Tuesday, June 24, 2014

expect the unexpected..

Today was one of those days.

You know the kind I'm talking about. The kind of day that doesn't go as you planned it to.

Yesterday..today looked so differently. 

You see yesterday I had a plan for today.. and it went something like this.. wake up usual time, finish up the laundry, clean out car and load it up, leave house nice and clean for when hubby comes home. Leave and get to our second home by lunch time.. this way I would be able to inventory the food contents, figure out a menu and shop.. then have the rest of the day to ourselves. Enjoying out time here.

Instead, it went like this:
Woke up LATE, not minutes late but 2 1/2 HOURS later then usual.
My precious 9 year old had cleaned the kitchen up, and straightened the living room up, to the best of her ability.. She was excited to get on the road today.. :)
Started that last load of wash, but would have to wait for that to finish because I need to pack some stuff from that load..
Woke up my 13 year old... He still needed to pack..
Began to make breakfast.. Phone rings...
Put son in charge of breakfast..
Talk to my mom, attempt to have coffee.
3 sips into my coffee, put it down.. Big furry beast helps himself to my coffee.
walk into kitchen and remember.. I'm suppose to make a meal and bring it to church.. YUP, I forgot.. rummage through cabinets..
Yes, found pasta! Made a Tuscan Pasta.. while.. baby emptied Tupperware cabinet all over floor!
what's that smell.. ooohhh, 5 year old has decided to paint her nails while she was waiting for me..to get ready.. and she still hasn't found her shoes,
Did I mention, We were trying to leave????
Ok, Everyone eats.. Cause usually as soon as we hit the road, someone will say the dreaded words I have come to expect.. even though I try so desperately to avoid hearing them " I'm hungry".. 
But TODAY, I was ready for it..
I made sure we ate BEFORE we left.. Haha, Crisis averted.. (maybe)
Ok, Pasta is ready to go, Clothes are in the car, Everyone has shoes!! (YES!!!)
I was ready!!!
Walk outside and begin the load up process, come back in.. Poopie diaper ripped to shreds all over the HOUSE!! Fury beast strikes again!!!
Oh the laundry.. let me get that in dryer and just take out the shirt I need for trip..
Open washer, start digging for shirt... wait, what the heck, there is tons of gel like substance, ALL OVER EVERYTHING in the washer.. 
There is a mom out there who is reading this, and has guessed correctly..
Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner to the Mom who said.. "diaper" ..
YUP, some how, some way, a diaper got mixed in with the wash load..
This is a mess of EPIC proportions.. it's 12:00.. I need to get this pasta to church.. I don't have time for a huge diaper mess AGAIN!!!
Pick the shirt out I need, hang the rest of the stuff outside on the line..
Praying the wind will have knocked off the gel gunk!
Look around at the disaster I am leaving ... feel a tad guilty..
Get over the guilt rather quickly.. RUN, RUN NOW, the little voice in my head says..
I run.. I gotta go!!!!!!
Windows down, Beautiful day.. ALMOST to church..
A little voice from the back..
Mommy, I don't feel.....................(insert any puking noise you wish here)
I'm watching in my rear view as my little girl vomits BREAKFAST!!
Run into church, drop off meal, steal paper towels!! (I didn't really steal from church!)
Clean up little one..
And think.. I better hold off on driving too much further just in case.
Stop by my moms.. give my girl a ginger ale and chat with my mom for a bit..
An hour later.. I have the all clear from the puker that she is fine..
Ok, we load up again..
This time we stole Mac back from my mom for the trip!
gas, stop at bank, stop at dunkin donuts for an iced coffee for mom and yup BAGELS for the rest of the crew and we are on our way...
90 mins, into the trip..
it's a choir of " I have to pee" ..
I understand, but we are MILES away from a rest stop..
"I'm not going to make it"
"I'm really not going to make it"
There is some sort of Pee-Pee dance/bounce happening in the back seat..
I pull off the side of the road..
Good thing I got a LARGE iced coffee... that cup came in handy..
I kid you not.. this is only the second time we've EVER had to pull off the road for an emergency pee stop..
Ok.. back on the road..
We finally arrive at our home away from home!
We see our friends, We take a swim, we breathe!

