Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas from our family to yours! May you have a blessed holiday season!




Monday, November 29, 2010

Organization and scheduling...

The above two things are things I am not good at.
1: I hate to organize because the boys only de-organize it 10 minutes later (give or take a few).
2: I like my flexibility.
Yep there, I said it. I like to be flexible. I hate scheduling things because then I feel pressured. I think a lot of my feeling this way is partly due (or all due) to my growing up in a fairly flexible schedule. We woke up 'around' the same time everyday and started school whenever we got around to starting it. Sometimes that would be 7:30 in the morning and sometimes it would be 5 at night. We always got our school done though....even if it meant doubling up. I kind of run on the same 'schedule'. We wake up 'around' the same time and start school when we can. We always get are school done though....I am very strict about that. No skipping school and if we do, we double (or triple) up to catch up....or get ahead. I make meals at various times of the day...but we always eat three times a day. I always shower...sometime during the day and I brush my teeth and wash my face at least twice. Couldn't say at what time I do this all but I always get it done. I usually do laundry on Monday-Tuesday and then don't do any laundry until the next week. I deep clean the bathrooms every 1-2 weeks and I wipe down between deep cleanings. I always keep my kitchen clean- dirty dishes is my pet peeve and something I do not tolerate! I do not always make my bed. I wear my pajamas almost every day...clean pajamas that is. The boys take baths/showers twice a week....whether they need it or not (which they usually do by that point). The boys go to bed between 7-9- usually closer to the earlier bedtime. I go to bed...when I go to bed. I know, I know, some of you would probably die if you lived such a lenient schedule. Some people thrive on schedules. I am not sure if I would or not. I might do ok on a more strict schedule but then again, I may feel the pressure closing in on me when I can't get everything done on my schedule or in the time allotted. The later is what I have experienced when I give a schedule a try (due to my husband's encouragement). I start panicking when I can't fulfill my schedule and I give up on it...since all it did was stress me out anyway. I am also not a very good list maker. I have tried and tried and TRIED to make lists for grocery shopping but I always fail to put something on my list! So then, I think...what is the point of a list if I still forget stuff?! (By the way, I am still doing the list thing.) Anyway, I was wondering if you do a schedule and what works for you...I guess you could say we have a very flexible schedule...since we do about the same thing everyday....around the same time. ;-)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Food Matters

For about 5 years now I have struggled with feeling fatigued,wore out and just plain awful. I have also dealt with parts of my body going numb, sore hips and joints, heart palpitations and a host of other mysterious 'symptoms'. I was always concerned something was seriously wrong with me but chalked it all up to being a mom and stress. Lately though it had been getting ridiculous. Cutting out wheat and gluten had helped my stomach issues but I was still feeling wore out,irritable and just blah. Well, the other day I bought myself a bottle of multi-vitamins and starting taking those, Emergen-C and a pill for my thyroid (all natural- suggested to me by my chiropractor). I have also stopped drinking my beloved coffee since reading that caffeine activates your adrenal glands which then releases stress hormones. I figured I could do without the extra stress hormones so I cut it out cold turkey. (So far no headaches!) I have felt SOOOOO amazing! I have had so much energy the last two days I don't know what to do with it all!!! I even got up around 7:30 this morning (I went to bed at 12:30-I wasn't tired until then) and I felt wide awake when I woke up! Incredible! I have gotten so much done the last couple of days. Example: yesterday I washed,folded and put away all laundry (including the shower curtain), I went through the sock basket and matched all socks, I filled in nail holes and painted over them, I cleaned the laundry room, made the kids three meals, did school with the boys and even wrote a blog post! I know it doesn't seem like a lot but I was going all day long and didn't even feel tired! It was great! I plan on doing just as much today. Anyway my point is this: I think I was severely undernourished. After watching this movie I am convinced.


It all makes so much sense! Unfortunately, as was said in this movie, "There isn't any money in health". So many illnesses (including cancer) are not treated with nutrition (vitamin therapy) and/or healthy eating habits. Doctors and big drug companies would be in big trouble if we were all healthy! They make huge money off of the sick! Think about it...really think about it. And remember- you can choose what goes into your body! You can choose to live a healthy life! I have and today I will be going out and buying a huge amount of raw food (fresh fruit,veggies, nuts and grains)! We already eat fairly healthy just not as much as I would prefer. I am also going to buy some more vitamin supplements. I have felt so amazing and I don't want this feeling of being so ALIVE to go away! If you have the time- check this video out. It's amazing what can be completely cured when you eat right!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Going Gluten Free

