Sunday, December 13, 2015

Some Christmas happenings

This year the boys have had a couple of chances at making some Christmas crafts.  I love doing crafts...but not when my house looks like a bomb went off!  So this year the house is in better shape, and the craft supplies came out.  After seeing how much fun the boys had, not to mention how serious they were in planning their creations, I felt bad that it has been so long that they had free reign to be creative!  

We went to a craft fair and the boys had a blast!  I only wish we were able to spend more time there since it was a short fair, and we got there late.  I planned on taking pictures, but after pulling out my camera to snap the first one of the day I got that lovely little message "no card" flashing on my screen.  Sigh.  

 This was Aubrey's craft gift to me.  I told him that he had glued two large stars and 8 smaller stars onto his 'wreath'...which is how many people are in our family.  He didn't plan it that way.

 Merida wanted in on the crafting as well.  She just likes to spend her time cutting things up!

 We had planned on making a new Jesse tree for our Jesse tree ornaments.  That hasn't happened.  So each night I pull out the ornaments that we have read stories to and place them on a couch cushion (the ornaments are made of felt so they kind of stick up there).

 Moira was in her second play, A Christmas Carol.  We saw it last night, and they did an amazing job.  Moira was Mrs. Fezziwig.  Here she is after I did her hair.  Thank goodness for youtube!

 The hairstyle she choose worked great for the time period, and was easy to do.  She said she's just happy that she doesn't live back then, and having to do her hair like that everyday!  Ha, ha.

 There is a family, over the river and through the woods, that puts on an amazing light display for Christmas.  They get dressed as Mr. and Mrs. Claus and hand out candy to the people who come by.  This year Isabella went over and asked if they would like a Christmas pony to accompany them on some nights.  They were delighted to have the pony over.  Isabella went all out decking Olaf out in Christmas attire.  She had put bells on all of his feet, except that he ATE the front ones off!!  He didn't actually swallow them, but apparently he wasn't fond of them.

 Since we don't have a way to transport the pony, Isabella needed to walk him over and Saoirse went with her so she wouldn't be walking alone.

 Isabella had Olaf doing some tricks.  Here she is getting him to smile (though I didn't catch the smile on camera).

 New to their display was this snowman shooting "snow".  The boys were thrilled, even if the 'snow' was just bubbles!  They spent a lot of time hanging out with that snowman.

 If they weren't with the snowman, then you could find them by the fire roasting marshmallows.  The couple who does this has a fire, sticks for marshmallows, bags of marshmallows, and...

 she made hot cocoa for all of my kids!  Here Isabella is telling her pony that the hot cocoa was NOT for him.

 Yeah, that didn't last long!  He got a first sip, which flew him for a loop, since it was hot.  I wish I had that on camera.  Bella thought that would dissuade him, but not a chance.  He drank every last drop!!

 A group shot.  Moira was at her play, and Flannery was home not feeling well.

The crew with Santa.

It has been unseasonably warm here, and yesterday for the Christmas parade it was a whopping 75* out!  The parade was fun.  The boy's whole reason for being there was to see how much candy they could walk away with.  The baby was in love with every dog that went by....please, NO, not *another* animal lover ;-P  We got home, hot and tired.

But there was some work to be done.  We have started pulling up carpet.  We seem to have a serious mold problem in our house.  The carpets are not the cause, but I can assure you they are only adding to the problem.  Since that is something we can actually work on, that is what we did.  I was quite surprised by the amount of work Jonah did!  That kid really and truly worked and worked and worked until the job was done!  He moved furniture in and out, he pulled up staples, threw carpeting out the window, vacuumed, etc.  The other boys helped as well, but here and there.  Jonah was like the Energizer Bunny!  One room done, as far as the carpet up.  I have a bunch of things I want to wash before putting it back in the room.  I need to find my diffuser, I had just seen it somewhere, so I can start diffusing Thieves oil.

Praying we will slowly start to see an improvement in how we are feeling.

