Friday, December 31, 2010

I am now the mother of an adult child!!!  Happy 18th Birthday to my firstborn....

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

As 2010 comes to a close, I have been looking back over the past year and all that has happened.  My life has changed and I am learning to listen to God and follow the path He has for me.  Here is a small recap of why I have disappeared much more than I wanted to this year.

  • In Feb. I gave birth to another beautiful little girl.
  • Now that I had a 2 year old and an infant, we struggled to finish out our school year.
  • I "broke" my 2 year old of her pacifier addiction. (what a nightmare!!!)
  • My new little girl does not like to sleep.
  • We took a much needed vacation this summer.
  • I officially opened my own crochet pattern business. It has consumed much of my time trying to get all my patterns in pdf format so I can sell them. (If I had listened to God I would have done it MANY years ago! But that's another blog story) If you crochet you can check it out at
Not great excuses, but all consumers of my time.  As this year comes to a close I am at the realization that next year will bring it's own set of changes.  There were so many things I wanted to blog about this year, but just couldn't sit down to get them typed up.  Now I feel God leading me in a completely different direction.  I have a couple of topics I feel led to blog about.  The first being my 2 children who were born with low vision.  I feel God wants me to share what I have learned, and what He has shown and taught me through this journey.  I look forward to a new beginning in 2011.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Changing Course, Even When You're On the Right Track

Do you ever feel like your on the right course, headed in the right direction, but for some reason there is something not right?  That's how I've felt since the beginning of the school year.  With a lot of prayer, and a step of faith, I changed a bunch of curriculums this year.  I knew I was doing what God wanted me to, and was so excited to see where He would be taking us.  But along the way I feel like I've had some bumps in the road.

I could never have imagined how hard it would be to complete a homeschool day with a 2 year old and an infant.  It's proving much harder than I imagined.  At some point in the last 4-6 weeks I wondered why I felt like I "had" to do school in the am.  After all, isn't flexibility one of the benefits of homeschooling?  So, for a couple of weeks we tried working in the afternoon when the 2 little ones were sleeping.  That went much smoother but, because of ear infections, etc. I was in desperate need of some cat naps, so we fell back into our old ways. 

More recently, I have one daughter that (I feel) is falling behind.  She's always been a slower learner. (ex: she didn't talk until she was 3)  But I feel like I am unable to give her the extra attention she really needs to catch up.  The other children need my guidance and the two youngest are just too young to take care of themselves.  So, I've really been wondering how to get back on track. 

I've decided to work with the older 2 girls in the am which frees up my 6 year old to play with the 2 year old.  Then in the afternoon when the 2 little ones are sleeping (hopefully they sleep), I'll work with her.  I'm going to give it a couple weeks and see how it works. 

If anyone else does alternate schedules, or something else works for you, I'd love to hear suggestions.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Disappearing Act

I feel as though I've pulled a little bit of a disappearing act lately.  I have thought of hundreds of things to blog about, but when I get to the computer I feel like I don't have the time to do it justice. Then I wonder if anyone else wants to read my thoughts, especially if they're just thrown together.  So I write nothing.  Then I have too many ideas and don't know where to start.  Last week Jenna, over at  Sugar, Spice, and Monkey Tales sent me a message telling me she missed my posts.  I was honestly touched (sometimes I wonder who reads this - lol)

I felt last year that God was leading me to this point.  (I'm trying to listen better).  So, I started to pray about where to go with my blogging.  I know he wants me to use this as a tool to lift up those who need a little help.  Not that I have all the answers, but I feel like I have a story to tell.  We've been blessed with miracles, and we've walked through pain.  But one thing I know for sure is that God has been there every step of the way.   I hope to be able to share some of my experiences in the next few weeks.

I also know that God is doing something in me.  Things have changed and I know when I work through all He is doing in me, I will be a different person.  I'm struggling to get where He wants me.  Not because I don't want to change, but because I want instant results.  Maybe, in the coming days, I'll be able to share what He's been doing.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Blog Award

Last week I received my very first blog award from Jenna over at Sugar, Spice & Monkey TailsThank you so much!  I promise to try harder to blog more often! :) 

Rules for accepting the award:

1. Accept the award. Post it on your blog with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.

2. Pay it forward to 15 other bloggers that you have newly discovered.

3. Contact those blog owners and let them know they've been chosen.

On that note here is a list of some amazing blogs that I look forward to reading! Enjoy getting to know them.  I haven't been blogging much the past few weeks, or even months for that matter, so I'll see how many I can come up with.
A Spoonful of.....
Diddle Daddle Designs
Live, Love, Laugh
The Blessings of Modern Domestication
Training 6 Hearts 4 Him
It's not 15, but it will have to do :)
Thanks again, Jenna!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Help with Recurring Poison Ivy

I'm searching for someone who can shed some light on my poison ivy issue.  I have recurring poison ivy.  This time it has reoccurred on my wrist (underneath my watch) and 3 dots on my eyelid.  I know for a fact my eyelid and my watch have not been re-exposed. lol.  Those 3 dots on my eye are in the same exact spot as 3 weeks ago.  I threw my old watch away and didn't wear my new one until I was sure the poison ivy had been gone for almost a week.  Both spots are on the same side of my body so I didn't transfer it by touching it. 

My husband has his own tree removal business.  I'm not sure about other times I've had it, but when I got it this time it was because the poison ivy vine around the tree was about 2" in diameter.  He does his own laundry, but all he has to do is look at me and I get it. :).  

I know this may come across as being harsh, but if you're going to comment and tell me I must have come in contact with it again, please save yourself the time. I have searched the internet and there are hundreds of sites with the same advice. (please don't take that personal).  Out of all the searching I've done I only found one site, with a discussion board, of people just like me.  They know for a fact they have not come in contact with it again (its been weeks, months, etc) but yet it has come back in the same exact spot.

This is a picture of my wrist.  I only took it to show that my new watch is much bigger and the spot of poison ivy is the same size as my previous watch.  If it was caused by this watch the diameter would be much wider.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Crochet, Yarn, and a Two Year Old

I live 1/2 hour from the closest craft store, grocery store, warehouse club, etc. Because of the price of gas, I've been trying to consolidate trips into town. Hubby only gets paid every other week, so yesterday and today were shopping days for me (with all 5 girls in the car, I can't do it all in one trip). Yesterday we went to Target and A.C.Moore. Today we were venturing out to finish our shopping for the next two weeks. This is the conversation I had with my girls on the way to the store this morning.

