Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Hoarders

So after a long day of cleaning, mowing, weeding, laundry, chasing the dog, grocery shopping, and endless other duties, I crawl into bed and need a moment of mindless TV to wind down. Last night I turned on the TV and got sucked into a show about real people who hoard. OH DEAR.....this was so unreal to me. Their homes are PACKED to the top with STUFF STUFF STUFF and more stuff.....garbage, old rotting food, and junk. One guy had so much stuff, his bathroom was packed to the ceiling and he had to go to the Y every day to take a shower. Food in the freezer was bulging and they still refused to throw it away. Many are faced with eviction unless they clean the place up. A team of therapists and cleaners go in and help them work through the stuff and they help them get rid of things. I seriously felt my skin crawling as I watched. These people really can't help it ....I mean they have deep seated emotions that go along with the hoarding, but the condition of their homes made me seriously itch all over.

I have the total opposite disease.......throw everything away disease. I'm almost OCD about clutter and organization. I get a little anxious when things are messy and when their is clutter sitting around. I'm ashamed at some of the things I throw away......seriously, you would not believe it. Perfectly good clothes, shoes, stuff......... One time I accidentally threw away our TV remote control because I was on a mission with a black garbage bag to clean up and I go on these rampages and start tossing stuff......oooops. My husband has asked me more than once to stop throwing away his golf magazines. ( I hate when they pile up.) I'm the FIRST ONE people come to when something is missing, they assume I've thrown it out (usually I have.) I get defensive about it. :)

I try to be less wasteful now, when I go on a cleaning rampage. Our Goodwill store has a drive up window which makes me very happy. I pack up stuff I want to get rid of and drive through. This week alone- I took a perfect computer scanner and copy machine to the Goodwill. We don't use them and I couldn't stand to let them sit in our storage closet.....it bugs me to have stuff we don't use sitting around. So I took them to Goodwill. At least it is a tax write off.

Other things I can't take to Goodwill- I simply put down by our garbage can with a FREE sign on it, and I'm not kidding you......usually it is gone within an hour. It is almost a game we play....one time I had our kid's old bikes down there, and before we could even walk up our 200 foot driveway from the garbage can, someone already stopped to pick up the bikes. Yesterday I put my son's old mattress down there and within ten minutes it was GONE. I can put ANYTHING down there and it is always gone. Furniture we don't want, an old swing, old bikes, a dresser mirror. Probably the hoarder people coming to get my stuff. We help each other.

People make comments all the time about my clean and freakishly organized home, I'm not bragging about that.....because seriously sometimes being a freak cleaner stinks. I don't have the OCD thing that makes me wipe doorhandles 500 times a day, or scrub until my fingers are bloody, but I have a strong need to have things constantly organized and neat. I can live with some dishes in the sink off and on and my kid's toys laying around.....it is the organization thing that gets me- not having clutter and stuff laying around. I can never rest until things are clutter free and organized again.

I remember being little and making my bed really slowly and neatly and running my hands over my fresh made bed to get all of the wrinkles out. I also remember always needing to have my stuff neat and "just right" in my room. My grandma had a mild case of hoarding, and I remember always feeling like I needed to clean after being at her house. She would have coupons laying everywhere......papers, bags, magazines, just stuff all over the place, packed in every inch of her space. Her basement was like a treasure hunt, she had so much clutter and stuff down there.

I'm so bad, I even need to keep my Recycle Bin on my computer cleaned out, and I always delete all emails I receive and send......it bugs me to have my inbox filled up with junk.

See.......I'm sick. Maybe soon there will be a show on TV about people like me.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Goodbye Summer

Where did August go? It is coming to an end and I barely remember it.

I've been purposeful about my time on the computer. I get so much done when I don't get sucked in by a good news story, blog, or email. I get on, check mail and get off. I hope to keep to that pattern as fall approaches and we get back to school, and back to all the activities.

There is so much to do in a day. I've been trying to make healthy meals, exercise as much as I can- I'm so thankful, because I really do love to exercise, it makes me feel so energetic and I can tolerate the ups and downs of life better when I sweat. We have been busy staining our huge deck, what a chore!!!!! My son started his first year of football last week -they have practice four nights a week for 2 hours each night. We all go as a family and sit and watch him. He is really loving it, and I'm so proud of that. The coaches work them hard- they run a lot and do so much conditioning, yet he never complains and he looks forward to going back each night. I'm so thankful that even though we homeschool, we have the opportunity to be involved in things like this. It is good for boys to be with other boys, roughing each other up and having coaches who inspire them but work them hard.

We will start our homeschooling the day after Labor Day. This is our 7th year. It will be a hard transition after a long summer, but being more scheduled will be good for all of us.

Our puppy has started to go on my 4 mile daily walks with me, he does great. He seems to really like it. I started him slow, going 2 miles the first time, 3 the next, and now he does 4 miles no problem, even running at times. It wears him out, but he needs it.

That is the update-busy days, mowing, yard work, keeping the garden weeded, keeping the dog from chasing the cats, playing with my kids, watching movies with my husband. Life is good.

Kelly

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Weekend Events

Sorry for the last cranky post. :) I'm better now.

However........I should have added buying our puppy the MOST annoying squeak toy on planet earth......as part of my things that make me go grrrrrr. It needs to have an unfortunate accident today. (They toy not the puppy- he is a keeper.)

Braden my 11 year old son and his friend, our neighbor boy, set up camp in our back yard all day yesterday. We live on 3 acres, so they have plenty of room. They set up near the fire pit so they could have a bon fire. They ran flashlights out there, then bug spray, sleeping bags, games, treats....it was a whole day of work. Last night my husband started a very small bon fire for them, so they could roast marshmallows-they did that, but then started running and jumping over the fire.....WHY??? Boys LOVE fire.....they threw everything they could find into the fire, sticks, toys from the yard (hey...should have had them throw the squeak toy in there), cans, his sister...okay, no he didn't.

Anyway........the campers made it about 2 hours and were back in the house by 9:30 complaining about mosquitos. So much for that. They camped downstairs while watching "Shark Week" on the Discovery Channel. Almost the same right?

Today it is raining which messes up several of our plans-Brooklyn had a swimming party to go to (moved to tomorrow now) and we had a golf outing fund raiser for our friend with cancer. Instead we are going to watch a family movie and camp on the couch. YAY!!!!

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Things that make me go hmmmmmmm

Hi, I'm alive- in case anyone wondered.



We are on the last days of summer count down....I feel it slipping away-so I've been FORCING myself to slow down and enjoy quiet, slower days. I've said no to things, even if they were fun. Because of it, my kids have been able to play outside for HOURS AND HOURS, run, play in the sprinkler, play with the puppy, make up fun outside games with the neighbors, swim, and it has been priceless.



So- things that make me go hmmmmmmmm (more like grrrrrrr)



1. Dying of thirst after a long walk and going to find someone drank up the last grape low cal Gatorade that I was dying for and didn't put anymore in the fridge. :(



2. Taking my puppy out potty, he goes, we come back in and 5 seconds later he pees on the floor. Hmmmmmm ????



3. The people who let their pet bunny go outside-I assume because they were tired of caring for him and now he is hopping all over their yard looking for food. I put a bunch of our bunny's food in a ziplock and snuck over there and dumped a bunch of food in their yard so he could eat. GRRRRRRR



4. The credit card company that just called me trying to sell identity theft protection-after nicely saying, "No thank you I'm not interested" she kept going on and on and on....and at the end said, "If you have any questions call 1-800-bla bla bla bla...." REALLY FAST....like why bother to tell the number...am I writing it down- NO ---- do I memorize numbers-----NO!!!! Do I care.......NO!



5. The economy bugs me.



6. I was out shopping for a dress to wear to a wedding and all I could find was either- 1. Grandma dresses with big, ugly flowers and bold prints, or 2. Teenie bopper dresses that were 5 sizes too small, skimpy, and short.



7. Drunk Drivers who drive with their children in the car- drive down the wrong side of the highway and kill themselves and their children. (In the news today)...REALLY BUGS ME!



8. People who ask you a question, you start to answer, and then they start looking away, uninterested, while you are answering them.......why???? Why ask? RUDE!



9. When you put yourself out there-ask for a prayer request to a friend, and they never ask you about it again......like to follow up and act like they care. Hmmmmm



10. I'm a clean freak and have an awesome Dyson vac.....it has a clear container that catches all the gunk you vac up......I vac 3 or more times a week-yet have to empty the canister every time, because it is FULL of gunk....where does that stuff come from? GROSS!! (Maybe I don't want to know the answer to this question.)



That is good for today- just a few irritations on my mind this morning. :) Happy Wednesday to ya.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Summer Days

Happy 4th of July!