Monday, December 07, 2015

My Table-scape

About three times a month my table is overrun with Dixie cups.  Lots of Dixie cups.  Some of you know we utilize homeopathy to help overcome illness.  But we have also utilized it to treat underlying issues in two children.  One child, Jedidiah, was not able to continue on homeopathy due to financial reasons many years ago, but thankfully we saw lasting results for many of his issues.  I have no doubt we would have seen his growth hormone issue resolved had we been able to stay with the treatment.

Currently we have Isabella in treatment for various ailments that I know she would not like for me to share.  But I can assure you that her ailments have been a huge burden for her to bear, and we are very pleased that we can utilize homeopathy at this time for her.

The only problem is that Isabella is very, very sensitive to the remedies.  This may make some people balk since the remedies are already diluted beyond there being any physical remnants of the original substance, just it's energy.  Most people think that homeopathy is bunk due to this, but it would only take someone to actually see homeopathy work to be convinced that it has the ability to heal the body.

It has taken us many months to find the right dosage for Isabella so that she is not left in an aggravated state (where she is experiencing more symptoms).  There is still healing going on, it just won't be evident!  With her recent batch of remedies sent to us we will be putting her on a new schedule that we are hoping will bring even more noticeable healing for her.

But between her sensitivities and the new schedule....well, things are pretty challenging.  I have to give myself pep talks before I tackle making up her remedies.  I have to wait for a time where the baby will be asleep or being taken care of by someone else, and that we have filtered water on hand.  Those two things seem like such a simple matter, but not so!

Because once I get started with making up her remedies having the baby come along can really undo a LOT of work!  This is what my table looks like as I am making the remedies:

 I couldn't fit them all in, but behold...168 Dixie cups.  But you can see that should a little wee lass come along and knock those over....well, let's just say there will be tears shed (by me!).

 I first have to figure out which level is next for her to take.  I make a label, put it on one of the little blue bottles.  Then I take the remedy pack (the small manila envelopes you see on top of the cups) and place them on top of each row of cups, along with the blue bottle that pertains to that remedy.

I put the remedy, which is the size of a grain of salt, onto a spoon, and drop it in the first cup.  Five of her remedies have 24 cups, one has 48 cups.  I then fill each of the cups with some water.  All 168 of them!  I give the first cup, with the remedy in it, a stir, then pour a bit of that water into cup two.  I dump the first cup of water into a container, and pick up cup number two to give it 3 to 5 swirls.  Then I pour a bit of water from cup two into cup three, and repeat the process until we get to cup 24 (or 48).  With cup number 24 I give it a few swirls and pour the water into the blue bottle for that remedy.  Then I repeat the process for the second remedy, and third, until I am all done.

 With the new schedule she will be taking half the remedies (3 of them) on one day, and the other 3 remedies the next day.  So this time around I used a marker to color the tops of the labels, three with green, and three with pink. That way she can look at each day to see which color remedies she needs to take.  She can't take them all at once, but needs to space them out over the day.

This is one of the bottles up close.  I have the remedy name, which is usually abbreviated.  This one is Belladonna at the 1Q potency.  I also write on the bottom when her last dose is to be taken.  Each remedy (for Isabella due to her sensitivity) will be taken 5 times over a 10 day period.  She *knows* when she went past the 'expiration' date because she will suddenly come down with symptoms!  I kid you not.  But it always works like this:
Bella:  Mom!  I don't know what is up, but  _______________ (insert symptom) is out of control!  I don't know what is going on.
Me:  What is the date on the remedy bottle?
Bella:  Oh, yeah.  Let me go check.

She comes back to tell me the last day for her remedy was two days ago....yup, time to make the new remedies.  Now I do put the date to make up her new batch on our family calendar.  However, our family calendar is dry erase.  Two words for you....little boys.  Enough said!  Ha, ha!

So that is my table-scape three times a month!

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Alien Chickens

So does everyone else's kids play Alien Chickens or Zombie Apocalypse?  No?  How odd.

Well, mine do.  And they have been playing it often (along with playing out the book they are writing).  They have set up camp over in the herb garden.  A camp complete with shelter, fire, and sometimes food they have scrounged for (like yummy ham from the neighbor).  They have it bad.

