Tuesday, June 10, 2014

What we've been up to...

  Sorry, it's been so long since I've written.  The older the kids get, the less time it seems that I have.  This is the first year we have ever taken a summer break.  We normally school year round taking a week off here and there when we need one.  However, we had so many activities planned this summer, I wanted to concentrate on the Bible Bee Sword Studies and completing 4-H projects to the best of our abilities.   So here are some picturers to catch you up. 

We've been playing baseball with our Homeschool Group.

Started a booth at our local Farmer's Market
Photo: Up early at the Farmer's Market :)
Attended our Homeschool Group's Annual Civil War Ball
Working on our Sword Studies for the Bible Bee
Photo: My babies working on their sword studies for the Bible Bee!!!  Melts my heart!!
Playing in the great outdoors
Taking riding lessons for 4-H
And.....we just celebrated Hannah's 6th Birthday in Heaven :)

I hope to get back in the habit of writing again soon! 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

When you feel like a failure....

 You may have seen my post on facebook this morning...

 I try so hard to make sure all of my facebook posts are positive, uplifting, encouraging or informative.  Facebook is so full of negativity of the world, and I feel like it's one way I can shine my light.  So yes, sometimes, it may seem like our life here is just happy-go-lucky and all I do is read fantasy stories with my perfectly, well behaved, angelic, children while eating bon-bons.  (You knew I had to throw that in there, Angela ;) 

  So after this week (and yes, it's only Tuesday), I decided it might also be encouraging if I share the other side.  Just so we know we're not alone in this battle of spriritual warfare.  It's important to me, that I keep this blog and my life real.  I am a terrible, wretched sinner, who by the grace of God has been saved by my Lord Jesus.  But I still mess up, A LOT!!  And I praise the Lord, that He doesn't give up on me.  Oh my, where would we be, if He did??

  So it started yesterday.......
   We woke up to your typical Monday morning.  Everyone waking up and doing chores and preparing for the day.  Derek always wakes up before the girls and starts on his schoolwork while it's still quiet.  He has good and bad days, but most days he wakes up and does this with no problem.  Some days, he wants to play first and then gets very upset that I interrupt his play to start his schoolwork.  So, for the most part, we try to stick to the schedule of him doing schoolwork first, so we can save both of ourselves from headaches.
  Yesterday, he woke up in a great mood and was almost done with his school, when a math problem ( I mean Satan) decided to interrupt our day.  He and I both had a huge meltdown.  There was yelling and crying on both his and my ends. I felt like I was doing something wrong with him.

   I can't seem to figure out how to share my love of learning with him.  No matter what books I find, or math program I buy, he just tries to rush through as fast as he can.  I know, he's a boy and boys don't care for school, but I just keep thinking I am doing something wrong, if I can't make him enjoy his schoolwork.  Lindsay and I have such a good bonding time when it comes to her school, why can't I have that with him?  And he is so smart!!  He figures things out faster than I can explain them.  But, boy oh boy, when he gets stuck on something watch out!! 
  I cried alot, just wallowing in self pity.  I even locked myself in my room for awhile reading different Psalms, trying to embrace the fact, God is the Almighty, and he has a plan, and I am just this one tiny piece through 6,000 years of His puzzle so far.  I felt like one of the Israelites always complaining about everything, no matter their many blessings.  I prayed for a long time asking for God's guidance in raising this strong-willed child.  I really would not want it any other way, because I know God has amazing plans for him, however, I just am at a loss on how to direct his very strong will.  Not to mention, his father and I are both very strong willed, and we are all first borns, so it seems we are all just exactly alike and they say opposites attract, right? 

  Anyway, I ended up having a very long talk with him about having a good attitude, even when we don't like it.  That was like calling the kettle black, huh?? 
  It was a struggle the rest of the day to have good attitudes, because once I get upset, it's really hard for me to let it go.  Ronnie and Derek can just go out and get over it and then I get even more upset because I felt like they weren't that upset about the issue to begin with, totally petty, ain't it?  Talk about a sinner!!  Praise the Lord for grace!! 

