Monday, December 27, 2010

The One Where I Try My New Lap Top

I find it interesting that my last post here was about setting priorities.  It’s definitely something I’ve been working on.  today, however, I’m lazy. I’m doing the post-Christmas cleaning & organizing, but I’m definitely more lazy than I have been.  I think you need a lazy day now & then.

I’m really only typing on here right now to try out my new lap top.  It has a feature where I can use Windows Live Writer to type in my blog & so I thought I’d try it out… Nothing fun & exciting…

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The One With Priorities

I haven't had much to say recently. My life has been incredibly busy between homeschooling, soccer, music lessons, job training & well... life with 5 kids.

My priorities are askew lately and I've found myself tuning the children out because of the stresses in my life. The few moments I have at home I've not wanted to deal with giving them the attention they need, rather turning to my computer or TV to 'veg out and destress'. Not surprisingly this has caused MORE stress because the children always act out more when they aren't getting the positive attention they need & deserve. I didn't even realize what I was doing until recently. It actually took the death of an old family friend to make me realize that my priorities were way off base. It's sad that it sometimes takes that to wake us up, isn't it?

So I need to re-prioritize my life and realize what is really important and what isn't worth even giving my time to.

1. God
2. Family
3. House
4. Non-family relationships
5. Job

Now... I need to stick w/ that list.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Mixed Up One

I haven't really talked about the moving in process. It went well... we had lots of help, which we were thankful for! I'm so glad to be moved in and I love my house. I especially love the way it feels when it's clean and not cluttered w/ kids toys, couch pillows on the floor and piano books strewn all over the piano & piano bench. :) I love the way it feels in the evenings w/ the warm glow of the lamp in the living room. I look forward to winter evenings curled up w/ a good book in that living room.

Upstairs needs some work.... Still lots of unpacking/sorting/cleaning/curtain making/organizing to do up there. But I'm getting the downstairs into shape nicely and loving it.

Parenting.... *sigh* It seems for the birds lately. I'm tired of making so many sacrifices for my children only to be walked on by them.

That's probably a little over dramatic. Its been a rough few days with a certain middle child whose name shall not be mentioned. Out of all my children this child can bring out the worst in me. I really don't recall my mother getting as angry as I get ever. And I only get so angry with this one child. I'm kind of feeling at a loss on how to deal with it. I think I've probably tried every parenting technique under the sun and every time I think I've found *the thing* that works, it stops working. Not fun.

Hopefully it'll all work out in the end... tho I have my doubts some days.

TOO BUSY ~ This fall we've taken on a lot... more than we've ever taken on before.
Monday is cooking class w/ Trish (only every other Monday) and soccer.
Tuesday is band for Michael & possible Rangers for all, tho I think we'll skip that this year.
Wednesday is music class for Karah and soccer
Thursday is piano lessons for all (and sometimes soccer)
Friday is either Friday School or Field trip day... or I use it to catch up on housework.
Saturday is soccer.
Sunday is church/family day (tho this is often busy w/ parties and stuff)

Plus we have daily school, chores, etc. to do. Yes... we're TOO BUSY this year. I look forward to being able to sit down & breath for a few seconds someday.... ;)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The One WIth Thoughts on Our Culture

Our culture likes to think it's better than other cultures around the world, but I have been questioning it lately.

Yes, it's amazing to live in America where you have the potential to be anything you can. This post is really not about dissing America. I love my country, am proud of the men & women in my circle of family and friends who have fought for our freedoms and put their lives on the line for this country.

But I think our country is failing our families. Families are falling apart left and right. We all live in our own houses separate from family and friends w/ little accountability if we choose to have none. We get so busy that we forget to be a family until it's too late. Everyone is trying to be the best and acheive the "American Dream" forgetting that it takes hard work to acheive it and forgetting to teach their children that.

Other cultures seem to cherish family. Even when families don't get along, there is respect for parents and they still live together, play together and learn to work things out. Our culture seems to forget that family is the root of society. We let others raise our children while we work crazy hours just to be able to make ends meet. It doesn't seem right.

I don't feel like I'm articulating my thoughts very well, tho...

Friday, August 27, 2010

The One With the Story of Our Move to VT

I was newly pregnant with KT when we first decided to look into moving back to VT. Our main reason was that we had started going to church over here on Sundays, Friday School on Fridays, Piano Lessons on Tuesdays & Matt was working here. It seemed as tho we were "living" our lives in VT and not NY.

We put our home FSBO and started looking at houses w/ our wonderful realtor, Dianne. After 5 months we pulled it off the market because I was about ready to deliver, Matt didn't want to commute through the winter and took a job in NY and it was just a daunting thought to sell.

The following May (2009), KT was 7 months old and we decided to start looking into selling again. Matt's VT job wanted him back, so he took it. We listed our home with a realtor and in doing that we discovered that we had no deeded rights to the well we had been using for 5 years. There was no way we could sell like that!! So we had to put a new well in.

14 showings and 1 crummy offer later we finally got a good offer on the house in February 2010!! We were so excited!! We moved into a rental my parents own in April and closed on the house then as well. What a relief that was!

We made 2 offers on homes here in VT in April. Both homes were very old (100+) and needed a lot of renovating, but the market is such in VT that we were sure that was our "lot". Both offers were rejected with the owners wanting exactly their asking price... or more. It was very odd to encounter that in today's market.

In May we decided to look at a house that hadn't really been of interest to us, but it was in the town we wanted to be in and was big enough for us so we grudgingly went... and fell in love. We tried to make an offer on it, but it had just gone into auction. We tried to make a pre-auction offer, but by the time Fannie Mae processed our paperwork it was too late. (It was "owned" by Fannie Mae at the time) So we ended up going to the auction on June 14th. I posted about the auction earlier, so won't bother w/ the details, but in short we won! We had 30 days to close.

July 13th rolls around and our closing is supposed to be the 14th. I get a call from our lender saying there is a problem on the seller's end w/ paperwork and we wouldn't be closing after all. In the end there were a lot of problems on the seller's end w/ paperwork:
  1. Fannie Mae's name was not on the title, therefore they could not sell the house. They had to request a quitclaim deed from Nationwide Advantage Mortgage, whose name was on the title.
  2. Fannie Mae was supposed to provide our lender with the amount that the previous owner owed on it and they couldn't seem to cough up this $.
  3. There was another problem on the title that had nothing to do w/ Fannie Mae, but a property transfer done almost 15 years ago.
  4. Fannie Mae didn't want to pay the water and electric bills that were due. It was their job and in the end they did, but they fussed about it.

All of that had to be straightened out and it took them 7 weeks to resolve. It was A LOT of hassle for our lender, our attorney and ourselves. In the end we finally closed yesterday and you could almost hear an audible sigh of relief from all present in the room. So I'm up early this morning in eager anticipation of our move today! I'm so excited and so ready to be settled at last. 2.5 years of house hunting/selling our old home/ buying a new one has finally come to an end.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The One With a Picture of "My" House

My poor lonely house is sitting there all by itself. It's so sad... it wants family in it... it wants kids running around and yummy smelling dinners cooking in the kitchen. It wants a makeover w/ fresh paint and decorations.
Or is it me that wants all those things in this house? I am getting so frustrated & anxious to get into this house. I want this journey to be over. I want to feel settled again and be able to relax here. I want my house!!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

The One With Nothing To Say

I'm grumpy lately. Therefore there has been nothing positive to say. I've been avoiding blogging because of that.