I came out on the first night of camp to find Flannery trying to start a fire with her flint and steel.  She had gathered some pine shavings in an attempt to start a fire for her freezing comrades (you all know that when it gets to be 55* over here that calls for the winter gear!).  I asked if they wanted some dryer lint, as I am sure everyone will have that at hand come the apocalypse, but she declined.  After many more attempts at the fire, I went in to gather some lint (we have NO shortage of the stuff...we do now since they have been using it ever since that night), and lo and behold...FIRE.  Ooooh.  Aaaahhh.

Flannery tells me that they have resorted to using a lighter and candle to start their fires.  I am assuming that counts as cheating.  But it works to get a fire going.  Besides their knives at their sides they have added air soft guns, to keep the alien chickens at bay (that would be the roosters who actually attack).  Sad for their game, said attacking roosters have been re-homed.  This is good news for the boys who were terrified to go outside and have a rooster run after them.

In other non-alien news, Moira, Flannery and I went grocery shopping this week.  Before we started the shopping for food we needed to get Moira some new clothing for work.  She got her first job last week!!!  She is so excited.  It was a difficult adjustment as it is a demanding job, but she is getting used to it and everyone says she is doing an amazing job.  In a jam days before, we had to purchase a new outfit, which cost $35!  Ouch.  So on this particular day, with no time demands, we headed to the thrift store.  She was able to get two outfits for work.  On top of that Flannery found a shirt for herself, and I happened to find some stocking stuffers, and two full outfits, a sweater, plus some shoes for the baby...all for $28.  Now that is more like it.  I know people who can get a lot better deals at garage sales, but that isn't in the cards for me right now.  One day, one day.

 Moira did NOT get this skirt. Phew!  But she really liked it.

 Flannery, always moving!  She ended up with the darker shirt.

Two of the items for Merida.  I also got her some rainbow pants, with a cute long sleeve shirt with a cat and dog in winter gear on the front.  Last summer I got her some nice pink sandals, and found the same brand but different color (purple) for this coming summer.  They look brand new.

To end this week I finally got to the pottery place to take advantage of the gift certificates that Jeremiah gave me for mother's day!  It was daunting to say the least.  I had to find what I wanted to paint. Then figure out a design...then the colors.  This is truly overwhelming for me, so I took my time.  I had to bring the piece home with me to bring back at a later date to finish.  I had a vision of what I wanted the plate to look like, but the outer lip didn't go as planned.  I had decided to do these dots in half circles around the edges, with words in between them.  But the half circles ended up too close together to do the wording in between. So now I am not sure how I am going to put the words on there that I want.  On the lip I have, "a Family of".  I had decided to write words like, "artists, bookworms, creators, courage, hope, servants, worship, music, silly, etc".  Now I will have to find another way to put those on there.  I got a glimpse of the plate so you can see what I mean.

 See I have my plans and palette at hand.

 Too many colors to choose from, but these are the ones I chose for the dots around the edges.

The dots around the edges.  All the colors will be much darker after the piece is put through the fire and glazed.

Oh, almost forgot, we had a beautiful day before the cold front came in, and went to the park for a picnic.  My kids are goo over picnics.  I feel bad, because we have one maybe once every three years or so!  Needless to say, they were giddy.  Eating at the park, hooping, and playing.  All fun.

 Jonah takes his hooping seriously.

 Merida has found a way to swing that hoop around her three times!  Smart girly.

 Saoirse will be starting a hoop walking club.  Joking.

 Group hooping.

 Jed looks so big here!

Oh, look, one of my kids' shoes.  Fancy that.

 Look no further to see who they belong to.  It appears that Flannery will be starting the hoop jogging course.  I can barely hoop standing still, let alone walk OR run!

 There was a child there that was having a birthday, and my boys asked if they could join in the bubble fun.

 The baby being cute in the swing.