I could have easily slipped into coo-coo mode this morning.. and I felt myself heading that direction..
all because things weren't going MY way..
SO many times, as a mom I realize, it's not about ME..

God has given me these blessings, and they come with car sickness and almost pee pee accidents, Dirty diapers in the washer, Tupperware all over the floor.

They keep me humble..
They are truly precious!

Thankful.. I was able to stop myself from going to that place of .. I just want to get done.. to taking it all with a grain of salt.. and realizing that there is a purpose in the delays. God has a purpose in it all. I don't need to know what it was.. I just need to role with it.


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Pay Attention Mommy...

The other day I was playing with my 18 month old son. He was on my lap and happily chanting, "mama, mama, mama" but I was trying to send a text to someone. So he took his chubby little hands, and grabbed my face to turn it towards him and force me to look at him. "mama, mama" ..  "Yes, baby" and then he gives me the hand signal to follow him. And I did. He took me out the back door to play.

We had a great time.

But it got this mama to thinking.. I thought it was super cute that he grabbed my face. But then I thought.. how sad.. he had to grab my face to get my attention because I was wrapped up in an electronic.

An item that allows us to have noncommittal relationships with our family members, old high school/collage friends/ people we don't see or even hear from if it wasn't for facebook!

Texting/Facebook and other applications out there, enable us to share some great things with people, yet take us away from the very people we are spending time with.

So, Mama's evaluate your screen time whether that be computer time, cell phone, television, your time at the gym, time with friends, time alone. etc. etc.

Our children are little for such a short period of time. They are worthy of  so much more of our time.

~~Be Blessed~~

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Bi-Weekly Menu.. :)

Back to posting my menu, it will hopefully help me with accountability. :)

We will have: Meatless Mondays, Crockpot Wednesday, and Cookout Fridays. :)

M: Broccoli, Rice Casserole
T: Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry
W: Crockpot Chicken Fajitas
TH: Beef Stroganoff
FR: Cookout- Burgers and Sides
SA: Crock pot Mac N Cheese
SU: Oriental Chicken over Rice

M: Baked Mac N Cheese, this is a red version of mac n cheese
T: Lasagna Roll ups, Salad
W: Buffalo Chicken Sands, with fixings
TH: Pizza Night
FR:Cookout, Steaks and Potatoes, Veggie
SA: Breakfast for dinner
SU: Dr. Pepper Slow cooker pork.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Major Life Change

I've been  told several times in the past the God uses our experiences to grow us. 
For the past five years we've been struggling with different things on and off.
Seriously who doesn't have issues that they deal with on a daily basis.

Well our hearts, and minds are being pulled in a direction we honestly NEVER saw coming.

I know that God is with us. I know that with God we will overcome.

I will accept my accountability in our issue.

The past week as brought days of sorrow, I am saddened.. my heart is broken, I feel let down, I am disappointed, I am hurting. I am struggling with anxiety, depression.. and overall fear of the unknown.

This issue has to do with one of my children. I don't know if your ever prepared for when your children disappoint you.

It's hard for me to accept.  BUT, I am moving past the ME part...

I am pouring my heart into scriptures and TRUSTING that GOD has a plan in all this. That GOD is in control of EVERYTHING. That GOD knows my heart and my children's heart.

That GOD is an AWESOME GOD in all circumstances.

Pray for us, Pray for our family..

Saturday, February 8, 2014

What I learned at bible study..

Once a month I meet with some dear sisters in Christ for a bible study. This past study opened my eyes to so much.

We read Jonah, we talked about diligence.

 DILIGENCE, n. [L. , to love earnestly; to choose. ]1. Steady application in business of any kind; constant effort to accomplish what is undertaken; exertion

The conversation led to our dear husbands. I sat around with 6 woman, All of us praising the diligence of our husbands. And then discussing how the World is tearing them apart. 

