Monday, October 31, 2016

The Natural Way

Ah, first of all it feels good to be back at my desk typing!  The last two nights, I've had no internet in the house!  So I've been on my phone service.
Ok, but tonight's blog isn't about my internet being out . . . although I am very thankful that it is back!  Tonight I want to talk about some awesome things I've experienced lately.
In blogs of the past, especially 3-4 years ago I had written about my trial and error of sinus relief products.  After finding apple cider vinegar capsules (because drinking it is horrible), I have been doing a lot better.  So my sinuses have been manageable, but still problematic at times.  During the problematic times I would take sinus medicine and lots of apple cider vinegar.
A few months ago I started taking black elderberry capsules and olive leaf capsules.  I would advise you to do your own research to see if they are right for you.  But, let me tell you . . they are doing awesome with me!!!  I am very, very, very, incredibly happy with how things have been in my face lately!
My other recent discovery is not proven over months yet.  I follow a few different sites regarding hypothyroidism.  And I check regularly on the ones that try to deal with it naturally.  I read an article where this woman made an essential oil blend and applied topically over her thyroid.  Well, it made sense to me, especially after seeing what these oils can do topically with a vast array of other things.  She published her blend recipe, but it was a lot of oils that I do not have.  So I just ordered her blend.  Last week was my first full week with these oils.  I noticed a few subtle differences . . and one HUGE difference.
The huge difference was the one that I haven't seen with anything else yet.  Last week I did not get enough sleep.  I did eat fairly well and very conservative portions.  I did exercise a few times during the week.  And I was quite exceptionally pleased to step on the scale over the weekend and see that I actually lost more weight!  Since developing problems with my thyroid, losing weight has been almost ridiculously difficult.  I can live the ideal picture of health and gain five pounds . . it's been ridiculous.  So I was beyond joyed when I saw what happened last week!!
I will state though, that the oils are not a replacement for iodine supplements.  I actually thought that maybe they were doing more than the iodine . . and I've had some flare ups of other thyroid issues.  But if the oils help a little and the iodine helps a little (and I start sleeping like a sane person) I just might be able to get back to health here!!!!  The possibility is very exciting!!!
Tonight I am thankful for natural methods to be healthy.  It's good to feel better than before!  It's especially good to do so in a natural and healthy way!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Almost Blew It!

I had to leave my home this afternoon to get some work done.  My work day will be a bit shorter tomorrow with school Halloween parties and the school Halloween parade!
While out, I stopped to pick up a few last minute Halloween items.  While walking thru the store, I saw some Halloween colored cake supplies.  I thought to myself, that would be a fun surprise for the kids in the morning!  So I put a box in my basket.
I paid for my items, got in the car, and was about halfway home, when I remembered that I am supposed to bring in treats for one of the kid's class parties tomorrow!!  Uh Oh!  Well . . . luckily the kids hadn't known about the surprise cupcakes!  Tomorrow, a child's class is getting Halloween cupcakes!
The hubster would say that I spoil the kids . . . which may or may not be true ;)  Anyway, fortunately for the sake of surprising the children, I had also thrown some Halloween Pez dispensers in my basket.  I mean, come on . . it's Pez . . . in Halloween shaped dispensers :)
Tonight I am thankful that my indulging side saved my parental side tonight by having a treat suitable to share with the class tomorrow!  P.S.  I can't wait for the Halloween parade tomorrow!  :)  I love the school's Halloween parade!!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Up Early

This morning, 7:45 am, I woke up my remaining sleeping kids.  Two kids were already awake.  I had big plans for them today.
We've been running around every weekend for months.  And today was our day.  Today we started to get the house back under control!!
My sleepy kids were a bit indignant at being woken up early on a Saturday.  I told them they had fifteen minutes to eat breakfast.  At 8 o' clock, we were getting to work!  I had been doing dishes and cleaning the kitchen for the past hour - which I informed the children of.  They had no reason to whine at me, since I had already been hard at work!
I have noticed before that the kids work better (most of the time) when we work together as a team.  We started cleaning, then I decided we should rearrange some furniture.  So we did that also.  We moved the finches and the bunny pen.  And we started peeling some wallpaper in another room to be painted!  The kids had a blast with that!
At the end of the day today, we still have more to do tomorrow.  But we got a lot done today!
Tonight I am thankful for some hard work today by my kiddos.  They didn't even get too whiny!  For their hard work, they finally got to put out the Halloween decorations!  I had told them before, they had to have the house cleaned before decorations came out.  Today was good enough!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Another Chance

It has been 5 days since I wrote a blog about how now it was time to take care of me.  Guess what?  I'm not always so good at that.
In those five days, last night was the first night that I actually slept a decent amount of hours.  It amazes me sometimes that I get one good night's worth of sleep and then expect my body to act like I hadn't just deprived it of sleep for the last several weeks.
It's the same with anything where my body is concerned I suppose.  I eat like crap for days, eat well for one day; then expect my body to feel like superman.  I put off exercising for days, spend some time working out, and hope that my body will magically fit in to the next size smaller clothes.
Urgh.
Well, I'm not going to focus on the abuse that I've put my body through this week - mostly sleep.  I am choosing to be proud of myself this week for eating well.  I have done pretty well!  I have made a conscious effort to think about the things that I've put in my body.  I have stopped to think, am I really hungry?  And I've chosen healthy portions of food!  Yay!
I've done a fair job at exercising this week.  I could have done more.  One of the days though, I couldn't find my knee brace, so I thought I'd be ok running without it.  I wouldn't run far, I told myself.  Yeh, it didn't matter.  My knee noticed the difference!
The best thing I've done for myself this week is try a new essential oil blend for my thyroid.  I am noticing a difference already!  So I'm pretty stoked!
Now, I will work on this sleep thing!  As trial and error coupled with an ongoing life analysis has led me to believe that the majority of my thyroid issues are caused by myself.  Probably like 60% over-working/poor sleep habits.  Then probably 20% genetics and 20% diet.  That would be my moderately-educated guess.
Tonight I am thankful for the things that I did right for myself for this week!  Now, a little after 8pm on a Friday night, I am going to sleep.  Because I am also thankful for another night, another week, another chance to do more things right and make myself healthier!  There is another chance, and I'm taking it . .  because one of these times, I'll get it right!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

FIRE!!!

