Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Miracle Drug or Devil's Elixir

Yes, I am talking about Albuterol!

My poor little Logan has been sick for over a week now. We thought it was just croup/congestion junk so we didn't make an appointment with the doctor until Thursday, who also diagnosed croup/congestion. No cure, just cool moist air, a snot sucker, & a prescription for prednisone "just in case".

Slowly, little by little, day by day Logan has gotten worse. The worst day - Saturday -  the day we went snow tubing....wouldn't you know it! He was VERY fussy & took fitful cat naps all day in my arms. Unfortunately, he also took fitful cat naps all night too. Ugh! I really do like my sleep.

So we filled the prescription Sunday & Logan decided he didn't want any part of it, so he spit it out & fussed some more.

Back to the doctor on Monday & RSV was confirmed. Welcome to the world of breathing treatments! Fun fun!

In case you have never dealt with this before, let me give you a brief overview.

 Albuterol ~ liquid medicine that is converted into smoke through a loud roaring machine. It is known to make one's heart speed up & hands shake uncontrollably. Most people tend to bounce around like a rubber ball when under its influence. It will also cause overly tired babies to cry louder, rub their eyes harder, & beat up their mothers. Other known side effects include short tempers, sour attitudes, lack of sleep, raised voices, & a general unpleasant environment. If your doctor ever prescribes this drug to you, don't forget,
you have been warned!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Treasure Box Moments

Through all the insanity & stress that we like to call life, its far too easy to focus on the hard times & the bad results. Its high time that I start cherishing all the little moments that make life worth living! Those diamond in the rough moments. Those moments worth keeping in a treasure box!

I'm going to TRY to post weekly updates on those extraordinary little moments.

Makenzie told me the other day that she loved homeschool because she got to spend more time with her family.

I said I was going to put on my makeup so we could go somewhere. Austin said I didn't need makeup, I was beautiful the way I was! I knew he was my favorite for some reason... ; )

After a VERY full day of tubing, movies, & various other activities, Makenzie said that this was the most fun day she had ever had!

We had a singing service at church tonight. Austin wanted to sing with our group & Makenzie sang with my niece & I. I hope that they always want to serve the Lord!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Cooking Outside the Box

You would be SO proud of me! I tried a completely new food tonight. I'm not scared of new foods. In fact, I usually come up with some strange concoctions, but I was CLUELESS on how to even eat this, let alone cook it!

I'm talking about eggplant. That's a funny looking, funny sounding thingy....a vegetable, I do believe.

I was grocery shopping the other day.......yes, I realize that it wasn't the 1st of the month, but I needed a few things. See, I usually do most of my shopping once a month. ....Wait, I got side tracked, imagine that! Oh yeah, grocery shopping... & saw an eggplant & started thinking (don't EVEN go there!) So I bought the funny looking purple thing & came home to find a recipe here.
  • 2 eggplant (1 or 1.5 lbs each)
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce (26 oz)
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
Place ground beef in a large skillet and sprinkle with garlic salt. Cook meat until no longer pink, drain and rinse of excess fat. Slice eggplant into 1/2 inch thick slices. Cook for a few minutes on each side in a hot skillet until lightly browned. Grease a 9 x 13 casserole dish. Place 1/2 cup of spaghetti sauce in the bottom of the dish. Cover the sauce completely with eggplant slices. Sprinkle with half the ground beef, half of the cheeses and half the remaining sauce. Repeat the layers once more. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes. Let stand a few minutes before serving.

Only thing....if you know me at all, you KNOW that I did NOT follow this recipe! I glance at a recipe & "make do". Up side, you use whatever is on hand, down side, it NEVER tastes the same! LOL

Well, I loved it. Justin liked it. Austin said it was ok, and well, Makenzie's opinion doesn't count! It honestly tasted like lasagna.




Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Just How Wide is that Gate?

"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves." (Matthew 7:13)

I have encountered many people in my lifetime who would do absolutely anything to help someone out. They were some of the nicest people you could ever meet. Their biggest problem ...... they were lost & had no desire to be saved!