She is too cute for her own good!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A "new" book on the block

This is NOT new, I've just finally got around to reading it (or starting to read it)!  It really helps that the original book was revised, and it was in my library!  Yay!  Because to be honest, from all the reading I had been doing I was having a REAL hard time buying into the whole idea of seperating your 'fuels'.  Well, carrying around an extra 40 pounds will do something to a person :-)  And I decided it can't hurt to read and try it out.  Not to mention that one of my daughters needs help in this area as well and was having a very hard time trying to reconcile eating a very restrictive diet.  So we took the plunge.  I bought the Plan book, and found the Recipe book in the library (they have both books in the library, but I figured I would buy one at a time, to spread out the cost).  Well, after having tabbed *some* recipes that I wanted to became very apparent that I really need to buy the book!  Ha, ha!

 The Plan book I'm still reading and my lunch.  I had to take this picture, and not for a reason you may think!  Look!  Look!  There is SUNLIGHT in this picture. We have been without the sun's rays for weeks!!!!  No matter where I went, this has been the subject of many people.  No joke.

The Recipe book.  I stopped putting in tabs when I realized I was going overboard with a book that I will only be able to keep for the next one and a half weeks!  Oy.  Both Moira and I have already seen changes.  It's only been three days.  No doubt about it, there is a learning curve.  Though, since I have been reading about it online for only the last year and a half, I've got some of this down (in my head at least).  The nice thing is that Moira is *actually* eXcItEd to be starting this way of eating since it is doable, and has some really yummy sounding recipes!  We shall see how it goes.  We signed up to do a 6 week challenge (to help keep on track through the holidays).  I'll let you know how it goes!

Thursday, November 05, 2015

The Long Awaited.....

The First Egg!!!  Yay!!

Monday, November 02, 2015

The past week

I am hoping my new camera lens will be here soon.  We ordered one from a far off land :-)  I really wish I had it the other night with all the kids dressed up.  We never ended up going trick-or-treating as it got too late, but they did look cute.  We needed to get Moira to church so she could do make up for the last night of our church's alternative to a haunted house.  We heard that Chick fil A was giving out free kids meals to any child dressed up, and that Krispy Kreme (which is across the parking lot) was giving away a free doughnut to kiddos dressed up.  So we made our way for some free food.

I had not seen our church's 'play', so we drove there so I could see it, and the boys could see the kid version.  When we headed home to do some treating, it was 8 PM, and everything was 'shut down' for the night.  Oh well.  No biggie, we were going to give away the candy anyways!  We bought a bit of candy at the store, and the kids came home and watched a movie.

The week leading up to Halloween was eventful, in the illness way.  Sigh.  Four kids had the tummy bug.  Then Merida was showing her funky signs of a bladder infection.  My attempts, with natural remedies, failed and she ended up with a fever on Wednesday.  Knowing that by the time she has a fever things will go down hill fast, I took her to be seen by a doctor.

Due to insurance changes, we have a new doctor.  Let me just say....I WAS NOT pleased.  That would be an understatement.  I totally expected to be hounded about our choice not to vaccinate.  But I was NOT expecting some of the comments I got about breastfeeding and our family if that has any bearing on my daughters health!  On top of it the doctor was incredulous that I wanted to take the 'least invasive' means know, after all they really can't know what she has since she's not vaccinated.  ROLLING eyes.

Needless to say, he had to admit was I right after a quick urine test proved that she indeed had an infection, and a bad one at that.  Poor baby.  She is feeling better on the meds, but her tummy is taking a beating.  Only 5 more days!  I have to take her in today for them to do a retest to make sure the meds are working.  The doctor was not happy that they couldn't get a proper culture.  I don't think it is entirely necessary, but since it's noninvasive I will go with the flow. Don't want to be too contrary :-)

Off to get ready for the appointment!  Please pray that they have the proper equipment, and that Merida's body cooperates and she needs to pee in quick order :-)

Monday, October 26, 2015

One foot in front of the other

We find ourselves in that 'if it's not one thing, it's another' stage...again.  Weren't we here just weeks ago?  And that 'stage' lasted for a month solid, only to be 'broken' up by two or more months of this cough thing?  Thankfully most of us are over the cough thing.  Anyone else had it?  Lasts for 6 to 8 weeks?  But we are back to stuff coming up almost daily.