I walked in the door tonight and my stove was on fire.  The stove has been dying slowly anyway.  Tonight however, the stove was being used to make a special birthday dinner for my birthday girl!
The hubster had turned the stove off and was trying to cool it down.  And we did get to finish cooking the birthday dinner on one of the burners.
Just before I got home, I had been on the phone with my mom.  They are going to seriously start following the Dave Ramsey plan!  They've been watching us and they like the progress we've made!  That is so exciting!
A few weeks ago the radiator went out in the hubby's van.  We had just gotten that fixed and the kitchen sink stopped working.  We seriously just finished replacing that last night, and today the stove caught on fire.  This was all right after we sunk some cash in to fixing all the gutters and downspouts.
So here's the deal, 5 or 10 years ago I would be in a complete panic right now.  I would be on my knees crying, praying that the credit card company would raise our limit enough to cover all these things.
But two years now in following our budget plan, I'm not worried.  We had saved up cash for the gutters.  We have a sinking fund that had more than enough for the radiator.  We have a house sinking fund that had enough for the sink; and will still have enough for the stove.  Honestly, the stove will wipe out the rest of the house sinking fund at this point.  But if something else breaks after that, then we still have our emergency fund.
Tonight I am thankful that my daughter's birthday dinner was not ruined first of all by our fiery stove!  I am thankful that the whole night was not ruined with worry over replacing an appliance.  I am thankful that hard work and diligent budgeting are already bringing so much more peace than we've ever had financially!  And I am most thankful that my girl had a wonderful birthday today :)  P.S.  All birthday gifts, upcoming big party (my kids only get a big party every 5 years), and all birthday supply are funded by the birthday savings envelope, with no additional worry for us!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Tears at The Store

The boys and I had a mission this afternoon.  They have a sister with a birthday tomorrow!  My older boy pleaded to be taken shopping so that he could buy her a gift.
We went to Dollar General, where things are a bit more in the boys' price range.  While my older boy was taking great care in finding something that his sister would like, my younger boy was watching.  This is so awesome because my younger boy is still learning quite a bit about money management.  He is a spender.  He has his allowance planned out for the next five years on what he wants to buy.
Today he got caught up in the fun of giving.  He wanted to use the money in his "Save" envelope to buy a birthday present for his sister.  At first I said no.  The boy has no concept of saving, and we are working on that.  But after him asking me multiple times, I gave in.
He knew exactly how much was in his "Save" envelope and he went around looking at the prices of each item.  He brought me item and after item to see what I thought and if his sister would like it.
Finally both boys had the items they wanted to buy.  And I have to say, they both did really good!  They know their sister well :)
When we got to the checkout, I let the boy who brought his money with him go first.  The cashier could tell he was buying a gift for someone else, so she asked him about it.  He told her that the things were for his sister as he pulled his money from his pocket.  The cashier commented how sweet that was that he was getting her gifts with his own money!
Then my younger boy showed the cashier what he picked for his sister also.  He said his money was at home, but he was spending his money too.  The cashier was touched by the warmth of both of my boys.
Now I was already very proud of them.  But watching the cashier's reaction to my boys made my eyes tear up.  Yes, there I was, moved to tears in the check-out line at Dollar General!
Tonight I am thankful that my boys are such caring and generous individuals.  I am thankful that they love each other and their sisters very much.  And I am thankful that while we are working so hard to change our spending and money habits; they are watching.  They are learning budgeting.  But beyond that, they are still seeing the lesson that generosity and caring for others, should never get lost in a budget.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

PART-AY

Tonight was the end of the season party for cheerleading.  I'll admit I probably stressed about it a bit too much.
I had this brilliant idea to have the party right after the last game so that the whole thing can just be done.  And I still don't think it was a bad idea.  What I failed to take in to consideration was a full weekend a few days before.  A band concert the night before.  And kids' appointments the day of the party.
I had some wonderful parents offer to help.  I declined.  When all my thoughts are in the air, I feel like a juggler.  If I let someone catch one of the balls, then I'd drop all the rest.  Although I truly appreciated the offers!!
Well, I must say that I think tonight went pretty good!  Everyone seemed to have a pretty good time.  Some looked bored.  But, I think that would happen at any party, right?  Ok, don't answer me.  That's what I tell myself. :)
Tonight I am thankful that cheer is all closed up for the season!  It's been a great season!  We've done lots of changes this year!  And I think it's gone pretty well!  Tonight I got to thank everyone for being a part of this program, which was wonderful.  Truly, there wouldn't be a program without all the girls and their supportive families!  I got to thank my awesome coaches!  And when I wasn't in front of the crowd, I thanked my family for being so supportive of this craziness!  Now, whew!  I'm going to bed!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Drummer Girl

Last May my daughter came up to me and said she wanted to join band.  I told her that she had to go talk to the band instructor.
She did.  And we talked to my other daughter's piano teacher and she said that she could teach percussion.  So this summer, while her friends were zooming around lakes and traveling to strange, new places; my daughter was hard at work.  She had two missing years to make up for if she wanted this to work.
Tonight brought the first band concert of the year.  And I am very happy to report that all that hard work paid off!  She did fantastic!
Tonight I am thankful first of all that my daughter did good tonight!  Even more than that, I'm thankful that she set a goal for herself, went after it, and did awesome!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Now Me

I have found that life seems to be the most fulfilling when you give of yourself to someone else.  Be it your family, a stranger, a friend, or just someone who needs your time.  And this is good.  We were made to give.
The last several months I have been giving all my time.  Kids, work, cheerleading, and all the other kid activities.  I knew this was my plan ahead of time, which makes it easier to keep going.  There is something empowering in the action of choice.  If I had been sucked in to all of this unwittingly, I would have freaked.  But I chose this.  Even when I didn't feel like it, I chose to keep working on the things I put in front of me.
And now, it's time for me.  I've been able to physically run for awhile now.  Not too hard and not too long, but I can do it.  And I haven't made time for that.  I haven't been sleeping enough, eating the right things, exercising enough, or relaxing enough.  That needs to change.
Everything I learned about taking care of my body so that my thyroid can heal has been put on the back burner to make it thru our fall schedule.  My heart was in the right place, but now my body is not.  And now it is time to work on me.
I figure if I devote at least half of the time that I spent on fall sports now on myself, I'll be sitting pretty good.  I'll be feeling much better.  And I'll just be a better me.
For everything there is a season, a season to give, and a season to regroup and refresh.  This is my season to rebuild me.
Tonight I am thankful for the last few months!  It has been great to watch my children flourish in their chosen fall sport - each and every one of them has done absolutely amazing!  It has been a fantastic experience to pour everything I could in to making this cheer program fun and growing - the girls seemed to have fun and enjoy it!  It has been great looking at our financial goals while taking on a small mountain of work.  Everything has been good, and exhausting.  And now, as I walk a slower pace in life for a bit, I rest :)