Princess Giggles (5): "Where are we going?" (she already knew, she just likes to ask questions)

Me: "BJ's and Joann's."

Princess Cuddlebug (7): "We just went to A.C.Moore yesterday. What are you getting at Joann's?"

Princess Joy (2): "YARN!"

Needless to say, the entire car busted out laughing. It's pretty sad when my 2 year old knows what we're getting at the craft store.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sharing Space

When we got back from vacation a few weeks ago, I took everything except the beds out of my girls room.  Princess Sunshine was still sleeping in our room, and the only way to get her into their room was to get my 2 year old into a bed, so the baby could have the crib.....which meant somehow fitting another bed in their room.  We only have a small 3 bedroom house.  Here's where it gets a little tricky.  We only have one son, who gets his own room, which means there are 5 girls in the other bedroom.  The room is about 10' X 12' which is pretty small for 5 kids, beds, dressers, toys, etc.

So, I decided the easiest way to rearrange was to pull everything out into the living room.  BIG mistake!!!  I got the new bed set up, and I rearranged the furniture for optimal space, but I still haven't had time to go through the toys to see what I'll keep and what I'll get rid of.  So, in my kitchen they sit.  Now that we've started school they may sit there a bit longer.  The longer the kids don't ask for them, the more I just want to get rid of them!  :D  I'm realizing just how little will/would make them happy.  That's been my mission lately.....less is more.  I've been clearing out to make extra room to live.  It's a small house & I'm tired of all the "stuff".

The good thing is, for the most part, they never complain about sharing their space.  They just know that this is the way it is.  Period.  They have space for their own personal things, but they'll never (at least in the present future) have their own room.  

All this is to say, I believe this is why they are so close and get along so well.  They've learned (and are still learning) that it's not just about them.  They do have their moments, but I love listening to them play and include the little ones.  They're even starting to include Princess Sunshine.  Now that she's old enough to be entertained, they will gladly take her for a few minutes while I start dinner, laundry, etc.   

So, expect to see more organizing posts in the weeks to come :)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Choosing Next Years Curriculum

Looking for a new curriculum, for my girls, was so hard for me. I like things black & white. There's nothing wrong with the curriculum I've always used, so when God told me not to use my "normal" curriculum I started to panic. I started to think things like:

"I don't even know where to start looking."
"What if I choose the wrong one?"
"We don't have money to waste on things that aren't going to work."

But the feeling just wouldn't go away.  I knew God wasn't going to let me off the hook this year.  You see, I started to feel this was after I started school with them....last year!  But I didn't want to waste what we had already invested in, so ignored the feeling.  When last year ended, I started to look at homeschool catalogs.  It was then that I started to feel so overwhelmed.  So I started to pray about what God wanted us to use.  I prayed A LOT.  I had no idea what direction to go in....until I saw it.

Flying Creature of the Fifth Day by Apologia.  As soon as I saw it I knew.  You see, we live in the country.  On a daily basis we see birds that others have never even seen.  Not to mention the bugs!  Believe it or not, my girls are facinated with them.  As I read about the course I started to get excited, which was confirmation for me.  Then I started to get excited about what else I could find.

Through the summer God has shown me where we need to be for this year.  Up until now, I've had my 3 girls in different grade levels for every single subject.  God has given me curriculums, for this year, that I can do with multi-age levels.  So, Science, History, and Math will be consolidated for my oldest 2 girls, and maybe even my 6 year old.  With a 2 year old and an infant, this will free up some of my time for them.

I don't know how it will all fall into place, but I feel such a relief to know that God is in control of this. All I had to do was take the first faith!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Back to Basics

Back to Basics . . . .
That's what God spoke to me over a year ago.  I had no idea what it meant, but I suspected things were about to change.  My husband had been wanting to downsize our "things" and I assumed this had something to do with that.  Then, over the course of time, I realized God had something more for me.  He told me change was coming.  Again, I had no idea where that would lead.

This would take way to long to read if I gave you all the details, but let me sum up the past year:
  • God told me some friendships would be changing, and they did. I lost a couple key friends.
  • God told me to step down from the bible study at our church and our MOPS group.
  • I found out I was pregnant (I now have a 6 month old:)
  • God told me it was time to step out and try something new with my homeschooling.
I'm still not sure why those friends have been removed, but hopefully someday I will understand.  As for the rest of the list...  They may not seem like a huge deal, but to me they were.  Why would God tell me not to do a bible study??? And, I had no idea how hard it would be to finish out last years school year with a 2 year old and an infant. (some days I didn't think we'd ever finish).

So, when he told me to step out and try something new, with regards to homeschooling the girls, I panicked.  Other than being extra busy with the little ones, I didn't see anything wrong with the curriculum I have been using all along.  Plus, why fix it if it isn't broke? Right?!?!  I didn't do anything at first, mostly because I didn't want to choose the wrong curriculum, but I knew I needed to obey God.  I knew the pull that I felt wouldn't go away until I took that first step.  For those of you who may be hesitating....take that first step!  I felt such a relief when I did.  And after I took the first step, the second one was a little bit easier, and the third even easier than the first two. 

I am now confident that I am exactly where God was leading me.  I have rearranged our home school schedule so that I will have more time with the little ones.  (I'll get into how I consolidated things in the next few days.)

Here's where God's Back to Basics worked into the picture.  Two of my girls have been asking me, for a very long time, to teach them cooking and sewing.  If I hadn't stepped out in faith, I would have ended up with another school year of 'too much work and not enough time' to teach them basic life skills that they are wanting to learn.   I'm excited for what this year will bring.  I'm sure God has even more for us, now that I've stepped out in faith.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

It didn't take her long to figure it out.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Forgiving vs. Forgeting

With the pain of a broken friendship comes the time when you need to forgive.  But forgiving is not the same as forgetting.  It's much harder to forget that hurt that goes so deep.  I recently realized this when I felt my blood pressure rising over the simplest thing....someone who heard the rumors about me will no longer even look at me.  I guess it shouldn't bother me.  After all, were they really a friend if they didn't even ask my side of the story?  Needless to say, I felt myself grow agitated, and had no idea that this person could still indirectly do this to me.  The pain is obviously much deeper than even I thought possible.  I still have so many unshed tears.  I don't take friendships lightly, so to have something thrown away so easily really bothers me.  Don't get me wrong, there are 2 sides to every story.  The hurt is not so much from what happened but the things that were said about me.  They hurt greatly and I lost many 'friends' because of those hurtful words. 