The 4th is our twin's birthday. They turned 11 years old. We always make them birthday pancakes for breakfast complete with candles.

We have had a great weekend. My husband has had off for three days and we have enjoyed every minute of it.

Friday we packed the car up and drove an hour to Kensington Park which is near Detroit. There is a huge lake and a bike path that goes all the way around. 9 miles. You can deter off and go on actual mountain bike trails if you want to. We did that this time and had so much fun. We rode 20 plus miles. We were all so tired. At one point, I think we were lost.....we had no idea where the trails were leading us (however, we knew we were still within the park-but we had no idea if we had another 10 miles to go or 3). The trails were really hard and I was really proud of our kids because they hung in there and rode up really steep hills. Brooklyn learned the gears and figured out the hills are MUCH EASIER in 1st gear!

We had a great time and our legs were VERY SORE at the end of the day.

Yesterday we had the birthday pancakes for the 4th and the kids opened their gifts. Then we packed up again and drove an hour to Battle Creek for the Air Show. It was an all day event with many neat planes doing tricks. The Thunderbirds were the final act and they were AMAZING.

Finally, at the end of the long day, our kids put on a fireworks show for us. We bought them a big kit packed full of fireworks (safe for kids) and they spent an hour setting up the show for us. They wrote a big sign on the driveway in chalk, "Welcome to the Fireworks Show" and they put our chairs out with a little table in the middle, drinks of water, bug spray, and beach towels on each chair. It was so cute. Then they worked together to put on the show. Braden was the fire cracker lighter and Brooklyn was his assistant who put the burned out firecracker in a bucket of water (smart of them).

Today we are having a bbq and birthday cake to cap off the weekend.

I hope you are enjoying summer-wherever you are. Life is a gift-enjoy it!

Blessings,
Kelly

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I Need an Energy Drink STAT!

I'm popping in to quickly update on the chaos of our lives- (like that cotton commercial...the touch...the feel of cotton-the fabric of our lives) this is THE CHAOS OF OUR LIVES......

It is all my fault.

I'm exhausted this week-the kids are back from camp (love having them home) however, WOW....the peace ends the MOMENT they step foot into the car for the drive home. GONE...forever...until next summer...no more peace and quiet, long days reading on my hammock.

This week is VBS week- so that means UP AND OUT early-we stop and pick up our car load of friends and hit the road in the VBS express.

I finally finished the 8 million loads of dirty camp clothes. Socks that will never again be white, towels that smelled like death, tennis shoes that scare me and should be incinerated for the safety of the earth and all of man kind.

The puppy is a blast-but I'm exhausted. He is doing GREAT in his kennel at night, no more crying unless he has to go potty. He is so fun, but it is like having a baby in the house again. I can't sit down for 5 minutes without needing to get up to pry something (like the couch) from his mouth. I am OCD about taking him potty so he does not go on my carpet. We took him to the Vet Monday and all is well. We named him Dakota. :) He is my buddy. He follows my everywhere and lays at my feet.

Life is good! There is no "break" in summer- but oh well!

Monday, June 15, 2009

My Kids Come Home Today!



Today is arrival day-my kids come home from camp! I can't wait.


We have missed them so much. It is really hard to have NO CONTACT with your kids for a whole week-who you usually spend 24 hours a day with-every single day.

They have a BIG surprise when they get off of the bus today!

They are coming home to this:





We got them a puppy (for their birthday on July 4) they have NO IDEA! I am picking them up at church where the bus from camp will drop them off and the puppy will be with me. I feel so bad my husband can't see the SURPRISE meeting but I'm going to video tape the whole thing. I'm taking our neighbor girl who is Brooklyn's friend and she is SOO EXCITED for our kids - when I invited her to come pick up the kids her eyes got so big and she was so excited.


This little guy is so much fun. You know, you just can't have too many pets at our house. Seven pets seems like a good number (4 cats, a parakeet, a bunny, and a dog.)


The puppy is 6 weeks old and obviously is a yellow lab. We haven't named him because we want the kids to have input. He is really fun and so sweet.


I think this next picture is the funniest thing I have ever seen in my life. The puppy was outside with my husband last night as he worked in the garage and the pup fell asleep on his back WITH HIS LEGS STRAIGHT UP IN THE AIR...and he slept like that for about 20 min. I snapped a pic.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Day Two of Peace

Today is day two of my peaceful week.

Yesterday, on day one...my peace was instantly taken when at 5:00 p.m. the camp nurse called me to tell me my son was having some asthma issues. We increased his asthma medication to two times a day, hoping to ward off more severe issues. He was fine but wheezy. He was having a great time in spite of it all. But, the mom in me instantly worried and felt a little panic come over me. I prayed through it and felt God's peace as I realized he is in excellent hands and he is very good about knowing his symptoms and when he needs help.

I found peace again, when at 5:30 my friend reminded me that the Beth Moore Esther Bible study was starting at church at 6:30.....she talked me into going. I'm so glad I did. This is my 5th or 6th Beth study and I LOVE them. I know I'll learn so much. I've already done 2 days of the homework today. :)

Today I mowed the lawn (no small task- it takes 2 1/2 hours) and weeded the garden. I'm a dirty mess but the lawn looks great. It is raining now, so I finished just in the nick of time.

Off to shower and figure out what is for dinner. No calls from camp today-so that is a good sign. I've been praying all day for my son's protection and good health-I so badly want him to have a great time.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Day One of My Week of Peace

Today is day one of no kids for a whole week.

I woke up and MISSED THEM right off the bat.
Darn it.

But I know they are having so much fun. I prayed for them before I even got out of bed.
And then.........
I remembered......I have all day-all to myself. My husband left for work and won't be home until late tonight because he golfs on Wed. nights.

Last night I made my husband and I a big salad with grilled chicken for dinner. I lit a candle. We ate in complete peace and silence. Dinner is one of my favorite times, we are really BIG on eating together as a family-great conversation happens at our dinner table. But last night was NICE. We had ADULT TALK. I could focus on my husband and what he was saying.

Today after I woke up-I scrubbed a few floors (couldn't help it) and then laid on the hammock with my cat and enjoyed the birds singing. We live on 3 acres out in the country-about 6 miles from civilization-so we have total peace out here. What a great way to start the day. I prayed and came up with my plan for my day.

I went for a 4 mile walk-listened to a great podcast on the way. Took a shower, drove through McDonalds and got a $1.00 HUGE diet coke on the way to the Humane Society where I walked dogs for 1 1/2 hours. Came home-hit the hammock again and read. Took a 10 min. nap and read.

Later- a chick flick all to myself compliments of NetFlix- I might eat a bowl of cereal and M&Ms for dinner.

Missing my kids- but loving my quiet days. I think I'm weird because I have NO DESIRE to interact or socialize while my kids are away.....I could go spend great quality time with friends but I just feel like a recluse and taking it easy.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring- I hope it is JUST LIKE TODAY!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Whole Week All To Myself


This is my son waving goodbye from the bus!!!



This morning we sent our kids off to church camp for a whole week. They look so forward to it all year! Many of their friends from church are going and they always meet a lot of new friends.




It is EXHAUSTING preparing two kids for a whole week away....the lectures never end. I even crammed in a few in the car on the way to church where the camp bus picks them up. Moms try hard to sneak lectures in between conversations. That way we don't sound so bossy, yet we get our instructions in. I am well aware that every single thing I said goes in one ear and out the other, once they step foot on camp ground.




Don't forget to use bug spray. I sure hope you guys have a great time.




Don't put your wet towels in your suitcase with all of your clean clothes. I'm really going to miss you guys.




Oh......and don't forget to brush your teeth. Won't it be fun to sleep in your sleeping bags?




Be nice.




Have fun. Change your underwear!




Oh.....and pay attention during chapel.




Wear sunscreen.




Write me.




And then they are off........my precious kids driving off in a bus on a five hour journey to camp. I always get a little teary. And then I remember......




A whole week to MYSELF..........no little people, no messes.




I ADORE my kids, but we are together 24/7....every minute of every single day. All day-every day....and they are probably excited to have a little break from me.




They will have a week of FUN and learning more about God, and eating smores, and fishing, playing, getting dirty, not brushing their teeth, throwing clothes all over the cabin......




And me, I'll be enjoying long workouts at the Y, reading a stack of books, taking a nap, catching up on Email, having a date or two with my husband, or just doing NOTHING!!!!!! My laundry will be cut in half, food will stay in the fridge longer than 5 minutes, and I can clean the house and it will STAY THAT WAY.
Last year when they went I had a million plans, scheduled myself too much, and was an over-achiever. This year.....NO WAY- I've got no plans and I'm keeping it that way. I need REST. I want to use this time so I'm a better mom when my kids return. I fervently pray for them daily, for their safety and for God to grow their knowledge of Him during this time at camp. I pray for me to grow in patience, wisdom, and love so I can be the best mom I can be.
Now...I need to go, I have an appointment with my couch, a book, and some major CHILLaxin!