It's crazy how life can be so extremely stressful that it affects pretty much every area. From marriage to child rearing. From weight loss to health. I'm pretty much ready to jump ship and swim to the closest remote island far away from everything.

Aww... that sounds wonderful. I'll only have to listen to the lapping of the waves and smell the smells of the beach. Of course there will be a concierge there that doesn't do anything but bring me food, drinks and good books to read. A massage therapist will be there as well... again doing nothing but serving me.

Yep... ready to jump ship and go there.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Accomplished One

I feel so accomplished today. We had our first day of school today and we completed it all in good time. Like I mentioned previously, we're trying something new this year & going w/ Oak Meadow. By the time we finished the first day the kids said "It didn't even feel like school, Mom." Lots of drawing along w/ the writing and reading and math... they really enjoyed it. Nathan's science lesson was about how the earth revolves around the sun and instead of just reading it we had a ball and a lamp and did a whole blurb w/ the ball & lamp. It was fun and he really learned a lot from it. I'm still a little concerned that they won't be getting enough academics or that I won't be able to keep up w/ all 3... but I thin kit'll work out. I even have a few minutes to work with Erich who was happy to do so because he got to help me light his special candle to have on while we worked together.

On top of schooling I've done 3 loads of laundry, dishes, floors, painting w/ the kids, outside play, bills paid, budget worked out, started a grocery list & planned dinner for tonight. (Still need to make a menu for the week).

Now I brewed a pot of decaff and am sitting down to relax for a few minutes before making dinner. I do love a good accomplished day.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The One With a Summer Cold

What is up with summer colds? I think it should be impossible to get sick in the summertime. I don't remember being sick in the summer when I was a kid. Perhaps I was a few times, but not that I can recall.

We had VBS the week of July 19th and ever since then we've been fighting a cold. Usually in the winter we get something every time we go to church and/or Friday school. It drives me bonkers.

Some people have a stomach bug too... I thought perhaps Nathan had it becuase he did throw up once on Friday morning. The rest of the day he was fine, tho... eating, playing, running around. Matt tends to get really sick if he gets overtired & Nathan was overtired, so I wonder if he gets the same thing.

I'm making a big pot of chicken soup today. I put in a whole onion and a whole garlic bulb. I'm hoping it'll help.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The One With Updates

Updates, updates...

The house update:

Besides the deed problem, there was another big cafuffle issue that our lenders were freaking out about. It got resolved already, so I won't go into details. It just added to the stress for a week. Fun, stuff. No word on the deed problem yet. I'm feeling my patience waning each day. I'm so anxious (in a good way) to get into the house. I know we will get there... I just don't want to wait anymore. We start school in less than 3 weeks and I so badly want to be settled before we start!

My Health Update:

Apparently I have a Vit. D deficiency that is causing me to feel as awful as I have been. I go in to discuss it with my Dr tommorrow afternoon. Hopefully it's no biggie and I can just take a supplement. In the meantime I'm spending more time in the sunshine (Thank the Lord it's been beautiful this week!!) and started drinking milk fortified w/ Vit. D again. I don't typically drink milk as I like to save it for the children, but I decided my health is worth it.

Schooling Update:

The children are super excited to start their school this year. They are every year, but then get tired of it by the time winter hits. They have been asking to start, so I let them start their readers. If they finish their readers early we can always get more books out of the library. Michael has chosen to wait to do his reader as it's all incooperated in his schoolwork. Nathan is reading Winne The Pooh & Karah is reading Oak Meadow's Ben & Meg (which is amusing because OM wrote it and incoorperated their homeschooling schedule/style into the story. )

Personal Update:

I got my hair cut! I haven't had my hair cut in a long time. I wanted to go completely different this time and so I chopped it all off. Ok, not all, but it's chin length. It looks really good and feels good. :) I have a secret about Karah, but she so desperately wants to be the one to tell her Aunt that I can't post it here just in case her Aunt reads it. I'll post after she gets to tell her.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The One About Oak Meadow

The school year is almost upon us and for the first time since I started homeschooling I feel nervous. Why? Because I'm doing something so completely different than I have ever done before as the teacher or the student. It's as close to unschooling as I'm comfortable to go & so far from the textbooks that we've used so far. I am excited and looking forward to this, but I'm also so nervous that they won't learn as much or as well as I hope they do.

We're going to use Oak Meadow ( The idea behind their curriculum is making learning interesting to children. To focus on what they enjoy & like and be completely integrated into every part of their learning. So much different then plopping them down at the table w/ textbooks where they have to do 2-4 pages in each book. This takes learning to the next level... lots of hands on and game playing and very literature based. I orginally got it with Nathan in mind. He is going into the 3rd grade and is most definitely a hands on learner. I thought it might make it easier for us than the daily battles we dealt with while doing A Beka. Easier, more interesting & he'll learn more if he's enjoying it.

But I'm nervous... I hope it works out ok.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Another One About Anemia

I don't know if anyone remembers this post, but I thought I'd update on how I'm feeling. It's pretty much the same. Exhaustion, fatigue, off/on heart palpatations. I did a bunch of resarch in my midwifery texts & online and I'm 99.9% sure it's anemia. So I called to make an appt finally and they can't get me in until next Thursday. However, the Dr was concerned about the heart palpatations, so she is going to call if there are any cancelations.

This should be interesting... 5 kids and a 40+ min appt. *sigh* This is one of the biggest reasons I wanted to avoid going to the Dr. For one, Dr's never take me seriously. (Or so it seems). And secondly I don't know how I'm going to keep Katie occupied. She's such a busy, busy little girl. But I need to find out my numbers so we can go from there. Matt is getting concerned because of my constant fatigue. I cover it up by drinking alot of caffeine, but even that isn't helping much these days.

I'll update again after my appt. :)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The One About Being Present

Lately I've been feeling a huge pull to draw closer to the Lord. The idea of being 'in the moment' and to meditate has been popping up all over the place. It started with the neonatal resuscitation class I went to. The teacher taught us to be present because when needing to resusciate a newborn you absolutely must be present and not flipping out in your mind. I realized that this could be used in all aspects of life. Be Present.

So I wrote a note to msyelf... Be Present. Everytime I see it I'm reminded to take a deep breath, think of where I'm standing/sitting and focus on that for just a moment and it brings me to the present, not allowing my mind to be racing all over the place.

Then I picked up the controversial book, Eat Pray & Love. I realize that this isn't a Christian book at all and I realize that a lot of Christians have negative comments/thoughts about this book. I agree that there are points in this book that I cringe and feel sad that she is completely missing the point. HOWEVER, the book has taught me, once again, how important it is to be present. To still my mind and meditate on the Lord. This is SO very difficult for me... my mind is usually in about 1, 542 places at once. (Ok, maybe an exaggeration, but definitely a lot of places at once) and I have a hard time figuring out how to still my mind and meditate only on the Lord. I've found that saying a Bible verse over and over and only focusing on that has been very helpful. It stills my mind and makes me focus only on the Lord.