So, how do you forget?  How do you get to a level of not letting it bother you?  You see, we go to the same church, so its unavoidable to never have to see/hear about this person again.  God has taught me much through this trial, but I still haven't learned how to let go of the hurt.  I just keep praying that someday God will take the pain and replace it with understanding.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Schools Out!

We made it!  There were days I wasn't sure we'd ever get there. Between Princess Sunshine's birth, and 6 weeks of non-stop strep in my house, we got a little behind schedule.  But, we made it!  I'm so glad.  It's been a very long year.  At times I questioned if the year was a waste, but I know I'm where God wants me, so it can't be a total waste.  I've been prayerfully considering what to use for a curriculum next year and I'm excited that God is dropping me helpful hints :).  All I had to do was take that first step and then seek His guidance.  I'm getting excited for next year! 

This summer we have some "projects" I want to get completed around the house.  Hopefully my list is realistic and I can actually get some of them accomplished. We'll see.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Daddy's Girl

Recently my computer was shut down wrong and Windows decided to lock me out.  Long story short, after 2 weeks of trying to get back in, we ended up starting from scratch.  We have an external harddrive and were hoping it did its job.  Well, lets just say, we were a little disappointed. We lost quite a few pictures, and about 2 months of business estimates and contracts, for my hubbies business.  Not a tragic loss, but I was disappointed because I lost some really good pics. 

Anyway, in looking through the ones that made it, I found this one. This is my first born daughter, and she is such a daddy's girl!  She thinks the world of him. I love reminiscing, and thought I would share it, seeing as it was Father's Day weekend!

You can find more great pics at Shutter Love Tuesdays



Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Stepping Out in Faith

After we began the school year last fall, I felt God was telling me it was time for a different curriculum.  Me, not wanting to change after I had started, just kept moving in the direction I had been headed.  My problem is that, most of the time, I am a black & white person.  I want to know where I'm going and when.  Then the getting there won't be the hard part.  So, to change curriculums mid-year did not sound like fun to me.  After all, I've only ever used one curriculum, and I've been using it for the past four years.  That would have meant (in my mind) taking time to look into a new curriculum(s) . . . . and then what would happen if I didn't like it or it wasn't working for the girls!?!?! 

All these months later, I wish I had listened to God. I may not be struggling to finish the year if I had just stepped out in faith.  So, when our computer crashed almost 3 weeks ago, it left me with some time to think about things.  I knew what God had told me, but I forgot the most important part.  He won't take the steps for us.  If we don't take that first step how can He lead us?  Just knowing He told us to do something isn't enough.  We need to act on it. 

I'm still not 100% what I'm using for a couple of subjects, but now that I'm moving in the right direction, I'm excited to see where God will lead us for next year. 


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A New Approach to Cleaning Clutter

Every time I have a newborn in the house I struggle to keep up with the housework.  I start to feel overwhelmed because there just aren't enough hours in a day to get everything done.  Most days I'm doing good if I can get a load of laundry done and have dinner on the table before bedtime.  Once I start to feel overwhelmed I don't do anything.  If I don't have time to clean it to my satisfaction then I don't spend any time on it at all.  Before you know it you're buried in housework.  And for me, I'm embarrassed that it has gotten out of control.  I know I'm not alone and here's another tip on making it work.

If you have one specific area that is an overwhelming problem, or one that you have the hardest time keeping clean, there's hope.  For me it's our island.  Everyone uses it as a dump all.  If they don't want there little sisters to be able to reach, if it needs to be fixed,  if you don't know where to put it, things going out, things coming get my point.  It all gets put there.  Not to mention, we've been considering moving.  With that in mind I've been using my island as a staging area for things to get rid of, pack, etc.  With 8 of us it feels like a never ending battle.  Just when I get it clean its a mess within a day or two.

So here's my challenge to myself, and to you.  Spend just 10 - 15 minutes everyday on that one spot.  Now here is where it may be a challenge.  It has to be EVERY day.  Here's why.  I tried this last week.  I did great for about 4 days and noticed a huge improvement.  Then we had a couple of busy days and it got pushed to the bottom of my list and didn't get done.  In those 2 days I missed, I had undone my 4 days of work.  So, I'm going to try again this week and see how I do.  Last week proved to me that it needs to be every day not just on days the piles start stacking up.  Anyone want to join me?  I plan on posting my before and after pictures next week. 

Saturday, May 29, 2010

How to Tell if You are a MoM (Mother of Many)

Found this article on Because I could relate to almost all of them on some level, I thought I'd share it with others.

You know you are a MoM (Mother of Many) when:

1. You know where the bathroom is in any major store you visit.

2. Your car has more seatbelts than windows.

3. Your grocery budget is higher than your house payment.

4. You do most of your thinking and praying in the bathroom.

5. Creative decorating means lots of bookshelves and bunkbeds.

6. You no longer carry a purse, but use the diaper bag instead.

7. Your idea of good commercial building design means a comfy mother's lounge.

8. You constantly find yourself marveling how short the time is between birth and toddling, birth and schoolage, birth and graduation, etc.

9. Even your two year old knows that they must hold someone's hand in the grocery store.

10. You have a routine for stopping pacifiers, toilet training, cup training, and every childhood “phase”.

11. You have at least three witty replies to "Are they all yours?"

12. You just really wish people would not think they were clever for saying, "Don't you know what causes that?"

13. You have forgotten how many times you have been asked, "Are you Mormon or Catholic?"

14. You are still afraid to tell your husband how many more kids you want!

15. Your food storage takes up more room than your entire kitchen... And that is just for this week!

16. You have so much laundry that when you finally get to the bottom of the pile, it's actually stuck to the floor!

17. You spend a lot of time at church in the foyer or mother’s lounge, wondering why you can’t just stay home and listen to the baby fuss there!