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Girl's Night Out






Last night was GIRLS NIGHT OUT!




Having friends is good for the soul.




We have 23 kids between us-we don't get out much! We had so much fun!




Some of our kids had a sleep over-while the ladies were out on the town.


We ate dinner at Houlihans and then went to Starbucks. We laughed so much and talked until our throats were sore.


I got home at midnight, which is way past my bedtime. I can't even stay up until midnight on New Years Eve!


The best part was when our friend Dawn stopped in for a quick hug-her husband was just diagnosed with cancer and he has been in the hospital for 10 days. She was on her way back to the hospital to spend the night with him. We all got to give her a hug and maybe for just five minutes she could get her mind off of the trials her family is going through.


To the people at Houlihans who wanted a nice, quiet dinner out.......we are very sorry for our loud laughter and non stop picture taking-we are mothers of many children who rarely get to go out, have a meal where we don't need to cut up someones food, clean up a spill, or get interrupted 52 times. Be thankful we only get around to a girl's night out two times a year!
(These are two of my friends: Julia and Kimberly)

Thank you God for friendships that endure over time-sister's in Christ who love each other and make time for each other.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Orange Dork Suit















The 5-K was a huge hit. The rain stayed far away and it was such a fun night. This is my son who did the 5-K in 29 minutes and won 2nd place in his age group. Might I add he had no training schedule for weeks leading up to the 5-K, he just put on his running shoes and did it cold turkey last night. NO FAIR!



I saved a child's life at the 5-K, good thing I was there. Okay..so I put a band aid on his scrapped knee....still, he might have bled to death if I wouldn't have used my skills to help him. Beyond that we had no major medical mishaps.



I forgot all about getting my picture taken in my dork orange suit....I was busy saving lives people, I didn't have time for silly pictures...however, don't be sad! In the above picture if you look behind my son you will see a bright orange glowing person (a fellow worker). Don't stare at the picture for too long you might burn your retinas. But you get the idea of the dork-ness factor.



Here is a picture of the kids running in a 100 meter race



I think this next picture is so funny- my husband better not quit his day job to become a photographer. Here is my nice arm in the picture of my son crossing the finish line- I was trying to high five him.










Finally, my kids often hijack my camera and when I try to upload pictures onto my computer from the memory card I find surprises like these:




She deserves having this pictures put in the public forum for all the world to see. :)


In closing, my husband and son have been downstairs for two hours trying to learn the Axle Foley song from Beverly Hills Cop on our keyboard. They found it on YouTube and now are obsessed with learning it. They are getting close! We live an exciting life around here don't we?

Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday Report

How can it be Friday again already? I wonder why it is that when you are a kid time goes V E R Y slowwwwww and when you are an adult...time goes VERY FAST!

Life can slow down already.

So it is Friday- everyone loves Friday. Our church is having a big 5-K event tonight. They have fun things for kids and a 100 meter kid race. Usually I WOG (walk/jog) in the 5-K but this year I'm "working" by carrying the medical radio. (I'm a nurse) so they position us throughout the course and we wear BIG BRIGHT ORANGE VESTS..that you can see from a mile away- they say MEDICAL on it ! We have cool ear pieces that make me feel like I'm in the FBI or CIA....or secret service. Very cool! We all communicate to each other during the race and respond to any medical needs. (Hopefully there are none!) Anyway, so no wogging for me tonight...I already did my 4 miles this a.m. so I'm good. I can indulge in a hot dog or two guilt free! :) Now, we are just praying the rain holds off for us!

Maybe I'll surprise all 7 of you and have my kids take a picture of me in my BRIGHT ORANGE DORK OUTFIT tonight. :)

So the nurse thing...yea, I am an RN...but I haven't worked officially in about 5 years. When I did, I worked at one of our local hospitals on the cardiac floor. I worked nights 7 p.m.- 7 a.m. that about killed me! I only worked per diem- one shift a week, once my kids were born, but when I did work, I'd have to stay up all day to care for my kids, work all night, and then come home and stay up all day to ...yes....care for my kids. I used to be so tired, it took me the whole week to recover from that crazy shift. One time I was so tired after working all night and being up so long, I was giving my kids, who were babies at the time, baths..and I looked down and oooops...my daughter was in the tub with her socks and diaper on. I was too tired to realize it. Not good!!!! I was scary back then. One time I fell asleep as I was waiting behind a school bus who was picking up kids in front of me-on my drive back home from work.

I keep my license current, just in case....you never know. I doubt I'll go back to ICU or cardiac nursing-too intense and stressful, but Hospice nursing sounds like something I'd be good at-if my emotions could hack it (my husband thinks not). But for now, I'm thrilled to be a stay at home mom, and I use my nursing skills on the medical response team at church and at events like the 5-K. Good enough! Plus, it comes in handy when I have a sick kid, puking cat, or injured husband.

Happy Friday......God bless any of you who come back here more than once...I ramble so much, I feel sorry for you. :)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Rest and Recover

I'm in a rest and recover mode. After a very busy year of homeschooling, running kids to activities, teaching Bible study, and the usual hectic stuff that comes during the months of Sept-May....I'm LOVING the down time. I'm two weeks into our summer break and I'm finally just now starting to feel calm and relaxed. The first week I had a million projects that I couldn't seem to get to during the crazy school year.

We changed my son's bed from a loft bed into a normal bed, and I painted his whole room a new color and we cleaned really well and went through his drawers and closet. I love to get rid of stuff!!!!!

I went through all of our school curriculum and books and got rid of a bunch of stuff we don't need at the used book sale our homeschool group has each year. Then I went through all of my catalogs and planned our next year of school and made a list of the books I need to buy. I'll place my order in the next few weeks. I like to get my school books early so I can go through them, make my plans and set up our schedule early....then I am all ready to start in Sept. This is our 7th year of homeschooling coming up-6th grade WOW!!!!

We planted our garden, power washed our deck, weeded our landscaping, put mulch around all of our trees, cleaned the garage, and I cleaned out our storage closet downstairs. I feel on top of my game now!

This past weekend we duck sat our neighbors ducks. They have a really nice duck condo down by their pond. So we would just go over 2 times a day to feed them and give them fresh water and let them out to swim in the pond.

Yesterday the kids and I went and volunteered at the Humane Society. We took dogs for walks and played with the cats. I love going there. Then we went to the Library. My kids are reading like crazy right now. I love to read too and I have a book I'm almost done with and then 4 more waiting for me when I'm done. I'm also reading the book of Job in the Bible right now.

So, that is the update. Sorry for my rambles. My brain is coming out of a fog of hectic and crazy schedules and we are enjoying a slower pace, days with no place to be, and free time.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunday Stuff

I love Sundays.

I love Sunday School and church! I love seeing friends and worshipping God together.

Our kids have been having so much fun today. They make each other a treasure hunt. They hide clues all over the yard and draw maps. Then they leave a surprise at the end of the treasure hunt.It has kept them busy for hours yesterday and today. Brooklyn left Braden a dollar at the end of his hunt yesterday- that is so cute. He gave it to God today! Doesn't that just warm your heart?

Today she left him a small bag of M&Ms at the end of his hunt. He left her a coupon to play a board game together-which they did.

Now they are out in our Suburban playing "Rocket ship" they sit in the seats upside down and pretend they are flying into space. They are so creative. I heard Braden ask Brooklyn if she would be his flight attendant today in the rocket ship.

Some days it seems they want to rip each other's eye balls out, other days they get along so well. That is a great thing about twins, they always have a playmate!

I have a stack of books to read- I get so excited about books. A sweet friend handed me a book today at church-she bought it for me, just because she knew I loved books so much. I can't wait to read it. She bought me: Too Small To Ignore-Why the Least of These Matters. It is the story of the President and CEO of Compassion International and how he became involved. We sponsor a Compassion child-Shivan who lives in Uganda. I have her picture on my nightstand in a frame. I consider her one of my children. I love her so much and pray for her often. I love to get letters from her-and write her back! I've been praying that God will make a way for me to go meet her someday in Uganda.

Soon I'll go out on PATROL to check on all of my animal friends on my 4 mile walk. :)

My heart is heavy with prayer needs of so many people in my life today- I'm praying for my sister's health, friends with cancer, lost souls, my husband's knee that is really hurting, and my friend Krysta (Hi Krysta) who is adopting a baby!