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Much Needed

Today was much needed.
We've been so busy the last couple months.  Running here, running there, projects at home, .. . just always something to do.  Today we ignored everything else.
I had work sitting here at my desk.  We have the new kitchen faucet waiting to be put in (seriously needed, the old one fell apart and we have no water in the kitchen right now).  The kids have homework.  The laundry room looks like a bomb went off.  The new animal fence isn't finished.  I could go on and on.  We'll just say; we ignored everything.
We went as a family with the Girl Scouts to the corn maze and had some fun.  We picked up a pizza together (because it really is hard to cook without water in the kitchen and I plain old didn't want to cook tonight).  We cleaned up the living room a bit together.  We watched Angry Birds together.  And then we played the Dave Ramsey game, Act Your Wage together as a family.  By the way, I still love that game!  It is an awesome way to paint a real life picture of debts and income to the kids!
I've got four in the living room watching the game.  One is upstairs getting ready to sleep.  I'm about to go to sleep myself.  It's been great!
Tonight I am thankful for some time as a family; ignoring everything else and just enjoying each other's company :)

Friday, October 21, 2016

Costume Shopping

Tonight we took the kids to Goodwill to look for Halloween costume inspiration.
The kids are funny at Halloween time.  Sometimes they know exactly what they want to be.  And other times they change their minds about a million times.
I do have one that might still change her mind.  But I think 3 of the 4 are locked in to their costume picks for the season.  Hooray!!  After our night's shopping excursion, we have one costume complete. Two of the costumes are pretty close to being complete.  And if the fourth sticks with her current selection, we can finish it up here at home fairly easy.
I must say that I feel like I am getting out of Halloween costumes pretty easy this year!  In the past, the kids have enjoyed testing my creative side.  Fortunately my creative side is pretty large.  My talent to make the creative side come to life usually needs a little help.  But we've made it thru!
Tonight I am thankful for easy, cheap Halloween costumes!  PS.  Goodwill did have a pretty good selection of costumes.  But we didn't buy our supplies direct from the costume rack.  We scoured the rest of the store for the pieces we needed!  I still couldn't talk anyone in to being a referee though . . . maybe I might have to do that ;)

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Ruined Things

Since having children, I have lessened my desire for "nice" things. I think some stories are in order ..
About 7 years ago I had bought a car.  It was used.  But it had the least miles of anything I had ever driven.  I was excited!  The car was to get Scotch Guarded, but they assured me I should take the car right home with me and bring it back later.  We drove about a half hour to get home .  I pulled in my driveway . . . like I was home . . . moments from getting the kids out of the car . . . and my daughter threw up all over.
Years and years ago I collected Christmas tree ornaments that had all the characters of Rudolph.  It was a neat little collection!  The kids knocked the tree over and broke the ornaments.
Coffee cups, plates, bowls, anything breakable has broken.
It dawned on me early that these things were only things.  The children have never intentionally ruined things.  In the moment, when choosing between a broken coffee cup or an upset child; I pick the upset child.  I give them a hug.  I tell them I know it is just an accident.  And that is why we need to be a bit more careful.
Honestly there isn't anything that they've broken that I miss terribly.  There isn't anything that they haven't stained, tore, dented, or scratched that keeps me up at night.  Things are just things.  But my kids are my kids.
Eh . . almost forgot where I was going with this!  Well, right now there is a box sitting on my floor that was delivered today.  We have an old farm house with a drafty upstairs.  The first year we were here I waited until I found a good sale and I bought heavy thermal curtains for the kids' bedroom windows.  I won't say that the kids exactly hung on the curtains.  But I will say that right now, none of them are still up.
So when a friend told me last weekend about an amazon sale of thermal curtains for cheap, I ordered more up!  These aren't quite as heavy as the ones that we had before.  But I think they'll do the trick!  And the best part is that they were $7 a piece with free shipping!  Besides the mystery of what exactly happened to the old curtains, there was also the knowledge that even on sale, those curtains were not cheap.  Needless to say, I am extra excited about the price of these curtains sitting in the box on my floor!
Tonight I am thankful for a good deal.  Things will come and things will go.  Seriously, I'd rather pay less because I know that at some point, the things will go!  Or be pulled down.  Or hit with a ball that shouldn't be thrown in the house.  Or catch a falling child as they grab for anything when they fall.  Or magically crumple to the floor (the kids seem to think this is a reasonable explanation).   Things are just things . . . so I like when they are cheap :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Almost Out

I have shared on here before that I am not the world's best scheduler.
In reality, I think I'm probably a good scheduler, I just try to do too much.  But sometimes, I just ignore looking at the schedule.  I think I remember what is on the schedule.  So I say yes to things, relying on my memory for assurance that it's all possible.  Then I go to write things down and am faced with the reality that I've screwed up . . . again . . .
Such has been my world for the past several weeks.  I somehow completely over-scheduled my work load.  Sometimes I do this on purpose, thinking I can handle it . . at least then I'm prepared for a mess.  Recently though, it was on accident.  I accepted orders from my phone without consulting my schedule.  My brilliant idea of months ago to schedule e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g so I couldn't screw up was completely gone.  And I have been scrambling to catch up every since.
I have worked myself and un-slept myself in to migraine territory again.  **Thank God for peppermint!  I applied about a gallon of it today.  If I catch it at the start, it does help!  I have apologized and apologized and apologized to clients for late reports.  I have worked and worked and worked until my eyes are crossed.
Yesterday was almost too much.  I thought I had a good plan going.  Then I got a call about an order I forgot.  It was bad.  I had to rearrange plans to keep catching up, drop everything, and get this very important one done for a good client.  Even when I almost cried yesterday, I took a deep breath, and realigned my perspective.  It's hard.  Especially when its my fault.  But I did it.  My very sweet daughter saw me upset and gave me a warm hug, that helped immensely too :)
Well tonight I am thankful that if all goes as planned, I will be caught up tomorrow!!  I can't wait!  And now I'm off to bed, to wake up early, and kick some butt!!  Maybe THIS time I'll learn my lesson and remember to stick to a schedule.  If I use it, it works.  I know this.  I need to keep remember this . . all . . . the . . . time!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Kicked Out

We have a van that the hubster drives that is our family vehicle.  However, I drive so much for my job, that I needed something better on gas.  So when the kids get in my smaller, better gas mileage car, they have to sit close together being 3 in the back seat.
Sitting close together makes the children cranky.  They prove this time and time again when they get in my car.  Sometimes it makes me think that children's seat belts should include a piece that goes over their mouths!
Well lately, this has just been getting on my nerves.  It doesn't matter if we are driving 50 miles for 5 miles; they get in my car and they are on each other instantly.
Today I'd had enough.  The kids came out of the school and got in my car.  We weren't even out of the parking lot and they were making comments to each other.  I asked them nicely to stop.  I threatened them.  I told one he was going right to his bed when we got home.  Nothing was working.
So I stopped on the side of the road and I kicked two of my children out of the car and told them to walk home.  I drove behind them with my hazard lights on for awhile.  The two children in the car were quite amused.  One wanted to get out and run down the road like the other two.  I explained that no, this was to teach a lesson.
After awhile I brought the other two children back in the car.  I then explained how their ride home in the car was not a necessity.  There is a bus that can take them home every day.  I pick them up to be nice, but I don't have to.  They can take the long bus ride home, deal with the other kids on the bus, and feel nauseous.  I don't have to drive them.  And I won't it, if it keeps being rides with them being mean and rude to each other.
The point was taken . . at least for today.  The rest of the ride home was nice and peaceful!
Tonight I am thankful for those moments of creative, about-to-pull-my-hair-out-desperate inspiration.  Maybe we'll do this more often . ..  it sure worked well today!  Here hoping for more peaceful car rides in our future!