18. You spend more money on diapers each month than you do on entertainment!

19. You instantly sympathize with any woman who is obviously pregnant in the middle of summer.

20. You are up to double digits in years that you have spent with a baby attached to you in one way or another!

21. Taking the kids grocery shopping with you makes you feel like a mother duck.

22. You hate carpools because you know who is going to get stuck doing the driving.

23. When you see photos of castles and grand mansions, all you can think is how many bedrooms it has (YES!), and how much space all those other rooms provide for the kids to mess up (NO WAY!).

24. You know that every time you move the couch or couch cushions, you will find Cheerios under them.... Even if you have not had Cheerios in the house!

25. You know the “law of crumbs”. “Any food item that will crumble will produce twice its own weight in crumbs.”

26. You know by experience that paint NEVER dries until it has been spread around in all the places you did NOT want it to be.

27. You know what to use to remove lipstick, shortening, and indelible marker from any surface.

28. You know how to get smashed raisins out of a carpet, and how to get bubblegum out of hair, and so do all your older kids.

29. You are certain one of your kids is sneaking rolls of toilet paper out of the house and selling them because you know there is no way they could be using that much of it, even if there ARE a lot of bottoms in your house.

30. When you go to order fast food, you order 6 hamburgers, one with ketchup only, one plain, one with no pickles or onions, two with no pickles, onions or mustard, and one with nothing but cheese, plus one fish sandwich, one chicken sandwich, one large hamburger, and one large hamburger with bacon. You then have to repeat yourself three times so the person at the window can get it right.

31. When your kids are learning a foreign language, you wonder how it is that they can find the words to insult each other faster than they can find the words to say “I'm sorry.”

32. If two kids bring home identical toys from their kid's meal, you know you have to put names on them first thing, or they will fight over whose is whose, even if both of them have one in their hand.

33. You spend a lot of time looking at the little kids, urging them on to the next step, while still wishing they could stay little just a bit longer.

34. You have a full baby book for your first two children, half of one for the next one, and nearly empty baby books or none at all for the later ones.

35. When the many-times-handed down clothing is finally too worn out to hand down again, you still have a hard time letting it go because it has so many good memories attached.

36. You don't have a wardrobe of “fat clothes” and “skinny clothes”. You have "regular clothes”, “pregnant clothes”, and “nursing clothes”.

37. When a child outgrows something, you put it away in a box in the closet or garage, even if you don't have a younger child of that gender, because you just know you are going to need it eventually!

38. Your idea of a great dining set is one that has lots of expansion leaves. When you see a corporate boardroom on TV, all you can think is what a great dining table the conference table would make.

39. You can list at least three different technological advances in diaper design which you, personally, have used on your kids.

40. You have at least one specialized medical skill because at least one of your kids has some kind of potentially risky condition which you deal with.

41. You sometimes wonder how it is that other moms get really nice gifts for holidays, and you end up with 6 pieces of cardboard with “I love you Mom your the best.” written on it in crooked writing. And you have a box in your closet that you put them in.

42. You cook dinner in pots large enough to bathe a baby in, and frequently lament over the insufficient size of convenience appliances like mixers, waffle irons, and crock pots – and you compromise by owning two of each.

43. Your car is large enough to hold the entire family, but if you go camping, you have to rent a trailer just to hold all the camping equipment.

44. You can't believe with the size of the larger RVs out there that they couldn't fit more beds into at least ONE of them, and you really wish they'd design one with two bathrooms!

45. If you see a home design with a Master Retreat room, you think what a great nursery it would make.

46. You can quote entire pages from Dr. Seuss without having to pause to think about it, and can sing any number of Raffi or Disney songs from memory.

47. You can think of more than three great Christmas gifts for a child of any age... Because you always have a child close to the age in question!

48. You have at least one story stored up for each of your kids which is guaranteed to embarrass them if you recount it in public.

49. You know, and are thankful, that when they get too old to send to their rooms, that possession of the car keys gives you the ultimate power!

50. When the first two kids move out, you can't believe how much smaller your family feels.

51. You think that a mini-van is just too small to be a practical family car - but you wish they'd make a shopping cart about that size!

52. Getting the whole family to fit into the Wal-Mart photo booth, and then getting a picture when nobody is crying, making bunny ears, blinking, or sticking their finger in their nose is a major triumph!

53. Your stretchmarks might better be described as "pleats".

54. Your kids don't need as many toys, because they always have someone to play with.

55. Other people dream of buying a Porche or other sports car, but all you can think is that it wouldn't be good for anything because it is not cheap enough for your husband to commute in, and it doesn't have enough seats for the family, and there's no WAY you are going to let your teenager drive that!

56. You have to take off your shoes to count all the kids.

Written by Laura Wheeler

Co-Owner of Firelight Business Enterprises, Inc, and Firelight Web Studio – Laura writes instructional materials, produces infosites, and builds affordable websites for her business startup clients. Her varied experience allows her to give exceptional service, and to produce instructions on a surprising range of topics. Laura is a busy mom of eight, homeschooler, and home business owner.

This article may be reprinted if it is unaltered, and if the signature line is included with the article..


Friday, May 28, 2010

Clipping Coupons

Here's my Frugal Friday advice.  Clip coupons.  I know it sounds so simple, and those who don't do it probably think it won't save them enough to bother.  But it will.  When I first started cutting them out, I used to keep track to see if it was even worth the effort.  And let me tell you, some days it takes effort.  When I was keeping track of our savings I would count every dollar saved, whether by coupon or sale.  When I was store hopping (that's for another post) I was saving anywhere from $200 - $400 a month. That's HUGE!  Here's some easy tips on clipping coupons:
  • Invest in a coupon file system so you can find them easily.
  • Cut out more than you think you'll need. (You can always throw them away if you don't use them)
  • Don't buy something just because you have a coupon.
  • If something is on sale (that you use frequently), and you have more than one coupon, use them both.  If it's an item you use regularly it's worth it to buy it for the extra savings. (Don't do this unless its something you use a lot, or something like canned goods that have a long shelf life)
  • Don't get hung up on shopping at just one store.  Look through the sale flyers and see which store has the better sales for what you need to purchase.
I've added a bunch of coupon sites to my right sidebar.  If you don't get the Sunday paper you can just go to these sites and print out the ones you want.  Some of them require you to install a coupon reader.  It downloads in just a minute and you'll be on your way to saving more.