One husband is a teacher.. 70+ hours a week, teaching in a urban area where the kids will freely tell him, my parents don't care why should I.. Yet our screwed up system tells the teacher it's their fault the kids aren't learning.

One husband, working two jobs to make ends meet as well as his wife who works part time.

One husband, a correction officer.. over crowded prisons, forced over time...

One husband, a manger of a busy facility 70+ work weeks, starting over at the age of 46..

One husband working full time, his wife works double that!

Each woman raising a family, some homeschooling.

Each woman confiding in each other, the feelings we so often won't say out loud.

We talked about how we as the wives are learning to lean so heavily on GOD.  We talked about trying to keep ourselves in check, because the husbands are so stressed we don't want to burden them with our day.

We talked about how Satan is attacking the family. He is managing to keep the husbands out of the home for very long hours. He is keeping them so busy in trying to provide for the home financially most of them are struggling with providing for the home spiritually.

Don't get me wrong, no one's husband is having an affair, no ones kids are off the hook out of control or anything.

Their time is so limited with their families that they struggle with how to make it the most of it spiritually.

I'm finding I'm taking on things I normally wouldn't.  I'm soaking up God's word.. or Eating it up as my friend likes to say. Are we eating it? Are we letting God word be the bread of life? Are we drinking the living water??

When we do that, we get a STRENGTH  that only HE can give. We are renewed by a GRACE that only HE can give.
We are given a PEACE that only HE can give.

Do we fall short? Yes! Are we perfect ? No!

Can we be that support for our husbands?? YOU BETCHYA!!!!

Ladies, you are stronger then you think your are. We are that Ruby! 

We are struggling similarly. Open your hearts to the Lord, talk with your sisters in Christ.
Keep praying for your husband!!

You can do this!

Proverbs 3:5
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;


Thursday, January 9, 2014

How I save on my food bill.

We do mostly whole foods eating here. So couponing isn't an option, I mean when was the last time you saw, save a $1.00 on two pounds of apples?  It's unheard of.

I have found out how to get the most bang for my buck here in my area.

With the rising cost of food and having  to feed a family of 8, whole food nutrition. My food bill can easily sky rocket if I'm not careful.

So here's what I do to save. We bought a 1/2 of cow. Big investment, but my freezer is full of meat and I won't have to buy any meat for several months. I should add this is organic, grass-fed, delicious meat!!!

I'm also looking into getting chickens this way too, but haven't found a vendor yet.

Once a month I travel to a neighboring state and buy my raw milk, grass fed eggs. I will also make several stops while out there and pick up things like a 50lb bag of organic sugar for $37.00. 5 lbs. of Raw Cheese, $20.00. And bulk oatmeal, beans, pasta, etc.

For my weekly shopping I utilize Costco and my grocery stores. Costco is usually the cheapest as far as fresh fruit goes, (although not organic) .. I buy the frozen organic veggies from there. And Frozen organic Fruit for smoothies. Half and Half, butter, yeast and quiona.

At local stores, I only shop there clearance. When I'm out running errands I will stop or lucky for me my 19 year old daughter will stop and we ONLY buy what is one clearance. We have super keen eyes for the tags.

I can get organic chicken for 1/2 price. Stonyfield yogurt for 75 % off. Greek yogurt for 75% off.  I'm talking I will pay $1.25 for something that would be $4.99 regular price. 

My latest deal:

fresh sweet and hot Italian sausage 12 oz. packages for $1.25 per pack!!!

One of best investment we ever made was on a huge industrial freezer. I bought it at a yard sale several years ago for $150.00.

If you watch dates you'll know when to head to your grocery, for the discounts.

Shopping this way has help keep out food down to a good reasonable budget.

I do a TON of homemade EVERYTHING.. granola, pancakes, bread, etc.

We don't do much processed at all.