Psalm 131:2 But I have stilled and quieted my soul.........

Happy Sunday!
Kelly

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Little Miss Perfect

While the kids were playing outside today- I started to fold laundry on my bed. I flipped on the TV to turn on CNN and see what was going on in the world (sometimes I really don't want to know)......but THE LITTLE MISS PERFECT beauty pageant was on......WHAT????

It was one of those reality show type deals, and I sat there with my mouth WIDE OPEN and gasping! Are you serious? These little girls were about 5-10 years old, totally made up, fake tans, BIG hair, nails, and posing in skimpy type clothing. The mothers were WORSE and so hard to watch. They swore at their kids, put total pressure on them, yelled, and just got so wrapped up in their daughters beauty....I just seriously don't even know what to say.

I had to run not walk to my blog to vent about it. Just the title alone LITTLE MISS PERFECT......what does that mean? WOW......I can honestly say, I would NEVER and I mean NEVER EVER EVER want that life for my daughter. I would never want her to feel her identity is wrapped up in her outside appearance and the judgments of others. Those girls were already starting to compare themselves to other girls, many had CELL PHONES and were all wrapped up in the attention.

I could go on and on and on.....but I won't....I had to turn it off after 10 min. UGH!!!!!!!

It will be a HARD reality when Little Miss Perfect finds out, she isn't at all perfect (as none of us are) and that it is so shallow and worthless to put your hope in your appearance and the praise of others. I felt so bad for them. The girls didn't even look REAL...they looked so scary and fake.....the moms were RIDICULOUS-dancing, trying to coach from behind the judges, clapping really loudly, and if their child didn't do well YELLING AT THEM. NICE!

Enough said.....CNN would have been better than this!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

VICTORY! One small step for animals!

VICTORY VICTORY !!!!!!!

This is an update from my last post about the pet rescue-bunny saga.

I went out on my 4 mile walk this a.m. (my husband teases me now that I'm not walking for exercise-I'm going out on PATROL) I checked on my new bunny friend-after I left a NICE note on the owner's door last week asking them very very nicely to please find some protection for the bunny in his cage, and letting them know they could buy an attached food dish that screws into the cage so the bunny wouldn't tip his food and not have any to eat all day. I was as nice as I possibly could be in the note, I figured I would get more reaction with being nice and supportive rather than being rude (which I sort of wanted to be!)

So, today was my first patrol since the note- and VICTORY...the bunny had an even nicer-bigger cage, an attached food dish filled with food, a new little house inside his cage where he could go for protection and safety, and a big tarp and board over the top of the cage to protect him from sun and weather. AWESOME!!!!! I giggled like a school girl! I just felt so happy and such satisfaction. I thanked God because I have been praying all week that the owners would have compassion and respond to the note in a positive way and they totally did.

One small step for animals- we can't fix every problem in the world, but if we just do ONE THING, SOMETHING, it really really makes a difference. That was the lesson I learned after all of this.

I feel like Mother Nature when I go out on my "patrols"....I pass a ton of different animals when I walk (since I'm walking out in the country)....they are used to seeing me, since I go almost daily. Three horses come running towards the fence when I walk by, I always tell them Hi, a cute cat greets me each time, a very cute dog comes and gives me licks and lets me pet him, a mom cow and its baby, and of course the bunny. :)

It made me think- what if we all had our 4 miles to patrol daily- to check it out, keep it clean, protect animals and help others along the way. I'm sure the world would be a better place.

:) As for today, I'm pleased and thrilled. Next up, my kids and I have our eye on a nest of four baby Robins, one already fell out of the nest and my daughter saw it and put it back in the nest...they are really small still and have no feathers, so they aren't ready to leave their home. They are right under our second story deck so we have a clear shot out our sliding glass door downstairs. It is really fun to watch the mom Robin come back with worms and see their little heads pop up for food.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Pet Rescue

So, every day (usually) I have this 4 mile walk outside that I take.....it is all out in the country. I drive my car to the starting point and take off from there. I love it, it is really peaceful and quiet.

I passed this house that had a bunny cage with a cute little black and white bunny in it. The cage was just propped up against their shed, with NO PROTECTION at all for the bunny from the sun or rain. Just a cage. NICE!! So, it started to sprinkle on my walk today, I barely made it back to the car before the rain started pouring down. I drove home upset, thinking about that poor bunny. I got home, did a few things, kept thinking of the bunny. Finally, I swear God pulled me up off of the couch and gave me the idea to ACT!!! I told my kids about the bunny and they said "Lets do something"....so I grabbed a tarp we had in the garage and clothes pins and we jumped in the car, drove to the house- I got out in the pouring rain and put the tarp over the bunny (who was SOAKED!!!!!!!!) (GRRRRRR!!!) and pinned the sides down really well with clothes pins. It worked GREAT. I didn't even care if someone from the house came out or saw me (they didn't).....then I drove away!

Why are people such IDIOTS??? That is so mean! I walk by there almost daily, so I'll be monitoring the bunny!!!!!!!!! I feel so much better knowing it has protection, at least for now. Wonder what they people will think when they come out and see the tarp? I HOPE THEY ARE CONVICTED!!!!

In other news.......I started a reading program for the summer for my kids. It isn't summer yet, but why not start now? They LOVE to read and they need to keep busy all summer and have a way to earn some money. I told them for every chapter book (approved by me) they read they get $1.00.....every third book they read, I get to pick. I'll have them read Heroes of the Faith books or biographies, or classic stuff. They are really good with their money, they tithe off the top and then usually put it right into the bank. There are a few small things they each have been wanting to buy so this gives them the chance to earn some money-and read a bunch at the same time.

We just started this on Monday and I already think I'll need to appeal to Congress for a bailout, because at the rate they are going already, I'll be broke. They stay up late into the night reading, and constantly say, "I LOVE this book" which makes me so happy! My daughter has already read 5 big chapter books and is on her 6th one IN ONE WEEK, and my son is on his 5th book. The books I chose for them were Joan of Arc and The Revolutionary War (Landmark books).

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Project Cycle

I can't seem to climb out from under all of the projects!

I saw a show on dust mites and had to take action! I ripped all of the sheets off of all of our beds, vac'd the mattress, washed the sheets, scrubbed walls...along the way to the laundry room I stopped for a drink and see the grime in the fridge, had to Lysol that. On the way to get the Lysol saw crumbs on the floor, had to attack that. Went to the garage to get a screwdriver to fix a closet handle, saw the dust all over the rug and shoes thrown everywhere, had to stop and tackle that project. Walked into the mudroom saw chipped paint on the wall, note to self, "Touch up the paint"......went to get a pad of paper to start a list of notes to self, saw the junk drawer was junky, had to de-clutter......threw away 10 million lifeless pens, 52 erasers, 120 lose staples in the bottom of the drawer that stabbed me every time my fingers ran across them.Went to grab the garbage can for quicker disposal of junk, saw the garbage can was filthy, had to stop and Lysol out the garbage can.....went to grab the Lysol...and well you can see my crisis.....

The projects never end! NEVER! Is there such a thing as project A.D.D. ? I can't stay on task.......

For now, my dust mites are dead and the Lysol company can pass on the bail out, I keep them in business.

Happy Spring Cleaning!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Stay off the roads!!!

We saw a SCARY SCARY thing last night. We were driving home from Bible study (Bible Study Fellowship) (The kids and I) at 9:45 p.m. and we passed a semi- and the driver was READING a book while he drove.


NOW THAT IS SCARY! Enough said!


Did any of you see the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie on Sunday night about Irena Sendler? She was a Polish Social worker who saved about 2,500 Jewish children by smuggling them out of the Warsaw Ghetto and put them in willing Polish families who pretended they were their own children. She was so young when she did this and went through GREAT RISK to smuggle them out. Several of the other women in her group who were helping got caught and went before the firing squad.


People who show these kind of unselfish, brave acts amaze me. To go through such danger and risk -but to be determined to do what is right, they are such heroes. I really love hearing stories about brave people who helped save Jewish people. I love The Hiding Place-Cori Ten Boom, I love Anne Frank, I love Shindler's List. These people are amazing to me.


God blessed Irena for her courage, she lived to be 98 years old. The other heroes are the families who took in the Polish children as their own. It was very dangerous to do that, yet they did it, and the show said they loved the children so very much and if the children were reunited with their real parents after the war, the adopted families cried and were distraught.


Irena's story was unknown in America for a long time. A group of Kansas students were doing a project on The Holocaust and found the story and brought it to light. They were able to meet Irena in person when they raised enough money to fly her to America and speak to their school. The students made several trips to Poland to see and interview Irena, and later they made a play, "Life in a Jar" to honor her. (Irena placed every child's name she smuggled out in a jar along with the name of the family she placed that child with so she could track them down later to be reunited with their families, then she hid the jar.)