Monday, October 17, 2016

A Liar

I have a few friends that are dealing with some tough times right now.  I've been thinking about them the last few days.  And I've thought about my past, being in some places that they are in now, of sorts.
Since I have a blank space to write here . . here's what I want to fill it with:  depression is a liar.  It is a huge, gigantic liar.  I've lived with it and it wasn't truthful.  It put a thick fog between me and any light out there.  And it told me that no one understood.  It made me feel trapped and hopeless and worthless.  And those things are all lies.
It is a thief.  It stole my happiness.  It stole my hope.  It stole me.
In my 36 years, I've had depression a few different ways.  But each time, it took me like quick sand and dragged me down.  The first time, I simply don't remember almost a year of my life.  The second time was filled with anxiety and almost a crazed fearfulness.  That time I felt trapped and on the verge of crazy . . The last time brought the biggest storm cloud I have lived under.  I felt worthless.  I had let down everyone that I loved . . . or so I felt.  And no one could make me believe any differently.  No one could understand how I felt . . . right?  How could anyone help when they couldn't possibly understand.  How many times have I had that thought in life?  How many times have you?  It's a lie.  There is always someone who understands.
I would like to say that I will never experience that kind of darkness again in life.  Unfortunately I'm not a see-er in to the future.  But here is what I do know, it does not have to be permanent.  I have a problem in life with labels . . all labels.  People talk against bad labels.  Well, what about professional labels?  I don't like those either.  When you give a name to what someone is going thru, it may help them a little.  They feel like, yes, that is it . . I'm not crazy, this is what is going on.  But then what?  They have this label.  And then what?  What if we gave something a name, like depression . . and then we followed up with stories of people that refused to let it run their lives.  Because you tell someone that they have this thing, be it depression, anxiety, poor eyesight . . whatever it is.  There is this label, and then what?  Well for your eyes, you go get glasses.  And boom, fixed.  But what about the labels on the inside of you?
People tell me that I'm stubborn.  That's a label.  Yes, I'm stubborn, but I'm not always stubborn.  And I can stop at any moment and take control of that natural inclination of mine.  Depression, that's a label.  Yes, I've had depression.  But I realized one day that that wasn't who I was.  That label that was put on me was not the truth.  I was not made to be that way.  Depression comes to lie about my life, to steal my happiness, and to kill my joy.  Guess what the Bible says?  It says the devil comes to lie, steal, and kill.  That means that depression is not from God.  And since God made us, it means that we were not meant to life this way.
Instead of looking in to that fog that is stealing your life right now, look beyond it.  Or, look in to that fog with a different pair of glasses over your eyes.  That fog is not your trap, it is not your destiny, and it is not where you belong.  The last time I was trapped in that fog, I started this blog.  I knew I had so many good things in life.  I knew they were there.  But I couldn't feel them.  They were something I knew to be thankful for, but they weren't a part of who I was every day.  How could I get closer to these good things?  How could they become a part of me, instead of just something that stood in the background of my life?  So I started writing.  I didn't want to make a list of things I was thankful for.  I could do that any time.  I knew what good things were there, but they were beyond my grasp.  I wanted to change my perspective.  I wanted to change me.  So I thought of one thing every day that I was so thankful for, that I could write paragraphs about.  And this has become such a part of me and who I am now, that this "one year experiment" is almost 6 years old.  I have no plans to stop. This keeps my perspective in the right place.  Every night, this realigns my thoughts and my spirit.
And I'll share one other tip that I've shared in the past.  It may seem silly.  But it is a children's cartoon.  Veggie Tale's: A Snoodle Tale.  I love that one so much that we have a barn cat named Snoodle now.  Here I'll see if I can put links in here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJzJ5s970Pc
I can't tell yet if that will work for you.  I hope so!  Anyway, we sometimes think life should be so complicated because we are adults.  But how many times does the Bible liken life to simpler things?  Why do we think we should make it so complicated?  This video has made me cry numerous times at a time when I felt like I was a failure, a complete and utter failure.  The truth is that my failures are not who I am, they are not who I am meant to be.  And they won't be what limits me.
Tonight I am thankful for getting to the other side of depression.  Sometimes I've gotten mad at all it takes from me.  Sometimes I've been suffocated until I stood up one more time deciding I would not be written as a victim.  And all times I've given myself over to God's better plan for me, either desperately or strongly . . . God doesn't care if you come to him crawling, or standing. He loves us.  And he'll take us any way he can get us.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Getting Back on Track

Time to get real here . . . the last many weeks of my life have been an unstopping chaotic mess.  Ironically, I made it that way . . . of which I reminded myself regularly.  So I couldn't get mad and I certainly couldn't quit - because I took all this one, knowing that I would never sleep.
I'm only mildly shaking my head at myself, because really I don't know what I would change if I had the chance to re-do anything.  I also knew that this would be a short term thing, so I just kept on telling myself to hang on!
I am not sleeping enough . . which is such a bummer since I had been doing much better with sleep; and noticing the difference that healthy sleep made with my thyroid stuff!  It was getting better there for awhile.  And lately I've been going backwards.  I've also been taking particular note of how much crappier I eat and drink when I don't sleep enough. Which of course, a poor diet directly affects all parts of a body.  My body and thyroid health seem to be heading back where I started . . but I'll be back on track making some positive progress!
My house is a mess.  Seriously.  I have tried to do what I could here and there.  But I've been working almost non-stop, and still not keeping up.  I would go crazy, except over the last many years I've learned how to put on blinders.  Sometimes you can't look to the side and you can't look too far ahead; sometimes you just have to look at the tasks right in front of you that need the most attention.  But yes, at some point, those blinders come off and everything else must be dealt with.
My whole house has been eating more take-out and more frozen stuff.  I simply have not had time to cook lately.  We had this nice system in the works where everyone had a night to prepare dinner . . but that only works when I'm there to help the in-training chefs.  So even that has been on hold.
Well, we had a family meeting today.  I thanked everyone for sticking in there while I've been running around like a crazy woman.  We talked about getting back on track here!  We have one more week of craziness.  After one more week, cross country will be done.  And our first season with me being cheer commissioner will be done.  I have given this thing a ton of my time and attention this season.  I had some big goals for the program.  And I think we have done pretty well!  We've got one more week, and one more game.  And still big plans for this upcoming week!
Anyway, after this week we will re-look at the budget.  It needs to be adjusted back down.  I intentionally allowed for more eating out, as I knew it would happen this football season!  We talked about getting the chores back on track.  We all have a good game plan for upcoming weeks!
Work has been just absolutely crazy.  I have over-scheduled, which is really not new.  But adjusting from summer appointment times to school year appointment times has not gone super well for me.  So I have a new scheduling tactic, that I will be trying in upcoming weeks.  And the big addition is a new helper that will be taking over some tasks that I usually do myself.  She starts training this week and this should relieve some more stress and pressure from myself.
Yep, moving forward here I am already feeling like we are getting ourselves back on track!  Much of the plans have to wait one more week.  But a more sane schedule is in sight!  And in the meantime, we have blasted out some awesome goals!  AND in a few weeks, I'm going to sleep in at least two weekend mornings in a row!  I don't have it on the calendar yet . . but it is a definite goal!
Tonight I am thankful for accomplishing the things that I set out to accomplish.  I couldn't have done it without the help of some very awesome people in every area of my life!!  And someday I will get better at making these huge goals without the expense of my sleep and health.  Baby steps though  . . . I'm taking baby steps in this direction . . and that is enough for now :)