Then I went to church on Sunday. Pastor Roland preached about the storm on the boat. The disciples were freaking out and Jesus was asleep on a pillow. (Not literal pillow, but like a pillow) Pastor Roland pointed out that we have 2 choices when we're in a storm. Logically it makes sense to freak out and try frantically to bail yourself out of the storm. Spiritually it makes sense to go lay down on your pillow and rest knowing that it will all be ok.

Do you see where I'm going with this? All of this is weighing heavily on my mind and then all of a sudden the glitch happened w/ the house. And for some reason I find myself at peace. I find myself focusing on the present, not allowing my mind to suffocate me with fear and I find myself resting on my pillow... trusting God will see it through.

It's interesting and such a weird place for me to be in. I'm usually a "GOT TO FIX IT NOW!" person and I'm not feeling that way. I'm feeling at peace... doing what I need to do and just sitting back to see what happens.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The One With The Glitch

So a glitch has come up. I may be naive, but I have an underlying feeling that it will all work out. In the meantime this is what is going on.

Recap: We are buying the house from Fannie Mae through an auction company. We were the highest bidder in the auction & have to close by July 14th or we risk loosing our 5% that we put down. This is "earnest" money, but it's also non-refundable if we don't close by the 14th. We can ask for an extension. We did that once & it was rejected. We will need to do it again and hope that it is accepted this time.

So today the underwriters called our loan officer and said that Fannie Mae does not own the house we are buying. This makes our contract with Fannie Mae null & void as far as our financial dept can tell. Which, if that's true, we shouldn't loose our $, but it's Fannie Mae we're talking nabout. They aren't exactly notorious for being very helpful.

So our loan officer called Fannie Mae's lawyer & asked if they were aware of this. They said yes and that they had sent in a request for a "quick deed transfer". They said we should see it in 1-7 business days. Umm... excuse me? We're supposed to close in 2 days. *sigh*

SO... it looks like we will have to sign a new contract once they get the quick deed transfer. It's all so confusing & I don't even know if I understand it all. Our loan officer didn't even understand it all. She said in all the years she's been doing this (30+) that she has never ever seen a house sold by someone who didn't actually own it. GAH!

It's all just making my head spin.

But... I'm trusting that God wants us in this place adn will take care of it. Pastor's sermon yesterday was in perfect timing for this and if I had time I'd write more about it... but I need to get dinner started. :)

The One With Some Thoughts

It's interesing how just a comment from a family member, a friend or a stranger can throw you into a spin. Just a comment, hurtful, but just a comment. This happened to me recently and it's making me question my parenting, my children's influence on others, & mostly my relationship with that person.

I'm confused as to how to continue on with the friendship or if I just need to step back for a while and let the person guide where we're going.

It is interesting, tho... why do we let other people's thoughts influence us so much? Perhaps a person with more confidence would be able to over look hurtful comments.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The One About My New Home

Ok, it's not 'mine' yet, but if all goes well it will be by mid-week next week. Only 5 days!!

I'm actually really excited about this house and I feel funny telling people that. It is, after all, just a house. It is, after all, right in town (which I said I wouldn't do again) and only on .25 acre (again, which I said I wouldn't do.) However... I LOVE this home. Let me describe it to you in my thoughts...

You walk through the front door into a small mud room with a ceramic tile floor. I plan to put a bench in this mud room w/ storage under for boots, etc. Then you walk through another door and see the living room to your left, the door to the garage to your right, the dining room right in front of you and the open staircase going upstairs to your front/right (if that makes ANY sense at all. ) The living room has wood flooring and two windows in the front. I'm excited about decorating the living room, tho I need new furniture so it'll be a while before I get it to what I want exactly.

Instead of turning left into the living room you walk into the dining room and turn left. Now you can see the kitchen. It's a galley kitchen, which I've been told has it's plus and minuses. I'm looking forward to having more counter space and cupboards as well as a gas stove! I love cooking w/ gas. :)

To the left of the kitchen is a 1/4 bathroom and right across from that is the staircase leading to a full & dry basement! We plan to build a playroom down there for the children. The laundry room is down there as well. :)

So now you walk through the dining room and find the staircase and head upstairs. At the top of the stairs you turn a 180 and are in an open room. This is the office area currently. There is a countertop that they used as a desk in this room. The room is pretty bright & open because there are windows on either side. To the left of this room is the master bedroom. There are wood floors in the open room & the master bedroom. Right now the walls in the bedroom as sponge painted a dark grey blue. ICK!! There is a giant closet in this room which will start out as my scrapping/sewing area and will be changed into a master bathroom as time & $ allow.

To the right of the room at the top of the stairs is a hallway. There is a bedroom on the right down the hallway and then 2 on the left. At the end of the hallway there is a full bath. All the bedrooms and the hall have a light teal carpet which will be changed as soon as the children are old enough to not destroy it. :) The boys will be in one room and the girls in another. The fourth bedroom is undecided. I have ideas: school room/guest room or library/guest room. But to start out it will be the playroom until we build the one in the basement.

So that's my soon-to-be home.... I'll share pictures once we get in and I find my camera again :) I'm really excited about decorating and setting up this home.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The One About Churches

A friend of mine recently wrote about being free from in the four wall, brick & mortar structure. It got me thinking about the churches we've attended over the past 5 years.

I struggle with churches. I have been an active member of a church for as long as I can remember. I grew up in a very close church & I think because of that my expectations may be skewed. We have not found a close knit church like that again. My husband & I visited many churches and tried to become active, but they get so clicky and we realize we either aren't wanted there or don't belong there.

I'm thinking particularly about the last church we were members of. We joined and were excited because people seemed nice. Things went south shortly after we joined. It was like we no longer mattered... they added to their number and that was great. We didn't give a ton of money to the church, we are a one income family! There were others who joined around the same time we did who were two income families and they were definitely welcomed in with open arms much more than we were. It was hurtful. I remember being out sick for 6 weeks and never having one single call from anyone wondering where we were. We were invisible, depsite the HOURS I put in helping w/ the nursery scheduling and children's ministry. The only time anyone noticed us was when something went hay-wire with the nursery scheduling. THEN I would get a phone call.

Needless to say, it left us feeling used and not at all cared for in the way a church should care for it's members. So we left. We've been cautious about participating in anything at our "new" church. (We've been there for over a year and I still call it that.) I *just* barely volunteered to be on the nursery schedule. I help out here and there, but try not to get very involved. I don't want to be hurt again ever, so I keep my distance and try not to expect to be a part of anything that goes on there.

It's a sad realization to me that churches will never be what the church I grew up in was. People seem too self absorbed and uncaring these days. In that church people didn't even have to ask to be helped with a move or a house project. It truly was like the "New Testament" church. (It was actually called The New Testament Church. LOL! :) )

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The One Where I Talk About More House Stuff.