  So, later in the afternoon, Ronnie got a wrecker call and I decided it would be a good opportunity to get us all out of the house and some fresh air.  We towed the vehicle, stopped at Goodwill, grabbed a bite to eat, and recieved another wrecker run.  We started out to winch the customer out of the ditch and what....of course, the clutch goes out of the wrecker!!!  We have to call the customer and help them find another wrecker.  And try to make it home without getting stranded ourselves.  Now, Ronnie's in a bad mood and stressing about how much it's going to cost and being down during the our busiest time of the year.  I'm trying to stay calm and lift him up and Satan gets ahold of the both of us and so by the time we made it to bed, we're both upset.  We're laying in bed, discussing how much it's going to cost  to fix it and how we only have 2 weeks left until Christmas to finish buying everyone's presents.  (And we keep it simple!  We just have big families.)  We're still waiting to get paid from 3 or 4 jobs, an insurance check, ect.  And that we need to be patient with them, because we have been in that boat before ourselves!  We both agree, we know that God will take care of us.  So what if everyone doesn't get something from us, it won't be the first, and it won't be the last, I'm sure.  And then I get even more upset, because that's not what it's even about!!  I lay there thinking about how worse off so many more people are than us.  And here we are having panic attacks over a stupid clutch.  Sure, it's our livlihood and yes, it's very important, but in the grand scheme of things, it's nothing! 
  Why do we do this?  Why do we make ourselves sick with worry?  God has promised again and again to take care of us.  And that may not even mean how we want him to take care of us.  We may loose our vehicles, and even our house (heaven forbid), but the one thing that is certain, is His promises to take care of us. 
  I'm so encouraged by the story of Corrie Ten Boom.  If you don't know about her, google it.  She was able to survive and hold on to God's promises even through Concentration Camps!!  Now, that is strength, and not her own, but God Almighty's!!!

  And who knows, maybe God is actually letting some of things happen, so we will cling to him even tighter during this Christmas season.  You know, since it really is about Him anyway ;) 

  From Lindsay's History lesson this morning about the Pilgrims, who were way worse off than you or I. 
From Stories of the Pilgrims by Margaret B Pumphrey:  "The men gathered brushwood and, in the shelter of a great rock, built a roaring fire and camped for the night.  Before they slept the Pilgrims knelt upon the ground and gave thanks to God for guiding them through the storm and dakrness.  Then they repeated a beautiful old song from the Bible beginning; 'O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good, for His mercy endureth for ever.'"

  I want to live like that!  No matter what comes my way, I want to be able to cling to my Savior like that.  I am so thankful, He is still working on me!!  I just pray that God will give me the wisdom to pass on to my children of how important His Word is for their daily lives and leaning on His everlasting arms. 

  I pray you hold on to what is really important this Chrstimas Season.  I pray you teach your children some wonderful Advent lessons.  I pray that God blesses your families.  And you can hold on tight to fact that this is not our home, we're just passing through. 

Have a Blessed Day,

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Winter Storm Warning!!!

    Here in Southern Indiana, we are preparing for a big winter storm.  Well, at least our family has our fingers crossed!!  :) 
    I'm sooo sorry I haven't written in forever!!  Life has completely just swept us away this year.  We have been sooo blessed to have Ronnie come home and now own our own business.  We first bought a rollback in March and then a little later in the year we traded it for a wrecker.  Ronnie quit his job and came home and opened a garage and towing service.  So as you can see, we are hoping for some snow to keep us busy ;)  So in preparation for the "big snow" we're supposed to get, Leah and I decided to make Daddy some midnight snacks!  
Daddy's favorite - Peanut Butter Balls!!!