One of the biggest complaints with people making the switch from processed foods to whole foods is the cost. You CAN'T buy both.
So my suggestion is to switch over slowly. Start with getting bread out of the house.  then move to introducing whole food snacks to the kids. Slowly begin cooking meals from scratch, say twice a week, then advance from there.

If you try to switch to quickly this will only cause failure in the process.

The goal is that you successful transition from processed foods to whole foods. I promise you can do this on a budget, and effectively feed you family excellent nutrition.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Importance of Date Night

   Date Night is such a cache term. For most people date night is just that, a night out with the boyfriend or husband.

When we had our first child we did not do date night! She went everywhere with us. We felt it was necessary. We had our fun, now it was time to focus on raising a family.

We were young and foolish still.

As we added to our brood, we realized a date night would be great.. but good luck getting someone to babysit 3-4-5 kids at a time!!

SO when our kids were little we took "date night" and adapted it to our life.

Sometimes "date night" was waking up early, Big Daddy and I get a cup of coffee  and go to a quiet place usually outside if the weather was nice or in a quiet room in the house. We would talk, and talk and connect.

Sometimes, when the kids were younger we'd put them to bed, and hubby would go out to a restaurant that had curbside service, he'd bring home and meal and we'd sit in our home-- connecting.

Other times, kids got a separate meal, hit the sack a little early and hubs and I would have a "special meal".

Now that I have older children who can baby sit, we do try and go out.
We use to shoot for once every few months.

But hubby has a new time demanding job, so we now shoot for once a week. 
This isn't usually a fancy dinner meal. It's a hop in the truck, lets go get coffee, an ice cream, or just go sit at the inlet for a little bit.
It's really about connecting when it's just him and I.

Date night really isn't about where you go.. but more about How are you connecting with you husband?

Are you talking to each other about each other? Are you still flirting with him??

We've had many successful date nights just walking around the Home Depot!!!

I always want my husband to feel that he can connect with me. He was the one who actually requested the once a week date night. He misses me while he's at work. And I miss him as well.

He is super busy at his job and there is very little contact during the day, he works a minimum of 12 hours and day sometimes more. 

It's a big change for us.

The point is make "date night" work for you.
As your raising children, your season of life will vary. Each season should be appreciated for what it is. Don't think I miss those going out every night, you will be able to again. It will creep up on you quicker then you can imagine.

Make your date night you own. Weather your home, OR you get fancied up and head out for a night on the town. The idea is to put time, energy and effort into your spouse. They will love you for it!!


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Christmas Eve and New Years..

Every year we host an Open House on Christmas Eve. Christmas is my absolute favorite holiday to celebrate!
However with Christmas coming so quickly after Thanksgiving, it felt very rushed.

This year, our Christmas Eve Open House was a bit different. I lost one of my closest friends to a move far away.

On the positive side, this is the first year in my entire life that I was able to celebrate Christmas with my biological father. That has never happened.

I can remember as a child wishing/praying for him to come to Christmas. After about 10, I think I gave up on it.

My dad found the Lord several years ago, and we have been able to rekindle a relationship.  What a blessing.. What a testimony to God's timing.  What a testimony to unanswered prayers, at that time in my life.
God had a bigger, better plan.

Reminds me of this:
 sometimes i thank god for unanswered prayers
remember when you're talkin' to the man upstairs
that just because he doesn't answer doesn't mean he don't care

some of god's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers(thanks Garth Brooks)
For my dad, it was his first Christmas home in over 30 years. That's a big deal! God does awesome things when we allow him to work in us. For that I am so grateful!
I wanted my dad's first Christmas home to be so special.  Unfortunately we had a minor cooking issue, which put my hubby in a fowl mood. And it was tense to say the least, but it all worked out for the best. We just ate a bit later then we hoped for. 

We normally head down to Washington's Crossing to watch Washington Cross the Delaware . But it was just too cold to go. 