I feel like I'm in the last phase of "pregnancy" (i.e. house buying). Yes, I can pretty much relate everything to pregnancy, labor & birth. At the end of pregnancy you know it'll be over soon. You are miserable and anxious and excited all at the same time. You want to ready everything and try as you may, you can't wait patiently. You are too excited and a little apprehensive. That's where I am with this house buying thing. I can not wait for it to be over. I can't wait to be there & I'm so excited. But I'm also apprehensive. What if something goes wrong? What if something comes up and it's bad? What if the appraisal doesn't go through ok? What if, what if?

But my husband is, as usual, my rock. He is very encouraging that all will go well & soon we'll be in our new home. It's been a long 2.5 years of selling/searching/buying. *sigh*

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The One Where I Say 'I Love You'.

I'm on a parenting kick lately. Not sure why that is, but there are a lot of parenting thoughts mulling around in my head.

I realized this morning as I walked through the living room where Michael was laying on the couch reading "Percy Jackson" that I don't tell my kids "I love you" very often. Oh sure, the typical times... bedtime, morning, etc. But not just randomly throughout the day. So I just blurted "Hey Michael. I love you." He looked at me like I had 2 heads and then smiled and said "I love you too." My mini shadow was walking behind me and said "Luv Oooo" in her tiny little voice and it made me feel warm inside.

If it makes me feel warm inside to hear my baby and my 9 y/o say it, imagine how they must feel to hear me say it?

I've been working on using my hands only for 'love touches'. A hair tossle for the boys, a snuggle for whomever wants it, a gentle carress of the face and a light kiss on the nose for the girls. We don't come from a very touchy/feely family, but for some people their love language is touch. I figure there has to be at least one of the 5 who has that love language, so why not lavish it on them all? We have been a family who uses 'smacks' as a joke in a way. A quick "wisterpoop" to the head or a quick smack on the bum as they run through the room. But I was realizing that this wasn't really appropriate or kind to my children and they were starting to do it to each other which, of course, would turn into a war. So it needed to stop & now I do a quick hug or kiss instead.

I do truly love my kids. I think that this is the bottom line of parenting. Love. Respect. Kindness.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The One With More Thoughts On "Training"

I can't stop thinking about the verse "To train up a child..." This verse evokes a lot of frustration and anger in some of my friends because of it's very strong ties to Michael Pearl and his teachings. He wrote a book with those very words as it's title. But he isn't the one who coined the phrase. It was Solomon. In all of his wisdom. Tho one has to wonder if he truly trained his children or if the mothers and nurses of his children did. :) It's interesting that he threw that thought in there along w/ thoughts like " The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower [is] servant to the lender" or "Thorns [and] snares [are] in the way of the froward: he that doth keep his soul shall be far from them. " Those are both the verses below and above it. He just throws it in the mix w/ all these other thoughts that he is having. And it has caused a lot of stir in parenting 'gurus' and a lot of angst for us parents. We wonder "What is the best way to train up the child?" or "What IS the way he should go?" or "He's old now, why isn't he following the way I've trained him?" I grew up in a tight knit, legalistic church. I loved that church & I miss some aspects of it. But I have to say that in spite of all that the parents did to train up their children in that church, many, many of the children are not even following the Lord anymore. Some are complete agnostics, some are atheists, some just don't care and some claim to be Christian, but live a lifestyle that begs to differ. (Tho I am in no position to judge. I'm merely making an observation)

So that brings the question... what is the best way to "train up" our children? I have seen punitive measure work wonderfuly for some children. I've also seen them fail miserably for some children. I have seen permissive parenting work well for some children and fail miserably for others. I have not yet had the pleasure of seeing some raise their children in a Grace Based Discipline manner from birth to adulthood, but my guess is that for some children it would be wonderful and others maybe not.

What are children to us anyway? I was talking w/ someone the other day and mentioned that "they aren't *my* possessions." And they aren't. They aren't *mine* at all. They are each individuals. They each have their own thoughts, feelings, desires, likes, dislikes, etc. God placed within each of them these things. Isn't it best to train them in how to make those thoughts, etc. pleasing to the Lord? Isn't it best to train them in the proper way to use their likes for the Lord?

What, exactly, does 'train' mean? According to the dictionary it means "
to give the discipline and instruction, drill, practice, etc., designed to impart proficiency or efficiency. " So what, exactly, does 'discipline' mean? "To disciple. To teach" And every good teacher knows that the best way to get kids to learn is to make it fun. To make it interesting. To make them want to know the information and apply it. And especially, to model it for them.

So training up a child in the way he should go really makes you have to delve into each of the children you have been entrusted to raise. Makes you have to know that child, to train that child and teach him/her what s/he should know for life skills. And intertwined with all of that training we teach faith, love & hope in the Lord.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it" (Prov. 22:6). This verse is not a promise about faith. It is not speaking of training a child to follow Christ or promising that if you do, the grown child will continue to follow Him. Sorry. The proverb is about raising a child to know who he is and to guide him in becoming ever more himself. In the way he should go. Not in the way you would like him to go in order to validate you as a mother and a woman. It speaks of teaching a child to live from his heart, attuned to it, awake to it, aware of it, and when that child is grown he will continue to life a life from the heart. It is about seeing who a person really is and calling him out to be that person.

This quote is from the book "Captivating" by John & Stasi Eldrige. I must have read it three times in awe. I had never ever thought of this verse in that light before. I've always thought of it in that we should raise our children in faith and they won't depart from that faith. But this explanation makes so much sense! And I think it does speak a little of faith. Our hearts and souls were created to worship the Lord. If we teach our children to follow their hearts, be attuned to their hearts and awake to their hearts desires they will automatically be drawn to the Lord. What an interesting thought on parenting.

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Venty One About House Buying

Why does house buying have to be stressful? The lenders know what need to be done. The sellers (especially in our case as the seller is Fannie Mae) knows what need to be done. We are on top of every piece of paperwork they need from us. So why does it seem like there is always something that is stressful?

Right now we need an appraisal. In order to get one we need the electric/water on. In order to get that they need to dewinterize. Matt could dewinterize, but he's not allowed to. I think what I hate the most is being at the 'mercy' of everyone else. Do they not realize there is a time crunch? We've told them, our lender has told them... THEY (the sellers) are the ones who created the time crunch by saying '30 days til closing'. So... why don't people just do what they need to do when they need to do it?

Vent Over. :P

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The One Where I Don't Feel Well

I haven't been feeling well for quite a while. I'm exhausted all. the. time. I was talking w/ Rachael the other day and she asked why I'm so tired all the time. I started thinking about it and realized that I'm constantly tired. I have different levels of exhaustion, but I'm always tired. I have headaches almost daily that get progressively worse as the day goes on. I have heart palpatations and can't even go up the stairs w/out getting winded. I am starting to think it's more than just 'mommy' tiredness. My guess is anemia (I've always been borderline anemic and am wondering if it's gotten worse w/ age or the number of cihldren I have or something...)

So I'm trying to decide if I should go in and get checked out or just wait and see if I can improve it by getting more iron into me...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The One With The Auction

Wow! That was interesting. I've never been to an auction before... and certainly not one in which I was willing to bid up to $135,000 on something! To say I was nervous would be an understandment. I was literaly shaking in my boots (er. um. sneakers, actually). I was more nervous than I was at my wedding.

