Sunday, May 30, 2010

Calling All Home Schoolers!

It is getting close, really close, to "that time". The time that this Mama needs to figure out what to do about school. (excuse me for one second while I have a panic attack about the fact that my "babies" are getting so grown up............ okay, panic attack over!)

I am completely torn up about their educations. I am like a yo-yo that just goes back and forth, back and forth. Home school, public school, home school, public school..... The cycle of craziness in my mind never seems to end. I have even been staying up at night unable to sleep because I can't squash the argument going on in my mind!! My wonderful husband is no help...he just says that he sees pros and cons of both, and for me to pray and he will support whatever decision I make, as he is sure it will be the right one for our family. Gee, Honey, thanks!!! :)

I thought I had it figured out. With husband being laid off so much this past year, I decided public school was the way to go. I have the children both signed up for preschool starting this fall so I could work. I have even already started looking for part time jobs that I could do during the time they are away.

Then the doubts creep in....I start to think that I should home school. I can actually picture my computer room with desks/table, shelves, and even with a wall painted with that chalkboard paint!! I find myself reading about different ciriculums. I am torn.  All I truly want is the very best for my children.  I love the idea of spending so much time with them and helping to monitor what they are and aren't exposed to, and I think that if I were good at their schooling, it would just be another bond that holds us that much closer.  But what if I am terrible?  Will they hate me?  Will they not be able to get into college?  When I first started thinking of all the ways I could potentially mess my child up for life while I was pregnant (and please tell me I am not the only one who has those doubts....) schooling was not a concern.

I know that there are a lot of mommies out there in blog land that are homeschooling right now. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE advice!! I have some questions that I will post here in case anyone feels like answering. And if there are any super brave souls open to potentially a GAZILLION more me at so I can thoroughly be a pain! :)

Biggest questions/concerns:
  • Are there books to teach you to teach?  Reading and Math scare me to death!!
  • I don't have a college degree....should I truly think that I can educate them?
  • Does home schooling affect the ability to get into college?
  • Are there "lesson plans" for you to follow?  How much time do you spend preparing?  
  • How many hours a day do you do school?  Or how does that work?
Okay, I think that's it for now!  :)  Thanks in advance for anyone who feels like offering some advice or answer any of my questions!


Friday, May 28, 2010

Another "opportunity" to have faith

It's not a secret that things have been tough around here. Hubby got laid off in January, and had been laid off up until May 4th. He worked 4 days, and was laid off again. Off work for two more weeks, started a job he actually really enjoyed (for the first time in a couple years) on Monday, May 24 and just now is getting laid off again. We were told going in that this job would be for 3 or 4 weeks, then he would "sit" for 3 or 4 weeks while the walls of the building were put up and the foundation finished, and then he'd be called back to work for another 5 or 6 months. Well, the company misjudged the work schedule when they called the Union for workers. And instead of sitting like they were told, all the guys are being laid off. So it's back to the bottom of the list at the Union again.

I know God has a plan. I know He is in control. I also know that He has been faithful this entire time. But yet I am still finding it difficult to not let that bit of panic, fear, and doubt creep in. It doesn't help that I am standing alone in my faith in God right now. Husband is at the lowest point I've ever seen in his walk with the Lord. He is really wrestling with Him. Every obstacle that pops up in my husbands mind is God showing us He doesn't care, isn't as "all powerful" as he supposedly is, or that he just doesn't listen to prayers and definitely doesn't answer them.
I am trying with all my might to cling to the Truth and the promises of the Lord, and remember He is in control and stand firm in Him. I am not only fighting my own battles with fear and panic, I am fighting battles with my husbands fear and doubt and lack of faith. That takes more strength than I have on my own. So I was looking for some verses today for me to "cling" to when the fear of more unemployment starts to creep in. I thought I'd share them here.......

"The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe." Proverbs 18:10

“I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go…” Genesis 28:15

"For I am the Lord your God, who takes hold of your right hand, and says to you, "Do not fear, I will help you."" (Isaiah 41:13)

"We know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." Romans 5:3-5

"Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light." Micah 7:8

"The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights." Habakkuk 3:19

"The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17

"Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer or withdraw his unfailing love from me" Psalm 66:20

"I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe." Psalm 61:2-3

"The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it." 1 Thess. 5:24


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Give Aways, Give Aways, and MORE Give Aways!!!