Amazing stupidity -The semi driver reading a book (risking the life of others because of his selfish behavior)


Amazing courage - Irena Sendler (saving the life of others because of her unselfish behavior)

What a contrast!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Good Bye Vacation-Hello Life

The vacation is over (stay at home vacation)- back to life.


It is a rainy and cold Monday to start off our week. Sometimes that is better, the sun and nice weather doesn't distract us from all we need to get done in a day.


We had to get up at the crack o' dawn and take our pet bunny to get "fixed". We adopted her from the Humane Society and that is their rule. We got her when she was only a few months old so we had to wait until she was full grown and 6 months old.


Back to homeschooling today. It is VERY HARD to get focused after a long break. 5 weeks left until SUMMER BREAK. We are trying hard to finish strong and we are on a good pace to finish out all of our 5th grade curriculum.


My brain is on over-load with planning. I'm in charge of organizing a big going away party for our Sunday School teacher and the details are keeping me up at night. I wish my brain had an off/on switch, so I could turn it on during "business hours" and then turn it off at night and on weekends. I'm a hyper-organizer...to the point of OCD...I have to think through every detail and idea, and plan things down to every small detail. It usually serves me well to be that organized- it is also my curse.


Finally, my husband and I went to an AWESOME parenting conference at church Friday night and Saturday morning. We learned hands on skills and tools to train up our children's HEARTS..not just raise robots but work on hearts, so they will respond to their conscience not just wait for mom and dad to prompt them. It was really inspiring. Now the trick is to try and remember it all and not respond to my default attitude of frustration, but to breathe, step back and do the skills they taught us.


Sometimes I just want to say, "Just do it, because I'm the mom" I get tired of explaining and going the extra mile to teach a good value or characteristic. It pays off in the end-but takes perseverance and hard work. We learned great ways to teach your kids to honor others (honor is doing more than is expected). How to have honesty under pressure, how to teach kids to deal with the wrong choices they make, and how to teach kids to make choices based on CONVICTIONS not emotions.


Honor is doing what I asked you to do (obedience) and then.....look for something to do extra (honor). For example- You tell your child to please set the table (obedience) and then tell her when she is done, find one thing she can to to honor the family.....and let her come up with a way. An example would be to make little cards for each family member or set flowers on the table. They gave us the idea to tell your kids to "Do an honor check" when leaving a room they have been asked to clean up. They are to clean it all up the correct way and then give it one last look and do something extra to honor the family. It gives kids the idea to do MORE than what is expected. Can you imagine having an employee for example, who did MORE than what was expected of them? What a great trait! We can't wait to teach this to our kids.


To get great info. on parenting you can go to http://www.biblicalparenting.org/ They have a weekly email they send out with GREAT tips. I usually shy away from email stuff, who needs more STUFF IN YOUR EMAIL BOX...but this is worth it. They also have great resources on the website. We bought several books at the conference. I've already read one and it was very helpful with hands on, actual skills and tools you can put into practice NOW.


Happy Monday!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Stay-Cation

We are on a Stay-Cation! Usually we go away during this time each year, it is our last fun filled week before my husband's crazy work schedule picks up for his busy season May-Oct.

This year, to be prudent with our finances, we decided to stay at home and enjoy a Stay-Cation instead. It has good points and bad points. I still have to cook, clean, and do laundry during the stay-cation...that stinks. But I love sleeping in our own beds and having a slower pace than vacations usually bring. Last year we went to Florida and did the whole Disney crazy for 10 days. That was A BLAST, but not at all relaxing. We were on the go constantly and stayed up really really late to watch fireworks and electric light parades and then got up early to hit all of the parks. You know, the whole "hurry up and wait" thing that comes with vacations.

This stay-cation has been actually nice. We went mountain biking on Saturday for two hours and then enjoyed dinner together. Today my husband took our son to his work to work on a boat they have at work that everyone can use this summer. My daughter and I went to PetSmart to look at all of the animals they have there. Simple, cheap fun! It is rainy and icky out today but it is supposed to be 60 Wed.-Fri. so we will hit the trails again and put more miles on out mountain bikes. We've been playing games, watching movies, and just enjoying some quality family time.

Not a bad deal at all. Saving money can be fun!
P.S. I've been logging my workout miles since Jan. 1 and yesterday I hit 150 miles walked/ran since Jan. Hooray!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Encouraging Words


Today after church as we were driving home, my 10 year old son told us that a man at church, who goes to our Sunday School and we've been to his home before to have a Sunday School Christmas party and to go Christmas Caroling around his neighborhood said some really nice words to him. They must have really stuck with our son, because this was quite awhile after it happened.


He told us with a big smile on his face that Mr. Wagoner always says hi to him and shakes his hand and today he told our son that he enjoys seeing him each week, that he is a nice boy who is very clean cut, and he is going to be a great man someday. Such simple words but they left a huge impact on our son. Our son said, "Mom, he told me I'm going to be a great man someday" I'll just never forget the smile on his face as he retold the conversation.



It means the world to me that people invest in our kids. Just simple things. Simple words that are spoken, that encourage and inspire. It inspires me to speak LIFE into the kids I'm around. To take the time to SEE them and then speak words of encouragement into their lives. You never know how it can inspire them. I'm going to call Mr. Wagoner right now and tell him what his words did for our son and thank him for taking the time to notice a 10 year old boy each week. He probably doesn't even realize how much my son recognizes that every week Mr. Wagoner notices him and goes out of his way to say hello.


I hope we can all be a Mr. Wagoner this week!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Spring Break News

Well so far there isn't much "break" in the Spring Break..... but we are only just beginning, so there is plenty of time to "break". Yesterday we met a great friend and her daughter for coffee and then I took the kids to the Family Film Festival showing of The Tale of Despereaux (Thanks Traci for the heads up.) (Traci is one of my 4 readers :) ) It was cute. Not as cute as the book but still worthy of our time. Today I had Bible study (every Saturday at 6:45 a.m. today was the last one until after Spring Break) and then I went to the Y for a long workout. I love when I get to go on Saturdays because my husband is home with the kids and I can take my time and not feel so rushed. When I got home from the Y, my family was already hard at work doing yard work. I jumped in when I got home and we got so much done. We trimmed all of our bushes and shrubs and cleaned up leaves in the flower beds. FEELS GREAT to get that done.

There also isn't much "spring" in Spring Break....it is decent out, 50 ish and sunny. Not nearly as bad as all of my family and friends in Wyoming who are having their 5th blizzard in the last 4 weeks. I can't believe how much snow they are getting. We are supposed to get snow tomorrow night. NICE!!!!

Later we are hanging out in front of the big screen as we watch MSU in the Final Four! Go STATE! ( I don't normally watch a bunch of basketball, but when it gets down to the finals, it gets exciting, so I'll tune in.)

Happy Saturday.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

3 Cheers for Spring Break!

Today officially begins Spring Break.......why........

BECAUSE I SAID SO.

I'm the mom/teacher and I woke up this morning and decided, "We are on Spring Break"

I can't take it another minute....I need a break, the kids need a break. We've been working non stop since Jan. plugging away at the homeschool curriculum, making great progress. But the days go so fast, the weeks go so fast. I just need the time warp to stop.

So, we are reading The Tale of Despereaux together and enjoying life for the next week and a half. (That is a REALLY cute and exciting book by the way, I highly recommend it.) We have a week or so off alone, and then my husband has a week off. We plan to go mountain biking a lot while he is off, play, and REST. We want to enjoy the family time and slower schedule.

I don't want to answer the phone for fear it is someone who needs me to do something. I have a few offers to meet friends for coffee or at the park, but I just need to be careful to not suddenly have a full schedule again-even though it is all fun stuff. I want the break to go SLOW..........and to rest and refresh my mind, spirit, body. Our Bible study is off for a week and we have no piano lessons for two weeks. I have a stack of books to read and a new exercise video to try out. We have bikes to ride, parks to visit. Staying up late, sleeping in.

Ahhhhhh I feel myself relaxing already.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Food for Thought

Yesterday at Sunday School, our teacher made a comment that has stuck with me.

Straying away from God is natural, staying grounded and close to Him takes work.

That is such a great statement. We sort of think it is the straying that would take work, that it would be obvious and we could easily avoid it.

It is true, staying grounded and close to God does take a lot of work, it is GREAT work, but it is hard. It is a daily thing, needing to pay close attention to giving God quality time and effort. Keeping holiness at the front of our minds so we make good choices moment by moment.