It was an actual auction, with the auctioneer talking fast and people raising their cards or nodding their heads to up their price. There were only a few other bidders. We ALMOST got it for $90,000, but then the man next to us decided to keep going up... finally we bid $120,000 and no one else bid. It was a bit surreal when he said "Sold! To the man in the red shirt!" Woohoo!!

So we were the highest bidders at $120,000 for a 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom home in the town we REALLY wanted to be in. In a house that was built in the late 90's! in VERMONT! That's amazing for this area of VT, so we're pretty excited!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The One About An Auction

Gah! They said we were too late to get our pre-auction bid in. Gah! You told us 72 business hours, people!! It's not our fault if you didn't bother opening it until today when you received it yesterday! ARGH!

So I guess we're going to an auction on Monday. *gulp* I've never been to one... I don't know what to expect. It should be interesting... and a learning experience. :) Suppose I should bring all the children with me? ;)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The One About the House & Isolation

So we placed our pre-auction offer on the house we really want. IF this works out it will be such an answer to prayer in so many ways. There are hoops to jump through.. there's a ton of paperwork that we need to work on... but we're taking it one step at a time.

Competely different topic here:

Why is that we stay at home Moms easily isolate ourselves from the world around us? I do this all the time. If I wasn't forced out of the house for children's activities the world would only see me emerge for church & grocery shopping and then I'd hide back in my little bubble. But I've come to realize over the years that the more I do that the more depressed I become and it creates a big awful cycle that I cannot pull myself out of easily.

So to avoid that happening this Summer (now that children's activities are done for the school year), I am having coffee w/ a friend one morning per week. It's not much, but it's a start. I'm also thinking of starting a "Girl's Game Night" once/month or if we all can, once every other week. It'll be good for me... Just a week ago I could feel myself spiraling downward into that negative trend. It has to be stopped.... I cannot let myself go there again. :)

Monday, June 7, 2010

The One With the Long Night

Last night was one of those nights when you get up in the morning and wonder why you even bothered going to bed. First there was the dog... scratching, licking, eating... whatever she was doing it was making noise & annoying me. Then, right at midnight, the girl's alarm clock went off, waking up Katie. It was LOUD. And Karah didn't bother to get up to fix it, instead she buried her head under the pillow... Then Katie was up and didn't want to go back to sleep. She cried for Matt when I was rocking her, so he took her and then she cried for me, so I took her back. Of course then she cried for Matt again... crazy girl. Then there was the dog again...

So this morning I'm a bit tired. I'm already ready for a nap and it's only 1/4 to 8. Thankfully we don't have big plans this morning. Just the library & regular housework.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The One on Failing

Failing. I've been thinking about this a lot late. I fail daily in my walk as a mother by not giving my children 100%. I fail daily in my walk as a wife by not giving my husband all that he needs from me. I failed as a college student. Not failing as in poor academics, but by not finishing my degree I failed by default. I fail as a child of God daily. I know you cannot truly fail God unless you renounce Him, but I definitely fail daily at giving Him my all. I fail daily at my diet. I fail daily at my exercise. I fail daily at using my time wisely... I fail.

This isn't a depressed post, I promise. Just an observation.

I fail. But I find that through failure comes growth. If I never failed I'd never strive to do better. If I never failed, I'd never be truly grateful for the times I do not fail.

How many times did Einstein fail before becoming one of the most famous inventors of all time? How many times did the Apostle Paul mention he felt like a failure? Only a few, but if he wrote about it I'm sure he felt that way more than those few times. The Psalms are riddled with feelings of failure.

Failure isn't failing... I think it's how we handle our failures that show who we truly are.

Friday, June 4, 2010

The One With a Clean House & Auction News.

I'm finding that the messier my house is, the more stressed and anxious I feel. Last night Matt did the dishes while the kids & I put away the 7 loads of laundry I had done earlier in the day. While putting away his laundry, Nathan looked around his bedroom and decided it's much nicer to wake up with a clean bedroom, so he cleaned it. After I put away the laundry I started picking up the living room and again, Nathan was there helping me out. (This is the boy who FIGHTS about chores almost daily. I guess when it's not a "chore" he doesn't mind helping out. hmmm...)

All of that to say that I woke up to a clean house this morning and it completely made my day. It was so nice to know that I didn't need to do dishes right away... they were done! I didn't need to do or put away laundry right away... it was done! We vacuumed, swept, mopped yesterday so I didn't even need to do that. Today has been a low stress/low anxiety day for me and I haven't had one of those in a long time. The children are still children, the house is still getting messy from time to time... but not in the overwhelming way. What a blessing.

In Other News:
We are putting an offer on the house up for auction. We found out we can do a pre-auction bid so we are pursuing that right now. I am really hoping & praying this will work out. It would be such a huge blessing to us!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The One About Running Away

Some days I want to run away. I told Matt this recently and I think I freaked him out a bit. If I could I'd take him with me... but one of us needs to be the responsible one and stay put.

I often feel like life is overwhelming lately. I'm not quite sure why. It's no more stressful than last year. In fact, maybe it's a little less stressful than last year. I'm not sure... But I'm overwhelmed, tired and often thinking of what I *could* be doing if I was committed to raising my 5 children. It's obviously not that I don't love my children. It's not that I want to get away from them per say. I just want to escape the stress... I wish I could go back to 'real' school. I wish that I could study midwifery and not have a gazzillion and one things interrupting my studies. I wish I could decide I want to go out for coffee and just go. I wish I could decide I want to pick up a project & just do it w/out it getting interrupted.

I guess that's just how life is right now... and the time with the children is really short (so people tell me) & I'll have time for myself later.... but in the meantime I hope I keep my sanity in tact and don't loose myself in the midst of Lego Wars & Ponies.

The One About Uncle Bob

Uncle Bob & Aunt Cathy are leaving today. They live in WA and I haven't seen Uncle Bob in 12 years. 12 years too many. He has always been my favorite uncle. When I was a child he would come out to visit every year and he was a lot of fun. When I was a teenager he was wonderful to talk with and never seemed to judge me. This was the first time I've seen him since I became an adult. I have gotten married & had 5 children since last time I saw him. We didn't get a chance to talk like we used to... but we had a good time hanging out with family. I hope there aren't so many years between visits next time.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The One With Housing & Parenting Thoughts

On Parenting:

Lately parenting has not been a walk in the park. Lately there has been a lot of strife in our home between all of the children. Even 18 month old Katie gets in on the action by pestering 3 year old Erich. How does she do this? By getting in his face, trying to kiss him while he's screaming "NOOOOO" or laying her head on him or taking his favorite stuffed animal and then running when he comes close. Yah... even SHE can cause troubles.

So I've been frustrated, to say the least. All the bickering, snotty talk, even hitting (which is very unlike my children) has broken the straw on the camel's back and I struggle with why. I decided that I could revert to punitive parenting and see if that would just stop the actions, but then realized what does that teach them? Obviously whatever is bothering my children is a heart issue. I cannot change their hearts by spanking them. I cannot change their hearts by taking away video games and sending them to their rooms. It boils down to the fact that nothing that *I* do CAN change their hearts. They have to choose to change their hearts. Sure, a spanking would get them to control themselves (when they around me anyway), but it really doesn't teach them anything other than how to be more sneaky about being naughty.... or like my brother likes to say "how not to get caught."