On New Year's Eve, My hubby got spontaneous and said Let's go to Pennsylvania, for the night. Our camper is located there! I said, Let's do it!!
SO we loaded up and went out for the night. We found a local bowling ally out there and did a pizza and 3 hours of bowling fun to ring in the New Year! :)
My dad came and hung out with us for a bit. He missed the 9 strikes in a row my son got!!  While we went back to toaster warm camper, he went home.
Another first~ January 1st.  We had breakfast with my dad on his birthday. I've never celebrated a birthday with him! We went to Yoder's Buffet and ate really well!!!
I get the feeling that 2014 is going to be a year of firsts. I almost feel as if I have to pace myself!
Great is thy faithfulness, Morning by Morning new mercies I see. All I have needed thy hand hath provided. Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Prepared for bad weather?

For the New Year, we decided we would head out to our most favorite place to be. Our camper in Lancaster Pennsylvania.
We  did a bowling party with the kids to bring in the New Year, spent the night in our toasty warm camper, went to an awesome breakfast buffet at Yoder's, ate like little piglets, picked up some delicious raw milk, walked the creek and then headed home.
 You see, we are preparing for a storm here.
I'm prepared as far as food goes. But we had to prepare the house and Big Daddy.
We only heat our home with firewood. That means a lot of it  had to be brought in.  We had two kids working on that. They are saying this will be the coldest our state has seen in several years.

While I make sure the house is well stocked with food,  And I get out those snow suits, hats, gloves, the drying rack, boots, sleds, thermos' .. etc. etc.

Big Daddy is preparing the truck. In the winter, along with his regular job he plows snow. So while this mama is snuggled up cozy with the kiddos. He is out plowing. Making sure roads are accessible.

This could mean up to 18 hours or more of plowing. Just depends on the amount of snow we get.

As long as Big Daddy is home when he gets called in we make sure to send him with a thermos of coffee, snacks and food.

While we miss him, This is his way of bringing in an extra income to our family. I am thankful for his willing spirit to do this for us. In fact, this is how we bought our house. It was a snowy, snowy winter 13 years ago and we were able to put $12,000. away and use it as our down payment.

So how do you prepare for bad weather?

This is what we normally do: We make sure cars are full of gas, the yard is picked up, sidewalks are able to be shoveled, bikes, toys, are put away. Firewood is neatly stacked and tarped. Cars are cleaned out, and then any emergency items are put in them. Blankets in winter, extra clothes (all year around), water, candle in winter, flares.. etc. etc.

We check out food supply and  if we need anything I usually try and get it a few days before the storm hits.

I do keep emergency things on hand though to limit the amount of last minute running I may have to do. 

It's so important to be prepared.  I so often think back on woman in history and realize how fortunate we are.

I mean no weather channel to give you a heads up.

These woman must have constantly been busy making sure that the household would thrive in a bad bout of weather.

I'd like to adapt that to myself. I know that it's super easy for me to hop in the car, run to the store. But why not be prepared for such things. Like the proverbs 31 woman.

Her household did not fear. What a blessing that must have been! Her husband, Her children, even her servants were able to trust in her. They knew they wouldn't do without.  

I'm striving to be more "on top" of things this year.  More realistic with the time it takes to do that. Things don't happen as quickly as you'd like them too when you've got six blessings and a husband who works 60 hours a week.

(confession: I sometimes wait to long to do things and then rush around all crabby like)

I'm trying to reduce the above. (work in progress my friends)

With that said, I hope to encourage you along with myself.

So Mama's if your husband plows, or is an essential emergency personal.. How do you cope? What are things you do to be prepared for their schedules? What do you do with your kids? How do you prepare for Daddy's return?  

When Big Daddy returns from his plow jobs, we make sure there is a hot meal ready for him. The little girls and I will pull out his jammies, start running a towel in the dryer so it's warm for his after his shower, and then usually we make sure it's quite. Cause Big Daddy wants to sleep. :)

While Big Daddy is away my older sons do all the manly things around the house! I am so thankful for them as well, and a Daddy who had trained them up to be MEN!

Keep Sweet! Smile!


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