You have to be focused and intentional. Satan will use distraction as a means of straying away from God.......have you ever been on a floaty in the lake or ocean...you just relax a little bit and before you know it you are way out there, far from shore. I think that is just like Satan, when you aren't paying attention, you slowly drift, little by little. You don't realize it, because you are busy enjoying the view and drifting off in your mind, heart, and in your life-being distracted by life and all there is to do.

Proverbs 10:25 The righteous stand firm forever.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Series of Unfortunate Events

What is with the messes lately?

I can't get away from them.

Last week I spilled Cranberry Juice down the front of the inside of my fridge. It took FOREVER to clean up. It was a sticky mess.

I think I cleaned up 5 episodes of cat puke last week alone.

Yesterday my son broke a plate as he was getting it down from the cupboard and it shattered in a million pieces all over, at the same time he flipped the spoon I had been using to stir the chili in the crock pot and it flung chili all over the walls and cupboards.

Then, not 2 hours later.......I was trying to hurry and make muffins for my family and I was digging in the spice cupboard and the container of corn meal fell out and spilled all over the counter and the floor. That stuff makes a MESS.

Earlier this week was the biggest mess of all; my son begged to make muffins all by himself, I agreed...he did a great job UNTIL he went to place the filled muffin pan into the hot oven and he dropped the muffin pan UPSIDE DOWN in the oven......the spilled muffins were all over the inside of the oven and the oven door BAKING!!!!! I'm still trying to fully clean up that mess.

These messes don't include the time last week when the neighbor's dog got into our trash and drug it all over our garage and yard. The time my diet Pepsi spilled on the carpet, and cleaning up the toothpaste on the bathroom rug.

Wonder what today will bring?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

These are the Days!

Wow parenting isn't for wimps!

Being a stay at home mom and homeschooling mom can kick your buns some days. I feel like I talk talk talk talk all day long.....

Braden please don't sing opera at 7 a.m.

Brooklyn please stop bugging the cat.

Stay on task.

Get your work done.

Is your math done?

Go outside and play.

Yes, you can have a snack.

On and on and on it goes......sometimes by the time my husband comes home from work at night, I'm so talked out I just feel like going straight to bed and staring up at the ceiling with a blank stare....and I don't want to chat. :)

In the mornings, I need a few minutes of quiet before my crazy begins.....the kids don't see it that way, they like to start the morning by jumping right in, being LOUD, slurping their Cheerios, and SINGING OPERA. It takes a lot of willpower for me to just be calm, count to ten (or twenty) and just ask them to be quiet for a little while.

Right now my kids are playing with a balloon in the hallway, being loud, diving, laughing........I'm thankful they are healthy and can play and that they have energy. I suppose in a few short years I'll have a house full of quiet, when they are gone and moving on with their lives. I'll be thankful for the noise while I have it.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Birthday Sharer


HAPPY BIRTHDAY HAILEY



This is my beautiful niece Hailey. We share a birthday together (March 21).
This year she will be 16 years old.



Hailey lives in Wyoming and I live in Michigan, but we try really hard to keep in touch through emails, phone calls, and text messaging. :)



One of the many reasons I love to go back home to Wyoming is to see Hailey. She has such a funny sense of humor. She is meek and quiet, she loves God with her whole heart. She is passionate about horses and photography. She is a loving sister to her 8 brothers and sisters. She makes an awesome lemon merengue pie! She is thoughtful, wise, patient, helpful, and a perfect example of how a teenager doesn't have to be rebellious and sassy.
Hailey, I will always cherish the summer you and I got to take a long evening horseback ride in the mountains all by ourselves at the ranch. What a great bonding time that was! We both love the outdoors so much and to share that with you was really special.



Hailey hates to be the center of attention, so she is hating that I'm highlighting her on my blog today (Hi Hailey) but I wanted to honor her and tell her I love having her as a birthday sharer. And as a private, inside joke, Hailey...I'm sure you are asking yourself "WHY" as you read this post today. :)



I love you so much Hailey, happy 16th birthday!

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Truth Project

Every Tuesday our family gets together with 4 other families from church to have a meal and then the adults participate in Focus on the Family's THE TRUTH PROJECT.

Each week each family trades off bringing a part of the meal. This week we had "breakfast night" and our family brought the main dish (egg bakes) and the 4 other families brought drinks, side dishes, and dessert.

We have 12 kids between all of us, and I love that kids are welcome and can see their parents praying together and doing a Bible study together.

We all eat dinner and then the kids go downstairs to play and we have 2 girls from our church that come each week and eat with us and then they babysit all of the kids.

We share prayer requests, pray, then we watch The Truth Project DVD for that week. There are 14 weeks total, we are on week 6. This is an OUTSTANDING study. They are about an hour long. After we watch, we discuss what we just learned. We always have such great conversations. Our family looks forward to this night each week. It is so great to spend time with other people who are like minded and learn together.

To learn more about The Truth Project, you can go to Focus on the Family's website at
Focusonthefamily.com enter The Truth Project in the search bar.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Repent and Be Baptized



Acts 2:38 Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off-for all whom the Lord our God will call."




This is my daughter -age 10 being baptized by our pastor. This is a horrible picture. We video taped it and you can see really well on there. She is reading her testimony in front of the church congregation here. I especially loved that our kids, who are twins, wanted to be baptized at the same time. Our son comes next.

Here is our son. He started his testimony off with, "Jesus says to be baptized, so I want to be baptized." He knows it isn't for salvation, but it is an act of obedience, a public declaration of your faith.

I thanked God all night long, that I had the privilege as a mother, to see my children take this step.

Our family attended a different church for 12 years. My husband went to church with us, but was not saved yet. Things started to get stagnant at that church. The pastor rarely seemed to open his Bible and teach from it, we heard more personal stories than truth from God's Word. God started to speak to my heart about changing churches, but after 12 years at the same church I was afraid. People get comfortable and resist change. I was afraid my husband wouldn't want to change churches, since this was all he had known. But God kept after my heart. I KNEW we needed to leave, and God very clearly spoke to my heart one day, saying, "The salvation of your husband and children depend on this move." Then I knew we had to leave.

I approached my husband and told him what I was thinking, but didn't tell him what God had spoken to me. He told me he had been feeling the need to change churches too. AMAZING!!!!!!!!

We prayed so hard that God would lead us to the right Bible preaching church, one that boldly, without hesitation preached the truth. I desperately didn't want to be homeless- and church hopping, I needed to find our church home right away.....and God was so faithful. He led us to the church we currently attend, and the MINUTE we walked in, we both knew that was our church home. Our pastor is a godly and wise man, who boldly preaches the truth each and every Sunday. We are all very involved there and have developed very meaningful relationships.

God is faithful and His purpose prevails, because last night I felt like His promise to me, "The salvation of your husband and children depend on it" came to pass. A year after stepping foot into our new church, on Christmas eve. my husband was saved, and he was baptized on March 7, 2007. My children accepted Christ when they were 7 years old, and last night, on March 8, 2009 they were baptized.

What is God telling you to do that you are resisting? Maybe you are fearful, maybe you don't know all of the facts so you aren't moving......I'm here to tell you, when God speaks to you, OBEY right away.....great blessings are in store.

Psalm 33:11 But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

I've fallen and I can't get up!

Yesterday it was 64 degrees in Michigan and very nice! I had endless energy. I got so much done.


Today it is cold and rainy- I can't get off the couch. I've taken 3 naps so far. I'm not even kidding.


Now, to give credit to myself- I did get up at 5:30 a.m. like I do every single Saturday morning, to go to Bible study. I get home at 9:30 and usually I am motivated and ready to go.


Not today. Nope. I can't get it together. Our whole household is lazy today, including the pets. It is the perfect day for that I guess. Rain does that to people.


My husband went over the kids' math from yesterday. We homeschool and my husband is in charge of the math. 5th grade math is over my head. He has a math and physics degree, so it is up to him to teach fractions and percents. This is his accomplishment for the day-doing math with the kids. Math gives me a head pain!


I did do some Bible study and we watched a movie together. But beyond that......NOTHING.


I don't really plan to get off of the couch anytime soon. My husband and I planned to go on a date tonight, but he is still in his pajamas. :) He just came upstairs and suggested we get pizzas and call it a night. Now you are talkin!


Don't forget to SPRING FORWARD. There is no SPRING anywhere around me today....not in the weather or my steps. At least something will be springing!


Thursday, March 5, 2009

I'm a Rebel

I'm a rebel. I don't mean to be ...I just am.

I think people will gasp when they read the list of things I've never done- I'm almost anti-American.

1. I've never had coffee ..and don't plan to at this point in my life. I'd probably like it with all the fancy creamers, but why start now?