We have decided to go completely gluten/wheat free in our home. (Partly due from the doctor running a celiac test on Noah...still haven't gotten the results back from that and from Noah's autism diagnosis) It has been an adjustment but it has been a good adjustment. It has also been quite the challenge to figure out what has gluten in it and what does not. Gluten is in SO much but thankfully there are a lot of gluten free products coming out. I think because of the rise of celiac and autism. Betty Crocker's (Click on the link for more info) gluten free brownies are amazing (seriously better than the regular boxed brownies) and so is the cake!!! I have also found a wonderful baking/pancake mix from Pamela's Products. They have a large amount of recipes on their website. So far we have made- pancakes, biscuits, chicken and dumplings, chocolate chunk cookies and pumpkin bars. Everything has been fabulous!!!!! We make pizza dough from their bread mix also- so good! Wal-Mart also sells some wonderful pasta (it's a mixture of corn and rice) and it's very reasonably priced ($2 for 12oz.). I make pasta casseroles quite often- my boys love them! We eat our peanut butter and honey on rice cakes instead of bread and I make gluten free steel cut oatmeal, eggs, gluten free hot cereal or gluten free Chex cereal for breakfast. The boys do not complain and Noah even does well when we go out to eat and he can't get what he normally would (pancakes, grilled cheese or macaroni and cheese). I do let the other boys get wheat products when we are out (they don't seem to have as many issues as Noah does with it). I am thinking about taking dairy products out of Noah's diet also. I will probably substitute with almond milk since he is probably allergic to soy like I am and the benefits of soy are controversial anyway. Does anyone have any ideas of good dairy alternatives that are high in calories? Noah is pretty skinny so something with a higher fat/calorie count would be nice. Anyway, this is our new and exciting journey we have begun...it definitely has many benefits. Noah's meltdowns have gotten better. He still has them but not near as often. His speech has gotten a lot better also. I have not had any stomach troubles anymore. I used to get such severe stomach cramps that I would be doubled over in pain. I decided it was probably due to wheat and I think my assumptions were right since I have not had any stomach cramps since cutting wheat out of our diet cold turkey. I have also lost about 5-6 pounds. I would like to lose another 3-5 in order to get down to my 'goal' weight. Anyway, I will try and post some of the recipes I have done. I don't feel like we have missed out on anything! And oddly enough I do not crave wheat...at all! I know how it made me feel and I don't want to have to feel that way again! Let me know if you know of any good gluten free recipe sources. I am always wanting to get new meal ideas!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

(This is what happens when you let an 18 month old feed himself oatmeal. I guess it's easier to eat if you dump it out?)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Happiness

These are the reasons why I have chosen to be happy in any and all circumstances. Or...at least I am learning to be.



Because I am not always happy and content. Nope. In fact, just this morning I was having a down moment. Discontent with many things in my life. I still feel a little bit sick about some things but I am ignoring that 'feeling' and choosing to be content. I am turning my focus onto God,my hard working,good looking, amazing husband and these four beautiful,little blessings that have put in my care. Or at least (with much prayer) that is what I am trying to do. This world has a way of pulling you down....or pulling you in so to speak. It's a constant battle to resist the evil of our current world and not get discouraged over people who fail to resist it, give into it, join it and ruin their life. The selfishness I see in others (and even myself at times) is sickening to me. The philosophy of living for yourself is so bizarre! So against everything I was taught growing up. Yet this comes so naturally to so many people! And yes, I am not immune to this either. I struggle too. I get wore out with being a mom and some days just want to lock the kids in the house and run away somewhere warm and never come back! Then the Lord rebukes me and I snap out of it. My sacrifice is so worth the future of my children! Those boys depend on my being here and to be un-selfish of my time,ect. Cooking their food, washing their clothes, giving them an education,disciplining them and training them to someday be leaders of their own homes. My 'happiness' is not worth ruining my children's futures. My job is by far one of the greatest jobs a person can have. I know that is not taught anymore but I know this to be true. I even struggle with this reality. Our culture emphasizes so much on education and careers. If you do not have a college degree or career some how you are not as important. You are not contributing to society so to speak. I know this is not true but after being hammered into your head all the time (through television,ect.) it's hard not to believe it. So, yes I have my moments. My moments of wanting 'me' time. I give,give,give so I think I 'deserve' it. Of course, in true reality I do not. I do not deserve all that has been given me. God has given me more than I should be given. So whenever I start feeling down,discontent and feeling like life is unfair I just focus on the good things in my life. My cute,cozy home, my four beautiful boys, my wonderful husband, my relationship with God, two, working, paid for vehicles, a family that loves me, food on our table and so much more! Then my life doesn't seem so bad and I feel guilty for being discontent in the first place. This is how I am learning to be happy....I focus on the good and ignore the bad. This will be a continuing work in progress...that much I know.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

God's v Man's

I have quickly learned from watching television and seeing some people's comments and statuses on facebook that God's principles are definitely NOT man's principles. It honestly,truly saddens my heart that even people who claim to be Christians fall into man's way of thinking. These are things I have learned...