Parenting needs to work from the inside out... we must work on their hearts and then it will show on the outside. So I need to work on their insides. I need to listen when they need to talk. I need to help them to hear themselves when they start talking in a mean way so that they can recognize it and stop it in it's tracks. I need to keep talking to them about being pleasing to the Lord and most of all show them in my actions what that means. Life has been stressful in the past year and lately it has come out in my wanting to be by myself a lot and not interacting with the children as much as I should ... and certainly not all in a positive way. So I guess what it boils down to is me changing my insides in order to help them change their insides....

Ok... a not so deep subject!!

We placed an offer on an awesome house. It was rejected even tho it was only $5000 less than the asking price.

The day after we placed an offer on that house another house came on the market in the town I really wanted to be in. I was a little disappointed, but figured that wherever the Lord wants us is where we'll be. Anyway... we decided to look at it after the other offer was rejected. It needs remodeling for sure, but the structure is good & it is liveable the way it is. :) It has 1.5 acres w/ a big pond that has wildlife in it (an otter was swimming when we got there there... there were also ducks & of course, frogs) The house has 4 bedrooms, an art room, a laundry room, a family room, a living room, a kitchen, & a dining room. It's a late 1800's home.

Now we wait... and see. I hope they accept our offer and all this goes through... but I guess I should just keep praying that God's will be done.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The One With Parenting Thoughts

More parenting thoughts...

I've read a lot of parenting books in my time. I'm always looking and searching for new ideas, new thoughts, new ways of dealing with the day to day things we encounter. And it seems that as soon as I figure out how to deal with "x", they start doing "y" and I have to start all over again.

This move has thrown us all over the edge. We are currently staying in a rental that belongs to my parents. I'm constantly on edge because I'm afraid the children will mark up walls or floors or damage something in some way. That's the biggest reason I dislike renting! I also feel so in limbo and unsettled because I know we're not staying here and I don't know where we're going to end up. So I'm on edge and I admit, a wee bit grumpy and overwhelmed. The children are feeding off of that and we're having to deal with things I've never really had to deal with before. There is a lot of fighting, more disrespect, many meltdowns, crying, fussing, arguing w/ me... and the list could go on. To be honest I'd love to just spank it all out of them... make them behave by making them fearful. It sounds easier in so many ways than trying to deal with the inner heart and emotions of each individual child and myself. But I won't do that because I know that in the long run that only teaches them to stifle their feelings and not learn to deal with them in the right way.

There needs to be a book written "How to Parent Your Children Through a Move and Limbo Stage and Stay Sane"

Monday, April 19, 2010

The One With Open & Closed Doors.

I don't know if God literally opens and closes doors... but yesterday it sure seemed that way to us.

We planned to go to 3 houses yesterday and were praying that we would get a clear answer on whether we should make an offer on one. The first house we visited we didn't think we'd like, but decided to weigh all our options. We loved it... When we arrived the couple who owns it was just leaving. They were an older couple who have lived there for about 40+/- years and raised their family there. The husband is on oxygen and she had to help him into the truck, so it doesn't look like he's well. They were both friendly & got big smiles on their faces when they saw all the kids. The wife said "I lit a nice fire for you in kitchen" and she had. It was so cozy in there. They obviously took great care of the house, but it is too much house for them now, so they are selling it. The house needs some updating, but it is so nice! It has so much character & definitely fits us. But we had been to the second house before and knew that we loved the land. We planned to go inside, check out the house & make a decision (we nixed the third house after we saw exactly where it was located)

We arrived at the second house and were in awe, as usual, of the land. Tho we both noticed that we hated the drive & wondered how it would be in the winter or late at night. We arrived in the pouring cold rain. Our realtor had just updated her keys (they are computerized these days. lol) And no matter what she did the door wouldn't open. So we all left w/ the plan to come back after she figured it out. We came back to the house & the key STILL wouldn't work. We have been in the house before. It's a doublewide on a full foundation. We just thought that getting back inside would give us a good feel of whether it fit us or not.

So we left and decided to drive by the first house one more time. As we were 1/2 way between the houses Matt and I looked at each other and said "Do you think God would literally close a door?" at the same time! LOL! We hadn't even been talking about that...

We came home discussed it all out and decided to place an offer on the first house. We'll see how it goes from here... but the offer will be made tonight and then it's a waiting game. If it doesn't work out we'll just keep looking :)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The One With the Move

Well, the end of our home selling saga comes to an end as of tomorrow at 4:30 pm (probably a wee bit later than 4:30... but that's when the end begins. ;) ) Our closing has finally arrive and I'm thrilled!!

We moved into my parents home a few weekends ago. The rental isn't quite done yet... just a few things left to do before we get the OK to actually move in. However, all of my stuff is there (or in storage). I've already unpacked the kitchen and have gotten most of the boxes put into the right rooms. I unpacked a bit in the living room and clothes. We're so close to being moved in. I can't wait! Every day that I've been over here at the house I've gone for a traips in the woods w/ the children. We've found all kinds of fun nature things, heard lots of different birds & found lots of deer markings. The kids are really enjoying this and so am I. I am so glad we chose to move back here.

No news on the home buying front. Frankly, I don't even want to THINK about moving again anytime soon. It was a huge ordeal... We have two homes that we are interested in, but we're not pushing anything right now. I'm too tired to care at the moment.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I haven't actually gotten excited about this move yet. I've been more overwhelmed w/ it all. Who knew that packing w/ 5 little ones wouldn't be a walk in the park? LOL!! I have had half filled boxes knocked over, glasses broken, fully packed/waiting for tape boxes unpacked by a certain 1 y/o, toys unpacked and played with. Not to mention that as I'm packing the laundry is piling up. It's almost as bad as shoveling in a snow storm. LOL!

But I'm pretty excited that we're actually finally moving. Still no actually closing date. They are saying "end of the month/beginning of next" still. I hate not knowing. *sigh*

We're doing whatever we can to put an offer on a place in VT. It has 10 acres of woods... and the house is a little bigger than our current home. The house isn't actually ideal, but we love the land. So we'll see what happens with that.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Overwhelmed One

I'm overwhelmed. Very overwhelmed. I can't stop thinking about the appraisal and whether the house passed. I can't stop thinking about how much the electrical issues will cost us (have to get the box replaced by a licensed electrician) Can't stop thinking about how expensive houses in VT are. Can't stop wondering if we'll ever find the right place for us. Can't stop feeling jealous and frustrated by families who make more $ and can afford more, but complain about having no money when we have no debt yet still cannot afford a house in VT that isn't either a prefab or really old one needing lots of work. Can't stop feeling stressed. I'd really like to hide out for the next 6 weeks and let DH do it all. I can't even start packing yet because I realtor said to wait til she said so... and I don't even know where to start w/ the packing. I don't want to think about dealing w/ the actual move... yet I want to be moved asap.