I just LOVE Give Aways!! (I never win them...LOL....but I LOVE them and the reasons and the reasons behind them!) So take a few minutes, and follow this Give Away trail I am making for you!!!

First stop, (and yes, I have posted this one before but it is just THAT great!)...head on over to Storing Up Treasures. Make any size donation and help 26 families bring an orphan home to their forever family. One donation...26 families...and MORE than 26 children as some are adopting sibling groups. And my favorite part is that some sweet bloggy friends are some of the 26 families being helped! ALL OF THE DONATIONS are going to the 26 families.

 Next stop.....Junk Posse!  (She is the amazing lady who made my necklaces I am so very in love with!)  Tracy is hosting a give away for these fabulous hand made bracelets from Haiti for Artists for Hope.  They are doing wonderful things in Haiti, so while you are at Tracy's blog entering the give away, follow her links to check out the Artists for Hope page, too! 

Stop #3 is a brand new bloggy friend.... Melissa over at Along the Narrow Road is doing a give away for a chance to win a fabulous hand made necklace inspired by Ethiopia.  (They are in the process of adopting a child from there.)  While you are over at her blog entering the give away, follow her links to look at all the fabulous necklaces they also have available for sale.  And help bring an orphan home in the process!!! 

For the fourth stop, we'll head over to The Road Less Traveled.  Erica is hosting a give away for her fabulous "Simply Love" shirts.  They have designs with Africa or the US, and great sayings on the backs. 

I *think* the last stop is saying hello to Rachel over at Walser Adoption Adventures.  She is giving away a copy of RADICAL by David Platt.  I have literally been waiting months to get my hands on THIS BOOK!  If you are looking for something that would potentially be life changing....head on over to her blog and enter!!


Monday, May 24, 2010

Help heal the pain

Yesterday was my grocery shopping day this week. Sometimes all 4 of us go as a family, and sometimes I go with one child. Husband surprised me with a bit of quiet time and I got to go alone. Yes, that made me giddy! The store I go to is in Corvallis, so I had about a 30 min drive to myself. I never know what I'll end up thinking about in times like that.

Instead of blaring music, I let the thoughts come to my mind. At first it was about my dear sweet boy and how he just had his 3rd birthday the day before. About how grown up and independent he is and how much joy his laughter and smile bring to my life. And then the pain came. The tangible pain in my heart that makes me believe I have another child out there somewhere. Not sure where, not sure when they will come to my life, but I KNOW there is another child out there for our family. And it physically hurts so bad I cry. I can't heal that pain until my child is in my arms. I know that it's isn't time yet to start the adoption road to find the child God has in store for us.

Until that time I can help others start to heal the ache in their heart by helping to put a child in their arms. I love to read all about adopting families blogs and help donate and spread the word when they are doing fund raisers to raise the ransom to pay for their child. Storing Up Treasures is trying to raise $10k in 20 days to give ALL THE MONEY AWAY to 26 adopting families!

I have said it here a hundred times, I am sure I'll say it a million more, but I know that not everyone is called to adopt. BUT EVERYONE CAN HELP BRING A CHILD HOME TO THEIR FOREVER FAMILY!! Please take a minute to check out the post over at Storing Up Treasures. Then seriously consider giving a bit to this wonderful fund raiser. Even just $5 helps an orphan come home!


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

To Love Their Husbands Tuesdays

One of my favorite blogs that I follow is Lauren over at Living by Faith. And every Tuesday she posts about ways to love your husbands, and everyone joins in. I love reading, but have never participated. Thought I'd go for it this week!!

First off, for those that don't know me that well yet, my husband is spoiled. Hence, part of the reason I haven't participated in this blog link before. I wake up before him in the morning to pack his lunch, and make sure his clothes are ready to go for the day. Then I wake him up with a cup of coffee in hand for him. He has dinner ready when he gets home from work, sweats set out in the bathroom with a clean towel ready to go to shower off the days grime....that sort of thing. I do the cleaning, the yard work, take out the garbage, the laundry, you name I do it. I take my "job" as a stay home mom and wife very serious. :) My first thought about this blog link was that there was nothing more I could really do for my husband that I already don't. But I needed to think outside the box. And this was my first week.