Most of these people have had a "bad experience" with church & church members. The logic in their minds, "well if so-&-so is going to Heaven, then so am I". What has led so many of these people to think this way? WE HAVE! Far too many church members try to live like the world during the week & act all holy on Sunday (or whatever day they attend church).

The world likes to pick people apart, especially Christians. If we make a mistake, I can assure you that someone has witnessed it & will not forget it any time soon.

Christians - I urge you to PLEASE think about the way you are acting! PLEASE think about what you are saying! PLEASE think about who you are affecting!

I completely believe that every single decision or action that we make affects not only us, but also other people. I don't want to do or say anything that would hinder someone from coming to know Jesus! I don't want any one's blood dripping from my hands when I stand before my Savior! I want Him to be able to tell me "Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord." (Matthew 25:21)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

As For Me & My House

We have been working really hard these past few weeks to "fix things", all sorts of things - homeschool, household relations, eating habits, free time activities. All sorts of things.

When I say "fix", I don't mean that we are fixing it. I mean that WE have been trying to do it for far too long! We have left God out of entirely too many decisions & have just been drifting along seemingly without rhyme or reason. We have known this for some time but haven't really been ready to do anything about it.

BUT that has all changed this week!

Its amazing how quickly things get out of hand when God is not in charge. So we have finally allowed/begged God to lead our home again.

Along with this, Justin HAS to be the head of our house. He always has been, but we are respecting that even more now.

There needs to be a lot more Bible, praying, & kind words with a lot less TV, computer, & unthoughtful actions. There also needs to be a lot more laughter, tickling, & playing & a lot less fussing, bitterness, & complaining.

We are a family! Its time we started acting more like one.

Once we allow God to restore the proper order of things, our house will thrive. It will not always be easy but God will reward our obedience & encourage our efforts. The devil will be fighting all that much harder, but if the devil is fighting my family, it means he is trying to stop whatever progress we are making. It means that we are doing something right! With God's help, we will win this battle.

....And as an extra added encouragement, we watched Courageous last night. If you have not had the privilege to see this movie yet, I urge you to. It is fantastic!

"And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." Joshua 24:15

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Tales of a Homeschool Nothing ~ The Camel's Back is Officially Broke

Today was probably the hardest day I have experienced in 2 years. The day in itself didn't seem that bad at first. Maybe it was all the pressure, stress, junk building up & it finally became unbearable.

After making Austin rewrite a paper AGAIN & after trying to get Makenzie to read the same words we have been working on for WEEKS, I walked into the bedroom with Logan, sat down in the floor & with a broken heart & tear filled eyes told Justin I was done. They were going back to public school on Monday. I had tried everything I knew to do. I had begged, pleaded, threatened, been strict, been easy going, punished, rewarded, repeated, repeated, repeated & it wasn't working. I didn't know what to do anymore.

He just looked at me & asked what I expected of him. He usually just says "whatever you need to do". I told him that I needed him to take a stand & stick to it. So........

He actually asked the kids if they wanted to go back to school. Makenzie said no very quickly. The answer had to be drug out of Austin. He said no, but I'm not sure he meant it. If he would have said yes, I would have cried all the way down to the local school! But I would have done it, that's how far I had been pushed/stretched.

So since we were all in agreement, the law was laid down! Punishments were handed out. Expectations were explained. And the bar was raised! This conversation took 3 hours!!!

I am emotionally exhausted! Please pray for us! I want to be in God's will & I know that the devil does not want me teaching my children! This is a hard battle, but I believe it is worth it! I know that one day down the road, I will not regret the decision to teach my kids, but its hard to hold onto that right now.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Where does the Blame truely lie?

My get up & go has not only got up & went, but it has dissappeared entirely. I'm not sure what the problem is, but I have ZERO motivation to do much of anything.

Blame it on the baby blues!

Blame it on lack of sleep, its amazing how the body can function on a couple of 3 hr naps each night for months. Or the addition of another mouth to feed without the addition of funds to offset it, although God has certainly provided miracles in that area. Or 2 overly jealous kids & 1 very needy little boy.