Man's view: Put yourself first
God's view: Put yourself last

Man's view: Base your decisions solely on how it affects you
God's view: Base your decisions based on Biblical principles and how they affect others in your life.

Man's view: Happiness is a feeling. Therefor if you feel happy than whatever you are doing is a good thing. Do whatever makes you happy. Even if it is at the expense of others happiness...or well being.
God's view: Happiness is a choice. If you 'choose' to turn all your worries,wants and desires over to the Lord and live completely and solely for Him you will be happy. You can choose to be happy with your spouse,children and current living conditions and/or situations. We should never base our decisions off of our 'feelings'. It will only lead us to a world of hurt in the long run.

Man's view: Never judge or give advice to someone that goes against what they want or how they are living. Accept them for who they are. Never dare speak a word of truth to them...it may hurt their 'feelings'. Constructive criticism is a big no-no.
God's view: Speak the truth in love. Encourage your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to make wise decisions. Decisions based on Godly principles. This is not judging. This is giving them an outside perspective and trying to save them from ruin and hurt later on.

Man's view: You are not selfish when you live your life for you and you only. You ARE selfish if you try and help someone who is making wrong choices (figure that one out).
God's view: Our main purpose here is to bring honor and glory to God. We are to base our life around what God wants and focus on the people God has placed in our lives. We should think of ourselves last. Ultimately this will lead us down a road of fulfillment and happiness.

Man's view: Surround yourself with friends that will only agree with you and accept any and every decision you make. Take advice from the ungodly.
God's view: Surround yourself with godly people who will give you godly advice even though it may go against what you want.

"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night." - Psalm 1:1

Friday, October 22, 2010

Noah IS Batman!

Noah is having a current obsession with Batman...or really thinking he IS Batman! This kid sleeps,eats and breathes Batman! He introduces himself as Batman,responds to being called Batman, dresses like Batman and somehow always manages to turn a subject on to Batman! He has a pair of Batman pajamas he wears all the time! Well, that and cowboy boots (aka Batman boots). The other day I had to wash all the dirt and grime off his Batman outfit (fighting the bad guys is dirty work!). I knew it was going to be a battle getting the Batman outfit off of my little Batman. I finally had to peel the clothes off Batman's back against his will. The meltdown that ensued was not pretty! My Batman started kicking,screaming,scratching himself and hitting himself. He was calling himself stupid and was very distraught because he really thought he couldn't be Batman without his beloved outfit! I didn't know how to respond. Do I discipline him or just hold him? I decided for the later because he wasn't doing anything to me and I could clearly see that this really upset him. (Meltdowns I have come to realize are not an act of defiance!) I held him tight (not saying a word),shushed in his ear and kept his arms held away from him so he couldn't hurt himself anymore. After about a 10 minute meltdown he finally settled down and was as calm and happy as could be. I have since washed the outfit and it is still in the dryer (it has been for 3 days now!). He hasn't mentioned the outfit yet but I am sure he will be glad to be re-united with it tonight! Yep, this is how our Noah (uhem...I mean 'Batman') rolls. He will have a major meltdown over something and then once it's through it's through. Crazy boy...

*Noah does get disciplined when he has disobeyed or is truly being defiant*

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The world needs all kinds of minds