This past week was gorgeous weather. We worked on his motorcycle all week getting it ready for a nice ride on Friday. Come Sunday, it was the last day of nice weather and he wanted to go ride one more time before the rain set in. However, all his riding buddies were busy, and he isn't comfortable enough to go completely alone yet, as he is still only an intermediate skill rider. So I said we could go as a family!

Now, keep in mind, we only have his dirtbike. So the kids and I were going to be doing other things. I packed a picnic lunch for us all, we loaded the bike, he loaded the kids bicycles and helmets, and off we went.

Once we got there, we saw some people he knew from working on his bike a couple motnhs back. He got ready to go, and him and a couple guys took off onto the trails.

The kids got on their bikes and we went for a couple nice long rides, played around a lot in dirt, told stories, sang songs, went on "nature walks", and pretended the pickup truck was a pirate ship. Basically did what ever we could to stay occupied where there was really not much to do. Hubby checked in every once in a while, but he was mostly just off riding. After about 4 hours we were ready to go home. The kids couldn't of been any dirtier, and hubby couldn't of been any happier!

After we actually got home he even said "Thank you for suggesting we all go up there. I had a blast and really appreciate you being there and keeping the kids occupied, I know that probably wasn't easy." Mission Accomplished!! Hubby felt extra special!! :) Now I wonder what I can do this week......


Friday, May 14, 2010

Check it out!!

I love the idea behind this, and I LOVE the T-Shirts! This family is raising funds for an adoption. Check out this great video!!

Remember, please, that not that many people in this economy have the $30,000 just sitting around to pay the ransom for a life....but every one of these families I tell you about have the means to support another child!! (Actually a lot of us have the means to support another child....we just dont.)


Thursday, May 13, 2010

$5 is all it takes!!

Another wonderful Jesus-Loving, Orphan-Saving family on the adoption road!! :)

Can you help the this family with just $5? Yep, that's it. That simple. One less Starbucks this week. One less trip through the drive through window. One less movie rental. Our willingness to help out with just $5 gets this family that much closer to their child. And getting that much closer to their child, means that an orphan is that much closer to their forever family. It doesn't get much better than that!! :)

Click HERE to be taken to their blog and read about them and help them out!!


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Matter of life or death

Jazmine got a kitten for her 4th birthday. We took a family trip to Wal-Mart, bought a cart full of goodies and headed to the shelter in town. We all went into the kitten room and mommy very closely watched how each kitten responded to the children. Two kittens seemed great in my mind. They weren't apprehensive of the two toddlers invading their space, and they both wanted to climb into their laps and be pet. So I told Jazmine which two she could choose from. She chose the black kitten with the white on it's paws. On the drive home the kitten was named "Socks White-Paw Jordan".

There was a downside to this kitten....he had to use the litter box ALL THE TIME! To the point I was worried something wasn't right. I had to place 3 boxes in the house and we still had accidents. Upon taking him to the vet, they said he had something called the corona virus. But that the virus should run it's course in a matter of a couple months. Not the ideal situation but I could deal with it. (And nobody else had the right to complain because *I* do the cleaning around here!)

About a month after we bought the kitten, he SUDDENLY got really sick. Like one day he was normal, healthy, playful kitten, and the next he barely had the energy to jump up onto the bed. The day after that, he couldn't walk up the stairs, he walked like he was dizzy, he would literally fall on his face and collapse when he tried to jump off the bed. (Which he had to CLIMB onto, as he could no longer jump.) We knew something was severely wrong so we took him back to the vet. They ran blood tests, and did a neurological exam on him. The diagnosis came back as FIP. A fatal disease that resulted in what vets think comes from the corona virus mutating. They sadly told us that the kitten was going to die. He may have as long as a month, but probably only a week or two left. I was told that when he reached the point where he was no longer eating and appeared to be in pain, to bring him in and they would take care of him until he passed, or we could choose to put him to sleep if he was that bad. But for sure we would be minus a kitten very very soon. There was NO CHANCE of him surviving.
I was heartbroken. I had fallen in love with the cat, that is for sure. But more than anything, I couldn't begin to imagine how hard it would be to break my daughters heart. She had JUST got the kitten. She knows about pets dying...she knows they are playing with Jesus and one day she'll get to play with them again. But she had just gone through that ordeal 3 times in the last 9 months. I could NOT do that to her again. So I began to pray.

