, every area of our house is either dirty, messy, neglected, broken, or of course lets not forget the ever wonderful presence of toxic mold.  I mean why not pour some salt on an already gaping and bloody wound, right? 

My kids.  I love them to death.  I do.  I try to focus on the positives.  But right now, it is hard to come by.  There are certainly some areas that are growing, or I see the Lord's hand in, but the day in and day out nitty gritty...not so much.  My kids are lazy.  Getting anyone to do anything around here is as fun as pulling teeth without pain killers.  School work?  Let's just say that we've had some talks about putting them in school because school is not getting done around here.  Chores are hit and miss.  I can hear some of  you now, you need to whip them into shape,  they need responsibility, they need to be trained.....etc.  Yup.  I know that full well. But all of that takes energy.  I can do well for a day or two but that is it.  I am wiped out.  Or we get things going in the right direction and BAM we are brought down by sickness, sickness, sickness.  Because after all that healthy eating we do we are rewarded with SICKNESS.  Why, yes, please sign me up for some more.  Spend my life in the kitchen, so I don't have time to enjoy life.  Or eat crappy and still can't enjoy life because we are sick, sick, sick.  

We can never get ahead.  We are always behind.  Always.  We don't have all the school books we need, we are always short on clothing, or some other stuff.  The things we do have, like furniture are crappy.  There are people who can do second hand and make it work.  Me? Things just look crappy.  Furniture falling apart, wooden pieces falling off of wooden furniture, no working blinds on our windows and we do not have curtains either.  Good thing we live in partial woods.  The outside is crappy too.  Trash, poop, failure. We spent months with a toilet (not even ours, it was used, how gross is that) on our front porch.  Nothing says, "Welcome", like a toilet sitting on your front porch.  It has finally been moved...down to the ground.  It will probably take many more months before it leaves the premises.  

Yup.  Failure.  That word pretty much sums up my life right now.  And I can not take one more day of it.  Not another day.  I don't have time to myself so I can't even read the Bible and THINK about what I've read.  I woke up early this morning.  Oh, wow!  Maybe I can get some alone time in.  Ha, ha!! What a bloody joke.  Ten minutes later the sick baby wakes up.  So now I have no alone time, and a baby who is sick who woke up two hours earlier than she normally does.  Win-win (NOT!!!)  This happens any and EVERY time I wake early.  I go to the bathroom, put some lights on and BAM, kids wake up.  I am falling on my face come evening so I can't have alone time in the evenings.

This is just an overview. Just a skimming if  you will.  I could write for hours and hours about all the junk going on over here.  

But here is the thing....I can't bring myself to put my kids in school, because I had dreams of what I wanted them to learn, how they were going to learn that information, etc.  I had a dream of how I wanted to live my life.  Living in chaos and grossness wasn't a part of that dream.  I had a dream of being married to my best friend who I would work side by side with to raise our family and see the making of our earthly dreams come true (I'm not talking about fame and fortune here).  Instead I am married to someone who I planned on divorcing before our first wedding anniversary.  Not the idea of bliss by an means.  I'm tired of Christianity.  NOTE, I am saying I am tired of the organization of Christianity.  It seems to have done more harm than good.  I am beyond tired of hearing that I am supposed to do this or that to have a better marriage.  Those things always made things worse.  I am tired of hearing that I'm not supposed to be happy, but I am supposed to be joyful in everything.  (I know that is scriptural)  But I think to myself that nothing I am doing is bringing glory to God.  No one wants to be around our family.  The blackness just oozes off of us and no one else wants to 'catch' it.  I am tired of always being "That Family".  

I am tired of waking up and wondering what horrible thing I will face today.  After all the work I do to try to turn things around, to keep us healthy, to keep going...I sit here and worry about our future, will we be in some long waiting line for food in the near future, will we all be blow to smithereens in the near future...and then I think to myself, why do I worry about all of that?  It would be a welcome to just be done with this life.  There are other people living the way they always wanted, or making it there.  I strive for what?  More chaos.  More heartache.  For one more miserable day?  I can't do that anymore.  I really can't.  We are the poster family of why people should NOT become a "Christian".  That is the one main reason that I do not witness to others.  Because who the heck wants what we have?  I know it has to do with your attitude and not your circumstances....but we have crappy attitudes and crappy circumstances.  It's pathetic at best.