My camera lens decided it was broke.  My oven decided to poop out on me.  The new-to-us printer decided to have issues, right when I needed it.  Thankfully most of those are fixed or soon to be fixed.  Jeremiah was able to speak to someone about our heating issue, and they will be here this week to check our system out.

Although we are not in a good rythm yet, we are staying on top of the house and getting to the basics of schooling.  This week we will be adding in Jed's speech therapy, which I am very excited about.  I have made our schedule up with sticky notes so that things could be adjusted once we have all of our weekly going ons in place.

We have a very busy week ahead of us.  I am frustrated by all the things that keep coming up, but also thankful that we are still making progress.  One such area is Isabella's homepathic care.  Isabella is very, VERY sensitive to the remedies.  It is so difficult because we know healing is happening, evidenced when she went off her remedies for a few weeks.  She saw amazing, amazing health.  Things started to slide backwards, as expected.  She was excited and scared to start back on the remedies.  Excited because she knows it is working, but scared because the sensitivities make things worse in the meantime.  We are working hard to find the right dosage for her.  Finding the right dose will bring her to a state of experiencing health, a state of increasing improvements, all while her body is truly healing, and not just covering up her symptoms.  We have adjusted her treatment this week, but it will be a few days before we see if this dosage level will be the ticket.

Making up her remedies takes incredible mental energy on my part.  I am guessing it is overwhelming to me because I feel overloaded as it is, but really it's not a big deal, I just have to mentally prepare myself to do it!  Anyone not familiar with homeopathy, or this specific practitioner's ways may find it mind boggling.  All I know is that the window of healing I saw in Isabella is totally, totally worth any mental overload I feel when I go to make her remedies.  Seriously, she is a different child! Able to do things she has not been able to do in a year.  So, sooooo worth it!

I have a picture, from my phone of all her dosage cups made up, but I can't get it into blogger.  I'll have to try again later.

Monday, October 05, 2015

Swimming in the Chaos

I actually picked up my camera today!  It's been months.  It has been a very wet and great past 12 days.  Apparently we broke an 1880-something record, with 12 consecutive days of rain.  Thankfully we've had a couple of breaks of sun here and there, but I was beginning to have waking nightmares of a movie I saw as a preteen.  For some reason this movie seems like a nightmare to me.  Don't remember the name of it.  But the idea was that these people lived either on Earth, or some other planet that had rain 24/7, 364 days a year.  One day a year the rain stops and the sum comes out.  There was a school class that was making all these plans on how they were going to spend their sunny day.  But the day of the sun, one of the students get locked in a closet, missing the only sunny day of the year.  I was so depressed after that movie!  Anywas, day 12 of rain it is.

Here are just a couple of pictures.  Isabella was giving pony rides to the boys.  I didn't get out there in time to take pictures of them riding, but Flannery got everything on video.  Maybe I'll post a short video once Bella uploads it from her camera.

 Aubrey still sporting the riding helmet.  He fell off the pony a few times, but he's our fearless one.

 Merida looked so cute in this sweater with her hood up.  All my other girls hated hats and hoods, but she seems to like it.

 Jonah being a nice big brother helping her with her shoes.  Look how she is holding on to his shoulder.  Aaaww/

Jonah asked me if I would take some pictures of him.  I took three, and in all of them he has a very serious face.  But my golly, he looks so old here!  Where is my seven year old?

Saturday, September 12, 2015

And THEN....God....

A big thank you for those who took the time to write me encouragements.  I try to remain open and honest in this space, and as we all know, sometimes life is messy.  But in all that messy, well I have a feeling God was setting us up (in a good way!).  Lest we thought that we could have anything to do with what happened here on Wednesday night.