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Night Out

Our anniversary was on a Thursday, so we were planning on going out to dinner to celebrate last weekend.  We got to the weekend and the hubster was pretty sickly.  He was still going to go out though.  What a trooper :)  But I called him at work, (he had to work last Saturday) and told him that we should wait.  He sounded very relieved.
So tonight we finally went out for our anniversary dinner.  Most years we go to the place we had our reception, since it has since been transformed from a banquet hall to a restaurant.  But tonight we went to the restaurant that is just down the road from our first house.  It is a nice restaurant with a back section that they close off when it is rented out.  Tonight, there was a wedding reception in the back part of the restaurant :)  That was quite fitting for our anniversary dinner, I thought!
Tonight I am thankful for a nice anniversary dinner out with the hubster.  It was worth the wait :)


Friday, October 14, 2016

Just In Time

Somewhere around 3:00ish I received a text that the bus would be at the school at 4.  That was fantastic and alarming news! 
For whatever reason, I had in my head that the bus wasn't getting back until later in the evening with my week-long camper.  When I double checked the time last night, I went a little bit in to panic mode . . . the paper said 4:15!  I already had a full day planned, with my earliest clearing at 4:30 to pick up my son from cross country practice.  I looked and looked at my schedule to see what I could move or change.  I wasn't finding anything. 
The hubster saw my distress and said that he could go in to work early and get out at 4.  He could make it there just by 4:15 to get our camper.  That would work.  That had to work!
Then there was the text that  the bus would be there at 4.  I was a bit panicked.  I tried to call the hubster, but he wasn't at his phone right then.  I was waiting at a house showing for the people to arrive.  Fortunately for me, the people arrived early!!  They decided that over 30 acres sounded good online.  But looking at it all, it was just too much for them.  Since they arrived early, they left early, and I raced to the school! 
In that time I did receive another text that they were back to the 4:15 time.  It didn't matter.  I was there waiting!  I got her bags sorted and in the car before her bus even arrived.
And tonight, I am thankful that my girl is home!  I am thankful that she had a wonderful time at camp!  And I'm thankful that I was there to pick her up when she arrived back at the school :)

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Tomorrow

My girl is coming home tomorrow! My girl is coming home tomorrow!
Day 4 of my girl being at camp:
I was less mean today . . that's an improvement.
A very sweet mom who is in the cabin with my girl sent me pictures today and gave me updates on her :)  That made my day!  I even got to tell her "Hi" via messenger :)
I had a plan to clean out her room and move things around a bit while she's been away.  But I have been so slammed with work that I haven't been able to.  The hubster and my boys all worked hard on it yesterday to surprise her!  :)
Tonight I am thankful that my girl is coming home tomorrow!!  I am thankful for the hard work put in to surprise her with her room!  And I am thankful that she is coming home tomorrow!!!  :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Temperamental, But Fairly Intelligent

Camp-themed blog week continues!
I am an irritable, moody mess.  I need my baby back.  In the past two days, I have had no patience at all with people.  My job, as an appraiser, includes being called, occasionally badgered, by upset people who don't fully understand how my job works.  I don't have to take their calls, really I don't.  The homeowner or borrower is almost never my client.  The bank or middle man who hired me is my client, and I answer to them.  BUT, I remember how I felt before getting in to this profession, when I did not have my calls returned.  At that time I just had some questions on the process.  I wasn't looking to berate anyone.  But no one would call me back.
With that memory always in my mind, I do try to talk to people to explain methodologies, etc.  This week though . . . Monday and Tuesday I had two separate people blowing up my phone just to argue with me.  I had no intention of calling either one back just from the voicemails they left.  But I figured both days that they were going to continue to harass my phone if I did not talk to them.  Monday's man, after calling me 6 times in a 4 hour period, leaving a voicemail twice, and stating that I did my job wrong, very apologetically got off the phone in record time after I interrupted him and said what was on my mind.  Tuesday's woman, who called me 6 times also and left 1 message in a 5 hour period, was not available when I called her back.  I left a message for her and haven't heard from her since.  Yep . . . I was extremely direct, with a touch of rude-don't-mess-with-me flare.
Today, I sent everyone to voicemail.  I figured it's just better if I don't talk to anyone today.  I miss my girl and I want her back and I can't be trusted to interact with unpolite people at the moment.
But, on that note, I am so thankful for the other parents up at camp. I got an update this morning that made my whole morning.  And I got sent a video of my girl doing the giant swing at camp this evening!
Tonight I am thankful that my baby will be home in two more days!  I am thankful that she is having fun!  And I am thankful that I have a job where I can hide from people when I know that if I open up my mouth, somehow, a temperamental, but fairly intelligent woman comes out making people run away with their tail between their legs . . . not good for business to let this woman talk!!