And we were given a child with one of those unique minds. Noah was diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum last week.
(This was when he was in one of his phases. He would wear snow pants, snow boots and a tie all day...every day. Lasted about 2 months.)
If you haven't watched this movie...then I suggest you do. It's very interesting and I found myself crying off and on through out the whole thing. Noah has allot of her same responses to situations and behaviors. It really hit home for me. I have wondered for awhile (about 1 1/2 years) if there was something else going on with Noah but I wanted to wait until he was a little older to make sure it wasn't just normal 2-3 year old behavior. Once he turned four I decided it was time to get him evaluated. I knew in my gut that he would get a diagnoses of 'mild autism'. Sure enough after the doctor asked Noah several questions and also asked me an onslaught of questions, the neurologist confirmed my suspicions. Noah is on the autism spectrum. I almost had a feeling of relief. Now we can really start understanding why he responds the way he does to things. I also feel blessed that God has given me such a unique child. Yes, he takes up a good 80% of my attention (he has from day one) but I have a feeling it will all be worth it in the end. My mother has always said, "Your biggest challenges bring you your biggest rewards.". God made Noah the way he is for a very specific reason. I may not know what the reason is now but in time it will reveal itself in an amazing way! These are some of Noah's behaviors that had me wondering and started me researching autism/aspergers.
~Stuttering/his own 'accent' almost
~Meltdowns
~Obsessions
~Repetitive movements- he also can't sit still. (He moves like he has to go to the bathroom...when he doesn't.)
~Narrowed interest- for example he has been 'Batman' for 2 months now. Before that he was a cowboy for about 6-7 months straight (wore his boots to bed and everything). He almost always talks about Batman and not much of anything else.
~Poor social skills. He does not play with children. He plays off by himself.
~He takes everything you say literal. He does not understand sarcasm.
~He likes to eat the same thing every day and is a picky eater.
~He doesn't seem to understand others feelings or emotions.
~He doesn't think logically.
~He lives in a fantasy world most of the time. He really,truly believes he IS Batman! He even responds to Batman!
~Poor eye contact when talking.

~He panics if he is thrown in the air or held upside down. I mean REALLY panics!
~He also panics and freaks out when water is thrown in his face or he is splashed with water.
~He has a hard time answering questions and somehow always gets a subject back to Batman.
~His eyes tend to dart back and forth allot and he blinks his eyes constantly.
~He covers his ears and/or hides underneath furniture when there are loud noises or when he is scared.
Sometimes he just doesn't answer questions at all or just responds with "I don't know".
These were his most obvious behaviors that made me wondering.

Anyway, take a look at this. It is very interesting and I am anxious to watch more of her speeches. She is a very intriguing person!


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

As Seen in My...

...in my KITCHEN!!!! I thought I would give glimpses of my life through the rooms of my house. I think your house/home says alot about a person. It's an extension of yourself in a way. I will continue the rest of the kitchen/living room tour tomorrow. =)





(Sadly, I am a HUGE coffee snob...!)

Have you picked up on my theme?

Friday, September 10, 2010

New School Room

I decided we needed an 'official' school room this year. So, I turned our spare room into a school room. I had some friends over to help me paint the base colors (chocolate brown and surfer blue) and then I painted on all the circles (took me a few days). I love the outcome and I think all the effort was well worth it! It's great to have a place to come that puts us in school mode. =)




Thursday, August 26, 2010

This is MY Life...

There are always dirty dishes in my kitchen sink...

There are PILES of folded laundry on my couch...


There is a HUGE lego mess in the boys' room...








There are crumbs on my counter...





There is cereal on my floor...






I still have my pajamas on and it is 2:30 in the afternoon...







These boys make it all worth while though... the dirty laundry, the mess, the sinkful of dishes, the crumbs and the dirty hair. Thank you Lord, for my little mess makers...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Blessed...

To have the family I have. My sister came and stayed with me for a few days and now my most wonderful sister-in-law is staying with me for a few days. As much as I would love to blog I am way too busy partying it up with my family...my friends...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Wake Up Call

I was sleeping soundly when I was woken up by Jonathan.

Jonathan: Mom, come quick! I think there is a man in the house and he locked himself in the room with Bella (our dog...). I think he is killing her!

Yeah, its been an interesting morning...

(By the way, Bella is alive and well!)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Random Thoughts About Nothing Much