Jeremiah took the kids to evening church on Wed. night.  When they arrived home I was expecting to hear about all that went on during the night.  I got the usual reports from the boys, but was a bit concerned that Moira rushed off to her room.  She is our talker, and I fully expected to hear about how band practice went.  She is singing for the first time in front of an audience for the Wed. night worship!  She is very excited, and she likes to tell me how her practices have gone.  I was going to go follow her, but Merida was breaking down, and in serious need of some sleep.

The timing was all a God thing, because when I put Merida to bed I nurse her while rocking in the rocking chair.  She fell asleep in 2 minutes because she was so tired.  I had every notion of putting her down right away so that I could go talk with Moira...except that I didn't.  I just couldn't seem to get up.  Kind of a mix a being tired myself, of deep in thought, and such things.  But I kept telling myself that I really should get up to see if Moira was alright.  Soooo glad that I didn't because during that time God was TALKING TO HER!  Really, no joke.

Moira, although she had accepted Jesus years prior, had been struggling with knowing if her name was in the Book of Life.  She knew that growing up in a home (although completely imperfect) that professed Christ, that it was possible that this faith she had was not her own.  So for the past couple of months she had been praying about that.  As she was meditating on the words to one of the songs that she was practicing in church that evening God spoke to her.  She was totally overwhelmed with His Love, and the **heart** knowledge of all that Jesus had done for her!

By the time I did finally make it to her room, she had just been thinking of getting up to talk to me.  She was surprised to see me walk in, as it all seemed surreal of what had happened and the timing of me walking in.  She sat there crying and laughing all at the same time.  She was crying with sadness for not 'seeing' all of this sooner, but laughing because her eyes had been opened.  She can hardly believe the 'new meaning' that the scriptures and some of the worship songs she has sung have now.  She wonders how she did not know all of this before.

Ahhhh, such joy!  She has been so joy filled and peaceful these past few days.  She doesn't want the feeling to end.  She doesn't want the holiness of God that she feels to fade.  To be a babe in Christ!!!  Oh how sweet!

So all of the madness that has gone on around here....all my failures that I wrote about....ha, ha!  Granted I **know** we don't save people, only God can do that, though he does use people to bring others to Himself. But it is only He that calls and draws close.  But with Moira, it was so obvious that is was ALL God, in every way.  To know that He was calling her during one of the most chaotic times in our family is amazing.  To know it was nothing we did, or said, or....just God speaking to her.  So beautiful.

Anyways, I wanted to share this amazing news with everyone.  It has been such an encouragement to me to know that even though I might be walking in a valley, that God is placing my child on the mountain top!  And praising God for it all has changed my perspective....if only because I am now looking up (thank you Lisa!!).

Please rejoice with us!!

 I am sure I should be putting some serious picture up here, but this is so Moira.  She was made for the 'selfie' generation :-)  So was Jonah.  Two peas in a pod.

Moira Grace, may you grow daily spiritually, and may you always seek the face of Christ in all that you do, so that you may become all that He made you to be!  We love you!

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Where did I go wrong?

I will start with a positive....I went to see "War Room" last night.  It was an awesome uplifting movie.  Prayer is something that I am really working on.  Still a long ways to go, but improving....slowly.

But today I sit here and am in a ditch (mentally speaking).  The past few days I've felt a bit under the weather....a couple of us are battling small things.  Nothing major, but enough to not feel like getting up and really going.  So it is small things done here and there, which I suppose is better than nothing.  And sitting and meditating can be a good thing as well.

This time thinking, of looking around me and the state of my house....well....  You see a couple of weeks ago, someone I know made a comment to me that has stuck in my head.  One I have been mulling over, trying to refute, and at times feeling that, yes, I really did mess up.  (though to be sure if God is **truly** in charge of all things, then it isn't really a mess up)  I have mentioned only a handful of times that Jeremiah and I have had marriage troubles.  Well, that would kind of be an understatement.  It's really been most of our marriage, minus a couple of years that have been difficult, and trying (to say the very least).  I brought up a very personal issue, one that I have been struggling with for most of my marriage.  Only a couple of people know of it, and I made sure she knew that before telling her.  Of the few people I have told they have one of two reactions.  The first is that they have no idea of how to help me to process my problem.  The other is to just quote the passage of, what the Lord binded together let no man separate (speaking of marriage), and the fact that it is God who puts people together.