Honor & Privilege

AH, I'm after midnight . . . I hope I don't turn in to a pumpkin!
Well, I just got back from camp.  My girl was doing very well there . . until I had to leave :(  I know that is the hardest part.  And I'm sure she is sound asleep now and will have a great day tomorrow.  Tomorrow she gets to swing on the giant swing!
I know that I don't NEED to go visit the kids when they go to camp.  And I know it makes it harder for them when I leave.  But I like to go see them.  It's only one day out of the week they are up there, but it is a special time for them and I.
The thing that strikes me so bittersweet about this visit, with this child, at this time, is that a girl who was a few grades behind me in school just lost her battle with cancer.  She had two boys.  I can't even imagine.  How could you explain to a child that they would never see their mother again?  How could you be a mother and say goodbye to your young children?  There is no way.
It isn't an inconvenience to drive up and see the kids when they are at camp for me.  I like to drive.  But this time, this drive today, and this time at camp today . . it just feels more like an honor and a privilege to be able to do this and have this time with my daughter.
Tonight I am thankful for being able to go spend time with my daughter at camp.  I wish I could go back up this week . . but I'll see her again in just a few days.
Tonight I ask you to join me and pray for these boys who have lost their mother.  They won't have the chance to even hope that she would be able to come on school outings now.  And she won't get to be there for them to make those memories.  Please pray that the whole family somehow finds peace and finds the best way to honor her memory in caring for her children.  Some people say that God takes people away too soon.  I counter that this is not God's plan.  Death is not God's plan . . it never has been and it never will be.  But he can help heal this pain and bring a rainbow after the storm.
*My girl and I playing around in her cabin*



Monday, October 10, 2016

Camp

I don't like camp, it takes the children away.
I do like camp, it lets the kids try new things.
I don't like camp, it takes the children away.
I do like camp, it lets the kids make wonderful memories.

I don't like camp, it takes the children away.
I do like camp, it give the kids time for a bit more independence and responsibility.
I don't like camp, it takes the children away.
I do like camp, it is beautiful there for the kids to enjoy.

I don't like camp, it takes the children away.
I do like camp, they make the kids do K.P.!!
I don't like camp, it takes the children away.
I do like camp, they have a giant swing and a giant rock wall for the kids.

Tonight I am thankful for 5th grade camp.  I will be extra thankful on Friday evening when my baby is back home!  I am happy for her to be having fun and having a wonderful time.  But I miss her . . already . . and I want her to be back home . . 


Sunday, October 9, 2016

Warm as Toast!

When I was a kid we lived in an old farm house that had no heat in the upstairs.  The walls were not well insulated at all.  And I have never been an exceptionally warm person.  I will never forget my first electric blanket!  That thing was one of my most favorite things ever!
I'm not sure what happened to that electric blanket.  And honestly, I didn't think about it at all for many years.
In the last year or more, with a cranky thyroid, I have experienced a whole new level of being cold.  There have been times when I have been horribly cold and unable to warm up.  The worst was from me out in like 40 degree weather without a warm enough jacket.  I came home and was shaking, chilled to the bone.  I sat in front of a heater with a warm jacket and two blankets on for over fifteen minutes and still couldn't warm up.
I have gotten an electric blanket in the throw blanket size.  And that is nice.  But I've dreamed of a nice, warm, electric blanket to sleep with at night again.  I asked for one for Christmas last year and the hubster tried . . but he got another throw size.
Imagine my happiness and surprise around the end of July when I found one, real sized, electric blanket on clearance for less than half price!  Well the soft, fluffy thing has been sitting there just waiting for me.  And last night, it got it's chance!
I slept wonderfully!!  I woke up so warm and well rested!  I had a very hard time leaving my bed!
Tonight I am thankful for my electric blanket!  I can't wait to crawl in to bed tonight and be nice, warm, and toasty!!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Three Things

"There are 3 things that I've learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin".  -  Linus Van Pelt, Peanuts
I do discuss God, though not religions.
The other two . . well . . I'll just leave that right there.
One thing that is certain in life is that you have to pick your battles.  Pick the battles that need fighting - debating online with people who are looking to debate with other people online is not a battle that needs fighting.
I cannot change the presidential candidates, I wish I could.  The things that I can do include researching facts and not relying on media recounts, making what I feel to be the best decision for the future of our country , and going to the polls to cast my vote,
The things that I can change in life start in this house.  In this house we learn that it is not ok to lie.  It is not ok to steal, to cheat, to take things that don't belong to you, to touch others inappropriately, to cover for someone who has told a lie, to make decisions about others without regard to how it affects that other person; and these are just a few of the things that we work on in this house.  Now we don't always get it right.  But I pray that my children grow and leave this house knowing the difference between right and wrong.  I pray that my children grow to learn to forgive other and themselves.  I pray that my children grow to learn to give second chances; but not to be walked on.  I pray that my children understand that our country is not perfect, but it is good.  I pray that my children grow to understand that democracy is not perfect, but it is good.  And I pray that my children grow to think for themselves, to pray for wisdom, and to make the best decision that they can make.
Tonight I am thankful for the things that I can change; the things that I can affect, and the things that I can have a say in, whether I feel like it or not - these things are privileges, as well as rights, and will always be regarded as such in this house!
P.S.  I have never seen the Great Pumpkin . . . but I wouldn't want to hurt Linus's feelings about it.  He's not hurting anyone by growing great pumpkins ;)

Friday, October 7, 2016

Whew!

Trying something new, especially in front of a crowd, can be nerve-wracking . . to an extent.
Tonight's Homecoming Game had the cheerleading program's first run at tent-carnival games as a fundraiser.  I went over and over what I needed to bring.  We had the games.  We had the prizes.  And I had my fingers crossed that we would have the people!
Our other something-new tonight was our very own coach's idea of handing out spirit shaker bottles during the Homecoming Parade.  I was completely stressed about these until a wonderful parent offered to finish decorating all of them. When I saw how many we had, I wondered if maybe we had too many?
I am so happy to announce that today was just an absolute success!!  Everyone loved the shaker bottles!  Even before the parade started, the other kids in the parade were loving them!  It was awesome!  And the games were a hit!  People were playing up until we shut it down at the end of the 3rd quarter!
Tonight I am thankful that our new things tonight went so well!  I can relax now . . breathe in, breathe out.  Ahh . . . feels wonderful!  I'm going to sleep fantastic tonight!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Good People