Pacifier Addiction Withdrawals - Update

I didn't want to bore everyone with daily updates, but I did want to continue, because I'm sure there is someone out there who needs encouragement that they can get through this. You can do it! Just have patience.

Day 4 - We made HUGE progress today.  I noticed periods of time where she was actually playing and had forgotten about it.  Not long periods, but progress non the less.  Total crying time: Approx. 8 hours. YAY!!!

Day 5 - Much the same as Day 4.  A few more periods of time without missing it, but not many more.  I'm beginning to feel like its working though.

Day 6  - Today was MUCH better. She's still asking....and still crying, but she's going longer in between.  Total crying time: Approx. 5 hours.  WOOHOO!!!

Day 8 - I think we're going to make it.  Lots of crying first thing when she gets up, lots of crying in the car, but other than that just a bunch of whining to see if I'll give in.  She's truly ecstatic when naptime comes and I give it to her. We're down to about 2 - 3 hours of crying! YEAH!!!

I'm starting to think that maybe I was as addicted to it as she was :). After all I was giving it to her because I didn't like the pitch of her scream. Because it kept her quiet there was a benefit in it for the rest of us.  But, around Day 6 I noticed a BIG improvement in her speech.  Before, only about 50% of her words were clear, now it's about 75%.  It's getting easier to have a conversation with her now.

Car rides are still the hardest.

I'll continue to update every few days on how it's going, but I don't think there will be any more drastic changes on a daily basis.  If you're weaning your child, or thinking of doing it, just know you need to stick with it. You can do it!!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Pacifier Addiction Withdrawals - Day 3

SOOO tempted to give it back.  I won't, but I'm losing my hair from pulling it all out.  When we took the pacifier from Princess Smiles (who is now 8) it only took 3 days and then she stopped asking.  Let me just assure you, this is NOT the case with Princess Joy.  I'm not sure she'll ever stop asking at the rate she's going.  LOL This is the face I get all the time when she's whining for it.

I was able to distract her for small amounts of time throughout the day - maybe 10 - 15 minutes 4 or 5 times.  We're taking baby steps, but at least we're moving :)

Total crying time: Approx. 9 - 10 hours.

Hopefully we show better progress tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Pacifier Addiction Withdrawals - Day 2

Day 2 was not better than day 1.  When she woke up I took it, and hid it, right away.  Within 10 or 15 minutes she was crying for it.  The entire day was like this.  Crying, whining....whining, crying.  Let's just say I'm almost bald from pulling my hair out. LOL  I was determined to get through this, but not sure how much more I could take.  Everyone was starting to complain of a headache from the constant crying, including her!  I was sooo tempted to give in just for some peace and quiet, but realized that's what got us here in the first place.  So, I stuck it out.

The lost pacifier was found in the afternoon by one of my older girls.  She found it in the dirty laundry.....ewww!  Thankfully, she brought it to me instead of giving it to Princess Joy.  We made it! Somehow I'm not convinced this will get any easier anytime soon.  We'll see.

Total crying time: Approx. 10-11 hours.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pacifier Addiction Withdrawals - Day 1

Let me just give you a quick overview as to how I got to this point in my life.  Princess Joy is our 5th child.  She was preceeded by her sister who was a VERY difficult baby.  She cried 16 - 20 hours a day for the first year of her life.  This made for 2 very weary parents.  So, when Princess Joy entered the world, with some very similar traits, it was very difficult.  The icing on the cake was that her screaming literally hurt our ears.  If she started while we were holding her it felt like she was damaging our hearing.  You know, the kind that it movies they show it breaking glass.  She never broke any glass, but we didn't doubt that she could if given the opportunity.  Not sure if it was the pitch of the cry or what, but we couldn't deal with it.  So, we gave her a pacifier.

We soon discovered that it saved our eardrums, so we gave it to her whenever she would cry or scream.  Well, in the past two years, we've had times where we've tried to break her of it, but she would get an ear infection, cold, etc. The crying would begin, and to save our hearing, we'd put it back in her mouth.

Now we have a two year old, who wants this thing in her mouth 24 hours a day.  She cries for it all the time, and the pitch of her cry is no better than it was two years ago. Her world came to an abrupt halt, the other morning, when she lost it! The girls and I searched the entire house for it, to no avail.  Six hours later, when my son got home from school, she was still crying for it.  His finding skills are amazing, and anytime the girls are missing something he can find it for them. When he couldn't find it, I decided to suck it up and break her of it once and for all (after all she is 2 now). I was not driving 1/2 hour to the store to buy her a new one!

Bedtime came with a total of approx. 11 hours of crying/whining and me only pulling out a few hundred of my hairs throughout the day :).  Then, as I was putting the kids in bed, I remembered I had a spare hiding!  I quickly told myself  'NO! You made it through the first day. Just keep going.'  But, to be totally honest, I felt a wave of compassion come over me.  How hard this must be for her.  She's had this thing all day, every day, for 2 years.  So, I told my hubby I was going to give her the spare BUT only at naptime & bedtime.  He laughed thinking I'd cave, but I knew I needed to stick to my guns.  So, I gave it to her and told her she could only have it for bed, and then she had to give it to me the next morning. You should have seen the look on her face when I gave it to her.  She was so excited!

(This is not a pic of her happy to have it back, just one with it hanging out of her mouth)

  We started calling her pacifier the *blah*. When she was little she tried to say 'Pa' for short but it always came out blah. So that's what everyone in this house calls it. :)

Shutter Love Tuesday

This has to be one of my favorite pictures.  I don't have photoshop (or any other editing software), so this is 'au naturale'.  It was the first picture I took that got me interested in photography as a hobby. With the wacky spring we've had my lilacs did do well, so I thought I'd reminice with this photo.