I asked my husband to pray. I asked my mother to pray. And I prayed. I prayed whenever I saw the cat. I prayed while making dinner. I prayed in the shower. I prayed when I woke up in the middle of the night for a drink of water or because the kids woke up. I prayed as I was cleaning his litter box. I prayed while I drove to the store. I prayed anytime I thought of the cat. I begged God for a miracle. I pleaded with Him to please spare this kittens life. I pleaded with him to not make me break my daughters heart. I asked for a miracle so that whenever my husband or myself felt weak in faith, we could see the constant reminder in our own home of the power of prayer. I begged him for the chance to share the story of His miracles.

Slowly it appeared the cat was getting better. I called the vet, and they said it wasn't possible. That it was "false hope". But when I took him in for a check-up a week after they diagnosed him, they couldn't believe their eyes. They were truly expecting to possibly have to put him to sleep at the visit. They, too, called it a miracle. The vet said she had NEVER seen a cat with FIP improve. Especially since it had hit his neurological system so hard. They told me not to get my hopes up too high, but that whatever I was doing to KEEP DOING IT, because it appeared the cat was possibly getting better.

I knew right then that the Lord was answering our prayers. I started to truly believe that our cat was going to LIVE. If you look at him right now, you'd never know he was so sick just a couple months ago. He runs, jumps, and plays like any other kitten. He is full of spunk and personality. Every time I see him jump halfway up the wall to try to catch a shadow or something I remember. I remember that my Lord and Savior gave our family that miracle we begged for. He answered our prayers. He heard our call and answered like He promised us He would.

I prayed constantly because I KNEW this was a matter of life or death. This cat was going to DIE without a miracle. I knew that God could SAVE HIM. So I prayed. It just hit me last night as I was making dinner that for all the people in the world who are not saved by the Lord, IT IS A MATTER OF LIFE OR DEATH FOR THEM!! We need to be praying more diligently for them than we did for our cat!

I have family members whom I have no idea where they stand when it comes to Jesus. I don't know if they are saved. Why don't I ask? What is stopping me? AND WHY DON'T I PRAY FOR THEM CONSTANTLY???? I have loved ones who have accepted Jesus, but are currently struggling with their faith and have major doubts due to life circumstances. WHY DON'T I PRAY FOR THEM CONSTANTLY???? I mean I do pray for them. But not like it is a matter of life or death. And it truly is. Something could happen and they could have their life taken from them in an instant. Jesus could come back at any time. When that happens I want to know without a doubt that they are living eternally with the Father. On top of that, by truly walking with the Lord now, they could LIVE so much more fully here on Earth. They could experience the joy, hope, and peace that comes with walking with Jesus.

So I am going to pray. Pray like it's a matter of life or death. And I am going to believe that their lives will be saved and that they will find their way to the Father.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Trip to Washington

Last Thursday was my mother-on-law, Doris's, 70th birthday. The trip down here is hard on her, and though it's only 4 1/2hrs, she usually has to make it in two days. Because of that she doesn't make it down as much as she used to, and so we thought we'd go to her! Since we were going to be in WA, we figured we'd try to visit as many people as we could and get as much stuff done as possible!!

I talked with mother-in-law on the phone on Wednesday AM (as we were already in the car and on our way) and told her she had a delivery coming and so I was hoping she'd be home to receive it when it got there. She said she had no plans to go anywhere and she'd be home. Well, on the trip we called to check in a couple times to see if her "delivery" had gotten there yet...and of course it hadn't, LOL, as it was US! ;) Anyway, we showed up at her door and immediately the tears started flowing! She was so glad to see us all!!

We sat around and chatted with her for a little bit and unloaded the car and the cat (since he got sick a while back, he can't be left alone....*sigh*... so he has to come with us unless I pay for boarding!) and then went off to visit my dad and Jenn. Dad had knee surgery on Thursday, so we wanted to see him before he was out of commission! It was a fabulous visit, with lots of just chatting and being entertained by the kids. And I have to be honest, it truly warms my heart to see my dad with my children. He missed out on so much in their earlier years that I would cry myself to sleep at night, and now I feel like all is well and it makes me so happy!

