Thursday, May 19, 2011

Creating A Home Office - When There Isn't One

I have 2 goals for today.

1) To get at least 5 of my 'no-longer-needed' homeschool items listed on ebay.  I've come to the realization I don't have the time to get everything listed at once, so if I do a few a day that may work.  Only one problem....I've been up since 2:30 this morning. (yes I'm crazy, lol)

2) To clean off my computer desk.  Not as easy as it sounds seeing as my husband and I each own a home business, on top of the fact that we don't have an office/den/spare room.  So our setup is in the living room, in a very little alcove.  I do about 1/2 of my crochet designing from there, so there's usually balls of yarn, handwritten notes, contracts & estimates for my hubby's tree removal biz, etc.  It wasn't bad until tax time.  I was an accounting major in college, so I do all of our taxes myself.  This year, for some reason, I still haven't organized and put all the files downstairs. 

We'll see how it goes.  I'm hoping to get the majority of it done so I can move on to something else tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

30 Days To A Clean(er) House

Here I am, exactly 30 days before my oldest child graduates high school. That means a graduation party is in order. The problem? I'm embarrassed to have anyone over.  It has gotten so out of control in the past year or two, that I didn't even know where to start. And because I didn't know where to start, I wasn't do anything. But I've slowly been trying to get better. Now that I'm down to the wire, it's crunch time. I devised this plan in my head to start a new blog, where I could hold myself accountable, but didn't have to be embarrassed by someone I new actually finding out I'm not 'Suzie Homemaker'.  Then I wondered, why?  If these 'friends' that I worry about judging me can't support me, then are they really my friends after all.  So, I've changed my mind, and I'm going to let it all out on here.  After all, do I really have time for another blog???
I have figured out there is no way I will get my house in permanent order in 30 days, so I'm going to have a daily goal along with my long term goals, starting now. Hopefully I will post something short every day to keep track but between 6 children, homeschooling, laundry, dishes, and my own business, I don't feel like I have two extra minutes. But I'm aware that's my weak area....time management.

My long term goal is to regain permanent organization (with 3 more children than I had back when I was organized), teach my kids to help more, keep up with the chores, go back to using a dinner schedule, write up a new chore schedule for my kids, and more.  

Each day I'm going to have a short term goal too.  Today's goal is to re-clean the kitchen, which was done on Saturday. But somehow, between Saturday and today (Wed) it's cluttered again. I'm learning that daily I will need to 'pick up' as well as have scheduled 'cleaning' chores. There's a difference. If I can accomplish that I will move on to something new tomorrow.  

I'd love to hear ideas if anyone has any.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Light Sensitivity

I think, for me, the light sensitivity issues my girls have, is one of the hardest aspects of this journey with them.  My other children love to be outdoors and they just don't.  It hurts their eyes to the point that they just leave them closed.  I once heard it described like this. 

Imagine that initial reaction your eyes have when you're coming out of a dark movie theatre on a sunny day.  That's what my girls see all the time.  With no reprieve.  There eyes are on constant overload from too much light.  The picture below doesn't do that description justice, but I this picture when we first learned of our oldest's diagnosis.  It helped me understand just how difficult things can be for them.

I can't imagine wanting to spend time outside if this is what I saw either.   We try very hard to have them spend some time outdoors after dusk, when it is much easier for them to see, but sometimes I feel like we live indoors. The older Baby Sunshine gets the more she'll get used to it. That's how it was with Princess Cuddles. Now, with a little coaxing, she'll go outside during the day.  Yes, sunglasses and a hat help, but only if you can get your one year old to wear them!

Friday, April 8, 2011

A Table for Two

I have to tell you about my time out with hubby last night for our anniversary. 

I had no idea where we were going.  All he told me was that maybe if we left early we could walk around some of the shops near the restaurant.  Because of getting the kids situated we didn't have a ton of time to shop, BUT he did pull into one store. A YARN SHOP!!! He took me yarn shopping for our anniversary!!! Have I mentioned I love my hubby?!?!?! LOL If we had more time I may have picked out more, but this is what I left with.

On to our dinner.  I love Italian food, so he found this nice Italian restaurant about 1/2 hour from where we live.  REAL Italian, not someone who sells lasagna & shells (although, on any given day, I'm all for that too) .  For an appetizer we ordered bruschetta.  I'm not a huge bruschetta fan, but this was amazing!  They seared the bread on a charcoal-fired, outdoor grill.  Heavenly!