Blame it on a certain 9 year old who would rather be anywhere than with me. Or who has a severe attitude anytime things go the least bit wrong.

Blame it on the "super mom" gene in me that seems to be failing in every aspect of life. Or on the fact that my house is constantly cluttered, my mountain of laundry keeps getting bigger by the second, my sink has dissappeared under the dishes, & the fact that I am out of room for anything.

Blame it on the monotany of the day - get up entirely too early, feed baby, feed kids, clean mess, start school, feed baby, lay baby down for nap, reteach math lesson, go get fussy baby, ask repeatedly "what is that word?", make snack, clean mess, back to school, make lunch, feed baby, clean mess, lay baby down, try to stay awake while reading history, ask repeatedly "is that your best work?", get baby up, clean up school, try to entertain baby & get something accomplished, do dishes, do laundry, start supper, feed baby, lay baby down for nap, clean up mess, collapse on couch for a few minutes of quite time, put kids to bed, go to bed entirely too late, promise to go to bed earlier tomorrow.

Blame it on society today that has repeatedly told us we are worthless unless we are corporate America. Or the fact that not too many people appreciate the value of a stay at home mom, much less a homeschool mom.

Blame it on having to FORCE myself to teach school right now & then second guessing everything that comes out of my mouth. Or the fact that Austin's handwriting is awful (wait, he is a boy) & he has yet to memorize those pesky multiplication tables. Or the fact that Makenzie is not reading as well as I think she should be.

Blame it on the fact that I am 30 lbs heavier than I was 2 yrs ago & I still haven't lost all the baby weight. Or the fact that I am NOT good at "dieting". Or the fact that I have 2 pairs of blue jeans that fit & I refuse to buy more when I have a whole closet full of clothes that are too little. Or the fact that I really need a Mt. Dew! Or the fact that I feel like I have aged 10 years in the past 2.

Blame it on the fact that Justin hasn't found an EMT job yet & this worries me. Or the fact that he is gone a lot trying to provide for us. Or the fact that I miss him more than I like to admit!

Blame it on whatever you want, but truly, the blame is on me. I want/need to fall back in love with my first love - God! I want/need to spend more time in His word! I want/need to become the prayer warrior that I once was! I want/need the joy of my salvation restored to me.

Ok, so now that I know/admit where to place the blame, maybe the world can start turning again! I also KNOW that I am entirely too blessed to be stressed, but sometimes, I just need to tell people what is really on my mind!
We did make it outside for a little play time this afternoon. I felt a little less burdened down after that. Its amazing how much a little sun/SON shine can brighten your mood! I am currently reading "Made To Crave" & so far so good. Iit really makes sense! I'll let you know how it turns out!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Strongest People You Know are the Ones who Really Need Our Prayers

So many times in life, we find ourselves asking "Why Me?", "Why Now?", "Why That Family?", "WHY?". I suppose its human nature to question things we do not understand. Sometimes its hard to hold on to the fact that God has a bigger plan & a prettier picture than what we can see right this minute.

We have always heard that God never gives us more than we can handle. I completely believe this, even though sometimes, I believe that God has more faith in what we can handle than we have faith in Him.

I've often wondered why I have been so blessed when it seems that other people are continually struggling. I sometimes wonder why I have 3 beautiful children when some people spend years just trying to conceive 1 miracle. I wonder why my kids are relatively healthy when so many children fight for every breath they take. More often than not, I find myself looking at how blessed my life really is.

As I was reading the latest post from "EB"ing a Mommy, my heart, no my soul wept for this family! Through the tears, God allowed a thought to cross my mind. Bad situations happen to good people because they are strong enough to handle them. I CANNOT imagine the pain, agony, anxiety, & heartache this family is experiencing!

Have you ever noticed that most families that experience hardship, especially when it involves their children, end up being stronger that they ever thought possible? The tragedy somehow brings out the best in someone. Now, by no means am I saying it is a "good" thing, but so many times, people become better for the struggles they experience.