But sometimes the truth isn't easy.  And no matter how much someone can tell me that the Lord put us together, that doesn't make the years of issues we have faced any less easier or less painful, nor does it help me for taking on the future.  I really was not telling my friend my issue expecting any answer.  I was only telling her to help her understand my situation better.  What I MOST CERTAINLY DID NOT expect was for what she said next:

Kerri, if that is the case, then why did you have all those kids?

Her reasoning I am sure, is that if our marriage is bad, then we shouldn't have involved anyone else in the problem.  I can see her point, what she was trying to say....BUT, ouch.  I was almost speechless.  I mean, she has marriage problems and has more than the typical 2.1 children, so does that make her situation better?  Her kids are better off?

So I was refuting her statement, in my head of course, that if the Lord is IN CONTROL of ALL things, that His Will will always be accomplished (she would be one of the people who would say that the Lord put Jeremiah and I  together), then can I possibly undo the will of God?  I know that there are those who believe that God is in control, and when it comes to fertility that it is fine to use birth control, since if God wants them to have another child then He can make that happen.  However, the opposite does not seem to be true of that thinking....if I do not take measures to stop a child from being made that God can intervene and make sure that a child does not come about.

I guess what I am saying is....each child was known by God BEFORE they were created.  Merida is not a surprise to God.  Jonah, is not a surprise to God.  Jed, and his medical issues, is not a surprise to God.

But with all of this refuting going on, it has dawned on me the vast number of failures that I have had in my parenting.  Vast people.  Like, I am pretty sure the ONLY scripture that Isabella at the age of 18 has memorized is John 3:16.  That is pretty weak (on my part).

There has been much fighting, chaos and messes here lately, with very little accomplishments to look on.  Big messes.  As in, I can't get our schooling up and running like it should be.  I try to make do with what I have (and I have MUCH), but the time to get things in order doesn't seem to be one of them.  If I am trying to pull together one area, the kids are destroying another.

Anyways, it is time to fight, and fight well.  Fighting in prayer, because it will be an act of God to get this house in order, for peace to be common, for love to be in motion, and for education to take place.  I am seriously the poster mother of "Why Not to Homeschool".  I **know** somewhere in me, that there is much, much more to learn besides ABC's and 123's.  And I would be FINE if my kids were learning such things.  Unfortunately that doesn't seem to be the case. At least not from their actions and their words...which is all I have to go on.

It seems insurmountable the task before me (because it IS).  Constant chaos, screaming, messes, crying, animal havoc, food, food, food, cleaning up ASAP messes but never getting to the very basics, more me I am sure, oh look a clean spot on the floor....that lasts 5 minutes, more crying.  There are small snippets of joy here and there.  The boys playing with their baby sister.  The boys playing Legos together.  The girls singing together or crafting together.  But, the percentage of those joyful times, compared to the chaos is very, very, very small indeed.  Please do not think I am exaggerating.  It is small.  And this saddens me like nothing else.  There is too much hatred, selfishness, laziness et. all going on around here.  It is because I have failed.  Failed in the EVERY DAY LITTLE teaching moments.  Failed from not having made Bible reading priority.  Failed to not making prayer a priority.  Failed for not LIVING what I want to pass on to my children.  Because, to be sure, I HAVE passed on what I am living, and it is not pretty.

But, all if NOT lost.  It is good to think things through.  It is good to know where you went wrong, so that you can know where you now need to go.  So today I will choose to do a little thing to go in that direction, praying that God will multiply my efforts.  Praying it is not too late to teach my older children the things of God, before they find themselves unequipped for life.

I know there are 'seasons' of life, but when those seasons produce damaged fruit?  Well, it's time to think that I am missing something.  Something big...or more importantly missing Someone...Jesus.