Thursday was Doris's actual birthday. Lenny and I snuck out early in the morning leaving Grandma to watch the kids while we went into Seattle to pick up the tickets we had already purchased for a Mariners game for her for Friday evening. We had tossed around different ideas on what to do for her, but with her health being as it is and her having a hard time getting around, we knew the M's game was something she would NEVER do on her own. The added bonus is that hubby and I are huge sports fans, and use to go to more M's games than I could begin to count when we lived in Seattle. :)

When we got back from picking up the tickets, we handed them to her and she started crying again. It was adorable!! I am not sure when the last time she was doted on for her birthday. Anyway, right after that we loaded everyone up and headed back into the city. We were off to take a ferry ride over to Bainbridge Island. The kids were so excited and it was fun to watch their little faces as they took it all in. The city skyscrapers, all the cars (UGH!!!), the Seattle Waterfront, the ferry, the actual was so special through their eyes. Once we got off the ferry I actually dropped Doris and Lenny off at the Casino there so they could just hang out a bit alone. The kids and I headed into Poulsbo to have lunch and we messed around at the park at the Poulsbo Marina for a bit. After heading back to pick up Lenny and Doris is was back onto the ferry for the return trip to Seattle.

From there we went to my mother and brothers house for some more family visiting! I hadn't seen my brother, Connie and the girls in forever, hadn't seen mom since Thanksgiving, and had yet to meet my nephew. So of course there was plenty of catching up to do! And it was fun to snuggle with little Caylum. He is such an absolute DOLL!!! It literally pained me to have to put him down or hand him to his mommy for feeding time!

Friday morning Doris had a docs appointment, so we took the chance to just relax for the morning. But that afternoon Lenny headed to pick up an old friend from school to join us for the game, and I took the kids to spend the evening at my moms house. We met at my moms, left one car there and headed into downtown for the Mariners game. It was a Bobblehead night PLUS it was Cliff Lee's debut as a Mariner so the place was a ZOO! But we had reserved handicap parking in the garage for Doris, so for the first time ever we didn't have to park and walk a million miles! They had a wheelchair waiting for Doris to take her to our seats, and even picked her up at the seats when the game was over. It was perfect!! We had wonderful seats right behind home plate, and we got a birthday package for her. So she had a birthday message on the scoreboard, and received a nice little tote bag with a hat, ball, and lots of gift certificates.

It was an almost perfect evening!! Unfortunately the M's lost in extra innings (although they should of won but if I get started on that topic this post will go on for days!!) but I did get to see some base hits by Ichiro and Griffey, so my night was good!! Oh, and of course I had to get Griffey shirts for the children left behind at Grandmas and well, I may of splurged on one for mommy, too! (Yes, I know he is old....and pretty much done...LOL...but I LOVE me some Griffey and always have!)

Saturday morning we headed over to Lenny's sister Kim's house. We knew we were going to see them all in a couple hours at the surprise party for Doris, but she would of been suspicious if we didnt' see them, so we headed over for a bit. After we left there we went out to lunch, then headed to Lenny's twin Kristi's house for the surprise party for Doris. To say she was surprised would be an understatement!! It was great to see her so happy and feeling so loved!! Kristi and her friends Jenny and Erin did fabulous decorating the house! And then Kim and Erin made some amazing food for everyone. Kim also had a special video montage put together of Doris full of some great pictures!! This year is definitely a birthday to remember for sweet Doris!

That evening after we got back to Doris's house, hubby and I got away for a couple hours while Grandma spoiled her babies! Then bright and early Sunday we headed for home! We did take one small detour....and ended up at the beach in Lincoln City! Unfortunately the weather was crummy, but the kids still had fun.

It was weird being in WA...It is a gorgeous state, and being born and raised there I definitely love it. But after living here for a couple years now, the stress of everything up there just isn't for me anymore. There are too many people, too much traffic, too many violent just isn't "home".

Speaking of home, I slacked yesterday. We were so busy the time we were away, that I pretty much did nothing once we got home! So today I will clean, do laundry, finish unpacking, etc... And I must say, while I do all that husband is AT WORK!!! Yes, praise Jesus for that! We are tired but happy as can be in this house!! :)