Thursday, March 4, 2010

The One With An Offer

There's been so much happening lately that I've been super busy.

We received and accepted an offer on our home on Feb 20th. We had our inspection on Feb 28th & will have the appraisal done tomorrow, March 5th. If all goes well, we should be closing in April.

We've also found a home that we like in VT. We're praying/thinking about it. We have an appt on Friday w/ a loan specialist to get pre-approved and if we can do it, I think we'll make an offer. *gulp* I'm so nervous & excited.

I have a list that I'm keeping of all the "coincidences" of recent happenings. I will share them when I have time. For now I need to get up w/ the kiddos and start cleaning!! The last cleaning before the final cleaning! WOOHOO!!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The One About Selling

So we have a contract on our home! Someone came and saw it on Friday, made an offer, we accepted & signed the contract earlier this evening. I'm spinning... wow.

Now we need to pass the inspection & appraisal. *gulp*

I'm having such mixed emotions over this. I'm actually surprised at how I feel. I'm looking fw to being in VT. Closer to family, friends, church & Friday School. More schooling opportunities for the children as well. I'm looking fw to all of that... but at the same time I'm feeling a bit of sadness over leaving this place.

I'm not sure exactly why. I can say that the person I was when I moved into this house has changed drastically. My parenting, my ideals, my goals, my day to day living habits... everything has changed. It's amazing to me to think about. 3 of my babies learned to walk in this house. I lost 2 babies in this house. Matt & I have grown closer together in this house.

It's just a house & I can bring all those memories with me, but there is just a hint of sadness at the reality of leaving.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The One With An Experiment

Can anyone tell what our project this week is?

Michael got this book for Christmas, so we decided to try a project from it for this weeks science experiment.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The One About Breaking the Will.

Last night we were at Rangers & I was chatting with some other Moms in the church library. We were talking about letting babies cry it out. I admitted to having done that with Michael and Nathan. Later I was thinking about why I allowed it to happen, tho my Mommy heart was being torn apart by it. It all boils down to my old thinking process of having to "break the will" of the child. My views of children use to be so different than they are now. I used to view them as ignorant little people who were always in the wrong and the adult always in the right. I used to think they all had an evil will and needed it to be broken in order for them to become good human beings.

Then Nathan turned 3. And my attempts at breaking his will were turning him into a monster. He was angry and violent. It was so difficult for me as I thought I was the worst parent ever and would end up with a juvenile delinquent... the only 3 y/o to end up in jail. (Ok, not that bad... I'm being over dramatic now. lol )

I needed a new way of thinking and a paradigm shift started in my mind. I began to research everything I could about how the Lord disciplines us... I started looking at my own life and the lives of others close to me. I started searching the Bible & various parenting books, looking for answers. And what I found was completely different than what I went into parenting thinking was right.

Here's what it boils down to (in my mind right now)... the Lord gave my children (and each of us, really) a will. He gave it to us because He has a plan to use it someday. We can choose the break that will in our children and force them to become someone the Lord did not choose for them to be. (or force them to really struggle with finding who the Lord wants them to be) Or we can choose to redirect the will, teach them to handle it and provide them with opportunities to learn to use it in a positive way. It's like what the Lord does with us... he doesn't stand over us FORCING us down a certain path. He gives us the tools we need & the choices in front of us. We can either use His tools and choose the right path or we can ignore His tools and choose the wrong path. No matter which path we choose there will be consequences. Positive, uplifting consequences on the right path and negative consequences on the wrong path... but no matter what, the Lord doesn't stand over us breaking our will and taking the choices away from us. He wants us to trust Him, following the path He has chosen. If we don't He allows us to live with the consequences, forgives us and often opens opportunities to get back on the right path.

So my parenting views have changed over the past 5 years & it's been a work in progress. I'm still second guessing myself often and wondering how they will end up as teenagers and adults. We're only 4 years from Michael turning into a teenager and it's a bit scary when I think about it. However, I have changed my views with much prayer and Bible study.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The One With a Haircut

Karah has been asking me to cut her hair for quite some time now. I've always felt a bit reluctant & have done nothing more than trim it now & then. Today we were looking at my friend's pictures on facebook. She has a daughter Karah's age & just took her in to get her haircut. Karah said she reallllllyyyyyy wanted me to do it, so I decided to finally do it. I don't have before pictures (tho you can scroll down to other posts and see her w/ long hair). But here's how it turned out... I even did side swept bangs for her, which she also really wanted. :)

The others also wanted their pictures taken... well, at least Katie & Erich did. The boys, not so much... but I had to include them anyway. :)

Monday, February 1, 2010

The One With The Girls Dressing Up...

The Girls played dress up together for the first time yesterday. Katie was so proud to be in that little purple dress. She didn't want to take it off. LOL! As you can see, she's really into her doll lately too. How did she get so old?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The One With More on Parenting

Some of you are going to think, "There she goes on a tangent again..." and you are right. LOL!

I'm reading Scream Free Parenting right now. I was a little hesitant to read this book as I don't really have a problem with yelling. Yes, I do raise my voice once in a while but it's not even on a weekly basis. However, this book goes beyond actually yelling to learning to control ourselves and not project our feelings onto our children. Finding out why we react the way we do and how to use self control and react in a different way.

On page 69 he starts talking about letting go of the final results. This is huge for me. I'm constantly thinking "if I do X will they turn out like Y". He says that if you want your children to become self directed adults you have to face the truth that you cannot do it for them. He uses the example of faith. The goal for many of us Christian parents is to raise children to love and honor God. The author writes, "I assert this is actually not their most important goal. Again and again I tell them that launching their children into a self directed adulthood is far more important." I was a little taken aback at this until I read this sentence a little further down, " He cannot authentically choose to follow God if he cannot choose, on his own, to follow God. Such a faith would be a borrowed faith at best, one that is still seeking to appease or please others..... If you want to make sure your child follows God, then you need to let go of your need to make sure your child follows God. You need to create a space for your child to develop a relationship with God on his own terms." He goes on to say that it doesn't mean you do nothing... you actively create faith discussions and introduce him to the faith tradition that's led you thus far... and most importantly live in a way that reflects your faith.

This really hit me. As a parent who believe in this Lord, one of my main goals is to bring my children up in that way. I'm always worried that someday they may turn away from the Lord and live a life not pleasing to Him. But like this author said, I need to let go of that. And create a safe environment in which the Lord is first and foremost w/out beating them over the heads with it. It makes sense...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The One With Continued Observations

After I posted yesterday Erich started having a headache & a sore throat. He may have had a low grade fever, but as fevers aren't high on my list to check /cure I didn't take his temp. I gave him a few extra doses of the elderberry syrup and popped in a movie to ensure that he rested. He did. He slept for hours in the late morning and then again in the late afternoon. He woke up fine, ate a great dinner and then proceeded to stay up til 9. LOL! He slept fine all night and is bouncing around like nothing ever happened today.

Katie STILL has a runny nose. She slept all night last night tho! Yay!

The boys are still coughing and sniffling. No signs of anything else yet.