Dinner was amazing (sorry, no pic).  Many years ago, our hope was to go back to Ireland for our 10 year anniversary.  That was planned at least 2 children ago, so let's just say, maybe another year. lol.  So for dessert we decided on "Bailey's Irish Cream Cheesecake".  Amazing! 

Love spending time with my hubby.  We have so much to be grateful for, and we love spending every moment we can with the kids, but it's so nice to be alone for a couple of hours.  I look forward to many more anniversaries to come.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Today hubby and I celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary! Yay!!  Ok, for some it may not seem like that long, but I'm considering it awesome.  We've had our share of heartaches and struggles, but God has given us so much to be thankful for.  I look forward to the next decade.

April 7, 2001

November 2010

Our plan was to go back to Ireland for our 10th anniversary (that's where we spent our honeymoon), but that was at least 2 children ago that we planned that. LOL  So instead, we're celebrating by going out to dinner . . . . ALONE!!!  haha - Not an easy feat when you have 6 children.   We've actually learned to appreciate "date night" on a deeper level because it only happens once, or twice, a year.  Now, what do I wear?!?!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What Makes A Family Large?

I seemed to be doing fine.  I had a 10 year old, a two year old, a one year old and I was 9 months pregnant.  Then Princess Giggles was born and my world was turned upside down. I've blogged about it in the past, and won't torture you with more woes but, for those that don't know, it was all I could do to put dinner on the table and do the laundry.  It seemed like 4 children had pushed me over the edge.  Now, in the midst of my chaos, I was hearing similar things from others. "It was hardest going from 3 to 4."  As hard as Princess Joy and Princess Sunshine have been, they still don't compare to the tears that were caused by my Princess Giggles (fitting name, right?!?)

I am leading up to a purpose here.  The more I have, the easier it gets.  But, I don't think many people agree with me.  When I go out in public with my "brood" (as they've been called) I always get the same question. "Are they ALL yours???"  They say it like I have 15 kids with me.  I'm used to it, but it drives my husband nuts!  It makes me wonder, by todays standards, what is a "large" family?  Obviously six is a lot from the comments I get, but how about 4?  I don't remember getting the comments when I only had 4.  I did however get them when I had 5.  Does that mean 4 children is ok, but 5 is "too many".  I'm far from upset by this (it's so hard to tell how someone means something in this day of internet).  I'm just curious. 

My mother was one of 11, so to me 6 is small.  I love my family size and wouldn't change it for anything in the world.  Just wondering how others see a family of 8?

Monday, April 4, 2011


It's amazing how a few years can totally change how you see things.  I have been doing a lot of reflecting lately, on a lot of levels.  But much of it has been about my youngest, who is now the second child we have, that was born with low vision.  It didn't seem quite as devastating the second time around, but most of all, now that I'm not "new" to this, I'm not wrought with feelings about what she will or won't be able to see, etc.  The most recent was when I found an old pair of glasses that used to belong to Princess Cuddles. They were definately too big for Princess Sunshine, but I wanted to see if they would help her, so I put them on.  I was astounded at her reaction.  It was like she was opening her eyes for the first time.  They were big with wonder, almost like she was really seeing each of us for the first time.  At that point hubby & I both realized she'd probably be in glasses sooner rather than later.  But I was equally shocked at my reaction. I was happy! This was a complete 180 from 7 years ago when Princess Cuddles got them.  Back then, I wanted her to be able to see without them, not to mention, I was afraid people would tease her. This time, the joy was because I KNEW how much they could help her. 

This whole ordeal got me thinking, and I started comparing how I see things now, to how I looked at them 5 years ago, 10 years ago, etc.  It's your perspective on things.  So, I decided to look it up.  This is the definition I was looking for.

Perspective - the state of one's ideas, the facts know to one, etc.


It's the facts that I now know that have changes my perspective.  I know how much help they can be, and I know I want her to have the best chance of seeing that she can.  What other people think just doesn't matter anymore. Long story short(er), we took her and they did give her a prescription for glasses. She's a little on the younge side, and they probably would have waited another 6 months or so, if it hadn't been for the reaction she had to the other ones.  Now all we need is for her to like them!

Anyone have any ideas on how to get a one year old to leave them on??? My other daughter just did. Never touched them. Princess Sunshine will only leave them on when she's outside. She's super light sensitive so the tinting makes her realize they help.