So I decided it was now or never.  I either fall on my knees hard, start praying out loud and speaking TRUTH or be done with it all, cash in if you will.  My only stumbling blocks right now are time and my marriage.  It's pretty hard to pray to God when you can't be alone for two seconds....and yes, I've heard all about Mrs. Wesley... I need a whole lot more than throwing an apron over my head and pray to save me from where I am right now.  And I can't pray for my marriage right now, I can't bring myself to even pray, "Lord heal my marriage". Because I just can't believe for one second that things can get better, and I have NO intention of living like I have for the past 20 years.  Not going to happen.  Although I know it's not truth, it is still hard to not believe that God seems to enjoy inflicting us with crap.  So I somehow need to get past this sticking point, to speak one word of truth.  

So maybe I'll make this all into another blog, or just keep this one with a new chapter of sorts.  Because if there isn't going to be a new chapter....well, I probably shouldn't go there right now.  So is He who He says He is?  We shall find out.  

Just a few of Merida

Had a few pics of Merida.

 I wanted to get a picture of Merida with her Zou (stuffed zebra), and her lion...with the haircut.  Merida received the lion as a gift from a friend.  Merida loved playing with it's mane.  One day Aubrey decided that the lion needed a haircut :-(  Aubrey had to buy Merida a new stuffed animal!  We tried to get the same lion, but couldn't find it.  Instead he got a pink/black/white kitty cat (not pictured.  We were going to buy a 'real' Zou stuffed animal for Merida (Zou is a cartoon zebra that she loves, loves, LOVES to watch), but found this zebra at the dollar store for $1!!!  Score!  She calls this one Zou, regardless of the fact that it doesn't look like the real Zou at all (I think she must think all zebras are named Zou, except if they are dressed like the other characters in the Zou show).


 Aubrey's new birthday present, a red wagon.  A cool red wagon if I do say so.  Merida taking a spin in it!


Merida putting some marker lipstick on.  She thinks she is a big girl like her big sisters :-)  Too funny!

Valentine's Day

We had two celebrations for Valentine's day.  The first was for the littles at our homeschool Valentine's party. They really looked forward to this as they clearly remember how  much fun it was last year.  Then the older one's had a party here at our house for they and their friends.  All I have to say is all these kids, who used to be like 10 years old and shorter than me are now 18 and taller than me, made me feel like I missed a few years of life :-)  Woah!    Here are pictures of the littles at their party:


 First stop was the craft room. Jedidiah's whole purpose for being at this party was for the candy!  Oy.  He whipped through everything as quickly as he could so he could eat sugar.  I wish I could say that it was funny, but it was not. I was about to send him to the van till the party was over, except I couldn't as the girls were volunteering in the game room.  Jonah on the other hand was very careful and thorough in his crafting.  He took his time with everything he did.


 Merida was so content to do the heart craft with her brothers.  She seriously spent about 20 minutes or more working on her heart! Pretty impressive for a 2 year old.


 Aubrey working on his heart.  He did a great job, and had fun.


 For some reason he found getting out of his chair a challenge. He had to wait till Merida moved out of the way.


 Merida making the funniest faces at the other kids.


 Aubrey's heart up close.


 You can see that Jonah took his time to fill his heart in.


 Off to the next craft of weaving yarn around heart shaped vines.  Both Jonah and Aubrey gave it a go.  Jed did as well, but he got frustrated by the yarn slipping off.  For some reason wrapping the yarn around the vine to keep it in place was totally unacceptable to him.


 Aubrey working on his vine heart.


 The station all the kids were waiting for.....decorate your own cupcake!


 Jed was so desperate for sugar that he just threw on some toppings and called it good.  I think a sugar detox is in order for him!!!!


 Aubrey showing off his cupcake.


 I think Aubrey went back to put on a few more additions, but this was how it looked until he changed his mind on needing more toppings :-)


 Merida went topping free.  After she ate half of her cupcake, and seeing how cool her brothers' cupcakes looked she insisted on some toppings of her own.  I went and grabbed a few to throw on her last couple of bites.


 Jonah spent a lot of time making up his cupcake creation (at least in comparison to the others).


Yummo!


Chillin.  After this they played a few rounds of Bingo.  By then it was time to grab our Valentine boxes and go.  The girls had a lot of fun with their game station.  Once again it was very popular and they continually had more kids then they had spaces for!


 On Valentine's day itself the big kids had a party here at our house.  They set up in Bella's room, as the plan was to watch a movie in there for part of the party.  Which, never happened!  Oh well.  I assure you all the food was still consumed :-)


 Little boys knew where the good stuff was :-)


 Party supplies.  For some reason people did not seem to know that they were there, and I had a dishwasher full of glass jars.  Go figure.


 The girls spent a bunch of time decorating cupcakes.


Flowers and cards.  The flowers were from Jeremiah.  There are 5 white roses and one red (for the 5 girls and I).  The cards are from the boys and girls.  Sweetness!


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