I was told I need to update my blog more often. Even if I have few words to say or just a picture to post.
~ So here it is.These are the thoughts that run through my head.all.the.time! This is the most random post ever.~
This is me. Dabble in something, find I am not perfect at it and then leave it never to turn back to it again. It's a weakness. Something I am not proud of but it's me nonetheless. I am a perfectionist by nature and I am struggling to overcome it.
I am also real. I am who I am. What you see is what you get. If I am having a bad day you'll know it. If I am hurt you'll know it. If I am happy you'll know it,ect.
I also struggle with laziness in some areas of my life. I never have a problem feeding,bathing,caring for the boys, cleaning the kitchen and paying the bills but I put off making phone calls, feeding myself,doing laundry,making real meals, deep cleaning, mowing the lawn,grocery shopping,sewing ect. I do it...but it takes me forever to get the motivation to do it. Once I start doing it though then I don't quite until it's done.
I also am struggling with finding my niche. I feel so useless. Like I need to do something to contribute financially. I just don't know what. What would work for me? What can I do while still being a full time mommy of four and teacher to the two older boys? Day care maybe? I am scared of the commitment though since I like my freedom to do whatever whenever. I am also afraid of failure. Or quitting something again.
Why do I struggle with these feelings of inadequacy? Why am I so indecisive? Why am I not completely content all the time? Do all moms struggle with this? If not, how do they overcome these feelings?
My husband is gone now 5 1/2 days of the week. He is only home 1 1/2 days. I miss him and I get lonely at times but I am also thankful for a job. Fortunately, I have been somewhat busy with friends. Friends I did not do much with just a few short months ago. I have been reconnecting with people and it has been so nice! I pray these friendships keep growing. I thank God for giving me friends when I have needed them so badly. I just hope I don't do something to ruin these new found friendships since I need adult interaction so badly. Especially since Tim is gone so much.
I need to paint the schoolroom and start doing school with the boys. I need to make a schedule too. So why haven't I done it? Oh, that's right. I like my flexibility. Stinkin' lazy nature in me.
I can't stand myself sometimes. Can't even look in the mirror some days. Feel so ugly, fat and unattractive. Why can't I view myself how my husband views me? Or how God views me- beautiful and unique. Why do I have such a low self esteem? Is it because I am selfish?
Yet there are the times when I feel I can really be something great. Something great for the Lord but what would that be? (Lord, why don't you just tell me clearly what my purpose here is?) I want to live completely in God's will but struggle knowing what that is. Am I in his will now?
There are some major decisions Tim and I want to make but don't know how or when to do it...if we even make them.
So many thoughts swirling through my head. So many times I think I am going mad.
The stress of dealing with kids alone, keeping the house up, dealing with the finances and making most of the decisions makes me almost physically ill. Most times I can handle it but it does get to be overwhelming. So overwhelming at times I feel like giving up. Throwing in the towel and saying I QUITE! But I don't. Since this is the road I have chosen and it's my life. These are my children. Tim is my husband and I am committed to them. I am in it for the long haul. As hard as it seems. All I need is encouragement and prayer. I do not need people 'preaching' at me. Until you have lived my life you just don't know.
Anyway, I have so many more things to post but life has called and I need to answer. I could go on and on so I need to quite at some time. And that time is now.
Peace out...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Following the Crowd

Getting to know YOU

The Questions:

1.If you had 5000.00 to spend on plastic surgery what would you have done?
2. Do you watch Soap operas and if so what is your favorite and why?
3. Favorite clothing brand?
4. An afternoon shopping spree at your favorite store or maid service for a year?
5. Favorite Disney Princess?
6. Last movie that made you bawl your eyes out?
7. Have you ever broken any bones and if so what?


(This just looked fun...)

1. This one is easy-peesy. (Hopefully this doesn't offend) I would throw in a couple more grand and get my sagging...well you know whats lifted... and a tummy tuck. Tummy tuck being first in order of importance. After having a baby the size of a 2-3 month old (11 1/2 pounds) and a couple ten pounders my tummy is in dire need of a face...errr...tummy lift.

2. I think the last time I watched a soap opera was in my teens. Probably while my mom was out and I snuck in some tv watching (not allowed in our home) and that was all that was on. Yes, those were my rebellious years. ::::Rolling my eyes::::

3.Charlotte Russe all the way! Their clothing is so unique, stylish and affordable! Nothing 'momish' about this store but still age appropriate.

4. MAID SERVICE FOR A YEAR!!!!!!

5. (Deleted the real number 5 question- it wasn't all that appropriate.) Definitely Cinderella hands down!

6.Probably My Sister's Keeper. Sad movie for several different reasons. Still wouldn't say I 'bawled my eyes out' though.

7. Nope. I'm just safe like that. =)

Friday, May 21, 2010

I Like Pretty Things

I put great effort into making our house a home. This week I was finally able to tackle the master bedroom. We haven't had a nice bed frame since we've been married so I was very excited to get our new bed in this week. (I love it!) In celebration of our new bed I decided to paint and hang some new pictures. I'm liking the outcome. It's very warm and inviting now and it actually feels like a master bedroom. I don't have any before pictures so the after pictures will have to suffice. I still have a few empty walls but I'm sure I'll find something for them sooner or later. The Lord has blessed us by giving us not only what we need but a few of our wants too. It's amazing how God has provided even through Tim's time of un-employment!




(By the way- Tim made the cradle, hope chest and large dresser. He's amazing...)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones." Proverbs 17:22 I love the books of Proverbs so much wisdom for our everyday life!
(And yes, this is how he always wakes up!)