 If you have a photo you want to share, check out:


Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Indestructable Pacifier Teething Ring - Product Review

OK, truth be told, my 2 year old daughter still has a pacifier.  We're in the process of taking it, but that's for another blog posting.  About a month ago, she started biting holes in her pacifiers, which I assume is because she's getting her 2 year molars.  Anyway, she was going through a 2-pack of pacifiers in an afternoon.  There are 2 reasons this is a problem for me.

1.) It gets expensive fast.
2.) I live 1/2 hour to the closest store.

So, on my next trip into town I found the RazBaby teething ring pacifier!  I figured if it looked like a pacifier she might take it, and I hoped that she'd not want to use it as a pacifier because it's bigger and doesn't work the same.  It worked amazing as far as a teething ring goes.  It's indestructable!  Never again will I need to buy another pacifier.  I still have one problem she's using it as a regular pacifier.  Because it's bigger I can't understand anything she says.  I tell her to take it out of her mouth - which she does - but it didn't break the addiction.  Oh well, at least it's not breaking my purse anymore :).  It makes a great conversation piece too.

If you'd like to see what other kind of great baby products they have CLICK HERE.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Online Shopping + Frugal Friday = An Amazing Deal

I've always been a window shopper.  I'm not one to go walk around the store looking for a gift, etc.  I'd much rather be home & look through a catalog, or online.  Most of the time I will even buy it online. 

When deciding whether to buy online or go to the store there is a lot to consider.  I live 1/2 from the closest store, so its a 45 mile round trip for me.  Not very practical.  The gas to get there costs more than shipping charges.  But even if you live close don't rule out shopping online.  Here's my latest example:

When my daughter was born a friend gave me a gift card to a specific store at the mall.  I never go to the mall . . . . and I mean never.  I might have been 3 times in the past 2 years.  So, I never think to go to this store, even with a gift card in my purse.  Finally this morning I decided to check out their online store (I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner).  Here's what I got:

  • 5 pairs of shorts - ($10 each X 5 = $50 value)
  • 1 pair of jeans - (1 pair = $15 value)
  • 5 shirts - ($10 each X 5 = $50)
  • $5 shippin ALL the time.
$120 total +tax.  This stuff is not ridiculously priced, but none the less, this is a TON of money.  I wouldn't even consider spending this much all at once. But check out how it worked out.

  • 5 pairs of shorts - ($5 each X 5 = $25)
  • 1 pair of jeans - ($3.99)...I thought this was awesome :)
  • 5 shirts ($5 each X 5 = $25)
  • $5 shipping
Ok, now I have the order down to $58.99.  Here's another tip....
In your internet search field put in the store name & promo code (or coupon code). There are sights out there that find them for you.  You can get percentages off, free shipping, and more.  I never place an order without checking for this first.  I found a code for 15% off my order, which saved me another $8.10.  Now my total was down to $50.89 +tax. Don't forget the only reason I was shopping at this particular store was my giftcard.  Thanks to my amazing friend my giftcard was $50.

After they added in tax my total was $2.04.  Yes, that's right!

$120 worth of clothes for $2.04! Now that's my kind of bargain!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I WON!!!

I won this gift set from Gift-A-Cupcake! She was expecting her second baby and whoever came closest to the 'birth stats' won a set of bath items from Springdale Spa. It was me! And I have to tell you....I was even more excited when I used them. The scent is warm vanilla sugar and is amazing!

Gift-A-Cupcake offers these awesome gift baskets shaped like cupcakes. I recommend you go check them out HERE!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Cleaning Using the Three Step Method

I haven't done Tip Tuesday in a while, so here's a new one.

I've read a few books on organizing, decluttering, etc.  The best advice I ever heard was this....I call it the 3 step method.
  • Put it away
  • Throw it away
  • Give it away
The concept is to put everything into one of these categories.  If it doesn't have a home then either throw it away or give it away.  I know it sounds harsh, but its an excellent way to go about it.  I'm not perfect at it - by any means - but I'm working on it. 

I used to think, "I might need it someday" or "Once I get rid of it I'll need it."  Then I heard someone say that if you are keeping things that you 'might' need or use someday then you are not trusting that God will provide it when you do need it.  That totally changed my outlook.  I'm working on decluttering.  If you have any other ideas I'd love to hear them.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


Readers are Made on the Lap of a Parent is giving away 4 books, a personalized library bookbag, bookmarks, reading achievement awards and stickers!

This awesome giveaway features a personalized library book bag from HomeSpun Threads. The theme for the book bag is Fairy Tale Hero's. Your little princess could win a Princess and the Pea bag or your little prince could win the above Dragon or Prince bag. The books in this giveaway are the 4 shown above.

The contest ends Thursday, May 20th at midnight and the winners will be announced Friday May 21st.

Click on the link and enter to win!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Bed Bug Bumper - Product Review

*DISCLAIMER* - This is a product review only.  I am not advising you sleep with your child.  Please do your own research on the pros & cons of co-sleeping before making that decision.

Here's a little background into how I came across the website.

From the day my husband & I were married I always said I would never co-sleep with my children.  I wasn't against it, it just wasn't for us.  Then came our 6th child.  It started the very night she was born.  From 7pm - 4am she just wanted to be held.  During the day she would sleep anywhere: crib, floor, car seat, it really didn't matter.  But come bedtime and she would be up every 10 - 15 minutes if she was not in someones arms.  Let me just say this got old fast.  By the time she was a week old I couldn't function anymore.  Then one night while absolutely unable to function I fell asleep with her on the couch.  She only woke up once to nurse and that was it!  I wondered if I was onto something.  So I continued to sleep on the couch with her.  I tried my best to be safe about it.  I would sleep sitting up, with her cradled in my arms between me and the back of the couch.  My back was suffering....but I was sleeping :) 

I know there are many people who are dead set against sleeping with your child, whether it be for personal reasons or safety reasons.  But let me just say that the safety of my other children, as well as my own safety, was at risk.  I was falling asleep standing up while making lunches, holding the baby, etc.  Not to mention the fact that as soon as I got in the car it was a struggle to stay awake behind the wheel.  So please keep that in mind before giving judgement. Thanks! :)

Once I realized she was able to sleep at night, and it wasn't a matter of her days and nights being backwards, I started to look into products that might assist her (and I) in getting her on track (remember, I was against co-sleeping).  I tried swaddling her tighter, I tried having her sleep in the car seat, I tried the womb bear/sleep sheep, I tried having her sleep with one of my shirts, and more.  Nothing was working.  Then I found the co-sleeper.  The problem was that my husband and I were pretty sure she wanted body heat/cudding and that's why she was sleeping so good while being held.  With a co-sleeper they are not technically next to you. I thought it was on the expensive side if it wasn't going to work. 