Or as Leah calls them, "those turner things". 
(You know, round, circle, turn, all the same thing ;)


   So here's our Peanut Butter Ball recipe from Ronnie's mom, Susie.  She taught me how to make these along with lots of other recipes that are Ronnie's favorite, when we were dating, so that I would be able to take care of her baby boy ;)

Peanut Butter Balls
1/4 bar of paraffin wax (1/3 cup)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter
6 Tbsp butter
2 cups powered sugar (sifted)
1/2 tsp vanilla
In a large bowl, mix peanut butter, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla with a mixer on medium until mixture starts to stick together.  You need to be able to roll into balls with your hands and the mixture not stick to your fingers too bad. 
Melt paraffin wax in a double broiler pot.  I use mine from Pampered Chef, but my mother-in-law uses a glass bowl over a regular saucepan.  After wax is melted add chocolate chips and stir until completely melted.  I have to keep my burner set on a 3 or lower so the chocolate doesn't burn. 
Roll peanut butter mixture into balls and lay on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper.  Gently pick each ball up with a tooth pick and swirl around in the chocolate mixture.  Set back on cookie sheet to cool.  Once you have covered each ball with chocolate, I take the remaining chocolate and drizzle it over the whole cookie sheet.  When all finished, store the peanut butter balls in the refrigerator to keep the chocolate hard. 
Enjoy with a glass of milk :)
How about you?  Do winter storms give you a yearning to bake?  What are some of your favorite recipes this time of year?


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

"School Room"

  School Room or Not?  In our home, it's a little bit of both.  The pictures below are of the corner of our dining room.  I keep all the school stuff on these two books shelves.  It keeps it all nice and neat and organized and very handy.  We just sit down at the dining room table to do any worksheets or group work and living room is next to the dining room for any silent reading assignments.  
We have a white board for important info for the day or week.   The small bookshelf underneath holds our laminator, memory box, markers, crayons, and colored pencils.  There are lots of kids games on the bottom shelf.

We keep our chore packs hanging on our white board.

This wonderful bookshelf, I found at our local "primitive" store, Magpie.  It's been a huge blessing to me!!!  It stores all of our extra curriculum, readers, chapter books, school supplies, craft supplies, and educational toys.  The white 3 drawer bin next to it, holds each child's school books and workbooks that they are currently using. 

I have each section labeled.  Preschool, Bible, Science, History, etc.

We keep our school supplies in this smaller 3 drawer bin.

This is our timeline that is on the side of the bookshelf.

"Some" of our many readers and chapter books!!!

And the easel and pencil sharpener.
Do you have a school room or just a part of another room?  Where do you store all your curriculum?
Have a Blessed Day,

I'm linking up to the School Room week 2013 5th Annual "Not" Back-to-School Blog Hop


Saturday, August 3, 2013

Random Thoughts at Wal-Mart

  If you saw my post on facebook earlier while in Wal-Mart, you already know my mind was racing a million miles a minute.....

  Today, Ronnie and Derek, and his friend Cassius had a Contenders meeting, so the girls and I went to town to run errands and get groceries.  It's always nice when we get to go do things, just us girls, and we get to have a morning or afternoon to bond.  However, today the girls were talking and I was just content to listen to them gab away.  They wanted to look at jewelry, hair things, socks, shoes, and clothes.  As we're walking through all the clearance items to find a good buy, we made our way over to the "baby/toddler" area.  And then it hit me!  After 8 years of coming to this section of the store, I have no reason to be here.  We officially potty trained Leah two weeks ago, and she's been wearing panties all day and night, so I didn't need any diapers or wipes.  She barely uses sippy cups anymore, so no need for that.  She wears all of Lindsay's old clothes, so I didn't need to look at clothes from that section.
  While my heart is yearning for another baby, we began to work our way through the food.  The girls are very good at grocery shopping and could probably do it all by themselves (you know ,if it wasn't illegal to send a 6 and 3 year old into a store by themselves;).  So they were going through the list of needed items and putting them in the cart.  When we arrived at the deli, there stood a lady, probably in her 50's, waiting for her meat and cheese.  She looked very nice, nails and hair done, and was content just to stand there and wait.  She had a cute new shirt in her cart and a puzzle, a couple of individual dinners, a few individual diet drinks.  And as I'm standing there holding Leah, (because she's freezing in the freezer section as she calls it) my mind yet races in another direction.  Now, I'm totally imagining what this lady's life is like, but I'm assuming she lives by herself from the looks of the items her in cart and I started to think about once all my children are grown, what my life will be like. 