I also realized that I have never had to face these difficulties, because quite possibly, I'm not strong enough to handle them. This is one time that I continually hope that God doesn't believe I get any stronger. I don't understand God's mercy & grace, but I am so thankful!

Please pray for little Tripp & for Courtney as they both prepare for Tripp's journey HOME!

I long for the day when these families no longer have to suffer & these little angels get the chance to run & play at Jesus' feet! God has a special place just for them!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Hey, Can You Help These Old People.....

You just HAVE to love kids!

Tonight while doing our Bible devotions, Justin was reading out of the book of John. He mentioned the town of Bethesda & asked Austin if he had heard that name before?

After thinking for a few minutes, Austin said "Yeah, there's a rest home there!"

us - HUH?

Austin - "Yeah, you know. There was a bunch of old, lame people laying by a pool. And they needed help to get to the water."


He remembered a lot about the story, but he automatically thought that the people were old since they had so many problems. I love it!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Price for Going Green...

My house is a complete & total disaster zone! Even more so than normal!

We have been focusing ALL of our energy, effort, & expenses into trying to hook up, finish building, & switch over to the water stove that it has consumed our lives. This has been an on going project for a month now...over a month if you include the search for a suitable water stove (free is suitable!)

We finally got the water hooked up towards the end of last week & it is GREAT! All 5 of us can now take baths within an hour & not freeze to death!

Do you have any idea how much money this is going to save since we don't have to use the water heater?
I'm excited!

We are almost done with the building that will keep our little stove safe & dry. A little more electrical wiring, a little more insulation, & a side door should complete it.

Do you have any idea how excited Justin is about having a "pout house"?

So now we are in the process of also rerouting the heating system to blow past a coil (don't ask me, I got confused just listening to it). We started that procedure Tuesday. It was necessary to cut off our "old" heat in order to get the "new" heat started. Downside - Tuesday was beyond FRIGID! We are still trying to convert over.....

Upside - Do you have any idea how much money this is going to save since we don't have to rely on the heat pump? I'm excited!

Next step - we are on the lookout for solar panels...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Year = New Beginning

As 2011 drew to a close, I found myself reminiscing on all the adventure & sometimes, lack there of, from this past year. It was an amazing but stressful year. Austin passed his 1st state tests as a homeschooler with FLYING colors. Makenzie graduated PreK. Logan was born & has experienced lots of firsts & milestones. I survived shuttling 2 kids between 2 different sports teams during 2 different seasons. We muddled through our first attempt at teaching 2 different school levels. We've seen new babies born, and we've had old friends take their last breath. We've laughed, we've cried, we've seen times of prosper & times of famine. We've experienced God's mercy & grace first hand on a daily basis. We are blessed far beyond what we deserve!

I read back over my post from last year & I have accomplished some things that I set out to.  I still need to work on some things & I want to make 2012 even better. When you want something, you just keep on keeping on until you get it!

I want a healthier me! Physically, mentally, spiritually. Yes, I need to lose weight & get in better shape, but more importantly I need to make life changes. I need to eat better. I need to drink more water. I need to get more exercise. I need to relax more. I need to not take things so seriously. I need to enjoy life more. I need to play more. I need to pray more. I need to read study my Bible more. I need to take a few minutes just for me from time to time. I need to SLOW DOWN!

I want a happier family! There has been entirely too much tension within my home lately. I miss the hugs, kisses, tickles, & giggles. I miss snuggling on the couch. I miss reading as a family for fun. I miss days at the park. I miss sit down meals. I miss actual conversation.
I also realized something when I went out with a close friend the other night. Sometimes, even when there are other things that need to be done, even when there are better ways to spend the few extra dollars I have, even when I shouldn't be eating pasta & drinking Mr. Pibb (they didn't have Mt. Dew!), I NEED to splurge, I NEED let go, have fun, & be a silly girl! After all, life is too short to wear sensible shoes!

I’m Waiting on the Bigger & Better

Sometimes certain people have been in your life so long it’s hard to remember where they came from, how they got there, & even how you l...