Sometimes I sit back, metaphorically, I've been trying to work on my posture in real life.  Anyway, I sit back and think how blessed I am to have people in my life that make it better.
Today was one of those days.
I had breakfast today with my Marky before my work appointments.  He has always been one of my biggest fans.  He thinks I could lasso the moon and send it back up to the sky five times bigger and brighter than it was.  I would not have grown in to the "Me" that I am today without him.
Being buried with work right now, I got back to my desk this afternoon to a text from my gal that she'll be here to help me out.  I have to get my head screwed back on straight enough to organize myself and prioritize this madness on my desk.  Seriously, there are so many papers and files here that I'm seeing cross-eyed.
The Schwan's man stopped by and mentioned how he'd seen more of our Ethos Real Estate West signs around in yards!  Yes, I'm blessed there too.  I have another great gal there and some wonderful customers helping to grow this in to something amazing!
Then it was time to pick up three of the kids.  They all had good days at school.  They are trying and learning and what more could I ask for?
Later it was time to pick up my fourth from cross country practice.  He had an awesome practice and ran wonderfully.  It is so great to see him challenging himself!
I got a little more work done before it was time for girl scouts.  Except I didn't have enough work done to stop what I was doing and run my daughter there.  The hubster got home just in time to run her there!
I was late to cheer practice from finalizing some cheer stuff - tomorrow is Homecoming!  My awesome coaches were un-phased.  They were running like clockwork.  These gals know what they are doing!  And they are teaching the girls some awesome things!
The cheerleaders this year are awesome themselves!  They are so excited to try things and learn!
The Varsity coach stopped by and the girls were so excited to see her!  She is so great with the girls and they adore her!
Last but not least, the cheer families are amazing!  I've had a mom sew pants.  I have a mom who took over our shaker making . . which was a HUGE stress off me!  Like, totally HUGE, time is a thing I just don't have right now and time is exactly what was needed here - and she's making them look way prettier than I would have!  I have a grandma who is going to stay with our fundraising tents/games tomorrow while we do the parade thing.  They are amazing, simply amazing!
Tonight I am thankful for the blessings of people that God has put in my life!  Today was a pretty stressful day.  And I'll even be thankful for the frazzled and insistent people who called my phone today.  I'll be thankful for voicemail to send them too when I just can't stand to take anymore calls!  I know that these people are blessings to others as well, I pray that going to my voicemail didn't ruin their days when I had to clock out of contact with people!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Marriage IS Hard . . .

Tomorrow is a big day!  First of all, it is my brother's birthday.  Happy Birthday Bill!
Second of all, it is my 15th wedding anniversary!  Seriously this boy makes me feel old sometimes . . . we must have met in elementary school :)
When we got married, I was good with Vegas.  The hubster and his large family were not too keen on the notion.  So we compromised for fall - my favorite - and a church, reception, the whole shebang.  Our plan then was to go to Vegas for our 10th anniversary.  After having kids, we pushed it back to 15.  And now, maybe 20 or 25 years . . I want the kids to be older so I don't feel guilty about leaving for several days and enjoying Vegas!
A few days ago I saw an article that was something about marriage not being hard.  I only read the first couple paragraphs.  That was all I could read . . . The woman had been married around 9 months I think.  And she was differentiating life being hard versus being married being hard.  I get her point, I really do . . life can be very hard and it doesn't have to mean that being married is hard just because life is hard.
BUT, the honest truth, as she will learn in time, is that yes, marriage can be very hard.  There have been times when I've laid in my bed next to a man that I wanted to punch in the face.  But I love him, so I didn't.  You can love someone and not like them at all.  There was a time for us that I couldn't even stand him being in the same house.  We were separated and I had lost faith in us.  I knew I would love him for the rest of my life, but I didn't believe in us anymore and I didn't believe in our marriage anymore.  Fortunately, that was a time that he found his faith in us.  For me, staying married then was hard.  And we both put in a world of work to get this union rebuilt stronger than it was before.
I think some truths that we have both learned the hard way is that marriage works best when you throw all your preconceived ideas out the window.  And no matter how many facebook memes you read, no . . the other person is not responsible for your happiness.  I do not wake up every morning bearing the weight of my husband's happiness.  I can not make him truly happy.  I can bring him moments of happiness.  But his outlook on life is up to him.  And vice versa.  He can't make me a happy person.  That is up to me.  And if I'm unhappy, he is not the first place I look to, nor should he ever be where I look.  That is an enormous weight to try and lay on someone's shoulders.  God is the one who helps with that, that is where I turn . . putting my husband even with God isn't any place I would ever go, he would fail miserably . . because he's human.
No matter how many quizzes or checklists there are to tell you how to keep the spark going or keep the other person feel treasured, they aren't real.  They may be good suggestions; but that is all that they are.  I can speak for myself and I expect him to use his own mind.  There is no play book for this marriage stuff.
We've been together for 19 years total now and in that time I think we have both learned first hand that "love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails . . "  This quote is from 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8.  Another good one is from a country song "Be a best friend.  Tell the truth. Overuse I love you.  Go to work.  Do your best.  Don't outsmart your common sense.  Never let your praying knees get lazy. And love like crazy".
Tonight I am thankful for (almost) 15 years of marriage.  At my age 16, I thought this boy was cocky and obnoxious.  At 21, I knew this boy was bull-headed, but as I took his last name, I knew his heart was good.  At 27, I knew this boy realized that our world together was everything.  At 30, I knew this boy was still learning me.  And at 36 now, I know this boy will always love me.  Even more than that, I know this boy will keep trying.  Marriage IS hard.  Love can get worn down and bruised.  But two people who believe in love and have faith enough to keep trying . . . that's something special.  Happy 15th Anniversary Ron (tomorrow).