2. I've never watched LOST (this show seems to have a huge number of fans-I'd maybe like it, I just don't want to get sucked in-so I never started watching. I'm a bit curious about the hoopla.)

3. I've never watched The Bachelor. (Again...anti-American-it seems everyone watches this) I thought the idea of it was dorky so I never started to watch......again, to not get sucked in.

4. I hate Sushi (blah)

5. I've never watched 24. Again, huge fan base-I always have Bible study the night it is on, so I never could watch.

6. I really don't like TV all that much....I'm sort of ADD with TV. Too many other things to do. I barely can sit and watch a movie with my husband. My mind wanders and I miss half of the movie. Every so often, I enjoy one, but rarely. ( I do love the Jason Bourne movies and I focus and pay attention during those. :) )

7. I don't really like meat. I eat chicken and turkey a lot, but I'm not into red meat. Steak sort of grosses me out. Sometimes I'm in the mood for it, but not very often.

8. This one will shock America. I don't really like to shop. GASP! If I have a purpose, a need, I go and get exactly what I need, maybe browse quickly, but that is the extent of it. I NEVER just go to the mall and wander....I always have to have a purpose and goal. I go right in, get what I need and GET OUT.

9. Now...BOOKS....I could browse and shop for books for HOURS. (And I do.)

10. Finally.....my kids have no clue who popular teen stars are.....and we are trying to keep it that way. They have never even heard of Brittney Spears (she isn't a teen-I realize), they don't watch Hannah Montana, I don't even know who to mention in this post because we just don't watch those types of shows.....they do know who Lassie is, Laura Ingalls, and Tom and Jerry :)

I have my own addictions. Diet Coke, pasta, reading, exercise, Peanut M&Ms, Chinese Food......

To add to the random blabbing- my kids (age 10) are getting baptized at church on Sunday night. I'm so excited for them. They asked to be, after hearing a sermon on the book of Acts. It sparked great conversation. We took them to baptism classes at church so they would learn the reasons why you should get baptized, what it means, and what it doesn't mean. They prepared their testimonies and spoke privately with the pastor. They are ready. We feel they fully understand and it is of their own choice- so they are ready! I'm praying that this will be a special thing between them and Jesus. I pray they will feel His presence.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

God's Will

I LOVE Sundays. I love learning more about God and I love worshipping Him. I really love being around like minded people who love God too. Our church is such an inspiring place to be. As big as it is, everyone really makes an effort to get to know other people and try to notice the new people.

Today in Sunday School we were asked, "How confident are you that you are in God's will at this time of your life?"
1. Not at all confident
2. Fairly confident
3. Very confident

For once I felt I could answer that with a VERY CONFIDENT. I know I'm doing what I am supposed to be doing right now. That feels really great. I don't have a lack of peace about any areas in my life right now.

I know I'm supposed to be homeschooling my kids. I know I'm supposed to be at the church I'm at, in the Bible study I'm in. I know I'm supposed to be in my role at church (on the medical response team, leading a women's Bible study in the summer, and teaching Sunday School for kids in the summer.) I know I'm supposed to be growing in my relationship with my husband, working on submission and respect. I know I'm supposed to be a prayer warrior and growing spiritually. I know I'm supposed to be guiding my children and protecting them from worldly things. Teaching them diligence and values. My family is my primary ministry during this season of my life. I can't let anything distract me from that.

When I don't have peace about an area, that is when I know I'm suppose to change directions and seek God's direction again. But, for now, I love the peace that comes from being right where I'm supposed to be.

Our Sunday School teacher said many people don't even know God's will for their lives, so how can they know if they are in it?

Colossians 1:9 helps to sum up God's will for us:
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience...............

Find out what God's will is and then ask yourself often if you are in it. I love walking so closely with God that I know when he prompts me to change direction, pull out of something, add something in, change something, do something. I love the gentle ways he convicts me of sin, or urges me to pray for someone. I'm trying to tune in and hear his still, soft voice.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Thawing Out




Finally we see some sun in Michigan! All of the snow we have had has almost melted away. Everything is soaked, brown, and lifeless, but at least the sun is shining.


I've been reading some great books lately. I love to read, however I go through spurts. I will read one book after another at a really fast pace, then I burn out and down pick up another book for months.


I just read Three Cups of Tea and now I'm reading A Thousand Splendid Suns. I suggest both of them!


I've been such a homebody lately. I love to be home, especially when it is cold and snowing out. I have no desire to be out and about in the crowds, ducking from the germs that are going around. The only places I tend to go are the Y for my workouts and church and Bible study. Once nice weather hits, I usually like to be on the go, taking the kids to the park or going bike riding. For now, I enjoy a slower pace. My kids seem to enjoy it too. They are content to play with their Legos or Knex. They find things to do.


We are in the last few weeks of hibernation. Soon I'll be getting my garden ready, weeding, mowing the 3 acres we have, tending to my rose garden. Summer is busy. I'm going to savor the slower season. I like to get my house in order before summer hits. I go through closets and drawers. I am ruthless with getting rid of stuff. I'm not a pack rat at all. I go way the other way, and throw stuff out that would make people gasp! I hate clutter. I like everything to be caught up and organized and then when summer hits I focus on outside chores.


For now, I'll stay inside snuggled in a blanket with a cat on my lap. I'll be a book worm and enjoy life until we thaw out and slave labor begins again. :) Happy Saturday!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Changing Grumble into Grateful

The sun is shining in Michigan. That is a rare thing around these parts. Usually during the winter it is gloomy and cloudy.

I've been in BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) for 9 years. This year we are studying the Life of Moses. We are currently in Numbers when the Israelites grumble about not having meat and wishing they could go back to Egypt. I'm a children's leader for BSF-I teach 1st and 2nd graders. Tonight at BSF we will be talking a lot about grumbling verses being grateful. I've been very convicted lately about grumbling. I grumble a lot about laundry-it never goes away. But, I need to be grateful (the opposite of grumbling) that I have clothes, a washing machine, a family who wears the clothes. It is all about perspective!

I thought I'd do a post about things I love and am grateful for. I want to be a person who sees the cup half full, and appreciates the things I have, big or small. I'm going to change my grumble to grateful!

Things I'm Thankful For:

1. My husband's job (We know many people who have lost their jobs -I'm very thankful.)
2. Being a stay at home mother/homeschooling mother.
3. Having freedom to go to church and read our Bibles.
4. Having healthy kids (We currently have several friends who have children with cancer or serious illness.)
5. That we have 2 vehicles-so I have the freedom to go places during the day.
6. That I have a healthy and happy marriage. (Again, I currently have a few friends who are going through serious marital problems.)
7. That we have a church that preaches the truth.
8. That we live in a state that is so homeschool friendly.
9. That we are not in debt.
10. That I have peace, contentment, and joy.

Changing grumbles into grateful all starts with my attitude, and how I choose to see things.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Dark Days

I've been watching CNN for updates on the plane crash in Buffalo, NY. I have such compassion for the families of the victims.


My dad died in a plane crash 15 years ago. I know what they are feeling. When I hear of a plane crash, my heart skips a beat, and I just feel such sadness.


My dad was a pilot. He flew an air ambulance in Wyoming. The night he died, he wasn't even on call to fly, but he took the call anyway and went. He was flying home from a small town in Wyoming with a critical heart patient, a paramedic and a flight nurse. He was 3 minutes from the airport. The air traffic controllers lost them on radar. There was no mayday call or signs of problems. They were just gone. The weather had suddenly turned bad. It was April 6, and there was a sudden snow storm. It caught them all off guard. My dad had flown in that type of weather so many times, he was very skilled. He was a flight instructor so he knew how to get around it. The airport was unable to send search parties out to see if they could see the plane anywhere, because the weather was so bad. They needed to wait until the weather cleared.


We waited almost 8 hours-all day long, to hear news. All we knew was their plane had been lost on radar. It was the worst 8 hours of my life. Waiting, wondering, praying.....I pictured my dad sitting in the middle of no-where waiting for search parties to come and get him. I figured he just landed the plane because of the bad weather...I was in denial. My mom and sister knew he was dead, they just felt it. I didn't.


8 hours later, a helicopter was sent out and in a short time we heard the news. They found the plane. It had crashed into the side of a mountain. All were dead. I was devastated and shocked. I ran to the bathroom and threw up. It was the worst time of my life.


My dad died 5 months before my wedding. My fiance and I flew back to Wyoming for the funeral and to be with my sister and mom. One of the hardest things I've had to do was board a plane right after my dad died in the crash. I was so scared and felt a sense of panic. I cried the whole way home.