Matt reported a sniffle.... and I have a slight sore throat. Due to the elderberry syrup being almost gone I'm saving it for the children and I'm just taking extra doses of Vit. C and echinacea. Plus tea... I love tea, so ginger tea and chamomile tea are high on my list to drink today.

In other news: I filed my taxes last night. I somehow messed up both of the girl's s.s. numbers. I have no idea how that was possible when I had the cards RIGHT in front of me and I thought I'd double checked it. DOH!! So needless to say the Federal government rejected it. I corrected it and e-filed again. Hoping it goes through this time. I love e-filing! Imagine how long it would have taken to come back and then be corrected & sent back through the mail?! This took less than 12 hrs! It looks like we're getting back enough to pay off all our debt except our house! Praise the Lord!! This has been a goal for us: to be debt free (except our home) at 30. It looks like it'll happen!! woohooo!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The One With Observations on Illness

Here's the rundown of this week... I find this interesting, so I'm posting it.

Friday ~ Exposed to a child I thought may be sick.
Saturday morning ~ Gave Karah & Erich 1 tspn each of elderberry syrup. Gave Michael & Nathan 2 tspn of elderberry syrup each. (This is what is recommended on the bottle for their ages) Gave Katie nothing. Matt & I each took 2 tspns as well.
Sunday morning ~ Repeat of the day before.
Monday morning ~ Repeat of Saturday.
Monday later morning ~ Katie has a low grade fever and over-all fussiness.
Monday afternoon ~ Karah now has a low grade fever and tiredness.
(I left the fevers alone. No tylenol)
Monday evening ~ Katie now has a very stuffy nose accompanied by the fever. Karah still have a fever. Karah threw up (tho I think this was related to falling asleep and then being awakened fast) She ate/drank fine.
Monday Night ~ Katie up A LOT. Fever ranged from 99.7-101.7 Karah slept all night. Erich woke up with a high fever and fever nightmares. I gave tylenol to Katie as she seemed to be in pain, but none to the others.
Throughout Monday I gave Karah doses of 1 tspn elderberry 3 times. I gave katie 1/2 doses twice, but she wouldn't take it more. I gave the boys regular doses twice.
Tuesday morning ~ Karah woke up feeling better. Still tired, but no fever and barely any runny nose. Erich woke up fine. Katie woke up exhausted and with a majorly runny nose and runny eyes. Boys woke up coughing a bit.
Tuesday ~ No fevers in anyone. Continued elderberry dosage twice/day for all kiddos.
Tuesday night ~ No fevers in anyway, everyone went to bed fine. Katie still has lots of congestion in her nose, but it's clear and coming out. She woke up twice.
Wednesday morning ~ Boys coughing/sneezing a bit. Karah & Erich 100% fine. Katie still has a bit of a runny nose, but it's much better than previous day.

So far Matt & I have nothing more than a little extra mucous in the nose.

The reason I find all this interesting is because the children who have the highest dosage of elderberry never got the fever and exhaustion... just a bit of a runny nose. The children with the medium amount of elderberry ended up w/ fevers, but got over it quickly. The child who wasn't taking the elderberry until she got sick and then only took a little bit of it has stayed sick the longest.

Perhaps the elderberry works? FWIW ~ I say elderberry, but it's a syrup that is made of elderberry, echinacea & propolus. The adult one has Vit. C in it as well. (The boys have been getting 1/2 doses of the adult one since yesterday as I was almost out of the kids one and wanted to make sure Katie & Erich got that one)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The One With a TV Day

After making it through most of the cold/flu season with no sickness, we were hit. Yesterday Karah & Katie had fevers and Erich woke up in the middle of the night with one. I'm a firm believer in medicating for pain, but not for fevers unless they get too high. I learned quite a few years ago that fevers aren't bad... they are the body's way of fighting off viruses & that we can actually prolong illnesses by stifling the fevers. So I just monitored them and let the fevers run their courses. None of them have a fever this morning, they all ate breakfast & look like they are on the mend. I started giving them elderberry/echinacea/propilus syrup on Friday when they were exposed to the illness & I think it's helping the coldish thing to not last too long. Tho it's hard to know for sure... maybe it's just a short one anyway.

So today is "TV/Game" day... lots of resting, lots of drinking & on the menu? Chicken soup with loads of garlic and onions. I'm thinking about looking for a spicy chicken soup.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The One With Decisions

"Should we stay or should we go now?" You know that annoying commercial w/ the lady sniffling/sneezing & the song "Should I stay or should I go now?" is running in the background? Anyway... that song is playing around in my head today.

We are feeling sooo directionless (is that even a word?!) There are definitely more pros to moving to VT than to staying in NY. The pros to staying in NY are 99% monetary, but when you look at the amount of gas we're spending because we live in NY and our lives are in VT we realized we could be spending at least $160 less each month on gas just by moving to VT. So last night, as we drove that long drive home at 9 pm, we hashed it out. We listed the pros of staying here, the pros of going, the cons of each... and still didn't come up w/ a concrete decision. It's so hard to know: do we continue to pursue selling? Do we renew our contract w/ our realtor at the end of next month? Do we give up the idea, build on an addition and stay put?

I keep praying for a sheepskin... an obvious sign of what to do!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The One With Knitting

One of my Christmas presents this year was knitting needles. I had requested them & my Mom gave them to me. :) Since then these are some of the items I've knitted. In addition to these I've knitted another scarf (pink to match the hat in progress that is pictured below) & another green washcloth. The orange & blue scarves were knitted for my older boys. :) I'm having fun with it. :)


Thursday, January 14, 2010

The One With The Kid's Camera

The children got a Vtech Kid's Camera for Christmas this year. They've been having a blast w/ it!! Here are some pictures from my budding photographers...

A child's view of Grandpa... Erich keeps pointing it the wrong direction...
A beautiful picture of Katie... Love that smile!
I don't even remember them taking this picture of me! LOL!
My handsome hubby. <3

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The One With The Workouts

I bought myself a Christmas present.. Wii Fit Plus. I've been using it often... I love the updates from the original Wii Fit.

Today I tallied up my hours & calories burned for January so far. 987 calories in 3.4 hrs. That's pretty good for me... the professed exercise avoider. I've been starting out each exercise w/ a 20 minute run which burns app. 130 or so calories. Then I change up the last 15-20 mins of working out. Sometimes I do yoga, sometimes boxing, sometimes strength training... and sometimes I mix in the games that are so fun to play like the obstacle course or snowball fight. :)

According to the Wii Fit scale I'm down 4 lbs since when I started on Jan 1st. "Only" 20 more to go... I'm sure that a lot of my weight loss was Holiday gain. I'm where I was about 2 mos ago... before the Holiday season. :P

Monday, January 4, 2010

The One With New Year's Resolutions

New Year's Resolutions. I don't like to make them because I don't enjoy failing. However, last year I made a 'resolution' to read 40 books in 52 weeks and I made it! Woohoo!! I was going to go for 52 this year, but think I'll just up it by 5. So 45 books in 52 weeks this year. I have a few other goals too: loosing weight, family fun activities, more outdoor time once the good weather hits. And I'd love to have a garden this year. We'll see what happens...