On a side note, I haven't been very active with this blog lately.  That's another thing I've been pondering.  I almost closed it down, but I really felt God led me to start it, so I'll work on keeping better tabs on it :P  I've been feeling like I'm supposed to do some blogging about raising children with low vision, so bear with me if you can't relate. Those won't be my only posts.

Monday, January 17, 2011

My Conversation With God

God has given me words of encouragement and spoken to me through different people, or scriptures, over the years.  There are even times I just know He has spoken to me even though I didn't hear His voice.  I can only count on one hand the number of times where I actually heard His audible voice like He was right there next to me.  I haven't shared this story with many people, but it has been weighing on my heart that someone may need to hear it.

In March of 2003 I gave birth to my 3rd child.  She was called a "toehead" more times than I can count.  But by the time she was 4 months old we started to realize it was something more.  Soon after she was diagnosed with albinism, which is a genetic condition where you have little or no pigment in your eyes, skin, or hair. 

My disclaimer - While most people know the term "albino" I have a hard time with this word.  This is my own personal opinion but, I feel, 'albinism' refers to the condition, whereas 'albino' refers to the person.  She's my daughter first, not an albino.  Ok, back to my story.....

Within that first year, I had a dream that God healed her.  I know, without a doubt, that someday He will.  Until then I pray, and wait.  I'm learning as I go, but on one specific occasion God left me speachless.  To this day I'm still speachless when I think of the conversation I had with Him.

I don't remember exactly how old my daughter was, but I think she was about 1 1/2 (so this was about 6 years ago).  I remember sitting at my kitchen table praying, crying out to God to heal her.  I wanted her to be able to see the deer in our backyard, or the butterflies, or any number of other things she can't see.  Part of the conversation left me awestruck, and I still remember the words exactly. 

This is what I told God.....

"You don't understand!  A mother just wants to make things better for their children!"

To which God responded.....

"She's mine too, and I know what I'm doing."

My jaw about fell to the ground. My heart started to race.  I didn't have any response.  I was speachless.  My heart still races when I think of that short, but direct conversation.  My heart still breaks, and I could still cry, over the things she can't see.  But I now have a peace about it that I didn't have that first year.  I don't know why I never thought of her as HIS daughter too.  Never dawned on me that He had a plan in all this.  That He might actually use her/this as a testimony.  So I wait.  And I still pray.  But I believe God's plan is so much greater than I can even fathom. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Uplifting Your Spouse.....Even When You Don't Think Anyone Is Watching

What we say is so powerful.  We need to be consciously aware of this.  I am so aware when I hear people complaining about their spouse.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not perfect or exempt here.  I don't bad mouth or complain about my husband, but, I've more than once, snapped at him in public because he didn't understand what I was trying to say.....or because I was tired.....or because.....well the list goes on.  He has never snapped back, and only once, has he ever said to me that I needed to check myself because others were worrying that there was something wrong.  I am so grateful God put us together.  I strive to think before I speak.  Needless to say, I'm still a work in progress.

Do you complain to your friends about your spouse? (I'm not looking for anyone to answer).  Or do you say uplifting things even though they're not there to hear?  This may make all the difference in your marriage.  Here's why...

My husband, and a bunch of guy friends, get together on a semi regular basis for breakfast and fellowship.  At one of these recent get togethers he decided he wanted to have a "chainsaw competition" with a friend of his. (don't laugh-lol).  He decided he was going to take my camera, which has video on it, and have someone tape it.  When he came home I loaded the video onto the computer for him.  As he was watching I heard him say, "Oh wow, they forgot to turn it off when we were done.  They got that on video?"  He did not sound surprised in a bad way, just surprised.  He called me over and told me to watch.  I couldn't believe what I heard!  He was complimenting me as a wife in front of all his friends!  Not bragging, just complimenting.  I can't tell you how much that meant.  I've never thought he would complain to them, but I didn't consider he would build me up either. 

That wasn't the only time.  About a month later he was sending out a text message and I happened to be walking up behind him.  Do you know what it said?  "My wife rocks!" with a picture of his birthday gift attached to the text. You see, I had bought him a smoker/grill for his birthday. Something I knew he would like.  But to him it was more.  He felt I had paid attention to what he would like. 

This got me thinking.  It's about building each other up.  Not tearing each other down.  Especially with our words and actions.  Words are SO powerful!  We need to consciously think everytime we speak.  And on the flip side of this, sometimes I think men need to hear these kinds of things even more. That's what I'm working on.  Call it my personal challenge....think before I speak.  And not just about your spouse.  We should be think before we speak about anyone or anything. 



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