Monday, August 31, 2015

They say bad things happen in threes

I would like to have a talk with "they".  I am wondering if we could get some award for having had far above three bad things happen in a row?  So far something bad has happened every single day for the past 22 days.  No joke.  Some of the biggies....broken toe....then reinjuring it, broken water heater, broken AC unit...again, another dying goat (thankfully saved), and a whole host of other issues each day.  I was beginning to be fearful of waking up for the next day....what to expect. Not fun.

So as you can imagine things have been quiet here on the blog.  I am about to start a very large organizing children are not thrilled, especially since there are severe consequences if the work does not get done.  The problem is that I have been extremely stressed most of the summer.  All of my plans to get things in gear, up and running for the new school year were totally trashed.  I mean, smacked down, dragged through the mud, trampled on trashed.

But I put all of this at the feet of Christ.  Since all of this was adding more stress to my already stressful life.  This is bad for family life.  Bad.  So I am planning on tackling the house, BUT maintaining my time with the Lord, playing with my children and on top of it all starting the Maker's Diet.  Seems a bit much, but the unfortunate thing is that there are some very big health issues going on over here that NEED to be addressed before they get even worse...which would pretty much bring me to an edge of a cliff.

So my life will be filled with lots of food prep and cleaning.  That means lots of babysitting for my girls.  Don't worry, after we get organized they will have a load of free time, but for now, it's time to batten down the hatches!  Life can not keep going this way.  There are most certainly some things we are doing that are adding to the misery, some things out of our control.  I can only deal with the things that I have control over.

This morning found me traveling to Walmart to get a tarp so that our male goats could have shelter from the rain.  Nothing like being prepared. Oy.  I have to say that is one of my very big pet peeves.  Having animals, but not the means to care for them properly.  And I just got word we are expecting more rabbits even though we are beyond maxed out with what we have.  Even if we slaughter some of them (they are meat rabbits), I am doubting we will have enough cages.

I've never wanted to live in a magazine ready home.  But I wouldn't mind living in a half way decently clean house with an outside that I don't have to fear for my children's lives (it's really not that bad, I just like being dramatic).  No, really, I just hate that no matter where you step you know you have some measure of 'poop' on the bottom of your shoe (goat pellets, rabbit pellets, chicken poo, huge horse pellets....and the lovely hidden cat poo here and there).  After getting the house organized, or maybe in the middle of it, we plan on pulling up the living room carpet and painting the sub flooring.  Not the best option, but better than having a disgusting carpet, without the funds for wood flooring.  It is at least cleanable!

Alrighty, I have a very long list of food prep that needs doing **today**.  Wish me luck ;-)

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Some Birthday Pictures

Three of the four July birthdays.  Just a quick recap.

 First up, Jedidiah's Minecraft birthday.  Here is his Creeper cake.

The birthday boy, and look at that *nine* candle.  Wow!  How did that happen?

 Flannery was in charge of the birthday party plans.  She did a great job. Here is the Ghast pinata.

 Everyone had a turn, even the big kids :-)

Jedidiah was truly excited with his homemade birthday cards.  He looked them over carefully and really enjoyed them!

 Second up, Jonah's birthday.  The poor boy got short changed on an actual party.  But, that happens.  Here is his "red" TNT cake.  The liquid food coloring doesn't do a very good job of 'red'.  Oh well.

The happy birthday boy.  The poor guy still hasn't gotten a birthday sign!!  How sad is that?!?

 Moira's 16th birthday.  Um, no, Moira is not in this picture.  Oh, well.  There were only 142 pictures or more of all the girls taking turns in big and small groups at the 'photo booth'.  This was a big hit!

 Homemade decorations.  These turned out really nice.  Moira now has them hanging in her bedroom for a permanent decor.

 There's the birthday girl.  Thankfully not all the pictures turned out blurry.  I just can't tell from the small clip, and I'm too lazy to find a better one.

 Moira's birthday sign.  Now I just have to get all the birthday kids photos in front of their signs.

 More homemade birthday decor.

Last, but not least, the birthday cakes.  Yum.
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