  My dreams would be that Ronnie and I would grow old together and that we will have LOTS of grandchildren running around the house, while our children are out on date nights and needing to Christmas shop and such.  However, we never know what the good Lord has in store for us. 

  And then I got to thinking, why does the average American only have 1 or 2 kids?  Sure, there are days, my heart yearns (and yearns badly) for a few moments of silence.  But there are also days when all of my children are out with friends or riding to the dump with Daddy or with Grandma and Papaw and I really just don't know what to do with myself.  And I hear so many parents talk about empty nests and how horrible it is, but how they adjust.  Why is it so wrong for these big families to not have to go through that?  Why is it that more parents don't look at their children as a blessing?  Why have we, as a nation, become so dependent on birth control instead of prayer?  Why can we trust God to take care of us with our finances and our daily lives, but not our wombs?

  And then I got to thinking of how Ronnie and I, 3 years ago, decided to let God lead our hearts in child birth and not by our own decision.  And how he worried that we would end up with 15 kids and how I struggled to figure out how I could have 6 or 7 more c-sections.  And then I began to realize that my baby is now 3!!!  And perhaps, just perhaps, God has closed my womb and how horrible that might be.  I started thinking about Hannah and Rachel, who longed for babies and how God "blessed" them when he heard their cries.   And then I started praying that, if God does choose to close my womb, then "please, Lord, help my heart to be content". 

  As the girls and I made our way home and I started unloading the groceries, they ran off to the garden, to see what today's harvest might be.  And I started thinking of all these precious sights I must savor, just in case I never have another baby.....

 - pigtails in the tomato plants
 - bare feet running through the freshly cut grass
 - little squeals of joy when the mama cat has a new litter of kittens
 - little girls hanging their doll clothes on the line to "dry"
 - my little boy learning to mow the yard for the first time
 - the face of delight when the "baby" understands A says "aahh"
 - the little boy hitting his first "basket"
 - the finished product of a meal made by all 3 of the children
 - seeing my little boy swim for the first time and seeing the pride in his face
 - hearing him recite a long passage of scripture in church

and the list goes on and on.....I just don't want to ever forget the feeling of "littles" ! 

Have a Blessed Day :)

Monday, July 29, 2013

2013 - 2014 Curriculum - Heart of Dakota/Rod & Staff

  So here is our curriculum list this year, I'm so excited to be getting started!!!  Every year it just seems to get more and more exciting as Derek gets older and learns more and more!  The girls also surprise me at how fast they learn, right behind their brother.  I have officially taught my two older ones to read fluently and am now working on my baby and her sounds!  It truly is a blessing to be able to homeschool my children and to watch them grow and learn! 

Derek - 3rd Grade
Heart of Dakota - Bigger Hearts for His Glory
(this covers Bible, Reading, Spelling, History, & Science all together)
(Will be finishing this up and starting Math 4 in about 2 months)
A cursive handwriting book I picked up at a yard sale this spring.
Lindsay - 1st Grade
(Will be finishing this up and start Teaching Textbooks 3 around Christmas)
Heart of Dakota - Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory
(also covers Bible, Reading, Spelling, History, & Science)
Leah - Preschool
I just can't say enough wonderful things about Heart of Dakota!!  We absolutely love it!!  I have even learned sooo much from teaching it. 
This week I will also have blog posts on our new school schedule, back-to-school photos, and a few tid-bits about our homeschool co-op and groups. 
I'm linking up to the Curriculum Week 2013 5th Annual "Not" Back-to-School Blog Hop!!


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Being a wife and mother while not feeling good

  I have read several blogs and articles of mothers who live and deal with chronic issues.  And I applaud their parenting skills!  God definitely doesn't give us more than we can handle, and he knows that they are stronger than I am! 