While doing research on the pros and cons of co-sleeping (I was starting to give in to the sleep deprivation) I came across They make foam bed rails that fit under your sheets but work like a regular guard rail.  The whole reason they came up in my search was because they make one for co-sleeping.  The cost was really reasonable ($20 + $6 shipping).  I figured it was worth a try.  After all, sleeping on the couch was getting old and my body was starting to feel it. 

From the very first night we were only getting up once in the middle of the night.  This was great considering she was only about 3 weeks old.  I put her between me and the bed rail.  It felt so good to get a decent night sleep.  I'm still not totally comfortable sleeping with her, but now that I have a good month of semi-sleep, I've started working on transitioning her to her cradle.  I recently heard somewhere that, when it comes to babies being able to regulate their own body temperature, women should really be pregnant for another 3 months.  That would be the 'ideal' for the infant.  I'm not sure whether this is true or not, but it seems to be the case here.  She'll be 3 months old next week, and I'm already seeing a huge difference.  In the mean time, during this transition, I'm very grateful I found go bed bug :).  I feel safer than putting her between us and now I'm able to function during the day.  If you have decided to co-sleep I highly recommend this item.  You can visit them gobedbug by clicking HERE.

On top of the great product, the service was super fast.  They also offer regular bed rails as well as additional products.  Don't hesitate to go check them out.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Mother's Day Tribute

My mother raised me on her own until I was 8 years old. At that time she married a wonderful man, who adopted me, and treated me as his own. She was only married to my dad for 9 years when he suddenly passed away. This time she was left with 4 children to raise on her own. Let me just tell you she is amazing! I wouldn't be the woman, or mother, I am today if it weren't for her love and guidance. She never gave up on me (that's for another blog entry), and for that I am forever grateful.

She is an amazing mother.

She is an amazing grandmother.

But most of all...
She is an amazing woman!

I thought it was quite fitting that she ended up getting married on Mother's Day weekend. I'm not sure why. Maybe because she's been an amazing mother and she deserves the perfect gift of happiness. Maybe it's just because so many have prayed, for so long, that someone would come into her life and give her a love like no other. I thank God for bringing her somone who loves her, makes her laugh, brings her joy, and puts a smile on her face. Now she'll get to be an amazing wife!

I Love You, Mom! Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wordless Wednesday




Saturday, April 24, 2010

I WON!!!

I won this great set of mixing bowls from a giveaway that Kimmie @ Over the Moon with Joy did.  They were donated by  I was so excited!  But you need to hear why...

At Christmas time we always get a real tree.  This past Christmas was no exception.  So, we all go & pick out our tree, come home and set it up, only to find out our tree stand has a crack in it.  Well, it was late on a Sunday night, so....What do you do???  Well, if you're my husband, you go into the cabinet and pull out my largest mixing bowl.  Then you shove it in the tree stand (after all you can't hold up a tree with just a mixing bowl you know!).  So we used the stand to support the tree, but used my bowl for the water.  Needless to say, the bowl cracked.  I was not a happy camper, until I realized (and told my dear hubby), "Hey, now I get to go buy new mixing bowls!"  Well, I'm not a huge fan of shopping, so I never got around to buying myself some new ones.  Then along came Kimmie's giveaway.  And, well, the rest is history.  I now have a brand new set of PINK mixing bowls.  My girls were thrilled.  You see, in their minds, there is now one mixing bowl for each girl in our family :)

I should have posted this a couple of weeks ago.  Thanks, Kimmie & Princess Sunshine for pulling my name!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Sell It - Frugal Friday

I recently heard on the radio that the average household has $25,000 worth of "stuff" they either don't want or don't use!  Are you serious?  All I could think was, "WOW! That's a lot of money!"  So, here's my Frugal Friday tip.  Start spring cleaning and get rid of what you're not using. 

I'm a huge eBay fan.  At one point, years ago, my husband used to tell me he was going to have to start nailing things down if he didn't want me to sell them :).  But in all seriousness.....Why do we keep things that aren't being used?  If we sold the items that are just hanging around, for even 1/4 of their worth, we would have over $6,000!!!  This makes me want to re-evalute what I keep & why I keep it.  Some things may have sentimental value, etc. but if they're just collecting dust.....

If there is something you want to purchase, and can't afford to, this may motivate you.  I tend to use the money I make selling items to purchase my homeschool curriculum for the upcoming year.  I don't like it to come out of our living expenses, so this works perfect.  It does take some effort to sell your items, so if you don't want to take the time, by all means you can donate it too.  You'd still be organizing and decluttering while helping a good cause.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day Giveaway

Enter to win this great Earth Day package. Go to Readers Are Made On the Lap of A Parent to enter. Here's a picture of just one of the items you can win....

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

My newest pattern that is for sale in my etsy store.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Want More Comments on Your Blog?

More and more I'm noticing I can't leave comments on some great blogs!  If it's someone that I do not know personally - outside of the blogging world - I have no way of letting them know I think it's great.  So, I decided maybe I'd post this and see if it helps.  If you wish more people were responding to your posts, try this and see if you start getting more comments.

Go into your 'Settings' tab
Click on 'Comments'
Third section down is 'Comment Form Placment'
Make sure it is 'Full page' (not embedded below post)
Go all the way to the bottom & click 'Save Settings'

Try it and let me know if you see a difference in the number of comments you're getting.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Dan & I celebrated our 9th anniversary last week.
He got me this Judas tree (also known as a Red Bud).  They are absolutely beautiful.  The bark flowers purple buds and then the buds turn to leaves.  I was so excited.  
I've admired these trees for a long time and now I have one :). 

Friday, April 9, 2010

I've Been Featured!