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Brutally Honest

Every story starts somewhere.  And over the years, I've revealed just a little of ours in pieces.
Tonight I thought I should put some of the pieces together in an over-view.
I knew I wanted to stay home with my babies once I became a mom.  I had a vague plan on how I was going to do that.  I had started my own public relations company and planned on running that while being home with babies.  After my first few clients, I realized that would not work.  It just took much time out of the house.
When I became pregnant, I quit my job at a very unhealthy place.  That was the smartest move in a life-view.  That was not the best move for our finances.  I held part time jobs for the next many months.  After the baby was born, I went to work where my husband worked, so I could work on an opposite shift of him and we could take turns taking care of the baby.  That was definitely a short term plan. 
Soon I found appraising and started working towards that license.  All this time since quitting my job while pregnant, I never got up to close to what I had been making at that job.  But I told myself it was ok because things would get better.  We charged quite a bit of things then on credit cards.  We did the equity line thing on the house.  Getting in to appraising, I took out a personal loan to be able to afford the software at my own computer.
After awhile I had my own appraising business going.  I had a couple good clients that I liked and worked at a comfortable pace. 
On the life front, we had a death of a sibling, which led to a downturn that almost ended our marriage.  Rebuilding from that and having more babies went hand in hand with more credit card spending.  Then almost simultaneously, my good clients restructured and my work dried up while the hubby's company got bought out and his job was gone.  Here we were, four babies, a fragile marriage, a mountain of debt, and no income.
I was never so scared.  It wasn't just us, it was our babies.  What were we going to do?  I felt like we were sliding down a cliff with nothing to grab on to.  We met with the bankruptcy attorney and started those proceedings.  There was nothing else to do.  We lost a lot.  We lost the house.  For the first time in my entire life, I had to sign a lease to rent a house.  I had never rented anything.  I had bought my first house when I was 19.  It was shattering to me.
But, we had the kids.  We couldn't stay down.  The day the bankruptcy was final, I started looking at how to rebuild our credit.  And we did it.  At the end of the 3 year mandated time, we bought a house.  And we were doing better.
Then came a phone call.  There was an accident.  Luckily the hubster was ok.  The accident was in the company truck.  And the details didn't matter.  This time when our household income dropped, we weren't near as in debt as we were before.  We were stronger this time.  But that same fear came back.  And it soon dawned on me that the we were missing something.
Yes we had rebuilt our credit.  Yes we had less debt.  But we still had debt.  I had thought we were doing so good.  But had we?  Always in the back of mind was the scripture that the borrower is the servant of the lender.  I never outright stated that the Bible could be wrong, I brushed it off like, that was written a long time ago and things were different now.  That just wasn't true.  That still isn't true.  It is a truth of life that the borrower is servant of the lender.  And it didn't matter that we could play the credit score game good, we were still in debt.  We were still under these companies.  They still had a hold in our lives.  They cause stress.  They steal peace.  And they steal our ability to bless others.
It was around then that I read the Dave Ramsey book.  And God's timing for that message was perfect.  I was ready to hear it.  I knew we had failed.  I thought we had been rebuilding so well, but we hadn't.  It still wasn't right. 
We have been at this for almost two years now.  Our budget is still a work in progress.  Our plan is not perfect, and I don't think it ever will be.  But we are on the right road now.  Sometimes it feels like a long road.  And when I get discouraged I read these stories of the people that are free from this burden of debt!  Other people have been where we are and where we have been.  Other people have been there and they are free now.  And we will be free too!
Tonight I am thankful for the opportunity to share our story.  We are real.  My family is real.  We have made some ridiculously poor decisions.  We have made selfish decisions.  We have decided in the past that what we "deserved"  was way above what we really needed, or what we had funds to afford (and I'm not talking monthly funds/payments, I'm talking actual funds to purchase) - and we have paid for those decisions mentally, emotionally, and financially.  Tonight I am thankful that we have more than changed our spending; we have changed our mindsets, we changed our lifestyles, we changed our futures, and we are changing our family's future!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Going With Your Gut

I am a firm believer in gut feelings.  I was trying to explain it to one of my children the other day.
I think God has several ways of communicating with people.  And, just my own personal belief here, I think part of that is that "gut feeling" that people get.  Call it instincts, call it whatever you want . .  I know it to be a good thing, so I know where it comes from.
I think I'm fairly good at following the gut feeling . . . except when it is something that I want that I just know isn't for me.  Typically in this scenario, I start down that path and the further I get, the more I feel that gut feeling that this path is not meant for me.  Until I can't deny it anymore and turn back around.
Which brings me to today. I've been looking for about a month at a new business opportunity.  It has to do with real estate, so I feel I could be fairly knowledgeable about it.  I see a lot of potential here.  I also see a potential can of worms.  And from the start I had the gut feeling that this was not for me to pursue.  And I tried to outsmart my common sense here . . never a good plan, for the record.
I told myself, ok, well I won't actively pursue this, but I'll ask around and get a few answers regarding the possibilities.  Kind of like when you aren't going to eat the chocolate cake, so you just take a lick of the frosting, then maybe a bigger finger full of frosting . . . it's still not abstaining.
The further I've gone down this path, the more I see the potential for this thing to blow up in my face.  I still do think this particular endeavour has a lot of potential.  But I think it would take too many years to see a good return.
Today the news finally came that this opportunity I was looking at simply isn't feasible.  The best part about this is that I had already come to the decision myself to walk the other way.  I did feel extra vindicated with my recent decision though, that it simply wouldn't work . . . kind of like, yes I finally decided to agree with the initial gut feeling and it was right . . . which I pretty much knew all along and just didn't want to admit to.
With all my asking on this thing, I did find a program for our existing rental property that will lower our interest rate almost 3%!!!  This is ironic because I was checking on lowering this rate just about two months ago, and income properties were still not at a great place rate wise.
Tonight I am thankful that the wrong decision for us will remain an un-acted upon wrong decision.  I am thankful for the gut feelings that let us know what we can't quite substantiate yet.  And I am thankful for God's goodness to still lead me to a route of $$ savings despite my questioning the inherit gut feelings he had already provided me.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Crying That Makes Your Heart Skip a Beat

There are things that just melt a Momma's heart.  The biggest would be when my children simply love each other.
This week my kids have been at each other like wild animals fighting over a piece of meat.  Seriously, Thursday I picked them up at school and we sat in the parking lot for over 15 minutes until they could be nice to each other.  AND then I still pulled over on the 5 minute drive home!  Wednesday, on my birthday, I wanted to cancel my birthday dinner because they just wouldn't stop fighting.
Then today . . today my boys were outside playing in some trees.  I had come inside for a few minutes and I heard my youngest crying.  Not just crying, but that crying that children do that makes your heart skip a couple beats because you know something is very wrong.  He had found a wasp nest and had gotten stung repeatedly.  But that wasn't all, as he was freaking out and I was checking him all over, 3 wasps came out of his clothes.  So he had been being stung on his way inside and the 30 seconds it took me to look him over.
I didn't even count, but I'm sure he was stung at least 20 times.  His older brother was very sure we should call an ambulance.  We made a baking soda paste and covered him in it, gave him some Benadryl, and made him an Epsom salt bath.  He said he was feeling better after only a couple minutes in the bath.  He soaked for around a half hour before I was worried about freezing him.  I only made the bath lukewarm, with all the stings.  I mixed him up an essential oil treatment, and he is resting on the couch now.
The part that warmed my heart is the way his big brother wants to take care of him.  He kept checking on him during his bath, asking how he felt.  He brought him his pj's to wear after his bath.  He brought his favorite stuffed toys and magazines down and set him up a spot on the couch.  He brought him his dinner and a drink.  He even wanted to carry him from the bathroom to the couch.
Tonight I am thankful first of all that Cody is not allergic to stings.  And I am very thankful that even though these guys can fight to the death over where they are going to sit in the car, they do absolutely and completely love each other.  And they are there for each other, loving and taking care of each other.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Tred

This morning the hubster and I split kiddo taxi duties.  I drew swimming lessons with Cody.
Here's why I love taking the kids to swimming lessons - they love it and they have fun.
Here's why I dislike taking the kids to swimming lessons - I see all they ways they could drown.
So the dislike is obviously an irrational based worry on my part.  And I have been trying very, very hard to overcome this thing.
But it's still there.  My little man swam the length of the pool several times.  He used the diving board.  He stopped in the middle of the pool and stayed there treading water.  He looked at me and smiled.  I smiled back at him and completely ignored that little thought of how deep the water was right there.
Ugh!
Tonight I am thankful that my kids are finally "getting" the whole swimming techniques and movements!  I am also thankful that irrational fears can kiss my behind!  I will not let them stop us!