  However, I do live with severe indoor/outdoor allergies.  I normally only have an attack about once a month, worst case scenerio once every two weeks.  And I normally can feel it coming on and can do certain things to prevent them.  Out of 120 things tested, I was highly allergic to everything but 3.  However, I'm not allergic to any foods (thank goodness, because I LOVE to eat!!!)  But if it's a mold, dust mite, tree, pollen, weed, cockroach residue (my Dad and I used to joke about this all the time, then I married Ronnie and now my last name is Roach.... not so funny anymore ;), hay, sawdust, ect, I'm sure to have a reaction.  I tried shots for a few years, and it did help some, but still had pretty bad attacks.  And I could not do shots will pregnant, so I gave those up.  I've tried pretty much every medicine and I mostly have to go back and forth between medicinces because my body becomes immune to a certain one after awhile.  I've been looking into more herbal treatments for about a year now, but have not found anything that even touches me. 
  When I have an attack, I try to immediately go and sleep it off, if I can get to sleep early on my sinuses will dry it up and I can move on with life.  If I wait too long and try to blow my nose or just breath through it, it worsens very quickly.  I can't breathe, I can't see very well because of blurry vision and itchy eyes.  My head feels like it will explode at any moment.  I can barely walk from one room to another without having to sit down and catch my breath.  I can go through a box of tissues in about 10 minutes.  Once I'm in a full blown attack, it takes me about a day and a half to get over it completely and then my body is just weak and tired.

  With all that being said, I'm not looking for sympathy.  I want to give a word of encouragement in two different levels.  The first one, in my marriage.....

  When Ronnie and I first met, it wasn't long before he realized how sickly I was.  I remember throwing up in front of him on Christmas Day and being so embarrassed and him just standing there holding my hair, telling me it was going to be alright.  I remember thinking, this is the man I want to spend the rest of my life with!!!  However, after the honeymoon is over......I'm not sure what happened exactly, if I came to expect him to come at my every beckon call or if he started to think I whined over every little thing.  But very soon, I was holding my own hair again and really feeling sorry for myself.  
  I remember a few years ago when he was really sick and he complained how I never really took care of him when he was sick and I got to thinking.  If he really thinks that, then no wonder he doesn't nurse me anymore.  So I tried really hard to tend to his needs when he had a cold or the flu (which doesn't happen very often, the man is made of steel!!!)  And something happened!!!  I started noticing how he was more aware of my needs when I was sick.  It's amazing how selfish we become when we have something wrong, and how blind we can be of the needs around us.  Even in our own house.  It's taken us several years to figure out how to care for one another, but we are getting much better ;)

Now, as for the children.....I heard a sermon one time on Daniel when he saw one of his visions.

Daniel 8:27 And I, Daniel, fainted and was sick for days; afterward I arose and went about the king’s business. I was astonished by the vision, but no one understood it.
  He said even after all that he had saw, he still got up after been sick for days and went about the king's business.  He didn't continue to lay in bed and moan and whine about what was going to happen.  There was work to be done!  This has always stuck with me.  It is very important to rest and to get better.  But not to lay in bed for days and be depressed about my situation and worry myself to death about when the next attack will hit and what I will miss when it does.  There's work to be done.  I have children to raise! 
  When I watched the Homemaking 101 Video about a year ago, there was a lady on there that was an older Titus 2 woman who talked about being sick and having to still take care of her young children. 
Honestly, I don't remember what I did when Derek and Lindsay were babies.  I'm sure I called my mother-in-law and she gladly watched them for me.  I'm sure that I had someone to come help me.  So I'm sorry, if you have littles and are sick, I'm not sure what the answer is if you don't have help :(  I pray that you find a close friend. 
  However, there is hope for the future!   My oldest and my youngest of inherited my allergies :(  So they know first hand how awful it can be to have an attack.  I have diligently trained my children to "take care of themselves" when Mommy is not well.  Derek and Lindsay both know how to make simple meals for themselves and Leah.  I have also taught Derek how to measure medicine, so this past attack that I had that was so bad, Derek brought my medicine to me with something to drink.  Even though the house is usually pretty messed up when I finally "wake up", the kids do know how to go on while Mommy is down. 
  I know I "preach" chores, orderliness of the house, and training of the children alot, but there is reason and blessing that comes from all the hard work!   
 Proverbs 10:1  A wise son makes a glad father,
But a foolish son is the grief of his mother.

How do you deal with sickness in your house?  Are your children aware of the needs around them?  Are you tending to your husband's needs? 
Have a Blessed Day!
Amanda :)