I know this is my personal blog, and not my crochet blog, but I'm so excited!  Julie, over at RedHenStudios, had a blog entry today that included one of my afghans, which made my day :). I think this is a first for me and I'm honored, considering it's my own design. Here's the design she featured, but go over to her blog and check it out.

Thanks again, Julie!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

The babies are here!
(No, we don't have cows. It's the farm down the street.)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Missing Socks

I always heard that the washing machine eats socks and leaves you with all these mismatched pairs. Well, don't throw them away until you read my story.....

My girls socks started disappearing about the time they turned 4 and 5 (maybe a little younger). Because they wear the same size, they share clothes, so it was hard for me to 'point the finger', so to speak. After all, no one was really admitting to their disappearance. lol So, I just went out and bought more. Well, let me assure you, this gets old fast. How many times a year should I need to replace socks? Then daughter #3's socks started disappearing too. Maybe it's a conspiracy. Then, I started to think that maybe my machine was eating them after all. When we had depleted our stock of matching socks I would go out and buy more, with growing frustration every time.

Then I started noticing something. About a month after throwing away a sock its match would appear, out of nowhere, in the clean laundry. hmmm.....That's odd. The more I paid attention, the more I realized the socks were showing up at a later date. Obviously I could no longer blame the washing machine, so I turned to my beautiful girls for answers. After many shrugs of the shoulders, and "I don't know"s, I decided to play Sherlock Holmes. Once I started paying attention to their behaviors it all started to make sense. Their socks weren't making it into the dirty laundry. I was finding them in the shoe basket near the entrance door, stuffed between the mattress and the bed, in the name it.

Now that I knew I didn't have to throw away the 'extras' I started saving them. At one point I literally had half a laundry basket of unmatched socks. I was still listening to "I don't have any socks" all the time. I was say the least. How was I going to get them to actually put the socks in the laundry, so I could wash them. Then an idea hit me. Make them match up the socks! Maybe if they saw how much work it was to sift through half a laundry basket full of them to find a match they might think about where to put them when they take them off.

That was a few months ago. Now, I match up the socks that come out of the laundry in pairs. Anything that doesn't match I give to them. They now have a laundry bag I keep all the mismatched ones in, instead of the laundry basket (we're making progress). It is then their job to match up the extras. It isn't 100% but it's so much better than it was a few months ago. We've gone from 1/2 a basketful to this....

Happy Sock Hunting!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

I have a handful of photos I've taken, that I love.
This happens to be one of them :)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tip Tuesday

My friend Rebecca at The Blessings of Modern Domestication does what she calls "Tip Tuesday".  She has some great tips every week so check out her blog.  This week, I thought I'd do one. 

Here's a quick tip for organizing your freezer.  Use boxes.  It may seem simple but it makes a huge difference when you're looking for something. 

Here's what part of mine looked like before.  I took all the veggies and put them in a box.  I took all the packaged chicken, hamburg, and other meats, and put them in a seperate box (not pictured).  Then I put all the french fries, and other miscellaneous things in yet another box.  Now when I need a bag of carrots I can go grab one instead of searching through all the items.  Here's what this half looked like when I was done.

Maybe you can't tell from the pictures, but it makes a huge difference.  Try it and see for yourself.  Let me know if you have other great organizing tips.


Monday, March 29, 2010

Back to Reality

For the first 3 weeks after out little Princess Sunshine was born I was amazed. I couldn't believe how well I was doing keeping up with everything and still having time to do the things I love. I crocheted 2 hats for her and started a couple other projects, I sewed a nursing coverup, I read 2 books....I was amazed! I didn't realize 6 kids would be easier than 5. I was keeping up with laundry, cooking dinner, and my house wasn't any more disorganized than normal (if anything I was getting more done). I really couldn't figure it out, to the point where I kept trying to understand how this was so easy. And then it hit me!

I had decided last summer to start school early with the girls (I homeschool), for the specific reason that I wanted to take a month off when I had the baby. Here I was thinking I had my world under control, when it was all really just because I was saving myself hours worth of school work every day. I knew at that moment that I would not be as in control the following week when we started up assignments again.  So, I decided to do half days the first week so I didn't shock my system. LOL

So far, so good. I don't have a spotless house and I'm not doing 2 loads of laundry every day like I used to, but we're surviving. If I ever do have time to myself again, the first thing I may do is type up the dozen or so crochet patterns that I have created.  For some reason, in those crazy first few weeks, I thought maybe I could type them up while nursing my new baby girl.  Never dawned on me it's a little difficult to type with one hand.  lol  I wouldn't change this time in my life for anything. It goes by so quickly that I want to enjoy every moment before it's gone.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Frugal Friday and Power Shopping


Ok, so it's definately not what you think!  Frugal Friday is about saving money, not spending it.  So, here's my Frugal Friday tip.  Power walk while you shop.  Let me explain. When I'm ready to go shopping (grocery, dept. store, etc.) I make my list and  I take all 5 girls with me (they are all under the age of 8).  People think I'm nuts, but let me tell you.....this works.  I've have learned over the years that kids have a time limit.  They will behave in the store for so long, and then every mother knows what happens.  They start to whine, have temper tantrums, act up, walk away from you, etc.  This is exactly why I take my kids.  They have their timers too.  And they start ticking from the moment I walk into a store.  So, here's what I do. 

  1. I make sure I have my list & I go as far as to try to put similar items together so I don't have to go back to an isle because I forgot something. (ex: frozen items, meats, etc.)
  2. I take all my kids with me. (It's not that bad once you get used to it.)
  3. When I get to the store I power shop!  Walk as fast as you can through the store to get everything on your list.  Sometimes I walk so fast my girls actually have to run to catch up to me :).
  4. Do not stop to look at something that is not on your list!

I'm sure some of you are laughing at me :) but let me tell you this works for a number of reasons. 

  1. You will save money because you are not browsing while you shop.
  2. Your kids timers will be ticking, so if you're smart you'll get out of there before their time is up.
  3. You'll be getting just a little bit of excercise because of the fast pace you're keeping through the store.

Try it!  I can go through Sam's or BJ's - with all 5 kids in tow - and spend $185 in 20 minutes.  I know that doesn't sound like saving money, but that is for a family of 8 - for 2 weeks.



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Since April 2010