During the week we were home for my dad's funeral, we had the opportunity to board a helicopter and go to the crash site. By this time the NTSB had removed the plane. We just HAD to go....we needed to go there and see where he crashed. I can't explain it. We landed and saw a charred mountain ridge. It was very hard. We were all in shock so things didn't really register...we were walking zombies really. The heavy snow that was on the ground the day he died, had all melted now. We walked all around, each of us on our own. We each tried to deal with this tragedy. As I walked in one area, I looked down and saw something glimmer in the sun. I stooped down to see what it was, and it was a watch. It was my dad's watch. This was a MIRACLE and God's personal blessing to me. It was in great condition other than a broken clasp. My dad was wearing it at the time of the crash. I have no idea how it ended up where I found it, and in such great shape. It was a miracle I just happened to look down and it glistened in the sunlight to catch my eye. I treasure it. I carried it on my wedding day. It is one of my dearest and personal possessions. It helped me to cope and it made me feel like my dad was with me on my wedding day.


The NTSB investigated the crash and a year or so later we found out that the de-icers were not working properly on the plane.


It has been 15 years since this day. I still remember every minute of it. I remember every emotion. I have such sympathy for the families of the plane crash victims from this week. I've been praying for them. Dark days turn to happy days again. It just takes time and God's healing touch.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Party Prep

My daughter and I have been very busy over the last few days. We have been planning a nice Valentine dinner for my husband and son for tonight.
It all started with homemade invitations.
We gave these to my husband and son on Wednesday so they could prepare their schedules for the party on Friday night.

Yesterday Brooklyn made place mats and table decorations.We planned our menu. Brooklyn chose baked white fish with lemon, homemade macaroni and cheese, cheese biscuits and heart shaped brownies and ice cream for desert.

Next we cleaned the house. (Braden got in on the action)
Next Brooklyn and I went to the store and purchased all of our items for dinner. Then we baked the brownies and set the table.
Now we just have to wait until my husband gets home from work and we will serve the boys a nice Valentine's dinner. My daughter has loved planning this all by herself. I hope it teaches her to enjoy serving others. I want our home to be filled with happy memories. It is a lot of extra work for a busy homeschooling mother, but it is so worth it.













Monday, February 9, 2009

Valentine's Day


I've been trying to be intentional with teaching my kids how to love and serve others. I really want that to start within our own family.


I came up with a fun idea for my daughter and I to do together this week. We are going to plan a nice Valentine's dinner for my husband and my son. We will make homemade invitations to invite the men in our lives to come to a Valentine Party on Friday night. Brooklyn and I will scour the cookbooks to find a nice meal to make them, and we will go to the grocery store together to find all of the items we need. We will make all of our decorations and table settings. On Friday we will work together to create a beautiful table and environment. My daughter really loves to do this type of thing, and I hope this will create in her the desire to make her future home a sanctuary and place of love. It all starts right here, with our own family. Serving them and doing something special together. I want my kids to see their brother/sister relationship and special and a blessing. I want them to enjoy spending time together (they do) and learn to do special and loving things for each other. I believe, if they can start there, then serving their own husband, wife, and children someday, will come easily.


I'll have pictures after the big party on Friday. I hope you will come up with fun ways to show your own families how much you love them and how special they are.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Bad Economy Doesn't Have to Mean Bad Hair!

Times are tough for people, especially those in Michigan (where I live.) My husband is one of the bosses at his company and this year they had to lay people off for the first time ever. We are not sure what this next year may bring, so we are in conservation mode at our home in terms of finances. We are just being very careful and thinking before we spend. We would rather have money in the bank than "stuff".

Being the Proverbs 31 woman that I strive to be :) I'm doing my part. I usually get my hair cut every 5 weeks-so I changed that to every 8. I go to a really nice place to get my hair cut, I think my hair girl, Kathy does a great job. I'm willing to go cheaper, but feel since I changed to every 8, I'm already saving money. I used to get my hair colored every 8 weeks-but decided I could save a bunch of money and do it myself. (eeeek) My hair lady tried really hard to change my mind on this. She said she had never seen any one's hair look right, after they did it on their own, plus it is always dry and frizzy. (Scare tactics.) This decision saves me $40 every 8 weeks. I think that is a wise move.

I hit the store and studied my options. I decided on Clairol Natural Instincts. 20-B Cinnamon Stick. This color seemed close to the color Kathy used on me. It was normally$9.50, on sale for $5.50 and I had a $3.00 coupon. So for 2 bucks I could have hair color????? That seems like a no brainer. It was really easy to use and I think the color looks great. It is really even and shiny and my hair feels really soft. I can't tell a difference. I'm feeling quite proud of my frugal-ness!

Next I decided the very expensive vitamins have to go. We are big into vitamins at our house. My husband, the kids and I take them every single day. We spent big bucks on good vitamins (because our Dr. encouraged us to buy the expensive kind-that you can only purchase from a Dr.'s office). Hmmmm.....do you think this is a ploy? We spent about $100 to get all of our vitamins and they do last about 2-3 months, but still.....

The store I shop at had a "Buy one get one free" deal on good vitamins. I went for it. I spent $30 instead of $100. That seems like a deal to me. We will see if we notice much of a difference, but how can you really tell the expensive vitamins verses the cheaper brands?

I really want your opinions on if more expensive is always better? I'm starting to wonder. I've purchased salon brand shampoos that are SOOO EXPENSIVE before and don't really see much of a difference from good old Pantene products.

Something to ponder....but for now, I'm feeling happy I have good hair in a bad economy and extra money in savings because I made a few small changes. For the record, I'm never willing to give up my Diet Coke for a cheap version. I draw the line right there!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sensitivity

I have a love/hate relationship with my sensitivity. On one hand, I'm extremely compassionate. I love deeply. I feel things at a deep level. A simple news story will send me to my knees in prayer for days. I feel so badly for people going through pain, hardships, or turmoil. I HATE when people hurt. I want to FIX IT ALL right now. I lose sleep often, pondering how I can fix someones troubles or help them. I try to be intentional with showing my love to people and I try to find tangible ways to make a difference.

On the other hand I am completely sensitive and my feelings can get hurt so quickly. Today I'm struggling with such a dumb thing, I can't even post about it, because you would laugh. But someone hurt my feelings and it bummed me out. It was something said in passing and I'm not even sure how it was meant, probably not in a malicious way. I still take things so darn personal that I'll spend the next five hours trying to figure it all out. I hate that I'm such a people pleaser sometimes. I hate that I don't have thick skin and can't brush things off so quickly and easily.

Another friend said something to me a few weeks ago, that I'm still thinking about. It hurt my feelings then and it still does. I'm sure she wouldn't even remember she said it. Why do I waste my time on this stuff? I'll move on, in time. I try to not hold a grudge. I try to not repay hurtful words with hurtful words. I don't ever bother to tell the people they have hurt me.....I wonder why that is? I hate confrontation and I hate to cause a stir...so I drop it with them, but the wounds stay with me for awhile.

I'm glad Jesus understands that words hurt. I'm glad He knows my heart and can help me move forward and forgive and forget. In my own power I can't....so I rely on His perspective and what He thinks of me more that what others think. But is it too much to ask that people THINK BEFORE THEY SPEAK and speak life and encouraging words to people? I want to be that kind of a person. Build up rather than tear down!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Peace and Quiet

Some days (most days) it is hard for a mom to get peace and quiet. Since we homeschool, I'm with my kids nearly 24/7. It is a blessing and I love it, however,some days, I just want to finish my thoughts. I try to do my Bible study and I get interrupted 10 times. I go to the Y to workout for just an hour and I get 3 cell calls. I dedicate my life to my family, and my kids are very important to me. I know in a few short years, the house will be so quiet, I won't know what to do with myself. I'll have too much time to think. I'll miss the days when there was constant wrestling, requests for things, questions, and stories to tell.

I'm keeping that in mind, when I get frustrated. When the weather is so cold, that we can't venture out much, I am trying to cherish my time with my precious kids. I'm thinking of my new blog friend, Krysta who wants a baby so badly and would LOVE to hear "Mom" a million times a day. It is all about perspective. I'm choosing to have a happy heart and enjoy the interruptions. I'm choosing to respond in a kind way, and to smile and enjoy the ride.

I have a heavy heart today. I've gotten many prayer requests via email today and many of the situations are down right depressing. I'm going to sneak down into our guest room later and spend time with God. I'll take the burdens of these prayer requests to Him and leave them there. Knowing He is in control and will answer them, according to His perfect time and perfect will.

I wonder how many times little hands will knock on the door to ask me a question. How many times to I interrupt what God is doing to ask Him a question and tell Him something. He never grows weary of me or my questions or requests.
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